Look what two straight wins can do

First an apology for not putting up a new blog yesterday. I went home after the morning skate, ate lunch and promptly fell asleep for three hours. Had to hustle to get back for the game.

It’s amazing what two straight wins will do in this Eastern Conference playoff race. The Thrashers now sit in a tie for ninth, three points out of a playoff spot. They will still need some help and will have to put together a decent winning streak – something they haven’t done with consistency all season. The point is win two games and you are right back in it.

Let’s see what happens Saturday against the Flyers. It’s a team in front in the standings, who have now lost both their goaltenders. More importantly, the Thrashers need to show they can win a few in a row.

A few players missing practice today – Ron Hainsey, Pavel Kubina, Johnny Oduya, Nik Antropov, Todd White and Maxim Afinogenov.

Since there seems to be some mild interest, the radio “personality” in question was Steak Shapiro in his soundoff. Amazingly quiet about the Thrashers this morning.

Again, it’s not my job to paint a “rosy” picture. I simply report on what is happening on and off the ice without bias. You wouldn’t take me seriously if I neglected the facts and wrote only glowing reports or neglected the facts and only pointed out the flaws. I take that seriously. Also, a part of my job is to give a little insight into the players and the teams that you can’t get elsewhere. I hope I have provided that with player features, trying my hand at goaltending or taking pictures of the practice facility. I don’t want to dwell on this but know I appreciate all your comments, input in this blog and the AJC – even if you catch me in error or I miss something.

Let me get this blog posted and I will come back with any updates after practice and interviews.

53 comments Add your comment

Brendan

March 19th, 2010
11:31 am

Heck, we’re still in it. I just hope for the best. Thank God, the Eastern Conference field is so weak this year.

Brendan

March 19th, 2010
11:33 am

It would be better if Atlanta controlled its own destiny, in terms of the playoff race. But those teams above us play each other. And that means points will be generated from those games. If the stars could just align right for the Thrashers ….

J(Z)

March 19th, 2010
11:45 am

“You wouldn’t take me seriously if I neglected the facts and wrote only glowing reports or neglected the facts and *only pointed out the flaws*. I take that seriously.”

Unlike certain coworkers of yours!!!!!!

Thanks for all your hard work Chris!!!!!

mr. mike

March 19th, 2010
12:27 pm

Chris; your Thrash reporting/objectivity is appreciated. Wouldn’t really worry too much about a fat radio jock with a lisp.

Smoothie

March 19th, 2010
12:36 pm

Chris – might be time for a Jekyl and Hyde article on the split personality of the Thrashers. Their wild inconsistency is maddening. To wit, check out these odd-ball stats since THE trade:

Record: 6 – 6 – 3 (6 game point streak followed by 5/6 game losing streak followed by 2/3 game win/points streak)

In the 6 game point streak: Shots Against Avg of 35.67; Shots For Avg of 30.5; Goals Against of 2.83; Goals For of 4.00

In the 5 game losing streak: Shots Against Avg of 30.2; Shots For Avg of 29.8; Goals Against of 3.80; Goals For of 1.20 (WTF?)

In the recent 3 game points streak: SAA of 35.0; Shots For Avg of 31.33; GAA of 2.67; Goals For Avg of 4.00

Apparently, as long as they give up at least 35 shots on goal, they manage to average 4.00 goals scored on their opponent. Yet, when they attempt to play it closer to the vest and clamp down on shots, they give up an average of 3.8 on only a 30.2 shots against avg. That’s a miserable save percentage of .874!! What in the hell?

Obviously, JA’s system thrives in a game when they can rope-a-dope their opponent and get grade-A breakaway chances and odd-man rushes in transition that exploit their opponent’s over-aggressiveness.

But from game to game, you don’t know which Thrasher team will show up! Or do we?? Does this mean we have 2 or 3 more games of earning points?

Tom Davis

March 19th, 2010
12:45 pm

I see Lord Stanley’s Cup being hoisted by Jimmy Slater in our future.

