What if Thrashers hadn’t allowed so many quick back-to-back goals?

PHILADELPHIA – If the Thrashers fail to make the postseason, which is likely with just six games remaining, it won’t be for a single reason. There are several things that have gone wrong this season.

However, one major issue has been the propensity to allow back-to-back goals less than two minutes apart. It has happened at an alarming rate – 24 times in 19 games. The stat reared its ugly head again in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Montreal. The Canadiens scored 11 seconds apart in the first period, the eighth time the consecutive goals have come in 39 seconds or less.

The Thrashers are 4-13-2 in those 19 games, nearly one-quarter of the season. Ten of the games came during the 30-game stretch when the Thrashers went 7-17-6 from Dec. 21 to March 3.

A case could be made that the back-to-back goal issue cost the Thrashers a playoff spot. They enter Thursday’s game against Philadelphia with 76 points, nine points behind Buffalo for the eighth and final playoff spot. Buffalo played the New York Rangers Wednesday with a chance to increase the margin.

In five of the 19 games, the Thrashers lost by one goal or two goals which included an empty-netter. Had they not allowed the quick-strike goals, a minimum of five points could have been obtained by going to overtime. That would put the Thrashers at 81 points, four points out of the playoffs. Manage just a win or two in extra time and the margin could have been less or gone.

“What an incredible opportunity we’ve had but we just have to focus on Philadelphia at this moment,” coach Craig Ramsay said.

If the Sabres defeat the Rangers in regulation Wednesday, the Thrashers would go into the matchup with the Flyers 11 points out with a possibility of 12 points remaining. A loss or a Sabres win or overtime loss the rest of the season would officially end the race for the Thrashers.

“It’s about pride and being a professional,” forward Chris Thorburn said. “That’s our job. We are in hockey because we love it. We are not mathematically eliminated yet. There is still some chance that we can make the playoffs. They way we do that is winning hockey games.”

Ramsay said that the responsibility for back-to-back goals allowed lies with the next line to play. It’s another lesson his team must learn going forward.

“You need to get to that point, you need to understand as a team, that if you are the line that goes out next after a goal against, or a goal for, your job is to get the puck and hold onto it for awhile to change the momentum,” he said. “You don’t want a team to jump all over you right after you score or they score. You don’t. You have to have the strength of character to go out and want the puck.

“We have to understand the significance of the shift right after a goal.”

QUICK STRIKE

The Thrashers have allowed opponents consecutive goals less than two minutes apart 24 times this season. In eight of those instances (in bold), the goals were separated by 39 seconds or less.

Opponent/Date/Time/Scorers/Result

Canadiens/March 29/:11/Hamrlik and Darche/Lost 3-1 (EN)

Sabres/March 19/:28/Niedermayer and Connolly/Lost 8-2

Sabres/March 19/1:50/Gerbe and Ennis/Mason/

Sabres/Feb.23/:30/Gaustad and Pominville/Lost 4-1

Oilers/Feb. 19/:39/Hall and Hall/Lost 5-3 (EN)

Islanders/Feb. 1/1:00/Okposo and Parenteau/Lost 4-1

Lightning/Jan. 23/1:42/Thompson and Tyrell/Lost 7-1

Stars/Jan. 15/1:58/Neal and Woywitka/Lost 6-1

Flyers/Jan. 14/:21/Shelley and Timonen/Lost 5-2 (EN)

Hurricanes/Jan. 9/1:36/Dalpe and Skinner/Lost 4-3 OT

Maple Leafs/Jan. 7/1:19/Armstrong and Kulemin/Lost 9-3

Maple Leafs/Jan. 7/1:50/Kulemin and Grabovski/

Maple Leafs/Jan. 7/1:14/Kulemin and MacArthur/

Maple Leafs/Jan. 7/:35/MacArthur and MacArthur/

Maple Leafs/Jan. 7/1:43/MacArthur and Kessel/

Bruins/Dec. 30/1:46/Bergeron and Wheeler/Won 4-2 SO

Bruins/Dec. 23/1:04/Ryder and Thornton/Lost 4-1

Maple Leafs/Dec. 20/:15/Grabovski and Kulemin/Won 6-3

Senators/Dec. 13/1:35/Neil and Spezza/Won 4-3 OT

Penguins/Nov. 13/1:59/Crosby and Malkin/Lost 4-2 (EN)

Blues/Oct. 30/1:46/McClement and McClement/Lost 4-3 SO

Lightning/Oct. 22/1:45/Lecavalier and Stamkos/Lost 5-2 (EN)

Sabres/Oct. 20/1:04/Myers and McCormick/Lost 4-1

Sharks/Oct. 16/:21/Heatley and Clowe/Won 4-2

43 comments Add your comment

Marcus Valdes

March 30th, 2011
2:57 pm

Hate to say it, but what if we had won more than two games since Feb. 11 in regulation? You can play this game all day long. Season over. Get ready for next season. GO THRASHERS!

