Kari Drops Goose Egg On Avs

Kari Lehtonen Stopped All 35 Shots Tuesday Night

Kari Lehtonen Stopped All 35 Shots Tuesday Night. AP Photo

Kari Lehtonen stopped all 35 shots he faced in Denver, Colorado Tuesday night to earn his third shutout of the season…his second in the last three games. The Thrashers score three times on 36 shots on goal to get off to a good start on this three-game road trip.

Hmmmm…and what happened to Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau a few days after the Thrashers blanked the Habs 2-0 last Friday? Be afraid Tony Granato…be very afraid!

In the past three games, the Thrashers have outscored their opposition 10-2 and Kari has stopped 87 of 89 shots that he has face. Boys and girls…that’s a .977 SV%.

Scoring for Atlanta on this winning night was Zach Bogosian, Todd White on the power play with only 0.6 seconds left in the second period and an empty-netter by Rich Peverley. For Bogey, it was his fourth of the season…for White, it was his 18th and 11th on the power play…for The Peever, it was goal number 12 this season, 10th since being plucked from the waiver wire by the Thrashers.

Ilya Kovalchuk had a pair of assists on the night. Kovy now has 36 goals and 78 points for the year…which is only nine points shy of last season’s 87.

At the beginning of the season, I felt that what was important was to see how the Thrashers played in February and March as opposed to October and November. Well, since beginning the month of February with a 2-1 shootout win in New York, Atlanta is 9-6-1and are 7-3-1 in their past eleven games.

Now with 58 points on the season, the Thrashers are only four points behind Ottawa for 12th place in the conference…though the Senators have a pair of games in hand. However, the Thrashers are but a single point behind Colorado, who holds the 27th spot in the league. They are four behind Phoenix and Ottawa who are in the 25th and 26th spots in the league.

What that means is that Atlanta is only four points away from being a non-lottery team.

NHL Putting A Lid On Fighting?

Fighting in NHL hockey games has begun to get some more attention these days…specifically, the practice of dropping helmets as well as the gloves. The discussion has been fed by two incidents that happened during minor league games. One led to a half minute long seizure and head injury…another led to the tragicdeathof 21-year old Don Sanderson. In both instances, the players lost their helmets during the fight.

Thrashers Enforcer Eric Boulton

Thrashers Enforcer Eric Boulton. AP Photo

In this article by Tom Ferda, Scotty Bowman, now a Senior Advisor for the Chicago Blackhawks, and Atlanta Thrashers forward Eric Boulton take opposite viewpoints on the possibility of requiring players to keep their protective headgear on when fights break out on the ice.

Also, what is trying to be stopped is the so called “stage fights” in which players are simply looking to pump up and energized their team.

What say you?

Friday Nights = Man Plan In Blueland

OK, now the Thrashers sales and marketing folks are starting to make some sense. Friday nights now come with the ability to get into Thrashers games by way of the Man Plan. The deal provides a ticket to the game, unlimited hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, soft pretzels and fountains drinks. It also provides a chance to meet and have photos taken with members of the Blue Crew.  Man Plans start at $32.

Oooohhhhhhhh YEAH!! This is a great idea!

Now, in the name of fairness and equality…do you ladies think that another night of the week should be set aside for similar type deals. Only, along with the seats to a game, you get unlimited amounts of selected foods and an opportunity to meet Atlanta Thrashers players?

Maybe call it the Chicks Tix plan?

86 comments Add your comment

Alan

March 11th, 2009
12:59 am

I’m not too big a fan of the new proposed rules for fighting. Let the players fight, and if they choose to fight off the face-off, that’s their business. To me, it’s a big overreaction due to some very unfortunate circumstances that have happened in the recent past. Tell me, did the NHL ban players from driving after the unfortunate incident involving Heatley? We all know the answer to that. What about snow blowers? Did the NHL ban players from using those devices, considering what happened to Sakic? I rest my case.

“The man plan” … meh. Color me unimpressed. Yeah, the Blue Crew. There are some nice looking women on there, but what am I going to do with a picture of one of them? Wait. Don’t answer that, because that’s not what I’m thinking. I swear it. And really, we here in The Land of The Lard Arse really shouldn’t be given more opportunities to stuff our faces full of fatty foods. From a marketing standpoint, however, if it draws a crowd to the arena, then I suppose it works.

Really good to see this team continue to play strong and for sixty solid minutes. A few defensive breakdowns, but nothing that Kari couldn’t handle. He looked like he was breakdancing out there for some of those saves. Someone should make a video featuring Lehtonen set to the musical stylings of Public Enemy and Run-DMC.

Two shutouts in three games. This is our defense of the future. It’s great to see them play like this, even though there’s no chance at the playoffs. They’re playing like a TEAM, and it shows. They’re making me hopeful for next year, but I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not. I guess we’ll find out.

Wayne

March 11th, 2009
1:01 am

Someone stop this team right now!!! We’re playing ourselves right out of the ping pong balls for John Tavares!

We’re also playing right into Atlanta Spirit thinking Don Waddell is the answer!

Wayne

March 11th, 2009
1:05 am

Did anyone see the boxscore: an announced paid attendance of 13,608 in Denver? Someone alert the Bitter Queens of the Toronto Hockey Media–an alleged hockey city is drawing as bad as Atlanta!

Glovesave29

March 11th, 2009
7:22 am

Heckuva game. Good puck support, sound defensive positioning…the definately had their giddyap on last night. Bring on the Oil!

