Byfuglien questionable after leaving practice early

NEWARK, N.J. — Dustin Byfuglien is questionable for Tuesday’s game against New Jersey after he left practice early Monday.

The All-Star defenseman has a lower-body injury that caused him to miss last Wednesday’s game at Carolina.

“He’s made some pretty miraculous recoveries,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said after Monday’s workout.

Byfuglien is third on the team in scoring with 50 points (19 goals, 31 assists).

The Thrashers re-called Noah Welch from AHL Chicago as a precaution. Welch, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, has appeared in two games for the Thrashers this season in two different stints.

Face guard for Thorburn

Forward Chris Thorburn practiced with a face guard Tuesday to protect several stitches in his lip. Thoburn was cut, accidently he said, by the stick of Philadelphia’s Danny Briere Saturday.

“I’m getting used to it,” Thorburn said.

The guard, made of clear plastic, covers just the mouth area.

Kane shows off speed

Evander Kane started the Thrashers’ dramatic comeback against the Flyers Saturday with his goal 1:09 into the third period. After a faceoff in the defensive zone, Kane took the puck all the way up ice before he beat goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. It was the first of four third-period goals for the Thrashers in a 5-4 overtime win.

“It changed everything,” Ramsay said. “In the second period he showed flashes that he was into it. To me that’s what we need to see from him. He was showing flashes that he was skating. He was attacking. He wanted the puck. … He’s starting to get pucks and go up the ice with that kind of speed. He’s a pretty hard man to contain when he’s skating up the ice like that.”

A scoring change Monday gave an assist to Ron Hainsey on the goal. It was originally scored as unassisted.

Pavelec back in goal

Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal against the Devils on Tuesday. Pavelec stopped 9-of-12 shots against the Flyers before being replaced by Chris Mason. In relief Mason stopped 11-of-12 shots, allowing only a power-play goal, for the victory.

Dvorak on the mend

Radek Dvorak, acquired at the trade deadline on Feb. 28, has been slowed by a hamstring injury since joining the Thrashers. He does not have a point in six games but Ramsay says he sees signs the forward is on the mend.

“He looked better [Saturday] night,” Ramsay said. “He looked pretty good again [Monday]. We are starting to see the skating. We need that. They way we like to play should be a way that suits his game. As long has he’s feeling healthy, it should be a good fit for both of us.”

Dvorak, a 15-year NHL veteran, had seven goals and 14 assists for Florida this season prior to the trade.

No Pronger

The Thrashers will not face Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger this season, including their final two games to be played later this month. Pronger missed Saturday’s game with a right hand injury. The team announced Monday that Pronger will have surgery Tuesday and could miss three to four weeks.

The Thrashers host the Flyers on Thursday and travel back to Philadelphia on March 31.

Pronger also missed the Jan. 14 contest between the teams.

Line changes Monday

Here are the practice lines from Monday:

Ladd-Little-Wheeler

Kane-Stapleton-Dvorak

Thorburn-Antropov-Stewart

Boulton-Burmistrov/Maxwell-Schremp

16 comments Add your comment

tommy2tone

March 14th, 2011
6:26 pm

First! Move ‘em to Gwinnett!

Brendan

March 14th, 2011
6:29 pm

Who knew our team was this banged up? They looked just fine in Philly!

Puck Like A Porn Star

March 14th, 2011
10:23 pm

Gwinnett already has a hockey team, yes?

[...] super-sized defenseman for a bit, though, as he’s questionable with an upper body injury according to Chris Vivlamore. Dustin Byfuglien is questionable for Tuesday’s game against New Jersey after he left practice [...]

JLH

March 15th, 2011
1:50 am

Thanks Chris…… Its great that you are travelling with the team so much this season. Was Byfuglien healthy during last Friday’s NJ game?

Barry

March 15th, 2011
2:09 am

I personally would like to see the lines look more like this…

Ladd-Little-Stewart
Kane-Wheeler-Dvorak
Thorbun-Antropov-Stapleton
Boults-Burmy-Schremp

Dudley brought Wheeler here because he wanted more size and speed in the middle so Wheeler needs to be playing in the middle.

Rob

March 15th, 2011
6:14 am

Is Stapleton really a second line center?

Dwayne

March 15th, 2011
8:10 am

Rob, no he is not, he sucks and would not be on any other NHL clubs 4rth line.

Shaemus

March 15th, 2011
9:33 am

I am the GLOBAL MODERATOR.

All comments must be approved by me – otherwise I will be sending you each “virtual warnings” via PM.

I am the king of the internets.

Ray

March 15th, 2011
9:53 am

Keep Stewart on the third, possibly the fourth line. He’s soft as a marsh-mellow. Don’t split the first line since it’s our only consistent scoring line.

Old Time Hockey

March 15th, 2011
11:09 am

Would LOVE to see Slater between Kane and Dvorak. Does he even skate anymore? Is it just the headaches keeping him out? Stapleton might be a good fit just because of the speed needed to keep up with Kane and Dvorak. Speed can beat the trap.

Delbert D.

March 15th, 2011
7:49 pm

Byfuglien is questionable any time he has to show ID at airports. Nobody can type it into the system correctly.

Puck Like A Porn Star

March 15th, 2011
8:03 pm

Ask Brodeur if Stapleton sucks.

TheAntiMe

March 16th, 2011
3:00 am

I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night, a candle glows.
I believe that one day this time of year will mean something for the Atlanta Thrashers. I believe, I believe.

DooDoo

March 16th, 2011
10:03 am

Stapleton is playing well but he’s still a 5 foot nothing DW player, I’d prefer speed and grit, not just speed. 3 goals, I guess that counts for secondary scoring on this team. Glad to see Thor get one, it feels like it has been a long time since he scored.

I’m sickened by Anthony Stewart, of all the talk about commitment and playing hard, I don’t see why no one in this organization including teammates haven’t taken him aside and explained what hard work is. If Ron Hainsey can figure it out after 3 or 4 years, I guess there is still hope for Stewart.

That no-goal call on Kane was tough to swallow. Watching Kovalhog score the empty netter made me throw up a little in my mouth. He at least reminded me of why I disliked him when he was here, he sure likes to go 1 against 5, forgetting the other guys in red jerseys, just like he used to forget the other guys in blue ones.