Cornbread

March 30th, 2011
3:14 pm

Teams go on the attack when they score. It is when they are at their highest momentum and their opponent at their lowest. Witness Maxwell’s first career goal against Ottawa the other night. The Thrashers have not taken advantage of that enough this year. It’s almost as if they relax that they got one instead of trying to put the game away with an onslaught of scoring chances. But most importantly, the goals against gets right back to the goaltender who has not forgot about the one he just let in. Both goals last night were on Pavs. The team was pissed. You could tell by their reaction which I have rarely seen from them this year. The goaltending has not been there for them in these tight games or for most of the second half of the season.

Sherry Taylor

March 30th, 2011
3:36 pm

A professional football/soccer coach I once interviewed told me that the most dangerous time for an opposing team to score is within 90 seconds of a goal your team has scored, because in your mind you’re celebrating and you’ve moved on to the end of the match even though you are still in the middle of it. In other words, your mental toughness goes down. The same can be true if the other team is the scoring team. It all goes to what Ramsay mention, you have to stay focused (doesn’t matter what the sport) when a score occurs. Scattered focus leads to mistakes and then you find yourself in deep . . . um . . . trouble.

Michael B. Shapiro

March 30th, 2011
4:04 pm

Ok, so we give up too many back to backs. Who’s responsible? Players on the ice after the score, but what about the coaches who know we have a propensity for this? How many more times does this have to happen before Rammer and his crew address it THEN, even if it takes a time out to do it?

As to what Cornbread said, that’s the same problem with being unable to hold a lead. Team just doesn’t know how to put and keep the pedal to the metal.

Sigh another season watching teams in the playoffs from the oh-so-unwelcome TV screen. When will this misery end? We need real owners, a serious GM who will recruit and retain the talent and an NHL level coach.

Winnipeg Jet

March 30th, 2011
4:51 pm

Flew in from the ATL on BOAC
Didn’t get to bed last night
Oh, the way the paper bag was on my knee
Man, I had a dreadful flight
I’m back in the Winnipeg
You don’t know how lucky you are, boy
Back in the Winnipeg, yeah !!

Winnipeg Jet

March 30th, 2011
4:58 pm

Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
But they’re so spaced out, W-W-W-Winni and the Jets
Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh Bennie she’s really keen
She’s got electric boots a Thrasher suit
You know I read it in a magazine
W-W-W-Winni and the Jets

Wrath of Thor's fist

March 30th, 2011
6:23 pm

“Winnipeg sucks”. – Sincerely every player in the NHL.

Antrofan

March 30th, 2011
6:25 pm

I went to Winnipeg once. Some fella greeted me and said: ‘Welcome to Winnipeg. We were born here. What’s your excuse?”

sisu

March 30th, 2011
6:38 pm

many things went wrong, perhaps the only bright spot is that a lot of players are young and should be more mature next season…

Winnipeg Jet

March 30th, 2011
6:53 pm

sisu- the yougng players will be able to grow into Titans of the game once they get to Manitoba.
We will throw the fellas a ticker-tape parade! You guys still should be able to see Jet games on CBC and follow their progress.

lawlz

March 30th, 2011
7:02 pm

“yougng players”..ahh the Canadian education again at its finest and most amazing peak.

Winnipeg Jet

March 30th, 2011
8:28 pm

Wow the Thrasher blog got all of 11 hits. Pack your bags Thrashers!!!! Look forward to glory!!

Puck Like A Porn Star

March 30th, 2011
9:44 pm

What if the Thrashers had fired Don Waddell after Year 1?

Puck Like A Porn Star

March 30th, 2011
9:45 pm

Thrashers are staying in Atlanta. But you Winnipeckers still have winter to look forward to.

A very long winter, in fact.

You Can Have Them

March 30th, 2011
9:56 pm

What if the Thrashers were good?

KLS1

March 30th, 2011
10:08 pm

They do play like the old Winnipeg Jets…but we’ll keep them.

The back to back goals issue is the same as losing leads late in the game…this team is not focused and disciplined.

WOW

March 31st, 2011
6:57 am

If you give up some many back to back goals…and you don’t learn from your mistake(s)…you might be an idiot…

Chuck Norris

March 31st, 2011
7:08 am

Hopefully we go out in style tonight. It would be nice if we played aggressive and forced the issue for next season with some Flyers who have taken liberties. We all know how Carcillo plays, Sean O’Donnell destroyed Kane a few games back with a hit and has yet to answer for it. Clean hit..but a hit other teams would have took note of. Good article on Boulton on the main site, I hope he and Thor make their presence known tonight. I type all of this knowing we will sleep walk, play passive and get behind early and often, certain players will refuse to battle, simply go through the motions while looking forward to vacations and golf sessions.. etc etc. Prove me wrong Thrashers, play with some pride tonight win or lose.

gabugman

March 31st, 2011
7:55 am

What if someone, anyone, in the organization had a clue and appeared to give a $#it?

Careful what you wish for Winnipeg Jet…

Scroggy 7

March 31st, 2011
8:11 am

What if my Aunt had balls ???

thrash head

March 31st, 2011
8:22 am

Ifs and buts were candies and nuts – we’d all have a Merry Christmas.
The whole concept of this article is lame. If If If???
The issue is lack of depth – lack of money. Everybody forgets we were kicking a– until the injuries hit. We are close to be a solid hockey team.

