Archive for October, 2010

Thrashers fall to Blues in shootout

Here is the updated game story from Saturday’s 4-3 shootout loss to St. Louis for those who want to post comments.

ST. LOUIS – The Thrashers made it easy on Ondrej Pavelec — for awhile.

Three first-period goals will do that. But they didn’t last.

TJ Oshie and Brad Boyes scored shootout goals for St. Louis in a dramatic 4-3 victory over the Thrashers on Saturday night at the Scottrade Center. Rich Peverley and Alexander Burmistrov missed their shootout attempts as the Blues capped a wild comeback.

The Blues erased a 3-1 deficit with two late third-period goals, 1:36 apart, to force overtime. Jay McClement had a hat trick for the Blues, scoring both third-period goals in the final six minutes. A scoreless 4-on-4 overtime sent the Thrashers to their second shootout of the season.

In Pavelec’s first game back since he lost consciousness and collapsed in the season opener Oct. 8 due to a fainting spell, the goaltender was the beneficiary of the Thrashers’ early offensive …

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Updated: Little out with concussion; Welch re-assigned

As you know from the previous version of this blog, Bryan Little did not travel with the Thrashers to St. Louis. The team announced Saturday that the forward also suffered a concussion against the Sabres on Friday, in addition to the facial lacerations that forced him to leave the game in the first period.

Little, who scored his first goal of the season Wednesday, was checked into the boards by Shaone Morrisonn. He played just 2:05 on two shifts.

According to Craig Ramsay the main issue is the concussion, the severity of which is not known by the coach.

“I haven’t heard what degree,” Ramsay said. “They are going to do a test on Monday. The trainers had him come in [Saturday] and then had him go home and rest and recoup a little bit.

“I don’t think it’s major, but that’s just me. Maybe it’s wishful thinking by the coach. I talked to him after the first period and he was visibly injured. He sounded fine to me just now you have to take care of business and make sure …

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Modin off to slow start, scratched vs. Sabres

Fredrik Modin will be the Thrashers’ other healthy scratch against Buffalo Friday. The forward has a minus-8 rating this season. He had a costly turnover that led to a goal against Washington last week.

Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay insists those are not reasons Modin was scratched.

“When we brought Freddy in, we didn’t expect that he was going to play every game,” Ramsay said of the 36-year-old. “He’s a great person around the team. He’s scored one goal and we need him to score more but Freddy is a good person around your hockey club. We’d like to see better things happen for a number of our people and the fact that Freddy is out tonight, like I’ve said early, we have an extra person or two and somebody is going to be out.”

Modin’s minus-8 rating, after nine games, is higher than at the finish of his past 10 seasons.

That number, in the short-term, is not a concern to Ramsay.

“He’s had a couple of turnovers in the defensive zone that have worked …

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Thrashers power play improving

After a poor start to the season, the Thrashers power-play is continuing to get better and become a legitimate threat. The team has scored power-play goals in each of the past six games and the unit is currently tied for seventh in the NHL (9-for-42, 21.4 percent).

Here is Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay’s take on the recent success:

“[Associate coach] John Torchetti is doing a good job of teaching the guys to be ready to shoot it,” Ramsay said. “A lot of times power plays look for something better. Penalty killers hope that they do. It’s important for us to be ready to shoot it. The flaw for us was the 5-on-3 (Wednesday against the Rangers). We just fanned on the one good setup. We’ve got to be ready to capitalize on that. Other than that, it’s been great movement, great speed coming up the ice and the ability to win those battles down low.”

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Bogosian returns from shoulder injury

Zach Bogosian is ready.

After missing the past six games with a shoulder injury, the Thrashers defenseman will be back in the lineup Friday against the Sabres.

“It feels good to be going,” Bogosian said Friday morning. “I was out for not too, too long, but long enough where I’m antsy to get back. It’s feeling pretty good and I have a chance to shoot a lot of pucks in the last few days to get ready for the game.”

The injury was to Bogosian’s left shoulder. It did not prevent him from practicing and shooting pucks, but he needed to be completely healed before getting back on the ice and delivering hits.

“I try to be a physical presence and if you want to be physical player out there you have to use your shoulders,” Bogosian said. “You have to make sure you’re ready to come back from an injury like this. …You can’t favor one shoulder when you are playing hockey.”

