Updated: Kane off IR, will play vs. Flyers

The timing couldn’t have been better for Evander Kane’s return.

The forward was activated from injured reserve Friday in time for the Thrashers game against Philadelphia.

Kane has missed three games, including the past two, with a mid-body injury. After two days off and two days from practice this week, he declared himself fit to play.

“I hope he really is ready,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “He said he was. We need him to play. We need him to skate and play physically. Tonight, against a team as big and strong as the Flyers, we have to be physically ready. He can do that. He’s ready to go and excited about playing.”

Kane was injured after being checked into the boards against Pittsburgh on Dec. 28.

To make room for Kane, the Thrashers re-assigned Tim Stapleton to AHL Chicago. Stapleton and Spencer Machacek were re-called on Sunday as the Thrashers were without forwards Kane, Jim Slater (concussion), Fredrik Modin (mid-body) and Ben Eager (suspension).

Ramsay said the decision to keep Machacek, 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, was aided by Friday’s opponent.

“It was more about having a big body. I though Stapleton played well the other night [against Carolina]. … The Flyers are a big team. I thought Machacek brings a big presence, another board guy. We can use him on the wing and use [Chris] Thorburn in the middle and let him bang around in the middle and give us another big body at center because we are pretty small at center.”

Rookie line

The Thrashers used rookies Patrice Cormier, Alexander Burmistrov and Machacek on a line again Friday. The three played together Sunday at Carolina.

Ramsay said he likes what the three bring as a unit, especially their communication.

“They played quite a bit the other night and I thought they played well when they played,” Ramsay said. “Later in the game they didn’t play quite as much. I did have Machacek out in overtime. I gave them an opportunity. I want them to feel like they are part of the team. We play three games in four nights again. Everybody has to play. Everybody has to be ready to go. We need to grow our team. We need to see these boys play. I like the kids. They play well together. They talk a lot. … Cormier and Machacek were very alert on the bench as far as matchups. They were helping me out with matchups.”

Burmistrov struggles

Ramsay is hoping the rookie line combination will have a positive affect on Burmistrov. The center has struggled of late, with just two assists in the past 15 games. He had 13 points (five goals, eight assists) through the first 31 games.

“He needs a little spark,” Ramsay said. “He needs something good to happen. He seems to be enjoying himself with these two people. I think that’s a wonderful opportunity for him to pick up his game and get back to where he was.”

12 comments Add your comment

Buff-n-stuff

January 14th, 2011
5:38 pm

First !!!
Excellent

HookyBob

January 14th, 2011
5:44 pm

Hope Kane is truly ready to go. We do need his size and grit against the Flyers.

Also encouraging is that Spence gets to stay a bit longer.

Godspeed to Jimmy Slater on his recovery.

Buff-n-stuff

January 14th, 2011
5:45 pm

Love the “all rookie line”…..You heard it here first – I
bet they get 2 goals and 5 points tonight !!!

Smoothie

January 14th, 2011
6:30 pm

I hope Burmy doesn’t get run by one of the Flyers’ anvil-headed role players. Then again, with Giroux, Zherdev, Briere, Leino, JvR and Nodl, they may not be any tougher than our line-up. Their “3rd line” of JvR – Carter – Giroux must be shut-down. That’s gonna be the key match-up. I expect Kane – Lits – Stewy on them all nite.

DawgDad

January 14th, 2011
6:54 pm

Coach speak alert. Ramsay effectively contradicted himself, saying the rookies played well when they played but then didn’t play as much late in the game. He’s on record as holding a preference to roll four lines for three periods as long as the players earn the right to keep playing. If they played well, as Ramsay said, then why didn’t they keep playing? Poor bench coaching?

Thrash desperately need Kane back and effective. Slater needed, too. It’s not like the Thrashers have a roster full of all-stars up front; if a player comes in and shows signs of being able to help they need to get a good look.

Thrashy Thrashy

January 14th, 2011
9:58 pm

Not sure what it’s going to take to get these guys going again, but Ramsey and the boys need to figure something out real soon. There’s nothing wrong with having the intention of attacking the other team, but if you can’t possess the puck in the third period of a close game at home, you’re not going to win. You’ve got to get the puck and keep it. We’re not doing that right now and it’s killing us.

upnorththrasher

January 14th, 2011
10:19 pm

Game just ended, I think Antro’s career with it. If he is injured sit him, but he is not helping the team.
Slow with no back checking ability. The third goal for Philly was a brutal effort on a chip out. I cant believe this guy is one of the Thrasher best options.

Gwinnett Fred

January 14th, 2011
11:09 pm

Just got home – be careful out there folks, still plenty of ice, and have these observations:
1- Thrashers played a GOOD game
2- You don’t beat GREAT teams playing good hockey
3- Antropov SUCKS.

Not just tonight, but all damn year. When he shoots it’s like he has a warped stick. When he should hit somebody, he shies away. The last XXL player we had that played like a Sally was Sutton and #80 needs to exit as well.

Other than being a no-checking, no-skating, no-defensive SLOW a$$ forward – I’m sure he’s a great communist worthy of going home to Russia.

He is simply the result of a bad signing. He was only brought in to supposedly increase the odds of Kovy signing. What a crock of horses&^t that was. Kovy played Waddell like a fiddle and got a big contract for his commie pal.

Why do we let ourselves continue to get burned by these Russians? Kozlov has a great year, then we overpay to keep him. Kovy talks of bolting so we sign Antropov because Kovy said to. Kovy says he’ll negotiate in good faith because he really wants to stay – then takes less money to sign with the Devils.

I’m done – tonight was my last time paying good money to see this team play until #80 is off the roster.

There, I feel better now.

Gwinnett Fred

January 14th, 2011
11:17 pm

Oh yea – observation #4.

Kane playes with a LOT of energy tonight, but showed serious rust having not played in a couple weeks or he would have had at least 2 goals.

Brendan

January 15th, 2011
12:17 am

Careful Gwinnett Fred, or a poster named “Big Al” will come out of the woodwork to call your a rabid anti-Russian racist. And, clearly, you are not. But on that topic, to this very day, I still delight in knowing that Slava Kozlov and his infamous “no trade clause,” are really and truly gone from our ledgers. Seemed like an eternity. Much like Holik’s albatross of a contract. And Zhitnik’s buyout.

Re: tonight’s game, I thought Atlanta had a good chance to win, heading into the 3rd period. I’m sorry we didn’t get the W, or any points. We were also playing last year’s Finalist, and one of the elite teams of the 2010-11 season. It’s time to look towards the next game.

Gwinnett Fred

January 15th, 2011
12:32 am

Brendan:

Not up on good old Big Al – but if he wants to tag team against me, he can have #80 and I’ll take Stewie and kick their butts.

Speak of the Devil – I was shaking my head driving home wondering which was worse – the Antropov deal or the Holik one. I think I’ll stick with the Antropov one just because of the TWO factors: (1) he sucks and (2) he was signed only because Kovy said he’d ‘like to see it’.

But you’re right, this one’s in the books, nothing to do about it now.

Off to Dallas – wonder if we see Kari Saturday??

Brendan

January 15th, 2011
6:38 pm

I hope we do see Kari. And I hope Kari has a good game. And I hope we win. I’d love a 2-1 win, in regulation, or overtime. I don’t care if we toss a “pity” point back to Dallas. They’re in the Western Conference.