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

HookyBob

October 9th, 2009
1:34 pm

Tom, you might be comparing apples to oranges when just looking at the population of the two areas. Do you think 1 in 8 Atlanta residents is a hockey fan (some would say that is too optimistic)? With Winnipeg I’d estimate 80% are hockey fans (it is a writ of adulthood there, and there isn’t much else going on). What does the math say about attendance?

I don’t want to go here,…but there are tons of other factors, corporate sponsorship, exchange rate for the loonie, etc. My point is that population alone may not be a good metric. Suffice it to say that I hope Winnipeg gets another team,…just not our Thrashers.

BTW: I meant to complement Stendec earlier. This year’s Thrashers truly may “a bird of a different feather.” Let’s hope so.

GaVaHokie

October 9th, 2009
2:02 pm

Did anyone read about this?… an escalator collapsed at the end of the Blues game at Scottrade Arena.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=294296

Toby

October 9th, 2009
2:06 pm

Eklund…LOL…

“This strong start definitely makes the chances of Ilya re-signing stronger than ever before. Ilya loves Atlanta and I have been told countless times that “he is not Hossa” and if he feels the team is moving towards becoming competitive he will sign long term. I am told that there is very serious talk in Montreal that the Habs are preparing to throw the bank at Ilya if they can. One source has always iterated to me that not taking on Lecavalier’s salary may have had more to do with the possibility of Kovalchuk. Not certain, but that sentiment is out there in the hockey insider universe.”

Good luck with that.

J.B.

October 9th, 2009
2:29 pm

Toby- I’m sure you saw in that same Eklund post that we’re interested in trading for Sergei Kostitsyn and Brian Campbell as well. That guy just pulls rumors out of his @$$ and posts them right on his website. Just ridiculous…

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 9th, 2009
2:30 pm

Montreal more interested in a superstar Russian than a superstar Canadian (from Quebec)?? I smell a bit of bullcrap.

Next year the “insider universe” will be stating that “not taking on Kovalchuk’s salary may have had to do with the possibility of Joe Thornton”.

sisu

October 9th, 2009
2:35 pm

Please ignore Eklund, he throws a bunch of stuff out there to see what sticks. The sad part is that there are people who finance his operation…No offense Rawhide on your blogging there.

Kovy has come in and continued the role of the Captain and showing everyone he is not letting it go! I think he likes the under dog team he playes for and loves seeing a non traditional hockey town form a round him. :)

GaVaHokie

October 9th, 2009
3:06 pm

Apparently, Eklund’s main “source” must be Al Strachan. :)

timthebrave

October 9th, 2009
3:42 pm

The offense looked great and the power play looked awesome as well. I’m not worried about the shot disparity yet because we have jumped out to the big early leads in both games. I will wait and see how that plays out. Go Thrashers!

timthebrave

October 9th, 2009
3:47 pm

I wish we didn’t have to wait so long to see another home game…I guess it will even out.

kracker

October 9th, 2009
3:57 pm

“Kane is able”

Tom

October 9th, 2009
4:23 pm

Hooky

I understand, and to be honest was going to dig into the stats that you mentioned, but a business call came in and sometimes I have to work. :)

The reality though is that the market in Winnipeg, while hockey crazy, is not big enough or rich enough, to support an NHL franchise. Sure they have passionate fans, but the cost of maintaining a team in this day and age requires some significant cash flow. Atlanta will be a profitable franchise if the owners will let them win, that has always been the story in Atlanta for any team. Before the Braves started winning in 1991 they drew terrible crowds.

There is an underground hockey fan base in Atlanta. You see them when their teams show up to play. But with the Thrashers sucking so bad for so long, it is not a glamorous ticket. When they start winning the stands will be full.

Glovesave29

October 9th, 2009
4:51 pm

WBF – I thought Antro made the right play with the pass to the far post. Yeah, Darren made comments about Kovy telling him to shoot, but look at the play…Nik was in the high slot with both D men converging on him and Mason was squared up to him…he put a perfect pass to where his wing SHOULD have been. It would have taken a miraculous save to keep it out of the net had the pass connected. Since the puck was not sent in too deep, it could have been roofed, making a save even less likely as Mason would have led with his pad to cover the low shot. Like I said earlier…keep that play in the back of your thoughts as I can see it being tried again in the future.

Why would Kovy sign in Montreal? Their coach employs a methodical, plodding style that does not fit Kovy at all. He does not speak French and the citizens of Montreal will always hate him because of that even if he scores 60 a season. Players love playing to full crowds, but also like being able to go out to dinner with their family and not being hounded constantly by the fans and media. He’d never get a moments’ peace up there, and he would grow to despise it. That’s why Atlanta is a good place for any athlete…we just need to be treated to a winner. The weather is better here, and we are not star struck when we see athletes and performers out in public.

Glovesave29

October 9th, 2009
4:56 pm

TSN is reporting the Neil and Spezza got into a slashing fight in practice today. Here’s to the implosion of the Sens!

TRON

October 9th, 2009
5:10 pm

SEE………HOW MUCH BETTER IT IS……….TO WATCH THE GAMES……….WHEN THERE IS NOT AN IMMATURE, WHINY, CRYBABY/ NO -TALENT FINN BETWEEN THE PIPES????????????????

LAC

October 9th, 2009
9:07 pm

Here is the leadin from the St.L Post-Dispatch today, I thought it was VERY interesting…

After back-to-back wins over Detroit in Sweden, the Blues had their welcome home party Thursday at Scottrade Center.

A date with the Atlanta Thrashers was supposed to be the perfect partner for the Blues’ return, after having four days off. But this is a different group of Thrashers.

Ilya Kovalchuk, who appears to finally have a strong supporting cast, scored two goals to help Atlanta best the Blues 4-2 in front of a sellout crowd of 19,150.

Nice to see… A textbook road game last evening, just the way it should be… Great start.

Kinda shocked there is NO TV Saturday from Ottawa, nothing on CenterIce
nothing…. I thought ALL Canada games were on TV, are they losing interest in hockey up there in the 51st state ?

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 9th, 2009
9:52 pm

That’s a much better write up than the Associated Press, who blamed the loss on jet lag.

LAC

October 9th, 2009
10:33 pm

NEWS FLASH…. NEWS FLASH…

Dave Reid had GOOD things to say about The Atlanta Thrashers, saying Ottawa will have their hands full and then some Saturday night in
ottawa… ONG I cannot believe this, he is THE BIGGEST Thrasher
basher out there, WOW nice things to say, What a REFRESHING change
on “On The Fly”.

Brendan

October 9th, 2009
11:51 pm

I saw that as well, LAC, and nearly spewed out my coffee. Either Dave Reid is willing to put his prejudices aside just long enough to be fair, and maybe even WATCH some Thrashers Hockey this year … or … it’s WORSE than we feared. The “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” has begun, right before our very eyes.

Tom

October 10th, 2009
12:35 am

Brendan and Rawhide

Maybe the aliens that took over the Thrashers towards the end of last season have consolidated their position. Now they are branching out and taking over the commentators. Perhaps Dave Reid was the first one to succumb to their skills. Simple minds are the easiest to take over.

ben

October 10th, 2009
8:14 am

I saw that this morning and couldn’t believe my ears. They are a great team thus far, though. I imaginge the gloves will be off once kovy signs.

ben

October 10th, 2009
8:42 am

why does capgeek have the payroll at $25M?

World Be Free

October 10th, 2009
8:45 am

Thansk to everyone who had their Kane nicknames. Let’s hoe we get the chance to use them all season! No reason to send him back to Vancouver-and I will admit I was one of hte people who thought he needed to go back for one more year.

Glovesave-I still think Kovy and Antropov will take a little more to be really get to know each oither on the ice. Once they really get in down, Antropov will take off. Kovy creates space naturally; Antropov is big enough that he’s do the same. Btyan Little will be the beneficiary of their abilities.

LAC-if this continues, it will be hard for legitimate media people (like Dave Reid) to ignore the Thrashers. Reid is the kinda people that used to be on Hockey Night in Canada, though I have to say I still like Milbury-as long as he doesn’t become a GM again!

Rawhide

October 10th, 2009
8:56 am

Maybe the aliens that took over the Thrashers towards the end of last season have consolidated their position. Now they are branching out and taking over the commentators. Perhaps Dave Reid was the first one to succumb to their skills. Simple minds are the easiest to take over.

