A Sign Of Things To Come?

It was a preseason game…yes, I know. But I can’t help but get the feeling that Monday night’s 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes was the type of thing Don Waddell, Rick Dudley and John Anderson had in mind when putting this team together.

Nick Antropov assisting on three goals. Hmmm…assists are what you’re looking for from a center on Ilya Kovalchuk’s line, right?

Pavel Kubina providing a goal on the power play…I’m definitely looking for a lot of that this year.

Mark Popovic driving forward to account for a goal…the kid is doing everything he can to make this team.

Oh, and a defense that allowed but 22 shots on goal…only seven in the first 30 minutes of play.

The go-ahead goal, which came at the 8:31 mark of the third period, was another example of what Thrashers’ fans are hoping to see more of in days to come. Antropov was skating between the circles and found Kovy with a nice drop pass. Kovy then fed Bryan Little who was cutting through on the right side, who then beat Canes goalie Michael Leighton.

Jimmy Slater finished of the scoring with two and a half minutes remaining…Boulton and Kubina with the assists. Heck, even World Be Free and to like seeing that!

Sure, it was just a preseason game…but hopefully it’s a sign of what we are in store for as the regular season unfolds. If so, Thrasherville will be a rockin’ place to be.

OK…Who Ticked Off The Great Thunder Maker?

OK…which one of you ticked off the Great Thunder Maker in the sky and caused him to bring all this rain upon us? Certainly it wasn’t me…I always behave myself!

It’s almost reaching Biblical proportions…the National Weather Service stated that 13 inches of rain in a 36-hour period in the Atlanta area. But wait…as the late, great Billy Mays would say…there’s more! That’s right, more is in the forecast.

It took me three hours to get from my office near 75/285 in Cobb County, to home in Acworth…as HOA president, I had to insect some flood damage to the community…to North Cobb High School to pick up the boys, to getting down to Philips Arena. Most of that time was spent in traffic between Acworth and Kennesaw because US-41 and many side streets were closed down.

Anyway…if you are out and about it in, please be careful. It’s nasty.

And Finally…

I’d like to give a big shout out to Russian, Smitty and World Be Free…all of whom I had the pleasure of meeting last night! WBP joined the Blueland Chronicle gang and myself for the last period, making it an already fun time just that much better.

90 comments Add your comment

Wayne stuck in AL

September 21st, 2009
11:23 pm

I guess the Toronto-centric hockey media is gonna jump on us already for having so few fans in the stands for an exhibition game without knowing the circumstances…

Sara

September 21st, 2009
11:36 pm

The game sure read like it went mostly well. Not real impressed with giving up a shorty or a PP goal for that matter. Need to keep working on that methinks. And of course, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine (understatement of the year) – we didn’t face quite as potent of a line-up tonight as we put out. It’ll be more interesting the further in the week we go when teams have all pretty much settled into their starters. And certainly looking forward to seeing them in person on Wednesday along with my girls! Now, I’ll excuse myself to go watch Letterman and the POTUS make with the funny.

Brian Rudisel

September 21st, 2009
11:52 pm

I gotta eat my words about Kubina. Sounds like he’s doing some amazing stuff in preseason already, and I’m looking forward to it. Consider him and Antropov (basically the offseason altogether) an addition to the reasons we’ll nab a playoffs berth.

http://bit.ly/18MXkK

World Be Free

September 21st, 2009
11:54 pm

23 inches of rain-those idiots in Toronto would get lost converting that into centimeters.

Great meeting you Bill. Yes, a nice goal by Jimmy, in front of the net no less. I am a fan, at least for this week.

Kubina is a monster. His push will be welcome during those 3rd period penalty kills when we are protecting a lead.

What to do about Postma. The skinny kid can skate and pass. Needs to move in with a good Italian family to load him up on some pasta.

The secret is in goal-we need goaltending. Bad time for Kari to go down with a wonky back. Gotta watch out for those flaming, flying monkies.

ranallo10 (in AT)

September 22nd, 2009
12:51 am

Who started in net?

Brian Rudisel

September 22nd, 2009
12:57 am

@ranallo10

Johan Hedberg.

ranallo10 (in AT)

September 22nd, 2009
1:02 am

Thanks Mr. Rudisel.

Sadtoseeitthisway

September 22nd, 2009
2:53 am

I sat in the next section from your group Rawhide. You fellas were having a good time. Easy to see you thanks to so many empty seats. However, what really impressed me was Popovic. He played like a top tier defenseman both ways, and superior skating skills I didn`t know he had. I hope the coaches saw it, he defintely deserves to be on the roster.

Mr. Catalogues

September 22nd, 2009
3:19 am

WishIWasOnTheGlass

September 22nd, 2009
6:19 am

The team looked supa fast and I agree with the poster above that Popovic looked sharp last night.

Anybody know why the Thrashers home page is dishing out news about the Canucks this morning? wtf???

http://i363.photobucket.com/albums/oo73/1bpschevy/wtf.gif

Smitty

September 22nd, 2009
6:49 am

Bill, nice to meet you and your exemption last night. Some promising signs last night. Postma looked pretty good but needs to bulk up a bit. Special teams still need some work but that is what pre-season is for. Looks like we finally have some depth and that mgt will have some tough decisions to make when cut time comes.

Riceowls8891

September 22nd, 2009
7:12 am

Kovy, Antro & Little – the “Will you marry me?” line because I think I’m in love.

DWTOO

September 22nd, 2009
7:44 am

Anyone know what happened to Hainsey and Armstrong? Both left early not to return. I did see Hainsey walk off into the locker room.

Libby

September 22nd, 2009
8:01 am

Enter your comments here
Hi Rawhide,
It looked like you were having a great time last night. Was that dance moves you were making? I loved the pass from Andropov to Kovy to Little. It usually takes us about 1/2 hour to get to Phillips. Last night it was well over an hour.

GaVaHokie

September 22nd, 2009
8:16 am

Random bit of trivia for you… If Popovic makes the team, he’ll be the first player to leave Atlanta and come back.

J.B.

September 22nd, 2009
8:20 am

Army & Hainsey both have minor lower body issues and will likely sit out a day or two. Nothing serious at all. In the post game presser, coach just said since it was exhibition, there was no reason at all to put them back in and risk making it worse. Should be a non issue.

Bill – Was wondering if there was a Rawhide twitter feed?

Rawhide

September 22nd, 2009
8:28 am

Consider him and Antropov (basically the offseason altogether) an addition to the reasons we’ll nab a playoffs berth.

Brian Rudisel – I hope you’re right.

Who started in net?

Ranallo – Hmmm….I guess I didn’t mention Moose was in goal last night…sorry.

The team looked supa fast and I agree with the poster above that Popovic looked sharp last night.

WishIWasOnTheGlass – Yup…he’s looking good. Seems to fit in with Anderson’s system pretty well too. But given his days in Chicago with him, that doesn’t really come as a surprise.

I sat in the next section from your group Rawhide. You fellas were having a good time. Easy to see you thanks to so many empty seats

Sadtoseeitthisway – Next time, please come over and say “hi”…

Anyone know what happened to Hainsey and Armstrong? Both left early not to return. I did see Hainsey walk off into the locker room.

DWTOO – I haven’t read anything about that yet…oh, and sorry I missed you and Puckwench before the game. I wasn’t able to navigate my way through the mess in time to get there before 6:00.

Random bit of trivia for you… If Popovic makes the team, he’ll be the first player to leave Atlanta and come back.

GaVaHokie – Interesting point.

Bill – Was wondering if there was a Rawhide twitter feed?

J.B. – I don’t “do” twitter…do you guys really need to know when I’m sitting on the porch? Or eating dinner? Or…well, you get the point.

It looked like you were having a great time last night. Was that dance moves you were making?

Libby – er…uh…ummm…. ah, it was a “happy we scored dance…no wait, a “stop the rain dance”…er, ah…what dance?

Mr. Catalogues – Hey buddy…

Zoomo

September 22nd, 2009
9:03 am

I listened to the Carolina radio feed via the ‘net (which didn’t start working until late in the first period). The ‘Canes radio guy kept calling Moose “Yo-han Ed-Bear”. I didn’t know Moose was from Quebec.

Lee

September 22nd, 2009
9:07 am

oh great game last night, looked like they really had fun out there. that to say, the ‘canes are last in our division. hope they keep it up against the monster predators who are what 3 and 0?? im not sure. correct me if im wrong.

rawhide-which preseason games are on the radio?

Lee

September 22nd, 2009
9:09 am

zoomo-hahaha, good one, he’s swedish!

J.B.

September 22nd, 2009
9:15 am

Bill – Was thinking more along the lines of real-time tweets from the games or news tidbits you may pick up before the general populous a la @BenThrashers & @dankamal.

I agree that the usefulness of such a communication tool is devalued when people (a form of communication tools themselves :-) ) post things like “sitting on the porch right now”, “about to eat a hot pocket”, or …well, you get the point.

Rawhide

September 22nd, 2009
9:27 am

rawhide-which preseason games are on the radio?

Lee – I believe that the Grand Kamalian will be calling Wednesday’s game against Nashville…but that’s all 680 AM will being aring for the remainder of the preseason.

Bill – Was thinking more along the lines of real-time tweets from the games or news tidbits you may pick up before the general populous a la @BenThrashers & @dankamal.

J.B. – I’ll take that under advisement. But personally, I might find it distracting…I wouldn’t want to being looking down at my Crackberry while the game is going on…and during breaks I tend to be chatting with friends about the game & the team in general.

NorthStarsDave

September 22nd, 2009
9:30 am

Any news on Afelnegenov….yeah, I know it’s miss-spelled…

And BTW…just think if all of this was SNOW!!!!!

J.B.

September 22nd, 2009
10:06 am

Bill – Good point. I have to remind myself you’re not paid to do this.(I’ve said it before, but again EXCELLENT job with the blogging; i actually go to the hockeybuzz site now too).I believe I’d rather watch the game and have a few cold frosty beers than hunt and peck on my phone during the game also.

ChippersLoveChild

September 22nd, 2009
10:08 am

Armstrong tweaked his groin, via his Twitter feed, seems like he will be fine. Postma is impressing me.

Buzilla in CT

September 22nd, 2009
10:10 am

Check out the box score on the Thrashers website:

1st Period
02:41 CAR PPG – Bryan Rodney Wrist Shot – Assists: R. Brind’Amour & S. Samsonov
10:02 ATL PPG – Pavel Kubina Snap Shot – Assists: N. Antropov
18:46 ATL Unknown Wrist Shot – Assists: N. Antropov & P. Postma
2nd Period
17:41 CAR SHG – Brandon Sutter Tip-In – Assists: R. Brind’Amour & N. Wallin
3rd Period
08:31 ATL Bryan Little Tip-In – Assists: I. Kovalchuk & N. Antropov
17:27 ATL Jim Slater Slap Shot – Assists: E. Boulton & P. Kubina

The second goal (18:46) was scored by someone that the Thrashers don’t know? How do you not know? You can’t f’ing guess? You know that it was a wrist shot somehow, but where it came from is a total mystery. I understand that it is preseason but this is THE Thrasher website. A box score from a home game. That is a little embarassing.

I will claim credit for the goal. I hope I can make the team now. I have a nasty wrister

R. Stroz

September 22nd, 2009
10:24 am

Buzilla – For a minute, I thought I was reading the script from My Cousin Vinny.

Zoomo

September 22nd, 2009
10:34 am

The reason for the “unkown” player is that Popovic is not under NHL contract and is not listed in the NHL player database used to record game stats and boxscore results. Technical issue. Can’t credit a player that doesn’t exist in the database.

j nes

September 22nd, 2009
10:35 am

I was also wondering about Max. Whom did he skate with and how did he look?

Darren

September 22nd, 2009
10:36 am

I think it’s because the system doesn’t know what to do with some non-roster invitees, possibly because it doesn’t have a team with whom to associate that player. If you’ll recall, that ugly scoresheet from the Nashville game had two players named “3 Kozlov” playing, when Slava sat out.

In fact, the scoresheet also says “Manny Legaze” backed up Hedberg.

It’s the pre-season. I wouldn’t get too worked up over it.

Viking

September 22nd, 2009
10:43 am

Zoomo,

A little Swedish lesson: I did not hear it, but the phonetics you write suggests that they might actually have pronounced Hedberg’s unamericanized. Maybe it could be written “Yoohan Hehdberj”.

Similarily, Björn Borg’s last name should really be pronounced “Borj” – “Bjuhrn Borj”

By the way, imagine the pronounciation trouble (and more) my first name (derived from the Vikings – hence my blog name) cause over here; Kjell

Viking

September 22nd, 2009
10:45 am

Darren, it appears that they have prospect tryout score sheet writers in action too.

Buzilla in CT

September 22nd, 2009
10:47 am

That is very interesting about Popadapolis.

How did the two yutes do?

Russian

September 22nd, 2009
10:54 am

Yeah, it was a good Game. It was ugly Weather.
Finnaly I met Rawhide and talked to him.
Also I met Max Afinogenov and talked to him about Atlanta and Thrashers. He is very nice person. He was kind of shocked when I called him, but after that he was told me that he wants to get on team. He likes here and waits Wednesday to play. I wished him good luck. :-)

five_hole

September 22nd, 2009
10:54 am

I’m starting to get pumped about the season. The Thrashers actually have depth this season. I don’t think that word has been used here in the last 10 years. Depth. OMFG. We’re talking about pushing guys like a Koslov, Peverley, etc to the THIRD LINE! We’ve got guys like Popovic and Postma pushing the D. We’ve got Legace pushing for a spot in goal. Granted, he’s “old” but still . . . .

And Bigger is better! Andropov & Kubina bring size, which is something else we’ve needed. It’s like . . . . . it’s like Christmas in September! This is better than getting the Schwinn (back when bikes only had 3 speeds).

I am psyched for the start of the season.

Smoothie

September 22nd, 2009
10:56 am

I’ve read a few mixed reviews with respect to the “syncronicity” of our top line. However, it is pre-season and it will take some time for the boys to get on the same page. And if Antro can dish out 3 assists despite their chemistry issues, then I’m not worried at all.

Good to see Popovic doing well. Many ’round these here parts liked him real good you see before he was jettisoned in favor of Schneider and Oysters on the half shell. Of course, there was a lot of uncertainty facing the team going into 2008-’09, but it looks like Popo’s hard work in the weight room and with his nutrition & fitness along with his better than good play in the KHL may in fact pay off in the form of a NHL contract. Annsi & Nathan: be very afraid.

Not to mention that Postma kid can really play. He skates like Dean Youngblood and has the potential to melt more hearts than Derek Sutton if he keeps this up. I reckon he will end up being the first call-up ahead of Salmela when we have some injuries or god forbid, the flu bug! My guess is that Valabik & Popo will be our third pair to start with Oystie getting the nod for bench-warmer since he’s so good served “cold” if you catch my drift. Of course, my guess is strictly based on what I’ve read…we shall see in person tomorrow night.

Smoothie

September 22nd, 2009
11:05 am

Speaking of depth, and not just depth, but “OMFG depth” (copyright five_hole), check out this potential blueline depth chart for Chi-town:

Postma \ Salmela

Kulda \ Lewis (if healthy)

Welch \ Vernace

Denny….I bet they try to move Lehman back to forward since we have so much NHL experience at the AHL level. Crazy.

Sara

September 22nd, 2009
11:07 am

Actually I’d say there’s no excuse for the Thrashers website not getting the scoring correct. Yahoo sports showed Popovic with the goal.

J.B.

September 22nd, 2009
11:11 am

Russian – That’s exciting. How did you happen to run into Max? Was he in the press box for the game? I’m sure he was surprised a fan greeted him in his own languated and appreciated the well wishes. Glad to hear he likes it in Atlanta thus far and wants to play here. I can’t wait to see him on the ice.

Russian

September 22nd, 2009
11:11 am

Little bit more about Last game. I saw First Game in Nashville. We lost 0:5 and last game. It is completely different teams and play.
What I like and do not like:
1. Nik is good Passer. I hope he will stay with Kovy rest of the season. But he is not a Center. This line should be: Kovy – Little – Nik or Kovy – Pever – Nik.
2. Kubina is good D-man. We were lucky to got him from Toronto. I do not like Hainsy got injure.
3. Pops could make a team. I will be suprise if he will not. He is going to play with Boris.

Buzilla in CT

September 22nd, 2009
11:11 am

I remember when I left Atlanta, y’all were in a drought and fighting with the rednecks in ‘Bama and the panhandle (Redneck Riviera) over who has the rights to what was left of the sludge in Lake Lanier. Now I hear that children are waterskiing to school, hillbillies making boats out of kegs cut in half, and spaghetti junction is a giant water slide. Hopefully an arctic blast will come charging down the jet stream and freeze everything for you. Make Atlanta into one giant ice rink! It could be a winter wonderland with mint juleps.

Maybe I should come back for a visit and set things right.

GaVaHokie

September 22nd, 2009
11:17 am

Smoothie… I’m pretty sure Salmela got an NHL only contract… so, we’d probably have to put him through waivers, buy him out or trade him… I’m guessing.

Smoothie

September 22nd, 2009
11:17 am

Did somebody say mint juleps!? Where? I smell me some Maker’s!!

R. Stroz

September 22nd, 2009
11:19 am

NHL players wanting to play for Atlanta…yeah, yeah…the next thing someone will tell me is that it’s going to rain for forty days and forty nights.

Uh-Oh!

Smoothie

September 22nd, 2009
11:21 am

Oooopsies! You’re right GVH. If capgeek.com is accurate, tis Oystrick with the 2-way and not Salmonella spread. Looks like we’re stuck with Anssi for the time being. Perhaps that’s why he’s loafing thinking he’s a lock for a job. He better step it up a bit tomorrow night! I reckon we’ll see him, El Z-Bo and perhaps one more long hard look at Postma.

Russian

September 22nd, 2009
11:22 am

Damn, I press wrong button and my post moved out.
**to JB**
Max was walking into Gift Shop and I stopped him. I think he was with his son.
Well back to Game.
4. Postma is good. He is our future. He has to back to Chicago and eat more Chicken Pasta.
5. Vernace will be in Chicago, no questions to ask.
6. I like Fritshi also, but it will be very difficult to make a trird line spot.
7. I wanted to see Manny on Goal, but he did not paly. Moose did everything to keep score low.
I hope on Openning night we will see lines:
Kovy – Little – Nik
Slava – Pever – Max
Armi – Reason – Kane
Bolt – Slater – Fritshi

Tobi – Bogus
Pasha(Short name of Pavel Kubina) – Hainsy
Pops – Boris

Pavs – Manny

I give you White a break and Moose will be rest also.

World Be Free

September 22nd, 2009
11:29 am

I had the same thought you did about Frische on the 4th line instead of Thorburn. He has more offense and is a better skaters.

Does Valbik have a 2 way or do we have the option of sending him down? To me, Boris is the odd man out right now.

Max was a wasted invite, in my opinion. We can talk about what he’s done in the past (years ago), but Max is still Max.

Smoothie

September 22nd, 2009
11:34 am

Russian, excellent reporting! And I love your dead-pan sense of humor. Russians rule! Hope to meet you some time down at the Bulb. I like your line-up a lot and have no problem letting White rest while Kane gets his try-out. Seems like Maxim is as excited as his son was to get some Thrashers merchandise…Kovy jersey perhaps?? It’s great that you got to meet and talk with him. That will make him feel right at home.

Spasibo!!

GaVaHokie

September 22nd, 2009
11:39 am

Valabik is one-way.

Ben Wright got the highlights video posted on the Thrashers main site.

http://thrashers.nhl.com/

Alan

September 22nd, 2009
11:50 am

Just because a player has a one-way contract doesn’t mean they can’t get sent down to the AHL. It only means said player will get paid the same salary regardless of what league he’s playing in.

Therefore, any one of our guys with one-ways – Valabik, Salmela, even Kovalchuk could get demoted, but pull the same salary. Those players with two-way contracts will earn a certain salary in the AHL, and a different salary in the NHL.