Hot Thrashers Burn Oilers

If you are a team that is currently battling for your playoff life…the one team you just don’t want to see next on your schedule is the Atlanta Thrashers. This team is simply hot…and they are out to burn any and everyone they can who is in the thick of the playoff race.

Marty Reasoner returned to Edmonton where he had played the better part of six seasons and scored the game-winning goal to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 4-3 overtime win. Just last week, Reasoner was looked at to be a possible trade deadline mover seeing as he is slated to be a UFA this summer. Don Waddell and the Thrashers decided instead to keep the 6′-1″ 205 lb centerman around…and Thursday night it paid off.

Reasoner Puts Game-Winner Past Roloson

Reasoner Puts Game-Winner Past Roloson (AP Photo)

While the goal was scored by a player who is reportedly wanting to stick around here past this season…it was set up by a player who has been vocal in his desire to leave Atlanta, Eric Perrin. It was his flip pass out of the Thrashers’ zone that landed on the blade of Reasoner’s stick who then raced in to beat Dwayne Roloson with 50 seconds remaining before a shootout.

Atlanta scored 4 goals on 33 shots without the help of their captain and leading scorer. After having played only 46 seconds, Ilya Kovalchuk left the game and did not return. Kovy’s ailment was reported to be a strained muscle…either his back or rib area, I believe. So, for the Thrashers to pull one out like this without the help of Kovalchuk speaks well of how this squad has pulled things together of late.

Jimmy Slater got the Thrashers on the board first with an early goal just 2:25 into the first. Slates burried a shot from the the right side after Nathan “Rockie Mountain” Oystrick fed him with a pass from the left. Slava Kozlov was credited with his first of two assists on Slater’s goal.

Bryan Little gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission as the Thrashers unloaded 17 of their 33 shots in the first.

Edmonton’s first period goal came while they were on a 5 on 3 power play and it snapped a steak of 15 straight penalty kill successes for Atlanta. The last time the Thrashers allowed a goal while down a player was back on February 28th when Anton Babchuk netted one at the 1:41 mark of the third period of a 5-3 Thrashers win over Carolina.

When Robert Nilsson scored to give the Oilers a 3-2 lead at 3:16 of the second period, it marked the first time the Thrashers had trailed in a game since the 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers nine days prior. Atlanta then succeeded in killing off the three other Oilers power plays the rest of the game.

But that lead only lasted for but 8 minutes and 52 seconds before Zach Bogosian’s power play lazer blast ringed off the far post to tie the score at 3 apiece! That score held up through the rest of the second and the third period…setting up Reasoner’s overtime heroics in OT. Bogey had himself yet another great game with strong defensive play combined with a very impressive offensive showing that lead to his goal on 4 shots.

Johan Hedberg made his first start since February 16 a victorious one, stopping 29 of 32 shots he faced, incluing all seven taken on him in the third and both in the overtime frame.

Atlanta will now be riding a 4-game win streak into Buffalo Saturday night where they will look to tie the season high mark of five consecutive wins. The Thrashers have come out winners in 5 of their last 6 games…and 6 of their last 8. Since February 15, they have played to a record of 8-3-1. The record for CY2009…15-14-1.

I could get used to this brand of hockey.

But This, However, I Don’t Think I Can Get Used To

Thrashers 10-Year Logo

Thrashers' 10-Year Logo. No...Seriously. (Thrashers web site)

Did you guys get a gander at the Thrashers 10-year anniversary logo yet?  I saw this a few days back but decided not to make any comment at the time because I wanted to see if it was actually somebody’s idea of a joke. However… it seems a though it’s not. 

Folks, that’s the sort of logo you would expect to have seen on television introducing a teen dance show back in the mid-’70s. Hmmm…That would explain the disco music I hear in the back of my head every time I look at it. That, plus the frightful flash-back images of those nasty Houston dis-Astros unis.

The last time I saw anything like that was just after my youngest tax exemption horked down a whole bag of Skittles, a corndog and a Vanilla Coke…then road the Scream Machine at Six Flags. Don’t worry, the car was thouroughly hosed down before the next group of riders climbed aboard.

One question…do they plan on painting this thing at mid-ice for the entirety of next season? Please, for the love of God and all things holy, tell me we aren’t going to have to stare at this for 41 regular season games.

To think…somewhere, there is a highly-paid exec in the Thrashers’ organ-I-zation that looked at this thing, stroked his or her chin, nodded their head and said, “Yes…this is the one”!

76 comments Add your comment

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 13th, 2009
9:39 pm

If Edmonton has room for Sterling at the NHL level, and he blossoms, so be it. Penner is a large bodied top two RW, who could possibly compliment Kovalchuk. Sterling’s possible position wont be available for another year, so I wouldn’t hesitate to include him in a trade if the return value is a player locked up for several years that fits an immediate (and important) need for the team.

I’d hate getting rid of him, but a player like Penner in return would definitely help me get over the loss of his untapped potential.

Brendan

March 14th, 2009
1:25 am

Penner, like any player “poached” on an RFA offersheet, got overpaid. If a deal were to be made with Edmonton, I’d want the RW Ales Hemsky, whose salary is just about the same ($4.3 to $4.5M). Hemsky is producing a point a game. Of course, I like Shawn Horcoff. Now, the numbers aren’t “fantastic” on Horcoff. And he’s probably the highest paid forward on the Oilers. I just like his work ethic, and his overall game. They’d never take Sterling and a 2nd round pick for Horcoff.

As is the case with any prospective trade, I’d want to know that the player I’m potentially acquiring actually WANTS to play in Atlanta. Otherwise, I’m fighting that uphill battle. The player’s heart lies ELSEWHERE, etc. Philosophically, I like to draft my own players, mold and shape them into the team philosophy, and lock them up with their RFA contract. Iffff Sterling will become a capable 2nd line Left Winger, at the NHL level, I’d keep him. Slava Kozlov isn’t getting any YOUNGER. He’s not a Spring Chicken anymore. He’s reached the age (37) where he is very susceptible to injury. He’s closer to 40 than he is to 30.

Sterling, on the other hand, is 25 years old. He is an Atlanta Thrashers original draft pick, and a STEAL at that, taken 145th overall, from Colorado College. He was a runner-up for the Hobey Baker while in the NCAA. He’s not even going to cost a lot. When you’re in a market like Atlanta, cost does matter. There’s a cashflow problem. And it’ll only be cured by putting a championship caliber product on the ice. I’d let him know, “the job is yours, if you earn it.” If that’s not proper motivation enough for him, what is??? I can’t sit here and tell you, “Sterling is a ‘lock’ to become a solid NHL player.” The truth is … I don’t know. But if he does blossom into a 2nd line LW, why ditch a player like that? Waddell must’ve spewed out his coffee to see a Hobey Baker runner-up, still on the board, at 145. He “smartly” snatched him up. I credit Waddell with that decision. If a 145th overall pick lands a permanent spot on your 2nd line, you had a GOOD DRAFT! (Providing that Sterling actually puts up the numbers. Even the NY Islanders have a 2nd line LW. Doesn’t mean that player is good. The Islanders are ranked 30th out of 30 teams. If ya follow.)

I like Penner. But at $4.25 million, he’s overpaid. I’d rather take that $4.25 to $4.75 million, and lock up Bryan Little, PROACTIVELY, this summer. At this point, I do cartwheels whenever the Thrashers organization manages to re-sign its talent. I’ve seen plenty of Thrasher players, who NEVER should have left, walk out of the door, or get traded out. You know the list. Don’t make me produce the list. You know who they are. Bob Dole knows who they are. Shoot, your dog knows who they are.

Midfield

March 14th, 2009
7:47 am

You know, Brendan is always more pursuasive and articulate than any of the Spirit clowns, not to mention Mr. Waddell, but – most importantly – he is transparent. I consider him the better candidate to run the team. The only problem is I don’t have enough cash to interfere.

RobD

March 14th, 2009
11:36 am

Rawhide, really enjoy the blog. Thanks for the work you do.
I had just about decided not to renew my tickets for next year but with the way they’re playing now, I’m reconsidering.

(Then again, with the 10 year logo, I don’t know. I’m seeing it at center ice, with the fire breathing birds replaced by giant disco balls and the team taking the ice to “Dancing Queen” by Abba.)

Brendan

March 14th, 2009
12:15 pm

Ya know, every time I see that GEICO commercial with the double-stack of money, with oversized “novelty” eyes, I can’t help but think, “Hey Spirit Clowns, that’s the money you could be spending to get a BETTER GM to fix all this.” Screw saving money on car insurance. Get a BETTER GM, and you can AFFORD the MOST EXPENSIVE car insurance there is!!

And ya know it!

Brendan

March 14th, 2009
12:31 pm

Super Trooper, beams are gonna blind me. But I won’t feel blue. Like I always do. ‘Cuz somewhere in the crowd there’s you. Chiquitita tell me what’s wrong …. Waterloo! I was defeated, you won the war. There was something in the air that night, the stars so bright, Fernando! There were shining there for you and me, for Liberty, Fernando. Money, money, money. Must be funny. in the Spirit Group’s world. See that girl, watch that scene, Dig it!, the Dancing Queen! Young and sweet, only SEVEN-teen! For you see, (Mr. Belkin,) the Winner takes it all! The loser’s standing small. Beside a victory, that’s … a destiny. I was in your arms … thinking I belonged there. I’ve seen you, TWICE. In a short time. Only a week … since we staaaaarted. It seems to me … for every time, I’ve been more open-hearted. So, I wanna know … that’s the name of the Game? Is it really about the Thrashers logo? Gimme, Gimme, Gimme … a GM after Midnight! Voulez-vous? Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

Quick, who’s the “new” Abba? Well, it was “Ace of Base” for a while. We’re due for another any time now.

Officially, I’m in favor of the 10-year Anniversary logo. I think re-inforces just how ‘out of touch’ the Thrashers organization really is. Hey, maybe JA will bring back the 70’s porno moustaches, like they wore in Chicago? Let’s reinforce what a minor league organization we really have.

I promise you. Things will get better. It’s just going to take ’til 2011. By then, things will be fixed.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 14th, 2009
2:21 pm

Would anybody be opposed to putting Sterling into Kovalchuk’s spot tonight, and leaving the other lines the way they were before?

Rawhide

March 14th, 2009
2:38 pm

ranallo – That’s probably the way I would go with it. One line is going to be impacted so why shuffle things up elsewhere? Besides…they did pretty good scoring 4 goals in Edmonton without Kovy. Speaking of Sterling…here is a nice article about him.

And if you haven’t already heard…Ben Wright is reporting tat Sterling has indeed been called up from Chicago.

Let’s hope Kovy isn’t too long though.

RobD – Thank you for that. “Giant disco ball” & “Dancing Queen”at Philips…yup, that logo does inspire such visions.

Brendan – Nicely done! Of course with the logo being the symbol of how “out of touch” the owners are, as you say…maybe it also symbolizes how, after 10 years…with only 1 GM at the helm…the Thrashers still have 0 playoff wins.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 14th, 2009
6:37 pm

This is one of those games where I actually prefer to listen to Kamal. I can’t stand the Buffalo announcers.

stendec

March 14th, 2009
7:52 pm

Damn it to Hell! I knew the true Kari Letemin would eventually resurface. A 1-0 lead deteriorates into a 3-1 deficit thanks to three marshmallow whiff jobs that my grandma could have stopped. Way to go you untalented Finn piece of crap! No excuse for that shet. The feel-good winning streak is down the damn toilet! Against a bunch of wimps who have packed it in this season. At least LaLa Land Boy is back. Whoop-de-do. Absolutely pathetic! Damn. Just…damn!

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 14th, 2009
7:56 pm

Attaboy Perrin…10 minute misconduct for charging Connolly, which I can only assume was “payback” for his elbow to Slater’s head.

Brendan

March 14th, 2009
8:31 pm

Tied, with 3.5 seconds left!

Brendan

March 14th, 2009
8:32 pm

Todd White got the goal!

Obama is DC's version of Waddell

March 14th, 2009
8:49 pm

Great, great comeback win. The team showed a lot of heart in the 3rd period. I wouldn’t blame Kari for any of those goals. His defense let him down on all three. I thought he had another impressive game.

Downtown ATL

March 14th, 2009
8:56 pm

Don Cherry is claiming Ovechkin is calming his celebrations because he listened to him. I never had a problem with AO’s style, but I’m a fan. If he is realizing his style is being taken as disrespect by some in the leadue and tones it down, he’s even more special than we thought.

Downtown ATL

March 14th, 2009
8:57 pm

Oh. and six on the road. It’s already next year!

stendec

March 14th, 2009
9:01 pm

Who the Hell are these guys? What have they done with the Thrashers? The netminder who choked away three goals in a pitiful second period becomes super goalie in the third period, overtime and shootout? A Thrasher tally in the final seconds to force overtime? Another shootout win? The winning streak was swirling down the toilet toward inevitable oblivion only to miraculously climb all the way out of the bowl? I do not know what is happening here. WHATEVER IT IS I LIKE IT! I am totally speechless. That does not happen very often! WOW.

Brendan

March 14th, 2009
9:08 pm

I wanted to check “On the Fly” to see how badly they were attacking our T-birds game, tonight. But, instead, we’ve got the Oilers vs. Avalanche. This game “matters” for Atlanta, as 27th place in the NHL is at stake!!!

Downtown ATL

March 14th, 2009
9:19 pm

One of the special things about long-season professional sports is that rebuilding/eliminated teams can use the late season to get a head start on the future. Play like this from a young team after it has quit “mattering” is the sign of an Organ-I-zation getting on the right track

Downtown ATL

March 14th, 2009
9:30 pm

And on the lottery thing… We should not look at the draft as a way to improve the NHL team next year. There is a good crop of Centers that will go in the 3-10 range. No harm if we get “stuck” with one of them. If I had my pick I’d take Jared Cowen (project 4th). That guy looks like a piece that could make our D core epic.

five_hole

March 14th, 2009
10:11 pm

Tough hard fought win tonight, especially considering they had to do it without Kovy.

I’m hoping Slater is OK, he was having a great game to that point. We absolutely need to resign Marty Reasoner now. Same with Peverley.

On the defensive side, Salmela looked lost out there, but it was his 1st game. Bogosian just keeps getting better & better.

Hockey Biltong

March 14th, 2009
10:39 pm

NO ABBA . NOOOOO ABBA.. Not, Nyet,Nada, Niks Nie,Non………………

R. Stroz

March 14th, 2009
11:42 pm

Am I seeing this right? I just arrived home from the Billy Joel/Elton John concert to find out the Thrashers beat Buffalo without Kovy, Charmin tied the game with 3.5 seconds left on the clock, and Sterling, who was just called up, won the game in the shootout.

LMAO at all Buffablow fans.

The friggin game isn’t being replayed on SportsSouth: CRAP!

Rawhide

March 14th, 2009
11:51 pm

R. Stroz – Did you take your bullhorn to Philips tonight for the concert?

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 15th, 2009
12:09 am

Stroz — Take a look at the recap on TSN.ca … you get a nice recap of Slater getting elbowed by Connolly, then Perrin messing him up at center ice to start the third period. Good stuff.

R. Stroz

March 15th, 2009
12:33 am

Thanks ranallo10. Perrin is redeemed.