Thrashers ‘The good, the un-good and the ugly’

October has come and gone…as has 10 games of the 2009-10 Thrashers campaign. So here are my “good, un-good and ugly” of the season so far. As you’ll see, there are far more “good” than “un-good” this time around.

Which is, of course, a “good” thing.

The Good

Well, let’s just start with the 5-4-1 start. Not that this is a blistering pace, mind you, but a winning record after the tax exemptions have perused the neighborhood to extort candy on Halloween is something we haven’t seen in these parts since the fall of 2006 when their record in October was 8-2-3. If memory serves…that’s the season they played more than 82 games.

A 4-1-1 road record is also very nice indeed.

Rich Peveley has dispensed the puck into the net 6 times so far this season and leads the Thrashers with 13 ponts (AP/Gregory Smith)

Rich Peveley has dispensed the puck into the net 6 times so far this season and leads the Thrashers with 13 points (AP/Gregory Smith)

The offense is popping in goals at a rate of 3.40 per game…which is tied with San Jose for 5th highest in the NHL. While this doesn’t come as a big surprise to me…it’s still “good” nonetheless.

Leading the O-fensive charge was Ilya Kovalchuk’s 9 goals and10 overall points before his injury sidelined him for about a month. But now the leading scorer is Rich Peverley with 6 goals and 13 points. Four of those goals and one assists have been on the power play.

Remember, too…even though he’s recently signed a new contract, The Peever is the lowest paid forward on the ice right now.

Speaking of the power play…Atlanta’s 27.8% effectiveness while on the man-advantage is tied with Cal-GARY for 2nd in the league, just behind Toronto’s 28.0%. That’s very, very good.

The penalty kill has been a pleasant surprise…even though it has slipped a bit from its 88.0% of just a few games ago. Still, the Thrashers killing opponent’s power plays 82.2% of the time…which is 9th best…will land it in the “good” column for me.

Even though the Thrashers only take 26.2 SOG on the average, they havenetted 34 goals. That means they are scoring once every 7.7 shots on goal. Very impressive.

Evander Kane has 3 goals, 2 assists and is a +4 in his first ten NHL games, (AP/Gregory Smith)

Evander Kane has proved himself worthy of playing in the NHL with 3 goals, 2 assists anda +4 rating in his first 10 games (AP/Gregory Smith)

Evander Kane proving that he is indeed ready for prime-time has been goodgreat news. After 10 games played he has scored his first 3 goals and 2 assists and is a +4. This kid just seems to be pulled toward the net and his speed and aggressivestyle make him hard to defend. Kane’s 22 shots on goal tie him with Peverley for 4th highest on the Thrashers.

Ondrej Pavelec’s .920 SV% and 2.60 SV% has eased the fears of a lot of us who were nervous about him starting in place of the injured Kari Lehtonen…yours truly included. His performance in Ottawa Saturday afternoon was nothing short of spectacular. He stole a game for us when we really…and I mean, really…need it.

Nik Antropov has yet to score his first goal as an Atlanta Thrasher…which certainly is not “good”…but his team leading 10 assists and +3 definitely is. I could point out that Antropov only has 7 SOG so far, though….but that may just be a bit …ahem…Nik-picky.

Zach Bogosian is fighting hard to avoid any sophomore slump…5 goals and1 assists is a good way to do so, even though he’s a -2. This kid is just a monstrous figure handling the puck out of the defensive zone and through center ice.

Pavelec makes on of his 30 saves on Hallowwen without the protection of the mask (AP/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)

Pavelec makes one of his 50 saves on Halloween without the protection of the mask (AP/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)

With Kovy out of the line up…the third-highest point total on the team is 7. Maxim Afinogenov’s 3 goals and 4 assists, as well as Toby Enstrom’s 7 assists place them both at that level.

Gotta give some props to the fourth-liners…Boulton, Thorburn and Slater/Reasoner. They have provided a lot of pop and energy when called upon and Reasoner’s PK efforts have been what we’ve come to expect of him. The four players that have combined to make up that fourth line have a total of 2 goals and 6 assists.

And Pavel Kubina rounds out my “good” column. His +6 leads the team, he only has 8 PIM and has chipped in with 5 assists. He’s been solid and dependable on the blueline…not a heckuva lot of mistakes.

If anyone wasn’t sold that Atlanta got the better end of that deal on July first…compare Kubina’s numbers with that of Garnet Exelby while in a Maple Leafs jersey…0 goals, 0 assists, -5 and 13 PIM in 8 games played.

The Un-Good

The prospect of facing a dozen or so games without Kovalchukis definately “un-good”. But if the tean can continue to score three or so goals per game in his absence, then I will be able to put this situation in the “good” column the next time we do a G,U & U.

Shots on goal…way too many. For the year so far they are averaging 34.6 shots faced per game…only the Ducks 35.5 and Florida’s 36.4 are higher. Maybe this is just a by-product of John Anderson’s “system”…but let’s be honest, if not for the stellar performance in goal this season, we wouldn’t be looking at a winning record right now. Gotta play better team defense…and I’m calling on the forwards here as much as the blueliners.

Oh, and the two times we did in fact hold teams to below 30 shots in the game…we lost. Go figure.

1-3-0 at home is an “un-good” record…even if the three losses have been by 1 goal to San Jose and Washington twice.

Todd White had a slow start. In the first four games he had zero points and was a -4. However, he’s had 3 goals and an assists to go with a -1 since. But that -5 still leads the team and the numbers are still off from where they need to be….on pace for only 33 points for the season.

Maxim Afinogenov scored a great goal in Buffalo to seal the deal, but his -5 helps to show he can be somewhat madening in is all-around game (AP/Don Heupel)

Maxim Afinogenov scored a great goal in Buffalo to seal the deal, but his -5 helps to show he can be somewhat madeningin is all-around game (AP/Don Heupel)

Afinogenov is right behind White with a -4 for the season, which is not good. Oh, and that play on Ovechkin’s second goal last Thursday…very un-good. Max can be somewhat maddening, as a few have pointed out…and he’s displayed as much on several occasions. My main concern with placing him on the top line a while back was the liability he poses in the defensive zone. But still, if he nets anywhere north of 50 points for Atlanta this season…and he’s on pace for 57… then I will consider the $800,000 Don Waddell signed him for as money well spent.

But, yeah…he will probably make me pull out what little I have left of my hair in doing so.

And then there is Slava Kozlov, who has just looked slow during these 10 games. No goals and 4 assists are well off the level of expectations for him.

And The Ugly

Here I have a tie…

First, there was that 185 foot… thing… that made its way to and through Ondrej Pavelec during the 5-4 loss to the Caps back on 22nd. It’s one thing to allow that to happen…but it’s made worse even when you lose by that one goal.

Which was uglier?

  • The 185-foot goal (52%, 56 Votes)
  • The 51 shots against (48%, 51 Votes)

Total Voters: 107

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Gotta say though…given the overall performance of Opie so far this year, I hate putting anything that about him in the “ugly” column of this entry.

Unless it’s something like this next one…

Ugly option number 2…the 51 shots taken on Pavelec last weekend by the Ottawa Senators. That’s not just ugly…that’s butt-ugly. Every single skater on the ice for the Thrashers should pick up his dinner tab for the rest of the year given the fact that he saved their bacon Saturday afternoon.

So, I’ll let you decide. What was uglier. The 185 foot thing…or the 51 shots?

116 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

November 2nd, 2009
10:53 am

FIRST, or GOLD

Barry

November 2nd, 2009
11:01 am

I say the 51 shots. A flukey bounce where a puck skips up 2 feet in the air at the last second is just one of those odd occurances. For the whole team to be unable to clear the puck out of the zone, or themselves, for half a period…that’s just butt ugly.

Smoothie

November 2nd, 2009
11:12 am

Well, Joey Crabb scored a goal last nite so he is surely deserving of the call up now! :wink: LOL Did anyone notice Chelios had the GW goal last nite against Rockford? Yes, I am a hockey fan and I have an addiction problem!

Anyway, I just thought of something: did we send Krog back cuz we are making room for another D-man (Oystrick?) because Hainsey is more banged up than they are letting on?

J.B.

November 2nd, 2009
11:21 am

I’ll say 51 shots. I was at the Caps game directly to the left of Pavs when the LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG goal went in. It was the textbook example of a “fluke” and probably wouldn’t have happened again in a million years. The 51 SOG we can do something about, so it gets the prize for the most ungood.

Another item of note that I didn’t see here… Ben noted on his twitter feed that we have yet to play a sub-500 team (at least at the time he posted that; it was very recent like in the last day or two). So, we have decent numbers in most categories and a winning record against those in the better half of the league. I think that’s pretty significant.

j nes

November 2nd, 2009
11:24 am

“Nik-picky” Booooooooo!

Dwayne

November 2nd, 2009
11:28 am

185 was uglier, caused Opie to implode and we lost. the 51 was ugly, but we won.

Yankee

November 2nd, 2009
11:32 am

The 51 shots is uglier. We’ve all seen fluke shots before. It was maddening but not as maddening as constantly giving up large amounts of SOG. 51 is just plain nuts!

Yankee

November 2nd, 2009
11:33 am

BTW – Pavs padded my fantasy team’s score that night. I won the ’saves’ category!

five_hole

November 2nd, 2009
11:51 am

Both are ugly (the “she has a great personality” kind of ugly) but I give the edge to the 185 ft monkey puck pond skipper, if only because the youtube video will haunt Opie for years to come.

However, my truely ugly thing is losing Kovy for a dozen games. And, when he got hurt, was almost literally on fire. Who knows how he’ll be after he comes back? He won’t be in “hockey shape” so I’m guessing it will take him several more games to get back to where he was.

The Real Thrash

November 2nd, 2009
11:59 am

51 shots, hands down!

buzilla in Ct

November 2nd, 2009
12:01 pm

the THING…It was all over ESPN. The other THING wasn’t. I don’t like being embarassed nationally

World Be Free

November 2nd, 2009
12:12 pm

It’s interesting to see guys that are good in the minors for a long time that can’t make it in the NHL. Bruce Boudreau is a classic example. He was a great junior in Canada, a long time AHL star who barely had a cup of coffee in the NHL. Guys like Bruce have the skills, they just lack the speed to play in the bigs.

If you played in the AHL in the 50’s and 60’s, you probably were better than 1/4 of the guys currently in the NHL. Great AHL names like Guy Trottier, “Boom Boom” Caron and Keke Mortson.

NASCAR Dave

November 2nd, 2009
12:14 pm

We don’t need ESPN to embarrass us nationally, BUZILLA… The team does that by themselves… ESPN never even covers us, and that’s probably a GOOD thing…

Smoothie

November 2nd, 2009
12:28 pm

Uhh Bill, when did you write this? Under the heading “Good”, you say our record for October was 4 – 3 – 1. Correction needed sir. Just lookin’ out for ya kid! :cool:

BTW, last year we lost 3 in a row after the Opening Night win against the Caps. All three of those were hard-fought, close losses. We then eeked out a S/O win against our friends from Buffalo to go 2 – 3 in our first 5. However, in contrast to this year’s agonizing streak of 4 losses in a row (in which we either tied it or nearly tied the game during the 3rd period of each of the 4 losses), we snapped the streak albeit in ugly fashion. Last season, those close, hard-fought losses turned into demoralization and a 6 game losing streak in which we were outscored 29 – 12 over that span.

We are obviously much improved this season, but still have lots to work on. But as someone mentioned above, we have yet to play a sub .500 team (other than MTL at the time, but now look at them) in any game this season. If we just keep it together enough to stay over .500 (let’s say a Nov record of 7 – 5 – 2) and Kovy comes back rested and motivated, we could be in for a fun winter. That is if we can survive a brutal schedule in December featuring two long road trips.

hip czech

November 2nd, 2009
12:37 pm

WBF, Stan Gilbertson of the ‘68-’71 Hershey Bears will probably still be the greatest hockey player ever in my opinion. The first games I ever went to were an annual trek to Hershey with my Dad and older brother…very special times.

No mention of Bryan Little under the ugly column of the GU2?

Rawhide

November 2nd, 2009
12:39 pm

Both are ugly (the “she has a great personality” kind of ugly)

five_hole – HA! :lol: I officially request permission to use that in the future!

“Nik-picky” Booooooooo!

j nes – Ok…yeah, that one was “boo” worthy.

BTW – Pavs padded my fantasy team’s score that night. I won the ’saves’ category!

Yankee – Congrats…but I hope to God you don’t get another “win” because Opie had to face 50+ shots.

No mention of Bryan Little under the ugly column of the GU2?

Hip Czech – No…but zero goals after 10 games isn’t good, that’s for sure. But he does have 5 assists and is a +3. I wouldn’t put him in the “ugly” column. “Un-good”….eh, maybe.

Smoothie – Uh…yeah, thanks. Me = DUH!

Riceowls8891

November 2nd, 2009
12:53 pm

The 185 footer because we lost is the ugliest.

Now we have November with 10 games the Thrashers should win. Everything but NYR there, the Pens and Flyers here.

15-7-1 would look real nice.

Rawhide

November 2nd, 2009
1:01 pm

Riceowls8891 – Don’t look past the 8-4-2 L.A. Kings…who are 4-0-2 in their last 6.

Smoothie

November 2nd, 2009
1:05 pm

hip czech is very much on point. Going back to last season, Bryan Little is currently, ahem, “enjoying” a 20 game goaless streak. Luckily, the team has a combined record of 11 – 8 – 1 during that forgettable stretch by Mr. Little. Can someone please help Bryan tap into the spirit of Byron Young and get this party started? Cuz when Byron’s hot, he’s scalding!! He has 5 10 game stretches with 4 goals scored or more and he’s had 10 goals in 20 games twice.

At least Bryan Little has 7 assists and has a combined E +/- rating over that miserable 20 game stretch. Perhaps Bryan should sit down and watch his hi-lite video from last year featured here:

http://www.viewfrommyseats.com/2009/09/a-little-love-for-bryan-little/

LAC

November 2nd, 2009
1:16 pm

I am having trouble wondering why Bryan Little is really still around.

