Archive for February, 2009

Are The Peasants Truly Revolting?

During the French Revolution portion of Mel Brooks’ epic comedy ”History of the World, Pt. I”, Count de Money…no, no you fool, Count de Monet…de-Mon-A…approached King Louis XVI to inform him of an impending revolt against the crown.

“It is said that the people are revolting”…the Count, (portrayed brilliantly by the late Harvey Korman), tells him.

“You said it”, replies the King…”they stink on ice”.

Well, like the good King Louis, the collective partnership octo-cluster that is the Atlanta Spirit, LLC. may be facing the same type of social unrest…a type of “revolt” if you will… from the good and decent, hockey-loving citizens of Blueland.

To date, any such revolt has been a silent one…fans, in great numbers, simply have chosen to not pay the money to attend games this season. In the most recent home game, Tuesday’s 4-3 win vs. Colorado, the “official” attendance announced  was 12,101. But I tell ya kids, if there were 12K+ subjects in Blueland’s Castle Philips Tuesday night, …

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Thrashers Out-Powered In D.C.

The Atlanta Thrashers played right to the strength of the Washington Capitals Thursday night. The Capitals came the game wielding the NHL’s third best power play…a very impressive 23.8% efficient. The visiting Thrashers handed the Caps eight man advantage situation and Washington made them pay on three of them.

Here’s a thought…whenever the you’re are playing a team that has such a strong power play…don’t take so many dad-gum penalties! Just sayin’…

Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich both notch goals for the Caps as Thrashers sat in the box, giving their team an early 2-0 lead before Kaptain Kovalchuk scored a power play goal of his own before the break. The Peever tied the game at the 3:56 mark of the second period, taking a nifty outlet pass from Nic Havelid.

However, Mike Green scored the third power play goal for Washington with 7:35 left before the second intermission to give the Capitals a lead they would not relinquish.

Trailing 4-2 late in the game, Todd White took a …

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Get Shorty

Anytime you win a one-goal game you can look back upon it and find that the “little things” done during the course of the game turned out to make the difference. In the case of Atlanta’s 4-3 against Colorado Tuesday night, indeed the little things…or “short” things… came up big.

Short…as in short-handed goals.

The Thrashers were able to net a pair of shorties to get out in front of the Avalanche and then they held on late for the win. With the victory, the Boys of Blueland have a 4-2-1 record in the last seven games. For the month of February, they are 5-4-1. The win against Colorado was the first such home success since a 4-2 victory against Montreal on Januray 20.

Tobias Enstrom notched the game’s first goal as Thrashers were killing off a Ron Hainsey slashing penalty. In the second, Rich Peverley took a pass from Enstrom, moved left to right ‘tween the circles to beat Colorado net-minder Peter Budaj for Atlanta’s fourth goal of the night. This all happened while Todd White …

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Still Too Many Goals Being Allowed

Not to dampen the enthusiasm that comes with the Thrashers returning home after a fairly successful road trip, but there is this little bug-a-boo regarding the amount of goals being allowed by the team. Despite the 2-1-1 record, the opposition still managed to score 16 goals in the four games. Last Sunday in Anaheim, the Thrasher allowed 4 goals on 35 shots. The next night in L.A. it was a whopping six goals on 45 shots. Thursday in Phoenix saw 3 goals scored by the Coyotes on 33 shots and Saturday in San Jose the Sharks were able to get 3 of their 31 shots into the net.

The games in Los Angeles and Phoenix went to shootouts, but that still is an average of 4 goals and 36 shots during the four-game roadie. Kari Lehtonen was in goal for all but the game against the L.A. Kings.

The Thrasher’s season GA/A is 3.50 going into Tuesday night’s game against Colorado, a stat that is better only than Toronto’s 3.53. Atlanta is allowing 32.9 shots on goal per night…28th in the league and …

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Loss To Sharks Fin-ishes Road Trip

Raise your hand if you thought Atlanta was going to bring back with them five points out of a possible eight from last week’s four-game west coast swing. Uh, huh…not too many of you.

Dispite the 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks…the best team in the Western Conference…Atlanta returns home after one of their most successful road trips in quite a while.

As for the game in San Jose itself… really, I didn’t think the team played that poorly. Consider that the Sharks are 40-8-9 overall and 26-2-3 at home and we were knotted at 0-0 going into the third with them…not a bad showing. Granted, I don’t do moral victories here, but I do look for effort…and I saw that Saturday as I did for the entire trip.

Now the Boys of Blueland return back to the friendly confines of Philips Arena for a game Tuesday night with the Colorado Avalanche.

Or are they so “friendly”? Well, not as much as the road has been for the Thrashers.

