Kovalchuk and Kane score milestone goals in Thrashers win

What do I begin with? Ilya Kovalchuk’s 300th career goal?…Evander Kane’s first ever NHL goal?…Pavelec’s performance?…Heck, what about the penalty kill?

Let’s start with the captain, shall we?

In his 547th career start, Kovy notched his 300th goal by way of the power play. It was a classic Ilya goal as he took the puck just inside of the blueline and wormed his way through the St. Louis defense… then beat Chris Mason. The goal put the Thrashers up 2-1 at the time. He almost made it two power play goals, but his blast in the second period clanked the iron.

However, he did later get number 301 with an empty-netter at the end…his fourth goal and fifth point of the young season.

Then in the second, it was Evander Kane’s turn to make some history. On a play that was another beauty to watch, Kane took a pass from Rich Peverley as he powered his way up the middle and snapped off a winner from between the circles. That one put Atlanta up 3-1…a lead they took into the second intermission.

Kane and Peverley are starting to be quite the duo early on in the season. It was Pevs that scored the goal Saturday in which Evander notched his first ever career assist. Just returning the favor, I guess.

The Thrashers then made sure that Kovy and Kane’s memorable evening finished on a winning note as they defeated the Blues 4-2.

Pavelec stopped 29 of 31 Blues shots (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

Pavelec stopped 29 of 31 Blues shots (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

And what about the play of Ondrej Pavelec? He shook off an early goal… one in which Keith Tkachuk simply beat him with a shot from the left circle…and played outstanding the rest of the way. He would not surrender another until 2:44 left in the third. For the night, Opie stopped 29 of 31 shots faced.

Not to be overlooked here is the fantastic job the Thrasher’s penalty killing unit did Thursday night…wait, did I just use the words “fantastic” and “Thrasher’s penalty kill” in the same sentence?

Oh, I need to sit down…that made me dizzy.

Late in the first, with Atlanta nursing a 2-1 lead, Kovy took a hooking penalty. His teammates killed it off to preserve the one-goal advantage. Then to begin the second, Zach Bogosian committed a cross checking infraction just 63 seconds into the period. That, too, was killed off in fine fashion…however just a mere three ticks of the clock after Zach returned to the play, Marty Reasoner hooked his way into the sin-bin.

But once again…by working hard and agressively pursuing the puck…the Thrashers were successful in killing off yeat another Blues man-advantage.

For the season so far, the Thrashers have killed off 6 of the 7 penalties faced. They are 2 for 5 on their own power plays.

Other Quick Shots And Thoughts

The Thrashers have been quite economical with their shots during the first two games. They were able to net six on 28 shots last weekend…then they scored twice on their initial three shots against St. Louis. That would be eight goals on the first 31 SOG of the season. Kane’s tally came on Atlanta’s 11th shot of the game.

So far they have scored 1o goals on a total of 49 SOG…better than one for every five shots taken.

One worrisome issue though is the shots for/against stat as Atlanta was outshot 31-21 Thursday night. In two games, the Thrashers have taken 49 SOG and have allowed 70 to get through on Opie. Yikes!

Of course, where it counts, they have outscored their opponents by a total of 10-5.

The Thrashers have scored in all six periods so far. Two in each of the three periods against the Bolts, two in the first tonight and one each in periods two and three.

Atlanta has played 120 minutes of hockey so far this season and have only trailed for 2:48 seconds. That certainly helps.

The Thrashers have won their first two games of the season for the first time since 2003. That year they beat Columbus 2-1 to start the season then took a 4-3 decision from Washington. They went on to tie the next two games against the Islanders and Rangers…something I’m quite sure won’t happen this time around. The Thrashers started that 2003-04 campaign with 4 wins, zero losses, 2 ties and an overtime loss. That’s 11 points in the first 7 games.

And Finally…Hey, I Know Those Two

That very good-looking couple you see toward the end of the Thrashers marketing commercial played throughout the airing of the game is none other than our very own FormerIsleFan and his lovely bride Lilibeter.

Congrats you two…you’re stars!!

156 comments Add your comment

BlueLand Billy

October 8th, 2009
10:58 pm

More importantly it’s EK’s first career Game Winning Goal. Great win tonight and good way to start the road trip.

Brendan

October 8th, 2009
10:59 pm

Dang it! I just did a post right after you announed the new blog. I got Ranalloed.

Allright, GWG goes to E-Kane! His 1st ever NHL goal is a game-winner. Sweet.

Kudos to Tony C. who predicted Kovalchuk would win the Rocket Richard Goal Scoring Trophy. He’s at four (4) for the season. And he was a Goal Post away from a “hat trick” and a second PPG for the night. In the end, it was fitting that Kovy had the empty-netter.

Alan R.

October 8th, 2009
11:00 pm

I’m happy with the win. Congrats to Kovalchuk and Kane!

BlueLand Billy

October 8th, 2009
11:01 pm

Brendan you need to hit the enter button just a little bit faster.

Brendan

October 8th, 2009
11:02 pm

Our D continues to get on the stat sheet. Enstrom got his 3rd assist of the year. Kubina picked up a helper, along wtih Anssi Salmela, who may be putting Valabik out of an NHL job this season.

What about the 4th line? They something close to nothing most games, but Boulton adds a goal, and Thorburn got an assist, as did Marty Reasoner, who led all Thrashers as a +2. Colby Armstrong got his 1st point. And Pavelec got his name on the NHL leader board for wins.

Peverley picked up an assist, too.

Sara

October 8th, 2009
11:04 pm

YEEHAW!! What a game. Overall the team just looked great! Thorburn man, what did they put in his water bottle tonight? Salmela made that great play to clear the zone prior to Kane’s awesome first goal. The PK was terrific – especially with the back-to-back kills with Reasoner in the box for the second one.

Saw that sloppy play again toward the end of the third. They stopped skating hard and were chasing again and it cost them. They need to focus on forward motion at all times with the puck – none of this rimming the boards or lateral movement in their defensive zone. But most of the game was good defensive play, especially in front of their own net. Very proud of the team tonight.

Wondering however when the 2nd line is going to join the party. Slava is a notoriously slow starter so that may have something to do with it. Max is making some amazing passes but noone’s there to receive them. Hopefully a few more games will see the chemistry on that line clicking.

Pavs was fairly solid – his puck-handling scares the crap out of me but he was tracking the puck well and didn’t look quite so frazzled as the last game.

I didn’t see anything bad tonight that cannot be fixed – they just need to keep working on sound positioning, good communication on the ice, and forward motion with the puck.

Darkhorse

October 8th, 2009
11:19 pm

Very solid road win. Pavs still scared me, but in the end had a solid game. As Sara said, they need to work on a few kinks under the sink, but it’s stuff hopefully they will work out over the next month. For an offensive team, the shot disparity is still puzzling to me. I can see them giving up over 30 per game at this point, but I thought they would put just as many on net too. A little case of the extra/perfect pass syndrome maybe?

On another note, did anyone watch the Flyers/Pens game? Not a good game at all for Coburn. -2 and the icing was putting the puck in his own net. Unless he’s doing his part to run Emery out of town.

BlueSpark

October 8th, 2009
11:19 pm

Pavs is a mess but it’s working so far.

Second line is absent. Can we just agree that the third line is the real second line? I may have to jump of the “keep Kane in Vancouver” wagon. I’m really impressed.

R. Stroz

October 8th, 2009
11:23 pm

Waddell really needs to spend some time getting Peverley re-signed.

Krebs

October 8th, 2009
11:25 pm

I don’t want to jinx us at this point but we look like a solid team this year. We controlled the puck for most of the game. Anderson has done a great job. Keep it up Thrashers!

Sara

October 8th, 2009
11:28 pm

Stroz there’s plenty of time for that. Really right now Waddell needs to leave them all, Kovy included, alone. Let them focus on the game and getting all the kinks out. No distractions.

JLH

October 8th, 2009
11:28 pm

R. Stroz – AMEN!!!!!

Smitty

October 8th, 2009
11:31 pm

When Kane adds another 5-10 pounds he will not get pinched along the boards as he did tonight. OuchiGouchi or whatever his name is wanted nothing to do with Evander in their face to face confrontation in the 3rd period. Good effort tonite. Need some help from second line and defense needs to tighten up. Still way too many give-aways.

Brendan

October 8th, 2009
11:31 pm

Max is just Max. I’m willing to be patient. I’m NOT as willing to be patient with Slava. Has he forgotten it’s his ‘contract year?’

Hey, hey, look at this Devils-Lightning game! Tampa had this game won. But with less than a second left, Zajac scores, to force overtime. No one scores there, but Zajac strikes again in the shootout. And the Devils get off the schneid for their 1st win and 1st points of the season. Meanwhile, Tampa loses a point that really should have been two points on the night.

