Thrashers-Devils preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: at Devils

When: 5 p.m. Friday

TV; radio: FSSO; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* It will be the second of back-to-back games for the Thrashers, who hosted the Bruins Thursday.

* The Devils have lost six straight games, a streak that includes a 7-1 loss to the Thrashers at Philips Arena on Dec. 18. In that game, Eric Boulton had a hat trick for the Thrashers.

* Entering Thursday’s game, the Thrashers were tied for third in the NHL for most short-handed goals allowed (five). Only the Lightning (seven) and the Sabres (six) have allowed more.

* Former Thrasher Johan Hedberg is scheduled to start in goal for the Devils. He will face Chris Mason, who will make his fourth start in the past 22 games.

* Former Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk is second on the Devils with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists). He is a minus-26.

Chris Vivlamore

11 comments Add your comment

Brendan

December 30th, 2010
3:06 pm

We lose to NJ … and it’s time for a “closed door” meeting among the players. The Devils are 30th in the NHL, behind the Islanders, for a reason. And that reason’s name ISN’T Ilya Kovalchuk. New Jersey is in last place in the NHL because it is without Zach Parise, its blueline is decimated by injuries and age, and Marty Brodeur, though a certain Hall of Famer, cannot even salvage the results. It’s not so much that Brodeur is older now, so much as it is that the Devils defense is a shell of its former self.

I’ve been watching Kovalchuk on Center Ice. He isn’t loafing. He’s putting forth the effort. A skilled defensive player, he’s never been. And with the Devils blueliners … it’s hard to imagine that many Devils players will finish in the plus side of the +/- ledger. When Parise gets back, and the blueline gets back to full strength, the Devils will climb out of the basement of the league. But not before then.

hey brendan

December 30th, 2010
4:12 pm

that was a pretty awful post. ramble much? what was the point of even writing all of that?

Brendan

December 30th, 2010
4:53 pm

Not to push the panic button until something worthy of it happening.

East Point Bob

December 30th, 2010
7:44 pm

hey brenden, SHUT THE HELL UP ! Brenden is 100% correct in his accessment, it shows you know not one thing about NHL hockey !

mauro

December 30th, 2010
10:21 pm

ok lets get a win tomorrow and finish the year on a high note….

Brendan

December 30th, 2010
11:30 pm

That was a fun and exciting overtime versus the Bruins. And Stapleton comes in, in a call-up situation, to notch the 1st shootout goal, schooling Tim Thomas?! Wow! Then Little, like a pro, went 5-hole on Thomas. Pavelec made a stunning save on the 1st Boston attempt. The Wheeler attempt was an abortion, almost start to finish. But hey, the goals by Stapleton and Little put the pressure on.

I think that might have been Pavelec’s first-ever shootout win. Exciting stuff! And now, it’s on to a win, at NJ, over the Devils.

litz

December 31st, 2010
12:04 am

That WAS pav’s first ever shootout win. And done in fine fashion too!

Two shots, done and out.

As for the Devils … not only are they #30, behind the islanders … but they’re now SIX POINTS behind the islanders. It’s no longer even a race for last place. NJ owns it lock stock and barrel.

Dwayne

December 31st, 2010
8:20 am

I like how Buff slammed broooon on the ice then snatched him back up. I’m glad he didn’t pummell him into next week. Thrash got a win despite spending too much time in D zone. Pavs let in 2 bad goals, but still stole the win. Great game to watch.

Curly

December 31st, 2010
2:29 pm

Not only is Kovy a -26, but a league worst (out of 768 NHL players, he is dead last!).
How’s that big contract with that first class organization working for you?

Dwayne

December 31st, 2010
2:49 pm

I dont care how hard he is skating for Jersey, I dont care that he has never been so so on defense, the fact is, he is a -26 and he has done nothing, zero, zilch, nada to help his team win consistantly. Kovy the Koach Killer. No, it,s not all his fault, I take that back, it is his fault. His contract killed that team before he or any other devil took the ice.

Brendan

December 31st, 2010
10:02 pm

Guys, tonight … Kovalchuk’s goal buried the Thrashers. We can try to ’sugarcoat’ that. But it’s insincere. Does a team need to pay a guy, who’s -26, a $6.667 million cap hit? Well …. But tonight, he earned 1/82nd of that money.

Kovy, to me, isn’t solely responsible for the Devils’ woes this season. Neither is he blameless. And, very obviously, the Devils are tied to this guy for the rest of his career. So, they’ve got to make him the cornerstone of their thought processes … or they have to trade him away. But they knew that when they signed him. Nobody put a gun to their heads. Lou’s not a “newbie” on the GM scene. He fully understood what a 15-year contract, or a 17-year one, as he intially floated, means.

I hope Kovy and the Devils get it all straightened out. I bear him no grudge. Am I happy he scored, to clinch this game for the Devils? Heck no!! I wanted Atlanta to win. But to hang on to grudge against Kovy … what good comes from that? We got good players for Kovalchuk, and we used the picks to raid the Blackhawks. The guy was presented with an opportunity to go to an organization with 3 relatively recent Stanley Cups in their history, and he took it. Sounds like an unpardonable sin to me. :roll: