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

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.

World Be Free

October 5th, 2009
12:56 pm

Glovesave-I stand corrected-
Oakland Seals
Arenas: (1)

Oakland Coliseum 1967/68-1975/76

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

October 5th, 2009
1:07 pm

Mr. Kracker – Please check your e-mail inbox.

Thank you

Brendan

October 5th, 2009
1:15 pm

WBF, completely agree. I don’t give that Winnipeg story any credibility. I like Winnipeg. I wished, truthfully, for them to retain the Jets. But they didn’t and couldn’t. And that’s sad for them, but there it is. If hockey fans in Winnipeg engage in shadenfreude, it’s that the Coyotes haven’t won a playoff series since the team relocated to Phoenix.

Buzzilla in CT, I just renewed Center Ice at a cost of $163.80. Comcast allows you to divide that into 4 payments if you prefer it. I think I saw a number to call in those Center Ice commercials, but I never wrote it down. They offer it for four payments of something like $41 each. Last year, I believe Center Ice was $169.99, unless you took advantage of the “early bird” special, where they dropped it to $159.99. If fans wait until January, the price will probably drop to $119.00 or $129.00. But then, you’ll be on that January to January billing cycle, and you’ll have to call Comcast to get it reinstalled at some unknown point in January. It’s better to get on the October to October billing cycle, so as to not have Comcast turn it off in mid-season. Then again, you’re getting the product for $119-$129 for a full year, instead of $163.80. That’s something to consider. If you wait until February, Comcast usually offers the last few weeks of the season for $49.00 And then, you’re on that February/March to February/March billing cycle. Now, I hear ya. For $49 a year, that sounds pretty smart! Smarter than paying $163.80 in October for the same number of games. Yeah, but … you won’t have Center Ice until Feb/March if you go that route.

Center Ice is free until October 24th or 28th, as a PREVIEW, I believe. The commercial says, “sign up before October 31st to get the ‘early bird’ special.”

Alan R.

October 5th, 2009
1:17 pm

Atlanta to Al Strachan: Shut up.

It’s about damn time the front office started responding to these things swiftly.

Rawhide

October 5th, 2009
1:25 pm

Any of you have a birthday coming up in October or November? Well…the Thrashers want to give you a free ticket to celebrate! If your birthday is later in the season, you can get a free pass to a game during that month

If you’re like me and you’re birthday is in May…or anytime during the summer…you can participate as well during October or November.

Happy birthday!!!!

Buzilla in CT

October 5th, 2009
1:35 pm

Brenden, I get the package every year. Even when I had season tickets to the Thrashers. I always did the 4 payment thing. My problem is that these knobs won’t offer it in the backwoods of CT where I currently live. I won’t have that problem with Direct TV. PLUS all the games on Direct TV are in HD. Not so with Comcast, which also pisses me off. BUT in the past, once I ordered the Hockey package I never had to order it again because something got messed up on my account that the channels weren’t scrambled every year. I actually didn’t move one year in Atlanta becasue I wanted to keep the NHL package for free…

I will give Comcast one week…Then I am putting on my hockey mask and Buzzzzzzzillaing the five trees in question. I will send photos to Rawhide for posting

J.B.

October 5th, 2009
1:42 pm

Gratton’s on waivers per Kevin Allen’s Twitter – @kausatoday

Smoothie

October 5th, 2009
1:44 pm

Pardon moi Mademoiselle Trixie, my post has seem to have disappeared, why does this always seem to happen to me? They were such salient and compelling points, they must be heard! j/k LOL

How ’bout that Evander Kane kid eh? Yaa eh?

Smoothie

October 5th, 2009
2:12 pm

Nice to see the ASG step up and tell the Winnipeg Free Press to put a peg in it, to put it succinctly.

Toby

October 5th, 2009
2:15 pm

Dan Fritsche is making a return to Columbus’s farm team.

J.B.

October 5th, 2009
2:59 pm

Here’s something weird to ponder…

If I recall, Legace did not sign a contract offered by Atlanta because he did not want to do the two-way thing and spend time in the AHL.

Andy Strickland reports on hockeybuzz.com that Legace is signing a professional try-out contract with none other than the Chicago Wolves.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Andy-Strickland/Legace-To-Sign-AHL-Deal/5/23436

Whiskey…

Tango…

Foxtrot…

Thrashers27

October 5th, 2009
3:02 pm

So, would that mean that Legace is at the disposal of the Thrashers should there be a need here in Atlanta?

Sara

October 5th, 2009
3:17 pm

My guess is that 1 – Legace did not get a better offer anywhere else and 2 – this will make him Wolves property not Thrashers property – at least it appears that way at first blush. We’ll have to see the details.

Midfield

October 5th, 2009
3:23 pm

I guess, Manny likes to ride the bus more than he likes flying after all.

Smoothie

October 5th, 2009
3:23 pm

According to Ben Wright Legace would be sole property of the Wolves and still have other NHL options at his disposal should he get other interest / offers. But at the very least it would be a great mentor of Drew MacIntyre. Manny seems like a pretty loyal guy so perhaps now he’s settled on going to CHI, making an impression with his play and forcing DWAd to make a move when / after the road trip results flesh out Pavelec’s readiness.

Paminski

October 5th, 2009
4:09 pm

Thanks, Rawhide. Good timing on that news. My birthday is today.

Nice move on Legace’s part. Talent and brains. Or at least his agent has brains.

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 5th, 2009
4:09 pm

And what happens to ice time once Lehtonen comes back from the IR and Pavelec is sent down to Chicago?

Tony C.

October 5th, 2009
4:25 pm

I would expect that Legace’s betting on himself in that respect ranallo-He plays at the level he excpects and there’s sure to be an NHL gig opening up sometime around Christmas.

Like say, Detroit-Howard’s been um… how do I say this nicely?… less than hoped for. I mean 10 GA in something like 37 SOG does not an NHL-netminder make.

But seriously, there’s bound to be a team that will look for a known commodity at the #2 G position. Add to that the reputation as a good teammate that Legace (rightly so, from all accounts) enjoys-just the sort of guy I’d ink to a deal if I were GM of a team that has a younger #1-or a team that has an elite veteran #1 (looking at NJD, CGY & EDM specifically here), and only the rawest of rookies as a back up.

Or perhaps it’s all precipitated by budget constraints that loom with the return of KL from the IR?

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 5th, 2009
5:11 pm

As I commented on Vivlamore’s blog I agree that this is for his benefit due to the contractual flexibility if any NHL team comes calling. I also understand why Chicago would want Legace in the short term. However, I think such situations are precisely why Atlanta needs more control over their AHL affiliate so that such logjams aren’t created. But I’m not the GM of an AHL team much less an NHL team, so what do I know?

World Be Free

October 5th, 2009
7:13 pm

Thanks Brendan. It will be tough for any “small” city to ever get another major league sports franchise. Too much money in TV rights and a wide fan base. The only reason Hamilton comes up is the close proximity to Toronto. There’s enough fans in southern Ontario to support another team. Winnipeg just doesn’t have the population or corporate support a team long term.

What ever happened with Chelios? Anybody know?

Thanks for the tip Bill. I am a November baby, many, many years ago.

Buzilla-where are you in CT? I workked in Holyoke, MA for 2 years on assignment. Holyoke makes Hamilton look semi-nice and that’s tough.

Brendan

October 5th, 2009
9:33 pm

Sharon, your complete vote has been entered into the final tally.

Brendan

October 5th, 2009
9:45 pm

I’m very surprised that Legace didn’t opt for Europe, for more money and no taxes. If he must ride the bus, why not get PAID more? I “think” he could just leave some Swiss or Swedish or Finnish league if an NHL contract ever materialized.

Of course, chuckling, if likes Atlanta so much, there’s always the Gwinnett Gladiators? Forget I said anything. Somewhat related, doesn’t the current CBA specify that the maximum number of contracts allowed per franchise, including its farm system, is 54? Where’s that count right now for the Thrashers?

Truthteller

October 5th, 2009
11:08 pm

Yeah, 18,000 for opening night..how impressive. Please! Let’s see the report when there are 8000 for the Tuesday night game vs. Nashville. The Thrashers ownership situation makes them ripe for relocation. Move them to Hartford, Hamilton, or even Quebec City. The fact is that this team’s attendance has continued to plummet. I expect it to be lower this year than last.