A new streak begins, Enstrom to return vs. Rangers

Tobias Enstrom starts a new streak tonight.

The Thrashers defenseman, sidelined for six games with a broken finger on his right hand, will play against the New York Rangers at Philips Arena. The injury snapped Enstrom’s franchise record of 296 consecutive games played.

“It’s been tough,” Enstrom said. “It’s my first time being hurt and watching from the side is tough. I want to be out there and play the game.”

The injury also caused Enstrom to miss the NHL All-Star Game after his selection. The original diagnosis was that Enstrom would miss 2-4 weeks. He missed a day shy of three weeks after blocking a shot – which ironically came at home against the Rangers.

His recovery time did not surprise Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay.

“Toby surprises a lot of people a lot of times,” Ramsay said. “I look back at the first game he missed (versus Tampa on Jan. 23), he wanted to play. We knew it was not going to be a good idea. The doctor stepped in and made the right call. Looking at it now, this kid wants to play under just about any circumstances.”

Enstrom will be reunited with fellow All-Star and defensive partner Dustin Byfuglien. His return figures to help the Thrashers in several areas. Enstrom was a leader in ice time, led the defensive zone breakouts and played the opposite point from Byfuglien on the first power-play unit.

“He’s been brilliant for us,” Ramsay said. “Obviously, we missed him. He’s a guy that makes people around him better. He plays a lot of minutes. He handles the puck well. He’s very cool under pressure. He’s been important on the power play. Having him back in the lineup is a big step forward.”

The Thrashers went 1-4-1 without Enstrom in the lineup.

Arturs Kulda was the defensive scratch with Enstrom back in the lineup. Johnny Oduya and Brent Sopel were paired with Ron Hainsey and Zach Bogosian the other set.

Eric Boulton returned to the lineup after missing the past four games as a healthy scratch. Fredrik Modin has not practiced since being hurt in the second period of Monday’s loss in Toronto.

The line combinations will be:

Ladd-Little-Bergfors

Kane-Antropov-Stewart

Cormier-Stapleton-Thorburn

Boulton-Burmistrov-Peverley

24 comments Add your comment

Big Momma

February 11th, 2011
12:02 pm

Yay! Cue the comeback – to the playoffs!

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution Analysis: Enstrom missed the past six games with a broken finger. He was a top-10 scoring defenseman at the time of his injury, so he should be activated right away. His return should also help his struggling defense partner Dustin Byfuglien. [...]

Brendan

February 11th, 2011
12:38 pm

Toby Enstrom turns 27 in November. Is it really ‘right’ for Ramsay to still be calling him a ‘kid?’ He’s in his 4th complete NHL season. I like it when coaches refer to their players as ‘kids,’ up to the age of, perhaps, twenty-one (21).

Brendan

February 11th, 2011
12:39 pm

R.Stroztradamus, what’s your prediction for the date of the Nic Bergfors trade?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajc sports editor and Bianca Bruno, Chris Vivlamore. Chris Vivlamore said: New Thrashers blog posted: Enstrom back in lineup. http://bit.ly/fytkYL [...]

DEAL WITH IT

February 11th, 2011
12:41 pm

Toobias “The Kid” Enstrom

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew Duncan and Bianca Bruno, Chris Vivlamore. Chris Vivlamore said: A new streak begins, Enstrom to return vs. Rangers http://bit.ly/hNKCLt [...]

Geoff

February 11th, 2011
12:51 pm

When you’re Ramsay’s age everyone is a kid

Jim

February 11th, 2011
12:53 pm

Brendan. He produce for Trashers. Why?

Thrasher_Ed

February 11th, 2011
1:18 pm

I personally would not like to see Bergfors included in a trade. I think he has a future here with the Thrashers. But can we please trade the joke of an ownership group. My god they care nothing for this team. We as fans deserve much better. I had such high hopes with Dudley and Rammer stepping in this year and sadly I feel like I will just be let down again, by a lack of moves and action by this suck butt ownership group.

Joe

February 11th, 2011
1:57 pm

Go Boulton ! Another hat trick tonight

Zombie Steve

February 11th, 2011
2:01 pm

Brendan, compared to Rammer, everyone is a kid!

DEAL WITH IT

February 11th, 2011
2:14 pm

Expecting big things tonight. If the Thrashers go down 3 or more goals in the 1st or 2nd period I’ll be at in time for Law and Order.

Bout time

February 11th, 2011
2:22 pm

Boults is back! Beat up Prust and score a goal.

Hoof Arted

February 11th, 2011
2:42 pm

Great news about Toby and I’m happy that Boulton is playing again. Now if there just a way to get Stapleton to sit as well.

Brendan

February 11th, 2011
3:14 pm

Jim, Bergfors has been in the Thrashers doghouse for much of the season. Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him moved, especially since … he is an “asset.” At the trade deadline, “assets” are what’s dealt.

Brendan

February 11th, 2011
3:16 pm

Geoff & Zombie Steve, I suppose you’re right. I’d pay Craig Ramsay, at this point, to remove the word ‘wonderful’ from his daily discourse.

Flagstaff

February 11th, 2011
3:46 pm

Brendan: Re. the “kid” comment, I kind of agree… plus, with Matt McConnell calling him “Little Toby” (which, for the record, I coined at my household earlier this season than McConnell came up with it!), you have to wonder how he feels. Sure, he’s frail, blond, Swedish… and on the Strat-O-Matic Hockey Game (a retro-style board game), his “intimidation” factor is 0… that’s less than Kovalchuk. But still, he’s a man, and he is our best player IMO. Is it really right for the professionals to refer to him in these demeaning terms, even in a joking way?

Brendan

February 11th, 2011
4:57 pm

I bet Enstrom takes it all in stride, Flagstaff. Down at ice level, one can only imagine how much players demean and belittle each other, in intimidation, between whistles. That’s just part of hockey.

I used to think that smaller stature people could never make it in hockey. But watching Marty St. Louis (perennial All-Star, Stanley Cup Champion) and Danny Briere (Missed Gretzky’s record for points in a Stanley Cup Finals Series by one (1) in the 2010 playoffs) achieve all that they have … I absolutely changed my opinion.

Craig Ramsay could probably make a joke about knowing Thomas Jefferson, personally, and get away with it, with chuckles all around. Ramsay might joke that Darren Eliot is a “youngster,” for example. Still, Tobias Enstrom is closer to 30 than he is to 20. I, personally, wouldn’t call him a kid. And certainly not to his face.

A27

February 11th, 2011
5:04 pm

So should we stop calling Byfuglien Big Buff….. This is hockey not the WNBA. Give me a break… sheesh. So anyway we need this win bad, lets get it done. GO THRASHERS!!!!!!!

Come See NHL

February 11th, 2011
5:50 pm

Time to support your team……..the NHL is just a drive away right now….don’t take that for granted given the ASG situation……

Brendan

February 11th, 2011
6:21 pm

A27, definitely keep calling him, “Big Buff.” He digs that!

By the way, don’t discount the ladies’ INABILITY to dunk in the WNBA. They have ‘good fundamentals.’

Let’s go Thrashers, for a win tonight. In REGULATION-TIME!

Rob

February 11th, 2011
7:12 pm

Are they going to give Stapleton 25 games to try to score one goal??

Bout time

February 11th, 2011
8:17 pm

So far I am half right, Boulton did in fact beat up Prust!