Calgary and Edmonton are tied, 2-2, with 14:00 left in regulation, in the Battle of Alberta. The Battle of Pennsylvania was won the Penguins, by a goal.

So, how BADLY did they slaughter Atlanta on the “On the Fly” desk tonight?

Buddha on Ice

October 8th, 2009
11:31 pm

Great game Thrashers. On a side note, did Antropov seem a little slow tonight and get beat off the puck a few times? It looked like Kovy was the only one in position all night. Pavelec is still a work in progress but seemed to get more focused after the first. Lets make it 3 in a row.

Buzz

October 8th, 2009
11:33 pm

Great game, but the White line is sluggish. Kozlov looks especially slow. I like the 3rd line chemistry but putting Afinogenov with Peverley and Kane would be a lightning quick group.

I also wonder how much the trip to Europe the Blues went on played into their performance.

But a win is a win! Good stuff. Exciting hockey!

Smoothie

October 8th, 2009
11:40 pm

If HD broadcasts are so damn expensive to produce / broadcast, then why is SS running the replay in hi-def?

Anyway, solid first period, rough start to the 2nd stanza but the PK was more aggressive (consistently attacking the puck) than ever before, at least since the lockout.

Last 5 mins of the 2nd showed the true potential of these Thrashers as they got all 6 of their SOG during that span and hard work and preserverance (Salmsy) in our own end led to a breakout and a textbook 3 on 2 goal by Kid Kane.

3rd period was some of the best fundamental defensive hockey you will see save for one bad shift by our top line. Support in front of our own net (Kuby was awesome) by the D and C was sensational all night long. And lastly, Pavs was excellent in his positioning at just about every turn.

Sara

October 8th, 2009
11:40 pm

Brendan – they haven’t gotten to the Thrashers recap yet – which says a lot all on its own.

Rawhide

October 8th, 2009
11:43 pm

I just updated the blog to add in this tid-bit…in the 120 minutes played so far this season, how much of that time have the Thrashers played while trailing?

Two minutes and fourty-eight seconds.

Brendan

October 8th, 2009
11:45 pm

Coming out the timeout, did anyone ELSE notice Kovalchuk disgustedly shaking his head? I thought, as I saw it, “Maybe he didn’t like JA’s instructions/plan/strategy?” Or, maybe he was just a bit dejected that after such a fine game, the outcome was still very much in doubt, at 3-2, late in the third? Well, all’s well that ends well. Kovy got the goal. And he played responsibly during the most critical portion of the game. He made two controlled clears to deny the Blues any offensive chances. And, of course, he scored the empty-netter.

Midfield

October 8th, 2009
11:46 pm

Talking about 2-way player: Kane is it. Kid’s relentless skating up and down the rink is what the doctor ordered. Nice.

Brendan

October 8th, 2009
11:48 pm

Wish I knew how to properly link words with a website like I used before. Instead, I just dump, like this. http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009020042

It’s the recap of the boxscore of tonight’s Thrashers game.

Brendan

October 8th, 2009
11:54 pm

1.000 pct at home. 1.000 pct. on the road. 1.000 pct. in the Southeast division. 1.000 pct. in the Eastern Conference. 1.000 pct. in the Western Conference.

Ummn, has this ever happened before in Thrashers history?

dandylions

October 8th, 2009
11:56 pm

4 pts down – 92 to go!!! Let’s go Dwayne!

Brendan

October 9th, 2009
12:00 am

Calgary just scored a goal with 1.5 seconds left in regulation, that was deflected by an apparent ‘high-stick.’ They reviewed it in Toronto, and let it stand. So, that tied the game, 3-3, with the Oilers. In the end, the Oilers will be happy if they win. But giving Calgary a “freebie” point has to hurt. It’ll hurt a whole heckuva lot less than a LOSS would. And now, the Oilers will be on the PP, just 0:35 seconds into this OT. It’s on channel 784, if you have Comcast Cable, Center Ice, on FREE PREVIEW.

sisu

October 9th, 2009
12:02 am

BlueLand Billy, Please do not refer to Kane as EK! That sounds too much like the dumb dumb blogger!

Great win, it was not the prettiest but I will take it :)

sisu

October 9th, 2009
12:03 am

Enter your comments here

Brendan

October 9th, 2009
12:04 am

I think it’s about 90 more. Ninety-four (94) points has never failed to earn a playoff berth in the past.

Midfield

October 9th, 2009
12:07 am

Brendan, I have a hunch Kovy wasn’t happy with his play on the Blues second goal. He drifted away from the guy at the slot who made the shot through traffic.

