Zach Bogosian will be the healthy scratch for the Thrashers Monday against Florida.
Coach Craig Ramsay is clearly sending a message to his slumping team – and not just to the young defenseman – that he is needs a better effort. The Thrashers have lost four straight and won just three of the past 12 games.
A team meeting was held prior to Saturday’s game against Dallas – one Ramsay described Monday morning as a “hard meeting where we demanded more of them.”
Bogosian, who has particularly struggled of late, will sit in favor of Freddy Meyer. The defensive pairings will also be changed with Meyer playing with Ron Hainsey. Johnny Oduya and Brent Sopel will also be paired.
Here are several excerpts from Ramsay’s morning interview:
* “We’ve talked to a few of the players about just not working hard enough. We think it’s OK to think we are working hard enough but we are not. You have to push yourself harder. That’s where we are as a team. We’ve played well, but winning is better. We’ve got to put in the extra effort.”
* “We just have to be a little bit better in our own zone. We’ve got to be a little bit more committed. We need our shot blockers, our defense joining rushes.”
* “It’s vital in the world these days to score goals. As much as we have given up too many, we’ve played pretty well. You need to get ahead. You need to score some more. That was a hallmark of our team halfway through the season was that we did score. Now, we are not scoring quite as much. It puts a lot of pressure on your defensive play. We want to continue to emphasize that everyone has to be involved up ice.”
* “For the first 10 minutes [against Dallas Bogosian] was very effective. Things then didn’t go his way. We need to have slightly better effort from a lot of people. We need to get to a point where we are moving some people in and out. As thin as our lineup is, it hasn’t been easy. I think it’s important that players understand there is an accountability issue. You must do the job every night. You must be committed for 60 minutes. We have to be solid. I think there are some issues on our team about ‘I’m playing well enough.’ OK isn’t good enough. You have to play hard each night, every night.”
* “I was hoping for a few players – [Alexander Burmistrov] being one of them – that those few days off would help. But our focus has to be not just playing good enough, not just playing, but being a big participant in the group. And scoring. We have to understand that each person who dresses is vital to our team. … Players must understand they can’t be looking to other people to play better, to do the job. Every person on our team has to want to be that guy.”
Check the new blog for updated information on Chris Mason going on IR and Peter Mannino being re-called from AHL Chicago.