You’ll Get Nothing And Like It!

There are not too many times this season that the Thrashers have scored a goal in the first period then made that one goal hold up. Heck, for that matter…there haven’t been that many times in their history that they’ve done something like that. But Friday night that is exactly how they disposed of a Montreal Canadiens that is battling for every point they can as they jostle for playoff positioning.

Yes…points are precious to a team like Montreal right now. But on this night the Thrashers told them, “You will get nothing, Habs…and LIKE IT“! No points…no goals…no pity…no cookies…no NOTHING!

Methinks the Thrashers are really taking a liking to this spoiler role right now.

Bryan Little gave Atlanta all the scoring that they would need at the 17:28 mark of the opening period. The Thrashers defense and Kari took it from there. They held Montreal to just 17 shots on goal in the final 42 minutes and 32 seconds after Little’s goal and Rich Peverely’s empty netter nailed the coffin shut on the Habs. Ilya Kovalchuk assisted on both goals while Todd White and Ron Hainsey contributed with secondary assists.

Kari Lehtonen turned away all 25 shots he faced and was rewarded with his second shutout win of the season. Yup…you saw that correctly… the Thrashers held the opposition to only 25 SOG…13 in the first 40 minutes of play. Montreal came into this game averaging 30.4 SG/G  and the Thrashers entered with a SA/G average of 33.0.

Among the biggest set of saves came with about two and a half minutes remaining in the game and the score still only 1-0 when Kari stonewalled Tomas Plekanic twice at point blank range. After stopping the initail shot close in, Lehtonen once again denied Czech on the rebound attempt from his keester.

While the shutout will show up in Kari’s stats…this was genuinly a team effort. Atlanta’s defense played very solid…especially so young Zach Bogosian…and the O-fense generated quite a few scoring chances. If not for fine work by Montreal’s goalie Carey Price, the Thrashers would have netted more.

While we have discussed Atlanta’s woeful home record this year, they have now won three of the last four games played in the comfy confines of Philips Arena. They only have 12 home wins all season… so 25% of them have come in the past week and a half.

As for Montreal…in their past 14 games on the road, they are just 2-11-1.

O-Fense A-Clickin’

Since the biggining of the west coast swing last month, the Thrashers have scored 35 goals in their past nine games. 36 if you count the gimmick point that came with the shootout win in L.A. Regardless, that’s scoring goals at a 4 per game clip. I’ll take that anytime.

Atlanta’s Baby Blueline

This Thrashers’ defensive corps has gotten very young with the departure of Mathieu Schneider and Nic Havelid. The senior member of the blueline is now Ron Hainsey who will become 28 years old on the 24th of this month. He’s following in age by Garnet Exelby, 27…then Nathan Oystrick, 26…Tobias Enstrom is 24…Boris Valabik is 23 and rookie Zach Bogosian is but 18.

Hi Bob!

The announced crowd Friday night was 14,813. Among those in the building…former Thrashers’ head coach Bob Hartley.

41 comments Add your comment

Hockey Biltong

March 7th, 2009
12:14 am

Woohoo. I got my head shaved by a jumbo jet!!! It wasn’t easy, but it never is…..

kracker

March 7th, 2009
12:51 am

Fantastic atmosphere in the arena tonight for sure, I like this playing good hockey! Wow, what an effort by these guys that have nothing to play for but each other…and the fans…and I guess the coaches, too. Anyway, I couldn’t believe they outlasted the Habs with them being the better team (but not tonight), all those penalties and fights. I was really proud of Zach for jumping in to stick up for Slater when O’Byrne kept face washing him over by the bench, like 3 or 4 times he’d slap his glove in Slater’s face. Zach is a lot smaller & younger than O’Byrne but he went at it with him, he got pounded on pretty bad but he didn’t give up and got a few licks in himself after he got his arm free. I guess the tone of the game was already set by that time, maybe the middle of the 2nd, but that effort by a young, fearless guy sure must have galvanized the guys and got them to play so hard the rest of the game and not give up the lead. In fact there was lots of effort to go around by everybody on what came to be a short-handed, worn out team. Salute!

kracker

March 7th, 2009
1:00 am

Hartley had to like this effort for the win, too, even if he did get canned here. Kovy still has more assists (39) than goals (35), I like him growing his game. White has 40 assists…

kracker

March 7th, 2009
1:03 am

Anybody: Why did Exelby get a 10 minute misconduct at the 20 minute mark of the 2nd period?

Wayne

March 7th, 2009
1:06 am

What happened to the protest??? Did it fizzle out?

On the same subject, I was unable to see the game on TV (thank you, Charter)…On the highlights, I heard the voice of Bill Clement. As he’s a former Atlanta Flame, did he say anything about our problems?

Alan

March 7th, 2009
1:17 am

Wayne: I imagine some folks chickened out. But there were some of us there with bags, signs, or both. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many were actually there protesting, but I saw a few guys.

A guy at the hot dog stand doubled over in laughter at the “FIRE WADDELL” on the front of my bag. He nearly fell on the floor laughing at the “Atlanta Spirit Sucks!” on the rear of it. Good times.

Jimbo

March 7th, 2009
7:55 am

Great excitement in the building and Bogo is really coming on- A REAL STUD. JA “we’re pretty much out of the playoff race”. DUH, DUH, DUH. Well, Johnny Boy, if you had included defense in your “so called” strategy earlier in the season we might not have been in the PING PONG BALL SWEEPSTAKES. GOOD WIN.

Mr. Heat Miser

March 7th, 2009
9:49 am

Bogosian is impressing me more each game. He’s not afraid to go end to end with the puck, and last night showed he’s not afraid to go toe-to-toe with bigger dudes. Hope we can keep him around.

Spud Webb

March 7th, 2009
10:50 am

LOVE it. We are playing with an edge for sure and sticking up for each other. A little fire brewing!!!! What has happened Rawhide?? The vets go and these kids are playing with a purpose. I was a bit scared being on the NHL network and thought the frogs might beat us up pretty good!!! Glad to see I was wrong. I love Clement, miss him from ESPN. Great broadcaster. The frogs are in serious trouble & I would LOVE nothing more than for them to miss the playoffs.
Go Thrashers!!!! yahoooooooooooooooooooooo

HookyBob

March 7th, 2009
11:02 am

Nothing like a 1-0 Thrashers lead to keep us on the edge of our seats. Last night we had over 40 minutes of that lead. Lots of intesity too.
This is what we paid for and what makes immediate fans of first-timers. Kozlov seemed to everywhere with the puck. Kari was big too. Great job Thrashers.

That said,….my aren’t the Habs a mess. What used to be tough hockey was full of cheap-stuff last night. That made our boy’s effort even better.

Sage of Bluesland

March 7th, 2009
11:09 am

What is going on with the Thrashers??? This isn’t the same team which stunk to high-heaven at over half the season??? It’s good to see.

Is it legit or is it fool’s gold, like it was in the past?

Spud Webb

March 7th, 2009
11:26 am

Hooky, if you watch the Habs (frogs) thats all they are. A LOT of speed and cheap shots. Slow them down (easy to say) and watch them struggle. Price had a good game last night but overall the goaltending has been a train wreck and I LOVE TO WATCH THE FROGS LOSE.

kracker

March 7th, 2009
11:32 am

About Exelby’s 10 minute misconduct at the end of the 2nd period…

From Mike on his blog: “Ex got the unsportsmanlike conduct, he said, for bumping into some Montreal players as he left the ice after the second period. He said the real genesis of the penalty was that he accused the ref of playing favorites early in the game and the ref was getting even with him for that.”

R. Stroz

March 7th, 2009
11:50 am

According to an individula at the Town Hall meeting, Don Waddell actually said the following:

…if we knew how to get more fans to come out he’d love to hear it.

Would anyone like to share your ideas with Donny. If so, try emailing him at Don.Waddell@atlantaspirit.com

wristshot

March 7th, 2009
12:00 pm

Hey Spud, I know you’re excited about the victory last night but please go easy with the “frog” comments. I’m not sure if you realize it but that is an extremely derogatory comment towards French Canadians. It is actually on par with calling African Americans the “n” word.

Great game last night. Tons of emotion and grit. The Flames game tomorrow should be a real hard hitting affair. That team is very far from soft and after getting smoked 6-1 by the Canes last night I think they’ll be looking for some SE Division blood.

five_hole

March 7th, 2009
12:39 pm

Agree with Mr. Heat Miser. With every game, Zach is showing more confidence. Last night he was on fire! And jumping in to take on a much bigger and older player in O’Byrne will earn him tons of brownie points with his teammates. In 3 years, when he’s a little bigger and has some experience, this kid will be a true #1 defenseman.

Like most everyone else, I had a WTF moment when I saw Perrin out there. Gee, how come “Mr. Talent” didn’t get picked up after we waived him? Actually thought he played well, but all things considered, he’s not part of our future, give a kid from Chicago a chance.

How come I didn’t see a comment yet from Stendic on Kari’s performance last night? Maybe Kari should have allowed negative goals?

All things considered, a really good performance by a bad team. Too little, too late.

Alan

March 7th, 2009
12:49 pm

How come I didn’t see a comment yet from Stendic on Kari’s performance last night? Maybe Kari should have allowed negative goals?

Check Mike’s blog.

Alan

March 7th, 2009
12:55 pm

Montreal has been all about the slew foot this year. Stroz and I saw at least one instance of it last night. There’s a few youtube videos of other times they’ve done it this year, but it actually resulted in a penalty to Montreal. Not last night.

http://dj4aces.info/stuff/pics/refperiods.jpg

EA

March 7th, 2009
1:19 pm

R Stolz, I was at the town hall meeting. DW was referring to promotions and discount tickets. Several of the STH holders complained about the deep discounting at the end of the season as well as the lack of marketing of the players. A suggestion was made to give the STH a couple of free tickets that are practically being given away now to bring friends and introduce them to hockey. DW followed up with that comment about doing anything to put new people in the seats. He commented that hockey is not a sport that translates well on TV. He took a lot of questions about ownership. He said to expect some more info on that following the law suit. He swears they are on board and there is NO WAY the team is moving. Take it for what it is worth. He got some relief during an explanation of one the owner questions when Kovy surprised everyone and came to the meeting. IK drew a standing ovation. The meeting drew a large crowd.

Brendan

March 7th, 2009
2:53 pm

Rawhide: Regarding the poll question on Reasoner, I see more than 90% of the respondents said keeping Reasoner was the “right” thing to do. In that regard, why haven’t the Thrashers initiated contract negotiations with Reasoner?

I know. “It is the longstanding policy of the Thrashers organization not to negotiate contracts during the season, as that may influence the on ice product.” Fine. (An exception was made to the policy last year, because the player’s name was HOSSA.)

Look, I’ll readily admit that Marty Reasoner is not the “end all, be all of NHL existence.” But if the organization doesn’t AT LEAST reach out to him … DURING the season, he’ll say, “The Atlanta Thrashers never made any overtures to me that they had ANY intentions of keeping me. Therefore, I told my agent to start preparing for the best possible fit for my career on July 1st.”

Nooooo, things like that don’t happen! Pretty much EXACTLY the way I just described it. It’s one thing if the Thrashers don’t want to keep Reasoner. Fine. For $1 million, we could probably find a decent-enough replacement. $1 million was Reasoner’s salary. Adjust it for inflation, and it’s $1.15 million in the offseason.

I repeat, “what ISSS our PLAN?” Did anyone who attended the TownHall meeting ask that question? I think it a more than FAIR question to ask. I guarantee you, the other 29 GM’s … they all have A PLAN. And they could articulate it.

All I’m asking for … is to be CLUED IN. Why must the fans of this team … be CONSTANTLY and CONTINOUSLY left in the dark, quite INTENTIONALLY. We’re not allowed to even know how long Waddell and Anderson are under contract, or how much they are paid. All the other teams tell you, whether you WANTED to know, or not. Truthfully, I don’t much care, anymore, other than “Conceptually.” Conceptually, I’m opposed to this information being sheltered from the fans who PAY MONEY to support this product. Why is this such a problem for the Spirit?

I hear Ilya attended the STH meeting. Did anyone ask him, “Ilya, if the organization offers you a longterm contract, at the league MAX or something close to it, will you sign it, on July 1st? And if not, is the reason you won’t sign it due to the organization being mismanaged and because of cashflow problems, and poor standing among the Sports Agents who represent Tier I players?”

I would have given anything to see the looks on Waddell’s and Kovalchuk’s faces at that question. Of course, I’d have been even more THRILLED if Kovy stepped forward, grabbed a microphone and said, “Let me make this PERFECTLY CLEAR … I AMMMMM re-signing with this organization on July 1, longterm, possibly for the rest of my career.” That’s the ovation that wouldn’t have stopped.

Alan

March 7th, 2009
3:04 pm

But if the organization doesn’t AT LEAST reach out to him … DURING the season, he’ll say, “The Atlanta Thrashers never made any overtures to me that they had ANY intentions of keeping me.

Hva?!

Waddell: “We want to keep Reasoner.”
Reasoner: “I like Atlanta and want to play here long-term.”

Sounds like they’re on the same page to me.

Sometimes, conjecture doesn’t make sense. This is one of those times.

polskidawg

March 7th, 2009
3:35 pm

The more a see Bogosian, the more I like. Doughty certainly looks like a fine, young D-man, but I really Bogo’s skating, physical play and head for the game. Thank you Dean Lombardi.

Bill Clement made a very accurate point during the broadcast – Montreal is all about the perimeter game. Their forwards do not like crashing the net, which made the task for the Thrash D and Kari much easier.

He also pointed out that the Thrash have been playing well since February 1, but that there’s a lot of work (roster) still to do.

Thrashers27

March 7th, 2009
3:39 pm

Five Hole, I thought the same thing when I saw Perrin out there in the first…That was the only shift i noticed him out there on though. Seemed to me like he was riding pine for the rest of the game.

shannon

March 7th, 2009
3:50 pm

Ilya attended the STH meeting for about 2 minutes. He just wanted to thank the fans for their support. He had to get ready to play. No time for questions.

ea

March 7th, 2009
4:16 pm

The question of where we are going came up in several ways at the Town Hall. It was answered in so many words that we are building with our core guys (Kovy, Little, Bogo, Armstrong, Peverly, Hainsey, Enstrom and some others). He complimented Todd White on a great season while acknowledging that “he is not a top line center”. As far as having an identity, I did not hear a specific answer. DW stressed that the guys on the team have a lot of pride. Apparently Army was very sought after at the trade line, but DW said he could not trade him because he is a heart and soul player on and off the ice. He did say he and JA expect more from him in the future. DW said free agency in the next couple of years is going to be very interesting because there are several teams who have commited to long term expensive contracts that their team will not be able to afford if the cap is lowered due to the economy. He said right now economics is a big issue the league if facing. He said the ASG pays their bills on time. There are bigger and more well known franchises that do not. No names were given. Kovy gives off nothing but positive and warm feelings towards his fans. DW said he will start negotiating with his agent 7/2 of this year. He is clearly very proud to be the team captain. There was very serious concerns and feelings expressed in the meeting, but I can say everything was handled in a respectful manner.

anonthrashers

March 7th, 2009
6:07 pm

Hey Rawhide, didn’t the game happen on Friday night, not Saturday night?

Michael Shapiro

March 7th, 2009
7:01 pm

Best game all season. Came out strong. Lots of grit. No back down in fights. Strong play blocking shots and denying many “good” shots (held my breath on those two outstanding saves Kari made with only 2 1/2 minutes left. Do NOT agree with Kozzy being 2nd star. Should have been Kovy who played well both ways, and had assists on both goals. Kozzy may have been everywhere but his shots were virtually non-existant. So tired of him skating down low/right and then not shooting, but just skating between the circles or making a crappy pass. Tired too of our d-men waiting on the PP to shoot. Why can we just put it in the blue paint and crash the net for a rebound? Still, it was a great game. Very disappointed with the level of the Habs play…lots of cheap shots by O’Byrne and especially by Komisarik. How many times did the zebras let him literally punch our forwards in the back while behind the Habs’ net? That stuff is low-ball and should be punished…problem is the guy is humongous and no one…not even Boris…can take him. Guess that means Mighty Ducks tie him inside the pipes and shoot a bag of pucks at him type punishment!
Go Thrash. Beat them Flames!

Wayne

March 7th, 2009
11:14 pm

How many people showed up at the meeting?

Rawhide

March 8th, 2009
12:10 am

anonthrashers – Yeah, it was Friday…

I was travelling to Augusta today to pick up my youngest tax exemption from a JROTC academics meet to then deliver him to the theater he’s been performing Sound of Music at in Marietta when…halfway down I-20…I realized I referred to the game as being played on “Saturday”. Three times no less!

AUUUUUUUUuuuuuuuuugh!

