Updated: Modin, Stapleton in; Eager, Bergfors out

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Craig Ramsay hopes his message is loud and clear.

If you don’t play hard, you don’t play.

The Thrashers coach scratched forwards Ben Eager and Niclas Bergfors for Saturday’s game at the New York Islanders following Friday’s 4-2 home loss to Colorado. In their place, Fredrik Modin and Tim Stapleton were in the lineup.

“I wanted to bring some attention to the team that we didn’t play hard enough,” Ramsay said before Saturday’s game. “It’s always unfortunate when you are the guy that’s getting picked [to sit], but we looked at it and even though Bergfors had scored, we felt that he could play a little harder. The same with Benny. We’ve got to battle for pucks. We’ve got to get pucks. We’ve got to keep pucks. And that’s what we are hoping to see from the whole team from now on. [Modin and Stapleton] will hopefully bring a little of that spark.”

Modin missed the past 12 games with a rib injury, suffered in the first period of Nov. 13 game against Pittsburgh.

“He’s been skating and shooting and this past week he finally made that big step forward,” Ramsay said of Modin. “I thought this is a good time to get him a game. We have three [games] in four [nights], three in four and three in four. It will be a good opportunity for him to go in and play some hockey.”

Modin will take Eager’s spot in the lineup and skate on a line with Nik Antropov and Alexander Burmistrov. Stapleton, playing his second game since being signed last month, will take Bergfors’ spot and skate on a line with Andrew Ladd and Rich Peverley.

“We spent a lot of time watching,” Ramsay said of the team’s issues against Colorado. “It’s really hard to understand. Sometimes you have that time off … and you take a deep breath and say ‘It’s OK now.’ It’s not OK. It’s never OK playing like that. We have to go out and aggressively try to take charge of the game. …

“We knew we were going to use a lot of people in this run. We’ll get two fresh guys in tonight. We just weren’t good enough the other night. Hopefully, we will get a little spark from a couple of guys that should be fresh.”

That’s your LIVE report from the game.

34 comments Add your comment

Gwinnett Fred

December 11th, 2010
5:42 pm

Eager doesn’t surprise me, but Bergfors does a little. Based on last night, Oduya should sit as well, he was horrible.

Guess coach is sending a message.

michael

December 11th, 2010
6:43 pm

I’m actually really surprised with Bergy he actually threw a hit or two. To me it seemed he stepped up last night more so than he has all season. He looked like he had gusto, then again I’m not the coach. Noticed Benny’s ice time got shortened a lot last night. Oduya was terrible last night your right, seemed like he was way too far up the ice the whole game. Honestly besides a few gorgeous defensive clears and plays Buff wasnt very good either. Cant really say im excited about Modin being in the lineup.

JLH

December 11th, 2010
6:49 pm

Fred – can’t say I agree with you about Oduya…. playing with Bogosian is quite a burden to bear. I think Oduya is doing a great job, given that he has to react to Bogosian’s indecisiveness, whiffing on pucks and, lack of smarts. He is doing the job of one-and-a half defensemen.

I love Ramsay also, but I can’t understand breaking up the success that we have had on the same night you throw Mason in after a month on the bench …. This doesn’t sound like a recipe for success. You guys may have seen something different, but I thought Bergfors played one of his more energetic games last night. He’s not a physical guy, but was in the right place often, and showed more energy than usual. I also thought Eager looked fine last night … good energy, good ideas, and I am concerned about protecting Burmi. I’ll wait until after the game to pass judgment, but I don’t understand these moves.

Byfuglein was the guy responsible for 2 goals last night: the turnover that led to the shorty and leaving the zone for Hedjuk’s goal. Ramsay, without naming names, called him out for that goal. I wouldn’t suggest it, but Byfugelin and Bogo were more responsible for last night’s loss than Eager or Bergfors. If Ramsay wanted to send a real message, in response to last night’s game alone, he would sit Byfugelin.

Barry

December 11th, 2010
6:56 pm

Ya Byfuglien did not have a very good game. I don’t remember seeing Bergfors playing bad, so I guess the coaches saw something we didn’t see. I thought the team as a whole did not battle hard enough. They were constantly reacting late to loose pucks and getting beat on many one on one battles. The Avs just played like they wanted it more. That 1st period was brutal. Time and time again I would see a Thrashers player just stand there and letting an Avs player just bust on in and gather loose pucks along the boards. There was one time in the 2nd period where Oduya and Bogosian had full posession of the puck behind the goal line and both teams were doing line changes. They both messed up and allowed the Avs to come in and steal that puck away from them. I was like “Are you kidding me? You had full posession of the puck. Do something with it! Don’t just stand there!!!”

Mike

December 11th, 2010
7:16 pm

Eager had a horrible game last night. I was watching the game last night thinking to myself that Eager was not playing well.

However, I thought Bergfors played well. I just think Ramsey and Bergfors don’t see eye to eye. Bergfors will not re-sign here. That’s unfortunate. Can’t say I agree with Ramsey on this one.

Nate

December 11th, 2010
7:25 pm

Don’t agree with Bergfors sitting either. Eager fine, but Bergie didn’t do any worse than any of the other forwards. Peverley looked lost on his shift to start the third when they gave up the go ahead goal. There were plenty of other guys to single out and he picks Bergfors again. Not really feeling that one coach.

Russian

December 11th, 2010
7:52 pm

It is bad call to seat Berg and Benny. Antro should stay in press box. He played bad last night. His mistake cost us a goal.

Mike

December 11th, 2010
8:07 pm

Modin/Burmistrov/Antropov each -2 so far…

Dumb move Ramsey

Smoothie

December 11th, 2010
8:08 pm

Jesus H, the boys are playing like they don’t give a crap. Getting completely outhustled. Pathetic effort so far in LI. Defense is atrocious. And settling way too often for point shots instead of trying to work the puck low and grind out a chance. Lazy.

Russian

December 11th, 2010
8:12 pm

Antro has take a seat. He is not playing for $4 mil

Matt

December 11th, 2010
8:15 pm

Holy MOTHER OF GOD, we’re going to lose to the freaking Islanders??????????????????? Pathetic, pathetic game. What the heck has happened since Monday? Can a four day layoff make that much difference?

Smoothie

December 11th, 2010
8:16 pm

These guys seem to be taking some things for granted. It’s almost like they expect good things to happen even if they don’t give full effort. This team isn’t talented enough to not give 110% every game. I realize there are going to be some nites where you just don’t have it, but playing B2B after 3 days off is not one of them. They should have a lot more jump and incentive to play like they have something to prove. Perhaps it would’ve been better had they lost last nite 6 – 2.

Seriously Ramsay? Stapleton on the PP????

R. Stroz

December 11th, 2010
8:53 pm

Modin Sucks!

Atlanta

December 11th, 2010
9:17 pm

Chris mason should be traded before the deadline. He doesnt look like the solid goalie he used to be at st.louis. Wish the thrashers kept the MOOSE. (Hedberg).

Smoothie

December 11th, 2010
9:18 pm

BLITS WITH BLITZ OFF THE FACEOFF!!!

Wooo hoooo! Huge goal by Little!!

4 to 3 now. C’mon, hold onto this lead, tighten up guys!!

Atlanta

December 11th, 2010
9:23 pm

Mason has got to go… Like his work ethic but his stats are bloated this year. I thought he’d be the brick wall for the thrashers but Pavelec has stepped up tremendously and honestly im suprised mason is the weak link

Smoothie

December 11th, 2010
9:46 pm

Luckily Atlanta, looks like Pavelec is not going to give up that starting job. His rebound control is much better and he doesn’t give up nearly as many juicy rebounds right in front of the net. But to be honest, our D played like they were standing in quicksand much of the night. Thank goodness they came alive for a while in the third, but they need to learn how to close teams out without giving the coach a heart attack!!

michael

December 11th, 2010
9:51 pm

alright so who else noticed the nordique fans n the background? they seriously just threw down the gauntlet for our fans to step up to games.

Gwinnett Fred

December 11th, 2010
10:00 pm

Oddly enough, this team has now followed a pattern over the last dozen games.

They seem to play to the level of their opponent. How else do you only lose once in 9 games with 8 of those against 1st or 2nd place teams, then struggle against Islanders, Florida & Colorado (though they showed last nights game was not a fluke by beating the Caps tonight!).

Anyway, I was hoping that our “easy” stretch of games against pretty crappy teams starting tonight would be a recipe for a move up the standings (Isles, Sens, Canes, Devils & Leafs make up 5 of our next 6 opponents having losing records), but they better stop this streak of playing down to lesser opponents.

Anyway, I’m no Stendec looking to spew negatives on a winning night – so NICE COMEBACK BOYS, 2 POINTS IS 2 POINTS!!

Attendance

December 11th, 2010
10:04 pm

10000 at game tonight in long island with out the football excuse

Attendance

December 11th, 2010
10:05 pm

….along with 1000 nordiques

Thrashy Thrashy

December 11th, 2010
10:14 pm

As long as we get the W, I don’t care how we get the W.

We’ve shown the ability to beat anybody. We don’t always look pretty doing it, but we’ve been doing it. Maybe the Isles are a bad matchup for us somehow, but it’s two points to the good for Ze Trasher tonight.

lordstan57

December 11th, 2010
10:25 pm

After tonite…. MY GOODWILL IS USED UP!! in regards to those QUEEBS!

Gwinnett Fred

December 11th, 2010
11:01 pm

Here’s one difference between this years team and those in the past.

The Little goal is one that used to happen AGAINST us, tonight, it was the difference in the win.

