Archive for November, 2010

Thrashers-Bruins preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: vs. Bruins

When: 5 p.m. Sunday

TV; radio: None; 680

* The Thrashers go for their fifth straight victory in a non-televised game. It would be their longest since six straight wins March 6-16, 2009, the longest streak in franchise history.

* Entering Saturday, the Thrashers had the No. 3 power play in the NHL (23 of 94, 24.5 percent). The team’s penalty kill is 24th in the league (17 of 80, 78.8 percent) but has allowed only one goal in 16 chances over the past five games.

* Andrew Ladd leads the Thrashers in scoring with 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists).

* The Thrashers conclude a season-long six game homestand. Including the Bruins, four of the past five games were against teams currently in playoff positions.

* The Bruins, losers of three of their past four, are led by Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic (15 points).

- Chris Vivlamore

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Thrashers get physical in win over Canadiens

Here is my updated game story from Friday’s 3-0 over Montreal for those who would like to comment.

The Thrashers are on a roll.

Rich Peverley scored twice, and Tobias Enstrom had a goal and an assist as the Thrashers turned in another dominant performance — this one a 3-0 victory over Montreal on Friday night. The win was the fourth consecutive for the Thrashers, a season high, all coming at Philips Arena. The Thrashers are 4-1 on their six-game homestand, which concludes Sunday.

The Thrashers (11-9-3, 25 points) have outscored their opponents 15-2 in the four wins, three of which have come against division leaders (Washington, Detroit and Montreal). Ondrej Pavelec was again strong in goal, stopping all 25 shots. The goaltender has stopped 114 of 116 (.983 save percentage) shots during the win streak. It was his fourth career shutout, the second in a week.

“There is no question you can see an attitude about him,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “Just the way he looks, the …

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Greek Gods getting more ice time

The Greek Gods are back together – and they are making the most of the reunion of late.

The line of Eric Boulton, Jim Slater and Chris Thorburn scored the opening goal against Detroit Wednesday and set the tone for the 5-1 win. Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay was intent of making sure his team didn’t fear the Western Conference leading Red Wings.

“We like to play four [lines],” Ramsay said. “To have them go out and set a big goal and put us ahead of the Red Wings was a really a great thing for our team. It was great for the fans that were at the game. Suddenly, we are not afraid of the Red Wings. That was one of the key issues, are you going to go in play afraid? That line established offensive zone time, not just on that shift but throughout the game on their shifts they played in the offensive zone and created chances for themselves. They gave us confidence that we could play in the offensive zone against the Red Wings.”

Thorburn scored the goal after Slater got the puck out of …

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Ramsay: Thrashers as close to perfect vs. Red Wings

Prior to Friday’s game against Montreal, Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay reflected on Wednesday’s 5-1 win over Detroit.

“We really played well. It’s as close to 60 minutes as maybe a team can play. We were focused for the vast majority of the game. We had a couple of lulls, which is always going to happen, but I think we fought through them which is the difference from the Florida game where we let it take advantage of us. This time we battled through and everybody paid the price.”

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It’s Pavelec vs. Auld Friday

A couple notes from Friday’s morning skate before the game with Montreal:

* Ondrej Pavelec is back in goal for the Thrashers. It will be his fifth straight start and 11th consecutive appearance. He has been in goal for the Thrashers three straight wins. Over the last five games, he has stopped 136-of-141 shots (.965).

* Pavelec will not be opposed by Carey Price – he of the NHL leading 13 wins, 2.00 GAA and .933 save percentage. Alex Auld will be making his second start of the season for the Canadiens. In his one start this season, Auld defeated the Islanders 3-1 on Oct. 29, stopping 30 of 31 shots.

* Fredrik Modin did not take part in the morning skate. He will miss his sixth game. Defenseman Freddy Meyer is the healthy scratch. He will miss his 15th straight game.

* The line combinations remain the same:

Ladd-Peverley-Bergfors

Kane-Little-Stewart

Eager-Burmistrov-Antropov

Boulton-Slater-Thorburn

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Updated: Thrashers dominate Red Wings for third straight win

Now this is a win streak.