Spent the whole day and night knowing that brain fart was sitting up here! :roll:

shannon

March 8th, 2009
8:39 am

Wayne, a very large crowd was at the TH.

Anonthrashers

March 8th, 2009
10:38 am

No problem, you are human, mistakes happen. Keep up the good work.

Brendan

March 8th, 2009
1:52 pm

The amazing thing about that whole Friday/Saturday blunder … it changed the color of every bloggers eyes, then set their hair on fire. It was THAT relevant. Turns out, the reporting error caused the NHL to reverse the outcome of the game. Habs got the 2-points, and Atlanta was given a case of Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat, as a consolation prize.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled nit-picking.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 8th, 2009
2:42 pm

Methinks Brendan is being sarcastic…

LAC

March 8th, 2009
5:12 pm

Can we PLEASE transform these last two games into a bottled drink
to have before every game to assure a WIN every time out ?

These last two games have been the best two back to back games we have played in a LONG time.

Beating two PLAYOFF teams and out playing them at every turn…

Nice to still think the LAST Flames win here was by The Atlanta Flames !

Buddha on Ice

March 8th, 2009
5:24 pm

First time poster, long time reader. I am sure most of you read the article but I wanted to share this little tidbit on the trade deadline from an article by Ross McKeon at Yahoo. He was talking about the responsibilities of GM’s and ended a paragraph with this,

“What some general managers may have learned is the sun will rise tomorrow if they don’t strike a deal today. Mistakes can be made at the trade deadline, big mistakes. The kind of mistakes that could eventually cost a GM his job. Well, everyone not named Don Waddell.”

Let’s Go Thrashers

stendecs mother

March 8th, 2009
5:49 pm

how did those toilet lids win another??? Kari lettin-em-in couldn’t even stop iginla from point blank range. he stinks.

Rawhide

March 8th, 2009
7:38 pm

Buddha on Ice – Excellent first post.

Here is the McKeon article that was referenced.

Brendan

March 8th, 2009
10:33 pm

Don’t look now, but Atlanta has caught and surpassed T.Bay, which has lost four of its last five (4/5) games. The NY Islanders are winners of four of their last five games. I guess when you tell the Isles they have nothing to play for, they start playing better! By the way, the NY Islanders ALMOST had a “five game winning streak” this season. At the end of January/early February, the Isles went 4-0-1 in a five game stretch. By Atlanta Spirit, LLC thinking … the Isles must be a GOOD team.

In the Thrashers past ten games, they’ve taken 13 of the possible 20 availabe points (6-3-1). I guess this is what can happen when an organization stops leaning on aging vets and asks its youth to bond together and prove they belong in the NHL, and can be a competitive club.

Havelid, Modry, Klee, Schneider, deVries, Hnidy, Sutton and Zhitnik … are all gone now from the blueline. Forwards who are gone now, include Steve Rucchin, Bobby Holik, Brad Larsen, Scott Mellanby, Jon Sim, J.P. Vigier, Glen Metropolit, Haydar, Krog, Wanvig, Jason Williams, and probably, Perrin will be gone, as well. Boulton still has a year left on his deal.

Let’s see if Waddell tries to bring in “yesteryear’s big name,” for that LAST NHL paycheck, or if he’ll go with Colin Stuart, Jordan LaVallee, Joey Crabb, or others, like maybe even Brett Sterling. On D, maybe Chad Denny or Grant Lewis might have a shot at making the team.

LAC

March 8th, 2009
10:50 pm

Great comments Brenden !!!!!

Injun Joe

March 8th, 2009
11:43 pm

….the Thrashers held the opposition to only 25 SOG…

Hmmmmmm. Standec is quiet. His mother speaks though. Whats the matter Standec? The defense holds and Kari gets to do his job. Kinda nice when your not getting peppered with an regular average of…oh…40 SHOTS ON GOAL!!!!! Less stress equals more productivity. I remember a very wise young lady, from Alaba-stan no less, saying “Offense wins games….Defense wins championships”. When our defense plays strong we have a better chance (DUH5)
Oh. by the way

FIRE WADDELL!!!!!!!

Been waiting a while to say that. Feels good.
FIRE STANDEC TOO!!!!!

Injun Joe

March 8th, 2009
11:45 pm

Sorry for the typo, Alabama-stan would be correct.