Archive for September, 2010

Plenty to work on after Thrashers drop preseason opener

Bryan Little and Fredrik Pettersson both had a goal and an assist but the Thrashers dropped their exhibition opener 5-2 to Columbus Tuesday at Philips Arena.

As the final score indicates, more went wrong than went right.

Columbus jumped to a 2-0 lead early in the first period with goals coming 28 seconds apart.

“Our breakouts weren’t good enough,” coach Craig Ramsay said. “We’ve worked at it a bit but we have to get back, we have to change sides. On one of their goals the goaltender threw it up past our D on the short side and you can’t do that in the National League. Those are little details that we have to work on. There is some communication that has to happen under circumstances like that. … I hate to say it, no excuses, but we looked a little tired. We wanted to change fast and keep up the pace but we looked a little tired. We know they’ve put in the effort the last couple days.”

Ramsay singled out the Nigel Dawes-Little-Pettersson line as a highlight.

“I thought our …

Continue reading Plenty to work on after Thrashers drop preseason opener »

Updated: Training camp Day 4: Exhibition game tonight; six re-assigned

Sorry folks, but with the exhibition game tonight I used the morning to get some yard work done and get a hair cut. Now, we’re ready.

With the game not on television, let me know if you want me to blog live. I could try again since I didn’t think it worked that well when I tried it once last season. Maybe I will be better this time.

So, like you, I’ve spent the first few days of camp going for the roster and trying to figure out just how many roster spots are available. There really aren’t many. Goaltenders are set. Top six defensemen are set, leaving one reserve spot. Most of the forwards spots are taken. I see one center position and one, maybe two, wings to fill. Quite a bit of competition for those spots.

After practice yesterday, I asked coach Craig Ramsay how he saw it. Here is what he had to say:

“There are a few. There are some. It’s hard right now we don’t even see [Nik Antropov] play. We know he’s going to play. Same with [Niclas] Bergfors, but until we see them play …

Continue reading Updated: Training camp Day 4: Exhibition game tonight; six re-assigned »

Updated: Day 3 Training camp groupings; exhibition opener roster

Training camp groups for Day 3 are much the same as Day 2. Nik Antropov and Angelo Esposito are not skating again. Looks like Jim Slater will only take part in skating drills with sore right wrist.

Here are the groupings:

Group A

Nigel Dawes/Patrick Rissmiller/Niclas Bergfors

Eric Boulton/Riley Holzapfel/Spencer Machacek

Open/Open/Michael Forney

Tobias Enstrom/Zach Bogosian

Noah Welch/Kyle McLaren

Sebastian Owuya/Jaime Sifers

Chris Mason

Drew MacIntyre

Group B

Evander Kane/Alex Burmistrov/Anthony Stewart

Fredrik Modin/Chris Thorburn/Akim Aliu

Open/Jared Ross/Open

Ron Hainsey/Dustin Byfuglien

Johnny Oduya/Paul Postma

Ben Chiarot/Mike Siklenka

Ondrej Pavelec

Chris Carrozzi

Group C

Andrew Ladd/Bryan Little/Rich Peverley

Ben Eager/Andre Deveaux/Fredrik Pettersson

Enver Lisin/Open/ Danick Paquette

Boris Valabik/Brent Sopel

Arturs Kulda/Freddy Meyer

Cody Sol/Andrey Zubarev

Peter Mannino

Ed Pasquale

EXHIBITION …

Continue reading Updated: Day 3 Training camp groupings; exhibition opener roster »

Training camp recap: Chip the puck off the boards

Day Two of Thrashers training camp was much like the first in the drills conducted by coach Craig Ramsay and his staff. The concentration was on chipping the puck off the boards as an offensive weapon. They also worked on getting the defensemen to jump into the offensive rush some more.

There is still plenty of work to do. Ramsay was unsatisfied with the progress made. Here is what he had to say:

“We worked on chipping it again and we found it to be inordinately unsuccessful. Using the boards is an important part of the game and it’s actually a play. You just don’t panic and throw [the puck] off the wall. You bounce it off the wall on purpose if someone can go chase it down. Indirect passes, I call it. Or you can get it back.

“It’s something I really believe in. When you look at the middle of the ice, just look at the middle of the ice now and all the people standing there, and you try to make a pass through there. If you watched today’s scrimmage we tried to make a pass …

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Something to think about when penciling in your line combinations

Looks like you might get three blogs for the price of one again today.

As I was transcribing my notes from post-practice interview with coach Craig Ramsay he had this to say about setting his lines.

Ramsay:  “The reality in my mind, if you are a really top-flight team, you have a high-end scoring line. Then you have a high-end checking and scoring line. Then you have another high-end line that can do a little of everything, perhaps score more than check. I look at things a bit differently. My one and three [lines], would be in my mind, offensively gifted lines. The second line is more of a grinding, puck control line, who I also expect to score. My fourth line would also be more of a puck control kind of line, that would be used in checking roles and to change the momentum of a game and would also be expected to score some goals.”

So, that will give you something to think about as you play Thrasher coach and jot down your own line combinations.