Brendan

October 9th, 2009
12:08 am

We’re headed to the shootout, in Edmonton. If last season is any indication, this will end in an Oiler win. They rule the shootout. Kiprusoff is in net for the Flames. Khabibulin, for the Oil.

Brendan

October 9th, 2009
12:16 am

Calgary scored with 1.5 seconds left in the 3rd. And now, they’ve won it on a ‘controversial’ shootout goal by Jokinen. Jokinen’s shot hit the outside of the net, caromed FORWARD into Khabibulin’s pad, where it just nudged over the line. Seems to me that a shot that essentially went WIDE would end at that point. But the refs allowed the forwarded momentum of the shot as “one, on-going play,” then didn’t end until the puck crossed the goal line. Interesting call.

The Flames will take it. They’re 4-0-0.

Brendan

October 9th, 2009
12:18 am

That might have been it, Midfield. I hope someone asks him. Kovalchuk has been a good Captain. He’s taking responsibility for things.

Mark

October 9th, 2009
12:19 am

What the?! … I know it’s reeeeaaal early but…we’re kinda…GOOD!!

playing tough in the neutral zone…have we ever even done that?!

Love Kovy sealing the deal with the jump on the puck for the empty and no. 4 …Pev’s battlin’ in the corner. Love Kane’s youthful exuberance, hoping but doubtful he can keep it rolling all year long. Still needs bulk. Little looks a lot tougher and bulkier.

Back to reality…lotsa looseness sometimes in our zone, really losing focus sometimes… it looked tighter tonight vs Sat. Pavs made some great saves, but…still has a lot of AHL traits…. great scorers and garbage men are gonna eat him up if he keeps allowing the rebounds.

Brendan

October 9th, 2009
12:25 am

Let’s thank the Rangers for coming back, from down 3-2 in the 3rd period, for a 4-3 REGULATION TIME win vs. Washington. Way to deny the Capitals any points. Washington has left points on the table a few times already this season.

stendec

October 9th, 2009
12:36 am

CONGRATULATIONS THRASHERS! Well done. When guys fell behind early a feeling of dread swept over me. Bad karma from last season! These appear to be birds of a different feather. Defense tightened up! Goaltender sharpened up. When was the last time I typed that? That goal deficit soon became a 3-1 advantage. Late score made things interesting but Captain Ilya Kovalchuk added exclamation point in closing seconds! A 2-0 start is so sweet! Even penalty killing deserved abundant praise. Was actually a pleasure to watch team again. WOW! Only hope this wonderful streak continues for a bit longer. High fives all the way around. Watching replay. Seldom did so last season. Good night all. Peace.

Hanson Brothers

October 9th, 2009
12:47 am

Will Center Ice still be free this Saturday and will the Thrashers game be on since it is not on local TV?

Smoothie

October 9th, 2009
12:48 am

Washington’s DEF is atrocious. It will be their achilles and we will score some goals in bunches against them for sure!

Alan R.

October 9th, 2009
1:40 am

It’s not being televised north of the border either, Hanson. Tune that radio to 680 and get ready for the play by play stylings of Kamal.

Hockey Biltong

October 9th, 2009
1:53 am

Hot damn, that was extra cool!!

World Be Free

October 9th, 2009
6:00 am

What really was impressive last night was that the Thrashers didn’t hesitate or fold when St. Louis scored early. Quite the opposite, they accepted the challenge. Bolts and Thorny without Jimmy. Schubert played pretty well too.

Washington’s goaltending cost the Cps the game last night. Time for them to wise up and put “The V” in the nets. I didn’t like Washington’s D last year and there were no steps to improve in the offseason.

Resigning everybody else will get alot easier when Kovy signs, when the captain commits. Kovy, do you want to borrow my gold-plated pen?

Thrashfan01

October 9th, 2009
7:33 am

Kanes play against the point on the PK will keep him here. The kid has speed and is willing to go into the high traffic areas. Congrats on the first of many Citizen Kane.

The forwards did a very good job of getting deeper in the defensive zone and providing support. That really helps when a goalie is giving up rebounds. The Blues kept getting traffic in front which is the game they play, hats off to our coaching staff for putting in a system to address our weakness.

World Be Free

October 9th, 2009
7:38 am

We have to come up with a new nickname for Evander-
Citizen Kane (as stated above)
The New Real Deal (my favorite)
Raisin’ Kane (Chris Berman would have like that one)

Anyone else have any ideas?

Zoomo

October 9th, 2009
7:50 am

I liked the first part of period 3. No whistles, nicely executed defensive hockey, rolled the lines, and nearly 9 minutes taken off the clock. That was a nice display of smart hockey with a 2 goal lead.

Kane is here to stay. Not a chance he goes back to the minors.

Zoomo

October 9th, 2009
7:55 am

ahh..I meant juniors of course.

Kane’s goal…what a nice play. It all looked so slow and effortless. Pevs just sort of tossed him the puck…like “here kid, knock it in”.

Nicknames…Evander “Sugar” Kane…heh.

Dwayne

October 9th, 2009
7:58 am

I’m starting the Don Waddell for “GM of the Year” award!!!

Dwayne

October 9th, 2009
8:02 am

Evander “my Mom needs a” Kane
Evander “Kwai Chang” Kane

five_hole

October 9th, 2009
8:02 am

That goal by Kane was Suh-huh-wee-wee-t! How are you going to send this kid back to juniors after 10 games?

Sign Peverley to a long term contract. NOW!

Pavelic had a good game. He had a few bad moments but in general didn’t seem to give up the rebounds.

Sign Kubina to a long term contract. NOW! What a difference he makes back there.

Andropov had his moments, but does anyone else think he’s slower than Valabik?

Sign Kovalchuk to a long term contract. NOW!

Schubert plays smaller than 6′3 & 230. Enstrom plays bigger than however big he measures.

HookyBob

October 9th, 2009
8:21 am

Good game.

Too bad Salmela didn’t get an assist on Kane’s gem. Nice set-up by Peverly too.

Even though St Louis took over 30 shots on goal I thought it was our D that stood tall last night. Seems like it was always one of our guys that was closest to the rebounds, even though there were plenty of Blues around the net. Schubert is a good addition,..he looked solid (and built solidly enough to rub guys out on the boards or move them from in front of the net). Our forwards had a defensively responsible game as well. Not sure I have ever seen the terms “our forwards” and “defensively responsible” in the same sentence before.

I’m still not comfortable with Opie. His style is so “scrambling to get in position” for a rebound. Of course I guess it took fans awhile to get comfortable with Hasek and T Thomas (or did they ever?). Much like those two Opie is a battler. His results so far are,….well,.. comforting.

Reasoner looked to be a good fit on the fourth line. I like it when that line can spend so much of their shift in the other team’s zone.

HE double hockeysticks,..I even thought Elliot did a good job as an analyst and interviewer last night. I believe I heard him call our rookie “Kid Kane.” Not a bad nickname.

Is it the Capitals that award a player a hardhat after a good game? Maybe our guys could do the same,.. or a lunchbucket for the hardest working player. It would have been a tough choice last night as so many players were deserving.

bluenote

October 9th, 2009
8:21 am

Weighing in for Citizen Kane. Thought his work on the PK was remarkable.

Saw zero evidence of Swedish jetlag…blues played solid and pressed hard all night. They were simply outplayed. Shades of last season’s “meaningless” games!

I take back three nasty things I’ve said about Thorburn…thought his work in the corner and feed to Bolts were notable

Glovesave29

October 9th, 2009
8:29 am

I was impressed by how calm the team was. The panic and manic chasing of the puck was not there. We supported Pavalec with clear lanes to see the shot and knocked away rebounds. The deep forecheck was supported by the high man and we forced them along the boards in the neutral zone. They have a quiet confidence about them that they now know the system and that it can work. I think I heard “cleared but not out” maybe twice – in the past it was in the double digits. Note to Opie – Louisville gloves have a deeper pocket…consider one. His glove misplays did not hurt us last night….but in the future we may not be so fortunate.

Kovy missed a golden opportunity in the first. Antro slid a perfect pass about 5 feet off the goal line to Mason’s left. Matt and Darren were saying that in the future they will want Antro to shoot from the high slot, but the pass was perfect, and it was to where your winger is suppoed to be. Oh, well – that is chemistry they will work out in time. Keep that one in the back of our minds…I think we will see it again.

I am not giving the Blues a pass for their recent travels. They returned in plenty of time to properly rest for last nights game. They were beaten by the better team, fair and sqare. I had relatives at last nights game who texted me that they see a similar attitude with this seasons’ Thrashers thast the Blues had last year. Play with a chip on their shoulders. Let’s hope it continues….cause this is turning out to be a nice start to the season. Let’s really lay into Ottawa and shut the Canadian media up!!!