If you haven’t seen it – go to atlantathrashers.com – I’ve never seen anything like it. Instead of trying to bring the faceoff back, he basically slaps at it and DePietro wasn’t ready and it went top shelf – amazing.

Biscuit

December 11th, 2010
11:03 pm

Clint Malurchuk is earning his paycheck with Opie’s progress.

I’m glad we stepped it up after the first period. There were a lot of crazy bounces in that game.

Attendance

December 11th, 2010
11:16 pm

Win for more than a month and they will l come

DaveR

December 12th, 2010
5:44 am

Bergfors has 7 goals and 11 assists, 3rd in scoring among forwards on this team, in spite of his having been held out of 4 games by the coach; he gets relatively limited ice time; and has been limited in his PP ice time. Even with the coach holding back his opportunities to succeed, Bergfors manages to be one of the best players on this team.

He is not a physical player, but he consisitently creates turnovers from opponents and wins battles for the puck along the boards. He skates like the wind, and is a great forechecker and decent backchecker. He’s always in the right place on the ice to help his linemates, esp in the offensive zone. He’s a great passer and has a quick shot. He’s got a +2 plus-minus.

This Coach obviously doesn’t appreciate Bergfors’ contributions, and seems intent on making a public example of him by sitting him for no apparent reason. Give the kid a chance! Give him the same ice time and PP opportunities that are given to his linemates Ladd & Peverly, and he’d probably be the top point producer among all the forwards on this team.

eng teets

December 12th, 2010
10:34 am

there has to be more to the story regarding bergfors. i think it goes back to his attitude early on in which he seemed disgruntled about his contract. i don’t expect him to be here much longer, ramsay is the coach of this team, no player is bigger than the coach, we already went through that with a certain russian star and it didn’t work. i hate it because he could be a great asset, but bergfors should be shipped out soon, there is obviously a problem between he and ramsay. modin is awful, mason is rusty..but pavs is obviously the starter, no fault in throwing mason in there against the worst team in the nhl. he battles, he’s a backup, we stole one, lets be happy we got 2pts.

Jay

December 12th, 2010
10:32 pm

I was at the Colorado game on Friday and saw a few plays in particular in the defensive zone where the puck was right by Bergfors and Eager and they didn’t go for it when they could have grabbed it easily and Colorado maintained possession. This team wins with hustle and teamwork. When one player doesn’t hustle, it hurts the others. Great call by Ramsey.

lordstan57

December 12th, 2010
11:28 pm

I don’t believe this coaching staff benches anyone for punishment. It’s counter productive…. these guys are constantly Teaching! I’ve noticed Bergfors speaking during, and after practice, W/ the Staff. Burmi needs to knocked on the head too as he’s reverted back to some old habits(bad), along W/ several others, BUT HEY, it’s a long season, and these guys are young… it’s to be expected.

We’re in excellent position, and have MUCH, MUCH more room to improve…. I just love the growth of our guys!!! Have you EVER seen a play like Litt’s faceoff? HOT DAMN!

It’s good to be BLUE EH Boys?
ENJOY THIS!
WE HAVE A TEAM!
HOCKEY IS BEING PLAYED SUPERBLY IN THE ATL!

GO THRASHERS!!!!……….and FALCONS!!!!!!

DawgDad

December 13th, 2010
12:44 am

I remember seeing Garry Unger score off a faceoff against the Blues of all people when he was with the Oilers at the end of his career. It happens so quick it really startles you.

Wins are wins. Ugly wins count two points, just like the highlight film wins do. They lost kind of ugly to the Avs, what with the shorthanded goal on a giveaway and the quick goal to start the third period. This team could be in first place by the end of the calendar year, if they can sustain the effort playing more frequently.

[...] Thrashers:Fredrik Modin returnedto the Thrashers lineup after missing 12 games with a rib injury. Raiseyour hand if you remembered that he still played in [...]

Old Time Hockey

December 13th, 2010
1:21 pm

It’s not that Bergfors is taking a nap in the corner, but he is not playing to the level he can. I’ve said this 100 times, if you wait for the play to come to you, you’ll always be behind. They’ve got to keep their feet moving and be aggressive. Don’t give up on ANY play. Try for EVERY loose puck. That’s the effort that produces chances.

Maybe Mason should spend some time with Malarchuk…

Didn’t think Bogosian would be our weakest defender.

I was an Islander fan from 1972-1999 (Thrashers first year!) and watched them go from laughingstock to dominant dynsasty, back to laughingstock. Very sad. Sadder than ATL.

DaveR

December 13th, 2010
11:30 pm

I can’t understand this coach. Assuming Bergfors is not living up to his top potential – He’s STILL among the top scoring forwards on the team, even with the coach limiting his ice time and sitting him out of six games at this point. So you bench him and stick in Stapelton so he can skate for 10 minutes and do nothing to help the team on the scoreboard? This is exasperating. Bergfors (even at less than 100%) is still better than more than half the forwards this team is putting out on the ice.