With Kovalchuk out, Thrashers leave it to Peever for goals

Ya know…it’s too bad that this season is an Olympic year, causing the NHL to skip having an All-Star Game as to allow players to participate in the festivities in Vancouver. Because if this were not the case, I would right now…today…be opining, calling for…demanding… that fans in Thrasherville prepare to go forth and stuff the All-Star ballot box with votes for Rich Peverley.

Stuff the box like a Thanksgiving turkey for Peverley…fill the box with ballots faster than they can print ‘em.

Unfortunately…not this year.

Regardless…the Peever continued his stellar work last night in Montreal, scoring his seventh goal of the season and added two assists. For the season he has 16 points and is a +4. Since the Thrashers snatched him off the waiver wire last January, he has 20 goals, 31 assists and is a +20 in 50 games played.

All for the low, low price of $487,500…but wait, there’s more.

Rich Peverley has been in on 16 goal celebrations so far this season. Here, he parties with his teammates after earning the secondary assist on Pavel Kibina's power play goal (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)

Rich Peverley has been in on 16 goal celebrations so far this season. Here, he enjoys Pavel Kibina's power play goal in which he earned an assist (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)

The Pevs Dispenser was busy again dishing out goals and assists Tuesday night as the Thrashers defeated Montreal 5-4…a win that brings the Thrashers road record to an amazing 5-1-1. First, he banked the puck past Carey Price and into the Canadiens goal off Bryan Little’s skate at the 17:34 mark to open the scoring, then took a great behind the goal pass from Todd White to put Atlanta up 2-0 before the first break.

For Little, it was his first goal of the season or, as BG33Brown opined on my Hockeybuzz blog…”Peverley is so good he just scored Little’s 1st goal of the year”.

The 2-0 advantage turned into a 3-1 lead in the second as Mark Popovic netted his first ever career NHL goal. Maxim Afinogenov and Nik Antropov earn the assists after Antropov’s hustle beat out an icing call. But a pair of ugly turnovers in the Thrashers’ zone that left Ondrej Pavelec hanging out to dry led to Montreal tying the score.

The first one came with just seconds remaining in the second period when Peverley, of all people, misplayed the puck and Mike Cammalleri raced in to beat Pavs. Then, shortly after the third period began, Christoph Schubert failed miserably at his backhanded attempt to pass the puck out from behind Atlanta’s goal though the center of the ice. Brian Gionta was the beneficiary of this miscue, scoring his second goal of the game.

But on this night, the Thrashers were able to answer the adversity to retake the lead…not once…but twice.

Pavel Kubina put the Thrashers back on top at the 4:10 mark when Nik Antropov found the defender camped out on the left post while the Thrashers were on the power play…Peverley earned his second assists of the night with the secondary helper. It was Kubina’s first goal as a Thrasher…and Nik’s second assist on the night, giving him 12 on the year.

Eight minutes and thirty seconds later Tomas Plekanic pull Montreal even again…but that’s when Thrasherville sent in it’s Army to win the battle as Colby Armstrong scored off a nifty pass from Marty Reasoner for the game winner just 34 seconds later.

“Every time they scored”, Peverley said after the game, “We seemed to come back and have a good shift”.

Indeed.

Atlanta’s offense…in great part due to Peverley’s efforts…has continued to cruise despite losing Ilya Kovalchuk to a foot injury. In the three games played without Kovy, they have netted 11 goals. Counting the game against the Sharks when Kovalchuk left early on after taking a puck to the foot, the Thrashers have scored 14 times in just under four complete games without his services.

They have Mr. Peverley to thank for a tremendous amount of that production. During those four games, he has 3 goals, 4 assists and is a +2.

As I stated above, the Thrashers are now a very impressive 5-1-1 on the road this season. Both blemishes however… a 4-2 loss in Ottawa and a 2-1 shootout loss in Montreal…were avenged on this short 2-game excursion north of the border. This year’s odd schedule now has us finished with our trips to both Ottawa and Montreal just after 11 games played.

After a game Thursday in Atlanta against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Thrashers will head out on the road again for a visit to Long Island Saturday night. We’ll view that game from the comfy confines of TJ’s bar and Grill…I hope you’ll be able to come out and enjoy the festivities. Keep in mind the game will not be aired on TV locally.

Oh yeah by the way…the Islanders right now own a winning record of 5-4-5.