Fighting will never totally leave hockey. It actually polices the game and once the fight has happened, the games tends to settle down. What they are trying to get rid of are the “staged” fights. The times when the goon is sent out after a goal just to “get the team pumped”, or the two who skate up during a face off and ask “ya wanna go?” even when the situation doesn’t call for it. As for the helmets – at least they are smoother these days, no more wierd angles and “J” clips (they were used to keep the visor in place) to cut the knickes to shreds during a fight.

LAC

March 11th, 2009
7:54 am

Yet AGAIN… Perfect,WHY could this not have happened earlier ?

I believe if Zach had not been hurt, and Peverley here all season, we would have 8-10 more wins. Maybe not in the playoffs… but close.

I hope these silly owners commit to brining in some SOLID UFA’s,
but then if so,will waddell screw it up ?

Will we see another goalie fight in Edmonton ? Remember when we had to finish a game because we had NO goalie ? Let’s hope for another GOOSE EGG there, remember they are returning from a LONG trip in the east just like Colorado did, so GOOD chance for aWIN !

Mike

March 11th, 2009
8:04 am

Love how the Thrashers are playing right now. Not really worried about losing out on the lottery…if it happens because we finish with a charge, then maybe Kovy will bemore inclined to stay, andmaybe we will not be dependent upon Wadell (puleeze!) to make some good decisions to improve. And, maybe we can draw some interst from UFA in the off season if we finish on an obvious run.

LAC

March 11th, 2009
8:30 am

Just looked at the Denver Post site, they are complaning about losing to a “bottom feeder” and another “lowly” team….

Yeah guys… Lots of room to talk, since we are a point behind you and playing much better right now than you are Thank-You !

Get your heads out of the snow DENVER !

Smoothie

March 11th, 2009
8:44 am

Color me optimistic, but I think this team may just be “headed in the right direction.” OMG! Did I just write that?? 9-6-1 is more telling than a random 4 or 5 game winning streak. The difference seems to be cohesion, consistent hustle, sound positioning defensively, chemistry on all forward lines and recently, very stellar goaltending.

Obviously, we still need to address the issue of RW on the 2nd line or first line C (although Whitey is making a strong case to stick with Kovy & Litts) in the offseason, but we are seeing a glimpse into the hopefully bright future of this team. Bogey and Enstrom-boli are proving they can be a legit top tier tandem and after an additional offseason of conditioning, I think they will validate my claim next year. Lastly, they both really seem to enjoy playing with one another as Toby has embraced the leadership and mentor role for Bogey now that Havelid has been shipped to Newark.

Also, Boris Valabik is finally starting to look like an NHL-capable defenseman. I don’t think he’ll ever be confused with Chara or Pronger, but it looks like he is learning how to use his size, reach and strength to dominate down low and befuddle would-be shots on goal.

In closing, I want to give a sincere and heartfelt apology to Mr. Todd White who has proven that you don’t need to be 6′ 2″, 210 lbs to play #1 C in this league. I am quite guilty of referring to Todd as “Charmin” and not so affectionately. However, I am enjoying a heaping serving of crow this year thanks to his consistent play and steadying influence. While he may not be a top line C on every team, he has shown that chemistry with one’s linemates is more important.

Jimbo

March 11th, 2009
8:45 am

Can’t we petition the NHL to move the playoffs back a month or two so that we get yet another shot at making it? Sorry that we’re losing PING PONG BALLS at an alarming rate, but I’d much rather see a positive end to this “ugly” season and have a glimmer of hope for next year. Peverly, Bogosian, Valabik, Stuart and a few other young guys are starting to show their stuff. Where in the world is STENDEC with his Kari rants?

Vitamin Z

March 11th, 2009
8:47 am

A few late wins will not convince Kovy to stay, unfortunately. We need a change in the management. Then…and only then will we have a chance of signing him. We also need to get some serious help for him in the center. While Paverly is a good player, he is not of the caliber to be able to support our Russian star.

I agree that the fighting should be left alone. It’s part of the game. Yes, the mentioned incidents are unfortunate, but let’s try not to get carried away. Should we ban the skate sharpening? I clearly remember a few players getting cut. And as far as I can recall, it wasn’t pretty. Granted those were accidents and you can’t really compare the two, but my point is that accidents happen. Let’s not have a knee jerk reaction and think rationally.

The Man Plan should be renamed to the Hard Attack plan. That’s a more suitable name for it.

And lastly, I was wrong on the prediction of 5-10-2, obviously. If we continue to play the way we are (crossing my fingers) then we can set some kind of a record for the most wins in the franchise history in the last 25 (?) games. Does anyone have the stats for this?

This team is starting to look exciting again.

jackie blue

March 11th, 2009
9:44 am

Hey Ice Man,I’m looking forward to seeing what those “chick tix” might be. Let’s be fair…

Alan

March 11th, 2009
9:56 am

A few late wins will not convince Kovy to stay, unfortunately. We need a change in the management. Then…and only then will we have a chance of signing him.

Man, am I ever loving the conjecture on the blogs in recent days. Yes, the management is horrid and we as fans want those idiots (Waddell+ownership) O-U-T-OUT! However, for all we know, Kovalchuk might be real close to Waddell. For all we know, they might actually already have a gentleman’s agreement on a deal, perhaps of Ovechkin-like proportions, and he will sign it on the first or second of July. Or, for all we know, all this talk might just be smoke and mirrors, and Kovalchuk will walk regardless of anything and everything he has said in the past year or two about wanting to win it all in Atlanta.

Spud Webb

March 11th, 2009
10:08 am

I love how the Thrashers are playing, my brother up in Philly isn’t laughing at me so much the last few weeks!!!!! We are playing with GRIT and PRIDE and HEART!!!!!!!!!!!! YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
On the downside this does appear to make DW look good and he’s liable to get like a 20 year extenstion!!! UGH.
Smoothie, some good points. I still have to disagree with White and would much rather see him on the 2nd or 3rd line. Bring in a stud 1st liner. Just my opinion.
Valabik will be fine, just needs to keep playing, agreed he will never be Chara but the kid will do just fine.
Fighting, now on this I might not be to well liked after this post!! I think they have to allow it, no-not the bench clearing but the players have to be able to police themselvs. I’m a FIRM believer that if the rules hadn’t been so tight that Steve Moore would still be playing. Bertuzzi wanted to fight him after he ran Naslund in the previous meeting. Moore wouldn’t fight, bottom line. When they stop letting NHL players police themselves, bad things are going to happen. Make NO mistake, I wasn’t (and am not) happy that Moore is never going to play again. But had he fought like he should’ve in the previous game, the situation would’ve been OVER and never carried to the next meeting. The fear of the instigator penalty negates that.

JJ302

March 11th, 2009
10:39 am

It looks like the Thrashers needed 2/3rds of a season to get the stink of COACH Waddell off of them.

They need to win most of their final games (except Saturday and April 1st) to set the stage for next season.

As for fighting the current rules need to be enforced. I have seen more charging penalties called this season than instigator penalties. At Sunday’s game my wife said she thought the NHL had gotten rid of the charging call.

Dwayne Johnson

March 11th, 2009
11:02 am

look at it this way, if the season was a month old, and they continued to play this well up until the dead line, the Thrashers would look to add a solid scorer and some depth, i think thats what Atlanta should do this offseason. Has Kozlov’s skills deteriorated to the point were he is best suited for PP only? If ATL. gets a top 4 forward does Kozlov drop to the 3rd line? Does White drop to the 3rd line if a top 2 center is signed? Does the chemistry suffer if White is not paired with Kovy next year? Has the offense suffered this year. Not as far as the stats say. Its the “D” that has suffered, yes, I know, “D” is a team effort, and it was not there for the most part of this year, but it is now. Thanks to Zach, without a doubt. He is gonna be a all-star real soon. Look at the ages of the Thrashers now, we are young(pat benatar). lots of good things happening in Atl. Hope court issues are settled soon.

Deke-Opotamus

March 11th, 2009
11:02 am

The Man Plan, huh? I like it, but can I trade in the dogs, popcorn, nachos, and pretzels for beer?

Dwayne Johnson

March 11th, 2009
11:08 am

hey deke, find a fat man, he will probably trade ya.

Hockey Biltong

March 11th, 2009
11:25 am

John Andersons’ system is really starting to click. I believe he was the one with an eyeball on Pevs, and although I would have have wished the team to be clicking in Dec.,I also need to be cognisant as a fan of being realistic in timelining teams road to success. The blog has shattered and rebuilt this team in many ways and conventions, some more interesting than others.

But where the rubber meets the road this team has gradually, but steadily, improved. So forget the ping pong balls and revel in bona-fide wins. And be true supportive fans to the players and coaches who are also trying to figure this winning thing out. Scream and shout so that they may hear you! With smaller attendance numbers, it’s actually easier for a player to hear your encouragement or derision, as the case may be.

So, GO THRASHERS……….

Michael Shapiro

March 11th, 2009
11:56 am

Great game last night. Held my breath several times, but Kari was up to the task. Amazing.

Rawhide, way back when you had the “Schneid Island” contest. I see that X and Boris are the lone members of the group (at least in terms of scoring a goal). Any guess if one or the other might build a raft and escape the island this year?

At the other end of the spectrum, who might be added to the “20 or more” roster? Little and Kovy are safely aboard, but will Slava or White make it? Could Army find the strings 4 times in the remaining games to join the crowd?

Last, but not least, I heard Darin and JP talking last night about Bogo’s hope to break the Thrasher season record for goals by a defenseman (held by Yannick Tremblay with 10). Bogo has 4 and is shooting to beat the record this year. Any thoughts on whether he can do it??

Nice to see the team gelling. Would love Tavares, but would also hate to see the boys start losing again!

Go Thrash. Beat the oil out of the Oilers!

JD

March 11th, 2009
11:59 am

I was in the car listening to the 680 post game. They said they had “some great news for Thrashers fans… Breaking news” Then I lost the signal while driving and didn’t catch what the news was…

Anybody hear it? Or have an idea about it?

Smitty

March 11th, 2009
12:11 pm

Young defensemen are starting to jell. X looked slow and awkward during 3rd period. Kulda might be the answer next year. Esposito shows some promise. Future does not look so bleak after all. One or two top free agents with some size could make a difference. Fuel for thought. Hossa only signed a one year contract. Any chance of him coming back to a young contending team?

Rawhide

March 11th, 2009
12:31 pm

For the comments regarding the fact that the Thrashers may be winning their way out of the Tavares Sweepstakes…I agree with those who say, “fine with me”.

Jackie Blue – How about the ladies purchase a ticket, get some free food and have a chance to meet and have photos with the AJC’s Thrashers Fan Blogger? Hmmm…????

Michael Shapiro – If I had to choose between the two…I would say XLB scores first and leaves Boris on the island.

Vitamin Z – I think we stand a much better shot at re-signing Kovy by winning now and showing promise for the future than if we were to finish the rest of the season by losing & getting a higher draft pick.

Given the choice between the two…Kovy and Tavares…I would rather have Kovy. And I do believe that is the choice we are facing. If we suck so bad we that we have a chance to get Tavares…Kovy doesn’t stay. If we play well enough that we aren’t even a lottery pick team…we have a bteer chance at re-signing Kovy.

Top Shelf

March 11th, 2009
12:35 pm

Staged fights are some of the best there are! Remember Probert – Domi? (round 1-3)

Fighting is only an issue now because of the size of these monsters. Heavyweights now go 6-6 or 6-7 and weigh 260 lbs.

I have no problem with making the helmets stay on, these guys can bang on helmets as well as faces. It will also protect the noggins from the ice.

So keep the fights, but make the helmets stay on.

Russian

March 11th, 2009
1:03 pm

Don should work with Kari Agent ASAP. If he is going to wait, Kari may be leave a team. He is plaing GREAT lately. Also we need UFA winger for second line. Armi is not a second line winger even Perrin. Next game Ex should be sit in press box and new Finn step up into ice. Atlanta should keep winning game by game. If they win all games it will be great deal to get contract to Kovy, Reasoner, Armi and make some interest to other UFAs. I like our 4-th line. They should stay together.

R. Stroz

March 11th, 2009
1:14 pm

If the GMs want to alter the fighting situation, they should enforce current rules first. I have seen incessant third player instigator situations ignored all season. So here are my cures:

1) Enforce the thrid man instigator rule, even on Cindy Crotchby.

2) Change boarding to a four minute penalty. There is no reason that an unintentional hook should carry the same weight as boarding.

3) If the refs don’t enforce the instigator and boarding rules, SUSPEND the refs without pay.

If these actions were taken, the players need to enforce the rules would subside.

Spud Webb

March 11th, 2009
1:54 pm

Did anyone see Brasher get DROPPED last night? WOW I’ve never seen him go down like that! OUCH.

jcwhitingjr

March 11th, 2009
2:15 pm

I thought the same thing about the Brashear fight, Spud. Couldn’t believe my eyes.

kracker

March 11th, 2009
2:20 pm

Rawhide, here’s something to consider. The Thrash began consistently playing better in Feburary…just days after the huge road trip gathering of 152 rabid fans watched them play the Canes at HSBC. Though they played hard and lost 0-2, I heard the players were quite appreciative and a bit awed that such a large group of fans would make the trip to join the team on the road. Perhaps we helped them get motivated for the next game or two. The next game (at Rangers) was almost a shutout, this was the game where Kovy hit the post trying for the EN goal with a half minute left and it went on to be a SO win after the Rags tied it. ANyway, it surely helps to have good fan support.

Alan

March 11th, 2009
2:26 pm

Russian, Kari is RFA this year, so he’s still Thrashers property, and won’t leave the team unless he’s going back to Finland. But having said that, I completely agree that D-Wad needs to get on the horn with Kari’s agent and work out a new deal. He’s playing really strong hockey right now, and made some of the most amazing saves last night.

Spud, I did see that. It just goes to show you what happens when he goes up against someone his own size. I’d like to see Valabik step in and kick his arse across the ice, should he try to pull the same crap he did earlier this season with Bogosian.

Here’s that fight from last night …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzQj31fVycU

… and also last night, check out this huge open ice his McKee laid out on Parrish in the Stars@Blues tilt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSurWu8b1uo

…and the ensuing fight (well, the entirity of the ’skirmish’ from the video above)…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ-bhJOf4IM

Alan

March 11th, 2009
2:30 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I guess the limit on links in a submission is included in the new blog software, too. At least I am given a notice that my comment is awaiting moderation instead of knowing absolutely nothing.

Alan

March 11th, 2009
2:40 pm

Imagine …
Kovalchuk. Little. Bogosian. Peverley. Hainsey. the Sedins.

Yep. That’s right. Vancouver is having problems with their contract negotiations with the pair, and they could end up hitting the market on 1 July 2009. http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Talks+with+Sedin+twins+reach+standstill/1375268/story.html

(Yes, I know it’s highly unlikely that we could land the pair, much less convince JP Barry that Atlanta is a good place for them to play, but it’s a fun thought. C’mon, admit it, I’ve got you thinking about it now, too)

Viking

March 11th, 2009
2:44 pm

OK, here we go again with my hockey pet peeve:

Fighting is a part of hockey, but in my opinion only justified when there is a “real” reason or understandable when feelings boil over.

But this “staged BS” is ridiculous and I am certain it keeps some folks that potentially would have been interested in hockey away. They package hockey as a sport together with wrestling. Especially reaffirmed in their position since the referees are condoning the nonsense by standing around watching an ongoing rule violation without taking action. What other sport is like that? I cannot come up with any. Likewise, the TV commentators feed into it, catering to the wrestling crowd of the viewers. I do not give a hoot who is the perceived winner of a fight. If it is justified, a good blow to the nose of someone that deserves it is good enough for me. I am crazy about hockey, but quickly got tired of attending Knight’s games for the very same reason – aside from sitting behind low life spectators jumping up at any sign of a fight.

Back in Sweden, at least in the past when I lived there (I do not know how it is nowadays), you knew it was a real fight for a real reason and the referees broke it up before it started to get crazy. But in the NHL, the motives are unclear. When Boulton is in a fight seconds after the beginning of a game, it is certainly reason to question current rules and what the heck the people that is defending the stupidity are saying.

To those of you that compare hockey fighting with snow blowing, car driving, skate sharpening or whatever; The comparison has a flaw. You are forgetting that the act of fighting has an intended element of hurting or perhaps with or without intent to injure. I will gladly take a hundred car drives, be around ice skating hockey players or maybe even blow snow before I got into even one hockey fight. Almost anybody would likely be suffering from some level of negative effect after the one fight, but escape with no lasting boo-boos after 100 times of the former.

Again, believe me, staged fighting or what we should call it, is degrading hockey as a sport in many peoples eyes and a deterrent for new potential fans.

Rawhide

March 11th, 2009
2:47 pm

Alan – Yup, when someone puts that many links in a comment it sends it straight to blogging purgatory. I have directed Trixie to free it up for you.

Tony C.

March 11th, 2009
3:10 pm

KL is playing for a contract. Well, if he gets it, I would put so many stipulations on it that he’d have to pay back money if we see the loss of focus that has come to be associated with KL. Though his comments from the post-game interview (paraphrasing): “It’s nice to have the guys playing so good in front for the past…two weeks…it’s nice. I get lucky with the pipes tonight, but I’ll take it.”

I wonder if he understands that it’s going to be on him to be the best player on the ice if he re-signs here? That’s what’s been missing from his game, and I can understand his frustrations coming to bear when you see a 10-year vet give an opposing forward the “Ole’!” defense (copyright 2007-2008 A. Zhitnik), but that’s what it is dude.

He’s got to recognize that he’s either going to be behind greenhorns or also-rans-and pouting isn’t going to make Exelby any stronger of a skater (by the way, whatabout that sliding poke-chek from X last night? I think that’s the single finest defensive play of his career).

I loved his work in the 1st and 3rd, I would like to see our players not be so quick to put the puck into the middle of the ice when trying to break up the opposing team’s attack-but that isn’t on KL. His proclivity to make the lazy outlet-around-the-rim almost cost him/us AGAIN last night-hes got to stop that nonchalant type of play.

That being said, it’s nice to see the guy playing the type of game we all know he can.

Alan

March 11th, 2009
3:20 pm

You are forgetting that the act of fighting has an intended element of hurting or perhaps with or without intent to injure.

Vad?!

The injuries that the league is concerned with is head injuries, and particularly the type of injury where the head hits the ice. The league, as well as proponents for an outright moratorium on fighting, cite one incident that happened in an amateur league game in Ontario back in December.

So hey. I cited one incident that happened this year, as well as one incident that happened in 2003. Sure, it’s comparing apples, oranges, and bananas. Sort of like taking an incident in an amateur league game and trying to compare it to incidents in the NHL.

One comparison is just as disingenuous as the other.

Spud Webb

March 11th, 2009
3:35 pm

Viking I have to respectfully disagree. The so called “staged” fights are also necessary. We have NO idea what the history between two players might be? I read a great article in the GM for Toronto, Burke, he went on about a guy who had speared him 2 years previously. This was the first time they’d seen each other since then (various reasons) & they lined up and got it on. Point being for us in the stands, we have ZERO idea of what’s going on or what the history may or may not be between two TEAMS or Players, whats said on the ice, in the lockerrooms or anywhere for that matter. The folks who want fighting out of Hockey are people who have no idea about hockey and are not fans. Again all my opinion. Two guys lining up and “staging” it is perfectly fine by me. Even if it’s just to old goons who want the heavyweight championship one last time!!!!!!!

Viking

March 11th, 2009
3:36 pm

Alan, there are few teams that could afford what it would take to get the Sedin twins, but the Thrashers would at least have the cap space possibility with all their “low paid” youngsters.

Imagine what lines we could get. Now Daniel plays left with Henrik as a center, keep imagining…

Tony C.

March 11th, 2009
3:55 pm

the Sedin sisters? REALLY? Don’t we have enough soft-ish skilled forwards already?

Viking

March 11th, 2009
5:36 pm

Tony C, the Sedins produce about 80 points each. Even if they are 6.2″ teddybears…

Alan, what would be the purpose of fighting if there is not an intention of hurting the opponent? (= potentially injure)? Putting on a show? As you say, no helmet increases the risk of the recipient hitting the ice with severe injuries. With a helmet on restriction, I’ll guess we can resort to enjoy these unneccesary spectacles just risking our player’s broken jaws, noses and bloody knuckles…

Spud Webb, if old quibbles carry over to a new game, I categorize this as being understandable reasons for a fight due to feelings boiling over during the heat of play. But it should not be a premeditated or an anticipated impedment of the current game. Certainly not a reason for referees to act like they were officiating boxing. I did not say fighting is not a part of hockey. I am sure I am as much of a fan as you are even if I look down on “last champion fights between two goons”.

I just think the “wrestling part” of hockey should go.

HookyBob

March 11th, 2009
6:08 pm

Even though we are playing very well, isn’t this the time of the season that we should evaluate new and young talent?

Who wants to see Anssi Samela play? Should we keep playing the current roster and see how far it takes us? If he is to play,…who sits?

Dumb question: To keep us in the lottery,..why not start pulling our goalie at the 10 minute mark of the 3rd period? (I seem to remember something like this happening on the last day of the 1971+/- season.)

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 11th, 2009
6:13 pm

If the goalie was pulled at the 10 minute mark in the 3rd I would expect the coach to be fired immediately after the conclusion of the game, even sooner if possible. That is completely unethical, and is down right disrespectful to the paying customers, opponents, and your own players.

Would you pay a restaurant for an entree if they stopped serving food after the appetizer?

I’m guessing the majority of paying fans remaining for that lottery candidate wouldn’t be too happy with the idea, either.

Tony C.

March 11th, 2009
6:51 pm

VIKING:

Granted, they are point-producers, but let’s look ate the team we have under contract for the 2K9-2K10 season, then factor in where you slot the Sedins:

#17/White/Little (Not broke, not fixing it…)

Kozlov/Sedin/Sedin

Stuart/Reasoner/Armi

“gods” line

Or even if you make a “super” line:

#17/Sedin/Sedin

Kozlov or Peverly/White/Little

Stuart/Reasoner/Armi

“Gods” line…

Now you have balanced scoring throughout, but I just don’t see a line that can go out and “impose their will”. Certainly I get all drooly thinking about Sedins + #17 on the PP-but I don’t think that they’d be a truly good fit here. I also have to mention, their agent is sure to be asking for a long-term contract. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have Kovalchuk for life than the Sedins for a long time (I mean think about it, they’re looking for $7M+/year FOR EACH)…sign those two and you can wave goodbye to kovalchuk after next season (couldn’t afford him) as well as the Bogosians, Littles and so forth that they’ve finally committed to developing.

I dunno. I just don’t think their production is worth the hamstring of the price-tag. Plus, I think we’re good on their skill-set. I’d like to see more guys of a Ryan Smyth-type mold; get to the net and pay the price.

Of course so are fans of the other 29 clubs.

Alan

March 11th, 2009
6:53 pm

Hooky, I’m loving the wins, but I’d also love to see the kids play. We definitely need to find out what’s going to click and what needs adjustments for next season.

All I care about is sixty minutes of strong, solid hockey. Wins are a big bonus to that.

Rawhide

March 11th, 2009
7:24 pm

Hey guys, in case you haven’t seen it yet, Mike Knobler got Bruce Levenson to sit down and talk about the Thrashers. Levenson talks about ticket prices staying put, discount ticket deals, past trades he would love to have back, Don Waddell’s future, John Anderson’s “terrific” job as head coach given the circumstances and “the trial”.

five_hole

March 11th, 2009
7:38 pm

So, Rawhide, are you saying that since Levenson gave John Anderson the dreaded “vote of confidence”, Anderson’s gone?

Alan

March 11th, 2009
7:53 pm

Waddell gave him that same “vote of confidence” earlier this year. I think the two votes cancel each other out.

Rawhide

March 11th, 2009
8:01 pm

Five_Hole – Oooooooooo, let’s hope not. I’ll go with Alan’s suggestion.

Brendan

March 11th, 2009
8:16 pm

This was the BEST Bruce Levensen interview I’ve read yet. Last April’s interview with Craig Custance had me vomiting in my mouth a little. Whatever respect I might have had for Levensen was LOST in that Custance interview. This one, however, gave me a “glimmer of hope.” He outright REFUSED to state Waddell will return. But, let’s face it, he probably will. I don’t blame Anderson for this season. He doesn’t have the HORSES to implement his system. We can criticize him for “not figuring out a better strategy” until two-thirds of the season was over. Of course, maybe the problem was the aging vets, Havelid and Schneider, who are gone now. I said, ‘maybe.’

Bruce also showed 100% commitment to retaining Kovalchuk this offseason. Now, to be clear, there are re-signings and … there are re-signings.

Huh????

If Ilya agrees to a TWO YEAR DEAL … all the organization did was put a “bandaid” on a gunshot wound. 2012 will arrive, just like 2010 will arrive. And either the issues will have been worked out, or we’ll face the prospect of losing him again. Maybe even ‘Hossa style.’ Although, I doubt that. By 2011, the Thrashers ought to have been fixed, by lottery draft selections, waiver claims, and player development, lest they have been SABBOTAGED by ill-advised trades.

Kovalchuk’s contract HAS TO BE FIVE YEARS or more. Period, the end. But it doesn’t END there. They must tackle the “THE MASTER PLAN” for this organization moving forward … in THISSSS offseason. Maybe that means firing Waddell? Maybe it means firing Anderson? Or both? Maybe that means making some PROACTIVE contracts to Kovalchuk, Kozlov, Little, Pavelec, even Colin Stuart. There’s the matter of pending RFA’s like Lehtonen, Valabik, Oystrick, Crabb, Slater, and Armstrong. A decision on Mike Hoffman, Brett Sterling, Eric Perrin, etc., should be made.

Is it time to give LaVallee, Holzapfel, Lewis, Kulda, and Denny a look?

But this organization has got to stop flying by the seat of its pants, rudderless, at the whims of the wafting breeze.

Glovesave29

March 11th, 2009
8:33 pm

Given the current economic state, I would sign Kovy to a two year in a NY minute. This malaise cannot last forever, so why pin him down to a contract that will reflect a shrinking salary cap? Get him signed this summer…we have him for 3 more years and let’s move forward. I am more than happy to worry about 2012 when it gets here. He’ll only be 27, so he can get the mega-daddy, bomb-diggety lifetime contract then. And as discussed before, we are nearing the end of the Mayan Long Calendar, so who knows if we will even be here for the full season after it expires. Due to falling economics, players are already putting 15% of their salaries into escrow that the owners get back when the season ends. Speculation says it may even rise to 20%.

If we do as Bob suggests, pulling the goalie with 10 to play, the league would certainly step in. You must play with your full compliment of players and must play to win. Just as the league has stepped in when players were resting and sitting just prior to the playoffs. The reason is that the team playing the team resting players (or pulling the goalie early) is giving the opponent an unfair advantage in gaining points for a play off run. Other teams fighting for that same position will raise hell as they are playing teams fighting to win the game. You have the appearance of impropriety, and you will undoubtedly face accusations of the game being fixed, thus putting the ethics of the league in question.

David

March 11th, 2009
10:58 pm

To save this team Wadell has to go. The ASG has done nothing for the fans since being here

Check out this plea to save our team
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1521367/gary_bettman_please_save_hockey_in.html?cat=14

R. Stroz

March 11th, 2009
11:05 pm

Just when I was starting to get enthused about the Thrashers prospects next season based on their performance the last month, Bruce Levenson essentially says that the Thrashers payroll numbers will be hovering around the salary floor again.

UP YOURS BRUCE.

Spud Webb

March 12th, 2009
9:10 am

Levenson is such a tool. So we are going to be near the floor again next year, then how does he expect to sign Kovy??? Or a number one center? Or since we didnt get a legit #1 Dman as promised a year ago?? UGH, man i get so worked up. Love this crap…”The lawsuit is about buying out a partner. There will be an end to that process, and there will be a buying out of that partner. We have begun to have conversations with people about the possibility of them coming into our group and buying out that interest. That may or may not happen.

So does that mean we will have another jack&ss as an owner? Wonderful, throw one more idiot into the mix.
And the talk about Waddell, “we have a great working relationship”. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE????????????????? With the product that DW had produced, Levesnon as his BOSS should be PISSED and fire the guy. What is that? A great working relationship, well woooopy, who gives a flip.
Sorry, just frustrated.

Alan

March 12th, 2009
10:10 am

LAC

March 12th, 2009
12:01 pm

Right Spud.. It is awful to watch them be in control !

Russian

March 12th, 2009
12:23 pm

**to Alan**
It is intresting Game. I never saw it before. I guest we have to send Don Waddell to this prison and recrute couple forwards. :-)

Bob

March 12th, 2009
12:36 pm

Good letter, David! Have you rec’d any response to it?

**So we are going to be near the floor again next year, then how does he expect to sign Kovy???**

Come on now, we spend $10m on Kovy and then we have Peverly and White as our top 2 centers, Little as his RW and Armstrong at RW, they only spot I see them replacing is Havelid and I expect another Hainsey type signing, leaving us yet again without a true #1, but mabye Bogosian can grow into that quickly?

Mr. Heat Miser

March 12th, 2009
1:33 pm

Levenson couldn’t find his ass with two hands and a hunting dog.

Tony C.

March 12th, 2009
2:38 pm

from PuckDaddy:

http://www.faniq.com/blog/Video-Miss-Virginia-Tara-Wheeler-Interview-Blog-20461

Kinda hard to believe nobody would sponsor her helmet being painted don’tcha think?

Rawhide

March 12th, 2009
5:11 pm

Just an FYI in case you haven’t heard…tonight’s game in Edmonton has been change to a 9:30 face off. It had originally been slated for a 9:00 start.

Alan

March 12th, 2009
8:44 pm

Slater with yet another goal to start this tilt off. 1-0 Thrashers.

Brendan

March 12th, 2009
9:08 pm

Slater’s 7th??

I hope he can pot 10 goals this year. He’s trying to cement his role on this team. I wish him luck. People sometimes forget … Jim Slater was a 1st round draft pick, in 2002. He was the “inducement” Atlanta received to not select Bouwmeester with the 2nd overall pick, from Florida. I think that 30th overall pick was originally the Detroit Red Wings’. Then Detroit gave it to Buffalo as part of the Hasek deal. (Sabres got Slava Kozlov.) In an unrelated trade, Buffalo moved that 30th overall pick to Columbus. Columbus leveraged that 30th overall pick to Florida to get the 1st overall pick, in 2002. Florida then simply passed that 30th overall pick to Atlanta, on the condition that Atlanta not select who Florida wanted (Bouwmeester).

Atlanta got Kozlov from Buffalo at the 2002 Draft, along with Buffalo’s 2nd round pick in 2003, in exchange for Atlanta’s 2nd round pick in 2003 and Vancouver’s 3rd round choice, previously acquired, in 2003.

It’s now, 2-1, Atlanta, thanks to a backhand goal by Bryan Little, his 29th of the season. Bryan Little’s agent is waiting to uncork the champagne when goal #30 is deposited. Cha-ching!

Smoothie

March 12th, 2009
9:25 pm

This just in: Bogosian is special. Wow is this kid gonna be good…wait, check that, he IS good. 1 more for B-Litts on a pretty transition play. Reasy was robbed by Rolly; I hope Marty gets on the scoresheet by the time its all said and done.

Rawhide

March 12th, 2009
9:29 pm

Smoooooothie – Amen THAT regarding Bogey. This kid is really starting to find his groove. I love his speed and puck handling skills. Oh…and his play on D ain’t too shabby either, eh?

Smoothie

March 12th, 2009
9:40 pm

Rawhiiiiide!!! Uh oh, Kovy may be out with a muscle strain and his absence may be leading to some letdown flatness for lack of a better phrase. 3 to 2 EDM now, darn it.

Rawhide

March 12th, 2009
10:00 pm

Uhhhhhh…speaking of Bogosian….WOW!!!! What a bullet shot for a PP goal to tie the game!

Smoothie

March 12th, 2009
10:00 pm

Bogo with the missile launch rocket slapper. Tied at 3. Doing his best Kovy impression, kid is stone cold.

Brendan

March 12th, 2009
10:01 pm

No, it’s 3-3. Bogosian just scored his 5th of the year, on the PP. Is Kovy done for the night?

Smoothie

March 12th, 2009
10:07 pm

I think they need to review that goal as the replay made it look like Litts redirected it. 30th for Little??

Smoothie

March 12th, 2009
10:35 pm

Good third period of hockey so far, on both sides of the ledger. Two good young teams, doing a lot of the little things u need to be successful.

Tony C.

March 12th, 2009
10:49 pm

PLEASE tell me #17 isn’t hurt bad!!!!

I just got home and turned the game on-DE was talking about guys having to “pick up Kovy’s slack”-what happened?

