Byfuglien has been “sore for little while”

Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has been “sore for a little while” and that his lower-body injury acted up in Monday’s practice.

Byfuglien did not travel with the Thrashers to Raleigh for tonight’s game against Carolina and will miss his first game of the season.

“He couldn’t skate again [Tuesday],” Ramsay said. “We decided to err on the side of caution.”

Byfuglien is the team’s second leading scorer (19 goals, 30 assists). Ramsay said the Thrashers will face a challenge without the all-star.

“You certainly wouldn’t draw it up that way, especially coming off the game he had the other night when he was involved in all of our goals,” Ramsay said of Byfuglien’s four-assist game against Florida. “He’s a special player. He’s done a lot of great things for us. But at this time of the year, it isn’t one player that wins it. It’s the whole team. Each player is responsible for being the best player he can be. If we do that, we’ve got a great chance to win each night. That’s the most important thing about developing a team is not relying on a single individual.”

The Thrashers list Byfuglien as day-to-day.

Postma arrives

Paul Postma will make his NHL debut this time. Postma will take Byfuglien’s place against the Hurricanes. Postma was called up in February, but did not dress in his one game before being re-assigned to AHL Chicago.

“I’m not Buff and I’m not going to try to be him,” Postma said. “I’m just going to worry about playing solid defensively and hopefully offensively I’ll get some chances. … I’ll do what I can but I have to be consistent in my own zone.

“I’m still going to shoot the puck and I’m not going to hold back if I do get those chances.”

That is music to Ramsay’s ears. He needs the defenseman to shoot from the point.

“We need him to shoot,” Ramsay said. “I tell most young players who come in here they are not here just to make other players look better or to get the veteran players the puck. They are here to show us what they are all about. We need all of our players trying to do that.”

Postma will begin his NHL debut paired with Johnny Oduya.

Pavelec declares himself 100 percent

Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal after missing four games with a right wrist injury. The goaltender declared himself completely healthy.

“No, absolutely not,” Pavelec said when asked if there was still pain in the wrist. “No issues any more. I’m 100 percent ready to go.”

Chris Mason played the last four-plus games after Pavelec left after the first period of the Feb. 25 game against Florida. Mason went 2-2-1 while stopping 122-of 132 shots.

Line shakeup

The Thrashers will start with several different line combinations tonight. The most notable changes are Evander Kane moving to a line with Rob Schremp and Tim Stapleton. Schremp will center the line and Stapleton will move to right wing.

Here are the combinations and pairings:

Ladd-Little-Wheeler

Kane-Schremp-Stapleton

Thorburn-Antropov-Stewart

Boulton-Burmistrov-Dvorak

Enstrom-Bogosian

Hainsey-Stuart

Oduya-Postma

25 comments Add your comment

Alan R.

March 9th, 2011
1:33 pm

I’d love to know what “a little while” means. It could mean since that open-ice hit on Hordichuk, or it could mean he’s been injured since January.

Darren

March 9th, 2011
1:41 pm

I’m sure he’s a nice guy and all, but can we officially call the Tim Stapleton experiment a bust? I like how he hustles and all, but he is basically an empty uniform

[...] ATL Ondrej Pavelec [...]

Russian

March 9th, 2011
1:43 pm

**to Alan R**
I guess it is second one. He got injured January. :-(

Russian

March 9th, 2011
1:45 pm

**to Darren**
and NEVER Finished a PLAY. he has lot of chanses and score only one goal. He has to go to AHL.

Nicolle

March 9th, 2011
1:48 pm

I agree with ya Darren. Stapleton hasn’t impressed me at all. Call up Machacek agai or one of our other hyped about prospects.
Hope Buff feels better for Fridays game we’ll need him

SCHUBERT

March 9th, 2011
2:30 pm

I’M STILL AVAILABLE.

Alan R.

March 9th, 2011
3:27 pm

Russian – I remember those awkward falls into the boards back in January. Just seems odd to me that now, it comes out about a “lower body injury.” If I recall correctly, the brunt of force on the Hordichuk hit was higher up.

kj

March 9th, 2011
3:31 pm

i think it’s a left labia injury….

Blow this "team" up

March 9th, 2011
3:42 pm

Got to save him for the Playoffs. LOL.

ThrasherTim

March 9th, 2011
4:00 pm

These new lines (other than the top one) make no sense to me.

cheif of smoke

March 9th, 2011
4:35 pm

Do we need some Free Agent Forwards in the off season or what ??

Buzzeng

March 9th, 2011
4:50 pm

Have to agree with ThrasherTim…

Smoothie

March 9th, 2011
5:17 pm

kj – ouch!

Brendan

March 9th, 2011
5:54 pm

Let’s be honest. Does this lineup scare anyone?

kj

March 9th, 2011
6:06 pm

Smoothie – sorry, I just wish he’d be a little more intimidating out there. He’s like Lenny in Of Mice and Men…..

Dwayne

March 9th, 2011
6:12 pm

Lines 2 thru 4 are sad man, just sad.

sisu

March 9th, 2011
7:10 pm

Finally they bump up Schremp! Made no sense to play him on the 4th or 3rd line. He has loads of potential a top center!

sisu

March 9th, 2011
7:12 pm

Wonder how long Steward is going to stay on this team…I think he has out lived his welcome.

Blow this "team" up

March 9th, 2011
9:44 pm

What the h*LL is that Eric Cole kills the ATL Thrashers? He had 3 breakouts? I am sorry. I don’t think our coaching is that good.

Mike

March 9th, 2011
10:00 pm

Darren,

Still want to declare Tim Stapleton a bust after the GWG?

I think Stapleton is better than Mahacek. Spencer is TERRIBLE.

One decent line and 3 AHL lines, but they got the win tonight. I just wish we didn’t give Carolina a point tonight

Blow this "team" up

March 9th, 2011
10:24 pm

3 AHL lines is right. Canes dominated the 2nd and 3rd. They just wore us down.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
12:15 am

kj – no worries, I thought it was funny. He DOES need to be more physical if he’s not gonna block shots and stop playing soft near the cage.

Old Time Hockey

March 10th, 2011
12:16 pm

I actually thought Stapleton played one of his better games, even before the OT winner. He was backchecking like a demon. And the game winner was a perfect example of what his strength is. Speed to the net.

hockeyguru

March 11th, 2011
5:42 pm

Byfuglien is the second leading scorer on the team. He was coming off a multi-point game. He has been playing with a wrist injury and a leg injury for weeks. (I saw the games where each of these injuries happened.) He misses one game and this is the reaction? Does anyone on this blog really, really think that he did not want to be out there against the ‘Canes?