Bergfors, Eager scratched again

Niclas Bergfors and Ben Eager are back on the bench.

The Thrashers forwards were healthy scratches for three straight games before returning Thursday against Carolina. However, they were back out of the lineup for Saturday’s game against New Jersey.

When asked if there was something specific that Bergfors and Eager were doing wrong, Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said there was not.

“We need to compete as a team,” Ramsay said. “We need to hold onto the puck in the offensive zone and we have to be good in our zone. It’s expected from everybody.”

Bergfors and Eager played sparingly in the third period against Carolina. Bergfors played a total of 7:40 on 11 shifts. Eager played just 6:22 on 10 shifts.

With the lineup move, Fredrik Modin and Tim Stapleton were back on the ice.

“They are both pretty good defensively. I think Freddy did a good job holding onto the puck in the offensive zone down in Tampa. Stapleton, he’s got some good offensive skills that we know about. He’s done a really good job defensively. He did a good job on the walls. He did a good job on his backchecks. He’s a guy you’re not afraid to put out there and it doesn’t matter who they come with. I think we’ve got some quickness with Stapleton and another big body with Freddy.”

Fehr approved

The NHL Players Association announced Saturday that Donald Fehr was been approved as the membership’s new executive director.

Fehr, 62, was the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1983 to 2009. He recently served in an advisory role with the NHL union before being approved overwhelming as the new leader.

“He’s the guy that came in and helped us a little over a year ago when things were slightly in disarray when Paul [Kelly] was let go,” Thrashers union representative Ron Hainsey said. “He’s been a huge help to us getting us organized. He’s the guy we wanted leading us into the next few years. We are very excited to have him.”

The NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after next season, in 2012. The last agreement came following the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.

Bob Goodenow resigned as executive director following the last agreement. Ted Saskin and Kelly were fired after each served as a replacement.

Shootout woes

The Thrashers lost their last two games in a shootout, an area that Ramsay admitted the team needs to work on. The Thrashers have just one shootout victory dating back to last season when Slava Kozlov was removed from the regular lineup.

I asked Ramsay if the Thrashers, who thrive on a team scoring concept, are at a disadvantage during the shootout.

“It looks like we have been at a disadvantage but it doesn’t have to be that way in the long term,” Ramsay said. “In the short term it has been. In the long term it should not be because we have people who are nifty, people who should be able to score. We have to spend a little more time on it. Maybe we have to get some more video from around the league to see what teams do and get that available to our players. It unfortunately wasn’t a priority, or didn’t seem like it. Now we want to look at it a little better, a little hard. Sometimes it becomes self fulfilling prophesy. We don’t dwell on the doom and gloom of losing in a shootout. We would rather win in regulation rather than overtime. We have to get better. We recognize that.”

In other news:

* Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal for the Thrashers. The Devils, who played Friday against Nashville, did not practice Saturday morning.

* The Thrashers lines went back to the recent combinations with Modin and Stapleton back in the lineup.

Ladd-Peverley-Antropov

Kane-Little-Stewart

Stapleton-Burmistrov-Modin

Thorburn-Slater-Boulton

16 comments Add your comment

Jo

December 18th, 2010
2:21 pm

Ramsay you are full of it, the guy cant give something to us fans about him scratching bergfors! Pathetic seriously, the guy didnt even get eight minutes last game and now agains his former team hes scratched. Not a good message sending to the young swede!

Trade maybe!?

:)

December 18th, 2010
2:33 pm

Ok, I’m not a coach or anything (so it’s possible I missed whatever he’s talking about), but Bergfors looked like everyone else out there in the last game. I don’t buy this excuse. (And I’m totally speculating here, so yeah), there must be something going on in the locker room that he did wrong or some sort of personal issue that he has that Ramsay wants to keep quiet. That or a trade about to happen. There’s no reason for freaking Stapleton to be playing instead of him.

But whatever, I’ll trust Ramsay for now. It’s just really lame that he doesn’t get to play against his old team tonight.

Russian

December 18th, 2010
3:23 pm

Put Eager and Berg in press box is BAD IDEA. I am very worry about game today. Burmy was very comfortable with Earger and Antro. Berg is much better offencive player than Tim Staplenton. Damn. :-(

Fan156

December 18th, 2010
3:34 pm

Bergfors is the 900 pound gorilla in the room (thanks telfo!)

Why does Burmi keep getting stuck with the fill ins?
Give the kid someone with some skill finally.

JB21

December 18th, 2010
3:55 pm

Ramsay’s system, bravo. His personnel decisoions, meh…

Nate

December 18th, 2010
4:11 pm

“Ramsay’s system, bravo. His personnel decisoions, meh…”

This ^

Nate

December 18th, 2010
4:12 pm

“Ramsay’s system, bravo. His personnel decisions, meh…”

This ^

[...] Ondrej Pavelec (4:15 [...]

Michael "The Abbreviation"

December 18th, 2010
4:54 pm

are you serious?? no bergfors, just wow i hope they get beat

Stuck in NJ

December 18th, 2010
5:22 pm

I’m tellin ya. They’re going to be traded.

razorneck13

December 18th, 2010
5:53 pm

Something’s been wrong since day one of the Duds & Rammer shake up so far as Bergfors is concerned. I dunno what, I assume it’s occuring at practices and in the locker rooms, whatever. There’s gotta be insubordination of some kind and Rammer doesn’t seem to be the kind to tolerate it at all. What else could it be? He plays well and would definitely have more points if he wasn’t scratched so much.

Ditto that for Eager too, I dunno. I hope they do the right thing and trade them, cuz it hurts me to watch Stapleton and Modin getting played instead of Bergfors and Eager.

DaveR

December 18th, 2010
9:52 pm

I think that Bergie asked for more than the team was willing to pay when he was negotiating for a contract extension this past summer. When he plays regularly, he’s among the top scorers in the lineup – which would justify his higher pay expectations when he is a RFA next summer.

So now the team is limiting his playing time, so they can suppress his stats, and in turn suppress his market value.

Pretty cynical, eh?

DaveR

December 18th, 2010
10:11 pm

Stuck in NJ – I really doubt that the team is trying to trade Bergfors – If that were the case, they’d have him in the lineup racking up the points and increasing the value that the team could expect to get in return from a trading partner. Holding him out of the lineup only fuels speculation (such as we see above) that there’s some off-ice flaw about him — which I seriously doubt.

It’d probably be a blessing for Bergfors, to get traded to a team that will use him regularly. But I don’t think that’s what’s in the works.

This team really looks like a fun team to play on this season — It’s a shame that the Coach (or perhaps the GM) is making it such a lousy experience for Bergfors.

Nate

December 18th, 2010
11:14 pm

From Pierre LeBrun’s weekend wrap:

Thrashers want to move Bergfors

“Atlanta recently sent a memo to other teams saying to give it a call if they wanted a forward. I was told Saturday that Niclas Bergfors is the guy the Thrashers would really like to move. He was part of the Ilya Kovalchuk deal last February but has fallen out of favor.”

Brendan

December 19th, 2010
12:27 am

Just win, baby. Just win. But if you simply must lose, bank the “pity” point.

Owen

December 19th, 2010
1:56 pm

With the whole Bergfors/eager deal, if he got us up to first in the south east division which hasn’t happened since 2008 (BLUE COUNTRY BABY!) then i’m going to trust his choices and hope that he knows what he’s doing. Plus Stapleton and Burmistrov are both fast, creative skaters and hopefully they can work together and make some awesome assists. Let’s beat Toronto!!!