Antropov getting his timing back

Nik Antropov is getting it.

The Thrashers center has goals in the past two games – his firsts of the season – and it’s all about timing.

The big center, coming off a career-high in points, said he is getting more comfortable after being slowed by off-season hip surgery. More importantly, he is also getting a better sense of where he should be in coach Craig Ramsay’s system.

Antropov cites his goal Saturday in St. Louis.

“I have been trying to help guys in the corners instead of being in front of the net or opposite the play,” Antropov said. “That goal in St. Louis was a good example. I went into the corner but realized that the play was to pass the puck up top. I stopped, went back in front, and the puck found me. It’s the little things like that but they make a big difference.”

It was a relief for Antropov, who also assisted on Rich Peverley’s first-period power-play goal Saturday. He started the Thrashers comeback against Buffalo on Friday with a power-play goal that “got the monkey off my back.”

Both his goal and assist Saturday are examples of what Ramsay has been preaching to his team all season.

“We do so many shot-rebound drills [in practice],” Ramsay said. “It’s a daily occurrence. [Antropov] allowed players to work, but then he jumped from the low man to in front [of the net]. He almost got a tip and then he got the rebound and scored. On the first power-play goal [by Peverley], he was the rush man and basically banked it off the goalie then chipped in back out front and we got an empty netter. The point has been well made and documented, even as early in the season as it is. Just get to the net, get around the net and we can score some goals. My point is that it’s not the guy that’s planted and battling with someone in front, but someone coming back to the net who scores the goal. We need a screen guy. He got back to the front and used that big reach to get a fairly easy one. We are doing a much better job of being aware of that and getting rebounds, but it’s something we have to be aware of all the time.”

The Thrashers have had 15 different players score goals this season. Their 83 goals are tied for third in the NHL, heading into Monday night’s play.

“That’s good to know,” Antropov said when told of the stat. “It’s good to know that everybody is contributing. It’s nice not just to have one or two or three guys that are going to put the puck in the net. That’s what a good team is all about.”

13 comments Add your comment

Buff-n-stuff

November 1st, 2010
4:55 pm

Awesome to see him improving so quickly from his offseason hip surgery.

BlueSpark

November 1st, 2010
6:07 pm

Antro is key to the offense, especially the Power Play. He needs to have another career year for the Thrashers to be really successful.

Barry

November 1st, 2010
6:18 pm

Ya he’s definately looked alot better these past few games. You could tell from his play he’s getting comfortable, getting his timing, and seems to be getting to those places he needs to be. He’s definately playing with more confidence.

40yrs

November 1st, 2010
6:58 pm

83 goals? WOW!!!

kracker

November 1st, 2010
7:40 pm

I agree, Barry, Antro has definately looked a lot better the last week or so.

Chris, I see the Thrash as having 36 goals scored. Is that just a typo or are you saying something else?

David R

November 1st, 2010
9:11 pm

*SNORTS* okies that stat is a bit off… should be 3rd in goals for and amazingly enough 3rd in goals against.
woukd be junda nice to see it turn into 3rd goals for and like 25th or so in goals against.

David R

November 1st, 2010
9:12 pm

correct that. i cant read tonight. 2nd in goals against that is.. not 3rd. but either way.

Brendan

November 1st, 2010
11:30 pm

Antropov has to be a big force for Atlanta this season, if playoffs are even going to be a possibility. Peverley, too. Add Little to that mix, plus Byfuglien.

Sean

November 2nd, 2010
12:39 am

Hm, 35 goals is almost 83. :) Too bad we’re last in GA/G with 3.54. Gag is right. Hard to win when you’re giving up 3 or 4 every night.

five hole

November 2nd, 2010
8:52 am

I was concerned about our goal scoring, but 3rd in the NHL in scoring? Of course we’ve played more games than some other teams. Still 83 goals is an impressive total.

Larry

November 2nd, 2010
9:09 am

83 goals are great, but when you give up 3 or 4 goals a game, you lose. Defense has got to improve, can’t put it all on the goalie. Thrashers have improved but must understand that they have a chance to step up to the next level and not just 500. Love hockey and hope the best for the Thrashers.

Joe Friday

November 2nd, 2010
9:14 am

“Just get to the net, get around the net and we can score some goals. My point is that it’s not the guy that’s planted and battling with someone in front, but someone coming back to the net who scores the goal.”

Love to hear this. Good coaching. You go to the net and good things happen.

Curly

November 2nd, 2010
9:28 pm

83 goals is Great! That’s an average of almost 8 goals per game. I wish it were true!