Bogosian injured his shoulder in the first period against Los Angeles on Oct. 12. He did …

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Ramsay on lineup changes

Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay tweaked his line combinations again Wednesday. Get used to it.

“I like to do that,” Ramsay said. “I truly think that as you move through this [season] that everybody plays with everybody. … What you see is they start talking to each other. That’s an important part of it because during the season you are going to have people in and out of the lineup, injuries and they should feel comfortable with each other.

I asked him he hoped the end game of the line changes was to get permanent lines as the season progressed.

“We would like to get lines that we play together on a more permanent basis,” Ramsay said. “There are often two guys that stay together and one guy that moves. Thorburn and Eager are still together. Ladd and Little are still together. Along those lines we often keep two and change one.”

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Welch “humble” to be back in the NHL

Noah Welch has come full circle.

It’s been a long journey for the defenseman, who last played an NHL game on April 11, 2009 (ironically against the Thrashers).

After coming back from knee surgery and playing an abbreviated AHL season last year, Welch will wear a Thrashers uniform for the first time in a regular-season game Wednesday against the Rangers. With Zach Bogosian and Freddy Meyer out with injury, Welch was the player the team re-called from AHL Chicago.

“It’s really humbling,” Welch said. “I was thinking about it yesterday. I signed my first NHL contract in Florida and that was supposed to be my breakthrough as an NHL defenseman. It didn’t work out. It’s been a long road with surgeries. I feel very blessed to see how God’s guided my career.”

There was one big benefit from spending time in Chicago. Welch met his wife there last year.

“I didn’t want to be in Chicago at all,” Welch said. “It’s just another reminder of how blessed I …

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Ladd off to fastest start of career

Andrew Ladd is making the most of his increased role with the Thrashers. The forward is off to the fastest start on his NHL career, one year after being traded to Atlanta from Stanley Cup winning Chicago.

Ladd is off to a point-a-game start with eight points (three goals, five assists) in eight games. In his two seasons, with Chicago, Ladd’s eighth point came in Game No. 19. In his first season, after being called up by Carolina (2005-06) he scored four goals in his first seven games. It still took him 15 games to reach eight points.

“Usually I’m pretty slow off the start,” Ladd said. “The last three years the first 10 games I really didn’t produce much.”

Ladd says the reason is simple. He is getting more playing time – on special teams and even strength. In Chicago, Ladd primarily played 5-on-5 hockey.

“I’m playing a lot,” Ladd said. “It keeps you in the game more when you are playing power play, penalty kill and even strength. That’s the good thing …

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Welch likely on his way; Pavelec to have rehab start before return

A few pieces of news from Thrashers practice today as I have just arrived at the airport to fly to New York for Wednesday’s game against the New York Rangers.

Freddy Meyer missed practice for a second straight day with what coach Craig Ramsay called a mid-body injury. Also, Zach Bogosian will not travel with the team to New York has he continues to be out with a shoulder injury. He will miss his sixth straight game.

With two defensemen out, the Thrashers will likely recall Noah Welch from AHL Chicago in time for Wednesday’s game.

Also, Ramsay said today that Ondrej Pavelec will definitely start on Saturday in St. Louis. In the meantime, Pavelec will make a rehab start at AHL Chicago Wednesday before rejoining the team.

Peter Mannino will return and serve as Chris Mason’s backup.

Ramsay said he wanted Pavelec’s first start back to be on the road although he did consider having Mason start against the Blues, his former team.

I’m running to catch plane. I will update …

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Pavelec activated, could return Saturday vs. St. Louis

The Thrashers re-assigned goaltender Peter Mannino to AHL Chicago on Monday, clearing the way for Ondrej Pavelec to return to the lineup. Pavelec was activated from injured reserve after losing consciousness and collapsing in the Thrashers season opener on Oct. 8.

Pavelec said he felt fine following Monday’s practice, the first full workout he’s had since being cleared from concussion symptoms. He said he still needs another practice or two to get fully used to the speed of the game again.

The Thrashers have three games this week – Wednesday at the Rangers, Friday versus the Sabres and Saturday at the Blues. Coach Craig Ramsay said it looks like Pavelec’s return could come against the Blues.

“We haven’t made up our mind yet, but, possibly, St. Louis would make some sense,” Ramsay said. “I haven’t made a final decision but I’m guessing that’s where we are heading.”

In other news:

* Defenseman Freddy Meyer and forward Alexander Burmistrov missed practice on …

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