Thrashers Fail Against Big Red Borg

There haven’t been too many times lately tha the Thrashers have just…well…stunk on ice. But Friday night’s 6-3 loss to The Big Red Borg could definately be classified as just that. Detroit just outplayed Atlanta…controlling the puck, taking advantage of the opportunities they created and just worked harder than the Thrashers.

Some of the low-lights include, but are not limited to…Henrik Zetterberg’s four-assist night…Marian Hossa’s 1-goal, 3-point night…six Wings goals by six different scorers…Detroit out-faceoffing Atlanta 44-26…ugh, I can’t go on anymore!

Nope, just not a lot of good things coming out of this game. However, some of the highlights did include Bryan Little continuing ability to score goals…#31 on the season. Plus, there was Slava Kozlov’s 1 goal, 2 point night. And who could forget the hit by Marty reasoner that de-helmeted Tomas Kopecky in the first. OW-ich!

All that, plus I did get to meet Paminski…that was good.

Kari Lehtonen had a less-than-stellar outing…giving up six goals on 38 shots. Ya know, the way he had been playing, if you had told me before the game started that the Thrashers would net three goals against the Red Wings I would have thought we would have won or been withing a goal of doing so…but not on this night. And let’s be honest…although Kari has been outstanding of late, there were a few of those that were just soft.

And this just after I write something so nice about him!

As lopsided as the score looks, truth be told, the Thrashers were indeed in this game halfway through the second. With about eight minutes to go in the middle frame the Thrashers were down by a score of only 1-0…despite having been outshot 25-12 at that point. Ilya Kovalchuk’s wrister looked like it had tied the score, but went just wide. By the time Thrashers fans had planted their butts back in their seats from the near miss…Pavel Datsyuk put the Wings up 2-0.

Excacly two minutes later, at the 14:04 mark of the second, Jiri Hudler made it three-OH…and that was pretty much your game, folks.

Now, make no mistake, this Detroit team is good…real good, (DUH5). They have the ability to make any team look bad, so one has to bring their A-game to play them. And sometimes that’s only good enough to not get embarassed. Clearly, the Thrashers did not bring their A-game.

Consider what the players had to say about the Thrashers and their Red Winged opponents…

“They control the puck so well, sometimes it feels like we are on the penalty kill all the time that we’re not,” Kari Lehtonen said. “It was a good learning experience for everybody that we have to be better.” …Yup, the Thrashers got schooled alright.

Said Slava Kovzlov, “That was a good test for us, I think, We didn’t pass it.”…Um nope, no even close!

“They’re at a different stage,” John Anderson said. “We’re still in the growing stage, and they’re grown up.”…Very true. Although I had thought we were abit more grown up than we showed Friday night given the play of late.

Marian Hossa enjoyed his return to the comfy confines of Philips Arena. “I enjoyed the atmosphere…I think it’s good for every player to score against a former team.” How very special, indeed.

Of course, with so many Red Wing jerseys in the house, I’m sure all of the Detroit players enjoyed it.

Fortunately for Atlanta, they get a chance to put this one behind them right away as they play down in Tampa tonight.

21 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

March 21st, 2009
9:50 am

Sage of Bluesland

March 21st, 2009
9:55 am

Mama said there’d be days like this…I would have preferred a showing like out in San Jose (close loss; in it throughout), but that’s life sometimes…

It’s going to be interesting to see if the past month has been mirage or the harbinger of real change as we head down the final stretch…I still wonder if teams are seeing us on the schedule and ‘mentally’ chalking it up as an automatic win, thus allowing us to sneak up on them and surprise them…

But, I would think a 5-6 game win streak would damper those thoughts?

We’ll see…

lilibeter

March 21st, 2009
11:08 am

My husband (FIF) was at the game last night while I watched from home, and I am finding the difference between our perceptions of last night’s game rather striking.

He got caught up in the excitement of a pretty packed house at the arena and related an entirely different game-vibe of intensity to me whereas I was able to focus solely on the play and allow that to dictate my emotions. What I saw did not stoke the fires of my fandom.

The things that have probably impressed me the most about the Thrashers over the course of this season are the fact that we actually spend a decent amount of time with the puck in our possession (that one first and foremost), the fact that the dump and chase is no longer our single known method of entry into the offensive zone, the fact that we’ve started lurking around the net looking for juicy rebounds to create offensive opportunities, the fact that we learned that playing hockey during the second period is necessary to being competitive and winning hockey games, the fact that tape to tape passes have become a part of our repertoire, and the fact that we no longer seem to wait on a sign from god that the absolute, immaculately perfect scoring opportunity has finally presented itself before shooting the puck at the net (see: juicy rebounds comment).

Last night, I saw a disappointing regression to the Thrashers of yore in many of those areas. We spent an inordinate amount of time playing defense and seemed utterly incapable of maintaining possession of the puck. We couldn’t seem to complete our passes, so we resorted to the old dump and chase in our vain attempts to enter the offensive zone. Even that was totally ineffective because we weren’t hustling and getting to the loose pucks. We played the majority of the second period in an absolute state of lethargy. We were a ½ step slow to everything, and as our confidence ground down, that dropped to ¾ of a step slow. Honestly, we looked scared and intimidated…as Coach Anderson intimated, like little, high school boys playing against grown, professional hockey players.

Fortunately, there are a few shining things that we can take away as progress from last night’s debacle. Our guys kept their number of penalties to an encouraging minimum considering that they were on defense throughout the majority of the game. Our guys were deliberately seeking physical contact in an effort to create opportunities. Our guys put an impressive number of shots on net considering the dearth of time spent on offense. And finally, during the small amount of time was spent on offense, our guys were planting themselves in front of the net and doing everything they could with the (admittedly few) juicy rebounds that Osgood did let up over the course of the night.

As Rawhide said, we simply did not bring our A-game last night. However, I think I am most encouraged by the fact that, had we played like the Thrashers I’ve seen of late, we could have not only been in that game, we could have won that game. Furthermore, I will go out on a limb and say that, had we connected on just one or two of those oh-so-near misses in the first period, I’d like to think it would have bulwarked our boys’ intensity enough to have given our boys the confidence to bring out their A-game, put it on the line against the former Stanley Cup winners and give them a real run for their money.

I would’ve liked to watch that game…

jason

March 21st, 2009
12:08 pm

To me, they never stopped competing last night. Just the Red Wings are THAT much better than we are. They could have folded the tents down 4-0, but they made the scoreboard look better.

Still, EXTREMELY disappointing to see about 15,000 Red Wings fans in the seats. Atlanta at least usually gives a bit more of a token presence than that.

Supes

March 21st, 2009
2:00 pm

Jason, that’s nothing new. It’s just the way things are down here in ATL…

Go to a Braves/Yankees or Braves/Red Sox’s game at the Ted this summer, you’ll see 20-25% Fans of those teams, loud and cheering them on.

Go to a Falcons/Steelers or Falcons/Cowboys game at the Dome, you’ll see lot of terrible towels or a lot of Blue/White in the stands.

It happens to all the teams in town, so why the surprise when one of the greatest NHL Franchises of all time, the Red Wings, roll into town, and the home team is in a “rebuilding year” gets rolled over (on the score board at least), of course the opposing fans are going to be loud, and make it seem like there are so many more of them than they actually are.

I watched the game on TV, so I wasn’t there, and from what I saw was about half and half (fans with red/white and fans in Thrashers colors).

Wings fan in Ga.

March 21st, 2009
3:36 pm

The only thing missing was an octopus on the ice. Otherwise, it felt like a home game with so many Wings fans in the crowd. It was nice to see a good performance from Detroit. It sure makes up for seeing the beatdown the Lions took at the hands of the Falcons in this past NFL season.

This was looking like it was going to be a great game until Kovy’s shot trickled past Osgood but was cleared and turned into a goal by Datsyuk. That made it 2-0 and it was basically over from there.

Atlanta didn’t give up. That was nice to see. I like Bogosian on the blue line for the Thrashers. That kid is a stud.

Hockey Biltong

March 21st, 2009
3:40 pm

Thrashers did in the third period what they should have done from the git go. Shoot the puck! Osgood was not stellar last night.He just wasn’t challenged. Then the third comes around, the Trash start putting puck to net and viola, all kinds of chaos ensues. Pucks bouncing off the pads, off the pipe and around the net.And ya know what? The Detroit D actually collapsed for a few nano seconds. But too little too late…

Eileen

March 21st, 2009
3:40 pm

I did not think we could top the Buffalo and Pittsburgh fans. Was I wrong! Perhaps the Redwings fans were more polite in general although I can’t say for sure. I just wish there were signs reminding everyone that it easy to cheer for #1. Also, your team might be great, but what are you all doing living here? I felt bad for every Thrasher in attendance. We were surrounded by very loud, red clothed hockey fanatics. As for the Thrashers, their ownership and DW, hopefully it was a reminder of how many hockey fans there are living in Atlanta. Perhaps success could bring some conversion!

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 21st, 2009
3:52 pm

Biltong — They took 11 shots in the first, and 15 in the third. That’s not much of a difference…double digits any period is nice, in my opinion.

That third period, the one you’re saying where the “chaos ensued”, the Thrashers outshot Detroit 15-8 but still had the same amount of goals scored. 3 goals on 8 shots, when they previously had 30 shots (first two periods) and only 2 goals.

In this instance more shots does not equal a better chance to win. The Red Wings are just plain better than the Thrashers.

Tony C.

March 21st, 2009
5:23 pm

I too had to watch while fam&friends went to the game. The Detroit Transplant friend said that it was like going to a game at “The Joe”, except the building and facilities were WAAY nicer.

Watching on T.V., it certainly seemed like the 1st period & a half or so (say around 13:00 of the 2nd), it seemed like Osgood was getting the bounces and Kari wasn’t. I think there were a couple of shots where the pipes were against us, or as said above, Osgood’s D picked him up-and those instances robbed our guys of any sense of “we can play with these guys”.

Instead as has been mentioned they began playing with a tangible anxiety/fear. It seemed though, that they finally got over that sentiment a little too late.

But I thought they did better than I thought they would. I’m curious to see what sort of effort we get tonight.

Wings fan in Ga.

March 21st, 2009
5:30 pm

To the fan wearing an Atlanta Flames jersey last night, I salute you sir. To the fan wearing a Sidney Crosby jersey – come on man use your brain. It was a Detroit-Atlanta game, not a Pittsburgh-Atlanta game. Jeez.

N/A

March 21st, 2009
5:43 pm

Last night was fun, even though the Thrashers lost at least it wasn’t 7-0 (which is EASILY could’ve been). For most of the game I was sitting RIGHT NEXT to the away team tunnel and could see most of the Detroit bench. It was completely unreal seeing all those guys up close and personal. But yeah it’s interesting hearing what players say on the bench But as they were leaving for the 1st intermission so guy across the way from shouted “YOU’RE A QUITTER HOSSA!” right in the guy’s ears (he was an ATL fan by the way). I have no feelings about Hossa good or ill but I gotta give him credit for not punching the guy in the jaw.

Brendan

March 21st, 2009
6:07 pm

Well, trying to see things from the the attendance-worried, dollar bill-counting Atlanta Spirit, LLC ownership group’s perspective, “I’m glad that every able-bodied Michigander in the 20-county metropolitan area managed to assemble at Philips Arena last night.” Sounds like they had quite a party. And their home town teams, plural, didn’t disappoint them. The Red Wings won, which is what they wanted, and the Thrashers lost, while Little, Kozlov, and Stuart managed to score what turned out to be meaningless goals. All three goals came in the final 9 minutes of regulation.

So, how ’bout those Scott Howson-led Columbus Blue Jackets, eh? Remember him? Howson is the guy Columbus decided to replace ‘Village Idiot’ Doug MacLean with as GM in the summer of 2007. Two seasons later, Columbus is more than in the ‘thick’ of the playoff hunt. I have been watching and waiting to see if they ‘collapse’ under the weight of the playoff push. But so far, I see a team jockeying more for home ice in the playoffs than worried about missing out on the dance.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are presently owned by majority owner John P. McConnell. But in 2007, they were owned by John H. McConnell, majority owner, with John P. McConnell, the alternate Governor, minority owner. In 2007, after a 73-point campaign had once again ingloriously ended outside of the playoffs, Mr. McConnell did NOT say, “Why tear it down?, when we’re so close.” No, no he didn’t. He looked at the final standings and noticed that 73-points was one-point fewer than the team had in the previous season (2006). Instead, McConnell picked up the phone and called Doug MacLean to tell him he’d like to meet with him to discuss important matters regarding the future of his franchise. That discussion resulted in the dismissal of MacLean as the GM of the team. In a curiosity, the Blue Jackets Inaugural season resulted in a highly respectable 71-points. But five (5) seaons later, the point total was 74-points. Okay, not a lot of “incremental progress” there. But credit the Blue Jackets with the EVENTUAL realization that the problem wasn’t at ice level. It was in the GM Box. I wish the Columbus Blue Jackets nothing but success, for they had the COURAGE to make a bold change in 2007, beginning with the selection of Scott Howson, who was just an “Assistant GM” in Edmonton hoping to one fine day, get his CHANCE at a full-time NHL GM gig.

Columbus very well may get swept out of the playoffs this year. But if they win even one (1) game, they will have achieved more in two seasons than the Thrashers will have in a DECADE, in the only season that matters. Can you say, definitively, that Columbus won’t make it to the 2nd round of the playoffs? In my view, the Conference Semi-Finals is not likely for Columbus. But it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. The Blue Jackets might face Vancouver or Chicago or even Calgary or Edmonton in the 1st round, should they make it in. I’ll be watching them on Center Ice and Versus. I hope their organization can have its most memorable year, sell plenty of tickets next season, and energize their fan base in Ohio. By the way, all playoff revenues reflect “100-percent, PURE PROFITS” for the ownership. The players do not get paid past the conclusion of the season.

Yeah, someone might remind Bruce Levensen of that. But uhh, they seem content with the path they are on, committed to a slow build, without publicly, VIA any member of its ownership group or GM, or Assistant GM, to admit to any ‘building project.’ The closest we’ve seen is a quote from a prospect player (Eric O’Dell) who may or may not have even realized he was part of the Thrashers organization yet … that some ANONYMOUS SCOUT said the Thrashers were ‘rebuilding’ with a youth movement. No, what we’ve heard, publicly, is that the team is ‘real close’ to putting winning streak together and bluster about the playoffs, etc.

Well, this is how the Atlanta Spirit, LLC runs things. It’s THEIR team. They own it. They do with it as they please.

stendec

March 21st, 2009
10:29 pm

Thrashers got shootout victory with Moose on hostile ice. Not overjoyed about blowing a 2-0 lead but two points are two points. Three goals lot easier to deal with than six! Nice rebound after total home humiliation. Night all.

stendec

March 21st, 2009
10:38 pm

((But as they were leaving for the 1st intermission so(me) guy across the way from (us?) shouted “YOU’RE A QUITTER HOSSA!” right in the guy’s ears (he was an ATL fan by the way). I have no feelings about Hossa good or ill but I gotta give him credit for not punching the guy in the jaw.)) To whoever you are, you are my new hero. Can I have your autograph? Would love to see Maryann punch you. Would love to see that turncoat son of a betch bestard in hospital bed for awhile. Quitter only scratches the surface of what this scumball is! Glad to see a small number of Thrasher fans possess pride and refuse to be intimidated. God bless you!

Thrashers Recaps

March 21st, 2009
11:16 pm

I think the Thrashers actually played pretty well considering the Wings are the #1 team in the league. Losing by 3 goals isn’t half bad, big hits and intensity, lots of scoring opportunities. I wouldn’t say they “stunk” by any means.

Brendan

March 21st, 2009
11:26 pm

Well, Congratulations to Slava Kozlov and the T-birds, and especially Moose Hedberg, for winning yet another game for the Thrashers. What? That’s what happened. 37-year old Kozlov notched the shootout winner, while 33-year old Johan Hedberg stopped all three Lightning shooters, which included Steven Stamkos, Vinnie Lecavalier, and Martin St. Louis.

Atlanta led, 2-0, but still got the 2-points. SEGUE!!! Guess who ELSE got the 2-points tonight? Give you a hint. They play in the State Capital of Ohio, and they are in the thick of a playoff race. And the team they defeated is also in a dogfight of a playoff race? Answer: The Scott Howson-managed Columbus Blue Jackets. The CBJ’s were scoreless for 57-minutes of this game, but notches three (3) clutch goals to deny Florida even a point, while collecting BOTH points for themselves.

Rawhide: Remember when we discussed Bob Gainey’s offseason moves last summer? More specifically, how the Canadiens, after a 1st overall finish, would be expected to reach the CF this year, or it would be met as failure and could cost either Guy Carbonneau or GM Bob Gainey his job. (Carbonneau is already gone.) Well, right now, the Habs are teetering on the brink of being outside of the playoffs all together. And it didn’t help that their hated rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs, came into the “La Belle Province,” au Centre Bell, and defeated them, 5-2. Yeah, the eliminated from the playoffs Toronto Maple Leafs. I would imagine the morning paper, in Montreal, will be rather scathing. With the NY Rangers defeating Buffalo and Carolina knocking off the Capitals, the Montreal Canadiens didn’t do themselves any favors by leaving 2-points on the table tonight. Their ’silver lining’ is the Blue Jackets comeback win in Miami, over the Panthers.

The Joker

March 21st, 2009
11:27 pm

Which happens more each game, stendec blog posts or Darren “Super Homer” Eliot babbles the new Thrashers mantra of heading in the right direction?

I’d rather read stendec’s posts since he actually believes in his view point. Eliot is an another ballless ASG employee.

Eliot, what happened to “incremental progress”? Grow a pair Eliot.

james

March 22nd, 2009
1:42 am

I am going to go ahead and disagree with the article. I thought the Thrashers played a great game, and with a few bounces going differently, could have won.

I am a wings fan, and watch many games, and there are always a lot of wings jerseys in the visiting crowds. Great to see Kozlov doing so well, we enjoyed years of his talent a few years back. great player. great team down there in Georgia.

SLAP SHOT

March 22nd, 2009
7:35 am

I went to the game for one reason and one reason only…..TO SEE THE CHAMP’S!!! I would LOVE to see the guy’s in blue be “THE CHAMP’S” but as long as this socalled ownership is empowered i can only dream….{WHIMMPER} it’s truly a SAD situation!!!

Jameson

March 22nd, 2009
9:37 am

I would agree that the Thrashers weren’t at their best, and neither was Osgood, but you have to give him credit that there were several game changing saves that he made. Lehts didn’t make those.