Let me know what you come up …

Continue reading Something to think about when penciling in your line combinations »

Training camp groups for Day 2

Training camp groups for Day 2 are much the same as Day 1 except Nik Antropov and Angelo Esposito are not skating. Jim Slater and Ian McKenize also will not skate. Patrice Cormier and Andrew Kozek are out with more serious injuries. I will get an update on Antropov and Esposito following practice.

Here are the groupings for the first part of training camp.

Group A

Nigel Dawes/Patrick Rissmiller/Niclas Bergfors

Eric Boulton/Riley Holzapfel/Spencer Machacek

Open/Open/Michael Forney

Tobias Enstrom/Zach Bogosian

Noah Welch/Kyle McLaren

Sebastian Owuya/Jaime Sifers

Chris Mason

Drew MacIntyre

Group B

Evander Kane/Alex Burmistrov/Anthony Stewart

Fredrik Modin/Chris Thorburn/Akim Aliu

Open/Jared Ross/Open

Ron Hainsey/Dustin Byfuglien

Johnny Oduya/Paul Postma

Ben Chiarot/Mike Siklenka

Ondrej Pavelec

Chris Carrozzi

Group C

Andrew Ladd/Bryan Little/Rich Peverley

Ben Eager/Andre Deveaux/Fredrik Pettersson

Enver Lisin/Open/ Danick Paquette

Boris Valabik/Brent Sopel

Arturs Kulda/Freddy …

Continue reading Training camp groups for Day 2 »

Craig Ramsay talks following Thrashers’ first training camp practice

Here are some excerpts from the media question and answer period with Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay after the team’s first workout of training camp.

Q. What were your first impressions?

A. I thought for a while we were going to run out of bodies. One went off with a skate, another guy [Niclas Bergfors] goes off [with hand injury].We were short of forwards. The effort was tremendous. They really gave us everything they had. It was exciting. It was fun to watch. It was, in my mind, way too many turnovers. I know they are trying to show all the tricks of their trade, but we have to tighten up on a lot of little details. The effort was wonderful. (Bergfors reported he was fine following practice).

Q. You scrimmaged right away. Is that your philosophy and are there things you are looking for out of that?

A. First of all, I don’t know all the players all that well. There are a lot of players I’ve never seen before, certainly never coached before. I want to see how they play hockey. …

Continue reading Craig Ramsay talks following Thrashers’ first training camp practice »

Cormier on broken foot: “It’s not the end of the world.”

It was a bad time for Patrice Cormier to suffer his first broken bone.

The Thrashers prospect spoke on Saturday, a day after getting the news that he would be out indefinitely with a broken bone in his right foot.

“It’s a pretty big blow, but it’s not the end of the world,” Cormier said. “It’s a bump in the road.”

Cormier wore a hard cast while watching the first day of training camp practices, unable to compete for a roster spot. He said the break was on the outside of the foot. The injury will not require surgery but Cormier did not have a timetable for his return. He said he was hoping for an end of October or mid-November return.

“That’s what I keep saying in my head,” he said. “Maybe it’s going to be different. We’ll see. I will take it day-by-day. That’s the only thing I can do.”

The injury does delay Cormier’s NHL plays. The 20-year-old forward said he is likely to start the season for the Thrashers AHL affiliate in Chicago when he returns.

“Obviously, I’ll have to …

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Training camp groupings

Here are the groupings for the first part of training camp.

Group A

Nigel Dawes/Nik Antropov/Niclas Bergfors

Eric Boulton/Patrick Rissmiller/Spencer Machacek

Open/Riley Holzapfel/Michael Forney

Tobias Enstrom/Zach Bogosian

Noah Welch/Kyle McLaren

Sebastian Owuya/Jaime Sifers

Chris Mason

Drew MacIntyre

Group B

Evander Kane/Alex Burmistrov/Anthony Stewart

Fredrik Modin/Chris Thorburn/Akim Aliu

Angelo Esposito/Jared Ross/Open

Ron Hainsey/Dustin Byfuglien

Johnny Oduya/Paul Postma

Ben Chiarot/Mike Siklenka

Ondrej Pavelec

Chris Carrozzi

Group C

Andrew Ladd/Bryan Little/Rich Peverley

Ben Eager/Andre Deveaux/Fredrik Pettersson

Enver Lisin/Open/ Danick Paquette

Boris Valabik/Brent Sopel

Arturs Kulda/Freddy Meyer

Cody Sol/Andrey Zubarev

Peter Mannino

Ed Pasquale

Continue reading Training camp groupings »

Cormier out indefinitely with broken foot

Patrice Cormier’s training camp is over before it started.

The highly-regarded Thrashers prospect will be out indefinitely after suffering a broken right foot during rookie camp. According to the team, surgery will not be required.

Cormier, obtained as part of the February trade with New Jersey for Ilya Kovalchuk, blocked a shot Thursday during the final four-on-four scrimmage at the camp for prospects. He fell to the ice after being hit, but got up on his own and told a teammate he was fine.

Cormier was placed on the team’s full training camp roster only to leave the team’s practice facility on crutches. X-rays of Cormier’s foot were taken Thursday and the final diagnosis was made following team physicals Friday on the eve of camp.

“Excited,” was how Cormier described himself to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution a day before the injury. “That’s what we work for during the summer and that’s what we work for all season, to come to camp and have a great camp. That’s my main goal. …

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