He has done not one thing this season so far, one month, ten games and NO goals, and Slava looks to be pulling a Marian Hossa by COASTING every night game after game, he has nothing to show this season so far.

If these two are NOT back in some kind of form by 12/1 then MOVES need to be made. I am not one bit impressed with Little, he now looks like another wasted draft pick from what he has done so far and the prospects look ungood shall we say. I hope he turns it around, but so far… Kane needs to get on the score sheet more too, I have seen little of no shots from him and few good moves, granted he’s 18, but
he really needs to get going before the other rookies in the league really pass him by.

Dwayne

November 2nd, 2009
1:16 pm

Thrashers should never look past anyone. ….Brutal schedule in December featuring 2 long road trips…..If Thrashers are still playing well on the road, as our record indicates now, I see no reason to worry, I opined Sunday, I believe, that the Thrashers slow starts at home might coincide with the “light” crowd at the beginning of home games. More reason to start games at 7:30.

Red Light

November 2nd, 2009
1:32 pm

The 185-footer should have been handled but it was a fluke. Worse was an Oct. 8 misplay by Lundqvist in which Backstrom dumped in the puck from center ice and Lundqvist tried to re-direct the puck to the corner and missed it from 90 feet or so. It tied the game at 2-2. Despite falling behind 3-2, the Rangers came back and won the game.

You want some for the ugly column in the division, try these on?
• Tampa has lost four games in a shootout thus far and the Bolts are a collective 0-for-12 in their shootout attempts, while opponents are 6-for-15
• While the Caps have outscored the opposition 34-23 in the first two periods of games, they have allowed 20 in the third period and OT alone
• The Canes are averaging a league-worst 21.5 PIM per game including 13 majors, 3 misconducts, 2 game misconducts and two bench minors. Oh, and they’ve lost by 3 goals or more five times already this season, and are giving up 3.69 goals per game (only Toronto is worse) even with the vaunted Cam Ward in net
• Florida is 28th in goals against with a 3.58 per game average

Now, those are ugly!

Zoomo

November 2nd, 2009
1:35 pm

>>And Pavel Kubina rounds out my “good” column. His +6 leads the team, >>he only has 8 PIM and has chipped in with 5 assists.
Did we really get him for Exelby? Really? I gotta keep pinching myself.

Sadtoseeitthisway

November 2nd, 2009
1:41 pm

Hey Dwayne. A definite on that 7:30 start time. Its really depressing to start the weekday night games at 7:00 and see sooooo many empty seats in all ares of the building. Also very irritating to dodge so many wide body latecomers who make their Grand Entrance halfway through the 1st period who took the time to “well dress” their foot long hot dog before strolling to their seat. Also, the Knights started at 7:30, and the Flames started at 8:00. I`m all for getting the fast fooders who got a free ticket to be in their seat consuming by game time.

World Be Free

November 2nd, 2009
1:43 pm

Hip-Good memory on Stan Gilbertson.
We must be old guys / better known as old school

Glovesave29

November 2nd, 2009
1:45 pm

The 51 shots is ugliest ONLY if Ondrej learned his lesson on the 185 footer. NEVER treat ANY shot lightly…knuckleballs and skippers need to be treated with extra care and assume the butterfly amd bring the gloves up to the armpits so it hits you square in the chest and you can react to a wild bounce if necessary…no more of this “ole!” garbage he tried to pull. All goalies at some time in their career have give up a long, embarassing goal…it’s inevitable. Saw Ken Dryden do it, saw Grant Fuhr do it, saw Patrick Roy do it…I doubt Terry Sawchuck ever did, but he was nuts. I am sure in Opie’s mind he now looks at the slate as “even”…blew it against Washington and evened the ledger with the game in Ottawa.

There was a pizza joint near my alma matter owned by a former member of the Montreal Canadiens. Before he made the big club, he spent a few seasons with the AHL Cincinnati Mohawks. I would suffice to say, that team could have probably competed in the NHL and have done just fine. In a 6 year span, they won the regular season title 6 times and the Turner Cup 5 times. Stats were GAUDY – 368 GP, 268W – 85L – 15T which equates to a .748WP. The scored 1787 times (that’s 4.85/game) while allowing 917 (2.49 per game)…that’s domination!

Rawhide

November 2nd, 2009
1:45 pm

Red Light - Well done on the divison “uglies”.

World Be Free

November 2nd, 2009
1:46 pm

LAC-Bryan Little is doing a very good job of missing the net. He looks more like the usual Jim Slater than the old Bryan Little.

Good thing we didn’t lock him up to an inflated contract.

five_hole

November 2nd, 2009
1:47 pm

Bill I don’t mind you stealing from me; I just wish you’d steal some of my more liberal suggestions.

I don’t know why people are dogging Little. No he hasn’t scored a goal yet this year. He has been getting assists, he’s responsible defensively and he does the things (going into the corners, going to the crease & blocking the goalie’s view) that may not show on his stats but help get us wins. The goals will come for him.

I am more concerned about Slava. Players his age don’t get faster. He’s so old, even his stick is getting social security checks (da-DUM-dum). That you folks, be sure & tip the waiters.

five_hole

November 2nd, 2009
1:51 pm

The blog is freaky today. Apparently some PC’s are not set to automatically adjust for daylight savings. So, for example LAC posted, and I’m guessing it was really at 1:16PM. But the system posted it based on his computer’s “time”. I posted at 1:47PM (which was really 1:47) and so the blog “sorted” my post before his.

People, please restore order to the universe. Make sure your setting for “automatically adjust for daylight savings” is on. Thank you.

Red Light

November 2nd, 2009
1:56 pm

Thanks Rawhide

Here’s one more! Eric Staal has taken 21 more shots than any other Canes player and has just two goals on 54 shots. What’s more is that he is tops in ice time of Canes’ forwards, leads the team in PIM and has been outscored by J. Jokinen, Whitney, Cullen and T. Ruutu. Not that’s an ugly start for a great player! Can you sense frustration?

Rawhide

November 2nd, 2009
1:58 pm

The blog is freaky today. Apparently some PC’s are not set to automatically adjust for daylight savings.

five_hole – You are correct. What’s ahppening is that people are posting and then the blog’s publishing website is adjusting accordingly. I was wondering why some comments where getting scrambled and such.

I currently have Trixie efforting adjusting back the times of these posts.

Bill I don’t mind you stealing from me; I just wish you’d steal some of my more liberal suggestions.

Ummm..no, five_hole…no.

Smoothie

November 2nd, 2009
2:01 pm

Wanna talk about ugly stats / records? Try this on for size:

Our record vs Playoff-caliber Teams in 2008-09 season: 13 – 32 – 1

Our record vs Playoff Teams in our first 42 gms last yr: 4 – 20 – 1

Luckily, we improved against all competition in the 2nd half last year including a record of 9 – 12 – 0 against playoff teams.

Thus far this season we are 2 – 3 – 1 against teams who made the playoffs last season. At least in those 6 games our goal differential is even with three 1 goal losses and a S/O loss. Will St. Louis and New Jersey be playoff teams THIS year though?

Luckily for us, we don’t have to play Philly and Boston till later this month and hopefully for us we’ll have Kovy back by then.

Bob

November 2nd, 2009
2:14 pm

Little will be fine, he’s a heck of a player and we do need to lock him up long term. Do it now while his stock is down (if it can be done now).

five_hole

November 2nd, 2009
2:38 pm

Bill I get paid pretty good money to be right about computer problems. Let me tell you; NEVER trust what a computer says. A lousy programmer can make it give you the wrong answwer consistantly.

Anyone know what’s wrong with Hainsey & how long he’ll be out?

hip czech

November 2nd, 2009
2:44 pm

I’m not necessarily dissing Little (though he’s killing my fantasy team). I just think that HE should have been mentioned in the ungood column either as a combo with Todd White or in place of Todd White. If White is not where he needs to be pointwise, then where is Little? Kozlov you could expect to have a down year, 35+ year olds don’t normally get better, or even maintain (unless there is some better living through chemistry going on a la Barry Bonds). Little should be rounding nicely into a consistent 30 goal scorer.

Is it too late to alter my division predictions? I’m still sticking with 89 points for the Thrashers, but I thought Carolina would finish 2nd. They are absolutely terrible right now with not much hope in sight. Tampa may give us a run for 2nd, but it ain’t gonna be the ‘Canes.

Rawhide

November 2nd, 2009
2:48 pm

“And Pavel Kubina rounds out my “good” column. His +6 leads the team, he only has 8 PIM and has chipped in with 5 assists”….Did we really get him for Exelby? Really? I gotta keep pinching myself.

Zoomo – I know…I know.

I’m not necessarily dissing Little (though he’s killing my fantasy team). I just think that HE should have been mentioned in the ungood column either as a combo with Todd White or in place of Todd White. If White is not where he needs to be pointwise, then where is Little?

hip czech – Point well taken.

J.B.

November 2nd, 2009
2:48 pm

via @dankamal on twitter, hainsey practiced today. must be doing better.

Jameson

November 2nd, 2009
3:14 pm

Bob- Agreed. Now is the time to get the early bird special on Little. I’m sure he’s going to bounce back to be a regular 20+ goal scorer.

Lee

November 2nd, 2009
5:12 pm

WHERE HAS LITTLE BEEN!!

Brendan

November 2nd, 2009
5:15 pm

Bob & Jameson, you’re reading my mind. I’d lock Bryan Little up, right N-O-W. Let ‘im he doesn’t need to worry about his contract. And let’s try to save a little down the road. To do that, you’ve got to go long with the kid, and overpay him for his RFA years while underpaying him for his UFA years.

I honestly think Waddell will wait, though. He’ll dangle the carrot before Little, to try to get the best outta him. In my mind, Bryan Little is a 30-goal scorer. He’ll have to pick up the pace to get that. But if he can string a couple of two-goal games together, he’ll be fine over 82 games. This is just a slow-start.

Dwayne

November 2nd, 2009
6:23 pm

Little is snake bit, maybe he needs a night off, it works in other sports. It happens some times. Squeeze a stick to tight, squeeze a bat to tight. Move him to another line. Yall love to create new lines.
Even at the expense of our best line…Pevs, Kane and Army, where could Little fit to get him going. I’ll be awaiting your answers.

jcwhitingjr

November 2nd, 2009
6:36 pm

five_hole – I believe Hainsey is having groin issues and probably is day-to-day seeing as he practiced this morning.

Smoothie

November 2nd, 2009
6:48 pm

Dwayne – according to Dan Kamal’s twitter feed, the practice lines were as follows today:

# 13 – # 80 – # 61 (new Russian Roulette iteration)

#47 – # 12 – # 10 (White Canadian whiskey line)

# 9 – # 19 – # 20 (Reasoner instead of Pevs)

I guess the only thing left is to see if Peverley’s presence on his line will help jumpstart his game. If Pevs can’t get him a few open looks, then no one on this team can. I hope it works!

Also, I like putting Kozzy with the speedy but crazy-legged one as long as we have the solid defensive support of Antropov in the middle.

World Be Free

November 2nd, 2009
9:06 pm

Glovesave-so who’s this guy that played for the Habs that owned the pizza joint?

Long shots-I remember RICK DUDLEY dropping a long bouncer past Tony Esposito in the 74-75 season. I’d say Espo was pretty good. Duds was heading off the ice on a line change at the time; 35 years later and I still remember the event as if it was yesterday.

Haven’t heard much of Rick Dudley these days. Duds and Kari don’t get much ink.

World Be Free

November 2nd, 2009
9:09 pm

I hope Montreal doesn’t wear those UGLY prison uniforms tomorrow. Maybe they should just call those uniforms – “Vickwear”

Brendan

November 2nd, 2009
9:25 pm

Little always seemed to work well with Kozlov and White. Why not try that?

Rawhide

November 2nd, 2009
9:31 pm

WBF – I hope the Habs don’t wear ‘em either. It’ll be bad enough if we have to listen to the French feed tomorrow…but to have to look at those eyesores as well…yeck.

Brendan – The lines I’d like to see more of while Kovy is out is:

Pevs – Antro – Max
Kozlov – White – Little
Kane – Reasoner – Army
Bolts – Slater – Thorns

Smoothie

November 2nd, 2009
11:57 pm

Brendan and Bill, the Kahlua Line has played together 3 times I think and they’ve scored all of 1 goal. And their PP unit has done very LITTLE compared to the 2nd unit. I think JA realizes that it is time to break up Kozzy and White. Too slow and too conservative. I will not be surprised if Little scores two against the Habs with Pevs opening things up for him.

Brendan

November 3rd, 2009
12:29 am

I like Rawhide’s line combos. But I could experiment with:

Kane-Little-Antropov,
Kozlov-White-Peverley,
Armstrong-Reasoner-Max, and
Boulton-Slater-Thorburn.

Darren

November 3rd, 2009
1:11 am

I’m a little late in the discussion, but I say the 185 foot goal, if for no other reason than it spearheaded a three-goal burst in a game they lost by one, and because Pavelec was able to weather the 51 shot storm.

Watching your goalie single-handedly steal you a game with 51 saves should push you to play harder to get him more wins. Watching him give up a 180-shot goal is understandably an emotional let-down.

Also, interesting to note that while almost 20 of those 51 came from the blue line, it doesn’t include the 16 shots Atlanta blocked before they got through.

Still, Mike Fisher’s girlfriend is hot. I definitely can’t call that un-good.

Spud Webb

November 3rd, 2009
7:33 am

lol, really?? 10 games and you guys/girls are bashing Little? The guy plays HARD, is very responsable and will still score 25 to 30 goals this year. Unbelievable…discouraging folks, come on, this is an 82 game season!!!!!!!!!!!
How about the Isles?? freaking on fire, that is CRAZY…

World Be Free

November 3rd, 2009
7:42 am

What’s troubling about Little is how much he’s missing the net on good scoring opportunities. Even more troubling is his inability to get into scoring position.