71 comments Add your comment

Lee

November 4th, 2009
3:42 pm

Still am stunned we picked the guy off waivers! Now all we have to do is rub it in the Preds faces. :P Ugh, kari out AGAIN!!!! SHOCKER!!! Jeez………………………..I cant belive the guy.

Bob

November 4th, 2009
4:04 pm

Hasn’t Kozlov traditionally been a slow starter? I recall having this discussion in prior years and he eventually gets it going on all gears.

Kari who? I wrote him off long ago and truly believe that we’re better off without him. I’m ready for Pavelec all the time, the kid has tons of skill and the positioning will improve over time. I am concerned about Moose as his backup, in case of injury. Is Legace still in Chicago?

Sara

November 4th, 2009
4:16 pm

I think Kari isn’t on LTIR because they don’t need him to be. We’ve got plenty of cap space even if we made a bunch of moves at the deadline, given that salaries are pro-rated.

Glovesave29

November 4th, 2009
4:28 pm

Bob – Pavalec’s positioning will not just improve over time. Until we spend the money and get a goalie coach, I fear we will still see the bad form and over commiting that we saw last night. Need to work on that glove hand too…waaaay to many pucks are popping out that need to be gobbled up. He’s got good reflexes and size, just want the team to give him what he needs to truly succeed.

Rawhide

November 4th, 2009
4:30 pm

Is Legace still in Chicago?

Bob – Yes he is.

JAmes_kovyboy from MTL

November 4th, 2009
4:42 pm

I OFFICIALLY AM THE LUCKYIEST MAN ALIVE SINCE I AWS AS THE GAME, LAUGHING AT EVERYBODY, except these two other thrasher fans

but wow is Pev great… he looked like a Captain out there
Our third line is as usual great
i like kozlov antrropov and afinogenov
heck just trade KOVY!!
naa jokes but for some reason im happy that kari is injured since Pavs is the greatest goalie ever
people cant stop complainin how our D lets him down but he s the man

Alan R.

November 4th, 2009
5:11 pm

Pavelec still has a lot to learn. He has flashes of Hasek out there, but he needs to make some improvements. However, it cannot be denied that our D needs to step it up and protect him a bit more. He might be the last line of defense, but he can’t be hung out to dry near as often as he has been. Otherwise, you get bad goals in close that he has no chance of seeing.

Smoothie

November 4th, 2009
5:19 pm

Well, it certainly makes sense that we have waited to place Lehtonen on IR considering we are well under the cap. Just a shame that they didn’t have a better handle on this injury BEFORE they essentially gave him $3 M for getting cut open and re-habbing. Lesson learned I spoz.

Glovesave – while I agree Pavelec has a ways to go before he can be considered “polished”, I must say I am impressed with the way he seems to be shoring up his glove hand after getting beaten over the left shoulder a few times when he was struggling. He has made several stunning glove saves in the two road gems including the one against Ottawa that must have Sens fans still shaking their heads!

Smoothie

November 4th, 2009
5:37 pm

Kevin Allen of USA Today tweets: “Although nothing imminent, I’m aware of a NHL team mulling whether to sign Chris Chelios. He’s +7, 4-1-5 in 5 AHL games, playing big minutes.”

Why not let it be us? Sign him so he’s in the system and can be called up if there is a rash of injuries. With the condensed sked + Olympics, depth and durability are going to be paramount this season. Cheli might be able to provide some useful mins on the 3rd pairing with Salmela / Schubie / Popo.

Brendan

November 4th, 2009
5:58 pm

I know Chelios keeps himself in phenomenal shape. But even so, does he, at age 47, still have the footspeed to compete in the NHL? There’s no question he’s got enough to compete at the AHL level. But that’s big jump back up. If he can do it, and give us 6-12 minutes a night, then I suppose that’s a better option than Salmela or Popovic in some people’s minds. But, there’s another factor to consider. Chris Chelios will be highly susceptible to injury at his advanced age. While I wouldn’t quite put it in the “Uwe Krupp, Jani Hurme, Steve Rucchin” category, it might not be that far off, either.

I was surprised that Chelios didn’t opt to retire, when urged by his friend Jeremy Roenick to do so. I love that Cheli still wants to play. I’d say the AHL is a perfect fit for him, at this very late stage in his career. He can certainly excel there, and play for several more years, potentially. Who knows? The Wolves could win the Calder Cup this year. And I’d think … that that would still be fun for Chelios. Everybody likes winning.

