Ovie & Co. Don’t Spoil So Easily

When you play the Washington Capitals there are two things that you need to do to enhance your chances of winning. One is to keep the NHL’s leading goal scorer Alex Ovechkin from adding to his total…now at 55…and the second is to stay out of the penalty box. This is especially true when your team’s penalty kill unit comes into the game ranked 29th in the league at 75.6%.

Tuesday night Atlanta did both…but it still wasn’t enough. Alex the Great was held scoreless…although he did help out with a pair of assists…and the Thrashers spent only 47 seconds of the game a man down. The Cap’s one and only power play was cut short by a Sergei Fedorov boarding call with 1:13 remaining on it.

The Caps took both games of the home-and-home series over the past few days…winning 6-4 Sunday and 4-2 Tuesday night. Both games were close entering the third periods…but Washington outscored Atlanta by a combined 5-1 in the last 20 minutes of the games. Recently the Thrashers have been enjoying the role of “spoiler”…but I guess Ovie & Co. just don’t spoil so easily.

Young Ondrej Pavelec made his first start for Atlanta since that forgetable outing against Pittsburgh in the middle of December. He came into the game with a saves percentage of .884 and a 3.55 GAA. After the performance, the first stat went lower and the second got higher, which is not what you wanna see. However, as coach John Anderson stated after the game, he seems to have gotten stronger as the game went on. Of the first ten shots he faced, three got past him. Conversely, only one of the next 16 did.

On the opposite end of the ice, young Simeon Varlamov moved his record to 4-0-1, improved his GAA to 2.37 and his saves percentage to .918. The Russian goalie, who will be 21 in the 27th of this month, performed very well for Washington, showing why the Caps chose him in the first round of the 2006 entery draft, (23rd overall).

The 4-2 loss dashed any hopes the Thrashers had of finishing the season with a winning record at home. They are now 17-20-2 with only the two more games remaining in Philips Arena. Sunday’s loss in Washington finished the road schedule for Atlanta with a record of 17-20-4.

And Now, Some Other Suff For You…

It’s not easy being green…but Philips Arena has become the first NHL or NBA arena to achieve LEED certification.

The son of one of Slapshot’s Hanson Brothers scored the first goal of his NHL careerTuesday night during Toronto’s 4-1 in New Jersey. Christian Hanson…son of Dave Hanson…lifted one past none other than Marty “The Magnificent” Brodeur at 15:56 of the first period.

Adam Proteau of The Hockey News writes that Ilya Kovalchuk is Atlanta’s MVP, (DUH5). But beyond that, Bryan Little is the Thrashers’ NMVP…NEXT MVP.

Among other would-be award winners…ESPN’s John Buccigross makes his casefor Evgeni Malkin for MVP.

Howard Berger remembers Quinn vs. Orr 40 years laterin this entry on Hockeybuzz.

36 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

April 7th, 2009
11:40 pm

Glovesave29 – You nailed it about Pavelec on the prior blog. Pavelec over commits to the puck and the next thing you notice he is out of the crease floundering as the rebound is slapped into an empty net. Someone should tie a four foot bunge cord to his neck to keep him in the crease.

The kid is NOT NHL ready yet, whether his agent thinks he is or not.

Rawhide – You just ranallo10ed me.

stendec

April 7th, 2009
11:41 pm

Hi Bill. Poll request. Please add Cut Them All Loose to choices if possible. Thank you very muchly. I will vote every hour on the hour. Cast one vote for first choice already but it does not reach heart of the problem. Appreciate consideration. Very truly yours. Stendec. FYI – I do not care if arena is painted in blue and pink polka dots. Although pink would suit play of home group within confines of (pick a color) Loseland. Including supposed star who misfires on an alarming basis. Oops. Missed again…by THAT much. As Maxwell Smart might point out. Some captain. True captains lead by example. As in P-R-O-D-U-C-T-I-O-N!

Wayne

April 7th, 2009
11:41 pm

So the building is certified LEED…big whoop.

R. Stroz

April 7th, 2009
11:55 pm

Watching from the stands, I thought Boris looked alot better tonight and Wilson played better than expected.

Pavelec looks like he needs to spend some more time in the Windy City.

R. Stroz

April 7th, 2009
11:57 pm

With the new LEED system, does give this saying new meaning?

(Insert player name) get the LEED out of your a$$!

sisu

April 8th, 2009
12:13 am

rough outing for Opie…he looked lost in the first period. So he needs to settle down but two season in the AHL have not prepared him enough to step right in??? Not good

The Joker

April 8th, 2009
12:27 am

What is the difference between Brett Hull and Ondrej Pavelec?

Brett Hull can’t keep his foot out of the crease and Ondrej Pavelec can’t keep his feet in the crease.

Tony C.

April 8th, 2009
1:28 am

Glovesave-a buddy of mine and I were talking hockey, and we got to our mutual pet peeve: Only NHL club without a Goalies coach and one of only a handful that doesn’t have an organIzational goalies coach.

I said I wish we could con “The Beezer” away from his juniors team to come down and be our goalies coach…he suggested we sign Cujo-as he’s pretty much done. Just wondering if you had any thoughts? My friend also suggested the guy from U-Maine…anyway, it’d be cool to hear your thoughts.

After watching tonight’s game I’m more convinced than ever that we need some size up front desperately

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 8th, 2009
7:33 am

Tony C. — I’d be interested in Nurminen…see how good he’d be in such a role. Hedberg seems like the obvious choice though, if such a hiring were to happen.

Obama's Teleprompter

April 8th, 2009
9:30 am

Does the LEED certification mean that Owl Gore will grace Philips Arena with his presence? In honor of the certification nonsense, I am going to make an effort to make up for the pollution and wasting of energy that Philips Arena has avoided. Time to double my planet destroying efforts! LOL! What a freakin’ joke!

Paminski

April 8th, 2009
10:03 am

Pavs, Pavs, Pavs. Remember that temper tantrum at the beginning of the season? Unless you amaze us all over the next two games, I don’t want to see one this year when you’re assigned to the Wolves again. Now stop trying too hard. Settle in and use what you have and it may be enough for a promotion or trade.

Does anyone else think Army’s sense of humor also comes across as a love for the game? He really seems to enjoy what he does plus he works hard. An obvious fan favorite in any market. A friend who is a Pens fan still mourns the loss.

Speaking of humor, thanks to Ovie for being a good sport. He may be crazy, but he’s got class.

Nikita

April 8th, 2009
10:50 am

On LEED, good for Phillips. It’s good to know all the sporting activity is being done relatively efficiently.

Man, it’s going to hurt having Pavs in net for more games. I think he should play Carolina (we’ll help them to their pklayoff spot), but I really can’t take a loss to Tampa.

For what it’s worth, I only caught the third period last night…and I thought I was having a fklashback to the neverending losing streak. Morale looked pretty low, and Kovy looked angry.

LAC

April 8th, 2009
10:56 am

Bad Game period, last two looking like early season games, LOTS of mistakes and teams eating us alive. We do NOT have the quality players to keep up the pace… Just when we thought we had turned the corner…
We have fallen back to our old ways of finding a way to lose.

Pav’s looked average at best, which is NOT saying much.

And who gives a CRAP about the green stuff, they need to spend some GREEN to get a couple more scorers and a SOLID D man for next season !

Hockey Biltong

April 8th, 2009
10:58 am

Can’t help but think what we could have done with”Walt”….I know he didn’t want to stay.

Alan

April 8th, 2009
11:06 am

Pav’s looked average at best, which is NOT saying much.

Indeed. I didn’t like his positioning last night. There’s still two more games, though, and I’m sure he’s going to start both of them. If he’s serious about tbeing the number one going forward, he needs to get the jitters out of his system now and play better.

Then again, this could just be another consequence of not having a goalie coach. It’s sad that we keep coming to that, isn’t it? Send Weeks packing and bring in someone, anyone.

Hedberg for Goalie Coach!

R. Stroz

April 8th, 2009
11:36 am

Speaking of goalie coaches, Dan Bouchard is coaching hockey at Life College in Marietta. Bouchard was a pretty good goalie and played with alot of fire, then again he was an Atlanta Flame.

Rawhide

April 8th, 2009
11:45 am

Paminski – True that about Ovie…but Broudreau didn’t care to much for the clip making fun of his commercial.

RStrozRawhide – You just ranallo10ed me.

It’s OK…I’m “clean”.

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 8th, 2009
12:10 pm

Rawhide and Stroz — Nice…good times.

LAC — In the AJC report about the LEED certification there was mention that the arena president wants the venture to become revenue neutral. If I remember correctly you own a few businesses…if someone came to you and said “at no added expense, we can change your practices so you become LEED compliant and not only lose nothing, but ALSO help the environment”, would you complain?

I understand your point about money going towards the roster, but how can you find a negative out of making this arena BETTER for the environment than every other NHL/NBA arena in the country? This improvement has saved 2 million gallons of waters over the last 11 months…for the city of Atlanta, that’s EXTREMELY important, especially in light of the perpetual drought the state has been suffering through since 2000 (or so it seems that long).

Get outside of the Thrashers bubble and I think you’ll see this is something to be applauded. As I said on the last blog, it would be disingenuous for me to continually degrade the ownership group but completely ignore something that helps make the city of Atlanta slightly more eco-friendly. This is positive publicity, soak it up and be happy. The ASG still suck (in my opinion) as hockey franchise owners, but I’m happy they made a step towards being environmentally conscious.

Midfield

April 8th, 2009
12:40 pm

It was actually a decent showing for Atlanta – all things considered. Obviously, goaltending was the difference. That Russian kid Varlamov looked very impressive. I wouldn’t be surprised if he stole the starter role from Theodore even during this post-season.

five_hole

April 8th, 2009
1:40 pm

Midfield Agreed. Varlamov was sharp all night. And if I were Washington, I’d ride the hot goaltender until the skates fall off of him.

ranallo10 (in AT) I wouldn’t waste your breath (or typing skills) trying to explain why being environmentally conciencious is important, especially to a nitwit like Obama’s Teleprompter . Like all his ilk, all he can do is whine and complain without offering anything positive.

Hockey Biltong

April 8th, 2009
1:51 pm

yeah, being green is good. so get with the program….

Tom

April 8th, 2009
1:57 pm

Don’t you wish the ownership was more concerned with creating a great team than getting a politically correct certification for the building and something to talk about at cocktail parties?

R. Stroz

April 8th, 2009
2:43 pm

Tom – Actually, I’m in favor of both.

However, I’m sure the ASG will need all the carbon credits they can get considering the amount of carbon emitted form Waddell each season.

Tony C.

April 8th, 2009
3:03 pm

haaay-ooooooo Please tip your waitress and bartenders folks, Stroz will be here through the 11th…

Tony C.

April 8th, 2009
3:06 pm

Also, I didn’t know Bouchard was still in town. I was gonna get his number put on my Flames road sweater….wonder if he’d sign it.

Also, I doubt DW will swallow his pride and try and extend any sort of bridge towards the Atlanta Flames. Still one of the great “duhhh” moments of his [DW] tenure.

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 8th, 2009
6:13 pm

five_hole — I hear you, sometimes I just can’t let things go unsaid…it’s a weakness of mine.

Tom — As Stroz said, I’m in favor of both. I hate to be the person to say it but the environment is far more important than a local professional ice hockey team. To me it’s a good sign that our ownership group cares just a little more than other arena owners in the country, when it comes to their ecological impact. Obviously as a Thrashers fan I wish they’d care just as much about the on ice product…but perhaps that’s wishing for FAR too much.

R. Stroz

April 8th, 2009
11:28 pm

Columbus locks up playoff spot. Now, they just need to win 1 playoff game and Waddell is the only one left the island.

stendec

April 9th, 2009
2:24 am

Thrashers will never have worst outing of any pro Atlanta team. Not even 12-0 shutout loss next season with Carrie Letemin in goal! Braves secured that inglorious place in cesspool infamy tonight in Philly. And I thought the Thrashers sucked? It was akin to the hockey team squandering a 6-0 lead in the final three minutes. Not a pleasant thought. And not even with an EMPTY net!

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 9th, 2009
4:40 am

Stroz — Is one playoff game win really a measure of success? I know, compared to Waddell anything is success…blah blah…but is it something to be proud of for having one playoff appearance and one playoff win compared to no playoff wins in the same amount of appearances?

In my opinion neither team had/has a chance of making a serious impact in the playoffs. My measure of success, as applied to Columbus right now, will be improvement again next year. Many teams make the playoffs, and Columbus should be proud for finally making it this season, but they need to continue their upward trend and maybe steal a series this year, or next…but continue to improve.

In my opinion, the failure to stay consistent and possibly improve is the mark of failure in the NHL. Making the playoffs and winning one game is not necessarily success, but making the playoffs, winning a few games, maybe even a series, and then doing it again the next year…that’s the mark of success, to me.

five_hole

April 9th, 2009
8:48 pm

Hey Boris, I hope you were watching Kovalchuk take care of business out there. The captain kicked some Panther a$$ out there!

stendec

April 9th, 2009
10:00 pm

Another totally uninspired debacle by a completely heartless group on Loseland home ice! Whatever color the damn shet is now. Nothing new. Nothing different. Same old bullshet toilet residue from Toiletlids! Moose played just well enough to lose. Whoop de do! Captain Choke misfired on a minimum of four wide open shots! Same old inaccurate crapola! Damn overrated son of a betch. Hope these quitters are elsewhere next season! Not one of them gives a damn. I sure as Hell do not anymore! Congratulations Floridians. Well done. Even though you did not beat anyone worth a damn! Only a few mail-in unefforts by these bestards until another wasted season is in the books. BTW – On a 5-on-3 shoot the damn puck! Trying to get it to an overrated Ruskie who shoots wild anyway does not make a damn bit of sense. Boom Boom once said 100 percent of shots not taken do not go in. DAMN RIGHT MR G! Hear that John Petrino? You ignorant scumball!

Brendan

April 9th, 2009
10:42 pm

Picks contest update: One game left … and it’s going to be close.

74-points: Russ, tied to 3rd in the division and 15th in the Conference. ThrasherNY has 74-points, tied to 5th in the division and 15th in the Conference.

75-points: 12345, tied to 4th in the division and 15th in the Conference. Brickhouse, tied to 5th in the division and 14th in the Conference.

76-points: Don, tied to 4th in the division and 15th in the Conference. Glovesave29, tied 5th in the division and 14th in the Conference.

The following bloggers were eliminated with tonight’s regulation time loss:

77-points: Sharon and Smoothie.

78-points: PJ, Brendan, and Polskidawg.

Thanks for playing!

stendec

April 9th, 2009
10:43 pm

(There’s a possibility Finland could ask (Carrie Letemin) to play in the World Championships on April 24-May 10 in Switzerland. “I’m sure there’s a chance. We’ll have to see after the (read as unimportant to sieve) games are done how I feel and how they feel about me playing there.”)

Way to bail on team paying you a bloated salary you in no way deserve with phantom (read as fabricated) injuries. Set to jump at chance to play for Finland. Guess hangnail will not keep you off that squad. You are a real piece of work! I do not know who Finland plays but I hope they get the Hell kicked out of them EVERY damn game! Do everyone a favor. PLease, PLEASE stay the Hell in Finland!

Brendan

April 9th, 2009
10:48 pm

Ranallo, I believe Waddell-backers would trumpet one playoff win as success. They might have even called it, “incremental progress.”

Brendan

April 9th, 2009
11:05 pm

I think it’s very important to keep an eye out for Columbus. I’m not expecting them to win a playoff series. But I do expect them to offer up at least three to four “competitive” games. By competitive, I mean 1-goal or 2-goal, in the case of an empty-netter at the end.

Why is it important to look at Columbus? Admittedly, most Thrashers fans don’t care much about the Blue Jackets. But, in my opinion, it’s noteworthy to remark their progress because it’s a team who found themselves in a similar situation to that of Thrashers two years ago, but they opted to make a change at the GM position. Whereas, FUBAS did not. Irrespective of the outcome of this year’s playoffs for Columbus, I fully expect the Blue Jackets to avoid the lottery draft in the years 2010 and 2011. Rather, on the contrary, I expect them to challenge for a playoff spot again next season.

Two years later, Atlanta finds themselves in the lottery draft for a second-straight season. And unless they win their season finale, “moving in the right direction” means farther back in their point totals from the previous year. When the Blue Jackets made the change at the GM position, they were only 1-point fewer than their previous season. But their ownership had seen enough. Two years later, in 2009, they were a playoff team.

Now, I’ll be the first to say that, to my knowledge, the Columbus ownership is not attempting to sue each other in open court over buying out a partner, or even potential control of the team. So, it’s not entirely similar. But once Columbus made the decision to look for a new GM, they didn’t have the luxury of being able to romance an upper echelon GM into the fold. Scotty Bowman simply wasn’t coming.

So, what did Columbus do? (A) They got drunk on Tequila. And, on a dare, ate the worm. (B) They felt sorry for themselves, and on some sad, pathetic level, felt they DESERVED to fail, began a rigorous campaign of self-mutilation and/or gorging themselves on Haagen Daz ice cream. Or (C) they systematically scoured the league’s Assistant GM’s, seeking the best candidate of the bunch, ultimately arriving upon the selection of Scott Howson, previously with the Edmonton Oilers.

Watch, a few people will get this one wrong. Yeah, the correct answer is “they ate the worm.”

R. Stroz

April 10th, 2009
12:00 am

Guess which player was on the ice for every Panturd goal?

Here’s a hint, he earns 4.5 million a year and pretends to play defense.

That’s right, Ron Hainsey