I Guess God Didn’t Get The Memo, Alex

I won’t lie. I wanted to score the 50th goal at home. But apparently, God wanted me to score it in the game against Atlanta” – Alex Ovechkin.

And somewhere in the heavens, when informed of Alex’s declaration, the Lord God exclaimed, “Oh no he did NOT just say that”!

Um…sorry there Alex, my boy. But it looks as though The Great Thunder-Maker In The Sky didn’t get the memo…didn’t he? Unless, of course, you meant the next game you’ll play in Atlanta three weeks from now!

Karis Impact In Goal Was Deep And Wide

Kari's Impact In Goal Was Deep And Wide (AP Photo)

Kari Lehtonen stopped 49 of the 50 shots that he faced in the Thrashers 5-1 smack-down of the Washington Capitals Monday night…a victory that was made all the much more sweet given that it was on national TV, being aired on the Versus Channel. Of course, you remember the last time the Thrashers were featured on Vs, don’t you? That was back on October 28th when the Flyers beat the pure holy stuffing out of us 7-0.

But these are not those Thrashers…not by a long shot.

Why, even brother Anssi joined the Church of the Lamplighter’s Congregation on this victorious night. Yes, rejoice…it’s true. Let it be written that Washington’s goalie Jose Theodore came down with the first recorded case of Salmela poisoning. It was at the 7:18 mark of the second period and really never recovered. The unassisted power play goal was the first ever for the young Finn who played 21:50 and finished a +2.

Five minutes and forty-one seconds later, Toby Enstrom unloaded a blast from just inside the blueline to make the score 4-0 and Theodore’s night was over…giving up four goals on but 19 shots. Monday night in the nets, Jose was less of a lion and more like a…pussycat. sorry

When Washington finally got around to actually scoring a goal…with a minute and fifteen seconds left on the clock…the Caps fan sitting near us in 119 stood up and loudly voiced his approval. Yup…then Sandra and the rest of us let him know just how nice it was that his team could actually get one past our goalie…AND IT ONLY TOOK THEM 48 SHOTS TO DO IT!

So…maybe if they got off another…oh, say…196 shots, they might have caught up!

Call the goal a nice parting consolation gift…buh-bye now. Your team will probably go far in the post-season…and God bless ya then, brother…but tonight, they got nothin’ but the cold back-of-the-hand from the hockey gods.

That, plus a healthy dose of Mr. Lehtonen’s glove!

The win set a Thrashers franchise mark for most consecutive wins at six, a feat Blueland Billy said he was looking forward to see prior to the game’s start. It was also their 7th win in their past 8 and 8th in their last 10 games. This team is 17-14-1 since we popped the champagne to welcome in 2009!

Yes, kids, six wins in a row…and on the seventh game, God gave us Penguins!

Also, the victory now gives Atlanta 64 points for the year…which is one more than Colorado as the Thrashers now hold the 26th overall spot in the NHL standings. It leaves them only 2 points away from 25th place Ottawa, though the Senators do have 2 games in hand.

Forget the aliens… I’m looking for locusts and the four horsemen of the apocalypse! This winning by the Thrashers is reaching biblical proportions.

Now…not to pour any cold water on the evenings festivities…but it must be pointed out here that the defense did indeed allow 50 shots on goal. That’s a FIVE and a ZERO…and this is very un-good. But Kari Lehtonen was more than equal to the task on this night. Anything less out of him in this game, and the masses in the Philips Cathedral would have all been brought to their feet crying out the Lord’s name on several occations!

But instead, it was a player wearing a #8 on his back that was left looking to the heavens… asking why the 50 on the stat sheet was only his team’s SOG total…and not his season goal tally.

50 comments Add your comment

HookyBob

March 17th, 2009
7:15 am

Through thick and thin, for better or worse. The tough times make the good ones all that much more enjoyable.

Can Ansii play wing?

Smitty

March 17th, 2009
7:19 am

Watched post game on Versus and NHL Network after game. Still no respect for Thrashers. Everyone focused on how badly the Capitals played and not on how well these young Thrashers are playing. JA did a nice interview on HNIC satellite radio yesterday afternoon. At least someone up North is paying attention. Does anybody think that any UFAs might start thinking about ATL come July 1st?

BG33Brown

March 17th, 2009
7:58 am

What a great time last night was, and what an amazing win streak.

I have to give props to Ovechkin, not for his play. But for his appearance on kiss cam and the little nudge he gave Victor Kozlov.

Glovesave29

March 17th, 2009
8:33 am

Let me start off with saying I am not an Ovechkin hater. I like the joy and spirit he brings to the game. The never give up attitude is the way all players should play. As I sat at Philips for the All Star skills competition, one could not help but being swept up in his enthusiasm….

BUUUUUUUT – that being said. His little late 2nd period tirade should have landed him some serious penalty time. I like a good hard hitting game, but each time Alex laid out a check, the puck was gone, and he led high with his hands to the Thrashers players face and also left his feet. Call it what you want – interference, boarding, charging – there are plenty to choose from. He just got a teammate back after 14 months from a concussion, he understands the damage a hit to the head can make. I fear someone is going to send out their goon (although the leagues #1 cement head shares his locker room) to go out and just pulverize the guy and eliminate him from the game. While I think that will hurt the league as a whole, I cannot say that he would not be deserving of such…

Mr. Heat Miser

March 17th, 2009
8:38 am

Did anyone else watching on Versus notice the goal horn that went off when the Caps scored? Versus dubbed in a goal horn that wasn’t even the same sound as the one at Philips-sounded like the one at RBC Center. Besides, we all know the goal horn does not go off when the visiting team scores. What a bunch of pricks. Them and that bunch from On the Fly Final – no credit to the Thrashers at all. Screw ‘em all.

Eileen

March 17th, 2009
8:38 am

BG33, I agree with you on Alex and the kiss cam. I don’t remember what the score was at that point, but AO still had a sense of humor. Only he would do that and get a rise out of the fans. Smitty, I heard Versus gave Zach B. kudos. Is there any truth to that? Toby needs to shoot more! What a great shot again. This is fun. I hope it keeps going until the end so we can see some fans return and the Thrashers leave for the break with some confidence.

O'Rawhide

March 17th, 2009
8:43 am

BG33Brown – Yes indeed. That shows a great deal of class and showmanship, (in a good way). He knows it’s all in fun for the paying customers. I got a good chuckle out of it…good for Ovie!

Glovesave29

March 17th, 2009
8:44 am

Eileen – the boys at Versus were VERY complimentary of Bogo. Calling him a future star. Gave some good lovin’ to Toby, Little, and (of course) Kari too.

Scott

March 17th, 2009
9:03 am

Great game. Fun to see. Slava Kozlov was the most prolific Russian scorer last night, not “The Great 8″, and that guy usually lights us up.
I always get nervous when we play the dump it in from just across center ice game when we have a lead. It often leads to come backs, but not last night!
The Kar-Ri chants were loud and well deserved. He made some great saves, and played a great game. I heard at least two, maybe three, off the pipe in the first, and there were a couple of times he looked liked he really just got lucky, but he battled all night just has he has consistently done the past month or so.
Way to go Thrash!

BlueLand Billy

March 17th, 2009
9:09 am

Rawhide,

Great meeting you and your wife before the game and wow what a game it was. Very happy my prediction came through. By far it is in my Top 3 Thrash games of all time. Boys came out flying didn’t let up. It was great to see on the Power Play that we kept the puck in their zone and kept tremendous pressure on. Let’s hope the luck of the Irish is with us tonight in Pittsburgh and get #7.

Stan Drulia

March 17th, 2009
9:37 am

Good times Thrashers!!! Hope to see a repeat tonite in Pittsburg. Maybe we can end Cindy’s little scoring streak. Anyone know if Kovy will be back tonite?

FormerIslesFan

March 17th, 2009
9:43 am

Some quick observations of last night’s game.
1. While 50 shots looks terrible on a stat sheet, I don’t think many of them were really good “scoring opportunities.” The Caps looked like they were firing a lot of shots from the perimeter that Kari had a good line of sight to take down and smother. Feel free to let me know if people disagree with this.
2. Kari was in a zone and you could see it by the way he was not allowing rebounds. He saw the puck and didn’t allow many second chances (note: The Caps’ lone goal was off a rebound).
3. Amazing what happens on the Power Play when they don’t try to only put the puck to the left point for a Kovy slap shot. Granted, it’s a beautiful thing to watch when it works, but Bogosian and Enstrom both have accurate lasers (and Salmela looked great as well with his goal) and Le Thrash should not hesitate to be shooting from all different angles, not just the Kovy one-timer.
4. I loved seeing Caps get buried in the crease. I saw both Z-Bo and X both slam Caps down to the ice in the paint after Kari allowed no rebound.
5. On the other end of the ice, Little was paying the price in the low slot and even though he does not show up on the score sheet, his work down low led to at least one of the goals (Kozlov’s?) being scored because Theodore had to worry about him and his screen.

Now, a quick question: Anyone know anything about Hainsey’s status for tonight’s game?

Sara

March 17th, 2009
9:45 am

Actually I thought the Vs guys did a fine job. I mean really what can you ask from them at this point? They talked about how well the team has been playing lately and that we seem to be finally getting it together. They gave major props to our young players. But as great as it is that we have been playing well as of late and last night, it doesn’t suddenly erase the record for the season, the fact we are not going to the play-offs (and Washington is, which makes talking about how they are performing more pertinent to the general NHL viewer), and this team has made the play-offs all of once in its history. Until the team becomes solid and successful on a consistent basis, we aren’t going to get much press or get fawned over very often.

Besides, under the radar is always the way to go.

BTW, Rawhide you linked to Japers for that Ovechkin quote. For even more entertaining reading you should check our their pre-game/in-game blog…talk about putting the hex curse on. My favorite two pre-game posts were “Jose won’t let in 4 tonight” and, to paraphrase, “with Kovalchuk out of the line-up, they will be easier to defend, especially on the PP.” *snicker snicker*

http://www.japersrink.com/2009/3/16/800337/game-day-open-thread-capit

As much as I actually like the Capitals as a team (the other 76 games of the season), games like last night’s are sooooo satisfying.

Frosty the snowman

March 17th, 2009
10:04 am

RECENTLY THERE WAS DISCUSSION ABOUT DON WADELL OR OWNERS MAKING DECISION ABOUT COBURN FOR ZHITNIK. I REMEMBER DON SAYING HE CALLED KOZLOV IN HIS OFFICE TO ASK HIM ABOUT ZHITNIK, MAKES ME THINK IT WAS DON’S DECISION.
I AM GOING TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT SEASON BEFORE I GET FIRED UP ABOUT THIS TEAM. EVERY YEAR PEOPLE GET EXCITED ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF NEXT YEAR AND WE HEAR THE GM AND OWNERS TALK ABOUT ‘THE OFFSEASON AND WERE GONNA GET THE PIECES WE NEED’, AND WHAT HAPPENS WE DON’T GET THE FREE AGENTS AND WE END UP IN THE BOTTOM 3RD OF THE LEAGUE. I WANNA SOME RESULTS FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON UNTIL THE END OF THE SEASON. AND I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT BARELY GETTING INTO THE PLAYOFFS AND GETTING SWEPT, WHAT AN EMBARRASMENT!

Darren

March 17th, 2009
10:20 am

Hainsey won’t make the trip to Pittsburgh.

Alan

March 17th, 2009
10:28 am

Frosty, what you’re forgetting is this team continued to lay rancid garbage on the ice down the stretch last season after the deadline. There was no hope, no direction, and only five players (Slater, Perrin, Kovalchuk, Lehtonen, and Moose) who weren’t mailing it in at the end of last year.

This year, since the deadline, we have gone 6-1. All four lines are clicking. Not to be outdone, the defense has even joined in on the lamp lighting festivities. Even stay-at-home types like Valabik has joined the rush in games, and he should be rewarded with a tally on the stat sheet if he keeps playing like that.

Right now, though, I’d love to see the team give Anderson his .500 season. We’re definitely not playoff bound, but a .500 year isn’t outside the realm of possibility at this point. Coach deserves that, at least.

Midfield

March 17th, 2009
10:34 am

Here’s one thing that Bogosian deserves praise for big time, as far as I am concerned: jumping on top the goon who railroaded Lehtonen in the paint. Good penalty to take all night long.

Injun Joe

March 17th, 2009
10:56 am

Uhhhh, Who are these guys? And can we get them to stay? If they are clicking this good now, I cant wait for next year.

Thomas Magnum

March 17th, 2009
11:03 am

Great win last night! Some friends and I started a blog about the Thrashers and we just updated it with our views on how the thrashers have been playing lately. Go check it out and talk some trash to us in the comments..we love it!

http://thewordonthebird.blogspot.com/

kracker

March 17th, 2009
11:11 am

In sort of continuing someone’s comment above, here’s what I see (am hoping) as factors positively affecting the Thrashers’ chances of attracting quality free agents:
(or trading for a player(s))

Some combination of:
1) A favorable minor league relationship with Anderson and/or Cunneyworth.
2) Thrashers finish the season quite strongly. [This is why I'm posting here]
3) Kovalchuk extends.
4) Lehtonen re-signs. (Plus Reasoner and others)
5) ASG lawsuit concludes favorably for team interests and the remaining owners are not broke.
6) Same or lower salary cap yields more FAs looking for a home.
7) Same or lower salary cap yields a willing trading partner.
8) Player’s wife/girl friend is sick of snow up to the wahzoo all winter long.

Smoothie

March 17th, 2009
11:28 am

Former Isles Fan summed up the game best with his comments. I agree about the 50 shots being a bit misleading. We carried the play quite a bit in the early going and forced WSH into a lot of mistakes which led to penalties (props to Brett Sterling for drawing so many of them!) and man advantages for Le Thrash.

The great news is that our PP is becoming so much more fluid without Kovy out there. No offense to our stud, but he would do himself and his teammates a big favor if he moved around a bit more and carried the puck deep more often. If Toby and Bogey aren’t afraid to shoot the puck and Kozzie is QB’ing from the right circle, a team will be forced to make more decisions which will lead more directly to backdoor passes to Kovy or garbage disposal goals by Little who is getting to the paint and making his presence felt. Problem is, you need Whitey out there as well for his passing and face-off prowess.

1st PP Unit: Little — White — Kozzy — Kovy — Enstrom
2nd PP Unit: Army — Peverley — Sterling — Bogey — Ronsey

I think Sterling may just have the stick skills to play the right circle on the PP. If not, he has shown he is not afraid to go to the net and pay the price for the tip-in or rebound stuff.

Chris

March 17th, 2009
12:09 pm

Did Theodore really get salmonella poisoning? Nice spelling. <–Joke

Chris

March 17th, 2009
12:13 pm

Oh I get it. It was a dumb Atlanta joke. Sorry I never heard of Anssi Salmela.

Tim

March 17th, 2009
1:09 pm

Chris — I believe there are dumb jokes told everywhere… I’m from NY and my dad told the worst groaners ever.

About 50 shots — 1) I don’t care if Kari faces 100 shots as long as the D isn’t hanging him out to dry. When a good goalie knows where the shots are coming from, life is much easier. 2) The Caps are a good team with a lot of firepower, they were selling out and they spent a bunch of time on the PP in the 3rd. 3) (face naivete to follow) Also, I’ve heard that hometown scorekeepers will actually be generous with what they call a shot to boost a keepers save %. Eddie O. on VS seemed a bit skeptical of that total during the postgame show.

Tim

March 17th, 2009
1:10 pm

Crap — That would be FAKE naivete

Tim

March 17th, 2009
1:14 pm

Darn – That should have been FAKE naivete.

Alan

March 17th, 2009
2:26 pm

If Crosby sexually assaults Boris Valabik tonight, can we get him added to the sex offender registry?

O'Rawhide

March 17th, 2009
2:35 pm

Tim & FIF – Good points regarding 50 or so SOGs. Regarding the hometown scorekeeping…I have seen that in games we’ve played on Long Island, but honestly I think the Caps did get off that many shots last night. I could be wrong, as I was not personally counting them myself.

Stan Drulia – last I heard was that the “earliest” Kovy could return was tonight. If it were me, if there is any question whatsoever…I sit him out tonight and give him until Friday. Why risk it?

Sara – Nice link…thanks.

Chris – Yes, “dumb Atlanta joke”. Glad you were able to catch up to that one…eventually.

And I bet Jose Theodore knows who Anssi Salmela is now.

Spud Webb

March 17th, 2009
2:39 pm

I HATE THE PENGUINS. Please make it 7 tonight Thrashers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Crosby crying all night long, make it happen boys!!!!!!!!!

waffleboy

March 17th, 2009
3:53 pm

Anderson said Kovy won’t make the trip to Pittsburgh.

O'Rawhide

March 17th, 2009
4:48 pm

waffleboy – Thanks. Good call too. Like I said, why risk it at thi point.

Also, looks like we’ll be seeing Moose tonight. Again, IMHO, a good call given that Kari had a workout last night…then travel. he’ll be fresh and ready for the Wings on Friday.

Christy

March 17th, 2009
5:24 pm

Question(s)for whoever – it seemed to me that the quality of the shots in the 3rd from the Caps were “better”. Did anybody else think that?

If so… The Caps did come out with more “purpose” let’s call it, in the 3rd, but how much could it be attributed to having only 5 men on D, 3 of them rookies and another a 2nd year – and if you think it had more to do with having only 5 men on D than Caps intent/drive, is it because the guys were getting tired (especially after the 4 on 3 with both Toby and Bogo in the box), or because not having Hainsey’s “skill” or “veteran leadership” made that much of a difference.

The reason I ask is because of the discussion over on Mikes’ blog about Hainsey vs. Boris, etc. I just kept thinking along the lines of “good grief, it’s Exelby and kids against Ovechkin, how do we keep them out?” Luckily, I worried for naught….

Sorry for the convuluted phrasing, but…

FormerIslesFan

March 17th, 2009
5:47 pm

Christy,

Just my $.02, but I think that Bodreau read the Caps the riot act after the second period and they came out with a fire lit under them. That and the fact that they had started to generate some offense at the end of the second period and started the 3rd on the continuation of a power play. I really don’t think who we had on defense really mattered at that point. They were going to come for us or face their coach’s wraith.

Christy

March 17th, 2009
6:12 pm

I was thinking the same thing, then I noticed that Hainsey came out about 1/2 way through the 2nd…

kracker

March 17th, 2009
6:19 pm

Christy, I think it’s pretty clear we became under-manned in a hi-intensity game. That and the deterimed play of the talented Caps had us relying heavily on Kari to hold them from getting it close in the third. Lehts surely earned his 1st star last night.

Christy

March 17th, 2009
6:28 pm

kracker – I realize we were undermanned, but we’ve been undermanned in other situations and the change, to me, has not been as “drastic” as at other times, and I wondered to what degree the fact that it was Hainsey that was hurt affected us. I guess THAT was my question.
If Valabik or Exelby had gone off, would we have felt it as much? I think we certainly would have if Enstrom or Bogosian would have, just because of how much ice time they consume and how well they move the puck, but I’m not sure the team would have missed Boris as much….

kracker

March 17th, 2009
6:34 pm

I agree, next time Boris shall be the one to get injured ;) Hainsey is missed more than Big Bo for sure.

Christy

March 17th, 2009
6:55 pm

Ha…
I’m imagining a business of contract “injurers” that can be hired to take out a player for a game or two… nothing permanent mind you, more along the lines of a banana peel, kid’s toys spread over the floor… dang how did that skateboard get there????

Midfield

March 17th, 2009
7:14 pm

Christy, any time any of your defensemen go down against the team like Washington – fire power and size-wise – your rotation will suffer. Also, Caps are a big and physical team, and you need some bodys like XLB and Valabik out there to withstand all the hitting. By the way, Hainsey is rather on the softer side, given his size.

stendec

March 17th, 2009
9:05 pm

Time for Moose to go! Lack of effort tonight was totally unacceptable. No excuse for number of goals allowed! To have winning streak end in such a pitiful manner against such a talentless group of thugs is nauseating. Guess the true Toilets are back! More is the pity. I sure miss those other guys! Damn. Just damn! Sincerely – Stendec. A truly sad heartbroken fan on this horrendously horrible night.

LAC

March 17th, 2009
9:26 pm

It is time in this third period for someone in a white jersey to INJURE Cindy Crotchby, I mean carrer ending, cross-check to the throat or take BOTH knees out who cares, JUST INJURE THE SOB !

They run at our guys and nothing is done, come on Boris, line Crotchby
at the blueline and cross-check that little stinking PUNK A$$ in the throat. To let them hurt our guys is WRONG, Time to INJURE Crotchby
ONCE AND FOR ALL !

I agree Hedburg has had it….

Christy

March 17th, 2009
9:46 pm

I think I just jinxed the team. Someone give me the appropriate penance, reversal of curse, whatever so that I can carry it out… good grief.

O'Rawhide

March 17th, 2009
10:14 pm

Christy – You are hearby officially absolved from any unintentional “jinxing” on your part.

Now…go in peace, my child.

B. Thenet

March 17th, 2009
10:22 pm

The teams reaction after the Bogosian hit was pathetic.

Nobody goes after Cooke.

They let the Pens walk all over them for almost an entire period physically before they actually have the stones to fight back….only after more cheap hits by the Pens after a puck stoppage.

At this point, I could care about the loss. The Pens are a very good hockey team when they want to be. The way they behaved after the Bogo hit, very disturbing.

R. Stroz

March 17th, 2009
10:50 pm

The Penguins players should try out for their respective Olympic diving teams.

Tony C.

March 18th, 2009
1:23 am

You know you can’t hit Cindy. (duh5).

But I don’t care, SOMEBODY should have planted Cooke.

This is why the instigator rule sucks. I don’t like the whole “hey you hit our guy hard, now you gotta fight” vibe we’ve seen growing in the league for the past decade or so, but damn, you can’t let guys take liberties with your skill guys/youngsters. Ever wonder why McSorley got traded to LAK along with #99? Because you don’t go after Wayne when Marty’s around. Or else.

Le Thrash still don’t have an effective “Or else.”

Anne

March 18th, 2009
4:52 am

Hello Rawhide! Greetings from Finland :) Just wanted to say, that is was lovely to meet you in Atlanta about an week ago. I really enjoyed my trip and was thrilled about our teams new “face”. JUST LOVE IT!

GO THRASHERS!

Alan

March 18th, 2009
6:13 am

I saw a lot of dives in that game from the Pens, and a lot of Pens taking liberties with our guys. Cooke deserved to have his face planted into the glass a few times for his cheap hits.

But moreover, our wheels sort of fell off after the end of the first period. I was hoping we’d have more energy than that.

Admittedly, I turned it off after the Pens scored their sixth. Took a shower and hit the hay, you know. Friday vs. Detroit should be a good matchup.

Anne, welcome to the blog! Hope to see you around these parts more often. And yes, Go Thrashers! :)

Rawhide

March 18th, 2009
6:25 am

Anne- Thank you…the pleasure was all mine I’m sure! I hope you are able to return again soon and enjoy some more Thrashers hockey! Don’t be a stranger around here, either!

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 18th, 2009
6:51 am

Le Thrash still don’t have an effective “Or else.”

Desbiens was the longshot “or else” in my opinion, but his skills didn’t keep up with his fists and he wasn’t re-signed. Now I’m not sure WHO is capable of fighting well at the minor league level (fighting well and fighting often are two different things, mind you).

Christy — I would agree, losing Hainsey has a much more drastic impact on the immediate health of the defense as a whole than losing Oystrick or Valabik would/does. Hainsey logs enough minutes to support your theory, in my opinion. He’s out there in all circumstances, so it’s completely plausible that his loss helped the Capitals look like they controlled the game in the third. I’d say it was a compounding effect, with Boudreau’s likely butt-chewing due to them losing to the 28th place team (at the time).

To the “Tank for a pick crowd” — You now have three reasons to be ecstatic about the next few games…Kovalchuk, Bogosian, and Hainsey are all injured. Without them the losses wont be hard to achieve. Now we can only hope the injuries are not going to have lasting effects (especially Bogosian’s).