Tom – That’s a good theory. Isn’t it amazing how just a couple of nice wins will get these guys to jump on the bandwagon?

Tony C.

October 10th, 2009
9:12 am

Did you know you don’t have to go to the mall for a pretzel anymore?

Dwayne

October 10th, 2009
9:26 am

Thrasher wins will force people to say good things, whether they like it or not. It might be small tidbits…but at least they are positive. Tony C. you dont have to go anywhere for that stuff, my Grandchildren do fundraisers for their schools, pretzels, pretzeldogs, pizza kits, cookie dough, peanuts……good stuff.

Dwayne

October 10th, 2009
9:42 am

Antro gets in the slot with the puck, instead of shooting, he tries a pass to Kovy, Eliot says, when they get to the bench, Kovy is going to tell Antro to take that shot. I wonder if Antro said, Nyet, you keep stick on ice. That would have been an easy deflection into the goal.

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 10th, 2009
9:45 am

Here’s my Kane nickname, tell me what you think:

Evander Kane

I think it has a ring to it.

LAC and Brendan — Perhaps it’s a chance for Reid to be harsh on Ottawa, and Atlanta is the beneficiary of this? But it’s a surprise to read that he actually said “Atlanta” and “tough” in the same line that didn’t translate to “it’s tough to watch Atlanta play hockey”.

Tony C. — I miss the pretzel’s from Philips. Pretzel Wetzel, right?

Tom

October 10th, 2009
11:14 am

I was just looking at the stats and we are the only team that is undefeated in the Eastern Conference. (I build on small victories)

Putting On The Foil

October 10th, 2009
11:20 am

Need some input. Fixing to step into the 21st century. What I need to know is Plasma or LCD for hockey games. I know the plasmas are faster, but will the 120hz LCD keep up with the speed of the puck adequately? Thanks for any input.

JLH

October 10th, 2009
11:28 am

Ben,
I think the “cap geek” $25 mil is our number committed for 2010-11. I remember a post on Cap Geek alluding to the same. The numbers add up that way.

Dwayne

October 10th, 2009
11:31 am

Good question POTF, I suggest doing like I do, hold the tin foil on the rabbit ears in a 87 degree angle. Works every time.

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 10th, 2009
11:40 am

How long do you want the TV to work? I’ve always felt Plasma is better “quality” but LCD is the better place to spend your money because the step down in quality is negligible (and can be compensated with TV settings) but the TV typically lasts longer. It also depends on the brand you’re talking about. My preference is Samsung LCD or I’d say you look into LED, though I don’t know much about that technology.

In the end it’s all about your personal preference on picture quality and how much you want to spend on the TV set.

Smoothie

October 10th, 2009
12:05 pm

I have a 46″ Samsung LCD and I LOOOVE it to death. Don’t get too caught up with the numbers as broadcasting has yet to catch up to the potential of the technology.

For instance, most TVs are capable of 1080p and 120 MHz but most all of the HD production is still in 1080i and 60MHz.

The most important thing is the SportsSouth production quality of their HD telecasts, including Hawks and Braves, is excellent (go figure). Versus HD seems to be too bright and thus a bit fuzzy for lack of a better word.

For whatever reason, perhaps the lighting at Philips, the HD is sharper, steadier and the resolution is superb. Now if we could just get the camera men to stop zooming in on the blueline before a slapshot!!

Putting On The Foil

October 10th, 2009
1:34 pm

Looked at a Samsung 46″. Liked it, but just wanted to make sure the 120hz would be enough for hockey. I’m actually leaning this way, but wanted to make sure, that’s why I’m asking all you professional Thrasher watchers.

five_hole

October 10th, 2009
5:01 pm

Someone said “I’d buy it if I knew that this was the last thing they made.

They’re coming out with 3-D TV by the end of 2010:
http://asia.cnet.com/crave/2009/09/02/sony-to-introduce-3d-tv-by-end-2010/

Stone Cold

October 10th, 2009
5:11 pm

I vote for “Raising” Kane

Tom

October 10th, 2009
7:53 pm

2-2 After the 1st period. 2 quick goals by the Senators as the Thrashers came out flat. Then Ilya woke up our boys with a goal and Hainsey got one just before the end of the period.