Brendan

March 12th, 2009
10:51 pm

Smoothie, I saw it the same way. I thought Little redirected it in, on that PPG. Hey, Bryan Little is gonna get that 30th. And I doubt it matter much to Zach if he gets a goal or an assist on that play, but it’ll be interesting to see how they “officially” score it by the end of the night. They may even have 24 hours to change it. Or something like that.

Thrashers on the PP, with 6:00 left in regulation time. Very exciting! Edmonton needs these two points badly. They must, at least, come away with one-point. Side note, the NY Islanders won and so did the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nobody’s “tanking it,” from where I sit.

Brendan

March 12th, 2009
10:56 pm

There are times when I just want to choke Darren Eliot. But then, there are times when he makes a really poignant comment about Valabik needing to learn some veteran moves, like moving his feet to force the opposing Center to play him more closely, before he clears the defensive zone.

It tells me … Darren Eliot is no idiot. He’s just an Atlanta Spirit, LLC, paid employee. I wish Eliot could be unshackled, in terms of delivering a candid opinion on the franchise.

Rawhide

March 12th, 2009
10:56 pm

Tony C. – Don’t know the answer to your question. Kovy came off after his first shift doubled over. Went to locker room after a brief stay on the bench. I heard it was a muscle strain…looked like either his back or ribs.

Tony C.

March 12th, 2009
11:01 pm

Mr. T.-Thx, I’m still holding my breath….great action tonight-love this “new” team.

Is it just me or does it seem like 85% of the guys all pulled their head out at the same time???

Also, just thinking out loud here, do we call Sterling up even though Chicago is about to embark on their playoff run?

Brendan

March 12th, 2009
11:06 pm

Hey Ranallo, Patrick O’Sullivan got his 1st goal as an Oiler tonight. O’Sullivan and Bogosian/Little were just mixing it up in the overtime. Thrashers are actually gunning for 4 wins in-a-row, right?

Brendan

March 12th, 2009
11:08 pm

MArty Reasoner stings his former team!! Thrashers win!! 4-3, in overtime!! Reasoner’s 200th point of his career.

Brendan

March 12th, 2009
11:09 pm

Has Reasoner been re-signed yet? Or are we waiting ’til the middle of June to go about doing that? Four wins in a row now, correct?

Tony C.

March 12th, 2009
11:20 pm

Ok my neighbors are knocking on their ceiling….but WOW!!!

As soon as I saw the lob-pass and it lands in front of Marty, I was on my feet…seconds later I was waking up my downstairs neighbor!

Kismet that Reasoner gets his 200th as the Game-Winner in his old barn. “I dunno what happened, I think I blacked out and the next thing ya know it’s in” -Nice quote eh? re-sign my boy right now.

from the clip, of #17 trying to work it out, I’m hoping he just pulled his back a little.

Great win “we can play effectively without such a big factor [Kovalchuk]-gives us a lot of confidence”-paraphrasing Reasoner’s post game remarks… he also intimated that there seems to be a big dose of “Multiplication by subtraction” going on in the room now…

Wow. Great win.

Mr. T. I expect some nice work about how marty “greased” the game-winner past Rollo for the big win against the OIL.

GO BLUE !!!

P.S. Anybody else seen the 10th Aniversary logo? IMO, it’s hideous.

Tony C.

March 12th, 2009
11:23 pm

Also, Classy folks up in Edmonton had two Thrashers as “stars of the game”; Kozlov & Reasoner.

R. Stroz

March 12th, 2009
11:24 pm

WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW!

That was worth the afternoon nap so I could stay up later than normal.

Alan

March 12th, 2009
11:33 pm

Stroz – I stayed up, and I didn’t even get an afternoon nap! Well, I sorta did. Work is hideously slow. That was a very well earned win against a team poised to make the playoffs. These Thrashers have taken on the role of ’spoiler’ and embraced it with full force.

Kovalchuk’s injury has been described as the ever-evasive “upper body” injury. It looked to me like he pulled a muscle in his back, and I’m optimistic he’ll be in the game in Buffalo. You know, unless it’s worse than just a pulled muscle. *knocks on wood*

Smoothie

March 12th, 2009
11:37 pm

Congrats Marty! I hope DWad brought ur new 3 yr contract to the lockerroom after the game. U deserve it Dean-O!!

stendec

March 12th, 2009
11:45 pm

Hi Bill. Who are these guys? They are the visitors from Clarion right? They are sure not the Thrashers from easrlier this season! Another road victory? In overtime? With Moose between the pipes? A come-from-behind effort? I am impressed! Where HAVE these guys been all season? Nice job fellows. Congratulations! Hope Captain Ilya Kovalchuk is just dinged. He has only regained his scoring touch in recent games. If I am dreaming please do not wake me up. This winning streak is just too blasted much fun. If the real Thrashers are on a spaceship somewhere I hope they remain there. Just until the end of the season. Keep it up fellows!

Smoothie

March 12th, 2009
11:49 pm

Great points Tony and Brendan. There is sum chemistry brewing in that room. This is not just a lucky streak. This team is doing all the little things like backcheck, win board battles and crash the net with purpose. Its fun to watch. Im so happy for our “kids”.

Does anyone else think Marty looks like Rob Lowe in Youngblood at times?

Tony C.

March 13th, 2009
2:10 am

Oh dude.

Hilarious.

Youngblood?

Wait’ll the room hears about that

David

March 13th, 2009
9:35 am

Thanks , Bob
But no there has been no reply from the nhl I have tried to post the letter in canadian papers and on blogs where bettman may see it but no luck