Thrashers lose again, this time in shootout

Here is my game story from the Thrashers’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Panthers Friday night for those who would like to comment.

The Thrashers need to find ways to win.

They didn’t again Friday night.

Florida got a sixth-round shootout goal from Steve Bernier for a 2-1 victory Friday night at Philips Arena.

It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Thrashers (25-26-11, 61 points), whose playoff hopes are fading fast. The Thrashers are 11th in the Eastern Conference, six points behind eighth-place Carolina. The Thrashers have only six wins in the past 27 games and are 1-7-2 in the past 10.

“We found a way to play another great game,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “Forty-six shots. We did what we wanted to do. We were very aggressive. We showed some real speed up the ice. Then, pucks didn’t go in again.”

The Thrashers got a huge effort from goaltender Chris Mason, who entered the game to start the second period for Ondrej Pavelec. Mason stopped all 25 shots he faced through two periods and overtime. He made a huge shot on a breakaway by the Panthers’ Michal Repik in the final seconds on overtime to force the shootout.

“It’s frustrating,” Mason said. “We feel we are playing OK, but we are not getting the job done. We are not getting the points we need. You can’t be happy playing well. You have to do the extra things that are going to get you in the playoffs. For us, this is playoff hockey. If we don’t win now, we don’t get in.”

The Thrashers nearly had the go-ahead goal in the third period when Dustin Byfuglien blasted a point shot that hit the post, causing an echo throughout the arena.

The teams entered the final period tied 1-1. What else would you expect? All five of their games this season have been decided by one goal, the Thrashers winning three of them.

Blake Wheeler got his first goal as a Thrasher in the second period to tie the game. Wheeler, playing his third game after being acquired Feb. 18, jammed a puck past Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun with 2:48 left in the second. Wheeler squeezed the puck past Vokoun’s right pad and the goal post.

“It doesn’t really mean much,” Wheeler said of his goal. “You have to get two points. This time of year and the situation we are in it doesn’t matter individually what you do. … That’s the frustrating part of it. You come out empty handed. Tonight we got one point but you feel like you should have two. You want to have faith in what you are doing and sooner or later it’s going to change.”

Wheeler also scored the Thrashers lone shootout goal.

The Panthers opened the scoring 7:13 into the game as former Thrasher Marty Reasoner beat Pavelec with a wrist shot. Reasoner’s 12th goal of the season came on the Panthers’ fourth shot of the game. They finished with only seven shots in the opening period, but led going into the intermission.

“We are getting great play from an awful lot of guys,” Ramsay said. “The pucks just don’t go in. But they will.”

Pavelec left with an undisclosed injury suffered during first-period play. He remained on the bench for most of the game and was said to be available if something happened to Mason.

Notes: Forward Fredrik Modin was activated from injured reserve and was in the lineup. Modin missed the past five games with a mid-body injury. It has been an injury-plagued season for Modin, who has missed 24 games because of injury. The longest stint he has been able to play between injuries has been seven games. Patrick Rissmiller was re-assigned to AHL Lake Erie. … The Thrashers played their first game without veteran defenseman Brent Sopel, traded Thursday to Montreal. “He’s a true professional,” coach Craig Ramsay said. “He’ll be missed in the locker room. He’ll be missed on the ice. Other guys need to step in there.”

28 comments Add your comment


February 25th, 2011
11:15 pm

I was at the game tonight and even though the Thrashers took 50 plus shots on goal, most were right at Vokoun. Rarely were there great scoring chances where he made a fantastic save, most were shots right at him and those are not going to go in. Mason was unreal in goal coming in in the second period. I still can’t figure out why Antropov was in the shootout. He offered no move on Vokoun and basically walked in and took a horrible shot. I love the Thrashers but there is no way they make the playoffs. Three more games with Philly, two with Montreal, one with Boston, one with Vancouver and two with Carolina who they cannot beat for some reason. They also have Nashville and Buffalo left to play and Jersey twice who oddly enough is not far behind the Thrashers all of a sudden. Even the Islanders aren’t far behind the Thrashers.


February 25th, 2011
11:36 pm

Ramsay got a new plan – we need to get to the last place and get first pick for next year. Go Thrashers!

B. Thenet

February 26th, 2011
12:09 am

Craig Ramsay calling that a great game is a fireable offense in its own right.

We had 40+ shots on goal, but only a handful of true scoring chances. We never had anyone in front of the net. Our players couldn’t pass it to the open man in the offensive zone. We had several AWFUL power plays where we could not even set up our PP in their zone.

If Ramsay really thinks that was a great game, Dudley needs to do us all a favor and put him out of his misery and get him back as an assistant coach somewhere.

Puck Like A Porn Star

February 26th, 2011
12:28 am

It’s February, and we’re still giving up overtime points to Southeast division teams.

Of course, when we lose, it’s pointless anyway. Florida’s right at our heels!!


February 26th, 2011
12:35 am

Sure saw a lot of empty seats on TV….

Howie Morenz

February 26th, 2011
12:56 am

This is the kind of play that will get them to Winnipeg and make Atlanta officially give up on hockey. They should make tickets 20 for up top, 10 for middle, and a 5 dollar ice level deal for daring to get so close to the stench….


February 26th, 2011
1:35 am

It was a great game. The Thrashers played great in every aspect of the game except one, the final score. They will win games like that against very good teams. Florida played a frustrating and ugly 1-2-2 but great sticks in lanes defensive game. Both teams stuck to their systems all night and it’s clear that ATL’s outworked FL’s. Just a not so great outcome.


