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 was sore and would be able to play Thursday.

Rematch at hand

Just a week removed from a fight-filled 4-1 loss to Boston, the Thrashers host the rematch with the Bruins.

The previous game will be remembered for the 10-skater brawl that took place with 4:06 left, ignited by Freddy Meyer’s check on Milan Lucic. The incident resulted in 15 penalties to eight players totaling 96 minutes.

The Thrashers expect a physical game but say they can’t focus on retaliating, especially on Lucic who threw a late punch at Meyer that drew a match penalty.

“We can’t let our emotions get the best of us,” defenseman Zach Bogosian said. “It’s a big game. It’s a must-win game. I’m sure it will be a physical game but you can’t do anything to jeopardize your team in a big game like this. You also want to make sure you play hard and compete for your teammates.”

Cormier fares well in debut

Patrice Cormier fared well in his NHL debut Tuesday against Pittsburgh. The highly-regarded prospect played 12:14 in 19 shifts as he centered a line with Fredrik Modin and Eager.

Cormier had one shot, one blocked shot and one hit. He won six of 14 faceoffs.

“Personally, I was just happy to get the first game out of the way and keep working to get better game in and game out,” Cormier said.

Ramsay said he liked the presence Cormier showed in his debut.

“I thought he was pretty good,” Ramsay said. “It’s hard when you jump in and your first NHL game is against Pittsburgh. He was out against [Sidney] Crosby sometimes. He was out against [Evgeni] Malkin. He’s got good size. He’s a kid that’s going to have some presence. Adjusting to the pace doesn’t happen when you get a call-up. It takes adjustment. I thought he was strong on the puck. He was initially good on his faceoffs. He came out in decent shape. I like his presence out there. He likes to compete.”

Goalie rotation

Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal for the Thrashers against Boston on Thursday. Chris Mason will get the call in New Jersey on Friday, the second of back-to-back games.

29 comments Add your comment

sisu

December 29th, 2010
4:18 pm

Should be a fun game to watch live

Smoothie

December 29th, 2010
4:24 pm

Thanks Chris, any idea what the lines might be if both Kane & Antro are out? Bergy back with Little & Ladd I suppose with Cormier playing with Eager & Modin again?

Brendan

December 29th, 2010
5:04 pm

I’m one of the posters who regularly supports Nik Antropov as an integral part of the Thrashers roster. So, I’m disappointed by this news. Every game … is another chance … to turn this 0-3-1 stretch of season around. Historically speaking, no team that ever reached 95-points ever missed the postseason. Might even be as low as 94-points. Right now, I can see a projection of 86-91 points for the Thrashers, this season. And that would be an improvement over the 35-win, 83-point season the Thrashers had last year. But will that be enough to reach the playoffs? Last year, 88-points got both the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers into the postseason. In my opinion, that was an anomaly from what normally qualifies a team, in terms of point totals, into the playoffs. We all remember that the Flyers went on, from the # 7 seed, to host the CF and lost the Stanley Cup, in Game Six, to Chicago, on a Pat Kane overtime goal against Leighton.

We don’t want to be the 2010 NY Rangers, who finished the year with 87-points, (http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?season=20092010&type=CON) on the wrong end of a shootout, that eliminated them, and pushed Philadelphia into the # 7 slot, leapfrogging Montreal. Sorry, I cannot resist using the term “leapfrogging” and “Montreal” in the same sentence. But I’m working on it.

Brendan

December 29th, 2010
5:07 pm

By the way, is it even mathematically possible for the NJ Devils to reach the 103-point total of 2010? I think the Devils have 20-points right now. So, it’s a pretty close shave right now.

Thrashers27

December 29th, 2010
5:28 pm

Bogo needs to sit for a few games. Get Meyer in there.

Jimbo

December 29th, 2010
5:53 pm

Still smarting that we are apparently unaware when Crosby hits the ice but time to move on. Oduya has to step up his game. He’s playing very timidly and making some dumb decisions with the puck. We need a win BIG TIME.

lemon drop the gloves

December 29th, 2010
6:47 pm

any more call-ups likely with the recent rash of injuries? team is looking its thinnest in awhile and duds needs to react before streak gets too ugly.

Moth Balled Jersey

December 29th, 2010
7:57 pm

I’m sure we’ll see lots of new Boo-hoo-ins jerseys in the crowd tomorrow. The boys need to shut them up with a big first period. Zach Bogosian needs to step it up on defense. His -8 is looking bad. Oduya was solid last year but as Zach’s partner, he’s -8 also. The rest of the defense is a combined +31.

