Ramsay questions Thrashers’ courage in loss to Sabres

Nik Antropov had no words.

Chris Mason measured his.

Craig Ramsay didn’t mince his at all, saying his team “collapsed” and “panicked.”

The Thrashers’ 8-2 loss in Buffalo on Saturday was costly and it is sure to fester until the team returns to the ice Thursday on Long Island.

“I think we collapsed,” the coach said after the game. “We had two breakaways and a penalty shot in the first period and their goalie made saves. We scored a big goal off a draw to get it to 1-1 and give ourselves a chance.

“Then we took some stupid penalties. I was very disappointed in our forwards, for sure, and their complete unwillingness to try to block a shot. I thought our defense let two goals come out the short side, which we’ve talked about all year long – never allow them out the short side. Twenty four seconds into the game they go out the short side for a goal to get us off to a start like that. It was really disappointing.

“We didn’t really compete. It shows up when players are trying to get out of the way of a shot rather than into the way a shot. That kind of says it all. It was extremely disappointing to watch that. We had a whole bunch of guys feeling sorry for themselves and looking around trying to find someone else to blame instead of looking at themselves and taking charge.”

As the Thrashers return to practice on Monday, they are seven points behind the Sabres for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 10 games remaining. They are looking up at the Hurricanes, Maple Leafs and Devils.

“This is a bad time for this game because now we sit for five days,” Ron Hainsey said. “For a number of reasons it couldn’t have come at a worse time.”

The Thrashers fell behind 24 seconds into the key game against the Sabres Saturday, when a victory would have pulled them within two points. They managed to tie the game in the first period, but Ramsay said after missing two breakaways and a penalty shot his team began to feel sorry for themselves. He also questioned the team’s commitment to do what is necessary to win games – especially a crucial game such as Saturday.

“I think we’ve made some wonderful strides with our team and I now watch players getting out of the way so they don’t get hit with pucks and not winning battles in the offensive zone, I’d say I would be quite distraught with the competitive level of our team in a game of this importance,” Ramsay said. “… In a pressure-filled a game we reacted poorly. We were panicking with the puck instead of having composure and wanting the puck to make a difference. Once we missed our chances we started feeling sorry for ourselves.”

33 comments Add your comment


March 21st, 2011
8:05 am


March 21st, 2011
8:05 am

bla, bla, bla


March 21st, 2011
8:08 am

It’s about time that the old Hockey Whisperer called it correctly. This is a team without “an edge or grit”. We fold when the going gets rough. Stewart and Thorborn for all their size are wusses. And, old Clueless Craig has made few strategic adjustments all season long. We’ve played the same old open neutral zone D. and have let everyone run through our turnstiles without paying the price. He’s a beaut!


March 21st, 2011
8:19 am

Mathmatically – they still have a chance at the playoffs. That’s what Don would say…
However, most Thrasher fans knows that the “Fat Lady” not only has sung, but now has left the building.. Even SportsClubStats has the Thrash @ .6% chance of making it
Do you believe in miracles?


March 21st, 2011
8:25 am

Actions speak louder than words………..especially in hockey.


March 21st, 2011
8:27 am

So, Ramsey finally calls this team out with 10 games remaining? He should’ve questioned this teams heart during the January swoon and maybe they wouldn’t be on the outside looking in!


March 21st, 2011
8:44 am

Brett- RIGHT ON!


March 21st, 2011
8:49 am

It’s too bad Freddy Meyer isn’t being played. He may not have had the size, but he showed the guts and desire that this team is needing right now. That kind of positive attitude can lift a team.

Not Blind

March 21st, 2011
9:06 am

Just like this team, I have tuned out the coach. His lips are moving but I don’t hear anything.

This guy gets his one big [ last ] chance at a head coaching position and completely blows it just like this team has blown the opportunities they made for themselves in November and December. Dudley has to fire Ramsey, strip the C off of Ladd, and let Torchetti have the reins for the last few games just to set the tone for next year. Otherwise there is no real point in even playing these last few games of the season.

steve brown

March 21st, 2011
9:45 am

Really poor leadership by Ramsey. The ship sinks and he calls the crew cowards. What about the ship’s Captain-Ramsey has probably sealed his own fate.

