Archive for December, 2010

Thrashers-Bruins preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: at Bruins

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

TV; radio: FSSO; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* The Thrashers finish a run of nine games in 14 days with their third stretch of three games in four nights. It won’t get easier. After two days off for the holiday, they play four games in six days.

* The Thrashers have compiled points in 14 of the past 17 games (12-3-2).

* The Bruins will look to avenge a 4-1 loss to the Thrashers on Nov. 28 at Philips Arena. The Thrashers scored three first-period goals – all within 6:10 – en route to the win.

* The Thrashers have six players in the top 100 in the league in goals. Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd are tied for 35th, Evander Kane is tied for 46th, Anthony Stewart and Bryan Little are tied for 61st and Rich Peverley is tied for 98th.

* This could be a matchup of the NHL’s top two goaltenders. The Bruins’ Tim Thomas leads the league in save percentage (.948) and goals-against average (1.70). The Thrashers’ Ondrej Pavelec is …

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Thrashers fall to Blues, 4-2

Here is my game story, with quotes, from the loss to the Blues for those who would like to comment.

The Thrashers were a step slow all night — and it cost them.

St. Louis snapped Atlanta’s two-game win streak with a 4-2 victory on Tuesday night.

The Thrashers (19-12-5, 43 points) lost in regulation for the first time in seven games, failing to earn a point for the first time since a loss to Colorado on Dec. 10. The Thrashers are now 12-3-2 in their past 17 games.

“Yes, we were a step slow,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “… You have to dig down. You’ve got to find a way.”

The loss, coupled with Washington’s win, moved the Capitals (44 points) back ahead of the Thrashers in the Southeast Division by a point. It came in front of a Philips Arena crowd of 14,662.

The Blues scored once in each period. Alexander Steen’s goal late in the second period broke a 1-1 tie heading into the final period. Steen’s wide-angle shot beat Thrashers goaltender …

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Thrashers regain Southeast lead with victory

Here is my game story, with quotes, from Toronto for those who would like to comment.

TORONTO — The game of leapfrog continues.

The Thrashers regained first place in the Southeast Division with a 6-3 victory over Toronto on Monday night.

The Thrashers (19-11-5, 43 points) jumped over Washington by a point for the division lead. After finally claiming the top spot with Saturday’s victory, the Thrashers were back in second place when the Capitals won on Sunday. The move up the standings has come as the Thrashers have earned points in 14 of their past 16 games (12-2-2), including two straight wins. They have the third most points in the Eastern Conference behind Philadelphia (49) and Pittsburgh (44).

Fredrik Modin and Tobias Enstrom each scored twice in the latest victory in front of 19,301 at the Air Canada Centre.

“Any time you score goals it’s always a good feeling,” Modin said. “We managed to get the win even though at times we weren’t playing very good. …

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Pavelec has confidence in Thrashers

Today’s quote comes from Ondrej Pavelec, who will start in goal Monday against Toronto.

He was confident in his team’s ability when asked about the key to the game.

“I think we have a better team, but we have to play all 60 minutes,” Pavelec said. “Play the same hockey we played last game. It’s all about us, how we play, on what the result will be. If we play our hockey we have a good chance to win.”

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The Cup pays a visit to former Blackhawks

TORONTO — When in Toronto, you can see the Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

If you’re name is on it, they will bring it to you.

The five members of last season’s Stanley Cup champion Chicago team now with the Thrashers got a chance to see their names engraved on the trophy for the first time Sunday night. The keeper of the Cup brought it by the team hotel for players Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Andrew Ladd and Brent Sopel and associate coach John Torchetti to get a close-up look at the engraving.

The names are typically put on the Cup following the season and the players’ tour with the trophy.

“It was the first time I got to see my name on the Cup,” said Sopel, whose room was the viewing place. “It was very cool.”

Ladd coordinated the viewing – which was just for those with their names on the Cup.

“You got to earn that,” Ladd said. “… I don’t think anyone else wants to see it until they end up on it themselves. It’s always nice to see your …

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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, …

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Thrashers-Maple Leafs preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: at Maple Leafs

When: 7 p.m. Monday

TV; radio: None; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* The Thrashers are 11-2-2 in their past 15 games and have moved up the Southeast Division and Eastern Conference standings.

* After scoring goals in Saturday’s win over the Devils, Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd joined Dustin Byfuglien for the team lead with 11 goals. Kane has two straight multi-point games.

* Eric Boulton scored his first career hat trick Saturday. It was the first three-goal performance by a Thrasher at Philips Arena since Bryan Little did it against Carolina on Dec. 26, 2008.

* The Thrashers’ power play is 1-for-19 over the past six games.

* The Maple Leafs feature two former Thrashers from last season Clarke MacArthur leads the team with 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists). Colby Armstrong has two points (one goal, one assist) after being limited to 16 games due to injury.

Chris Vivlamore

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That’s the first-place Thrashers

Here’s my game story, with quotes, for those who would like to comment.

Something you haven’t heard in a long time: The first-place Thrashers.

Something you have never heard: Eric Boulton scores a hat trick.

Both occurred Saturday night as the Thrashers took over the Southeast Division lead by dominating New Jersey 7-1 in front of a Philips Arena crowd of 17,024. The win, coupled with Washington’s loss to Boston, moved the Thrashers one point ahead of the Capitals. The last time the Thrashers held a division lead was Oct. 10, 2008 – after a win in the first game of the season.

The Thrashers (18-11-5, 41 points) are 11-2-2 in their past15 games. They snapped a two-game losing streak, both shootout losses, by scoring three first-period goals.

“We can’t scoreboard watch too much, but we’d be lying if we said we all didn’t know we are in first place,” said Boulton, who sat in a locker full of hats fans had showered on the ice.

Asked if he had ever scored a hat …

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With focus on Byfuglien, others must step up

Radio broadcaster Dan Kamal asked Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay Saturday morning about the increased attention the opposition is giving to Dustin Byfuglien. The big defenseman is getting few opportunities to let loose his slapshot of late.

Here is Ramsay’s response:

“He’s a busy guy and he moves around a lot so if they focus on him, it’s up to other people to do the job and create their opportunities,” Ramsay said. “That’s one of the things with top players once they draw coverage, once they draw a few extra looks themselves defensively, then other people open up and they have opportunities to score. If someone wants to cheat on Buff we are going to have someone else open. That’s always been the priority of our team that everybody has to be involved offensively. Everybody has to try to score. It just gives other people chances.”

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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 …

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