Isles are hot; in contrast, the Canes are ice cold. Funny how things have changed since last season, when the Canes ousted the Bruins from playoffs.

Glovesave29

November 3rd, 2009
8:20 am

WBF – Terry Harper

Bob

November 3rd, 2009
8:26 am

Spud, Isles are hot. Tavares is the real deal. 5 goals, 6 assists, 11 pts in 14 games coming out of the gate as an 18 yr. old. That kid is the real deal. It’s why I was pulling so hard for us to tank at the end of last year, while Kane is going to be a solid player, Tavares is a game changer, we really screwed ourselves with all those meaningless wins at the end of the year.

Bluenote

November 3rd, 2009
8:52 am

Hip and WBF: Enjoyed the Gilbertson memories. (Insert imaginary soundtrack Springsteen: My Hometown here)

Mike Nykoluk and Barry Ashbee are two other great memories that should be spoken in reverence from the era. Mike for consistency and hard play; Barry, well, for being a madman.

Anyone headed for TJs tonight?

Glovesave29

November 3rd, 2009
9:22 am

Sens owner Eugene Melnyk has filed papers to re-coup the $4M roster bonus he paid Heatley over the summer. He claims that Dany nixed the Edmonton deal to assure the negotiations would continue past the deadline and that the money would have to be paid. He right. He’ll lose this claim, but he is right. It never ceases to amaze me that Heatley was allowed to pick and choose the parts of his contract he wanted enforced…the no trade clause, the roster bonus – but it’s OK to not honor his end and go to the media and demand a trade.

I could be up for TJ’s tonight…

Bob – I’ll still take those wins. It’s a lottery…we could have tanked it and still not gotten the #1 overall.

Smoothie

November 3rd, 2009
10:28 am

Who the hell is bashing Little? Most of the folks who are being critical of him are using constructive criticism or analysis to point out the fact that his numbers (comparative to last year) are simply UNGOOD to even UGLY. The man hasn’t scored a goal in 20 straight games. What is so “good” about that?

I personally think playing with Peverley could be the elixir he needs and with Antro and Finny on the other line, it’s not as though teams can stack the deck against our Canadian Whisky Line. I would hope that given the match-up of Pevs – White – Little versus Kostitsyn – Plekenac – Pacioretty, Little might actually tickle the twine finally.

Rawhide

November 3rd, 2009
10:36 am

Bluenote – I won’t be able to make TJ’s tonight…but I hope you will join us Saturday night there for our next scheduled viewing party. Like tonight, that game will note be aired locally.

It should prove to be a very good time as it always is.

However…if anyone is in the area and wished to see the game in a great place…I certainly recommend TJ’s tonight. They’ll take good care of ya.

Smoothie

November 3rd, 2009
10:40 am

Apparently, the Habs have dropped Kostitsyn down to the 4th line and there 2nd line is Lapierre – Plekanec – Latandresse with our old friend Glen Metropolit centering the 3rd line with Moen and Pacioretty. That 3rd line could be a tough match-up for Kane – Reasy – Army, but I like our 2nd line versus their 2nd. They may try to match-up and our 3rd line gets to play against their 2nd which is a real advantage if you ask me. Question is, can Finny, Antro and Kozlov do enough to offset the production or threat of such against the Smurf Line??

World Be Free

November 3rd, 2009
12:11 pm

Glovesave/Bluenote–thanks for the AHL memories, those were the days!
Can’t leave Jody Gage out of there too, though we was an 80’s AHL star.

Bluenote-you can add “My Hometown” or “Glory Days”! You can always find a Bruce song to compliment a memory. Sorry for getting off track Bill.

51 shots bad? Sabres first season, Joe Daley stopped 72 shots in Boston and Daley played without a mask. Now that’s old time hockey!

See ya Thursday.

World Be Free

November 3rd, 2009
12:20 pm

It’s tough to figure out Montreal. They still haven’t established a true team identify, with all the roster changes during the off season. Goaltending spotty at best, defense is immobile and mediocre – only Bergeron and Spacek can move the puck.

That’s why we have to get out of the gates early. Get a lead and let the Montreal fans get on the home team. The Habs have no real leadership to get them out of the hole. Not sure how Jacques Martin behind the bench.

ANY news on Kari? This is so bizarre, almost like Kovy’s drawn out contract negotiations.

hip czech

November 3rd, 2009
12:22 pm

I saw somewhere yesterday where Kari Lehtonen received another injection for his back and is not even skating anymore. I’ll see if I can find the reference again. It’s looking like the opportunity to deal from ’strength’ in our goalie situation has been shut.

In order to get any value from Lehtonen he is going to have to establish himself as an NHL goalie again (some may argue he never has). In order to do that he is going to have play #1 minutes at some point and it’s looking more and more like that point won’t be until possibly next year.

I suppose having Lehtonen as a backup (assuming we could get 20 games out of him) would not be all that bad…it’s either that or we cut him loose for one of those Montreal stoolie jerseys.

Will the next moose sighting be on the 13th vs. the LAK?

Alan R.

November 3rd, 2009
12:25 pm

It’s looking like the opportunity to deal from ’strength’ in our goalie situation has been shut.

That’s been shut since it was announced Lehtonen was going in for back surgery.

World Be Free

November 3rd, 2009
12:30 pm

I have had those back injections-they don’t do much of anything. If he’s still getting that type of treatment, I’d say we will not see Kari until the new year (maybe 2012).

I think Moose is done-this team gives up too many shots for a goalie of his diminished skills.

hip czech

November 3rd, 2009
12:32 pm

Alan, true that…

Here is the reference, though it looks like it is a few days old so apologies if it is old news:

“In fact, the Atlanta netminder is still feeling significant pain in his legs and has stopped skating. Lehtonen had an epidural injection to reduce inflamation this week. We do not expect him to return to action until much later in the season, if at all. Given that the Thrashers have not invested much in him (he is on a one-year deal that expires in June) and that Ondrej Pavelec has been excellent in his place, we believe Lehtonen will no longer be a factor in Atlanta. This is Pavelec’s team now.”

Forgot about the Sat/Sun b-2-b this week, so Hedberg will get one of those games I assume.

Spud Webb

November 3rd, 2009
12:44 pm

That’s bad news for Kari. He’s already had surgery. If it was done correctly the epidural wouldn’t be needed at this point. Those are usually BEFORE surgery. That stinks for him, I hope that he indeed heals soon.

Rawhide

November 3rd, 2009
12:58 pm

:!: LINEUP ALERT!! :!:

Per Dan Kamal’s twitter, tonight’s forward lines are:

Kozlov – Antropov – Max
Pevs – White – Little
Kane – Reasoner – Army
Bolts – Slater – Thorburn

Hainsey is a game-time descision.

Opie in goal.

Manny Legace

November 3rd, 2009
1:09 pm

That wasn’t an epidural. That was just a needle into my Kari voodoo doll.

Midfield

November 3rd, 2009
1:52 pm

With all due respect and feelings for Kari, is there any screening going on when player contracts are signed? I know for a fact that English Soccer Premier League teams, for example, don’t ever sign any contracts without player medical evaluation. If you look at the history of this team’s roster, it looks like a retirement community. More appropriate for Tampa or Miami, if you ask me.

Smoothie Stats

November 3rd, 2009
3:27 pm

Okay, call me crazy, but I finished a not-so-little bit of analysis on Bryan Little’s output last season. The results do NOT necessarily point to Little playing better on the Kahlua Line. However, the numbers may point to the existence of definite chemistry with linemate Todd White.

As most of you know, Little potted 31 goals last year, 12 of which were tallied on the PP. Little also had 8 of his 20 assists on the PP so nearly 40% of his production came with the man-advantage. But how did he score his even strength goals and on which line was he most effective? You be the judge.

Breakdown by Line Combo of Bryan Little’s goals scored at E/S

Line Combo ES Goals Assists
Kahlua Line 7 4
Kovy & White 8 7
Other** 4 1
**paired with Kozzy & Crusher in the first few games; played with Kovy & Whitey for a few more before the Little White Russian line was formed

As for who was Little’s most effective linemate, which is certainly open to subjective opinion, here is a breakdown of who dished out the primary assists on B-Litt’s goals (PPG in parentheses):

White 10 (3)
Kozlov 7 (4)
Kovalchuk 7 (4)
D-man 5 (1)
**2 of his 31 goals were unassisted

The most noteworthy stat I found might just be the one mentioned by John Anderson, who said Bryan just needs to shoot more. Last season, in the 25 games in which Little scored, he had 77 SOG or an avg of 3.08. In the other 54 games, Little recorded just 95 SOG or an avg of 1.76.

What conclusion can we draw?? SHOOT BRYAN SHOOT!!

Red Light

November 3rd, 2009
6:17 pm

The home team has won the past six in the series, and four of the past 10 have gone to the shoot-out. Montreal has won just one game in regulation this year, but the ugly is Atlanta’s record when trying to win a second straight road game during the same road trip. The Thrashers are 6-17 in those situations, although they did win at NJ and Buf this year already.

Rawhide

November 3rd, 2009
7:37 pm

Red Light – Well done…thanks.

Smoothie Stats – Ditto.

Looks like Hainsey will sit out again tonight…Schubie-Doobie-Doo will lineup next to Kubina again.

Thrashers27

November 3rd, 2009
8:12 pm

Well, Smoothie, looks like you got what you were asking for…kinda. Thrashers up 1-0 on a Brian Little goal…shot came from Peverley down low and went in off of Little’s foot.

five_hole

November 3rd, 2009
8:15 pm

Take that, you Little haters. Glad he finally got that monkey off his back. 1 down; 29 to go.

five_hole

November 3rd, 2009
8:16 pm

2 – 0. Peverley just got one!

Nate

November 3rd, 2009
8:24 pm

The team, Little, and the fans will take the goals however they can get them. Fortunate to be up 2-0 right now. A couple of major whiffs by the Habs have helped a ton.

Rawhide

November 3rd, 2009
8:27 pm

In life, thay say, timing is everything. Hence…my entry earlier today over at Hockeybuzz on Bryan Little.

I guess I need to start writing something about Kozlov now, eh?

Bluenote

November 3rd, 2009
8:48 pm

Great job Popovich!

Nate

November 3rd, 2009
9:11 pm

For all of his good work…Pevs may have just committed the worst turnover I have ever seen.

Nate

November 3rd, 2009
9:31 pm

The puck clearance has been horrible. Don’t deserve to win this game.

Bluenote

November 3rd, 2009
10:04 pm

..may not have deserved to win this one….but we did.
I’ll take an ugly 2 points over a moral victory any day.

Clearly there is work to be done, but it’s correctable. Who would have guessed 4 points on the roadtrip?
Not me.

Nate

November 3rd, 2009
10:05 pm

Well…always nice to win when you don’t deserve it. Goals two and three against Pavs were not his fault. His fellow Thrashers hung him out to dry on those goals.

Get The Puck Out

November 3rd, 2009
10:23 pm

I just turned down the sound on gamecenter. French does nothing for me. Except french fries, french toast. Man…i’m really hungry now.

LAC

November 3rd, 2009
10:36 pm

Well two BAD passes cost us two goals… Should have been 5-2.

But a win is a win no matter what the score…

Good offensive output and glad Pevs was NOT hurt, looked real bad for a few seconds… Yikes !!!!!

Brendan

November 3rd, 2009
11:03 pm

Ranallo warning??

Smoothie

November 3rd, 2009
11:19 pm

Much better effort all around (save for the T/O leading directly to goals) compared to Ottawa. Obviously we have some issues without Hainsey on the blueline. But we’re learning a lot about the heart and resiliency of this team. Give these lines a chance to gel and we’ll be okay til Kovy comes back. Oh, and we have a #1 goalie!

Brendan

November 3rd, 2009
11:21 pm

I don’t see one yet. So, here goes! Can you believe this 5-1-1 road team we have? Screw it. Let’s play the rest on the road! Kidding. I’m kidding. Ease up a little, will ya? :cool:

So, it may not have been pretty. It may not have been one of his ’signature’ goals, but Bryan Little is off the schneid. And he had an assist, too. (I think.) Antropov had two helpers. Peverley had another ‘day at the office’ with two points, including a goal. Colby Armstrong scored a biggie. Army may not score a lot, but he scores big goals. And how about our D getting on the stat sheet? Kubina had a goal. And congratulations to Mark Popovic, a new pick-up by Atlanta in training camp, for hist 1st-ever NHL goal with the Thrashers.

In other news, Boston got shutout again. First by the Rangers and now by Detroit. Tampa Bay did defeat Toronto. But not before the Leafs picked up point #7 on the season. That’s 1-7-5, if you’re counting Leaf markers. Straight up, that’d be 1-12. Phil Kessel returned. He took 10 shots and was a -1. I bet if we visit Leaf message boards, they’re mad he didn’t score a “hat trick” tonight. Such will be life in Toronto, as the player the organization sacrificed THREE HIGH END drafts to obtain. If there’s any silver lining for the Leafs tonight, they can gaze at the 2-0 scored, Red Wings over Bruins, and know it is the second straight time Boston has failed to score. Missing Phil Kessel in Boston??? I’d still rather own Toronto’s next two 1st rounders, plus that 2nd rounder this year.

Before we leave the Leafs’ topic entirely, Toronto has now caught Carolina. I repeat. Toronto has now caught Carolina. That’s the kind of “hurricane” type season Carolina has had. And they were swept out of the playoffs in the Conference Finals last Spring. I don’t know exactly what’s wrong in Raleigh, but they’ve got to fix it before too long. Carolina is the kind of team that’s apt to win 12 of its final 16 games to make the playoffs. That’s just how they roll sometimes. GM Jim Rutherford is who he is for a reason. They’ll fix it before too long.

And finally, NHL Network and Dave Reid were kind to us. Reid said, “In Kovalchuk’s absence, guys who Atlanta has relied on in the past came through. Guys like Little, Armstrong, and Peverley continues to shine.”