Smoothie

November 4th, 2009
6:25 pm

Brendan, I would only advocate signing Cheli to a 2-way contract as an insurance policy. If the pricetag is under a mill, I don’t see much risk. That is if our bottom pairing doesn’t get cemented in the next month or so. Time may be on our side…for now.

Dwayne

November 4th, 2009
7:41 pm

I’d like to see Kari get healthy, and providing Pavalitchs, PavalehetZ, however those guys pronounced, improves, let Kari play in Chicago, hope he stays healthy, and have a tough decision to make NEXT year. I also feel more comfortable with Dudley in Donnie boys ear to make people decisions. As far as Chelios? Could not hurt having him in Atlanta.
And on a happy note, I will be in Atl. to see my Thrashers take on the Montreal Canadians Dec 21, I am bringing my 2 oldest Grandsons, (I have 6) both age 7, to their first hockey match. We gonna tear it up in Atlanta.

World Be Free

November 4th, 2009
9:55 pm

Smoothie-won’t getting Chelios be something.
Who knows how long Tim Horton whould have played had he not perished in an accident (going approx 120 MPH without a seatbelt).

Viking-I had no idea there was a policy. My wife and daughter take so many pictures at Thrashers’ games, I think 1/2 my family is Japanese.

LTIR probably translates to Manny in Atlanta. I just don’t have confidence in Moose. Those “Moose” calls will turn to boos at some point this season.

Carolina just got shutout by Florida. What the heck has happened to the Canes?

Alan R.

November 4th, 2009
10:36 pm

WBF, that brings Carolina’s winless streak to 10 games. I’m having trouble remembering if Atlanta ever had it that bad. I think their longest is nine, which started right before the Hossa trade.

stendec

November 4th, 2009
10:51 pm

Greetings Bill, Rawhide. Sure hope your brother is much better. All of you are in my prayers. My most ungood (C Rawhide) soon to be former Thrasher has resurfaced! My blood is still boiling. That said…Kari Lehtonen should be behind bars for theft! The LaLa Land inhabitant misrepresented his injuries to the Thrashers in order to secure a contract! Those funds could/should have gone to make this team better. Not to pad the bank account of a fraud who never will be worth a damn! Know knuckleheads who follow team will never admit I was right about this untalented loser. BUT I WAS! Will root against Thrashers when/if this lying scumball ever goes back between pipes. Sori Letemin apologists can f#ck off! Go Thrashers. Peace. ++STENDEC++ God bless you and your family my friend.

Brendan

November 5th, 2009
1:22 am

My fellow Thrasher posters, “Let the record show that, at one point in the season, the Thrashers held a six-point lead on Carolina, with three (3) games-in-hand.” Let’s remember that … at season’s end. GM Jim Rutherford will find a way to fix it.

I’ve been saying that Carolina is in trouble. You knew that when the Leafs caught them in the standings. And now, the Leafs have a game-in-hand, making the ‘Canes the 30th ranked team in the NHL. http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?type=lea#&navid=nav-stn-league

Hey, looky here. The Islanders lost, 3-0, to Buffalo tonight. And Friday they play the Devils, then us on Saturday. Let’s hope they’re plenty tired for that game. Prior to tonight’s action, the Islanders were 5-1-2 for 12 of a possible 16-points in eight games. They also had a streak of 4-0-2. That reminds me of Waddell’s quote from last season, or was it the season before?, that “bad teams don’t win five games in-a-row in this league.” Well, apparently, they do. Atlanta had back-to-back 76-point seasons, yet established a franchise record for wins at six in-a-row. It’s an 82 game season. Any blessed team can put together a 5-7 game points streak. Something like 3-0-4 or 4-0-3, or even five consecutive wins. You get teams on the back end of consecutive games, or some other Western Conference team flys in for the final game of its Eastern road swing. You bank the points.

Even the worst of teams finish the year somewhere in the 60-70 point range. Such is life in the NHL, where overtime and shootout losses result in points–and shootout victories result in WINS in the standings. It is what it is. Except where it comes to GMs talking about what “bad teams” can’t do. I think last year’s Islanders team, that drafted 1st overall, had a streak of 4-0-1 at one point.

Brendan

November 5th, 2009
1:41 am

So, didja click on the NHL League standings link? If you did, you saw 5 teams in the Top 10 overall that weren’t in the playoffs last year. Colorado, L.A. Kings, Buffalo, Phoenix and Dallas. If you looked at the Bottom 10 teams, you saw five teams that WERE in the playoffs last year. