Archive for December, 2010

Pavelec gets shootout win for Thrashers

Here is my game story, with quotes, from Thursday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Bruins for those who would like to comment.

Tim Stapleton ignored Anthony Stewart’s shootout advice.

Bryan Little did not.

They both scored to give the Thrashers a 3-2 victory over Boston on Thursday night, snapping a four-game losing streak. Ondrej Pavelec stopped both Bruins shots for his first career shootout win, breaking an 0-for-7 slump which included three losses this season.

Tobias Enstrom scored two power-play goals for the Thrashers in front of a season-high Philips Arena crowd of 17,624. The Thrashers improved to 20-14-6, 46 points. They have 17 points in the month of December, matching November’s total.

Stapleton, recalled from AHL Chicago earlier in the day, shot first and beat Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen [Stewart] stick handle,” Stapleton said. “He had a bunch of moves for me and I didn’t listen. I had my move planned. You are better …

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Video: Big test for Thrashers

CineSport’s Noah Coslov talks to Chris Vivlamore of the AJC about Thursday night’s clash with the Bruins, Patrice Cormier and the ownership resolution.

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Thrashers-Devils preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: at Devils

When: 5 p.m. Friday

TV; radio: FSSO; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* It will be the second of back-to-back games for the Thrashers, who hosted the Bruins Thursday.

* The Devils have lost six straight games, a streak that includes a 7-1 loss to the Thrashers at Philips Arena on Dec. 18. In that game, Eric Boulton had a hat trick for the Thrashers.

* Entering Thursday’s game, the Thrashers were tied for third in the NHL for most short-handed goals allowed (five). Only the Lightning (seven) and the Sabres (six) have allowed more.

* Former Thrasher Johan Hedberg is scheduled to start in goal for the Devils. He will face Chris Mason, who will make his fourth start in the past 22 games.

* Former Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk is second on the Devils with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists). He is a minus-26.

Chris Vivlamore

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Updated: Antropov on injured reserve; Kane out vs. Bruins

Nik Antropov was placed on injured reserve before Thursday’s game against Boston. He continues to battle what coach Craig Ramsay described as a lower-body injury related to a fall into the net he took last week in Toronto.

However, the coach admitted the team is being careful with the forward who had offseason hip surgery.

“It’s just a little longer recovery than we hoped,” Ramsay said. “He’s feeling better each day but he had some surgery during the summer. We want to make sure there is nothing going on with that and that he’s feeling healthy when he comes back into the lineup.”

In 35 games, Antropov had 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists).

Tim Stapleton was re-called from AHL Chicago to take Antropov’s spot on the roster. Stapleton appeared in eight games, without a point, for the Thrashers before being sent down Tuesday to make room for Patrice Cormier. Stapleton had an assist in Chicago’s 3-2 win over Toronto on Wednesday.

Evander Kane will also miss …

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Antropov likely to miss game with Bruins

Nik Antropov will likely miss Thursday’s game against Boston and Evander Kane could progress to a game-time decision, according to Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay. Both forwards are battling recent injuries.

Antropov missed the past two games after suffering an unspecified injury crashing into the net in a game at Toronto Dec. 20. He played the following game, but missed last week’s game at Boston and did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh for Tuesday’s game. Antropov took part in the first 18 minutes of the team’s practice Wednesday.

Kane was hurt in Pittsburgh after being checked by the Penguins’ Aaron Asham early in the third period. He left the game, in which he scored his 12th goal, and did not return. Kane, who suffered a “mid-body” injury according to Ramsay, made it through just six minutes of Wednesday’s practice.

“He could bounce back,” Ramsay said.

Dustin Byfuglien and Ben Eager sat out Wednesday’s practice. Ramsay said each player …

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Thrashers-Bruins preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: vs. Bruins

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

TV; radio: SPSO; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* The Thrashers have lost four straight (0-2-2). They entered Wednesday’s NHL schedule third in the Southeast Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference.

* The Bruins have won three straight, a streak that began with last week’s win in Boston. They led the Northeast Division entering Wednesday with 44 points, the same total as the Thrashers.

* The last meeting between the teams resulted in a brawl with 4:06 remaining that resulted in 96 minutes of penalty time.

* The Thrashers power play has struggled of late, going 3-for-37 over the past 11 games. That includes a 1-for-8 night Tuesday against the Penguins on 13:20 of man-advantage time.

* Dustin Byfuglien leads all NHL defensemen with 14 goals and 38 points.

Chris Vivlamore

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Ramsay: Keep it simple on the power play

The Thrashers enter Tuesday’s game at Pittsburgh with a power play that is struggling. The unit is just 2-for-29 over the past 10 games.

Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said the key to returning the unit to its previous success is to keep it simple.

“The entries have to be good,” Ramsay said. ” More importantly, you have to be able to deal with the pressure that teams bring. It’s moving it quickly and not trying to be fancy and making the simple plays. When a power play struggles, the most important thing to do is keep is simple. Get it down low, throw it to the point and shoot it. If you can get those point shots to go through then suddenly good things start to happen. You can get tips, you can get rebounds.”

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Thrashers-Penguins preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: at Penguins

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

TV; radio: SPSO; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* The Thrashers have lost three straight games (0-2-1), including Sunday’s overtime defeat to the Lightning. The Penguins, coming off Sunday’s loss to the Senators, are 15-3-0 in the past 18 games.

* The Thrashers power play has fallen to eighth in the NHL (21 percent) and is currently 2-for-29.

* Bryan Little has a four-game point streak (one goal, four assists) for the Thrashers.

* Sidney Crosby enters with a 24-game point streak. (24 goals, 22 assists). It includes the three-goal game he had against the Thrashers on Dec. 2.

* The Thrashers have lost both games against the Penguins this season, allowing a hat trick in each (Evgeni Malkin and Crosby).

Chris Vivlamore

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Updated II: Thrashers recall Cormier

PITTSBURGH – The Thrashers recalled Patrice Cormier from AHL Chicago and  he joined the team in Pittsburgh for Tuesday’s game against the Penguins. He will make his NHL debut against the Penguins and center a line with Ben Eager and Fredrik Modin. He will wear No. 45.

To make room for Cormier, the Thrashers sent Tim Stapleton to AHL Chicago.

Cormier got the word prior to the Wolves game Monday night. He caught an early flight from Chicago to join the team in Pittsburgh, just before the morning skate. He immediately called home, he said, to speak to his parents and brother.

Weather conditions in the northeast will prevent his family from making it to Pittsburgh for his debut.

“[GM] Rick {Dudley] says he’s playing very well,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “He’s a big bodied guy. We’ll have a look at him and see what he brings to the table. We know he competes. We assume he is still going to be willing to block shots. He’s a guy, in the future of the organization, …

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More reaction from Thrashers on non-Lucic suspension

Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay called the late punch thrown by Boston’s Milan Lucic at Freddy Meyer “a dangerous thing” as the coach and team reacted to the NHL’s decision not to suspend the forward following Thursday’s incident.

Lucic was given a match penalty for the punch, defined by the NHL as a deliberate act to injure another player.

“Those are difficult decisions,” Ramsay said. “You don’t want to see a player throw sucker punches. It’s a dangerous thing. It’s dangerous for everyone, not just Freddy Meyer. The league makes its decision and there is nothing we can do about it. I don’t particularly like to see guys get suspended but you can’t allow guys just to throw punches.”

Lucic received a total of $3,500 in fines for the hit and the obscene gesture he made at the Thrashers bench.

Meyer said he watched the video of the hit on Lucic that sparked the 10-skater fight and still considers his hit clean.

“It’s the league’s decision,” Meyer …

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