DWTOO

March 19th, 2010
12:48 pm

We’ll give you a hall pass for yesterday. Know that as we advance in age those afternoon naps are essential.

As usual local sports talk radio is off base. Bought a XM receiver about three years ago and never tuned in again (except for the Thrasher post game show). XM does have excllent hockey coverage although Canadian biased. Think you’re doing a real good job at reporting – pointing out good and bad. Your job is to report the facts – not express opinions (leave that to Schultz and Bradley).

Let’s hope the Thrash gain some momentum. However, if thier history is an indication they’ll fold under pressure.

J.B.

March 19th, 2010
12:56 pm

our local sports stations are definitely pushinig me toward the XM-Sirius route. It’s astounding to me how much football talk there is when absolutely no football is being played, hasn’t been for a month, and won’t be for many more months. I get the fact that this isn’t a ‘hockey town’ but the long drawn out conversation about the most minute of non-relevant detail about football drives me nuts… AND I LIKE FOOTBALL TOO.

J.B.

March 19th, 2010
12:57 pm

…oh, and yes Chris you do an excellent job covering the Thrashers. The way Atlanta is, I feel lucky we get more than AP blurbs about the team. That’s about what I’d expect considering the treatment hockey gets here.

Bob

March 19th, 2010
1:27 pm

Don’t be bother by what Steak says, he doesn’t know a hockey puck from a donut. I used to see in the clubs in the early years, but he was there to be part of the scene, he doesn’t know the game.

Kovy's Agent

March 19th, 2010
1:38 pm

Steakie and Co., are the reason I bought XM radio three years ago and rarely if ever listen to them. They’re still pissed about losing the carriage rights some years back to the games and never miss a chance to belittle and mock the franchise. For some reason they were given rights for coverage during the All-Star game and festivities and it was pathetic hearing them try to talk intelligently about hockey. Stick to what you know Steakie: food and football.

BG33Brown

March 19th, 2010
2:02 pm

Chris, if you neglected the facts, I’d call you Jeff Schultz.

Chris Vivlamore

March 19th, 2010
2:10 pm

Thanks for the kind words folks. I don’t normally listen to the local radio but tune in every once in awhile to take the local sports temperature.

And thanks for the hall pass DWTOO.

Smoothie: I actually was talking to Anderson about the inconsistent nature of his team this year. I’ll go back and listen to the tape and post something, maybe as the blog before Saturday’s game.

The only real update from practice is all the players held out of practice were just days off.

Guyman33

March 19th, 2010
2:10 pm

I hope Slater stays with the thrashers.

Tom Davis

March 19th, 2010
2:30 pm

Geez. I would take less than 5 minutes to write this blog. Most people who actually work don’t take a nap in the afternoon and don’t call going to watch a hockey game “work”.

Andrew Green

March 19th, 2010
2:48 pm

The Thrashers have a great chance at making the playoffs now considering the recent loss of Savard for the Bruins who are only 3 points ahead and have had trouble scoring all season long. The upcoming Flyers game can easily become a win for the Thrashers since the Flyers are now depending on their third string goaltender Brian Boucher. People are also seeming to forget the Flyers were one of the worst teams in the NHL a few months ago. Keep your heads up Thrashers fans! They’re still very much so in the race..

Rightshot

March 19th, 2010
3:06 pm

I like afternoon naps. That’s what I use my lunch break for.

Lee

March 19th, 2010
3:13 pm

Yeah, we’re still in this, baby!!!!! Great game last night!

Dwayne

March 19th, 2010
3:32 pm

Chris, thank you for the updates….XM radio is the way the go. Bill Clement, Espo, Bettman every Thursday, good listening.

Schultz Hater

March 19th, 2010
3:55 pm

I hope the Thrashers stay and Jeff Schultz moves to WInnipeg instead.

fes

March 19th, 2010
4:04 pm

Tom Davis: Jealous much? I think most of us that frequent the blogs would love to call attending sporting events work. I know I would.

Savannah Blueland Fan

March 19th, 2010
4:06 pm

I work AND take afternoon naps. So, there!