Curly

October 10th, 2009
8:04 pm

On the two Senators goals I heard Kamal say “…. rebound… and a Goal.”

Curly

October 10th, 2009
8:09 pm

The Third Senators goal…. “rebound… and a Score.”

Are you seeing a common theme here?

Darren

October 10th, 2009
8:15 pm

Happened on the Sens third goal, too. Rebound, then a goal. 3-2 Sens about midway through the 2nd.

Brendan

October 10th, 2009
10:01 pm

We all have our favorite Kane nicknames. Mine is “Raising Kane,” too. Ranallo10 (in AT), all I can hope for, with respect to Dave Reid, is that he be fair and objective. I might be expecting too much. I hope he’ll actually take the time this year to watch some Thrasher Hockey this season. Maybe now, he actually we’re actually worthy of him time and attention?

stendec

October 10th, 2009
10:09 pm

Pevs looked like Sori Letemin! Damn bestard had the Thrashers in a 2-0 hole during f#cking warmup skate. No more acceptable from this jerk than from that untalented LaLa Land quitter! Has heartless nature returned? Terrible outing all the way around! Glimpse of uninspired debacles to come? STAY TURNED! Damn shet.

Brendan

October 10th, 2009
10:11 pm

Tom, I’ll take your bet. I think Vancouver and Calgary will both be playoff teams from Canada. I won’t commit to more than that, though. I haven’t seen enough of Montreal to formulate an opinion. Toronto is a bit of a longshot. Tonight, they got b1tchslapped by the Penguins, to a chorus of “boos.” Brian Burke, I’m guessing, didn’t like that. But even I’d say, “It’s still very EARLY to draw any final conclusions on a season.” Ottawa … I wouldn’t think … is going to be a playoff team. But I could actually see them right on the bubble. Depends on whether they buy or sell at the trade deadline.

I’m watching Channel #784 right now, on Comcast’s Center Ice. It’s a scoreless affair between the Buffalo Sabres and Nashville Predators. I do, occassionally, enjoy a fine goaltenders dual and defensive effort. I see the Predators and Sabres as teams that are “comparable.” They have limited Budgets, but excellent GM’s and coaches, who manage to survive well, despite the tight purse strings. I hope both teams get a point in tonight’s game. Both teams are deserving of a point. There is, officially, 7:00 left in regulation time, if you’re a Center Ice subscriber. Some good games are still left to be played tonight, including Montreal vs. Edmonton, Minnesota vs. San Jose, and L.A. vs. St. Louis. Let’s see how the Blues respond to the Thrashers loss, after back-to-back wins over Powerhouse Detroit. Columbus 3, Chicago 3, at nearly the end of two periods.

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 10th, 2009
10:15 pm

Pevs looked like Sori Letemin! — Uhhhh, I thought the game wasn’t on television…

Brendan

October 10th, 2009
10:17 pm

Looks like Tampa Bay exacted some revenge on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. Florida lost, in regulation time, I believe.

In the marquee matchup of the night, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Rafalski and Lidstrom took on Ovechkin, Backstrom, Green and Semin. Detroit won, 3-2.

Sabres on the PP, now, vs. Nashville. Miller just stopped a breakaway from Nashville, on a “short-handed” bid. That could have been disasterous for Buffalo. The Sabres peppering the Preds with PP shots and chances now. Rinne is holding the fort!! What a game!!!

Brendan

October 10th, 2009
10:20 pm

Mike Grier! From Kennedy. 1-0, Buffalo. Still plenty of time for Nashville to get the equalizer. 3:25 left to go.

Brendan

October 10th, 2009
10:22 pm

They gave an assist to Butler, on the Grier goal. Who the heck is Butler? Must be a prospect the Sabres are developing.

Brendan

October 10th, 2009
10:27 pm

It’s a final, from Nashville. 1-0, Sabres over the Predators, on the Mike Grier goal. Tim Kennedy got his 1st NHL point with the assist.

Brendan

October 10th, 2009
10:29 pm

The Blues are down, 2-1, with less than a minute in regulation. The St. Louis net is empty.

Brendan

October 10th, 2009
10:32 pm

That was SPIRITED finish, out in LA! Kings do win it, though, 2-1. J. Quick held the fort the Kings in net.