Coincidence? Eh, Maybe…Maybe Not

Life is full of coincidences. Take for instance the now-infamous UFO incident in Roswell, New Mexico. You know…the one in which a “UFO” crash-landed in the dessert near Roswell Air Army Field and, according to some, alien beings were captured, taken away and held by government officials.

Uh-huh…yeah…that one.

Anyway….that incident, in which extraterrestrial life forms supposedly visited our planet, occurred in the evening of July 7, 1947. Nine months later…on March 31, 1948…the man who would become the 45th Vice President of the United States, Al Gore… was born.

Coincidence? Eh, maybe…maby not.

More recently…and closer to home… last Friday, the Thrashers shutout the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 in Philips Arena. On Monday, just three days later, the Habs released Guy Carbonneau of his head coaching duties…GM Bob Gainey will take on the “interim coach” label as he stepping behind the bench for now.

So, Montreal gets blanked by Atlanta and three days later…they fire their coach. Is this simply a coincidence…or is there something to it?

Well, last month, the New York Rangers showed Tom Renney the door while the team stumbled. Three weeks prior, the Thrashers had defeated the Blue Shirts 2-1 in a shootout at MSG…Kari Lehtonen coming withing seconds of a shutout in that game before the Rangers were able to tie it up, sending the game to overtime where Atlanta was able to finish them off in the skills competition. The Rangers had dropped the two previous games before that loss and I’m sure they were counting on the matchup with the Thrashers to be just the thing to cure what ailed them. Unfortunately for New York, Atlanta wasn’t willing to provide the type of schedule fodder they were looking for that evening…and they then went on to drop seven of their next nine games before handing Renney his pink slip.

Again…is it a coincidence that the Thrashers even factored into this situation?

shrugs…Eh, maybe… maybe not.

After tonight’s game in Colorado, Atlanta travels to Edmonton and Buffalo later in the week. Both those teams are currently in the thick of playoff contention in their respective conferences. So, should Craig MacTavish and Lindy Ruff be concerned that…well, that this Thrashers threat is real?

Now, getting back to Montreal if I may…I was driving home listening to Phil and Rossey of  ”In The Slot”, (XM-204), when I heard the news that the Canadiens had axed Carboneau. Later when discussing the situation with Bill Clement, the three mentioned one person who they thought might be a good choice to replace Carbonneau.

That person…Bob Hartley.

Hmmmmm…let’s see… Hartley is a proven commodity who has shown he can lead a team to the Stanley Cup. The Habs are the type of team…big, physical, skilled…that Hartley would be considered well matched with. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that Bob is French Canadian after all, speaking both languages fluently. So…yeah, I could see that.

Oh, and there is also this…during last Saturday’s Thrashers win against the Habs, among the 14,813 announced in attendance was none other than…Bob Hartley.

Hartley…in Atlanta…watching the Thrashers blank the Habs…three days before the Habs fire Carbonneau…Coincidence?

Eh, maybe…maybe not.

Representin’ The Thrash In SoCal

Here’s a shot of FormerIslesFan, his lovely wife Lilibeter and his two tax exemptions representing Blueland at the Kings vs. Canucks game in Los Angeles. The photos a little dark…but hey, if they’re going to sport Thrasher Blue, (or Thrasher Burgundy, as is the case with the kids), then they get recognized here!

Oh, and they are pleased to say…that they yelled, “KNIGHTS” during the national anthem.

BTW…you gotta photo you wanna share… send it to Trixie at rawhide528@yahoo.com and she’ll give it a look. Keep in mind that not everything can…or should…be posted. Also, anything you send is the property of this blog. You don’t want it posted…don’t send it. You don’t want what you write posted…don’t send it.

Otherwise…let’s see how you show your colors at Philips or elsewhere!

51 comments Add your comment

Smitty

March 10th, 2009
6:00 am

Are you putting a curse on Lindy?

B. Thenet

March 10th, 2009
7:25 am

Hartley was also at the Habs game in Buffalo. While he is employed by RDS(a french canadidan TV network), it is a bit odd.

However, I think he would be a very poor fit for a team full of young players like Montreal.

Glovesave29

March 10th, 2009
7:27 am

If the Habs fail to win it all, this will be the first decade since the 1920’s where they have failed to bring home at least one cup. On Saturday at TJ’s, let us all raise a pint and hope that this comes to pass.

Great to show your colors at a visiting rink…but please stop yelling KNIGHTS.

