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 was sitting in the sin-bin on a hooking call.

Speaking of The Peever…since snatching him up off of the waver wire just over a month ago, he has scored 5 goals, assisted on another 13, is a +4 and…most importantly…the Thrasher are 8-9-1 with him in the lineup, as opposed to 14-24-5 prior to his aquisition.

In between the two shorties, the Thrashers built a 3-0 lead in the first…only to see the lead cut to one on a pair of Milan Hejduk goals. The first coming with only 1:28 remaining in the first and the other one at the 11:01 mark of the second. Honestly, that second period goal is one Kari Lehtonen should have had. He look almost surprised that Hejduk actually snapped it off from the right circle and his right leg was late closing the gap.

On the night, though, Kari did stop 30 of the 33 shots he faced…including a possible game-tier with only a few ticks on the clock.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored a goal on five shots…his six-game scoring streak had been snapped in San Jose. Kaptain Kovy now has 10 goals and 14 points in the last 8 games.

Marty Reasoner netted Atlanta’s third of the game…he also finished a +2. Reasoner has finished with a “plus” or “even’ rating in the past fifteen games and 18 of the last 19. For the year he is a +7. I know this guy is a UFA at season’s end and more than likely will be moved next week at the trade deadline…but this is one guy I’d love to see around here longer. He was brought in to be a #3 centerman and he has performed admirably as such, even playing well on the #2 line when asked to do so. So far, he’s got 10 goals, 21 points and only 26 PIM. Remember, he took Bobby Holik roster spot from last year’s lineup. Last year in Atlanta, Holik had 15 goals and 34 points to go with 90 PIM as a-14 in 82 games played.

East Coast Lottery

With the loss Tuesday, the Avalanche are now 28-32-1 and their 57 points land them in last place in not only the Northwest Division but the Western Conference as well. However, Colorado is still but 8 points removed of a playoff position out west.

Those same 57 would place them in 11th place in the Eastern Conference as Toronto, (56 points)…Ottawa, (55 points)…Tampa Bay, (52 points)…Atlanta, (50 points),,,and the New York Islanders, (42 points)…all are Eastern Conference teams with fewer points at this time.

If that holds up, that would mean all 5 lottery pick teams would be from the east.

Hooked On A Feelin’

Jackie Blue told me before the game that she “had a good feeling” about the Thrashers chances against the Avs. Well, indeed…whatever it was that you were feeling, Jackie B…I hope it gets ahold of you more often. It was a pleasure to have met your husband as well. See ya’ll Saturday!

35 comments Add your comment

jason

February 24th, 2009
11:42 pm

I think the team was just inspired by the crowd…you know….short-handed…..

Brendan

February 25th, 2009
12:07 am

Oooh, oooh, Jackie Blue. What’s a game girl, if you never lose? She’s our good luck charm, Rawhide. And her hubby is quality hockey fan, as well.

Hey Rawhide, if you think skim milk evaporates quickly, wait ’til you see Thrashers attendance figures! I’d say we had all of … 7,412 fans tonight. Hey, at least they saw a win! It’s nice to win. What’s this, the 10th home win on the season? R.Stroz, I still stand by my pick of 27 wins for the season.

I thought Reasoner had a nice game. It will be disappointing to lose him. Atlanta has two (2) choices: (1) it must re-sign Reasoner before March 4th, or (2) it must trade him by March 4th. Reclaiming Reasoner’s paltry $1.0 million salary (you were right all along, Rawhide, it was Jason Williams who made $2.2 million,) hardly seems like some “blessed silver lining.” Ya know what’ll happen to that $1 million in reclaimed cap space? Yep, it’ll be used to overpay some Tier II free agent, to lure him here, instead of a more contending team.

It will also be disappointing to see Eric Perrin leave. Don Waddell was pretty upset at the results of the 2008 season. As I recall, he blamed some “veteran players” for the slide all the way back to 28th in the league. Well, Perrin is far from a rookie. So, the punishment was that Perrin didn’t get a proactive contract last July 1. And, let’s be honest, how’s it lookin’ for Perrin to be re-inked by Atlanta next year? Would he even WANT to return? If either party doesn’t want to back in Thrasher blue next season, then (pending UFA) Perrin must be moved. No matter how much the ladies might like him. Now, I’m sure there will be those who say, “But Perrin so utterly replaceable, possibly with a younger player.” Maybe so. But Perrin makes $750,000. That’s a bit of a bargain. I can’t rightly tell you what Perrin’s next contract might be, but stop for a minute, will ya? True or False? This team is going to have trouble meeting the floor of the cap again next season. What would it cost, REALLY, to re-sign Eric Perrin? $1 million? $1.2 million? Maybe as little as $900,000. I remember when there was “talk” about trying to maintain continuity of roster. We might be seeing something close to roster overhaul, by the time next October rolls around. And, depending on who you ask, and when you ask it, they might smile and say, “Well good!”

five_hole

February 25th, 2009
7:46 am

What I’ve been noticing is the consistency in Lehtonen’s game. Agree with Bill; the 2nd goal looked a little “soft”, but in general, over the last 3 weeks, this is as good as I’ve seen Kari play since being brought up.

Boris had a little of the nasty in him last night; maybe he looked at his 401K before the game. Unfortunately, he still can’t skate or pass well. Still, he was a +1 with 14 minutes of ice time. Not bad for him.

Also thought Boulton had a nice game. For a 4th line guy with no real “hands” or speed, he seems to create chances in the offensive zone.

It seems like this team is gelling about 3 months too late.

Alan

February 25th, 2009
10:07 am

Five hole: Big Boris might look better if he had been in the lineup more instead of being a consistent “healthy scratch.” Having said that, I think he will have much more time next season, and far fewer times where he’s scratched.

Just my two cents.

Married a Swede

February 25th, 2009
10:19 am

Dang it, they can’t even execute Operation Tankland 2k9 well either. If you are going to suck, you might was well be the “best” at doing it, to give yourself the best shot and Tavares.

Oh yeah, FDW!

Spud Webb

February 25th, 2009
10:49 am

Alan I agree, Boris can’t get better being in and out of the lineup. Will he ever be a top 2 or 3? Probably not, but the guy is a MONSTER and I personally look forward to watching him develop a bit more.
Dare I say the Thrashers are “hot” right now?? Scary. Nice to see. But the feeling of “don’t win” sticks to me. I want Tavaras.
I love Peavs, I hope that we do NOT trade he or Reasoner. Sign Reasoner on the cheap for 2 or 3 years. I’d much rather have him then say a Todd White. Trade white (probably not going to be any takers at 3 mill a year) and the remaining 2 years on his contract. Get a number one center, put Peaverly on the 2nd line, Marty 3 and Perrin on the 4th. A stud number one and we could be a legit offensive team in teh NHL!!!! ahhaaahaaha

Dwayne Johnson

February 25th, 2009
12:12 pm

on the Boris bang wagaon(for now)….how was Chara in his first year??
i wish i knew if this good play was because 1)players are trying to look attractive to other teams? 2)JA finally changed to a coaching style to fit what he has?
note to Kovy, please do not cherry pick for an empty netter, play D first, you’ll find out the puck will find you.
and KL deserves better than a 3 + goals against average.

Alan

February 25th, 2009
12:14 pm

I disagree with the sentiment to trade White. He’s actually on pace for a career year. His career best is 60pts (2002-03 Senators), and he’s got 52 right now. 10 more goals, and he ties his career best 25 goals (also 2002-03 Senators).

Havelid, Perrin, and Reasoner could all be moved at the deadline. In my opinion, Havelid should be moved, but told he would be welcome back on 1 July. Perrin should be moved if he can’t be signed, or the team doesn’t want to re-sign him. No sense in keeping him if he’s generating interest -and- we can get something back for someone who isn’t needed/doesn’t want to be here. Reasoner I would rather we keep and try to sign him for a couple more years with a little bit of a raise (3y@1.25-1.5m per?). If that doesn’t work, give him the Havelid treatment — move him, with an invitation to return next season.

Libby

February 25th, 2009
1:53 pm

Hi Rawhide,
Enjoyed talking to you last night. Please note that this is my second post now. I do not want Reasoner traded either. I hope he is signed. Loved Toby last night.

Spud Webb

February 25th, 2009
2:05 pm

Alan, no way Toddy gets 10 goals in the last 20 games or so. It’s not his fault, he’d be great for the 3rd or 4th line, but not at 3 mill a year.

five_hole

February 25th, 2009
2:06 pm

Agreed that Boris should play or be sent down to develop. He learns little in the press box.

Agreed that I would like to keep Reasoner. I would like to put X on the block, though. First, we should be able to get decent value for him. Second, we have a bunch of young defensemen developing. Third, it pisses me off that he keeps taking himself out of the play, trying to make the big hit.

Russian

February 25th, 2009
2:17 pm

Ex needs to be treaded ASAP. I like to keep D-men pairs:
Toby – Havelid or Somebody else if Havelid trade
Bogus – Oistrick
Haincy – Boris
Please do not forgot that we can get Russian D-man Ilia Nikulin. I hope he will be ready to play wiht Captian Kovy.

Alan

February 25th, 2009
2:55 pm

Spud: I’m not saying he’s worth the $3m we’re paying him. Just illustrating that he’s having his best year since playing with the 02-03 Senators. With 21 games left in the season, anything is possible, so he could get those 10 goals. Smart money says he won’t, but the fun part about this game is no one really knows.

Rawhide

February 25th, 2009
3:19 pm

Libby – You’re a bloggin’ fool!!! :lol: HA!

LAC

February 25th, 2009
3:21 pm

Bill or Brenden, Question… We got the second round pick from Montreal.
Now… That was Anaheim, then Montreal, now ours. Does it go with the original owners standing at the end of the season OR Atlanta’s ?

Just a question I don’t have an answer for…

Thanks !

Tony C.

February 25th, 2009
3:25 pm

LAC:

The pick was originally Anaheim’s so it will be based off their point-total.

Rawhide

February 25th, 2009
3:40 pm

LAC – I believe Tony C’s account is correct.

LAC

February 25th, 2009
5:00 pm

Thanks Guys !!!!! Just tough to figure when they get swapped so often… They have like 65 points now, so likely a middle of the road second.

Alan

February 25th, 2009
5:26 pm

Dear Mr.Waddell. If a kovalchuk could chuk wood, how much wood would a kovalchuk chuk if a kovalchuk could chuk wood?

http://twitter.com/GaryBettman

Alan

February 25th, 2009
5:32 pm

Ran into Eklund last night. He kept grilling me about trades and rumors. Finally I just paid him for the pizza and slammed the door.

http://twitter.com/brianburke

Jameson

February 25th, 2009
6:00 pm

I like Reasoner, but if we win the lottery, we can do without him:
Kovy-Tavares-Espo
Kozzy-Pevy-Little
Perrin-White-Army
Boults-Slater-Thor

In fact, I’d like to loose another 3rd/4th liner, so we can get some more of our young guys who fit those roles in there next year. Assuming we wind up with Tavares and Espo is good to go, anyway.

Tony C.

February 25th, 2009
8:51 pm

Just a thought I had while re-watching the game (yes I’m silly like that): Doesn’t it seem the #17 REALLY gets off on tip-ins???

Seems like he’s even happier than usual when he gets a tip-in goal. Not that I can recall more than last night’s and a tip-in of an X shot-pass about this time last year (against the ‘canes if memory serves).

Just an observation.

FIRE WADDELL!

Brendan

February 26th, 2009
12:15 am

LAC, that’s still a decent 2nd round pick. Waddell hinted that he’d use it to acquire an RFA player, or an NHL player with years left on a contract. But I’ll tell you … I’d feel a lot better about using that draft pick to actually find a good prospect. But we’re talking about Dan Marr’s scouting, here. So, it’s a lot like the mule with the spinning wheel. Nobody knows what we’ll do with it.

I must apologize for that remark. It’s born of frustration. I just don’t have any confidence left in the AS, LLC, Don Waddell, or the organization as a whole. I’m sure that they are TRYING. And I don’t like to discourage anyone who is trying their best.

Remember playing basketball in gym class? Sure, you do. And if ya don’t, humor me, okay? There was always a kid named ‘Tommy,’ that EVERYBODY liked, but he’d be lucky to go 2/10 from the free throw line. And if ‘Tommy’ launched a shot from beyond the 3-point arch, you could be sure it was an ‘air ball.’ The Atlanta Thrashers … are ‘Tommy.’

Spud Webb

February 26th, 2009
11:42 am

Brendon I swear you post some of the funniest s&it. Classic.

Smoothie

February 26th, 2009
12:24 pm

Per TSN: “The Pittsburgh Penguins have cleared up a bit of their log jam along their blueline as they have traded Ryan Whitney to the Anaheim Ducks for Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi.”

Let the real trade deadline fun begin!! I guess Whitney really was on the block? Could we have gotten him for Armstrong and a prospect??

Tony C.

February 26th, 2009
12:30 pm

I wonder if we can get Beauchemin in the off-season?

Alan

February 26th, 2009
12:46 pm

Sidney Crosby: Bad goaltender, or worst goaltender?

http://i43.tinypic.com/28sx9c8.png

ranallo10 (in AT)

February 26th, 2009
2:12 pm

I think that’s a bad/desperate move by Pittsburgh. Bad because Whitney has scored almost as many points as Kunitz over the past few seasons, and is a defender locked up for a few more years. Desperate because it reeks of “righting the ship” and attempting to find a top 6 winger to play alongside Crosby.

