Bergfors frustated at being healthy scratch

TORONTO — Niclas Bergfors admits to being frustrated.

The Thrashers forward was a healthy scratch for the fifth time in six games, along with Ben Eager, Monday against Toronto.

“You can’t whine about it,” Bergfors said following Monday’s pre-game practice. “You have to keep your head up and stay positive and support the team. Work hard. When you get the chance you have to be ready. That’s kind of what I’m focused on. Obviously it’s kind of boring to sit out. You have really long days on game day. It’s not fun. I’m trying to stay positive and be ready for me next chance.”

Bergfors said Thrashers coaches have not told him the reason he has been out of the lineup.

“They haven’t said anything,” Bergfors said. “I know I haven’t played my best hockey. I’m trying to focus to do my best and do the small details and everything that will help the team win the game. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish my next chance.”

Bergfors has seven goals, tied for seventh on the team with Nik Antropov.

Without Bergfors and Eager, Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay again put Fredrik Modin and Tim Stapleton in the lineup. They have been skating on a line centered by rookie Alexander Burmistrov.

Ramsay said he has been impressed with Stapleton’s play, especially defensively, since he was signed last month while on a 25-game tryout with AHL San Antonio.

“I thought [Modin and Stapleton] they played extremely well [Saturday against New Jersey],” Ramsay said. “Stapleton is very good without the puck. He’s going to score, but he’s been good defensively. He made a couple of solid plays the other night. You look at him and know he’s going to score goals, but if he’s good the other way that gives [the line] more opportunities. I thought as a line, that was Burmy’s best game in awhile. That line was very effective and they played quality minutes for us.

“The first game [Stapleton] played was in Washington and he ends up out against [Alexander] Ovechkin a couple times and got the job done. That helps a lot. We you see that he participates defensively, you feel good about putting him out there. … One of the things he did as a smaller player is he’s really strong. The pucks along the wall, he wins the wall battle. He didn’t turn it over. You can see that if he can play along the walls, and he can play at any time against anybody, that’s a key issue.”

Stapleton does not have a point in five games.

Freddy Meyer will be the defenseman scratched against the Maple Leafs.

40 comments Add your comment

cousin Eddie

December 20th, 2010
2:37 pm

Platinum baby!!

AtlFlamesFan

December 20th, 2010
2:38 pm

Thanks Chris! – I still do not understand this. I have not noticed Berfors being a defensive liability. His +/- is on the plus side. And he is amongst the scoring leaders of the team despite playing 7 fewer games. A young guy that knows how to put the puck in the net; he can only get better.

That said, who wants to argue with Ramsey’s results?

Smoothie

December 20th, 2010
2:39 pm

Uhh, does the fact that he hasn’t gotten any extra advice from the coaches mean his fate is pretty much sealed? Or is he just trying to stir up trouble? It just seems unfathomable to me that Rammer wouldn’t take Bergy aside in his office and talk to him about the things he needs to work on. Then again, perhaps he spends a lot of time coaching him up during practice. Something doesn’t smell right here.

Mike W

December 20th, 2010
2:40 pm

This is one thing I’ve got to disagree with Ramsay about. His general dislike for Bergie kinda puzzles me. I’ve heard from a few people that his recent sitting is stemming from an icing call that he could have skated to get, but made the lazy play and didn’t. Or some say he just doesn’t fit the defensive cycle they play. Or some even say hes just not living up to his potential by not scoring enough. Well if that’s the case, why not bench Bogosian a few? He made the lazy hook/hold on Spezza and cost the team a goal, giving the other team a point in the standing. And for the not living up to the potential part, what do you expect? You sit him on a regular basis, and when you do play him, you’re giving him embarrassing amounts of ice time. No wonder he’s not firing on all cylinders, who can blame the kid. He’s the kind of player we could have used against Carolina and Tampa Bay, he would have had a good shot in the shootout. But, that’s hard to do from the press box, isn’t it?