February 26th, 2011
1:42 am

I was there, and enjoyed the game. No doubt we lack “finishers”.
Was an exciting, and entertaining game. Hardly to make me or others “give up on Hockey”.
Furthermore, I detected no stench there tonite ….only after reading your “CRAP” did I detect
the smell of a sewer.
Nothing to see here “Peggy”.



February 26th, 2011
3:32 am

Great Game, you have to be kidding. All of the shots we had on goal were from way outside, with no rebound chance possible.

Ramsay is in Fantasy Land, this team is soft both physically and mentally.

Dwayne C

February 26th, 2011
4:22 am

This was said by Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay after the loss to the Panthers:

““We are getting great play from an awful lot of guys,” Ramsay said. “The pucks just don’t go in. But they will.”

I believe he’s right: the pucks will go in…during the final few games the Thrashers play after they’ve already been mathematically eliminated from any possibility of playing in the post season.

I hope the Atlanta Thrashers remain in Atlanta under new ownership. If they do there will obviously be a lot of work to turn this team into a playoff caliber club.

Fire Ramsay

February 26th, 2011
5:38 am

Winless in our last 5..overall 16 out of 19 I think. We at least got two real players from Boston, I enjoyed Dudley’s segment during the intermission, he isn’t entirely oblivious, he said this team needed the size and grit we traded for, hopefully he’ll continue that thought because like most..I still think we’re soft, I still think we have sub-par players who at best are good enough to almost win a game. We accept losing here, it’s a surprise when Mason comes in and actually plays well.


February 26th, 2011
7:00 am

Wonder if we’ll have another town meeting anytime soon? As an STH I’d like to know how we are going to transform this currrent team into a playoff team between now and next year.


February 26th, 2011
7:03 am

Since the Peverley trade we are 0-2-1. As great as Pevs pickup was two years ago, this trade will prove to be as bad in getting rid of him. IMHO

Matt from MN

February 26th, 2011
7:03 am

46 shots on goal? How is that even possible, because every time I turned the game on the Kitties were bottling the Thrash up in their own end. The lack of scoring we all feared at the beginning of the year has come back to haunt us.

Season Ticket Sonny

February 26th, 2011
7:10 am

I was away on a business trip and got back in time to see the Dudley interview before the start of the third period. I was positevly stunned to hear he received a four-year extension. Before questioning the merit of that move, the track record of the guy who (in all probability) gave it to him suddenly popped into my head!

Air Canada

February 26th, 2011
7:32 am

Welcome to Winnipeg!

Joe Friday

February 26th, 2011
7:55 am

“If Ramsay really thinks that was a great game, Dudley needs to do us all a favor and put him out of his misery and get him back as an assistant coach somewhere.”

No doubt, we played like crap and he once again had no counter for Florida shutting us down. NO idea on the shot count got to 46, there were very few scoring chances. Boring crappy hockey game. We have more talent than Florida, but they have a better coach = 2 pts for them

Enemas for Easter

February 26th, 2011
8:01 am

When will we win again?

Ogie Oglethorpe

February 26th, 2011
8:01 am

no mo

February 26th, 2011
8:35 am

the lowly thrashers are painful to watch—hopefully they leave town soon. Good riddance!


February 26th, 2011
8:40 am

the fight is missing from a lot of players…
Buff picked up his shooting tonight finally!


February 26th, 2011
8:52 am

Went to the game. Horrible experience. What happened to Philips? ASG is letting it turn into a dirty dump. How about a little clean up. Please sell the whole package soon!

Rammer needs to go. The team has no passion. Seems to follow his low key lead.

[...] Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec left last night’s game in the 1st with an undisclosed injury. He stayed on the bench for most of the game, and said that he could have went back in if something happened to Mason. [...]

Get The Puck Out

February 26th, 2011
9:39 am

They played an OK game. The talent level is just not there. Most of the players are playing to their ablity, which is AHL talent level. Thrashers need more quality, proven NHL caliber players to show the quality young players leadership and teach them how to play the game of NHL hockey. I don’t think i would worry about the playoffs. They need to try out all of the young talent they have, evaluate who has potential, and under new ownership next season pick up the UFA’s you need to round out the team. As for the coach, he is a teacher, but the pupils are not listening. We shall see…


February 26th, 2011
9:57 am

A couple of goals hit the post. The one by Buff actually caused the light to go on. Not bad, but but not good enough. It was a fun crowd. Pretty large considering where both teams are in the standings. Mason played really well which was nice to see. The teams are pretty evenly matched and the score reflected that fact.

B. Thenet

February 26th, 2011
10:01 am

Hard to imagine why Dudley gave Eager away for nothing, he is better than at least 4-6 forwards on our roster right now.


February 26th, 2011
11:31 am

Since the Peverley trade we are 0-2-1. As great as Pevs pickup was two years ago, this trade will prove to be as bad in getting rid of him. IMHO

Yeah, and what was the record in the 7 games prior to that? 1-5-1? A two point difference in
4 more games. That ain’t cutting it. I like that trade with Boston, I like the extension of Dudley. Dudley has at least shown the jewels and knowledge to make a move. HE traded for buff and ladd, re-signed Buff, and that is not easy to do when your team is tanking. We won’t get a better GM, and if he was released, he would go to another team and build them up to a serious contender. Be patient with the guy, as long he has support, then he will get the ship righted. Not necessarily this season or even next. I do expect an appearance in the playoffs come 2012. Eager sucked and cost games with his stupid play.

Ramsay is pissing me off right now, I don’t know what he is seeing out there. I understand he has to be positive, but this is a monumental collapse. We should just rename the team The Atlanta Mets.


February 26th, 2011
12:17 pm

Peverley led the team in face off wins and has a 55+% – the team is at 49.5 %. take away Pevs and that drops even more. With Burmi out we are severly restricted at winning the puck. Without the puck you can’t score.