Same lineup for Thrashers, Eager and Bergors out vs. Sens

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Thrashers will go with the same lineup, other than Ondrej Pavelec back in goal, Monday against the Senators. That means forwards Ben Eager and Niclas Bergfors are  healthy scratches for the second straight game. Both were out for Saturday’s 5-4 win over the New York Islanders.

“It’s never fun sitting out,” Eager said. “It’s [coach Craig Ramsay’s] decision. I guess a lot of coaches keep the same lineup if you are winning, so hopefully it works out again tonight.

“Obviously, I haven’t been playing my best hockey the last couple of games. That is most likely a reason I’m sitting out. I’m going to work hard and get back in the lineup.”

Fredrik Modin and Tim Stapleton will again replace Eager and Bergfors.

Ramsay said Monday that the decision to healthy scratch the forwards had as much to do with the play of Modin and Stapleton against the Islanders. However, he again said once a player is out of the lineup, it won’t be easy to get back in.

“Even though we haven’t carried a lot of extra players, players have to understand it’s not automatic [to get back in the lineup], Ramsay said. “The way our players are playing, if you get out, it might be difficult to get back in. So you have to perform. You have to be on top of your game. You can’t be looking to take nights off.

“I just think that Stapleton fit right in. I thought Freddy did a good job. He had some good forechecks, he held the puck and made some good plays defensively. I was very, very pleased with both of them. When a guy steps in and plays hard, he deserves a chance to play again.”

Eager said he has not discussed his play with the coaching staff.

“I haven’t sat down with them, but I think it’s pretty clear they obviously weren’t happy with the way I was playing and that’s why I’m out,” Eager said.

Bergfors was also a healthy scratch three of four games in October. He is tied for fifth on the Thrashers with seven goals. In 53 games since being acquired from New Jersey in the Ilya Kovalchuk trade, Bergfors has 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists). Eager has eight points (three goals, five assists) for the Thrashers. He had played in every game for the time this season before being scratched Saturday.

Ramsay said he expects Eager and Bergfors to get back in the lineup, but did not know when that would occur.

“That’s part of what we are trying to grow here,” Ramsay said. “Their job is to be ready, just like those other two were, when you get your chance to go back in you better be ready to play. You’ve got to support your teammates whether you are in the lineup or out of the lineup. We are a group and a team. You have to think like a team and act like a team. I think they will. I have every confidence when they get called back, and they will, they will be ready to go and step back in.”

Defenseman Freddy Meyer will be the other healthy scratch.

32 comments Add your comment

Mike W

December 13th, 2010
1:10 pm

I completely disagree with that. Eager and Bergie should be in. If anyone should be scratched, its Antropov who can’t seem to win a board battle despite his huge size, or Kane, who was too much focused on getting into a fight on Friday night rather than trying to even the game up. But, Rammer knows what he’s doing.

Smoothie

December 13th, 2010
1:16 pm

Don’t really understand this decision at all, but oh well. Modin did have some good forechecking moments, but he is atrocious on the PK. Please do not use him on the PK nor Stapleton on the PP!!

The Real Thrash

December 13th, 2010
1:20 pm

I suppose now we have fans that know more than the coach who has the team consistently winning for the first time in years. The coach watches the game and the film. He knows who is giving effort.
How about we like him make those decisions?

The Real Thrash

December 13th, 2010
1:21 pm

Sorry but Kane out? Do you really know anything about the sport?

Will L

December 13th, 2010
1:26 pm

I’m glad somebody finally pointed out Antropov’s crappy play of late. Every time I’ve watched a game lately Antro seems to make a lazy play or horrible turnover in our zone that leads to the puck in the back of our net. If anyone needs to sit right now it is Nic.

Jeff

December 13th, 2010
1:27 pm

Ramsey’s dislike for Bergfors is really becoming annoying. It cost us points earlier this season and now he’s pulling this crap again. There’s a reason we started playing better without Modin too.

Oh well!

Cornbread

December 13th, 2010
1:28 pm

Bergfors is a skilled winger playing on the top line with Ladd and Peverly on an offense oriented team. His shot ranking is 233rd in the NHL with 47. He is capable of doing MUCH better. Get it?

Mike W

December 13th, 2010
1:37 pm

@The Real Thrash wow are we not allowed any opinions anymore? Good job showing your ignorance there buddy.

Smoothie

December 13th, 2010
1:47 pm

Yeah, just because the team win doesn’t mean Ramsay is infallible. I love Craig Ramsay and have been one of his biggest proponents. That said, I watched the game. Modin is awful defensively. And for some reason Rammer is laboring under the misconception that he is a useful player on the PK…his lack of foot speed is killing that unit. Go watch the PPG allowed Sat nite, Modin got trapped too deep in the corner and didn’t recover in time to tie up Comeau. But keep spewing your ignorance if you must. Thanks and have a nice day!

