Archive for March, 2011

Line changes have Schremp at center vs. Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Rob Schremp will get his chance Thursday.

The Thrashers forward, picked up on waivers from the New York Islanders on Feb. 28, will play center against his former team. He will be between Evander Kane and Radek Dvorak. Schremp played mostly right wing in his nine previous games with the Thrashers.

“I put him in at center some against Buffalo [Saturday],” coach Craig Ramsay said. “He’s a natural centerman. … I’m hoping he has a spark in here that he wants to show the Islanders that they made a mistake. That’s what happens to many guys when they come back to a building that they’ve been in and they want to show that organization up a little bit. Hopefully he does that. He’s a decent faceoff guy. He can make plays. He can score in tight. We are hoping that he’s going to come out and have some jump.”

Mason gets start in goal

Chris Mason will start against the Islanders, the first of back-to-back games for the Thrashers. Ondrej Pavelec is likely to start Friday’s …

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Schremp has something to prove to Islanders

Greetings from Long Island.

Here are some notes from Wednesday’s practice in preparation for Thursday’s game against the Islanders.

Rob Schremp didn’t circle March 24 on his calendar. But the Thrashers forward is looking forward to Thursday’s game against the New York Islanders.

The Thrashers claimed Schremp on waivers from the Islanders on Feb. 28 after the 24-year old had scored a career-high 10 goals in 45 games. Thursday, Schremp returns to the Nassau Coliseum.

“It should be fun,” Schremp said Wednesday. “I was just there a month ago. There will be a lot of energy going into the game. They had my rights and they put me on waivers. It’s a chance to go back and play against them and prove what I can do at the NHL level.”

The Islanders claimed Schremp off waivers from Edmonton, which drafted him in the first round (No. 25 overall) in 2004. He appeared in just seven games with the Oilers over three seasons. In his two seasons with the Islanders, Schremp played in 89 …

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Thrashers-Islanders preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: at Islanders

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

TV; radio: SPSO; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* The Thrashers return after Saturday’s 8-2 loss to the Sabres. The Islanders are coming off Tuesday’s 5-2 win over the Lightning.

* The Thrashers have 10 games remaining, six on the road and seven against team currently in playoff position.

* The Thrashers power play is 0-for-8 over the past three games.

* Ron Hainsey has six points (one goal, five assists) in the past six games.

* Patrice Cormier (upper body), Freddy Meyer (upper body) and Jim Slater (concussion) are out for the Thrashers.

- Chris Vivlamore

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Thrashers moving forward after loss to Sabres

The Thrashers insist there are lessons to be learned in Saturday’s embarrassing 8-2 loss to Buffalo that likely cost them a playoff berth.

That doesn’t make the bitter loss any easier to swallow.

“It doesn’t make it easy,” captain Andrew Ladd said. “It doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it acceptable. That’s what we have to learn in this room. It’s not acceptable to not be ready to play in a game like that. We need better effort. We’ll chalk it up to another learning lesson but we have to move on.”

The Thrashers held their first on-ice workout since the defeat Tuesday. A victory against the Sabres would have pulled the Thrashers to within two points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Instead, they are now 12th and seven points out heading into Tuesday’s NHL schedule. They could fall further behind with Buffalo, Carolina, Toronto and New Jersey – all ahead in the standings – in action.

“That was definitely a game to set us up and see where we …

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Ramsay holds individual meetings with players following bad loss

The Thrashers did not have an on-ice workout Monday. In the team’s first day back after Saturday’s 8-2 loss to the Sabres, I spoke coach Craig Ramsay about the game and what’s next. Here is a complete transcript from the interview.

Q. Did the day off Sunday change your take on what happened on Saturday?

A. I think I have a little better perspective on it. It’s still very difficult to understand. To give up a goal in (24) seconds happens. It certainly isn’t right. It’s not a way to start a big game, but we got it back. Here we have a chance. After that, we took silly penalties. We didn’t compete at the top of our game which was really a shock. We have 10 games left to compete at the top of our game each and every night. That’s what we are trying to get through here today. To make sure they understand whatever has happened is gone. It’s over. Our job is to compete like a team, look like a team, act like a team for the last 10 games.

Q. Are you speaking to the team …

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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 …

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Playoffs have already started for Thrashers

The Quote of the Day comes from Thrashers captain Andrew Ladd. I asked Friday if the must-win situation the team finds itself in – along with playing tight games – will help if/when the Thrashers make the playoffs.

“Philadelphia last year was playing playoff hockey the last month [of the season],” Ladd said. “It translates and keeps moving all the way through. Sometime you are better off that way. In Chicago [last season's Stanley Cup winner], we weren’t playing our best hockey even in the first round. It took us a round to get going. Sometimes it’s better to battle your way in it and already be in that playoff mode.”

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Thrashers-Sabres preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: at Sabres

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

TV; radio: SPSO; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* The Thrashers are 4-1-1 in their past six games and are coming off Thursday’s 4-3 shootout win over the Flyers.

* The Sabres are coming off Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to the Hurricanes, the last of a seven-game road trip where they went 4-2-1.

* The Thrashers lead the NHL in overtime/shootout games with 26. They lead the league with 10 overtime wins and 12 overtime/shootout losses.

* Evander Kane has points in four of the past five games, including three straight. He has one goal and four assists.

* Patrice Cormier (upper body), Freddy Meyer (upper body) and Jim Slater (concussion) are out for the Thrashers.

- Chris Vivlamore

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Thrashers face ‘huge’ game against Sabres

There is no lack of superlatives when the Thrashers discuss their next game.

A playoff berth hangs in the balance over their final 11 contests and none is bigger right now than Buffalo on Saturday. It’s “huge” and “the biggest game of the year by far.”

The Thrashers enter the game 10th in the Eastern Conference just four points behind the Sabres for the eighth and final playoff spot. A win – especially in regulation – would put the Thrashers back in the thick of the playoff race.

“I think we all understand it’s a huge game,” defenseman Mark Stuart said Friday. “That goes without being said. We can’t put so much pressure on ourselves where we are gripping our sticks [too tight] and not playing our game. Everyone in this room knows it’s huge – as does Buffalo. Basically we have to approach this as a playoff game. That’s the best thing we can do.”

The Thrashers have come a long way in a short time. That’s life in the NHL this time of year. Following Tuesday’s loss at …

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Another dramatic win for Thrashers over Flyers

Here is my game story from Thursday’s victory over the Flyers for those who would like to comment.

If the Thrashers are going to make the playoffs, they will need to beat playoff-caliber teams down the stretch.

They did so Thursday.

The Thrashers earned a 4-3 shootout victory over Philadelphia, the top team in the Eastern Conference, at Philips Arena to keep their postseason hopes alive. Eleven games remain in the regular season and seven are against teams that began Thursday in playoff position.

Rob Schremp and Blake Wheeler, both acquired last month, scored shootout goals for the huge victory.

The Thrashers (30-29-12, 72 points) jumped to 10th in the conference with the win and some help. They are tied with Toronto four points behind Buffalo, Saturday’s opponent, for the eighth and final playoff spot. Carolina is ninth, two points ahead of the Thrashers. Toronto and New Jersey lost Thursday to help the Thrashers improve their position.

The Thrashers defeated the Flyers in …

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