Tom Davis

March 19th, 2010
5:05 pm

Savannah Blueland Fan

Yeah but people in Savannah are lazy.

DungeonK

March 19th, 2010
5:52 pm

You are doing excellent, no need to second guess yourself because some remnant of relevance spouted off. I had some reserves about how well you’d be able to do the job considering your title and the way in which the job was handled in the past, but I have to take my hat off- you’re really doing a bang up job. Keep up the great work, glad to have you keeping us informed.

Kovalchuk - The FORMER NHL Superstar

March 19th, 2010
6:20 pm

Yeah but people named Tom Davis are overly abrasive.

reality check

March 19th, 2010
6:28 pm

The best thing about last night was the 3rd period. Moose wasn’t getting ANY calls while he was being blocked in the crease, punched in the face, slashed with the stick…..Just UNBELIEVABLE!

Then the rest of the team stepped up their game for the MOOSE! Smoothie, I think what we’re watching is a team that was dominated by a superstar trying to find itself after the star has left. They did well quickly, and then Kane got hurt which upset the balance again. Now they’ve hopefully worked through that.

Boulton wanted some Sutton last night and he wouldn’t drop em. What a P!

rob

March 19th, 2010
7:05 pm

Chris,
Good article on Slater. I find it interesting to note that he set his goal on getting his +/- on the + side. I know some don’t agree with it, but it is a telling stat and I think his logic concerning it shows that. He wasn’t worried about getting the goals, but making sure the OTHER team wasn’t scoring while he was out by doing the “little things”, and this in turn then led to the chances that turned into goals for us and his +/- going up. Defense first, and the rest will fall into place with hard work. Good to see him playing at the level he is at, improving not only himself, but his line, and his team.

ex-STH

March 19th, 2010
8:54 pm

When Hedberg went out of his mind last night and gave up the tying goal, WHY DIDN’T ANDERSON CALL A TIME-OUT???? Also, Anderson needs to STICK TO 1 GOALIE FROM HERE ON OUT!!!!! He can’t be so quick to swap back and forth with the goalies (with his “whoever is hot” mentality). We remember what Hartley did in the playoffs – alternating goalies in the playoffs. You can’t win that way! The team rallied behind Moose when things weren’t going his way. Pavalec can’t yet handle the NHL so stay with Hedberg EVERY GAME until they clean out their lockers for the summer. I’m starting to question JA’s coaching.?!

Curly

March 19th, 2010
9:47 pm

Chris: I’ve never heard of this “Steak Shapiro”. I don’t know what he said nor do I care. He sounds like a slob.
Keep up the good work!

Curly

March 19th, 2010
9:52 pm

Ex-STH – I think JA is sticking with Hedburg. I think Pavs has only played in one game since the break. The thing with Hedburg is is that he needs a break every 4th game or so; and no back-to-back games.

Lee

March 19th, 2010
10:00 pm

If the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, they better WIN, and they shouldn’t be called Weeniepeg.

Jd

March 19th, 2010
10:00 pm

Kovalchuk – The Former NHL Superstar:

Do ya think Kovy cares about some chumps “trying” to make the playoffs. Really?

Kovalchuk - The FORMER NHL Superstar

March 19th, 2010
11:18 pm

Jd, do you steel theenk I going to scorr fortee goals theese yeer?

I Kovalchook the Great!

Wayne stuck in AL

March 19th, 2010
11:36 pm

Normally, I despise Steve Shapiro and his name-dropping self, but in this case, he’s right on. This team is toast, and it will be toast next year as well, as long as Waddell and Anderson control this dysfunctional team.

Sage of Bluesland

March 20th, 2010
5:38 am

“…They’re still pissed about losing the carriage rights some years back to the games and never miss a chance to belittle and mock the franchise….”

I highly, highly doubt that–considering the “ratings”, if you can call them that, hockey generates. If you think tv is bad–and it is–radio is even worse.