KLS1

December 13th, 2010
1:52 pm

Bergie is a real mystery…would like to get the other players take on him. He seems to have all the tools, just always seems to be in the doghouse.

I don’t hold out much hope for him being here next year…wouldn’t be surprised if Dudley moved him.

Bluelander

December 13th, 2010
2:19 pm

Props to Coach Ramsey, but If it were me I’d sit/rest Antropov. He appears still laboring from his off-season surgery. Aside from not winning the battles in the corners, he has no jump and his giveaways have resulted in -1’s over the weekend and -10 for the year. The numbers would be worse if his linemates were not each having great years. He definitely brings that line down. I bet he is still not at 100%, so a 1-2 game rest may not be a bad idea at this juncture. The Bergfors situation is baffling to me since he is in essence playing for his next contract. That may not end well. I look for him to be moved. This is his second benching already in the young season. He has value on the market and clearly his playing style isn’t meshing with what management is looking for. It’s a shame because we need a sniper/scorer and it thought he might blossom into that type of role.

Jeff

December 13th, 2010
2:25 pm

Smoothie, good points as usual.

East Point Bob

December 13th, 2010
2:37 pm

Modin is no upgrade to Bergfors, What is the issue with him. He seems to forecheck & make good passes, sometimes does not finish as we would like, but Modin ? If anyone needs to sit it Bogosion.
His defense is the worst on the entire team, just watch tonigh as he stands around again and again, it’s sicking to have to watch him.

Smoothie

December 13th, 2010
2:59 pm

Thanks Jeff, and for anyone who hasn’t made it over to Bill’s blog, and why haven’t you!? ;-)

Comparison of Eager and Antropov:

Eager (29 gms) – on ice for 9 GA, on ice for 15 GF (+6); 8 pts all ES
Antro (29 gms) – on ice for 21 GA, on ice for 11 GF (-10); only 7 ES pts

Unless Eager is jumping off the ice early to avoid goals that are about to be scored on his line, I fail to see how sitting Eager over Antro right now makes much sense. Antropov had a brief stretch where things were clicking with Burmy, but it seemed like Eager was essential to their success thru his hustle and ability to bang bodies so Nik doesn’t have to. I realize Eager has had some bad TO, but so has Antro, especially of late, both of which directly led to goals against NYI.

You tell me who should be getting the bench for a game or two?

Furious George

December 13th, 2010
3:17 pm

I totally agree that Antropov needs to sit a while and rest that hip. Here’s my two cents on Antropov and why he’s not sitting, my theory is having been on Burmi’s line for a while, he’s been good for in game communication with him and can help fill in things he may not yet perfectly understand from coaches…..I also agree, that sitting Eager and Bergie is a load of crap, but just about everything Ramsay has touched turned to gold so I’m not gonna question him. Here’s to another win tonight. Go Thrashers!

Nate

December 13th, 2010
3:25 pm

I will be shocked if Modin and Stapleton (along with their linemates) don’t come out with minus numbers tonight. Eager and Bergfors sitting while Antropov and Bogosian skate is baffling to me.

cousin Eddie

December 13th, 2010
3:35 pm

I trust Ramsay’s decision, but don’t agree with it. He must know something we don’t, hence the decision. I could think of a few thrashers that need sitting (Kane, Antro, Bogosian), just for a game or so. Even Buff has some lapses especially against the Avs the other night, but Ramsay if the chief and I will stand behind him.

Rick

December 13th, 2010
3:37 pm

I don’t know if sitting Antropov is going to help much. I’d guess they’re not going to let Antro play if his hip is going to get worse by doing so. Putting him in games gets him back into game shape as he didn’t play during the pre-season/training camp and most players struggle mightily without a training camp. I think if they keep playing him, he’ll continue to get back to where he needs to be to lend offensive support to Ladd and Buff.

He was a -10 through his first 15 games, when the hip was at it’s worst. He was an even through the last 14. 7 pts through his first 15, 8 through his last 14. He is starting to look a lot better.

Bergie is a bigger mystery to me. 18 pts in 26 games, he’s been very consistent with those points too, they didn’t all come from a few games. He’s still a young guy with a ton of potential, I’m hoping he can get back in the lineup soon.

Actually, it would be awesome if he could get playing with Antropov again, they were very successful together last year.