There’s your problem.

michael

December 29th, 2010
9:19 pm

I think zachs kinda gotten messed up with all the coaching and partner changes these last three years. First year with enstrom they were incredible, then hainsey and schubs plus an injury so he hit more and put on weight this summer, well now hes with johny and a new system where rammer implores more stick checks then body checks and hes got all that muscle but not using it first. as much as he says its easy to play with johny i dont see anything but flashes of chemistry between them. He’s looked best with enstrom and kulda as far as a partner to me and was better when he came in from juniors and just did what he did in juniors without anderson and rammer telling him how to play his game. in my eyes anyway. Really hope he improves because I really like the guy.

Puck Like A Porn Star

December 29th, 2010
10:11 pm

If there isn’t a huge fight the second the first puck is dropped against Boston, I’ll consider that game a failure, regardless of the final score.

lordstan57

December 29th, 2010
11:44 pm

Nothing wrong w/ any of the young guys that seasoning won’t cure. Integral parts of our team is still very young.
As long as I continue to see the work ethic, and the Org. trying to get better… I’m happy.

Looking forward to a BIG, VOCAL, crowd tomorrow. Thinking we’re going to win.
Heard that, collectively, The “Team” was ……??????? Upset!!!! after the beat down in Pitt.
Anxious to see how we react….. no shame in losing…. the shame is in not competing!

“Live Hockey, Love thrashers!”.

lakelanier

December 30th, 2010
7:07 am

i agree with puck like a porn star, though..it more than likely won’t happen. soemone needs to challenge that hunchback of boston. funny how the NHL suspends jody shelley for the same sucker punch..how come milan didn’t get the boot? makes zero sense.

Dwayne

December 30th, 2010
8:13 am

lakelanier….colon cambell is a butthole. doesn’t his son play for the bruins?

Old Time Hockey

December 30th, 2010
9:06 am

I think it’s ironic that the overplayed commercial shows Bogosian hammering a guy into the boards, yet he backs away from physical contact on the ice. He acts like the defensive zone is on fire and he can’t wait to get out. Really thought this system was perfect for a guy with his talents. Again, it makes you wonder if he’s mentally got what it takes.

The team goes as the goaltending goes. When Pavelec is on fire, we look great. When he is average…not so much. Here’s hoping Malarchuk had some wise words for Pavs. Need to come out flying in the first 5 minutes and get them on their heels.

Hockeynut

December 30th, 2010
9:08 am

Let’s face it the Trasher will win against Boston if the play agressively throughout the whole sixty minutes of their game………..so come on out fans and support this team from now on

stendek

December 30th, 2010
11:24 am

Flames and Islanders entered NHL at same time. Flames were always considered superior team. Tough watching Islanders win all those Stanley Cup championships while Flames played tough hockey which led nowhere except to Calgary. Realize Thrashers not fit to carry jock straps of those Flames but these Thrashers are ghosts allowing Isles to stick it to local fans again. Old time fans understand EXACTLY what I am talking about. As for everyone else I have two words for ya…STENDEK

[...] on what Chris Vivlamore reported yesterday in the AJC Ondrej Pavelec will start tonight, Nik Antropov is doubtful to play, and Evander Kane will be a [...]

Robert

December 30th, 2010
11:57 am

@Brendan – Just to clarify your comment about teams not missing the playoffs at a certain point level…The 2006-07 Colorado Avalanche missed the playoffs with 95 points because 8th seeded Calgary had 96 points. If I recall correctly, that Avalanche team became the first team (and may still be the only team) to miss the playoffs after accumulating 95 points.

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thrashers writer Chris Vivlamore had the following in his preview: [...]

Brendan

December 30th, 2010
12:20 pm

Robert, excellent research. I hadn’t even thought of the Western Conference during my post. Which is my fault for not clarifying. But I’m glad someone did! If you don’t mind, and have the time, what is the highest point total for an Eastern Conference team to have, but still MISS the playoffs? It very well may be 95-points in the East, too. Or 94-points. Or 93-points. But it’s probably one of those three. I remember the Islanders once got in with a meager 83-points. I am forever forgetting which year that was. My guess is 2002 or 2003. But I think that was prior to the lockout. So, we just never know what will get a team in or out, in terms of a point total.

Boy, it sucked for those 2007 Avs to miss the dance, being 13 games over .500, NHL-style. Who knows where that might have put Colorado, had they been situated in the Eastern Conference that year.

Adam

December 30th, 2010
1:52 pm

Brendan – The Av’s would have finished in the 6th spot in the east that year, with the Rangers & Bolts 7th & 8th. The Isles would’ve been bounced to 9th with 92pts. So we’d have squared off with the Av’s in the 1st round and the Rangers would have faced the Devils.