JB

March 20th, 2010
8:06 am

youre are doing a nice job and being creative. Keep it up as for Steak…he is irrelavent and desparate

Blueland Buddha

March 20th, 2010
9:18 am

Hey Chris- Yuo have every right to be optimistic as do all the fans. The Thrash are in the play-off hunt in late March, which doesnt happen too much around here. Going to the game tonight and am very excited about it. As for Steak, honestly, does he still have a show? When I listened to him 4 years ago, he was quite knowledgable about the one topic his show seemed to devote the most time to…himself. But I could only listen so much to where he ate and who he knew, so jumped to 680 and then eventually XM (The First Word on Mad Dog Radio is a great morning sports show).

Dwayne

March 20th, 2010
10:53 am

Chris, what is Chelios doing since he has been in the pressbox? Unofficial D coach? Helping Bobo and Pops? Telling JA his system will not work consistently? Or in the playoffs, if the hockey Gods were to let us squeak in?

wristshot

March 20th, 2010
11:35 am

Any word on the lines/scratches for tonight’s game? These next two days versus the Flyers are huge for the Thrash if they’re going to make the playoffs. Weekend sweep and I like our chances.

swatting the Flies

March 20th, 2010
1:36 pm

Big games tonight and tomorrow. Make it happen and I WILL be in Blueland for Playoffs!

Any word on what the door prizes will be this year? The dark blue scarves in 2007 were awesome!

fork

March 20th, 2010
1:42 pm

Stick me in Steak.

Wayne stuck in AL

March 20th, 2010
2:33 pm

Why would Shapiro be upset about losing Thrasher radio rights? No one in the Thrashers’ fan base (north metro Atlanta) couldn’t pick up the broadcasts, anyway because of 790’s wimpy sundown signal…

I’m glad that the games are on 680; I can pick them up (more or less) at nighttime here in Alabama. But I’m afraid Dickey Broadcasting will dump the Thrashers at the end of this season to concentrate on the Braves.

Icy Brains

March 20th, 2010
7:18 pm

Thrashers look hungry tonight. Two fights already…oh, and a goal!

thrashtown

March 20th, 2010
7:23 pm

Brendan

March 20th, 2010
7:41 pm

It’s 2-0, Thrashers.

thrashtown

March 20th, 2010
8:22 pm

3-1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

stendek

March 20th, 2010
9:50 pm

How old is Johan Hedberg? 20? 26? Surely no older than 29! Moose was phenomenal Saturday night at Blueland. Two goals surrendered. Against the Philly Highflyers! Does it get much better than that? No! The Thrashers were in their blue uniforms at Philips Arena. Hopefully they will not unpack their pink don’t give a crap uniforms Sunday in the City of Unbrotherly Love! When Thrashers play they can compete with any NHL squad. When the Thrashers decide to figure skate they can lose to any high school hockey squad! Too bad that horrendous slide probably cost the guys a playoff spot. Thrashers played some of the worst hockey imaginable during that nightmarish stretch! Hope it is not a case of too little too late. Wanted to climb into the stands to kick some butt during overwhelming vocal outpourings during Philly goals. Both of them! This is Thrasher ice. Oh well. Take a bow Johan. Stage a curtain call Thrashers. Well done everyone! Keep up the high intensity level. ++STENDEK++

StateBird

March 20th, 2010
10:35 pm

Well stated Mr. Stendek. Love the Moose but he needs tomorrow off. He usually doesn’t play well on back-to-back nights, Philly will crash the net hard, and we need a fresh Moose for Tuesday night against the Bruins.

Brendan

March 20th, 2010
10:47 pm

I think the patrons of Blueland went home happy tonight. Five big goals will do that. Scoring five (5) goals at this time of year won’t be a commonplace thing, however. 3-0-1 over the last four, is good enough for seven out of eight (7/8) points. Inching ever closer …. Is it a “tease?” Or a preclude to Game #83 of the season?

JBird

March 20th, 2010
10:58 pm

a legit 17000…no steaky…he was probably watching a laker or celtic game or getting fat

Go thrash