Old Time Hockey

December 13th, 2010
3:44 pm

Cornbread is correct. Bergfors is capable of so much more than he is delivering right now. I would suspect that if Bergfors has another lull in his play, he would be first on the list to move.

Still find it hard to believe that Bogosian is the weakest link on defense. He’s got the skills, makes me wonder what he’s got between the ears. Now there is a guy with some value on the trade market. Personally, I’d like to see him live up to his promise with us, but he’s got to start playing smarter. How much time do they spend watching film? Because I could put together a highlight (or lowlight) package of his play this year and my grandmother would “get it” (and she passed 4 years ago!).

Mooseberg

December 13th, 2010
4:22 pm

Antro needs to sit, not sure if he is still struggling with the hip injury or not but he’s slow to the puck(if he gets to it) and he doesn’t fight at all. The first two goals the other night were on him. Sit um’

SCHUBERT

December 13th, 2010
4:40 pm

no tv again. fox is a bush outfit. for that matter, so is the atlanta spirit.

cousin Eddie

December 13th, 2010
5:00 pm

Fox sports south according to website!

jerry

December 13th, 2010
5:27 pm

Ramsay not afraid to sit a player that he feels could play better. Good for him. Fox Sports South, 7:30 p.m.

Brendan

December 13th, 2010
6:26 pm

I’m still a supporter of Nik Antropov. He’s a big body. We need big bodies. He’s a capable player. We need capable players. I’m sorry he’s hurt, or not 100%, but if the injury were that severe, the doctors wouldn’t let him play. I still think Antropov can contribute enough to warrant remaining in the lineup.

Let’s go Thrashers! 8-2 in the last 10, I believe. I can’t argue with success. And I don’t require the team’s wins to be pretty or utterly dominant. The result of 2-pts is quite sufficient enough.

buzz

December 13th, 2010
6:47 pm

I’d trade Bergfors and Bogosian to a team for a real stud … like Chris Stewart from the Avs.

He is injured, but the REAL DEAL. Also, his brother already plays here, so maybe he’d like to play in ATL. A future line of Kane-Brumistrov-Stewart would be awesome. Ladd-Little-Stewart is a good #2 line.

Bogosian is a defensive nightmare. Bergfors wants to play someplace else. I talked to him in the bathroom once at Philips and he was very nonchalant when I asked if he was going to have a good year … he said something like “I guess.”

Mike W

December 13th, 2010
6:50 pm

Good point smoothie. And @cousin Eddie , glad to see someone else thinks Kane hasn’t been on top of it

Don Cherry

December 13th, 2010
6:53 pm

We have Hockey in this town ???? I just wish the Spirit would Market the Team…. I know times are hard and its tough to spring for a Family Night, Not Saying reduce ticket prices, BUT….As true fans know ..the only way to convert a non Hockey fan is get them to a game…… Hell….3/4 empty house….open the doors for free to a few folks to SEE Hockey……. Every 1st timer I have ever taken…Still goes to games……maybe not every game…. We need Fans or this team is MOVING….

askip32

December 13th, 2010
8:15 pm

I’m sorry but I’m a Democrat hockey player so I like not having to work, I mean “play” it don’t matter to me, I still get paid, I don’t care if I play or not. If the Thrashers win the cup I do want my name on it, since I was part of the “team”

DaveR

December 13th, 2010
11:51 pm

I think Bergfors will be a free agent at the end of this season – And do you think he will have any interest in staying in ATL after the way they’ve used him?

It almost looks like the team is trying to limit his marketability by sitting him out, limiting his ice time when he’s in the lineup, and limiting his power play chances. Someone here was dissing him because he has only 47 shots on goal this year — It’s a little tough to build your stats when the coach won’t put you in the game, dont ya think?

Jeff

December 14th, 2010
12:01 pm

DaveR,

Bergfors will be a restricted free agent.

DaveR

December 14th, 2010
5:57 pm

Thanks Jeff.

So the guy has no recourse if this team offers him a 10% raise next summer – Unless he wants to skate in Russia. That sucks for Bergie.

This coach definitely is not interested in putting his best 12 forwards on the ice each night — But as long as the team wins, he can get away with that. He sits Bergie against the Isles and the Sens, but plays him against the Caps and the Penguins. Why’s that?

OJ

December 15th, 2010
12:54 am

Its also imortant to point out that Bergfors actually did score the game before he got scratced.. For anybody who gets hockey, that is gaining momentum for a “goal scorer”.. somehow I feel that Rammer sends mixed signals to the players with certain roles! And except from the goal Bergie had a good game that night with good forchecking and a couple of hits (first time this season)! Point is, a good coach need to be able to see things from players perspective aswell, and not scratch them when they´r starting to get into the flow!