Jimbo

March 10th, 2009
7:36 am

Very surprising that Habs would make such a move on the heels of a win Sunday and with only 16 games to go. Reminds me of another quick hook used by Donnie Brilliance last year that has put on the slippery slope toward nowhere. Hartley took us to the playoffs, DB has taken us to “Upper Frustration”.

Cosape

March 10th, 2009
8:14 am

Because of loosing at Philips Mike Keenan can reach 666 wins against Devils tonight. Coincidence?

Spud Webb

March 10th, 2009
8:37 am

Crap, what time is everyone meeting at TJ’s? I just landed two NICE tickets to Billy Joel/Elton John. I’m going to have to miss TJ’s. I doubt anybody will still be partying at 1, 2 AM?? lol

Buzilla in CT

March 10th, 2009
8:53 am

Who was the last NHL player who was not reuired a helmet?

Buzilla in CT

March 10th, 2009
8:53 am

that was supposed to be “required”

Glovesave29

March 10th, 2009
8:53 am

Spud, so no one will be there to represent the Buffaslugs?

Glovesave29

March 10th, 2009
8:55 am

Craig McTavish and his curly brown locks, flowing in the breeze…

Alan

March 10th, 2009
8:59 am

Jason Spezza got caught using an illegal stick last night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uib2Geixgxc

I’m wondering if Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, Crosby, or any other premiere player is going to get caught with one before the season is over.

Sara

March 10th, 2009
9:02 am

If teams haven’t learned by now what great coach killers the Thrash are, then that’s their problem. Aside from Fraser and Hartley, I distinctly remember us getting Hanlon axed last season and others as well. Something about getting an arse-whooping by a bottom-feeder not sitting well with fans and management I suppose.

That might be a fun case study – see how many coaches that got fired mid-season over the last 8 or 9 seasons had just gotten whalloped by the Thrash.

Well, at least we know the boys are consistently good at something, eh?

J(Z)

March 10th, 2009
9:04 am

I wore my Thrashers jersey to a Habs-Avs game in Denver a few weeks ago. Ironically sat a few rows behind a guy in an Avs deVries jersey of all things! Didn’t get a good picture.

I do have to say though, Philips Arena puts on SUCH a better show than what I witnessed in Denver. Aside from the actual hockey game, there wasn’t much. No six degrees of pepsi-land, the kiss cam was about 10 seconds, all of it was kinda lame. The PA announcer had a very monotone non-exciting voice. I do miss Steve Craig, but this new guy is growing on me – if only we can get him to stop announcing to the other team that we’re at full strength I’d be happy – It was a Friday night and the stands were just as full as they would have been for any Friday night game in Atlanta. Me…not impressed.

Bob

March 10th, 2009
9:22 am

yep, that’s no coincidence. If your club is playing so poorly in the midst of a playoff race as to be beat by the Thrashers, the coach deserves to be fired.

Spud Webb

March 10th, 2009
9:24 am

Glovesave I believe there was a female (forgot who) that was going to be at TJ’s sporting a “slug” jersey!!! God why don’t we go back to our “good” jerseys, our 3rd jersey this year!!!
Sidenote, not all Sabres fans are obnoxious and rude, a LOT of them are, but not all!!! lol

Spud Webb

March 10th, 2009
9:26 am

Alan, why is the “illegal” stick so random? Actually does anyone know?
Does the other team call it out?
I remember McSorley back in the day getting caught after a goal, COSTLY for sure. I cannot remember if the bench called it or the ref just noticed it????

Rawhide

March 10th, 2009
9:33 am

CosapeBecause of loosing at Philips Mike Keenan can reach 666 wins against Devils tonight. Coincidence?

Ooooooohhhh…Good catch!

Alan

March 10th, 2009
9:40 am

Spud – Coach Wilson pointed it out to the refs. As the coach of the Sharks, he did that in ‘06-’07 to the Ducks in OT and won. As coach of the Maple Laughs, however, not only was the ensuing power play unproductive for Toronto (0 shots), but the Sens had more opportunities shorthanded (but didn’t capitalize).

kracker

March 10th, 2009
10:05 am

“KNIGHTS!!!” It works for me. I’m sure some people are yelling “NIGHT!!” like I did until I figured it out. Well, whatever, at least they are involved and are yelling something at the game and that’s a good thing.

Buzilla in CT

March 10th, 2009
10:14 am

Correct!