Robert

December 30th, 2010
2:04 pm

Brendan – Good memory. The 2002-03 Islanders made it with 83 points. To answer your question, it appears that, since the League unveiled the Eastern and Western Conferences in 1993-94, the highest point total for an Eastern Conference team to not make the playoffs was 93, by the Florida Panthers in 2008-09. That year, the Panthers had an identical record as the Montreal Canadiens, but the Canadiens took a tiebreaker to make the playoffs.

I followed the Avs closely during that time, and I remember being heartbroken by that season. Just going on points, Colorado’s 95 would have seeded them 6th in the East. They would have played the Thrashers in the first round…

Adam

December 30th, 2010
2:04 pm

BTW 93pts is the highest total not to make it in the East, FLA 08/09 season.

Robert

December 30th, 2010
2:05 pm

Adam beat me to it…I started tying a reply and then began looking it up.

Adam

December 30th, 2010
2:07 pm

“I followed the Avs closely during that time, and I remember being heartbroken by that season.”

As was I Robert. Other than the Blackhawks the Av’s are my team in the West.

Robert

December 30th, 2010
2:13 pm

Dare I reveal I’m a Bruins fan, but the Avs always were my western team, long before Ray Bourque got there. I (obviously) hate Montreal, and I liked Quebec as a kid because they hated Montreal too, thus I followed them.

I know a lot of people bash the Thrashers and their fans, but I’m in the camp that hopes to see the franchise succeed. I agree with comments I’ve seen elsewhere – if the Thrashers can build on a successful couple of seasons, then the fans should respond. It’s hard to watch mediocrity over and over and suddenly expect people to turn out when there is a slight glimmer of hope. It’ll take time to get the fans back, but I believe they will come back if things keep going in the right direction. This summer will be a huge test (to see who the Thrashers can re-sign and/or sign as Free Agents).

Brendan

December 30th, 2010
2:57 pm

Robert & Adam, good posts. I remember the Panthers missing out on the tie-breaker with Montreal. As a division rival, I’m glad the Cats missed out. But, as a hockey fan with a heart, I feel awful for what has transpired in south Florida, since 1993. That team cannot buy a break. And that’s what they need, since their ownership has been just terrible since Wayne Huizinga (Sp?) quickly dismantled them. If I’m recalling correctly, the last playoff berth for the Cats was 2000, and they were swept by someone. I want to say New Jersey, but that’s probably not right.

Speaking of the Avs, that 1996 season was their very 1st in Denver, and they won the Cup over those Florida Panthers. Beezer’s Game Four performance stood out, from those years. Segue to your 2:13 post about suddenly expecting people to turn out when the glimmer of hope returns, I couldn’t agree more. On these blogs, over the past 7-8 years … I preached, and preached, and preached about how important it was to build up and MAINTAIN the fan base here in Atlanta. I often cited the Colorado Avalanche, as an example, in my novels. There in Denver, CO, they realized that they had a new product in the community, making its NHL return to that city, and that they ought to cultivate it. When hockey returned to Atlanta, after an NHL absence since 1980, I cited how the Thrashers soldout 38 of 41 home games in the 1999-2000 season. Where did the interest level in this team go?

Answer: It wasn’t shunned, by performance results. It was systematically and methodically PUSHED AWAY by uncaring and unfeeling, and unaccountable ownership, that let a GM without a playoff win remain in power for a DECADE, hiring 3 Head Coaches, plus himself as coach, not once, but twice, without any better results. The fan interest in hockey didn’t dissipate in Atlanta. Its willing to support the Octocluster, now “Heptacluster” (Copyright 2010, poster Brendan, all rights reserved at U.S. Library of Congress) waned. Years of neglect and inaction drove those hardcore hockey fans away. That there were tough economic times didn’t help any, either. Put those two things together, and you get “relocation talk.” But, really, this team isn’t going anywhere.

Robert, nothing wrong with being a Bruins fan, especially posting the way you do. My favorite Bruin of all-time was Johnny Bucyk. Over 500 career goals, and 1300 points, I think. I wouldn’t doubt the “Chief” had over 100 playoff points. Bucyk was a former Lady Byng and Lester Patrick award winner. Other Bruin favorites of mine were Rick Middleton, Gerry Cheevers, and Wayne Cashman. I know, those names are blasts from the past. But when Cheevers was on, nothing could get past him. But Cheesy was off, he couldn’t stop a beach ball. But that mask was always memorable!

Robert

December 30th, 2010
4:24 pm

Brendan – Do you post on the hockeys future boards? If not, the Thrashers section sure could use your insight…You could add a lot to the conversation there. http://hfboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=29

Brendan

December 30th, 2010
4:57 pm

I appreciate the invite, Robert.