Good start to Thrashers tenth season

There have been a few very memorable opening night games at Philips Arena over the past decade. First there was the 4-1 loss to begin their first ever season in 1999…hockey was officially back in Atlanta that night. Then there was 2003 when the team and the fans paid their respects to the late Dan Snyder before a very emotional 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Last year saw a 7-4 win over the Capitals in which John Anderson earned his first NHL coaching win over his good friend Bruce Boudreaux.

Look everybody...I score goal (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Look everybody...I score goal (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

And now, ten years and one day after that initial opening night against the Devils, the Thrashers kicked-off season number ten with a thrilling 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in front of an electrified crowd announced at 18,545. The game played out much like last years opener when they got off to a 4-0 lead…saw the caps come back to tie…then pulled away in the third. This time, after building a four-goal lead, the Lightning scored three unanswered goals…two by Martin St. Louis…and then put the game away with two of their own.

Leading the way was captain Kovalchuk who notched a pair of goals and added an assist. The Pevs Dispenser also had two goals and a helper while defenders Zach Bogosian and Anssi Salmela stepped up into the attack to score goals as well.

I hear that John Anderson likes that kinda play from his blueliners.

Rookie Evander Kane picked up his first ever NHL career point after cutting through on the left side and assisting on Peverley’s first goal of the night. EK also led the Thrashers with 4 shots on goal. That’s a nice first game in the NHL, eh? He keeps this up and the team is going to have a tough decision to make in a couple of weeks.

Ondrej Pavelec, I thought, had a very solid game Saturday night…holding the Bolts scoreless on their first nineteen shots on goal. Pavs stopped 36 of 39 Tampa Bay shots, which equates to a .923 SV%…not shabby at all. He saved some of his best for when it counted most in the third…holding his ground on a Andrej Meszaros breakaway and then made a quality stop on Steven Stamkos.

Evander Kane picked up his first career NHL point Saturday night (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Evander Kane picked up his first career NHL point Saturday night (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

“He kept us in the game early”, Anderson said of Pavelec afterwards.

See, I told you Opie was gonna do just fine…nothing to worry about!

Eric Boulton got the evening off to a raucous start when he absolutely plastered a Lightning player in the far corner. I didn’t see just whom it was that got knocked silly…all I could see was a pair of skates sticking up outa the ice. It was simply a ferocious hit!

Along with Kane, three other players made their debut in Thrasherville. Defenseman Pavel Kubina finished the night a +1 in 20:22 TOI. Forwards Nik Antropov and Maxim Afinogenov also played in their first regular season game in a Thrashers uniform. Antropov didn’t figure in the scoring, but finished with 2 shots and a +1 while Max joined Kovy in assisting on the Peever’s second goal and was a –1 with 3 SOG.

Mark Popovic finished a +1 in his return to the Atlanta lineup.

One play that did not result in a goal that stands out in my mind came during the second period. Kovy made a beautiful cross-ice pass from the left side of center ice over to Antropov crossing the blueline on the right. Antro then found Brian Little streaking through the left side and fed him with a picture-perfect pass for a quality scoring chance. Again, while not resulting in a goal, it’s the kind of stuff Thrashers fans are looking for from this top line.

Also, Nik did a great job of denying Tampa Bay a goal during the first period, taking away the far side of the post on a wrap around play.

Bogosian's goal put Atlanta up 3-0 (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Bogosian's goal put Atlanta up 3-0 (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Best fight of the night? Has to be the Chris Thorburn vs. Zenon Konopka bout in the second period. It came right after Peverley’s goal and they traded several heavy blows during the lengthy battle.

Now the Thrashers get a break, in my opinion. Unlike the last couple of years, they do not have to go on the road to play the second game of the season the very next night. They will get four days of rest before their first away game in St. Louis on Thursday night. The Blues will be coming home after two wins against the Detroit Red Wings in Sweden.

Now Matter Where I Sit…There’s Hockey Biltong!

Along with the number of lurkers I had the pleasure of meeting last night, it was very nice to share section 104 with a few of our regular contributors. Darkhorse, his lovely wife and their friends were just a couple rows behind me…and just a section over, none other than World Be Free and the charming Mrs. WBF. Following me from section 119 to the club section Saturday was Hockey Biltong…who I swear is stalking me…and the engaging Mrs. Biltong. She’s finally come up with a snappy username to post under…I hope she unveils it here soon.

Just prior to the drop of the puck, the four of us gathered together for what could only be classified has a high-level, Rawhide/Iceman blog power confab.

Closeby was Bill and his adorable daughter Jessie…I always enjoy seeing those two at games. Also, it was very nice to have met Rightshot while enjoying the Taco Mac post game show.

IMPORTANT SCHEDULE UPDATE: Oct. 10 Viewing Party at TJ’s Cancelled/Rescheduled

Due to the fact that this coming Saturday night’s game in Ottawa is not being aired in Atlanta or Ottawa…the game will not be on Center Ice. Thus, there will be no viewing party at TJ’s on Oct. 10. Instead, Mark, Tim and I have agreed to reschedule it for Saturday night Nov. 7 when the Thrashers play on Long Island. The game will not be on local TV, but there will be a feed from MSG Network.

Also, remember that we’ll have a viewing party with the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club on Saturday Oct. 17 when the Thrashers are in Buffalo. Also, the Party Bus event is on for Oct. 24 from TJ’s to the game in Philips when Dany Heatley and the Sharks are in town…and there’s still a few seats left. We will then do the viewing party on Nov. 7 as discussed and the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving when we play in Detroit.

Godspeed And Good Luck, Nikita

Please join me in wishing Nikita a fond farewell as she attended her last game before moving to Pennsylvania.

Good luck, Nikita…remember, there is this little thing call NHL Center Ice and I’m sure the internet has found it’s way to the Keystone State. Don’t be a stranger!

123 comments Add your comment

Ribby

October 4th, 2009
1:09 am

Awesome start!! Only 81 more to go.

Sara

October 4th, 2009
1:17 am

So many observations from tonight’s game.

- The arena was electric – not quite the level it was during the playoffs but about as close as I’ve seen it come since then. Great job by the fans!!

- Max needs to think shot first, pass later … he passed up a beauty of an opportunity with Smith out of position.

- Those off-season boxing lessons for Thorbs really paid off eh? Never seen him go toe to toe with anyone like that before. Hopefully we’ll see it again.

- Kovy is going to give Ovechkin a run for his money in the scoring title race this year … I can feel it.

- Pavs looked pretty solid tonight. I’m convinced the hardest goaltending job in the NHL is trying to backstop the Thrashers when they give up 39 SOG and a lot of them from close in.

- How is it we have so many skilled players at F and D and yet the #1 clearing attempt strategy is rimming the puck around the boards?!? Are you f’in kidding me?

- How is it in 9+ seasons we have yet to learn how to clear our own zone? That one single facet is what kills this team – it’s what leads to all those SOG, the scoring chances close in, and the attrocious PK.

- Apparently when Kane was in grade school, none of his teachers ever taught him the word quit, cause that kid doesn’t have any. And I love it.

- Apparently when Bogosian was in grade school, none of his teachers taught him the word pass cause he just shoots and shoots and shoots. The rest of the team might want to watch him for some pointers.

- And lastly, would someone tell the Canadian media, the NHL Network, and Jeff Schultz to STFU. This team has played one game that counted, kicked TB’s tail in the process, and I have to come home to read about relocation rumors, Kovy leaving, and reasons to *not* be optimistic. To which I offer a collective “bite me.”

Go Thrashers!!!

Brendan

October 4th, 2009
1:40 am

There are still some things to work on, but anytime you score six goals, there’s a strong chance you’re going to win. In this respect, the fans saw an exciting and memorable game. Though, when the 4-0 lead became 4-3, it was a litttle bit enerving. In the end, this is a win. 92-more points to go!!!

Rawhide

October 4th, 2009
1:42 am

Brendan – Before the game I was thinking the Thrashers would have to win a 5-4 game. Not far off.

Brendan

October 4th, 2009
1:54 am

Not too far off, at all. Pavelec looked shaky. But he’ll improve. He’s what, 22? It’s going to be okay. If Pavelec can be developed this season, ahead of schedule, it will be a good thing.

Sharon

October 4th, 2009
2:01 am

What an exciting game tonight! The crowd was really into it and that was great.

Brendan, I just saw your post on needing to submit division and conference slots. If I’m not too late, I’ll tie my 93 pts to 2nd in the division and 7th in the conference (I wanted 93/3rd/7th but someone has already picked that so guess not).

Bob

October 4th, 2009
2:12 am

so, uh, exactly how many 6-3 games are we gonna we win this year?

Hockey Biltong

October 4th, 2009
2:39 am

Well put Sara. Allen Muir can take flying f through a rolling doughnut!

Nikita

October 4th, 2009
2:44 am

Also some random observations — I’ll comment in a more substantive manner tomorrow.

Thank you, Rawhide! I’m going to miss the THrashers terribly, but I hope to catch the team when it’s up against some of the teams not too far from me — Pitts, Philly, NYR, Washington, etc. And I am planning to attend the January game against Nashville.

The energy tonight was great, and the in-arena show was awesome. I took a friend to her first game, and it was such an easy sell because it was a hell of a good time.

Pavs is still a little shaky.

Kane has gorgeous wheels. His hands need to mature, but I like what I saw.

That might be the first time that I’ve seen Thorbs really fight well. Hopefully he keeps it up. Also, he looked a lot stronger in terms of skating than he has in the past and didn’t seem to loaf as he can. Hopefully all the competition has pit the fear of God into him.

Defense needs to step it up. 39 shots against is unacceptable.

- And lastly, would someone tell the Canadian media, the NHL Network, and Jeff Schultz to STFU. This team has played one game that counted, kicked TB’s tail in the process, and I have to come home to read about relocation rumors, Kovy leaving, and reasons to *not* be optimistic. To which I offer a collective “bite me.”

Amen, sister.

Go Thrashers!

Darkhorse

October 4th, 2009
3:07 am

Rawhide-Great meeting and channeling the nervous optimism with you, Hockey Biltong and WBF before the game. Turned out to be a great game to watch, even though Pavs scared the hell out of me at times. But as you said, it was an overall solid performance from the young netminder. My two friends that came with my wife and I said that was by far the most exciting game they’ve seen live, which I was happy to contribute to.

The team may have quite a quandry on their hands when Armstrong is fully healed by next week. Kane showed some improved play as the game went on and Pevs picked up right where he left off. What to do?…..

LAC

October 4th, 2009
3:50 am

HNIC IDIOTS… Group in “discussions” to buy Thrashers and relocate to Winnipeg… Those canada WHINERS need to shut the HELL up.

Pick on FL or Washington, I heard they may move to the Artic Circle…

Dwayne

October 4th, 2009
7:43 am

Very concerned about Opie, lots of open net. He battled…good….He made some great saves….great……D helped him out when we was “swimming”…great…TB missed some open net early….we were lucky. We missed a few opportunities….happens some times. Too many SOG…bad.
I, like everyone else was popping my knuckles at 4-3(i dont bite my nails)….This might be the norm this year, unless KL comes back ready to play. Opie keeps winning, KL might feel some heat from compitition. Boris did a great job tonite of holding down the fort. Lets hope he remains in the fort for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.

Beretverde

October 4th, 2009
7:48 am

For a college football day, in southern city, in a tough economy … I was impressed with the complete package the Thrashers displayed last night. My family and friends had a blast, and the game was exciting! I/we sure got our money’s worth. Did it have to take ten years for hockey to take hold here? Time will tell, but if last night was a preview, it’ll be a blast.

English Teacher

October 4th, 2009
8:30 am

Sara,
Though we’ve never met, I think I love you. I agreed with everything you said and isn’t that how a relationship should work?

Iceman,
You told me about your 5-4 prediction during warm-ups, and when it was 4-0 I KNEW you were wrong. Then it was 4-3 and I PRAYED you were right. In the end, it’s what we agreed: a win is a win. I looked for you at Taco Mac after the game, but that place was packed!

Is it just me or did anyone else think Opie was flopping around a bit? On more than one occasion, he was face down on the ice while the puck was making its way around the back of the net. Seems the D stepped every time it happened, and the fans roared in appreciation when the puck was cleared. There were moments when even my 9 year old boy was screaming “Get back up!” or “Get back in goal!” I wish I would have counted how many times he went behind the net to send the puck around the boards only to have it find a white-shirted guy’s stick still in our zone. Yeah, he made 36 saves, but I’m not sold yet.

There was some great passing going on, and I love the speed we have now. The pass Boults made on Salmonella’s goal was a beaut! And I’m telling you, I’m really hoping Max continues to do well with a bird on his chest so I can tell some Buffaslugs fans to stick it somewhere unnatural.

Oh, I may have to change my name to History Teacher. It’s a new school year.

dandylions

October 4th, 2009
8:49 am

2 pts – only 94 to go!!!

Smitty

October 4th, 2009
8:56 am

Not all the Canadien media is anti Thrasher. Eric Duhatschek of the Toronto Globe wrote a nice pice on the Thrashers stating that the Thrash could be a sleeper this year. I am hoping Schubert turns out to be as nice a waiver wire pick-up as Pevs.

I thought Bolts has a good game. Great pass to Salmela and he got the Thrash back on track with his beat down of I forget whom after Tampa made it 4-3.

Tough decisions coming up when Colby comes back. It will be tough to take a night off when you have this kind of depth. We finally have some players who can step right in if anyone starts to slack off.

Zoomo

October 4th, 2009
9:19 am

Play of the night was Reasoner’s all out effort to clear the puck with a few ticks left on the PP when the score was 4-3.

Boulton had a great game. Waffled a Bolt in the frist with the hit that Rawhide aptly described, great pass to Salmela, and a nice fight. Loved the sign in the stands “Our Boults is better than your Bolts”.

I keep waiting for the Pevs Dispenser magic to wear off. I hope I wait a long time. The guys plays the game right.

Bogosian was nearly all world last night. The guy played great D and looked like a forward everytime he touched the puck. Skate, find a shot, shoot. Sara’s right , everyone should follwow his lead.

R. Stroz

October 4th, 2009
9:19 am

Well, my voice is shot, which makes today a great day for the wife.

A ggod morning to Nix, who was sitting in section 116, and had the pleasure of listening to the BULLHORN. Luckily, she was sitting a row behind the wife and I, so her hearing shouldn’t be impaired.

Observations:

1) Pavelec stopped alot of shots but scared the heck out of me all night. Several times, after blocking the shot, he had no idea where the puck was. I was reminded of watching Ron Tugnutt back in the 1990’s flop around like a fish out of water.

2) Kane started off tepid, but he sure did pull himself together. The kid doesn’t have give up in his make up. When he chased St. Louis down from behind and kept St. Louis’s stick on the ice with a little stick on stick action, I was impressed. The young man exhibited alot of potential during the second and third periods.

3) For those of you from Western New York, Max looked pretty darn good. Max and Kozzie had some mind meld magic passing going on out there.

4) The top line of Little/Kovy/Antropov had a difficult time clearing the puck from our zone.

5) While we have been concerned about getting Kovy re-signed, the Thrashers better make getting Peverley re-signed a top priority. Peverley put on a show last time night and worked well with Kane.

6) The shots on goal must be lowered.

7) Overall, an exciting energetic evening of hockey.

Matt

October 4th, 2009
9:22 am

Sara, a big, loud AMEN to your post. Schultz is the biggest “Debbie Downer” for this team!!

As for the game, I did not see it all, but seemed like Pavs had better rebound control last night then I was hearing about in the pre-season.

That first line is looking very, very, very promising.

Let’s just work toward not burying ourselves in a hole here to start the season and come back .500 or better from the road.

Putting On The Foil

October 4th, 2009
9:31 am

For Sara- Hey Jeff Shultz- STFU. Great win last night. Hope Pavs can stay mentally focused and put together a string of good games at goal with 40 shots coming at him each and every night. Getting caught out of position a few times plus stopping the puck and still looking behind him was not a sign of confidence. So I’m not breathing a sigh of relief just yet. But 6 is more than 3 and I’ll take it.

Nikita

October 4th, 2009
9:33 am

Pavs had great rebound control. Unfortunately he also had that floppy butterfly that leaves a lot of net, and so I still think he won’t be our chosen one this season.

ben

October 4th, 2009
9:41 am

NHL Network needs to shutup! Nothing about moving to Winnepeg. How can they do that? Aren’t there standards?

rightshot

October 4th, 2009
9:49 am

First, great to meet you Rawhide.

I also had the pleasure of meeting two other bloggers who’s names I cannot remember right now. My sincerest apologies. I think It was Glovesaves husband Frenzy??? Anyway, great meeting you and my apologies again.

I must echo the rest in my observations. I though Pavs battled but he looked shaky. When he was named 3rd star of the game, my friend commented it might be partially to help his confidence. I don’t think the media who choose the stars really take that into consideration, but I’m sure it helps.

The D did stand around a time or two, mainly in the second, but I think that will improve.

Kane has got serious wheels but really needs to add some weight. Lots of potential!

Really looking forward to seeing the lines gel. Max looks like he’s going to be a difference maker for the team, especially if he would just shoot more!

Great game and look forward to lots more. I’ll try to come to the viewing party next Saturday. I have to wait and see what the divine Ms. Rightshot has planned for me. ha ha

R. Stroz

October 4th, 2009
9:55 am

Oh, and I forgot to mention, anytime the wife chides me all the way home about giving the other teams fans an earful, that’s a good night of hockey.

Time to do chores and get out of the doghouse.

five_hole

October 4th, 2009
10:03 am

Hey Sara I wish you’d stop trying to sugar coat everything. Please just say what you mean. ;-) (and an AMEN from me).

Rawhide the guy Boulton knocked into next week was Kurtis Foster (whom I think had a cup of coffee here). I think that hit set the tone for the game. And you were questioning if we should keep Boults on the roster.

My wife & I saw DTWOO and his son in the crowd shot last night. Would have like to have been there, but yesterday was the start of conversion weekend for my client and I worked all day Saturday in Newnan.

I’m not sure if Pavelic was “shakey” or if that was just his style. He seems to like to flop around a lot.

My thoughts:

We still gave up 39 SOG last night. The D still has work to do.

Kane’s first shift was shakey. He definitely got better the longer he was out there. And his defense was impressive for a rookie. As I watched him play, I kept thinking “what happens when Armstrong is ready to come back?”.

We were definitely bigger & more physical last night. Nice to see, for a change.

Apparently, it’s “Sal-meh-luh”, not “Sal-mel-uh”. I like this kid more every time I see him play.

five_hole

October 4th, 2009
10:04 am

Oh, and Nikita – never got to meet you but it was nice “talking” to you on the blog. Good luck.

Eileen

October 4th, 2009
10:37 am

Sara, I completely agree with your points. What a great crowd. I hope we see more of those fans.
I thought Pavs played a great game with the exception of the rebounds. I agree with R. Stroz, there were times he completely lost sight of the puck. I saw Toby and Antro clear two very dangereous rebounds.
Marty Reasoner is such a valuable player. Kane really impressed me as the game progressed. His whole family including Grandma were sitting right near us. If Kane gets a spot, who is out?

World Be Free

October 4th, 2009
10:44 am

Great game, nice to meet Darkhorse and the Biltong through Bill Tiller, our Social Coorpdinator. Great article Bill, as always.

Only a little bit to add-

Canadian media-I guess we have all realized how stupid the Canadian media is, HNIC included. Smitty, surprised about the Eric “The Hatched” piece calling the Thrash a sleeper. I am sure his next article will be on their supposed move to Saskatoon.

Max-
Max was Max last night. He skated like heck, didn’t shoot when he should have turned the puck over in the defensive zone that lead to TB’s first goal. We will tire of these habits one day, just like Sabres’ fans did. But for now, let’s enjoy The Human Turnover Machine.

Too many shots, but we have remember TB has quite an offense. Their defense still stinks, at least for now.

Great to hear John Anderson get such a ovation last night. I really like Big John as a coach.

Take care Nikita, look forward to your comments from afar.

Ok Kovy, are we worthy? Sign the darn contract. Have a great Sunday.

Rawhide

October 4th, 2009
10:48 am

Ribby & Beretverde – Welcome to you both.

Zoomo -It was a real treat to meet your wife before the game last night. Tell Ryan I said “hi”.

English Teacher – If you change your name to “History Teacher” then you will forever remind me of the Language Arts teacher I had in the 11th grade you would always incorporate history into her lessons. She once told me that what I did to the English language…Nazi Germany did to Poland in 1939. :lol:

Five_Hole – Foster ‘eh? OK, thanks. Where were ya? I’d would have loved to have seen ya again…maybe Saturday at TJs?

Bob – How many 6-3 games will the Thrashers win? Hopefully more than we loose…but, yeah… they have get that SOG stat down and goals against ‘cuz we cannot rely on 6 goals per night.

Brad

October 4th, 2009
10:51 am

Great game last night; loved that PK the Thrashers had at the end of the third period when a score would’ve tied it at 4. That was a huge kill for the Thrashers and to score on the ensuing PP was even better.

Pavs was flopping around like a dying fish on the ice last night but he made the saves when it counted and didn’t give up any juicy rebounds that cost him goals.

SOG does have to be lowered (do not think 35 plus shots on goal a game will be a habit this year like it was last year) and I’m sure that would be Anderson’s main priority on these off days to work on the defense by lowering shots on goal.

Kovy was a beast last night; did what a Captain is supposed to do. Max looked really good and so did Kane. I was impressed with our defenders getting into the mix of 2 on 1 rushes down the ice. Obviously they now know Anderson’s system better now. Will it lead to more wins; one can only hope.

Overall, great first game of the season. Lets hope it keeps up against the Blues, whom are no slouch after sweeping the Wings this weekend.

Russian

October 4th, 2009
10:54 am

Great Game. I liked all lines except second.
Slava-White-Max got first goal from Tampa. Specially White and Slava were not playing very well. I like to see some adjustment on second line. It will be great if Kane or Pever play on second line.
Opei was shaky, but he was doing OK.

R. Stroz

October 4th, 2009
10:56 am

WBF – You’ve got to get over your man crush on Mad Max. LOL.

Ravenwynd

October 4th, 2009
10:58 am

Good start to the season! Let us hope it continues.

Rawhide, about the Oct 10th viewing party…is TJs actually getting a feed from somewhere? According to Ottawa’s site its only on radio and Center Ice doesn’t show it being on either.

Rawhide

October 4th, 2009
11:01 am

Rawhide, about the Oct 10th viewing party…is TJs actually getting a feed from somewhere? According to Ottawa’s site its only on radio and Center Ice doesn’t show it being on either.

Ravenwynd – Hmmmmm…that’s a good question. I’ll have to give them a call and find out. That would certainly bite if it’s not being shown and we all gather there. Check back and I’ll see if I can get an answer…

h

October 4th, 2009
11:17 am

Great game last night! Pavs scared me a bit as well. I think the team defense should be credited with at least 3-4 saves. I’d prefer Pavs to make up his mind about playing the puck behind the net….either do it, or don’t. Indecision is when you get in trouble. I wasn’t thrilled with Hanisey not throwing a body on the little midget and letting him get a goal from 5 feet out, but overall a very good team effort. I thought Kane really played well in last 2 periods. He’s so tough…I really think he will keep getting better as he realizes that he can play at this level. IMHO, if Kane sticks and Army comes back, then the 3rd line is Kane, Pevs and Army and 4th line is Reasoner and then 2 others among Boults, Thorburn, Slater and Gratton. Seems to me you send Boris down and let Schubert be 7th D-man (alternating with Ansi and Poppy) and play forward every once in a while. One thing for sure, this team hs something it hasn’t had in a very long time……3+ scoring lines and alot of options. If Kane sticks and Kari come back, it could very well be time to think about some kind of trade. This team actually has assets now. I really want late April and May hockey in the ATL.

World Be Free

October 4th, 2009
11:23 am

Stroz-in honor of your last entry, I pledge to leave Max alone until January 1, 2010. I’ll let his habits will speak for him, no need for me to add my Max thoughts. Besides, I still have Slater to pick on.

Bill, thanks again for a great article. We consistantly have great discussions on your blog. I appreciate that even more having just visited the Braves’ blog. That group is very depressing for a baseball fan such as myself.

The Real Deal looked real good last night. If Evander keeps playing like he did last night, it will be hard to send him back to Vancouver.

Paminski

October 4th, 2009
11:44 am

English Teacher – I think my husband likes Sara too, but I’m trying to keep him on a leash. ;)

Rightshot – I think you met me when I stopped to say hi to Mr. Bill.

Pavs looked a little crazy especially in the 1st period. But he did a good job and will either become steadier or more complacent. I’m guessing the former. I see what you all mean about not being large in the net.

Positives: Good face-off percentage. Kovy took charge. Pevs hasn’t skipped a beat. The lines were balanced. Exactly the right players were dressed though I missed Army.

Negatives: The obvious SOG difference. I’m not ready to say Max is a negative, but his performance was so-so in some instances.

Did Malone actually start to go after a ref? What’s up with that? If it was what I thought it looked like, he should have got the boot.

R. Stroz

October 4th, 2009
11:49 am

Paminski – You’re right about Malone, he should have been tossed. Then again, he came from Pittsburgh so he learned to cry from the best: Cindy Crotchby.

Sara

October 4th, 2009
11:58 am

Wow am I feeling the love this morning. *sniff sniff* I love you guys *sniff* :D

Malone really really ticked me off last night. It actually started when Pavs lost his stick and one of our guys was trying to give it back to him and Malone tried to slash it out of their hands during the exchange. Then he cross-checked our player, and then when our guy had the unmitigated gall to stand up for himself, Malone whined. My friends and I couldn’t believe he didn’t get tossed for that either. Prick. That’s ok – we hit ‘em all where it hurts the most and that’s on the score sheet and in the standings.

five_hole

October 4th, 2009
12:13 pm

Rawhide if the game will in fact be on at TJ’s, the wife & I should be there. Schubert will get a homecoming, of sorts.

Sara Group hug.

Also thought our PK was much improved. We gave up 1 (wicked shot from St. Louis) but in general played much better.

Rawhide

October 4th, 2009
12:20 pm

five_hole – Glad to know you’ll be there if the game is aired. I spoke with Mark just a short while ago and he’s nosing into it as we speak. It’s in Ottawa, by George…I thought every game in Canada was on TV!!! :cool:

R. Stroz

October 4th, 2009
12:22 pm

Jimbo

October 4th, 2009
12:55 pm

Very good start. I was suprised how well Kane skates and checks. He’ll be tough to move. Pavs held the post and kept rebounds to a minimum. Mad Max can still fly and Bogo looks better than ever. Bolts looks like a better tough guy- 1-0 so far.

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 4th, 2009
1:04 pm

Foster was apparently out of the game after that check with a “lower body injury”, according to Kamal.

Also according to Kamal, Malone kicked the puck during his hissy fit with the referee. He too was surprised there wasn’t an extra minor in the penalty for unsporting behavior.

Nix

October 4th, 2009
1:09 pm

*R.Stroz*, it was nice meeting you and your wife last night. It was also nice meeting *PJ* :-)

Great game – I’m really looking forward to watching the team gel over the course of the season. Obviously, there are still things they need to work on (39 SOG????), but it looks like we’ve got a good groundwork to build from this year.

Hockey Biltong

October 4th, 2009
1:10 pm

BTW. Kane impressed me with his play, giving me hope that he will progress as fast as Bogo did last year. It seems very likely that he will.
Rawhide – I will remind you that I came with my wife as you pointed out, so perhaps you are stocking me/her/us!!!!
Darkhorse and WBF – Rock on M8’s. See you soon! Sara, I think I’ve been crushed with you for a while. It took English Professor to out me….

Brendan

October 4th, 2009
1:18 pm

That’s a nice story on Oystrick, R.Stroz.

Tony C.

October 4th, 2009
1:31 pm

What an exciting game!!!!

It had everything you go to a game for-the pretty plays, big hits, the beautiful chaos of goalmouth-scrambles, a couple of good scraps, and the good guys won.

Weird thing though…

I met Don Waddell last night-about 17min. left in the 3rd, and there’s ol’ DW just walking by we were up in the 300 area-nice to see the guy is checking out how things’re going in the cheap seats.

I’ve heard over and over how gracious he is in person, never really blows you off saying he’s got something to do-we talked for over 10 min., I told him that I have one of his biggest detractors since he let Savard go (to wit, he alluded that Marc’s family situation at the time played very heavily)… he actually had a good laugh when I told him “yeah I’m one of those guys that calls you a douchebag on the interwebs and wonders how you keep your job” he responded that he did consider himself to be very lucky to still have his position, and that since the court case was finally getting resolved, “we” will have a lot more ability “to make the right kinds of moves[sic]“…

We talked about Pavelec, I mentioned how unsettling his play last saturday was, and how I’m suspicious of how many pucks went through him DW chuckled about O.P. doing a lot of “peeking behind ” but was quick to point out the kid is just 22. I asked about KL and how disappointing that “Kari Down” ‘09 started so soon…DW sighed and said something about how KL has all the talent in the world, and it was very disappointing that the rehab was going so slowly. DW then went on to say this coaching staff, and this organization (having made “needed changes”) will not tolerate guys not giving it their all-he even used a word I didn’t know was in his (DW’s) lexicon: acountability

Overall, really gracious guy-we had a genuine interaction and a very honest conversation. I see why people are always quick to point out what a nice guy he is.

THoughts on the game:

1) If we continue to take one period off a night, things are going to get ugly quick.

2) O.P. makes it too interesting sometimes, but I think we’ll be OK if he can bring it like that nightly.

3) still taking too much time getting out of our zone.

4) It’s going to drive me bananas watching #80 loose 70% of his draws. When will Coach start telling Little to take the faceoffs?

5) Marty Reasoner is a hockey player. O.P. owes him dinner or something.

6) That Kane kid is going to be nasty-good.

7) Great turnout-was really nice to see The Flatscreen a-rockin’… the “Let’s go Thrashers” chants as everyone filed out were great.

8) I think we saw Thrashers Hockey last night.

Good running into everybody we did last night-see yall again soon.

Bluto Blutarski

October 4th, 2009
1:57 pm

Enter your comments here
To borrow the line from “Animal House”…… Ondrej, your Delta Chi name is…..FLOUNDER.

Sara

October 4th, 2009
2:37 pm

*sigh* always the married ones ;)

OK, so the story from the Hot Stove has made the rounds (props to LAC for being the first to bring it to the attention of these blogs). I’m really aggravated with all this relocation chatter. We’ve all gone over all the reasons why it doesn’t make sense but I’m also a big believer in “where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

So far today these are the responses I’ve gotten or what I’ve ferreted out. One, I tweeted Ben, who apparently contacted the Don. He called it “completely false.” Two, I went scouring through two of Winnipeg’s papers online and cannot find any chatter there about this relocation, and one would think those guys would be on this like white on rice. Third, I fired off an e-mail to Spector, who’s well respected and doesn’t go for this kind of nonsense – Canadian yes, relocation junkie no. Here’s his reply:

Hi, Sara.

This is the first I’ve heard about the Thrashers getting moved to Winnipeg, or of ownership in Toronto willing to buy in and move them to Winnipeg. What’s constantly overlooked in the hyping of Winnipeg as a location for an NHL team is it’s population. The overall population of Winnipeg and its metro area is around 700K. The entire population of the province is just over 1 million. That would make Winnipeg the smallest market in the NHL, just as it was the last time a franchise was there.

Sure, there’s a new venue which could be expanded to accommodate over 17,000, and maybe there’s some ownership willing to buy in, but the population base isn’t big enough to sustain an NHL franchise long term. Sure, they’d support the franchise for the first couple of years, but ticket prices for NHL games are considerably higher now than they were in the mid-1990s, and fans in Winnipeg were complaining about ticket prices back then!

Moreover, the lack of corporate sponsership is also a showstopper as there simply isn’t enough there.

If the NHL moves to Winnipeg it would be a big mistake. Southern Ontario is the only viable market right now that can sustain another Canadian franchise. Quebec City has the population base now but not the venue or ownership so until they get those two they’re out of the running.

Maybe the Thrashers might be sold and moved, but everything I’ve heard and read suggests otherwise so it this does happen it’ll be because it flew under the radar thanks to the brouhaha over the Coyotes.

Cheers,

Lyle Richardson
Spector’s Hockey
http://www.spectorshockey.net