Old Time Hockey

March 21st, 2011
9:49 am

Jim, Meyer is injured. Would be great if he and Slater were available.


March 21st, 2011
10:14 am

Rammer words are so true.

NHL Ready

March 21st, 2011
10:22 am

That was a typical Thrasher response to a important game. I hate to say it but we have to start all over again next season. That’s if we have one here in Atlanta. The Coach has to go if he stays we are doomed once again no matter what caliber players we have. I think the Coach needs to go now! and cash it in for the season. Now is better than later. SEND the message Dud’s. Fire the wuss Coach and sit the slackers. Let the kids play and get some experience. It is over folks this team fell apart under bad leadership.

da' boomer

March 21st, 2011
10:42 am

i tell you dis jigg, i question da coaching


March 21st, 2011
11:47 am

One of the funniest things I read consistently on this blog is how if Jim slater were healthy he would turn this team around…really?

First of all he hasn’t been healthy in two seasons. And he is a grinder that frankly has been given every opportunity to compete at the NHL level and disappoints. I appreciate the hustle and there may be a role for him on this team, but savior of the thrashers he is not.

Everet the Optimist

March 21st, 2011
11:52 am

Mark this down…..Thrashers will go 8-1-1 in the last 10…….Rammer will holler at an official and Don Wadell will take the credit.


March 21st, 2011
12:02 pm

I so agree with you KLS1 with all the comments lately that Slater would make a difference in the games were are losing. Give me a break people, he is a third or fourth liner and yes he is good at penalty killing and maybe faceoffs but to question if we would be losing if he was playing is hilarious! In Buffalo it was goaltending that lost that game and the D were BAD, not saying the forwards were great, we needed goals and did not get them and the coaching also lost us that game. Start making the guys that are taking the penalties pay and don’t give them their next shift!!


March 21st, 2011
12:03 pm

Enter your comments here

Riddle me this

March 21st, 2011
12:11 pm

I also question the coach.

Riddle me this

March 21st, 2011
12:12 pm

Slater is a 4th liner. Like he was answere. Give me a break.


March 21st, 2011
12:14 pm

Not sure even changing coaches would fix this team. I think that Steward can be added to the long list of borderline players who have spent a season or two with this team. Imagine if there was actually a pure goal scorer the results would be different. The team is filled with 3rd and 4th liners with a few 2nd liners. No true NHL caliper 1st liners in this team, youth is rushed into service versus developing the talent…

No clear solutions but new owners would be a step in the right direction.


March 21st, 2011
12:21 pm

Lots of fully and half accurate comments, but it still comes down to this: this team sorely lacks talent. What we saw in the Fall was a mirage. The team responded well to the new staff, but were unable to sustain that level of success due to talent, or lack of.

And that is due to a lack of ownership commitment.

Let’s see what Dudley is allowed to do this off-season and see what the staff can do with it. If the team is floundering again in late November/early December, then I’d agree with the idea of terminating Ramsay.

Riddle me this

March 21st, 2011
12:35 pm

polski dawg: similar to UGA football, I’m not sure how many more “wait until next season(s)” I can take.


March 21st, 2011
1:40 pm

Amen Riddle me this…its unfortunate for the current coach and GM because I realize getting this team into the playoffs this year is like pulling a rabbit out of their hat.

They are rightfully looking at development and building a winner long term, but the fans patience has run out…and thier interest is quickly following.

Gwinnett Fred

March 21st, 2011
2:01 pm

I’m not totally in agreement that this team has a lack of talent.

You don’t embarrass Detroit and sweep Philly like we have without some pretty good talent.

I think the better word for it is ‘consistent’ talent – which is TOTALLY lacking.