They either need to play him, or trade him before his contract is up. In fact, trade him anyway, because we can almost guarantee he won’t re sign with us the way he is being played here, so why not make a trade for someone who may actually have interest in re signing.

cousin Eddie

December 20th, 2010
2:46 pm

Yeah, sounds like his fate is sealed. I would still request from the coach or coaches what I did wrong and how can I fix it. Hope we get something good for him soon because the roster freeze is coming up (not sure how long). If he is sitting out that long, I think the truth has to come out.

Smoothie

December 20th, 2010
2:47 pm

Mike – he’s on the trading block per Pierre LeBrun (reliable source). His days in T’ville are numbered.

Also, he doesn’t work hard enough along the walls and in the corners for Ramsay’s tastes. Still would rather see him get in tonite cuz he might be able to exploit TOR’s lazy defense by their forwards.

Joe Friday

December 20th, 2010
2:52 pm

Team comes first. His individual talent is better than some on the team, but the team must come first. Everyone out there has bought into the system and plays it . . . you don’t and you sit. It’s great coaching, actually.

Didn’t the roster freeze go into effect last night at midnight? He’ll be moved as soon as they find someone to take him, Eager as well.

Kaner #9

December 20th, 2010
2:52 pm

Some Canadian was saying that the thrashers sent out a notice on Thrasher letter head that Bergfors was for sale to the highest bidder – No Reserve Auction

ablebody

December 20th, 2010
2:58 pm

he absolutely could’ve won that shootout for us, so it’s gotta be sending a strong message. i like bergie, i wish he could stay with the team, but i can’t argue against our record being a reflection of the work ethic. if bergie doesn’t have it or mesh with this team then he should take his excellent skills and make another team happy.
(this sounds like a break up.)

Kaner #9

December 20th, 2010
3:06 pm

Bergfors: why are you ending this?
Ramsey: it’s not you it’s me. I am not good for you. I want you to be happy. You have a lot to offer someone else.

Matt

December 20th, 2010
3:30 pm

Young players take time to develop, I don’t see what good it’s doing making him a healthy scratch… either play him, trade him, or send him down to the minors because there’s ZERO point to not allowing a young prospect to play and get better.

He needs to play somewhere… he’ll never get any better sitting in the press box and longer he goes without playing, the lower his trade value will be.

Midfield

December 20th, 2010
3:49 pm

Ramsey is pretty blant – no need to try reading between the lines. Obviously, he does not like Bergfors being too soft at the boards, and he thinks that, if the team sticks to the system and puts enough pucks on goal, somebody will score. I wonder what is the deal with Eager, though.

da' boomer

December 20th, 2010
3:53 pm

bergie rumor link: http://tinyurl.com/2be4r2b .

I have to say this is the 1st thing about the new regime I disagree with. Play him reguarly or move him (for some good value mind you)..he isnt going ot get any better in press box.

KLS1

December 20th, 2010
4:03 pm

This is a mistake…Bergie has a lot of upside to what is already a pretty darn good player. There are a lot of players with holes in their games on this team and most of them don’t have 7 goals.

I think Dudley is driving this…started with the contract negotiations over the summer. Doubt we will get fair value the way we are handling this, hope it doesn’t come back and bite us.

tradewinds

December 20th, 2010
4:06 pm

It’s not like they aren’t trying to trade him…..there has to be a partner to take him. Perhaps no one wants to offer anything more than a bag of pucks.

Midfield

December 20th, 2010
4:09 pm

If Boults spends enough time next to that left post, he’l get his career high ten goals by the end of the week.

michael

December 20th, 2010
4:15 pm

I dont get ths at all..bergie wants to learn what hes doing wrong and fix it why sit a kid with skill who wants to grow and play a guy who knows alot but has lost tons of skill a.k.a modin

Smoothie

December 20th, 2010
4:16 pm

Guys, there aren’t a lot of trading partners right now with so many teams pinned up against the Cap. Something will happen in January though. Mark my words, Dudley always “gets” his man.

Bye bye Bergy!

Cornbread

December 20th, 2010
4:22 pm

It is quite simple really folks. It is why Kovalchuk, Kozlov, and Afinogenov, despite their scoring talent, would not work for a coach like Ramsay. They freelance far too much for this Coach’s team game. No coach is going to stifle individual skill but their is a time and place to use it.

Bergfors is not using it enough. He doesn’t shoot enough. He doesn’t go hard to the net enough. He doesn’t battle hard for the puck on the boards enough. And most importantly, he doesn’t back check hard or fast enough.

Get your head out of your butt Bergie. We are 35 games into the season. It is very clear to see the way the coach wants you to play. Sit up in the press box and watch the Greek Gods and everyone else play the way they are supposed to because you are not.

Joe Friday

December 20th, 2010
4:30 pm

“I wonder what is the deal with Eager, though”

remember that Weds. night game where we had the complete 2nd period meltdown. The shift where the opponent held the puck in for like 2 minutes straight which ended when Eager had the puck and could’ve cleared it up and off the boards but instead opted to throw it to the middle where it got picked off and ended up in our net? Remember the rumor of a locker room shouting match after that period? Remember the way we played lights out in that 3rd period, Ladd being named captain the next morning, and the way we’ve played since? Connect the dots . . .

HillMan

December 20th, 2010
5:29 pm

While I agree Bergie has upside, you have to question his attitude. He was a top prospect for the Devils, but couldn’t fit in. He wasn’t happy about coming here and wouldn’t commit to a longer term deal over the summer. He doesn’t seem to want to push hard in the corners and along the boards.

It’s clear Rammer actually expects a lot from this guy but Bergie is just not ready to step up.

T

December 20th, 2010
5:34 pm

It seems he would be better than stapleton

Puck Canuck

December 20th, 2010
5:39 pm

I rembember earlier in the year hearing an announcer say Bergfors had not had a single hit in the last 20 games. Tough to justify that stat on any team with any style of play.

kracker

December 20th, 2010
5:48 pm

Yeah, I agree that there is continuing fallout from the rfa contract situation this past summer. Bergie got to camp, not late, but well behind everybody else. I don’t know how his attitude was in camp and to begin the season but he was on the bench for a couple of games early in the season. He apparently either did not get the message or is not able to execute as desired.

Also, it is reported that we have a really good room and Bergie’s biggest problem may be stinking up the atmosphere for everybody else. Kovy they had to put up with until the TD. Bergie doesn’t rank that high. Too bad, we had high hopes for the kid but he appears to be gone unless something dramatic happens.

sisu

December 20th, 2010
5:51 pm

so it goes, that is Swedish hockey ;) I do not see much a future with Bergfors, he is on the out with the other part of the kovy deal almost ready…

kracker

December 20th, 2010
6:03 pm

Berg was 21+23=44 points last season but also a -10. I don’t know what part of the -10 he got after the trade but it’s clear he could play for John Anderson but not for Rammer, it appears.

Cornbread

December 20th, 2010
6:27 pm

Sweedish hockey is also Nick Lidstrom, Tobias Enstrom, Johnny Oduya, Freddy Modin, and Johan Hedberg.

Michael B. Shapiro

December 20th, 2010
6:52 pm

Would rather have Bergie out there than Modin, who looked lost and old most of the game against the Devils. Bergie would’ve hustled against his old team. Not sure what’s up but I continue to hope that Rammer will sit down with Bergie and fix it. We could use his talent and speed on the ice rather than on the buffet line in the press box.

Midfield

December 20th, 2010
7:08 pm

We don’t want any of them on the buffet line. It’s too long as it is.

Rob

December 20th, 2010
9:12 pm

I understand the issues with Bergfors. Look at the difference between the way Bergfors and Burmistrov play. Burmistrov isn’t afraid to get nailed into the boards going after a puck and backchecks like heck on every play.

Bergfors is a more refined scorer, but doesn’t possess the intangibles for Craig Ramsey’s team. I can’t argue with Ramsey’s success…

alan w

December 20th, 2010
10:21 pm

YOU CANNOT ARGUE WITH DUDS OR RAMMER RIGHT NOW!
THE THRASHERS ARE IN FIRST PLACE! YOU PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE WITH THE COACH ARE STUPID! SHUT UP UNTIL THE PLAYOFFS ! IF WE DONT WIN THEN YOU CAN SPEAK UP.
YOU PEOPLE ARE CRAZY!

alan w

December 20th, 2010
10:27 pm

Go to a game people. Saturday night was great! Quit whining and to go a game…
I have tickets also to Lighting game on Dec 26th.. Go Thrashers!

DaveR

December 21st, 2010
12:37 am

I am a huge supporter of Bergfors. I disagree with you guys who say he’s ineffective along the boards. In fact he’s VERY deft at causing turnovers from opponents and maintaining control of the puck when he has it along the boards. He’s an exceptionally quick skater, and his offensive skills are among the best on the team.

He’s a better offensive hockey player than at least half the forwards that Rammer has been putting on the ice each night. On the other hand he definitely is not a physical player, and I agree with the guys who said that his backchecking needs to improve.

When the team on this streak of great hockey & scoring 5+ goals without him, it’s hard to question Rammer’s chosen lineup – But it’s pretty sad that the coach hasn’t even told Bergie why he’s out of the lineup.

JB21

December 21st, 2010
12:55 am

watch it sisu

lordstan57

December 21st, 2010
2:13 am

It’s crystal clear to me that the biggest part of his problem is……
“Coach hasn’t told me what I’m doing wrong!”. Waaaaaaaaah!!!

ARE YOU FREAKN KIDDING ME?
For any of you guys who’ve been out to Duluth for a practice session… you know as well as I that this Coaching Staff isn’t shy about barking at people when they drag their butts. On ice instruction is going on CONSTANTLY!
Truth be known, I”ve seen more than a little attitude from Bergie whilst receiving instruction, little smirks, not really listening, NOT DISPLAYING DUE RESPECT WHEN BEING SPOKEN TO.

Want to get benched??? Come in w/ a “Eat me” tude…. act like there’s nothing you can learn.
That just about covers it.

“Live Hockey, Love Thrashers!”.

Brendan

December 21st, 2010
11:17 am

I like Bergfors. I think he should be playing more. But if he and Head Coach Craig Ramsay are having a personality conflict, or that Ramsay and/or Dudley aren’t pleased with Bergfors for not so clandestinely complaining about his “el cheapo” contract during the offseason, then he’ll continue to sit. Why? Ramsay is the coach.

But, to me, to have an asset … and not use it … reflects on the management. If you won’t play him, you should consider trading him. Sitting in the pressbox, as a “spare,” isn’t a tremendous thing for the organization. I suppose, we could argue, “But isn’t have a player the caliber of Bergfors, as a spare, tremendous depth?” Yeah … ummmn. I suppose it is.

HockeyFielder

December 21st, 2010
5:32 pm

Hmm, why does it have to be bergie who has attitude problems? He fought 4 years in the AHL to play in the big league. How come Atlanta negotiated with bergie in the last minutes? How come rammer still havnt told us a real answer why bergie is benched? He’s made the NHL, and im sure he’s happy to be here because its the actual Big League. He probably wanted a long-term and the thrashers just threw him a lollipop. Im pretty sure Rammer doesnt make all the lineup calls, a demand from the office hence the inability for rammer to answer a simple question? Some of you here are so sure bergie got attitude problems, maybe you should look at the whole picture and not just stick to one side of the story.
Me, i think bergie is an offensive beast and just need a team who belives in him.

jerry

December 21st, 2010
7:00 pm

Bergfors said he had not played his best hockey. Now he is on the bench. ‘Nuff said.

DaveR

December 21st, 2010
9:25 pm

Before Bergie was benched, he was the third highest scorer among forwards on this team, with 7 goals and 11 assists in 26 games this season. Even assuming he wasn’t always “at his best” — and who is? — He’s still a better hocker player than most of the guys that Baldie has been putting in the lineup night after night.

Rammer sings the praises of Stapleton, as though Bergie isn’t able to crack this lineup with Stapleton scoring ZERO goals & ZERO assists since his “big arrival” 6 games ago. It’s an insult to our intelligence, to pretend that this is the case. ‘Nuff said.

[...] to just what it is Ramsay is looking for from Bergfors, look no further than what he told Chris Vivlamoreearlier this week about one of the players who is getting some of the playing time that Bergfors is [...]