Three games into preseason, goal scoring still an issue

Job No. 1 in tonight’s exhibition game against Nashville is to score goals. The Thrashers have just three goals in three preseason losses.

“I would like to see a puck go in the net,” coach Craig Ramsay said following this morning’s pre-game skate. “That would be really neat. It would be nice to get a power play. We didn’t have one the other night. We are hoping to get a power play and see it work. … We need to get some up-ice pressure, run some cycles and use our point men. We have some guys back there that can shoot. We want to take advantage of that.”

The Thrashers worked on several drills and one continued to be getting the third forward higher in the offensive zone. I asked Ramsay to explain so I could get a better understanding of what he was talking about. He’d like to see the third forward almost to the top of the circle and not just out near the hash marks.

“We’ve watched it on the video and tried to make them understand that,” Ramsay said. “Teams sag back to try to cover the front of the net. We want to get our third man out high and almost run a three-man high set to try to drag them away from the net. If they don’t come out, the high slot is going to be open. If they do come out, then our defensemen will open up a little more. By doing that, I also think we can have some two-on-two [opportunities] down low and some of our big people can take it to the net and our little people can beat somebody on a one-on-one and get it to the net. There are lots of options once you get that high guy.”

In other news from the skate:

* Ramsay said team doctors are still unsure the exact nature of the wrist injury of Jim Slater. They are still trying to figure out what is the issue and what the next course of action will be. It’s looking more and more as if Slater won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. It seems unlikely, with a limited number of practices, that he will be ready in just over a week.

* Dustin Byfuglien was not available today since he is not playing tonight so I was unable to ask him about Jeremy Roenick’s comments. I will try again. Byfuglien was on NHL Live radio this afternoon, but was not asked about the comments, just his move to defense in general.

* Defenseman Noah Welch did clear waivers and will play for AHL Chicago.

* I will report the scratches for tonight’s game when I get back to the arena. The lines in practice were much the same as yesterday’s practice.

Modin-Antropov-Pettersson

Kane-Peverley-Stewart

Ladd-Little-Dawes

Eager-Burmistrov-Thorburn

Boulton-Rissmiller-Bergfors

15 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

September 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

Great report Viv! Love how accessible Rammer is. Another great thing about having the 3rd man high is that its easier to get back on D from the high slot or rotate back if a D-man decides to pinch. Spacing is huge in hockey just like basketball, but even more so because the defense gets to hit people. Also, it helps keep the gaps between the forwards and D-men smaller which translates to better back-checking.

A line of Modin-Antro-Fly would be fun to see live as that mixture of size, speed and skill could do some damage off the cycle. Still want to see Kaner with Antro, but in due time I suppose.

J.B.

September 29th, 2010
2:19 pm

Predicting Antro, Ladd, Dawes, and Pettersson score goals tonight.

Any word on whether the discord betwixt Kaner and unnamed veterans that was discussed a few days back has subsided? Still “too big for his pants” as someone put it?

Derrick

September 29th, 2010
2:50 pm

Thanks for another great report Chris! What Coach Ramsay has to say about the 3rd forward high makes sense, I just want to see it work in a game and the team to score some goals! Hopefully that happens starting tonight.

ChippersLoveChild

September 29th, 2010
3:00 pm

Why even bother working Bergfors with two scrubs? I’d really like to see the lines that we are going to begin the season with take shape. Let these guys work out their kinks now, not later.

Flames

September 29th, 2010
3:21 pm

JB- I love the prediction….as far as the too big for his pants situation…I think they have worked it out among themselves..I believe that the Thrashers will light up the lamp tonight. Is it just me or does anyone else fill comfortable with Mason between the pipes..

NHL Ready

September 29th, 2010
3:43 pm

Mason between the Pipes yes very comfortable. Now Pav’s that anoter story!!!

NHL Ready

September 29th, 2010
3:43 pm

another oops

jake

September 29th, 2010
3:56 pm

What is the coach doing, Get Little and Bergfors someone to play with, like each other! Stop putting them with 4th line players. Go Ladd, Little, Bergfors, is Rammer trying to repeat the John Anderson line combos of having a 4th line player on every line.

Jimbo

September 29th, 2010
4:02 pm

Roenick is spot on. D-Buff should be in front of the net and on a wing. He created unbelievable havoc for every team that they faced in the playoffs. Scored GOALS, drew PENALTIES. EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED! What in the world is Duds thinking about????

Joe McGrath

September 29th, 2010
4:10 pm

Couldn’t agree more Jake. Hows about a Sven line: Petterson, Bergfors and Modin. At least swap BFors and Stewart.

Michael B. Shapiro

September 29th, 2010
4:35 pm

Agree with Jake and ChippersLoveChild . Seems like Bergie is in the doghouse and not getting top quality linemates. Sad for him. Punishment over the contract flap?

lordstan57

September 29th, 2010
4:50 pm

J.R. is a horses ass. Screw him, and his opine EH? Nice to be talked about though HUH?
The final roster is not even set, and we’re freakin over ‘where’s the Buff going to play’, Good Lord! Trust in the Man!……….. that’d be RAMMER! HE WILL FIGURE IT OUT.
Bergie’s not being punished. Once again, give Rammer credit for not being as big a horses ass as JR.

GO THRASHERS!

Sara

September 29th, 2010
5:20 pm

Not sure I’d buy into Bergie being “punished” and given inappropriate linemates out of spite. At the end of the day, the goal is to win hockey games. And Ramsey isn’t Hartley.

Chris Vivlamore

September 29th, 2010
8:05 pm

Note a correction above. Ramsay wants third man high near top of circle – not blue line.

iamtheratio

September 29th, 2010
8:29 pm

3-3, good to see our guys score 100% more goals in this one game. I really wish I was there, stupid work..