I don’t know why put that is my favorite trivia question

Sara

March 10th, 2009
10:16 am

Spud it’s supposed to be a “code” that you don’t call guys for illegal sticks given that there’s always at least one player per roster sporting one at any given time. It’s a stupid rule to begin with – unless you are talking about modifying a blade to such an extent that it gets sharp and potentially dangerous, who cares what kind of curve is on a stick? Too much curve screws the backhand shot anyway so it’s not like it doesn’t have drawbacks.

Speaking of Hartley earlier, I remember him trying to bust Hasek with an illegal stick during the 2002 Conference Finals. Totally screwed the Avs out of a PP for it too. That ended up creating drama for days. Ah good times.

Thomas Magnum

March 10th, 2009
10:18 am

Just wanted to let everyone know that some friends and I started a new Thrashers blog. Its not more of the same old same old. Check it out at http://www.thewordonthebird.blogspot.com . Thanks!

jcwhitingjr

March 10th, 2009
10:20 am

Yelling knights at hockey game unless one of the teams playing is named that is just wrong.

Dwayne Johnson

March 10th, 2009
10:41 am

hollering “knights” is lame.
is using an illegal stick as bad as using an illegal bat?
and i thought they got rid of the “curve” part of that rule.

wristshot

March 10th, 2009
10:42 am

Spud – The bench calls for the measurement but if they’re wrong, and the stick is legal, then the team calling for a measurement receives a two minute delay of game penalty. I think most coaches save that hand for the playoffs or late season bubble games.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 10th, 2009
11:06 am

What I find interesting about Spezza was that he was one of the only player using wooden sticks prior to the last couple of seasons.

Speaking of wooden sticks, one of the benefits of them is they’re inexpensive…would anybody be surprised if the Thrashers decided to cut costs by forcing all players (except Kovalchuk of course) to use wooden sticks? They’d likely save over $100k by making such a switch.

Alan

March 10th, 2009
11:19 am

At least $100k alone, ranallo. Bear in mind also that wooden sticks break less often than composite sticks.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 10th, 2009
11:28 am

Of course they do last longer, but I’m sure Kovalchuk could find a way to break one at least once per week (which would be an improvement over his seemingly one game life cycle for a stick).

Tim

March 10th, 2009
11:39 am

Thrashers are coach killers tangent — I would love to see some numbers on how many goalies have earned their first win, first road win, first shutout etc. versus the Thrash. The three things that should make every Thrasher fan cringe: 1) Hasenfratz on the ice, 2) the last minute of any period and 3) a winless goalie.

Darren

March 10th, 2009
11:43 am

Speaking of coincidences, Bob Hartley’s first-ever game with the Thrashers was a 1-0 shutout against those very same Montreal Canadiens.

Also, while wooden sticks do last longer in the traditional sense, Spezza usually uses two sticks per game. That’s still not as expensive as a composite, however.

R. Stroz

March 10th, 2009
11:45 am

What is the overall coach firing count attributable to the Thrashers over the past nine years?

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 10th, 2009
11:46 am

It’s good that the old number one is off that list now that McGeough’s retired.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 10th, 2009
11:50 am

“Reebok is now making Spezza’s stick and apparently it has a composite shaft and wooden blade.” — From a poster on the Senators forum on their official website.

I thought he switched last season from Sherwood to Reebok composites, but I could be wrong.

Brendan

March 10th, 2009
11:55 am

I’m gonna say … that Sage of Bluesland actually has the total. He’s the one who first came up with the T-shirt, “Coach Killers,” and on the back, it read, “The Threat is Real.” Then, in marker, it listed the Coaches and the dates on which they got fired. But I think he stopped tracking it in 2004. Sage, if you’ve got it, please let us know. We’ll figure out which coaches, from 2004 on, Atlanta got fired.

As Sara said, I’m sure Glen Hanlon was one of them. I wanted to say that I thought Atlanta ‘may’ have helped Paul Maurice and Peter Laviolette to get fired. But I’m hazy on that. I remember that Barry Melrose was one of the first coaches fired, but I can’t remember how we did against TB early on. Denis Savard, in Chicago, was another early canning. But I don’t think we played Chicago.

Brendan

March 10th, 2009
11:57 am

Everyone’s got a McGeough story. In that regard, he’s one of the most memorable referees.

Alan

March 10th, 2009
12:23 pm

Our first game against Tampa Bay, Brendan, is a game we lost. I believe Melrose was fired after TB lost to Detroit.

Glovesave29

March 10th, 2009
1:00 pm

Sara, I am not sure what you are referring to about making the stick dangerous. Making it sharp? Never heard of any such thing.