Old Time Hockey

March 31st, 2011
8:24 am

Giving up 3rd period leads is what doomed this team. How many games did we have the lead in the 3rd only to lose? How many of those were in regulation? Who’s the stat guy here? For sure, the two are related. How many of the quick pair goals against were in the 3rd?

NHL Ready

March 31st, 2011
8:53 am

What if the Thrashers had a real Coach?

Not Blind

March 31st, 2011
9:12 am

What NHL Ready said. But remember hitting is overrated :rolleyes:

Jimbo

March 31st, 2011
9:43 am

As we wind down yet another disappoiniting season, it’s time to do a little Performance Review for Clueless Graig. It might do something like this:
1. Improved results over 2009-10. N
2. Secured a playoff spot- NO
3. Adjusted strategy and tactics to show improvement from the start of the season-NO
4. Created a strong sense of “Team”-NO
5. Demonstrated superior motivational skills-NO
6. As the “Face” of the on ice product, improved fan support-NO
Players are measured by + and – stats. A coach should be too. Time for a change.

George Soros

March 31st, 2011
9:55 am

What if Winnipeg Jet’s parents weren’t glue-sniffing lesbians? Perhaps he’d be more socially adroit and easily accepted amongst his peers.

whineypeg

March 31st, 2011
10:07 am

I feel like we endured another year with John Anderson because CR is just like him. Never any cohesion, he changes the lines that quite frankly look like guesses, he often broke up the greek god line when it was fully intact and producing like always. he loves to tire out the top lines. he sits players that should be playing and allows others to stink to high heaven while never sitting them. Horrible line changes..but then again i am fully cognizant of our roster and their capabilities which isn’t much at this point, 3rd and 4th line talent mostly.. CR is passive yet contradicts himself often, whispering for a commitment from players then saying things that basically insinuate ‘hitting is somehow not important’.. i mean which is it..what is the message..does he want players willing to battle and willing to block shots while telling them hitting is overrated? He really reminds me of the passive and clueless JA and i think we fans suffered enough watching that guy be an awful coach. it’s easy for us to criticize..but we’ve seen this coach before, we had him last year and this team plays just like that one for a reason.

Zombie Steve

March 31st, 2011
10:19 am

My advice to the team for the remainder of the season: drink heavily.

Old Time Hockey

March 31st, 2011
10:32 am

Zombie, Our previous, fat goalie tried that technique. I’d rather see some use of PED’s and get them hyped up and ornery. Start slipping it into their sports drinks and when they have to ask for larger helmets, skates and gloves, but smaller cups, then you know we’re ready!

NHL Ready

March 31st, 2011
10:33 am

Hey Scroggy7 I bet your Aunt has bigger balls than the Coach. We are doomed if he returns next year.

Sage of Bluesland

March 31st, 2011
10:59 am

“What if”…It sounds like this wretched organization’s motto during its entire existence here.

Caring ownership?
Competent management at all levels?
Organizational cohesion?
Leadership exhibited by players?

Sounds more like more of the same excuses which amazingly don’t bog down other teams.

Nope, it all adds up to one thing, though: Not another one of MY dollars for this collection of incompetence.

(Put that into your spweadsheet)

Always Hoping

March 31st, 2011
11:15 am

I would have felt so much better about this year had we started slow and finished strong with a playoff push. The great start we had gave us a head start to grab a playoff spot. Instead we flushed the great start down the drain. I can’t understand why we got worse as the season wore on. Schedule, injuries….nah. Every team has issues during the year but it’s how they react is what makes the difference.

As for me no renewal on my season tickets. This despite the price going down from last year. I have no faith in the owners, little faith in Dudley, and little faith in Ramsay. Add me to the list list of parishioners in the “Church of the Sage of Blueland”.

kovy

March 31st, 2011
12:49 pm

what is frogs had wings – they wouldn’t bump their butt

bob

March 31st, 2011
12:51 pm

Bring back Curt

bob

March 31st, 2011
12:57 pm

Bring back Rhodes

Byron Dafoe

March 31st, 2011
1:26 pm

anyone remember me? I hated Winnipeg too.

Winnipeg Jet

March 31st, 2011
2:24 pm

Here’s who you should bring back:
Boom Boom Geoffrion
Tom Lysiak
Curt Bennett
Eric Vail

Gib Traf

March 31st, 2011
5:14 pm

it’s not what if, it’s what now

You Can Have Them

March 31st, 2011
5:43 pm

What if we in first place? Damn that would be awesome. What if I were …

thrash head

March 31st, 2011
5:55 pm

Hey Winnipeg Jet – Boom Boom is dead you a–hole. Show a little respect for a great man!

Wienerpeg Trolls

April 1st, 2011
11:07 am

Here’s who you should bring back to Wienerpeg:

The WHA

Maybe then you could have your old Jets back. And only then.

Puck Like A Porn Star

April 1st, 2011
7:47 pm

Does Winterpeg have any pro sports besides blog-trolling and moose-humping?

Winnipeg Jet

April 5th, 2011
10:36 am

World class Curling.