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

Michael

October 4th, 2009
3:14 pm

Well, OP gave me a few heart attacks yesterday (the look behinds were killing me) but let’s not forget that this was the first game of the seaaon at home. He knows there is A LOT of pressure on him to perform well so maybe it was a bit of nerves. Let’s see how he doesn Thursday.

Rawhide

October 4th, 2009
3:49 pm

:!: 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.

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 4th, 2009
4:05 pm

Tony C. — You deserve an atta boy for giving him a hard time and speaking your mind but remaining civil. I’m surprised you didn’t grill him on the porous defense that has defined Thrashers Hockey since it’s inception, but overall it sounds like you put him on the coals for several of the common topics that are discussed here. I’m still curious if he knows what the duties of goalie coach actually entails.

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 4th, 2009
4:20 pm

Does anybody know where I can find highlights from last night’s game? Other than TSN’s short snippet I can’t find anything of substance.

Dwayne

October 4th, 2009
4:25 pm

ranallo10…highlights in Bill’s magic 8-ball.

five_hole

October 4th, 2009
4:25 pm

Bill Yeah, that’s disappointing, but I sorta thought so when I found out it wasn’t on local TV.
Don’t know about the rest of you but I can’t WAIT for Thursday night!

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 4th, 2009
4:39 pm

Rawhide’s 8-ball has DVR? Awesome.

Mrs. Zoomo

October 4th, 2009
4:52 pm

Rawhide – Nice to meet you too!

Alan R.

October 4th, 2009
4:54 pm

Sara, I have friends in Winnipeg who were constantly messaging me overnight, asking what was going on. Apparently, no one in Winnipeg has heard of this alleged plan to move the Thrashers there.

What bothers me most is how the team isn’t doing anything to take these morons who keep saying this sort of thing to task for their outright lies.

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 4th, 2009
5:10 pm

Sometimes it’s better to ignore rumors than to substantiate it by responding to them. Don’t give the rumor the time of day and it will be ignored, just like all of the other fodder that comes out of the rumor mill.

Zoomo

October 4th, 2009
5:29 pm

Tony C. – Nice recap of your interaction with DW. Interesting that he mentioned the back story of not signing Savard. If what I heard at the time was true, no GM would’ve ever signed him here. I’ve always absolved DW of that on based on the circumstances.

RS

October 4th, 2009
6:05 pm

The Heatley-Snyder incident was in 2003. September 29, 2003 to be exact. Tomorrow, October 5, is the 6th anniversary of Dan Snyder’s death.

Rawhide

October 4th, 2009
6:34 pm

Everyone…Seeing and hearing stuff like what was in that clip irks the %$#@! out of me too. But let’s be honest…as long as Atlanta remains below the Maison-Dixon line we are going to be subjected to such rumors. Just gotta learn to let it roll off your back and not let it raise your blood pressure too much.

That being said, what makes me scratch my head in wonderment how some people can claim hockey as the greatest sport on earth…but somehow believe it can only survive in a small, confined niche market isolated to only Canada and the northern U.S.

I guess it also still chaps their a$$es that the last two cities to see their teams relocate were Canadian cities.

Mrs. Zoomotipping hat and bowing…Absolutely my pleasure, ma’am.

Tony C. – Wow…sounds like and interesting chat you had with DW. I’ll echo your words about him being a very gracious man with his time and attention. In all of the times I’ve ever chatted with the man, he’s never once started to look at his watch or excuse himself to get to something else. He’s always waited for me to thank him for his time and say good-bye.

RS

October 4th, 2009
7:40 pm

Ted Turner should make an announcement that he’s getting a group together to try and buy the Toronto Maple Leafs and move them to Valdosta.

ben

October 4th, 2009
8:13 pm

we should start a rumor that a certain set of atlanta-area pockets is seeking to purchase a canadian football team and move them to Sandy Springs. I’m serious on this point. We oughtta give those GTA and hnic $@#!ers a %$!ing taste of their own medicine. someone should do a website and everything

we should fight fire with fire.

BlueSpark

October 4th, 2009
8:45 pm

Wait, that WASN’T Milan Hnilicka in net last night? Could have fooled me.

World Be Free

October 4th, 2009
9:50 pm

Hey folks, other than hockey, what else does Canada have anyhow?

Our retork to these people – “How’s life in the 51st state?”

They hate that !

Krebs

October 4th, 2009
10:03 pm

Watching Hockey Night in Canada on Sat. night (Hot Stove). One of the commentators between periods stated that there is a group in Toronto that have been laying the groundwork to move the Thrashers to Winnepeg. Anyone heard anything about this?

Michael

October 4th, 2009
10:04 pm

Here is something to discuss/think about….who sits when Schubert is inserted in the lineup and when do you think JA will put him in there? Obviously, Bogo/Hainsey/Enstrom/Kubina won’t sit…Salmela scored and looked good….Popovic played well too. Hmmmm…tough decision in my opinion.

ben

October 4th, 2009
10:28 pm

Krebs, the research i did this morning indecated that it was a falsified story. hince i have suggested we start our own rumor or we could boycott a sponsor of that show and tell others in the sunbelt to do the same. We deserve our teams and our fandom to go unmolested. I mean you don’t see ESPN spreading rumors over the Jays or Raptors. Also MLB as well as other voices in and around baseball fought to keep the Expos in Montreal.

HNIC has just given a lot of hockey fans panic attacks so that Canada could feel good

ben

October 4th, 2009
10:34 pm

the one-time longest running tv show should show more class.

R. Stroz

October 4th, 2009
11:07 pm

WBF – The Canadians used think barrel jumping was a sport and still think curling is a sport.

English Teacher

October 4th, 2009
11:47 pm

Wow, RS! How fast do you think Gretchelby would move to south Georgia?

Seriously, though, all we need to do is start winning. Once that happens with regularity, the arena will fill and the Canadians will start chirping about Phoenix and Nashville.

Tom

October 5th, 2009
12:00 am

The biggest fear of the Canadians is that their beloved Maple Leafs, Senators, and Canadians will all be sitting at home in April watching the Stanley Cup playoffs on TV while the Thrashers (or Hurricanes, Lightning, or Panthers) are still playing.

They know their teams S#CK this year.

And we know that insecure weenies will denigrate others when they can not build up themselves.

The analogy is to these neurotic Canadians is that we are the Math Geek stealing their girlfriend, the head cheerleader. And they know she will be happier and more fulfilled than she was with their worthless asses.

/endrant

Brendan

October 5th, 2009
12:55 am

Tony C., thanks for that recap with Don Waddell. Waddell is the sort who diffuses anger and criticism well. Generally speaking, by the time a person finishes talking to him, he or she is ready to buy season tickets and think the Stanley Cup can’t be that far away. He has this charming ability to maneuver a conversation and win you over. Stand there long enough, and a person might believe that this ownership isn’t really all that bad and that everything is about to blossom into a COVER SHOT for a Gardening magazine.

Not that this actually happened, mind you, but imagine a conversation with Waddell that went like this, hypothetically. “Don, I gotta tell you, I’m still very mad that Hossa left. Bluntly, how could you let this happen?” Waddell’s answer, “Yeah, definitely, that was a tough break and wasn’t the outcome that we wanted.” “Well, how and why did it happen, then?” Waddell’s answer, “Look, to be honest, the moment we got Hossa he agreed he’d help our club all he could. He admitted shock over the trade. And indicated that he didn’t anticipate doing anything in Atlanta beyond honoring his contract.” The fan responds, “So, you KNEW he’d leave, the moment you got him?” Waddell answers, “Well, I prefer not to phrase it like that. The fact is, we had a to fill a hole of a 40 goal scorer and 80-point a season guy, and Hossa was just the ticket. Hossa had his career-best point production season with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2007. Plus adding deVries gave us some needed depth on the backline.” As a fan, you sit there, nodding, admiring his candor, his willingness to speak to you about such specific matters, and the fact that he’s NOT ANGRY with you that for questioning him and his decisions or judgement. If the President of the United States sent Waddell over to Saudi Arabia, he’d have them IMPORTING American sand, on the basis that its color and texture is far superior in the United States to that found within their region. And why should the Saudis have to suffer with lesser quality sand. And so forth.

World Be Free

October 5th, 2009
5:38 am

Stroz-throw in 2 other prime time sports, curling and snooker. You can’t turn on the TV in Canada in any Canadian city on a Saturday (in winter) without seeing curling. Bore me to tears!

Seriously, all this Canadian talk is designed to disrupt the fanbase and the franchise. How unethical and immoral is that?

Lee

October 5th, 2009
6:51 am

AWESOME! KEEP IT UP BOYS!

five_hole

October 5th, 2009
8:39 am

OK, they have curling; we have baseball. Both bore me to tears!

World Be Free

October 5th, 2009
8:57 am

five_hole-the difference is that we know baseball is boring. They thing curling is the greatest (next to hockey).

I feel bad picking on Canadians; there are so many good ones, it is a shame to lump them all into one basket. But the good ones aren’t calling out the bad Canadians, so I guess it’s OK.

DWTOO

October 5th, 2009
9:03 am

Don Waddell is really a gracious man as pointed out by Tony C. Just the fact he was roaming the upper deck and mingling with the fans confirms this fact. We met the Waddell’s when our daughters played on the same soccer team a few years ago. After one particularly tough game where my daughter come up big (she was the goalie) Don made it a point to congratulate her. It really made her day! For that reason alone I can never say a bad word about the man. Do I always agree with every move he makes – no. But, I’ve seen another side of the man and find it hard to attack him on a blog.

One semi-humorous tale and then I’ll go back behind my rock. My wife and I were talking with the Waddell’s at Casino Night one year and Don had to excuse himself to meet with some high rollers. Before he left he motioned for Bob Hartley to come over and meet us. This was right after Hartley was hired. Must have figured we were someone important because he spent the next twenty minutes talking with us.

TableHockey

October 5th, 2009
9:24 am

I’m finally getting my voice back from the game – what a great time!

I was excited about what I saw for the most part. Seems like some of the lines are still trying to gel but there was some good chemistry out there.

As many have mentioned previously Pavs does flop a lot – though his happy feet seemed to settle after the first period a bit.

Kane looked tenative early on and got bump off the puck too easily a few times but by the end of the game he looked much more confident.

Two things I saw that worried me a bit – the SOG (as everyone else has pointed out) and the difficulty the team had clearing the puck on occassion throughout the night. At one point in the third I had to count players to make sure we weren’t on a PK.

Oh yeah – and kudos to everyone there screaming their heads off – Phillips was rocking.

Buzilla in CT

October 5th, 2009
9:50 am

Dear TJ viewing party,

I will be at the November 7th game against the the Chilanders (Cheesy Islanders). My brother in law works for Cablevison and got me some awesome seats. So hopefully when the Thrash are putting the smack down on Taveras and Mandy Strutton, you all will get to see my smiling face in my Thrasher jersey. Look for the 6′2 drunk bearded guy in the Thrashers queer blue jersey surrounded by @ssholes with mullets, Gordon Fisherman jerseys, and gold chains.

I will rent a IROC for the parking lot so I can go into the arena undetected…

FormerIslesFan

October 5th, 2009
9:56 am

Okay. Like TableHockey, the Mrs. and I are just getting our voices back as well. So, although I’ve been a bit delayed, I’ll offer up my $.02, although I’m sure it’ll be nothing that hasn’t already been said. What I can offer you is merely my thoughts from my view up in the Nasty Nest on opening night.

And before I do, just a quick tip of the hat. RH, good to see you as always! Now, onto a quick top 10 thoughts:

1. Kovy looked like a man on a mission determined to make this team his from the start of the season. While I recognize that Ranger flipped the puck into his own net, what made the goal was Kovy lowering his shoulder and driving the net (this was a consistent theme throughout the night that I saw time and time again). Does anyone think that his “slow start” last season was something he was determined to not let happen again?

2. Bogosian is going to be a monster if he is not already. He has a nose for the net and made his goal happen becuase he (here it is again), drove for the net. You guys have heard me for years harp on the line, “You can’t score if you don’t shoot.” Bogo is the proverbial pudding proof.

3. I can’t count how many times I saw Antropov in the crease screening the netminder (my wife, Lilibeter loves that word). Even though he didn’t show up much on the score sheet, he had a lot to do with the opportunities and goals the Thrashers had. He also saved at least one goal that I saw on the defensive side.

4. Kubina is for real. The importance of ability to make the first pass out of the zone cannot be underestimated and anyone that saw the replays of the Kubina to Little to Kovalchuk passing play that resulted in Kovy’s first goal understands.

5. Kane. Wow. Every time I looked for him, he was either in the slot, at the backdoor or behind the net. He is another player that seems to be sniffing around the crease at all times (something we have sorely been lacking since the few games that Tkachuk was here). Like so many others have said, when Army comes back, there are some tough choices that are going to be made. Kane did seem to be getting pushed out of position every now and again, but I think some of that has to do with learning the NHL game and how to handle himself against players of this size and speed. From what I saw, I DO NOT think that another year in juniors will serve him any good, though.

6. Peverly – What can you say? Get him signed to an extension…now.

7. Boulton – Did he really make that pass to Salmela? Not a bad overhand right either… :-)

8. Thorburn – I’m going to be critical because someone has to explain to me why you would get into a fight with your team leading 4-0 and there being no specific catalyst. I get the idea that Thor was trying to “prove his worth” and make sure he wasn’t a scratch in the next few games. Sorry, and maybe this is hindsight, but I think that fight did nothing for the Thrashers and lit a fire under the Bolts (even if Thor won the fight).

9. Pavalec – There has been plenty of commenting on his flopping/overcommitting. I think he played a very good game and his rebound control was a hell of a lot better than I remember it ever being. There is room for improvement, but my heart is not going to take an entire season of this.

10. The Crowd – Short of the playoff games, that was probably the most electric I have EVER heard a crowd at Philips. In many ways, it reminded me of that night, many, many years ago, that the Knights won the Turner Cup at the Omni. It goes to demonstrate once again that if you put a product that can win (or give the prospect of winning) out there that Atlanta sports fans can support, they will.

I could probably go on for a while, but that seems to be more than enough. I don’t think there are any new revelations here, merely my thoughts getting added to the stew.

Alan R.

October 5th, 2009
10:12 am

WBF, when I speak in generalizations about Canadians, typically the good ones know who they are. Therefore, I don’t feel so bad.

LSThrasher04

October 5th, 2009
10:23 am

It was actually in 2003 when they honored Dan Snyder. 2005 was still a good night coming off the lockout, though.

Rawhide

October 5th, 2009
10:26 am

Zillanator – Would it be too much for us to expect to see you holding up a “RAWHIDE’S ROWDIES ROCK at TJ’s” sign???

BTW – Cuzin’ Cletus has offered to let you borrow one of the three IROC’s in front of his trailer in Alabamastan. That is, of course, if you can get any one of them to start.

FIFtipping the hat back at ya Always good to see you and the lovely Lilibeter.

LSThrasher04 – You are correct…2003. Thanks.

Buzilla in CT

October 5th, 2009
10:30 am

How about “Big Willy’s Chilly at TJ’s”?

If I get glass I can smack it up there every chance I get

Buzilla in CT

October 5th, 2009
10:32 am

BTW, I can’t tell you how pissed I am at Comcast right now. They apparently don’t have the Center Ice package available in my area right now. They said it could be soon…but not right now. You have to be f-ing kidding me? I am about to take my chainsaw to the 5 trees that are preventing me from getting Direct TV.

Midfield

October 5th, 2009
10:43 am

The judgment is definitely still out on Pavelec, but the bottom line is, none of the three goals by Tampa could be pinned on him. Someone commented that he was not aware where the puck was at times. May I remind you that spotting the puck in a scrum is one of the weakest Lehtonen’s trait by comparison.

World Be Free

October 5th, 2009
10:47 am

Alan R. – totally agree
Too bad it’s the idiots in Canada that have access to the media!

Darkhorse

October 5th, 2009
10:53 am

Here’s an article about the HNIC rumour about the Thrashers possibly moving to Winnipeg. I really don’t get why the NHL would want to even entertain moving a franchise out of one of the biggest markets in North America, with much untapped poteintial due to 10 years of subpar on ice product imo. As the home opener showed, there are plenty of hockey fans, rabid and bandwagon, in the Atlanta area willing to fill the place up when they are relevant. Put a few winning seasons together with solid playoff showings, and I doubt attendance will be an issue.

As some of you have already posted, Winnipeg is such a small hockey market, and not much has changed there since they moved last time in the 90s. 700k in the metro and surrounding? By the way, I loved the Jets when Selanne came on the scene. Was sorry they moved to the desert too, but they’re not getting our Thrashers.

Now would the ASG want to sell the team? That would not surprise me in the least, but I would hope they, owning the arena, and the NHL would want the new owners to keep the team here(41+ home dates) and succeed.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/chew-on-this-nhl-rumour-63512062.html

Cup Guy

October 5th, 2009
10:59 am

The best part of the game was seeing how are defense, while lacked a little defensively, is definitely going to be high in points this season. I feel like Toby, Bogo, Pavel, and Ronnie will break the Thrashers highest point total in a season. Expect more to come from Kane.

Buzilla in CT

October 5th, 2009
11:04 am

Listen, if the Thrashers are going anywhere, it will be to Hartford…Man that would be sweet for me…

World Be Free

October 5th, 2009
12:15 pm

Buzilla- and play in “The Mall” again?
What a name for an arena!
Just like the Oakland Seals, who played in the Cow Palace!

Glovesave29

October 5th, 2009
12:17 pm

Let’s be really honest here…if this has any truth to it, do you really think it is going to be leaked to a second-rate hack like Al Strachan? If memory serves, was he not the same whiner that tried to have the Gretzky deal to LA overturned by the league because he was a “national treasure”? If such machinations were actually in play, this would be kept so secretive to avoid the media circus that Balsille brought upon himself. Other bidders for any other team will more than likely learn from his mistakes and keep it all hush hush and put their egos in their back pocket. Is the NHL REALLY going to allow a city the size of Atlanta to be without a team and a small market (no offense Winnipeg, youre a great city, but the new economic model of a pro franchise cannot work there) with no major industry to get it? Bettman is fighting for Phoenix, gotta think the same will happen here. I find it laughable that we are derided for our attendance…give the team a chance to become part of the community. Fandom passed down from father to son and so on. Toronto and Detroit are sure quick to change the subject when you point out that both cities could not fill their buildings when the teams were languishing near the bottom of the league…and they (at the time) had been there 50-60 years. And why go after a team that is not even for sale? Wang is practically begging for a new home for his Islanders. The Panthers play in front of much smaller crowds than Atlanta and they are pretty consistantly a competitive team. Phoenix is going to have to come up with something – or they are gone too. Heck, just 5 years ago the Canadian media was clamoring for the death of the Pens and Canes – now they are lauded as model franchises. Our achilles heel is the Octo-cluster. But honestly, i’d look to PHX, NYI, TB, FLA and NSH to be a more likely relocation applicant than Atlanta. It’s also pretty risky to move to Canada at this juncture. As with most economic recoveries, we are soon to likely face some inflation. Differences in currency exchange rates will grow – and it is not likely to see the trend of the past 22 months (on 1/1/08 the US Dollar and Canadian Dollar were equal – today it is at .916 of a US Dollar) to lose momentum. A player, no matter where he plays get paid in US Dollars. The Canadian teams are at a 10% loss right off the bat as their income is in Canadian Dollars. This will kill a smaller market. Winnipeg will only have their hearts ripped out again as another team cannot survive there. Continue to support the Moose…as the AHL is the perfect level of hockey for a city of that size.

Glovesave29

October 5th, 2009
12:21 pm

WBF – I lived in the Bay Area before moving here…I don’t recall the Seals ever playing in the Cow Palace. They played in the east Bay over at the Oakland Coliseum. The Sharks played there their first few seasons, but that’s the only NHL hockey that dump has ever seen.

World Be Free

October 5th, 2009
12:23 pm

Brendan-
Like I said yesterday, the Canadian media is trying to do is destabilize this franchise. On a day that we should be discussing Saturday’s game, we have to spend our time on this garbage.

Cobb County is bigger than Winnipeg! I agree that they deserve a franchise, but it’s not going to happen especially with our team!

R. Stroz

October 5th, 2009
12:30 pm

I am about to take my chainsaw to the 5 trees that are preventing me from getting Direct TV.

That would give Buzzzzzzila new meaning.

World Be Free

October 5th, 2009
12:52 pm

Nice piece Glovesave-I’ll do some reasearchm but I could have sworn that the Seals played in the Cow Palace in their early days, before they became the California Golden seals and those strange white skates.

All my friends wanted white skates int he early 700’s just to be different!

Smoothie

October 5th, 2009
12:56 pm

For those of you worried about shots on goal, please keep in mind that Tampa only had 32 SOG as of the time Kovy scored the game-icing 6th goal. Also, Tampa had more PP time some of which was not deserved as the call on Salmela was horse *expletive*.

Also, after the 6th goal, Todd White was sent to the box for something totally undeserved leading to a BS 4 on 4 sequence where Tampa got some chances. But after that, the Thrashers continued to forecheck and put pressure on the Dolts. We gave up some shots after Kovy’s goal, but other than the breakaway by Meszaros, I wouldn’t say any of them were quality chances.

JA will work out the kinks this week and I think you’ll see a bit more discipline on the road trip. We’ll still give up 30-35 from time to time, but I think you’ll see quite a few more games were both teams are in the upper 20s.