Smoothie

November 3rd, 2009
11:39 pm

Little did indeed have an assist on the Pevs goal. A beautiful cycle with Whitey finding Pevs open in the slot. And Pevs got an assist on the tic-tac-toe PPG by Kubes giving him three points on the nite.

ALERT: while it may not last the season, Pevs is now a PPG scorer as a Thrasher…after 50 games!! 51 points! Way to go Ricky Pevs! Or should I call him Midas??

Brendan

November 4th, 2009
12:36 am

Peverley’s numbers are insane, Smoothie. Speaking of which, MB has informed me that I cheated Rich Peverley out of a point tonight. And he was right. Check out the boxscore: http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009020200

Peverley had a 1 goal and 2 assists, for 3-points on the night, was a +1, and played “Kovy-like minutes” at 22:34. Interesting note on the evening, C. Schubert played only six seconds fewer than did Toby Enstrom. Enstrom played 21:38 and Schubert went 21:32. Our TOI leader was Zach Bogosian, at 24:04. Salmela got in 13:02. Here’s an eye-opener, Mark Popovic played 16:17. Pops was also a -1 on the night, but he did have a goal. Max was “even” on his plus-minus, and Finny played 16:45, in Montreal, before scrutinizing eyes in “la belle province.” Afinogenov had an assist tonight, as did Todd White and Evander Kane.

LAC

November 4th, 2009
1:19 am

You are right Brenden, Dave Reid is saying some positive things about
us and I enjoyed them ripping into the Montreal goalie… Nice to see.

Rawhide

November 4th, 2009
1:20 am

Ranallo warning??

Bendan – No…just as the game was winding down, I got a phone call from my mom telling me my brother had been involved in a nasty accident while working on a friend’s car. He suffered burns on his hands and face…I am just now getting back from the hospital in Gordon County. 2nd degree, but he’ll be OK…thankfully.

I’ll try to get a post up tomorrow sometime….

World Be Free

November 4th, 2009
5:56 am

Montreal has no leadership whatsoever. it’s going to be a long season in Quebec.

That still does not take away from the victory. That’s a tough building to win in. Congrats Bryan Little, for being IN POSITION to score a goal. I mentioned yesterday that part of his problem is not getting in scoring position enough. Well he did; looks like that line is set for awhile.

Bill, good to hear your brother is OK.

Sara

November 4th, 2009
6:45 am

Well … looks like I got all my A/V equipment set up just in time yesterday for a doozie of a game (if only I could say the same for everything else still packed up in the garage). Despite the 4 GA, Pavs looked amazing last night and Rich was once again Peverywhere (who TM’d that? Brilliance). That knee on knee was truly frightening, glad nothing came of it. And thanks to Little’s 2 point night, plus Gionta’s 3 point night, my fantasy team is cruising right along.

Now if they can just figure out how to win at home like they do on the road, we’ll *really* be in business.

five_hole

November 4th, 2009
7:31 am

Sorry to hear about your brother Bill, but glad he’ll be OK.

I reiterate; can the Thrashers give up playing the rest of their games at home? Without checking stats; I think we’re something like 5-2 on the road and 1-4 at home?

Sara

November 4th, 2009
7:52 am

Perusing the Montreal papers this AM, came across this interesting passage from the Montreal Gazette:

“I met my longtime friend Peter Mahovlich, who scouts for the Thrashers, before the start of the game in the Bell’s press room.

“What are you doing here?” he was asked. “Aren’t you supposed to be scouting your team’s next opponent?

“We’ve got to see what we’ve got without Kovalchuk,” he said. “We’ve got to find out what we need,” said Mahovlich.

What the Thrashers need are Kovalchuk and Hainsey back in their lineup as soon as possible. What the Thrashers don’t need more of is what they brought to the rink Tuesday night.

Heart! Lots of it.”

http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/montreal-canadiens/Surprise+Habs+save+Carey+Price/2180974/story.html

hip czech

November 4th, 2009
7:59 am

five_hole, again, I don’t think there is anyone who ‘hates’ Bryan L…just in the context of the article it just seemed unfair to target Todd White and not mention Little’s struggles out of the gate (and from the end of last year). By no means is it time to give up on him. Hopefully this is the kick start he needs.

If Little, Antropov, Kozlov, and Kubina can start chipping in goals consistently this team should be in the top 3 in the league scoring. If the D can hold teams consistently to 3 goals or less there may be some interesting hockey being played in March and April.

World Be Free

November 4th, 2009
8:14 am

I don’t know of anyone who hates Little. Most of us are trying to figure out why he’s had a tough time finding the net.

I am glad someone mentioned Dave Reid. He’s been doing a great job on the NHL Network, Better than those idiots on Versus, who look and sound more like the idiots on HNIC. You think they all got their training on Fox NFL Sunday or ESPN Gameday (that’s a LONG gameday).

stendec

November 4th, 2009
8:14 am

Morning Rawhide, Bill. Was going to type a few early morning lines about big Thrasher victory before I noted your highlighted 1:20 am post pertaining to your brother. My thoughts are with you, your brother and your family at this time. I may ramble on (did I hear an amen?) but I completely understand that sports are not life and death. Family is so very precious and important! God speed on recovery of your brother. Please personally pass on to him my best wishes. Have a wonderful day my friend. Peace. ++STENDEC++

five_hole

November 4th, 2009
8:21 am

hip czech I don’t think anyone “hates” Bryan, I haven’t seen the love for him that we should have had.

Agreed with regards to the scoring. JA wants to build a team along the lines of the Oilers, circa 1976. All offense, and Grant Fuhr. We have the capability to score upwards of 300 goals. We have 9 forwards that should each get 20+ and a defense that should score 40-50. If we can get more consistant goaltending, we are going to be dangerous in the playoffs.

Brendan

November 4th, 2009
8:27 am

Terrible news on your brother, Rawhide. I’m glad it’s going to turn out okay. Thoughts and prayers are with the family this morning. Sara, nice scoop from the Montreal papers. Good job.

WBF & LAC, I’m starting to suspect Dave Reid is actually taking the time to watch some Thrashers hockey this year. Maybe Reid makes up his mind coming out of training camp which teams he’ll watch and which he’ll put on the permanent “ignore list,” and this year … we’re off the “ignore list?” The other NHL OTF guy said, and I quote, “The Atlanta Thrashers have been a fun team to watch this year.” He also added that Atlanta was in a bit of a “tailspin” a few games back.

Let’s all wish Bill’s brother a speedy recovery.

Zoomo

November 4th, 2009
8:37 am

I hope your brother is on the mend, Bill. Speed recovery wishes to him and your family.

The turnovers were abundant and cost us what should have been an easier victory.

I thought that Antro had another good game. He’s starting to play his role real well. He’s benn very good with his back to the goal, sheilding the puck and dishing. He did some nice hard work with Pevs on the Kubina goal. Kubina had an outstanding night!

Max had a nice night too. Good forechecking and corner work. He showed some periodic defensive prowess with a few back checks and general annoyance.

The final two goals were very impressive responses. Hard work from Antro, Pevs, and Kubina, and then a great effort in the offensive zone by Kane and Reasoner to set up Army. Heck of a pass from Reasoner!

