Updated: Byfuglien, Dvorak game-time decisions vs. Devils

Dustin Byfuglien and Radek Dvorak missed practice Thursday and will be game-time decisions Friday against the Devils.

Coach Craig Ramsay said both players would skate prior to the game before a final determination of their status is made.

Byfuglien missed his first game of the season Wednesday after a lower-body injury prevented him from traveling to play the Hurricanes. The defenseman left Monday’s practice early and did not skate Tuesday.

Dvorak has been hampered by a hamstring injury since being acquired at last month’s trade deadline. He got treatment on the injury Thursday and Ramsay said he assumed the forward would play Friday.

“It’s not new and he’s played through it,” Ramsay said of the lower-body injury. “I probably played him more [Wednesday] night then we had hoped. With the game the way it was we needed him and he performed.”

As a precaution, the Thrashers re-called Ben Maxwell from AHL Chicago Thursday.

Shortened bench

Ramsay primarily used three lines for most of the second and third periods in Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Hurricanes.

Rob Schremp, who scored his first goal as a Thrasher in the first period, played only three shifts in the second and none in the third. The forward said he fully understands Ramsay’s strategy.

“It’s a stretch where it’s all about winning,” Schremp said. “If that’s what Rammer wants, that’s how it’s going to be. It’s about sacrifice for the team right now whether I score a goal, two goals. But if we need to shorten the bench to win a game it’s not the first time I’ve been in that position.”

Ramsay alternated Alexander Burmistrov and Tim Stapleton, who scored the game-winning goal, for several shifts late in the game to give other players a rest.

“It was one of those games,” Ramsay said. “They split up [Eric] Staal and [Erik] Cole for awhile and that made it even more difficult.”

Welcome to the NHL

Defenseman Paul Postma made his NHL debut Wednesday with Byfuglien out and the young player said he had a “blast.”

Postma said it took several shifts for his nerves to settle. The speed of the game at the top level also took some adjustment.

“When you sit up top everything looks really slow,” Postma said. “When you sit on the glass it looks fast. But when you are on the ice things happen really quickly. If you are not moving your feet everything closes off really fast. If you are going to make plays, you have to do it quick.”

Ramsay said he was impressed with Postma’s willingness to block shots.

“He blocked shots, which I didn’t know. He moves the puck crisply but he made a couple of plays that apparently might work on some other level but not quite what we are looking for. He moved around the ice fine. He wasn’t afraid to go into the corners. He blocked shots and that says a lot about a players’ commitment.”

21 comments Add your comment

Jeremy H

March 10th, 2011
3:23 pm

I’m certainly keeping my expectations in check, but picking up two points Friday night will be huge as the team toys with the idea of a competitive stretch run. They’ve (almost) got what it takes – they just need to put the pieces together.

Having depth to call on with guys like Postma is huge, too. He was rather impressive in his first NHL start. I’m looking forward to big things from this kid.

Dan was my favorite Thrasher

March 10th, 2011
3:25 pm

The Thrashers keep running out of steam in the 3rd period. I have to call their conditioning into question. Either that or their mental toughness. It’s been a problem all year long.

Blow this "team" up

March 10th, 2011
3:27 pm

What Dan said. Carolina had another gear last night and we came off several days of rest. Cole almost got us again last night. Why can’t any one cover him?

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
3:32 pm

“He moves the puck crisply but he made a couple of plays that apparently might work on some other level but not quite what we are looking for”

Sounds like a third of our team, just insert a different name.

So while Schremp admits that he may be a defensive liability, you’re telling me Ramsay would rather have a line of Kane-Antro-Stewart get victimized for the umpteenth time? How long is it going to take before the man realizes Stewart’s the biggest liability of any player getting big minutes? The line of Kane-Antro-Stewie (10 of the 12) or a similar variation with Stapes/Schremp at C has been on the ice for 12 of the last 20 ES goals allowed. Uh Ramsay, we have a problem.

Kulda is better than Postma

March 10th, 2011
3:48 pm

I wish Stewart could play like our other “Stuart”. Anthony loses too many one on one battles. Corvo isn’t physical at all but he beat Stewy all night for the puck on the boards battle that magically turned into good things for the Canes. We are close, but if we lose as many one on one battles as this team does, we won’t go far into the playoffs, we are too soft, again, as always.

ThrasherTim

March 10th, 2011
4:12 pm

I think it’s jump on A. Stewart day on the blogs…but I couldn’t agree more. I guess if we had more healthy forwards, the Coach could use the press box as a “tool” to get guys to work harder. Then again, it didn’t seem to help Bergfors too much.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
4:26 pm

I’m just getting tired of everyone but Stewart being held accountable for their mistakes. Stewart loses at least 2 or 3 wall battles per game but has seemingly not had to pay for his lackluster play with bench time, and he has yet to visit the pressbox. Watching the replay, I can see how out of position Schremp was on the first goal. But why not move Robbie to the wing with Burmi and Thorbs when you’re mixing lines the whole 3rd period (aside from the top line) anyways?

sisu

March 10th, 2011
4:33 pm

Hope steward is gone after this season…not to mention Stapleton…

siva

March 10th, 2011
5:13 pm

Pops on the kiss cam (the elderly couple on the kiss cam every game) Is in bad condition in the hospital. PLEASE KEEP HIM IN YOUR THOUGHTS.

Hockey Biltong

March 10th, 2011
5:22 pm

Siva, sorry to hear that…..will do.

Buff-n-stuff

March 10th, 2011
6:11 pm

Agree w/ Siva – Thoughts and Prayers !!!

Barry

March 10th, 2011
6:13 pm

I don’t know why Ramsay doesn’t play Wheeler centering on a line with Kane. He was there for a shift last night during a line change and they had some awesome zone time and cycle. I thought Dudley brought in Wheeler to be a big body in the middle but Ramsay puts him on the wing. I don’t get it…

R. Stroz

March 10th, 2011
7:47 pm

siva – Our THOUGHTS and PRAYERS go out to your family.

If Mr. Benning can see visitors, I’m sure some of us can work the back channels to see if any of the players can make a “surprise” visit.

Blow this "team" up

March 10th, 2011
8:44 pm

Siva – keep it real

simpleminded

March 10th, 2011
8:49 pm

thoughts and prayers for your family siva.

Dan and Blow didn’t do their reading. The blog said that Ramsay only rolled 3 lines after the first period and in the third, it was pretty much just 2 if you watched the game. The conditioning isn’t the problem, the lack of depth on the team is.

lordstan57

March 11th, 2011
2:57 am

My humble respect to them both, and their loved ones.
Prayers to you all.

GO THRASHERS!!!!

TheFan79

March 11th, 2011
7:05 am

It is must win tonight.

Blow this "team" up

March 11th, 2011
12:13 pm

“lack of depth” = our 1st line is ok the rest suck.

Tom Lysiak

March 11th, 2011
1:25 pm

siva, we hope for the best for Mr. Benning!

Tom Lysiak

March 11th, 2011
1:31 pm

Just saw on the other blog that Mr. Benning has passed away. You all have our sympathies.

Come Cheer Your Team - TICKET DEALS

March 11th, 2011
2:28 pm

As hockey fans, we want to show potential owners Atlanta wants a winner. Let’s get a good crowd tonight as our playoff hopes are still alive – ticket deals here:

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GO THRASHERS – KEEP THE NHL IN ATLANTA! – SEE YOU @ PHILIPS