I guess the icing for them is a 20 year old defender performing well at the minor league level.

Either way, I’d say Anaheim got the better end of this deal.

Tony C.

February 26th, 2009
2:45 pm

I would agree. I would’ve been happy to ship Christensen and oh, say, a 3rd-round pick for Whitney. Then you could trade Heavelid to whomever (maybe a three-way where Havelid ends up at the thrid team, and MTL gets the scoring winger they’ve been looking for.).

But I suspect that Shero was adamant about getting Armstrong back. Honestly, unless he’s just super-duper p!ssed about being here, I’m not letting Armstong go if I were GM. Although I might’ve done a deal for Kunitz & Whitney if we sent Havelid & a late-round pick (or *maybe* Oystrick) to Anaheim, and Armstrong to PGH.

Brendan

February 26th, 2009
4:00 pm

Well, I hope for Pittsburgh’s sake, that deal works out for them in the long run. But I agree with Ranallo. Why do it? Whitney is quality defender, who was +8 in 20 playoff games for them last season. He didn’t seem like the problem in Pittsburgh, although -15 is perplexing. But, I’d wager there are a few minus guys on the Penguins. (I didn’t check. Shoot me.)

Look, it might work. Kunitz hits the open market in 2012, and will be a cap hit of $3.8M for the remainder of his years on his contract. And the Penguins may re-sign him. But Whitney was an original Penguins draft pick, 5th overall, in the 2002 draft. He’s only 25-26 years of age. He was under contract until 2013, for a cap hit just over $3.0 million. In short, the Penguins did everything right. Until now.

Ya know what I always say … “Handle your own business.” Draft your OWN players, cultivate them, mold and shape them towards Penguins-hockey, and then re-sign them. That’s what the Penguins were doing with Whitney … until this trade happened. Now, they’ve brought in an outsider, who has to be shaped and molded to the Penguins philosophy, etc.

Tony C.

February 26th, 2009
7:33 pm

But I think Kunitz will make a lot of room available for Cindy, and even though my boy Dupuis was blessed with hands of granite-Kunitz can light the lamp, and certainly is the most imposing winger Cindy has had (I’d say Army is meaner but he’s kind of a “jack russell” player-pleanty of fight, just not enough dog).

I still think that loosing Malone, Whitney and Army within two seasons has torpedoed the room.

Not to worry though, PGH fans-Cindy’s still in town and therefore Papa Betteman will make sure things are “OK” at worst for his favorite girl.

stendec

February 26th, 2009
8:52 pm

Toiletlids tried to bail Kari Letemin out! Two early marshmallow goals were matched. Third whiff job was not! Almost allowed fourth goal at close of second period. Chalk this one up in loss column. When will John Petrino take this son of a betch Finn out of the net? Be nice to close miserable campaign on a slightly positive upbeat note! Guess ball-less untalented LaLa Land golden boy will play just well enough down the stretch in defeats to land a new contract! On that day I wash my hands of this uncaring heartless group forevermore. Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on you. Once is more than enough in these quarters!

stendec

February 26th, 2009
9:21 pm

Kari Letemin is an oxygen waste piece if toilet residue! To all you brainless meatheads who want this clueless sieve fraud inked to a lifetime deal – move the Hell out of town! Let people who damn know what hockey is all about enjoy this wonderful sport. Send these quitters to Hamilton (or any damn where) so a real team can situate once again in town. I am not overjoyed with El Captain Ilya “Another Misfire” Kovalchuk either. Someone tell him ice hockey is not figure skating! Against a rookie netminder? Of course, ANY goaltender is better than Finn wonder fool. DAMN!

stendec

February 26th, 2009
9:33 pm

Another totally gutless effort from a completely heartless team! As for mindless drones (cannot in good conscious refer to any of you as fans) who want Kari Letemin to stay. Any halfway intelligent hockey watcher will be quick to point out that a netminder who consistently allows four goals per outing is not worth a damn. To Hell with save percentage! Save percentages are nice at contract time but worthless as far as wins are concerned. A loss is a loss! I have had my damn fill of those with the Finn wonder fool between the pipes. Outclassed by a damn rookie? Sigh. Par for the damn course!

jackie blue

February 28th, 2009
3:40 pm

Hi Ice Man and Brendan,

Pleasure meeting you guys as well. I can’t wait to see you guys again tonight. I am starting to have those feelings again….

Go Thrashers!