Brendan

November 4th, 2009
8:37 am

I also wanted to mention that, reviewing the RDS feed, that the French-speaking announcers had plenty of praise for Pavelec, which they pronounced, Pav-uh-leX, for his efforts against Ottawa the other night and against Montreal. The Montreal announce crew was “fair” to Atlanta. I didn’t detect much sarcasm from them. So, that was good. During the intermission, former Montreal Head Coach Jacques Demers said that he considered Plekanec to be the best Canadien player on the team so far this year. High praise, from Jacques. Some people don’t know this, but at the time Demers led the Habs to the Stanley Cup in 1993, he was completely illiterate. He’d have assistants help him out with internal memos and things like that. He’d say things like, “I got this memo, but what does it mean?” That line only worked so long for him before someone figured out, “Jacques can’t read,” … how can he not understand a memo about an office cookout? Of course, he can read and write now, and has column or two in various publications.

Smoothie

November 4th, 2009
8:45 am

Wait a second, Peter Mahovlich is one of OUR scouts?? Didn’t he play in the 60’s and 70’s for the Canadiens?? He must be reviled in la belle province maintenant!!

LAC

November 4th, 2009
8:57 am

Bill hope your brother is fairing better this day, we ALL will be with you in our thoughts, My 7 year old Grandaughter is fighting H1N1 now and it is a struggle the past couple days, but games like last night, albeit tense… make life a little better !!!!!!

Gear up for another toughy thursday night with Columbus, they beat Pitt
so it will be interesting, then off to the Island saturday and home Sunday against our first road conquest of the season St.Louis, so points need to be made !

Al Davis

November 4th, 2009
9:03 am

Just Win Baby!!!!!

Tom Cable

November 4th, 2009
9:06 am

I’ve won all my domestic fights.

Michael B. Shapiro

November 4th, 2009
9:26 am

Rawhide

One of the “goods” that I don’t think has been mentioned: faceoff percentage. We continue to be in the top 6 or 8 teams. Un-good in this area has been Nik, but his point a game plus in assists might be an offset. Guess his linemates should continue to take draws in his place.

Another “good” is the not so shabby +/- for the team. True that the 2nd line has been struggling and Whitey and Max both are -4, and Kubina is a +6. That’s not such a bad spread for a team that frequently has players who work their way into double-digit negatives (yes, I know the season is still young). Still, only 5 players (including Kovy at -1) are below the waves on this figure.

Another “good” is that we’re getting scoring from all over the place (perhaps an unforeseen “good” if there is such a thing from Kapitan Kovalchuk’s injury….maybe it’ll keep rubbing off onto our power play so that the opposition can no longer focus only on Kovy??) Amazingly, after 11 games in the season ONLY Jimmy Slater is without a point (heck, even our goalies…or at least one of them….has an assist!)

And now on to the really important matters of the day…who will be the last person off Schneid Island this year? Fans will recall that last year Jimmy Slater was one of (if not) the last Thrashers to find a life raft and leave the Island.

This year we’re down to six contestants: The Professor (sorry, MaryAnne has already left the Island), “Harry” Reasoner, the aforementioned Nik Antropov, newcomer Christoph Schubert, Tobi Enstrom, and last year’s winner, Jimmy Slater. In fairness to Jimmy, I must note that he’s played a mere 4 games compared to his opponents who have all played 11, except Schubert who has played 9 games. The Professor leads the pack going 0 for 19 shots, followed by Tobi’s 13, Schubert’s 11and Nik’s 9. “Harry” and Jimmy trail with only 6 shots.

So sports fans….who’ll be the last to launch their life raft and escape Schneid Island this year? (Inquiring minds want to know).

Go Thrash!!

Alan R.

November 4th, 2009
9:51 am

My thoughts are with your brother, Bill, as well as your granddaughter LAC. May they both get well soon.

Rawhide

November 4th, 2009
10:21 am

Thank you everyone…brother is resting well, though still in considerable discomfort.

LAC – My thoughts and prayers are with your grandaughter and family.

Now, as promised…a new blogity-blog to discuss last night’s exciting win.

Midfield

November 4th, 2009
10:22 am

Brendan, in Quebec, both English and French announcers pronounce Pavelec with the ‘tz’ sound at the end, which is close to the proper pronounciation in Czech, I believe.

Smoothie

November 4th, 2009
10:23 am

Bill, so sorry to hear about your brother. Many prayers to you and your family for a speedy recovery. I too hope he won’t suffer too much pain and discomfort while healing.

LAC, thoughts and prayers to your family as well for your grand-daughter’s full and speedy return to good health.

Smoothie

November 4th, 2009
10:24 am

I think I’m the new ranallo! I’ve been “smoothinized”!!

Tim

November 4th, 2009
10:33 am

I think the Kovy injury will eventually be a good thing… assuming he is back on the ice on or ahead of schedule of course. He was so hot that some of his teammates were going even further out of their way to get him the puck. More guys remembering that they can shoot the puck too will be the silver lining to the cloud that is Ilya’s broken foot.

SOAPBOX ALERT!!!

ONE BLOG, ONE SPORTS RADIO TALK SHOW HOST AND ONE SPORTS CENTER ANCHOR AT A TIME! I WILL PREVAIL OR DIE TRYING!!!

EFFORT is not a verb!

Libby

November 4th, 2009
10:39 am

Bill, Our prayers are with your Family. Loved the game last night. Pevs is just such a great player. I do believe that this team has more heart than any Thrasher team ever.

Red Light

November 4th, 2009
10:52 am

The thought occurred to me before last night’s game that some teams actually benefit from their star player being out of the lineup, because collectively they simply cannot look for him to bail them out with a highlight-reel goal in tough situations. While these Habs are shadows of their former selves (they haven’t won the Cup since 1993!), are too small and defensively inept (last night anyway), these Thrashers showed me something last night. Gave up two two-goal leads, and each time responded with quick goals to take the lead again. Kubina’s goal was downright comical with the defenseman draped all over him and he still was strong enough to get his stick on the puck. Look, I am, and always have been, tough on this team because I can’t stand the way management deals with personnel issues.

However, at this juncture hope is more realistic than ever, due to the presence of Bogo, Kane, Little, Enstrom and the new leader of this team: waiver-wire Peverley. He makes a huge gaffe with a giveaway on Plekanec’s goal, but still led all Thrashers forwards in ice time and wins 75 percent of his draws last night. He has two goals and four assists since Kovy went on the shelf and competes as hard as anyone. I know many of you are fans of RP and rightly so. While Antropov isn’t cut out of the same mold as Peverley, he has eight assists in the last five games. Of course, it would be nice to see him end his goal-less streak soon. He hasn’t scored in 13 straight regular season games. The good news? He went 19 straight games without a goal last season in Toronto and still finished with 28 goals.

Sadly, there is a home game on the horizon. Maybe Rawhide can ask Anderson why the team won’t practice more often at Philips when it’s available. The dungeon on Satellite Blvd no way mirrors their home rink and the Thrashers are 14-24 in their last 38 games at home.