Archive for March, 2011

Talks continue in possible sale of Thrashers

Thrashers president Don Waddell said Thursday that talks continue with three entities interested in purchasing the team and keeping the franchise in Atlanta. Waddell said talks have primarily been with two entities but that he did not want to eliminate the third yet.

Waddell said that the entities interest is in the purchase of the Thrashers and not to become additional investors in the Atlanta Spirit, which also owns the Hawks and Philips Arena. Waddell has been dealing directly with three entities, two groups and one individual. Two of the entities are from Atlanta.

“There is not much new to report, but talks continue,” Waddell said.

Two other groups have also expressed interest in purchasing the Thrashers, Hawks and Philips Arena from the Atlanta Spirit. One had meetings with officials from the NBA and the NHL. Despite their interest, Waddell said he has no direct dealings with a group interested in purchasing all three properties.

At least five non-disclosure …

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Thrashers focused on game at hand, not dire playoff picture

The Thrashers have little margin for error.

Such a luxury is long gone. A 30-game stretch, just over a third of the NHL season, with a 7-17-6 record has put the Thrashers on the brink of elimination from the playoff race. The Thrashers (29-29-12) have 70 points and entered Wednesday’s schedule tied with Toronto and New Jersey, six points behind Buffalo for the eighth and final playoff spot. Carolina, which hosts Toronto Wednesday, leads by four points for the ninth spot. The Thrashers, who have points in four of their past five games, enter Thursday’s game against Philadelphia with 12 regular-season games remaining. There are not a lot of chances to gain an edge on four teams.

“We are all agreed, we have to win, whether it’s 10 games or 11 games,” Thrashers defenseman Ron Hainsey said. “We have to win. If we string together a couple of losses we’ll be in deep trouble. Really the focus is on whatever it takes [to win]. It doesn’t matter who scores, who blocks a …

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Video: Final playoff push

After Tuesday’s loss to the Devils, CineSport’s Noah Coslov asks the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore what the Thrashers need to do in order to make the playoffs.

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Thrashers-Flyers preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: vs. Flyers

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

TV; radio: FSSO; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* The Thrashers and Flyers meet for the second time in six days. The Thrashers scored four third-period goals Saturday for a dramatic 5-4 overtime victory.

* The Thrashers couldn’t keep the momentum from the win, falling to the Devils 4-2 Tuesday. The Flyers defeated the Panthers 3-2 Tuesday.

* There are 12 regular-season games remaining for the Thrashers. Eight games are against teams currently in playoff position and two against opponents that are one spot out of the postseason.

* Andrew Ladd has 14 points (10 goals, four assists) in the past 15 games.

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

- Chris Vivlamore

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Evander Kane on highlight-reel assist

In the Thrashers’ 4-2 loss to the Devils Tuesday night, Evander Kane’s first-period assist of Tim Stapleton’s goal was noteworthy. The no-look, spinning, back-handed pass to Stapleton was featured as a top play on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

Here is what Kane had to say about the play following the game.

“I knew what I was doing. I saw Tim heading to the net and the defense was pinching off. If I got him the puck the only way I could do it was the spin-around back-hand pass so I was able to put it on his stick and he made a great play to finish it.”

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No-goal call stops Thrashers comeback

Caught a flight back from Newark last night but here is my game story from Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Devils for those who would like to comment and/or read what Thrashers had to say about Evander Kane’s waved off goal.

Thrashers practice today at noon at the Duluth Ice Forum.

NEWARK, N.J. — The Devils did it — again.

New Jersey scored four unanswered goals en route to a controversial 4-2 victory over the Thrashers on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.

New Jersey’s Jacob Josefson scored the game-winner with 4:14 into the third period. The Thrashers failed to hold a two-goal lead in a loss that damaged their playoff chances. It was Atlanta’s second defeat to the Devils in its past three games.

The Thrashers appeared to tie the game at 3-3 with 42.7 seconds remaining when Evander Kane tipped a point shot from Tobias Enstrom into the goal. However, the referee immediately waved off the goal, calling Kane for playing the puck with a high stick. The call was upheld after a …

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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’ …

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Thrashers-Devils preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: at Devils

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

TV; radio: SPSO; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* The teams meet again after the Devils won 3-2 in overtime Friday. Both teams won the following night. The Thrashers defeated the Flyers 5-4 in overtime and the Devils defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime.

* The Thrashers lead the NHL with 25 overtime games. They rank first with 10 overtime wins.

* Blake Wheeler has eight points (four goals, four assists) in 10 games with the Thrashers.

* Former Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk has a goal in all three games against his former team this season.

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

- Chris Vivlamore

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Malarchuk asked, Thrashers delivered

PHILADELPHIA — Craig Ramsay had no words.

Clint Malarchuk had something to say. For that, the former goaltender gets an assist on what could be the Thrashers’ biggest win of the season.

Atlanta rallied for a 5-4 overtime victory over Philadelphia, the top team in the Eastern Conference, Saturday night after entering the final period down by three goals. Ron Hainsey scored the game-winner after the Thrashers totaled four third-period goals.

Ramsay said he decided not to speak to his players at the second intermission even as they trailed 3-0. What else could the coach say? The Thrashers played a strong game and were still losing. It has been all too reminiscent of their recent struggles.

Their playoff hopes were about to take another hit.

Malarchuk, the team’s goaltending consultant, had just announced that Chris Mason would enter the game to start the third period in relief of Ondrej Pavelec. Then he turned and addressed the rest of the team.

“We had to change …

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Thrashers’ playoff hopes alive with dramatic victory

Here is an updated story from Saturday’s dramatic 5-4 overtime win over the Flyers Saturday night for those who would like to comment. There were so many story lines in the game. Goaltender coach Clint Malarchuk gave the second intermission speech, along with a goaltender change, that aided in the victory. That will be a story for tomorrow as the Thrashers travel to New Jersey for Tuesday’s rematch with the Devils.

PHILADELPHIA – It was fan appreciation night in Philadelphia on Saturday. The Flyers gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about early.

And then the Thrashers spoiled the party. In a big way.

Ron Hainsey scored with 3:43 left in overtime to cap a remarkable Thrashers comeback for a 5-4 victory at Wells Fargo Center. The Thrashers scored four times in the third period to pull out the victory that appeared a loss several times during the evening.

Hainsey has two game-winning goals and a game-winning assist – all in overtime – in the past seven games.

Asked if he is …

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