Thrashers March Into April’s Final Six

March was a very good month for the Atlanta Thrashers…I’m almost sad to see it go. As you know, the team went a very impressive 9-4-0 in the thirteen games played and have given some hope to us fans for what could be come this fall. Here are some other stats that stand out from this past month.

Of the nine wins, five of them game against teams that currently hold…or held at the time played…playoff positions, (Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Washington and the New York Rangers).

The Thrashers scored 49 goals in the thirteen games. While three of those were “gimmick” goals created by shootout wins, still…that’s a goals per game of 3.77 for the month. I’ll take that anytime, anyway it can be had. The O-fensive production from the month has risen Atlanta’s overall G/G stat to 3.03, which is the ninth highest in the league. If maintained, it would be the team’s second best showing ever in that category. In 2005-06, the Thrashers scored goals on the average of 3.37 per game.

Atlanta gave up 41 goals in March. Now, that’s really not good seeing that it equates to a 3.15 GA/G average…however 44% of those goals came in three games when Montreal, Detroit and Pittsburgh each scored 6 in their wins. In the other ten games, the Thrashers gave up only 2.30 goal on the average.

Atlanta’s defense helped Kari Lehtonen notch a pair of shutouts…a 2-0 win on the 6th when Montreal was in town, then four nights later it was a 3-0 victory in Colorado.

The Thrashers went 3-0 in shootouts as well this past month. In those three exhibitions, Atlanta’s goaltending did not allow even as much as a single goal. Kari Lehtonen stopped all four he faced in Buffalo while Johan Hedberg held the Lightning and the Rangers at bay in those two wins. Moose stopped two in Tampa while one sailed wide. He then turned away five against New York while the Rangers missed one. That’s a total of 0-13 in shootout attempts for our opponents with 11 of them needing to be saved.

Atlanta’s defense held the shots against stat to under 30 per game…29.5 in the past 13 games. However, if you remove that 50 shot performance by Washington, the blueline held the opposition to just 27.7 SA/G in the remaining twelve March games. Seven times they held the opposition to fewer shots than their 32.8 SA/G season average.

Ilya Kovalchukmissed the better part of three games with an injury to his back, however he still managed to finish with 6 goals and 10 assists in the ten full games he played in. Two goals and five assists came on the power play.

Kari Lehtonen went 5-3-0 with a 2.74 GAA and .918 SV%. And, of course, he shutout Montreal and the Avs.

Johan Hedberg was 4-1-0, stopping 112 of the 130 shots he faced. Also, as discussed earlier, was won both shootout games he was in by not allowing any goals on nine attempts. Moose is now 11-10-3 for the season.

Todd White had 4 goals 10 assists in the thirteen games. Included was a 9-game points streak.

Slava Kozlov had six goals and sixteen overall points including 4 goals and 7 assists on the power play.

Bryan Little netted six and helped out on another. Half of those goals were while the Thrashers were on the man advantage.

Rookie Zach Bogosian got in on the act with three goals and six points…finishing the month at a plus-2. That may just very well be the last time I use the word “rookie” with the name “Bogosian”.

Garnet Exelby was a plus-3 for the month and helped out on a pair of goals.

And so…as March gives way to April this week, the Thrashers find themselves at 32-38-6 with the six games left to be played in the first couple weeks of April. Those 70 points are good enough for fourth place in the Southeast Division, five ahead of Tampa Bay, and 13th in the Eastern Conference, five behind Toronto. My bet is that those two positions won’t change.

However, in the overall NHL standings, Atlanta is in the 26th spot…one ahead of Phoenix which has seven games remaining including one tonight against Dallas. They are three behind the Kings who have a game in hand…but isn’t outside the realm of possibility that the Thrashers could catch L.A. and lift themselves out of the bottom five and, thus, not be included in the NHL draft lottery.

And for the record…yes, I still would see that as a good thing.

As for the upcoming schedule…well, there are the Sabres on Wednesday who simply has to win-out their remaining games to legitimately have a shot at the post-season. So, a win there just might do them in. Oh, and Atlanta is 3-0-0 vs. Buffalo this season…all overtime or shootout wins.

Then there is a pair of games with Florida and Washington. Currently, the Panthers sit one single game below eighth place Montreal with one fewer game to play. Those potential four points against us are HUGE! The Caps have all but wrapped up the Southeast but are currently in a battle with New Jersey for that second seed in the east. Right now, that is the difference between playing a very hot Pittsburgh team or a wish-washy Rangers squad. Which one would you wanna face?

So, there is much to still play for as the season closes out. Not only for the betterment of the Thrashers themselves…but also to continue screwing things up for others.

67 comments Add your comment

Brendan

March 30th, 2009
11:28 am

Buffalo won’t make the playoffs. And it ISSS due, in part, to Atlanta.

Tony C.

March 30th, 2009
11:41 am

Yeah, it’s been awhile since I can remember the boys being a dynamic entertaining team to watch. I’m lovin march so much that this morning I watched the dvr of Sat.’s game.

I kind of echo Matty’s sentiment from the Saturday telecast “don’tcha wish we could petition the league for about 20 more games?

But of course, DE had the right response “They do. It’s called ‘The Playoffs’…” but he then went on to say that even though it’s closing the barn door after the horses have bolted, doesn’t mean that with most of the roster under contract, and some new guys sure to move up from Chicago or arrive via draft or trade we could very well be in those playoff games next season.

I also like SlavaMatic’s response to the new girl (Natalie??idk) “Yeah, sorry, we’re not gonna make playoffs…but now is a test of us to see if we play the right way[paraphrased for accent]“.

And Blueland still cheered. I think it’s a tremendous credit to the fans, players & coaches that the building was that full and that alive.

DW&FUBAS really better realize that although JA managed to pul a lil sum’-sum’ out of his pocket, we’re no strangers to their hare-brained summertime moves. A Rucchin-type signing IS NOT acceptable, and we’re also looking for some pro-active moves by mgmt this off-season (begin negotiations with Little on an extension say,,,).

But yeah, it’s looking like the pod-people are here to stay. Great month, and oooh do I look forward to seeing the boys drive a stake through the heart of the Fightin’ Banana Slugs and theirplayoff aspirations on Wednesday-keep the spoiler-vibe going.

Spud Webb

March 30th, 2009
11:55 am

Sabres game will be another great game. Always is.
WIDE OPEN.

Nikita

March 30th, 2009
12:00 pm

Man, that Saturday game was AWESOME. My DVR missed the first few minutes, but it doesn’t particularly matter since it captured the last 4 goals.

Slavamatic was on fire. But, for that matter, so was the entire team. Reasoner, in particular, was very determined, and that determination paid off in the Boulton/Perrin/Reasoner goal. And, well, it was all pretty fantastic.

On the other side, WTF is wrong with Ottawa? How are they ahead of us in the standings? I’ve seen better backchecking from, well, the Islanders. It was nice of them to let us camp out in the paint, though.

Rawhide

March 30th, 2009
12:03 pm

Spudster – To answer your question from the previous blog…I normally hang in 119, but I think I’ll be elsewhere Wednesday night. I’ll let ya know or will look ya up in 116.

Nikita

March 30th, 2009
12:10 pm

Oh, but one thing was not spectacular because it never is. Garnet Exelby. I’m starting my own “Fire Garnet Exelby” campaign if he returns after the break.

Alan

March 30th, 2009
12:39 pm

Todd White. I don’t know what happened to him this year, but I’m actually shocked.

Todd. Freakin’. White. He currently has 70 points (21g 49a) this year. Five more goals and he’ll surpass his career highest goal total.

Am I expecting it? Nope. Five goals in six games is a lofty challenge for almost any player. But I’m hoping he can do it.

Just something to ponder. Todd White. Wow.

Archie

March 30th, 2009
1:07 pm

I think we can get the best of both worlds here, I think the Thrash will go about 4-2 or 3-3 over the last 6 games and stay in the 5 spot for the draft lottery, possibly even fall to 4th in the lottery, all without having to blatantly tank games. Plus, the point has been made with this team. Since January 1, this team has played at a 90 point pace, that’s not a one or two week fluke that’s a bona fide trend. I think the team believes they’re heading in the right direction and Ilya Kovalchuk just might be so inclined to sign an extension this summer. Even if we don’t get Tavares or Hedman, we’re in excellent shape to get an NHL ready player in the draft and sign Ilya to an extension. If they build off this 90 point pace they’ve been at over the last 40 games, they can be a legit playoff team next year.

It’s great to feel a sense of optimism again, I almost forgot what that felt like with this team.

Smoothie

March 30th, 2009
3:47 pm

Once again, it bears noting that since the acquisition of Peverley, our GA avg has improved greatly compared to our yearly avg. It’s good to see how our SAA has come down considerably and it certainly makes sense that our GAA would be in the 3.1 to 3.2 neighborhood during this time.

In the 33 games we’ve played A.P. (After Peverley), the Thrashers have allowed 104 goals for an avg of 3.152 GA. Meanwhile, the T-birds have been scoring at a rate of 3.27 goal / game over that same stretch.

And last but not least, the Pever or the Pevs-Dispenser has accummulated 29 points in his 33 games played with a +13 as a Bluelander. Even better yet, since the beginning of the West Coast trip (2/15), Peve-licious has scored 7 goals and netted 9 helpers on his way to a marvelous +14 for those 20 games.

At a cap hit of only $245 K, Richey P has got to be the steal of the post-lockout era of the NHL! Bravo Mr. Peverley!!

Smoothie

March 30th, 2009
3:51 pm

Oh yeah, almost forgot, our year-to-date GAA is currently 3.45 down from the 3.55 or so it was about 6 weeks ago. So we are .30 goals / game below our avg with Peverley in the fold…that’s an annualized savings of almost 25 goals.

JAmes_kovyboy

March 30th, 2009
5:34 pm

Peverley wow
Todd White wow

Somehow I knew Peverley was gonna be a great addition

And I dunno if any1 noticed, but this year, DW wasnt that bad: He got rid of Schneider (+), traded or even LENT Havelid and got back a great D-Man(++) and finally he picked up Peverley (+++++++++)

Still, if he doesnt sign Kovy and Reasoner, he gots to go out !

And our only missing piece on offence probably is a 1st line center, elsewhere i think were pretty fine:

Kovy-(1sst line C)-Little
Kozzie-White-Peverley
Stuart-Reasoner-Crabb
Any 4th liners we have-Thorburn

The D’s problem is Ron Hainsey

Thank you

From MTL with love

Tony C.

March 30th, 2009
7:16 pm

Why not put Little in the middle and get a top-6 RW????

kracker

March 30th, 2009
7:29 pm

Wow, Hainsey is the big scapegoat for some posters. Let’s see how Hainsey does next season….

Stats, let’s see…Hainsey is 32 position in points for a defenseman, not too bad…tho his +/- is waaay down at no. 281. Hainsey certainly bears some responsibility for the ES goals allowed but not sole responsibility. He logs considerable ice time (22:24 (#55)) and shifts (25.8 (#98)) and mostly stays out of the box (30PIM (#155)) playing the offensive system that JA wants…not too bad on the offensive side of things where Hainsey on balance generates points above his level of ice time. Generally, it seems to me one of the last things a team would become more accomplished at is playing effective defense in JA’s offense first system.

Call me crazy but I expect much more cohesive offensive, defensive and special team units next season. Coaches and players will be a lot more familiar w/ each other, know what is expected and, compared to beginning last season, the team will be upgraded in personnel overall. Hainsey will get graded like everybody else, watch film or whatever these coaches do and get his off season things (suggestions? hehe) to work on and then come back and lace ‘em up in a few months. I expect the last thing he will want is getting demoted to 2nd or 3rd pair, 2nd PP unit, etc., so good….competition is good for all.

kracker

March 30th, 2009
7:29 pm

Tony C. – Yep.

Brendan

March 30th, 2009
11:07 pm

Archie, that’s for sure. There’s an optimism brewing here. But, we’ve got to keep it going. And I don’t just mean down the stretch here. While I love wins, if we lost them all or won them all, what difference does it make if the organization doesn’t proactively re-sign Kovalchuk?

The players … have to know … “there’s a plan.” Guys like Bryan Little should be approached for contract negotiations sometime in July. There’s just no reason not to do it. Will it be better to WAIT?? We know Kovy will score 40-50 goals next year. We know Bryan Little will put up 25-40 goals. And by then, that contract won’t be so “Little” anymore. If Bryan Little scores 40 goals either this year or next year, his contract will skyrocket. DWad can’t do diddly squat with Little until July 1, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). But the longer he waits, the more it’s gonna cost.

And in the end, SAY IT WITH ME, Good players will cost what the market will bear. Said another way, “there’s no chance you’ll catch a bargain on a quality player; they cost what they cost. They can’t and won’t be DEVALUED.” Digest that one yet, Spirit Boys? Your “best shot” is to approach Little proactively, and GUESS RIGHT. If Little develops into a perennial 40-goal scorer, you’ll be grateful you locked him at at $4.5M to $4.75 million instead of paying him $7.0 to $7.5 million. And, that may be why Bryan Little’s agent might DECLINE contract negotiations this summer. With two (2) 35+ goal campaigns, the market will bring higher value for his client.

Brendan

March 30th, 2009
11:16 pm

Coyotes 4, Stars 2, with 11:45 left in the 2nd period. If Phoenix wins, they climb AHEAD of the Thrashers in the league-wide standings. Dallas led this game, 1-0.

Tom

March 31st, 2009
8:51 am

Just remember though, until the lawsuit is settled, any decision the Thrashers make will be predicated on how it affects profitability. A sad but true situation.

One thing going for us is that they probably will not hit the targets to get max revenue sharing so they will be focused on getting fannies in the seats. If they understand having quality players and a cohesive team is necessary to do that, and by the boycotts this year they have had to figure it out, the concept of spending money to make money may have sunk in.

but then it is the Atlanta Spirit we are talking about…

kracker

March 31st, 2009
9:42 am

Tom The front page of today’s AJC sport section had a flag to an article on page 5. It said “Lawsuit tossed” “Judge in Atlanta throws out a lawsuit…” I thought WOW! YES! and raced to page 5…but it was about some NFL lawsuit being dismissed. I was crushed! lol

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

March 31st, 2009
10:42 am

:!: Paging Mr. GaVaHokie and Mr. Tony C. :!:

Please check your e-mail inboxes!

Thank you

h

March 31st, 2009
11:28 am

Agreed on everyone’s thoughts on off-season moves. Sign Kovy, Little and maybe even Pevs to extensions. Sign Army to a 2-3 year deal. No matter what, sign Reasoner. Give him his 1.75 per year for 2 years if that is what he wants. He is worth it. I think a few guys need to go though…..Slater, Hedberg, Thorburn and X……Even if we have to release Hedberg and X, it is worth the cap hit. We need to be better in their spots. And here we are again asking for a top 6 forward. Hopefully, this time we will get it done.

English Teacher

March 31st, 2009
12:10 pm

No way should Slater and Thorburn go. That “Greek God” line has done as much for the energy and attitude of this team as has Kovy becoming captain. I will never, EVER forget their performance in the Toronto game in January when the Thrashers came back from being down 3-0. There was one shift that seemed to last five minutes where these guys pounded the fecal matter out of the Leafs keeping them trapped in their own zone. When the whistle finally blew, the entire arena erupted in applause making it seem like we were in the playoffs. Thorburn and Slater were a HUGE part of that.

Sorry, Rawhide, I know you’re a numbers guy, but I go on chemistry and grit. Maybe the numbers tell a different story.

Smoothie

March 31st, 2009
12:30 pm

Great timing “h” as I just finished a nice, lengthy purview of 4th line C’s in the NHL and as I suspected, Jimmy (aka Skandalous) Slater is right where he needs to be as a 4th line guy making $750 – $900 K / year. A lot have been giving him flack (prolly due to the lofty, now unfair expectations for a former 1st round pick), but perhaps his critics have a somewhat distorted view of his play. I for one think he is much improved and will continue to thrive in JA’s system as long as he can stay off of the disabled list next year. Afterall, he was on pace for career numbers before the injury. To wit:

Player Name GP GS AS PTS +/- ATOI FOW%

SLATER, JIM 54 7 10 17 -1 11:12 52.8%

Goc (SJS) 49 2 8 10 -7 13:48 59%
Draper (DET) 75 7 10 17 -12 12:08 60%
Yelle (BOS) 70 7 11 18 +9 13:21 51%
Holik (NJD) 58 4 4 8 -2 10:17 59%
Boyd (CGY) 70 11 11 22 -10 12:54 45%
Giroux (PHI) 35 6 15 21 +11 15:16 46%
Fraser (CHI) 73 5 11 16 +3 9:08 48%
Talbot (PIT) 70 11 9 20 -11 14:14 52%
Mair, A (BUF) 68 8 8 16 +3 10:39 49%

Steckel (WSH) 70 7 11 18 +3 13:51 57%
Sutter (CAR) 50 1 5 6 -1 8:49 39%
Kreps (FLA) 61 4 14 18 +4 14:09 50%
Hall, A (TBL) 68 5 5 10 -5 11:07 49%

So as you can see, in relation to the 4th line C’s from the top 8-10 teams in the league, our next opponent (BUF) and our division foes, Jimmy is either holding his own or outplaying several players who are getting consistently more ice time (2 – 3 mins more). While Jimmy may not have lived up to some of the considerably high expectations coming into the league, he has settled into his niche nicely and should continue to develop nicely as a future 3rd line option for 2 – 4 years down the road. I for one am very happy to have Jimmy as our 4th line “energy” catalyst!!

Go Slates!!

Smoothie

March 31st, 2009
12:34 pm

Wow English Teacher, I must’ve read your mind!! Yes the numbers support your view that Jimmy Slater is a bona fide long-term cog in future Thrashers’ success. And the fact that there is noticeable chemistry on our 4th line further supports the assertion. I reckon if Thorbs and Boults had better hands, Jimbo might have 15-20 assists.

Rawhide

March 31st, 2009
12:48 pm

English Teacher – I remember that game well last January…it was one of the more exciting games of the season. You are 100% correct regarding your comments about the checking line sparking that comeback. they were flying out there…did the “dirty work” and then Kovy and the Peever took it from there.

Personally, I have no issue at all with that 4th line returning. More times than not they’ve done their job, escpecially in the past 8-10 weeks.

Alan

March 31st, 2009
1:52 pm

This might come as a bit of an odd request …

… but I’m seeking game footage from Thrashers games this year. If anyone has any film they’ve TiVo’d or saved on their DVR, I would be interested in acquiring it. A little bit of a creative itch has struck me, and I’d like to scratch it.

If you have any, or know where I might be able to acquire some, Rawhide has my authorization to point you in my direction.

A2B

March 31st, 2009
2:44 pm

I think our problems get solved with getting a top six forward and then getting rid of X. Yes it seems overly simple, but we are loaded in Chicago and overseas prospects at D. Not sure if you remeber this but Ilya Nikulin said he wanted to be in Atlanta this year and was slightly ticked he was still in Russia. If Kovy and Kozzy stay, then that bodes well bringing in a massive 6′4″ D-man that can play (and has proved it every level). Its obvious that Kovy has bought into Anderson’s system and the team has rallied around him. These guys sense something is brewing here and want to make something happen.

Getting the top six forward is imperative this summer. If we dish out the money for Kovy and a top six forward it sends a message to the league we are contenders now.

Dwayne H. Johnson

March 31st, 2009
3:12 pm

bolts, thorn and slater form a solid 4rth line.

Alan

March 31st, 2009
3:27 pm

Not sure if you remeber this but Ilya Nikulin said he wanted to be in Atlanta this year and was slightly ticked he was still in Russia.

That’s not really how I remember things. I remember he wanted to come over, but didn’t. The economy at the time had Russia looking like a favorable destination for NHL players, simply because they were throwing huge sums of money around. Tax-free money. I remember there were a few people here who suggested we may even see a mass migration of players from the NHL to the KHL because of this.

Not even a year later, teams can’t afford the salaries they agreed to. Salary reduction is going to take place next year for most, if not all teams in the KHL. I propose that Nikulin stayed for the money and his contractual obligation (I believe, but am not certain, he had one year left on his contract in Kazan). Next season, we very well might see the other Ilya here.

(Whether or not this transpires is beyond me. While I am hopeful, I am not optimistic.)

Alan

March 31st, 2009
5:11 pm

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 31st, 2009
5:21 pm

Cool clip, reminds me of a shot type oft used in handball…when it’s unsuccessful he’ll look like an absolute idiot and his coaches definitely wont be laughing (instead they’ll be chewing him out). High risk high reward, I guess.

R. Stroz

March 31st, 2009
6:42 pm

GO HOME BUFFALO

Tony C.

March 31st, 2009
9:42 pm

Mz. Trixie,

Please check your mail.

English Teacher

March 31st, 2009
10:28 pm

Wow, Smoothie! Nice work!

Rawhide

March 31st, 2009
10:58 pm

Sean Grace makes it very clear how he feels about Buffalo Sabres fans and th way the tend to infest Philips Arena twice a yer.

Enjoy.

English Teacher – Check your e-mail, dude.

Brendan

March 31st, 2009
11:01 pm

Right now, in Edmonton, Chris Pronger is being “booed” out of the building. And at the height of their booing, he scored a PPG. Pronger sort of “saluted” the crowd for their support. No, he didn’t flip the bird. But he did raise his arm over his head in a “waving” like motion towards the stands. As if to say, “Hi. I’m back. Thanks for your support.”

Glovesave29

April 1st, 2009
9:00 am

Going to change gears here for a sec…is anyone else out there really enjoying the NCAA hockey tourney on ESPN? I really think John Buccigross is calling a heckuva tournament. I would love to see the ASG clowns (as if they don’t have enough to fix, I know…) hire him and sack Kamal. The call is so much more fluid and the excitement seems genuine and not pre-scripted as we currently get. He has a genuine rapport with Melrose that shines through. It would be a pleasure to get to hear that team on a nightly basis. Perhaps they can simulcast a la Jiggs and Boomer and save them a couple of salaries in JP and Darren.

Kudos to the HHOF for recognizing womens hockey and adding them to the balloting in 2010. It’s nice to see them join the men and not have a small museum of their own. Greatness is greatness. I just hope they only take the TRULY gifted, as many of the players can get padded stats against the weaker sisters of the hockey community line China, Iceland, Romania et al. As the game matures, teams will improve and competition will increase…theoretically, scoring will drop, and that needs to have consideration. Having watched them play, it’s hard to make any arguement that Wickenhiser and Granato don’t belong aside Richard and Howe.

h

April 1st, 2009
11:13 am

Smoothie and english teacher-
Slater is brutal on the PK and adds little else, and that is something you really need to get out of a 4th liner. Sure, he has had a game or two to remember, but that is really it. Boults plays about 7-8 minutes a game and doesn’t really hurt us in that roleso I’m good with one of those type of guys, but we need something more out of the Slater and Thorburn slots. I’m not saying that we should look at other 4th liners from other teams, but finding “energy guys” is not that difficult and there just HAS to be more out there to help us on the PK (god forbid a 3rd liner from anothe team. I know I know, Slater and Thorburn are great guys, but we need better players too. great guys in locker room only go so far if they can’t compete (see Hedberg). Perhaps we find another 3rd line guy to play with Reasoner and Armstrong and then Stuart moves to play with Boults…then you add one more PK guy on that 4th line and you have a much better team. Just MHO. Beat the Slugs tonight!

Brendan

April 1st, 2009
11:19 am

I’ve been stunned by the results, thus far, Glovesave29. I mean, BEMIDJI STATE??!! Who saw that one coming? And it hasn’t been by FLUKE. 5-1 over Notre Dame and 4-1 over Cornell. Up next?: Miami of Ohio. Miami has never been to the FROZEN FOUR or ANY FINAL FOUR in their now, 200-year history. So, SOMEBODY has to win. With the way Bemidji State is playing, I’m leaning towards them. Vermont has had a strong tournament, knocking off Yale, then the surging Air Force, in double OT. But poor Vermont now has to face the Tournament Favorite coming in: Boston University. I’ll take BU. The Catamounts have been to the Frozen Four only twice before in their history. Forgive me for wanted to see it, but imagine if Vermont faced the Bemidji St./Miami winner for the National Title.

I think it would be one of those “once in a lifetime” magic moments for both schools. It doesn’t happen all that often to have so many lower seeded teams meeting for the Title game. It’d be huge for all those programs to get a berth into the Finals. BU has won several national titles in the past.

R. Stroz

April 1st, 2009
11:24 am

Bring your BULLHORNS and drown out the Buffalo scum.

Tony C.

April 1st, 2009
12:09 pm

Banana Slugs…

grr.

Oh, and I’d like to point out that what I’ve been trying to say the past couple of days is:

FIRE WADDELL

Spud Webb

April 1st, 2009
12:56 pm

R.Stroz, easy!!! Should be a good game tonight!
Go sabres!!!

Brendan

April 1st, 2009
2:49 pm

I’m just mad we won’t be getting the Ric Jeanerette version of the game on Center Ice! I know of the “legendary love” this blog has for him. But really, he is a very dramatic announcer. That’s why his calls get featured all the time on “On the Fly” and other NHL productions.

Paminski

April 1st, 2009
2:51 pm

I love the Sabres. There’s no team I’d rather see finish second to the Thrashers in the conference finals next season.

Born Buffalonian, now a citizen of Blueland,
Paminski

NASCAR Dave

April 1st, 2009
2:59 pm

So… Those season tickets were a worthwhile INVESTMENT, huh??? LOL

You all got what you paid for… Sitting at the bottom of the standings ALL YEAR…

FIRE WADDELL!!!

Tony C.

April 1st, 2009
3:22 pm

Brendan

April 1st, 2009
5:22 pm

Welcome, Paminski. Perhaps you will help prove that there ARE good hockey fans from Buffalo. This blog has, seemingly, run into your city’s “less than favorable, best-foot forward” types at Blueland. I’m sure there are very knowledgeable, very personable hockey fans in Buffalo, NY. And, for the record, I’m a fan of both Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff. I think Buffalo’s biggest impediment is its ownership (Golisano/Quinn). It’s other issue is market size, cashflow, and economy. I always sympathize with the smaller markets, who face the UPHILL BATTLES, like Phoenix, Buffalo, Raleigh, Edmonton, etc. For two “brief” years, the NHL almost fixed that problem. Maybe in 2011, when the current CBA is set to expire, they’ll revise their accounting principles? But I don’t think they will. They want their “orginal six” and/or other markets to flourish, for TV visibility and revenue generating purposes.

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 1st, 2009
6:14 pm

Everytime I see a certain persons blogging handle I think of Brick Tamland from Anchorman…”I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE YELLING ABOUT!”

Brendan — Would you go so far as to say that Buffalo is a prime example of a team that can not overcome ownership, despite being run by a very reputable and skilled GM and coach tandem? Would you possibly consider them, along with Nashville, as good evidence of the limit to how far a cheap team can climb in the NHL? Now, to take it that final step, would you be willing to say that you think Atlanta, with their own Regier/Poille/Ruff/Trotz combination would still only be playoff schedule fodder with only a marginal chance of making it past the second round?

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 1st, 2009
6:23 pm

Did they turn on the 5 minute delay?

Tom

April 1st, 2009
9:41 pm

Thrashers 4-0-0 over the Sabres. Great play end to end by the team and a great breakaway by Kolvachuk!

Oh, and watching the Thrashers beat the Sabres while talking smack with my Sister in Law in Buffalo was worth every penny.

stendec

April 1st, 2009
9:43 pm

WOW! Winner on breakaway by Captain Ilya Kovalchuk with less than half a minute left in overtime. WOW! Another solid effort from Moose. WOW! Keep What’s-His-Name quitter on bench. He and his issues are a liability which are definitely not required. Another home victory. WOW! Congratulations all the way around. Only one thing left to say. WOW!