The purpose to the curvature of a stick is to give lift and to be able to make the puck dip and/or drop in flight. Most sticks use a toe curve – this means the most curvature is between the mid point of the blade and the toe (end of the blade), so from short distances (such as the deep slot) you can get a lot of lift. The players can heat the blade to open the face of the blade to give extra “flare” – which means the curve on the ice is more severe than the curve on the top part of the blade. More curve – more speed and more accuracy. If holding the shaft against the boards, so that the heel and toe of the blade are flush, the curvature can be no more than the width of a dime.

Defensemen will use more of a mid-curve (equal amount of curve from the heel to the toe – much like a banana) as their shots come from further out and the additional lift is not as necessary. The mid curve causes a “heavy” shot and there is more downward force on the puck. As for wood – it is dead, you dont get the “whip” action as you do from the composites and you cannot generate as much speed. Wooden sticks have the advantage of better “feel”, you can get a better idea of where the puck is on your blade as you stick handle.

Some players even play with a shorter blade…Jarome Iginla has a blade that is the proper width, but the length is about the size of a junior blade. Players with quick releases, and those who work in the traffic in front of the net often have such a blade.

Spud, I am disappointed you will not be there. I always like watching a game with someone pulling for the other team…makes it much more fun. You can call TJ’s and put a round on you for all of us once we win. Fair?

Glovesave29

March 10th, 2009
1:04 pm

Hey Buzilla – here’s a great trivia question. How many Stanley Cups did #9 Bobby Hull win with the Blackhawks?

hud

March 10th, 2009
1:08 pm

if only the thrashers could be “GM killers”

Dwayne Johnson

March 10th, 2009
2:08 pm

composite sticks add speed to shots

Brendan

March 10th, 2009
2:26 pm

^5, Hud!

So far, neither rain, sleet, snow, typhoon, hurricane, tsunami, floor, earthquake, or tornado has evicted Don Waddell, the “Teflon Don.”

Brendan

March 10th, 2009
2:31 pm

That should read, “flood,” up above. But, somehow, methinks “floor” is more apt!

Dwayne Johnson

March 10th, 2009
3:06 pm

heres a trivia question…elton john’s real name?

Jimbo

March 10th, 2009
3:31 pm

The identity of the coach killer has been revealed- Donnie Brilliance. Hollaring out “Knights” during the Star Spangled Banner is both “childish and disrepectful”.

Puckwench (aka Mrs. DWTOO)

March 10th, 2009
3:43 pm

Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight, I think.

Rawhide

March 10th, 2009
4:37 pm

Dwayne Johnson & Puckwench – Yes indeed, Reginald Kenneth Dwight became Elton Hercules John in 1967. Later on, the title “Sir” was added to the front of his stage name.

Jimbo – I consider myself “Knights” neutral. I personally do not do it, if for no other reason than simply out of respect for our National Anthem as well as the person(s) who is performing it for us. However, I understand why other do…if that’s there way of remembering the team…so be it.

Now, one way to “neutralize” the “Knights” shout is if everyone sang the entire song to the top of their lungs throughout. That way, when the lyrics got to the word “night”…everyone would be vocalizing it loudly and, thus, no one could tell the difference.

Rob

March 10th, 2009
5:03 pm

Bobby Hull only one Cup with the Blackhawks. 1961 – the last time the Blackhawks hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup

Glovesave29

March 10th, 2009
5:48 pm

Close Rob…but not “entirely” correct

stendec

March 10th, 2009
10:31 pm

Am I imagining things? Another Thrasher road victory? Another shutout by Kari Lehtonen? A goal in the final second NOT scored against Atlanta? I like it! WOW! Where the Hell have THESE guys been all season? Bill, liked alien storyline a lot. Thought it was fiction. After this? I dunno. Be well pal.

Brendan

March 10th, 2009
10:32 pm

Congratulations Kari, for your 2nd shutout in three games. Don’t look now, but Atlanta has almost caught Colorado in the league standings, with this 4-point swing (2-points for Atlanta, denying 2-points for Colorado). That’s a 7-3-1 record, for fifteen of the available twenty-two (15/22) points in those games. I’m sure that Thrasher fans are happy to see a three game winning streak as well.

Hey, wonder if we’ll reach five straight wins? You know what that means? We’d “wink, wink” be a REALLY GOOD TEAM, because only REALLY GOOD TEAMS can win five games in-a-row, in this league, per Don Waddell.

Brendan

March 10th, 2009
10:33 pm

Are the ‘aliens’ back?