March 21st, 2011
2:50 pm

Atlanta Spirit Group:
Please sell the Thrashers before the stench in the building gets so bad that the whole place has to be demolished.

northern exposure

March 21st, 2011
3:34 pm

Team has very little talent, a fair amount of speed which is not used properly. How many times do you see endless D to D passing in defensive zone, even when down by a goal or more? It seems as they are running out the clock instead of trying to catch up. How many times do you see passive defensive play, sticks on ice out in front, when playing 5 on 5 ? Good teams do not give you the puck, you have to go get it. Short quick passes going forward, not backward create odd man rushes, again speed not being used. This all goes back to coaching. Ramsey HAS GOT TO GO.Bring up Postma, stick with Bogasian, coached properly he will eventually be a top defenceman, rest of defense o.k. but Buff HAS to play forward, his talents are wasted at defense.


March 21st, 2011
3:37 pm

The ASG has screwed this NHL franchise up so badly that the ASG will most likely have to pay someone to take the Thrashers off of their hands.


March 21st, 2011
3:53 pm

Slater may not be the answer but the guy has the one thing this team lacks……………HEART! He may not be the most skilled, but you can count on him to bust his can each and every shift! He and Thorburn have more heart between them then the rest of the team combined.Also where’s our captain Ladd? Is he the captain? What has he been doing in the room the 2nd half of the season? Anything? Pathetic!!!!!

Not Blind

March 21st, 2011
3:57 pm

Polskidawg, Waiting until Dec next year could easily end up with us having an exact copy of this year where you have a strong Nov and Dec and then a total fade starting in Jan. Truthfully, we are stuck for the rest of the year as Dudley won’t fire his buddy. The best we can hope for is for Ramsey to finish out the year and then announce his retirement.

Here is a question for the masses. Is Torchetti – A, pulling his hair out when Ramsey is not looking or -B, does he actually believe in Ramsey’s system and will continue with the same exact system next year [ leading to mass insanity in Thrashers fans ] ?


March 21st, 2011
4:53 pm

I agree with the comments about this team being loaded with a lot of 2nd, 3rd and 4th line players. The best result that you can expect with this talent is to be fighting for a playoff spot. The teams that go far in the playoffs have far more talent and more replacement pieces just in case. I think that Kane has the potential to be first line talent. Little, Byfuglien, Enstrom, Pavelec, Bogosian, and Ladd are playing at the next level below at best, and the rest of the roster is below that. Some of these players have the potential and have shown flashes of playing at a higher level but nothing consistent. The jury is out on Cormier and Burmistrov still. As far as I can tell, none of the players in Chicago can step in and play at any better than a 3rd or 4th line player or defensemen.

What happened (or didn’t) at the trade deadline said volumes to me. The team needs scoring talent and some depth, we got only some depth. Essentially, we don’t have enough spare talent in our organization to give up in a trade and we certainly can’t waste our draft choices on the same (I’m glad they didn’t do that either). Dudley and Ramsey basically replaced some parts with players that fit their system in the long haul — nothing that upgrades us for this season. Blake Wheeler, Rob Schremp, and Radak Dvorak weren’t going to solve our talent and scoring dearth. Wheeler and Stuart may be nice pieces for Ramsay next year.

This team will only improve when our drafting and our pipeline — our minor league system— improves.


March 21st, 2011
5:16 pm

this is not an awful team– the base of a good team is there. Pavs, Buff, Ladd, Kane. Burmy will get better. But As mentioned by other posters, a #1 scoring threat is missing. (NO, not a 1-dimensional threat like Kovy) Let Hainsey walk– that will free up $6 mill for 2 GOOD d-men. Decide whether Bogo is going to be a cornerstone or not. Not close to a Cup contender, but just 2-3 players away from a playoff spot.


March 21st, 2011
5:19 pm

When will a hockey team in this town stop making excuses, settling for the same old lack of effort, not continue to allow the same types of goals and mistakes over and over again?

I enjoy hockey. I am not a puck-head by any stretch of the imagination.
But, i have been watching the same effort (and lack there of), the same types of losses in important games… for the last decade.
I think Coach Ramsey is the right man for this job and can change the culture in this organization if giving the right support. But i have one word for ALL of the players: