Archive for October, 2009

Tricky Pavelec provides treat For Thrasherville

Last Thursday the Thrashers outshot the Washington Capitals 41-32 and lost.

Last Saturday they outshot San Jose 27-24…and they lost.

Pavelec makes one of his 50 saves in Ottawa Saturday afternoon (AP/The Canadian Press,Fred Chartrand)

Pavelec makes one of his 50 saves in Ottawa Saturday afternoon (AP/The Canadian Press,Fred Chartrand)

Failing to win by the more traditional route of holding the opponents to low shot counts and taking more than they give up…the Thrashers returned to their tried and true method of being grossly outshout to procure a victory.

And it worked, by golly!

They depart Canada’s capital with a much needed 3-1 victory regardless of the fact that the Senators got away 51 shots on Ondrej Pavelec. 25 came in the third period alone…which was four more than the 21 shot Atlanta was able to get off on Ottawa’s Pascal Leclaire for the entire game.

Obviously, the story on this winning Halloween afternoon was Pavelec who all but single handedly stole the two points for his teammates. His positioning was outstanding…his rebound control was excellent…and …

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Thrashers again fall short in comeback attempt

A week ago the Atlanta Thrashers were coming off a very successful road trip in which they went 3-1-1, earning 7 of a possible 10 points. Waiting for them… the Washington Capitals whose 10 points led the division, just one better than the Thrashers’ nine.

One week, three games, 13 goals against and one Ilya Kovalchuk broken foot bone later, Atlanta is still stuck at nine…the Caps now have 18. Oh, and the Thrashers also have the Lightning’s backsides to look at as Tampa Bays win over Ottawa puts them at 11 points.

That, my friends, is the definition of an un-good week.

Mike Knuble squeezes Todd White against the boards (AP/Gregory Smith)

Mike Knuble squeezes Todd White against the boards (AP/Gregory Smith)

Thursday night eerily resembled the previous two games in that the Thrashers fell behind early…then began to play well in a failed attempt to come from behind. Alex Ovechkin’s pair of goals in the first period put his Caps up 2-0…a lead that became 3-0 at the 4:10 mark of the second.

Two of those goals came on the power …

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Thrashers by the numbers

With the Thrashers yet again in the middle of several days off before their next game, here is a quick look at some of their stats and numbers so far after eight games played.

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Kovalchuk out 4 weeks with foot fracture

The news that we feared would come today has indeed been made known…Ilya Kovalchuk suffered a broken bone in his right foot during Saturday night’s 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks and will miss up to 4weeks of action while it heals.

With Kovy out, what will need to step up the most?

  • The Offense: Must keep the goals a-comin’ (26%, 20 Votes)
  • The Defense: We are going to have to win a lot of 2-1 games (12%, 9 Votes)
  • Goaltending: Opie and Moose have to be “the man” now (45%, 35 Votes)
  • Taco Mac Bartenders: They’ll be busy helping us drown our sorrows after games (17%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 78

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4 weeks worth of games would equate to as many as 12 games missed.

After dealing with this piece of reality, the question becomes…what does this do to the shape and form of the forward lines?

After Kovy left the game on Saturday, coach John Anderson looked to move Evander Kane up into his position on left wing with Nik Antropov and Maxim Afinogenov. I would …

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60 is the magic number for John Anderson

Shortly after John Anderson was hired as the new bench boss of the Thrashers, I had the opportunity to chat with him regarding the team he had just inherited to coach. One of the questions I put to him was what he thought the number one challenge was that he faced in order to get the team from where it was…at the time it was in shambles following the 2007-08 debacle of a season…to being a team that could compete and win in this league.

“I know exactly what it is”, he almost jumped out of his chair responding. “It’s getting them to believe in themselves again”.

Saturday morning I was able to revisit that question with coach Anderson. Given the way the team played in the second half of last season and how it has started off this fall, he does indeed think that the team has a sense of confidence in themselves and the way they go about playing the game.

Given that, I posed the same question to him Saturday morning after the team’s morning skate…at this time what …

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Bizarre goal the difference in Thrashers loss

Thursday night the Thrashers got a pair of goals from team captain Ilya Kovalchuk. They got a two point night from Maxim Afinogenov, scoring a power play goal and assisting on one of Kovy’s. Nik Antropov was good for a pair of helpers…his fifth and sixth of the season… and Zach Bogosian chipped in with a fine short-handed goal as well.

Atlanta held the Washington Capitals to only 28 shots on goal…the first time all season they’ve held an opponent to under 30, (although they did so in Montreal prior to going into overtime), and the defense kept Alex Ovechkin off the score sheet all night.

The power play produced 2 goals on seven chances.

The penalty kill unit was perfect on all seven of the Caps man-advantages.

And they lost…5-4.

The difference in this game…a one-minute and twenty-eight second stretch in the second period in which Washington scored not once…not twice…but three times.

Tough night for Opie (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Tough night for Opie (Curtis Compton/AJC)

It all began harmlessly enough as …

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Do you know the way to Thrasherville?

Just around the corner from Philips Arena, just a block or so to the east on Marietta Street, is a Georgia Historic Marker with the header of “THRASHERVILLE, Where Atlanta Began”. Passers-by that stop and read learn how, at that very spot, in 1839 “Cousin John” Thrasher built a settlement called Thrasherville. At that time it was forested area near the peg marking the planned terminus point of the Western & Atlantic RR. The area’s first settlers, religious service and birth of a baby happened in this settlement.

In 1842 the terminus was changed to the place where Atlanta’s Zero Mile Post can now be found and Thrasherville became Terminus…both unofficial names given to the stop by the railroad. In 1843 the settlement became incorporated and the name of Marthasville was given…it was then reincorporated in 1847 under the name of Atlanta.

But it all began as Thrasherville…and it seems as though everyone and everything has come to and/or through the area ever …

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Pavelec, Armstrong help provide point for Thrashers

Just gotta be honest with ya, the Thrashers can thank their lucky stars they got out of Montreal with a point…those stars, of course, being Ondrej Pavelec and Colby Armstrong on this night.

For most of the game they just seemed out of sync, not the same type of energy and drive they possessed in the previous five. This is especially true on the power play where they were able to produce one whole shot on goal during 6 power play tries…thank you Evander Kane.

Making one of his 34 saves, Opie denies Montreal's Mike Cammalleri in the second period (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Ryan Remiorz)

Making one of his 34 saves, Opie denies Montreal's Mike Cammalleri in the second period (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Ryan Remiorz)

But, sometimes a team has to find a way to be successful when they are not at their best and the Thrashers worked their way through it to bring home a point via a 2-1 shootout loss to Montreal. That point brings the total to 7 earned on this early season 5-game road trip.

Seven points out of ten…I will take that any day.

Pavelec played very well in goal again for Atlanta, stopping 27 of …

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Thrashers skewering of Sabres ends with great cliMax

The Thrasher won Saturday 4-2. They won Friday 4-2 in New Jersey. They lost 4-2 in Ottawa the game before that and won 4-2 in St. Louis the time before that.

Anyone sensing a trend here?

Another trend with the Thrashers…beating the Buffalo Sabres.

Picking up where they left off last season, when the Thrasher went up against the Sabres four times and came away with two points all four times, Atlanta traveled to western New York and came away with a win. However, unlike last year, this time they didn’t even do Buffalo the courtesy of allowing them the consolation point that comes with losing to us in overtime.

Like the Thrashers, Buffalo was playing on the tail end of back-to-back games…the Thrashers winning in New Jersey 4-2 Friday night while the Sabres won at home 6-3 against the Islanders. It was the first regulation loss of the year for the Sabres and Atlanta improved it’s record to 4-1-0…3-1-0 on the road trip with one more game left.

Kaptain Kovalchuk scored …

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How you gonna keep Kane down on the farm?

Before the season began, Thrashers general manager Don Waddell said that rookie Evander Kane would get an eight or nine game look-see to start the season before deciding whether or not the 4th overall pick in last June’s draft would be sent back to Vancouver of the WHL.

Well, four games into the season…I think Kane’s passed the audition.

Young Evander scored his second goal of this his initial NHL campaign and has three overall points. In fact, the only game he was held pointless was during last Saturday’s 4-2 loss in Ottawa.

Kane scores…Atlanta wins.

His early third period goal in New Jersey Friday night gave Atlanta their first lead of the night…and their first lead since the St. Louis game eight nights ago. The score came on a similar play as one in the opening period where he drove in from the left side toward Marty Brodeur. In the first, he looked to finish the play by passing to Colby Armstrong on the right…this time Kane said, “I’ll handle this …

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