The Thrashers won their third consecutive game with an impressive 5-1 victory over Detroit on Wednesday night at Philips Arena. They had won two in a row once before this current run.

The Thrashers (10-9-3, 23 points) outplayed the Red Wings, scoring twice in the first and second periods to build a comfortable lead against the NHL’s top scoring team. The Red Wings entered the game with a 3.67 goals-per-game average and were limited to a lone power-play goal. The Thrashers are now 3-1 after the fourth of their six-game homestand.

“I’m enjoying the heck out of this particular moment and so are our players,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “You want to do that. This game is supposed to be fun. We talked about not being afraid of this team, of not being afraid of winning. Now, we can enjoy the win. In this business it’s so difficult because you must understand how you won and carry it forward to the next contest.”

The Thrashers handed Detroit (13-4-2, …

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Little will play against Red Wings

You can’t bet on one thing, Bryan Little will keep an eye out when Dustin Byfuglien is on the ice.

Little was in the Thrashers lineup Wednesday against Detroit after missing Tuesday’s practice with a sore foot. The forward was hit by a Byfuglien shot during Sunday’s game against the New York Islanders.

“I thought I wouldn’t be able to play yesterday,” Little said Wednesday morning. “I put my skate on and it hurt just walking around. I tried it on this morning and I could get my foot in and it wasn’t too bad. It’s pretty painful still. It’s much worse to walk. Once I put my skate on it’s not too bad.”

Little was also hit in the elbow by a Byfuglien shot last month against the New York Rangers and missed part of that game.

“As soon as he gets the puck I’m not going near the net again,” Little joked.

In other injury news, forward Fredrik Modin (upper body) did some skating prior to the team’s morning practice. Modin missed his fifth game since suffering the injury on Nov. 13.

In …

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High praise from Detroit coach

I asked Detroit coach Mike Babcock Wednesday if he thought that the addition of the four players from Chicago – a team he is quite familiar with – would help the Thrashers get over the hump.

Here are his thoughts on the Thrashers and the addition of Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Andrew Ladd and Brent Sopel:

“I’ve been very impressed in the two games I watched Atlanta. There structure is good. They know how to play. They are organized. They are allowing the skill to come out because they are in the right spots to do that. You have to give the coach, his staff and the players a lot of credit. They are doing a good job here. …

“They are getting over the hump. Those players can come here, and they are good players, unless there is some structure and a foundation and a way to be successful it doesn’t matter who came here. They have done two things at the same time. Their back end is very good, in my opinion. We talked about [Byfuglien and Enstrom]. Bogosian is a good player, without …

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Pavelec making his case for No. 1 status

Ondrej Pavelec lives in the moment.

He must, he’s a goaltender after all.

There is much to look back on. Pavelec was at the center of national attention when he lost consciousness and collapsed 2:25 into the season opener. He missed two weeks and nine games before he returned from what was diagnosed as a simple fainting spell.

There is much to look forward to. Pavelec rose to near the top of NHL statistics for goaltenders with his recent play. He will make his third straight start, and 10th straight appearance, Wednesday against Detroit. There are home games against Montreal and Boston in the week ahead.

“I want to help the team get two points,” the 23-year-old Pavelec said. “I’m just looking at the next game, not looking forward, not looking back. The next game is [Wednesday] and we have to be ready.”

Over his last four games, two in relief appearances for Chris Mason, Pavelec has stopped 104-of-108 shots (.963 save percentage) and allowed only four goals. Before Tuesday’s …

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Ramsay on facing the Red Wings

Today’s quote comes from coach Craig Ramsay. He was asked his thoughts about the upcoming schedule which features games against Detroit, Montreal and Boston.

“We’ve got some good games against good people,” Ramsay said. “We should be testing ourselves. Hopefully that’s the way we are all looking at it that we elevate our game and bring our A game and see how we stack up against a team [Detroit] hat’s playing probably best in the league at the moment. Am I nervous before games? Always. But this is special. We have to be ready to go.”

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