After going 2-1-1 on this road trip, the Thrasher are 12-16-4 on the …

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Tell me if I’m alone in feeling this way…but last night when the Thrashers fell behind 3-1 to the Phoenix Coyotes in the second period, I kinda got the feeling that the O-fense was gonna find a way to come back and make a game of it. The way I figured things, they had scored a total of fourteen goals in the two previous games…fifteen if you count the gimmick shootout point…so I just felt at ease that they could find their way.

Indeed, they did as the new-look Little-White-Russian line, (same Little, same White, different Russian) kicked it in gear, scoring twice to tie the game in regulation and secure another point in the standings. The top line lit the lamp at the 12:16 mark of the second to pull within a goal…Ilya Kovalchuk worked his way up the right side and fed Bryan Little on the left side. In the third, Little returned the favor by assisting on Kaptain Kovy’s game-tying goal with but 53 seconds remaining on the clock. The play was made possible thanks to Todd White’s …

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While The Thrashers Wander In The Desert…

I have a minister friend of mine who lived in Arizona. Once he told me that he found that part of the country to be among the hardest of places to win converts. “See”, he would say, “Out in the desert of the southwest, during the winter time it’s so beautiful that no one wants to come inside the church…and in the summer, well, it’s so darn hot that nobody is scared of Hell”.

And that is where our Thrashers currently find themselves on this four-game west coast road trip…the nation’s 48th state, Arizona. Tonight’s game starts at 9:00 pm eastern as Atlanta goes into Arena in Phoenix to get ugly with the Coyotes.

So, while the Thrashers are wandering about in the desert climes, here a few items to keep you occupied…

Keeping Up With The Kaptain

If indeed the aliens… the ones that kidnapped the Thrashers bodies back in that memorable come-from-behind win against Toronto last month… have returned to do same over the past few games, then the the Captain of those …

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Steve Belkin = Dr. Evil? Surely You Jest

Steve Belkin…Dr. Evil.

To listen to Bruce Levenson, the two are one-in-the same. You know…come to think of it…I’ve never seen the two in the same room at the same time. Hmmmmmm….

Anywhooo, as Kristie Swartz reported yesterday, “In a memo cited in court Tuesday by Belkin’s attorney, Atlanta Spirit LLC co-owner Bruce Levenson mentions ‘Belkin’s misdeeds’ as a business partner and says his wrongdoings should have a ‘not-so-subliminal affect against the evil Belkin’”.

Can’t you just imagine the lawyer placing his pinkie to the corner of his mouth as he uttered the word… EEEeeee-vil?

At the root of this mess is the deal that brought Joe Johnson to the NBA Hawks from the Phoenix Suns a few years back. Belkin, who owns a 30% stake in the two teams and was supposedly the Hawks NBA representative of the eight,  didn’t much cotton to the idea.

But, the other seven wanted Joe and eventually Belkin stepped down.

Now, as I am quite sure all Thrashers and Hawks fans are aware, this week the …

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Shootout In LA…Literally

When the Atlanta Thrashers hitched up the ‘ol covered wagon and moseyed on out west, they had gone eight games in which they had only score 12 goals. When the horn sounded to end the first period in Monday night’ 7-6 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings, they had scored twelve goals in the first four periods played out on the left coast.

Hey guys, do us all a favor and make sure you bring some of that high-powered O-fense back to Blueland with ya next week, OK?

Jumping out to a 3-0 lead, as they did in Lala-land, always helps the cause. In the first 7 minutes and 41 seconds, Bryan Little, Ilya Kovalchuk and Todd White had scored goals to give the Thrashers an early lead. It also made for a quick exit for Kings goalie Jon…well…Jon Quick.

After leading 3-0, 4-1 and 6-3, the Thrashers saw their early success evaporate as the Kings scored three straight in the third to tie the game and send it to overtime. The tying goal was Anze Kopitar’s second of the game to go with two …

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Whoa…Did Somebody Step On A Duck?

To answer Rodney Dangerfield’s memorable query in the classic comedy “Caddyshack”…yes indeed somebody did step on a duck.

His name is Ilya Kovalchuk…and don’t wait for a polite “pardon me” for what was left behind.

Powered by Kaptain Kovy’s hat trick and a 43 shots on goal O-fensive performance, the Atlanta Thrashers skated away from Anaheim 8-4 winners on Sunday. That’s a pretty darn nice way to start off a week-long 4-game raod trip!

That’s right, the same team that had scored only 12 goals in the first 8 games after the All Star break…two of those being shutout losses…was able to build a snowman on the Ducks’ pond. Anaheim came into the game tied with the Rangers and and Sabres with the NHL’s 9th lowest GAA…2.74.

Apparently, after visiting with friends and relatives in Roswell, New Mexico, the aliens have returned and they decided to catch up with the Thrashers out west. We can only hope that they continue to stick around for a while.

In a very nice reversal of fortunes, …

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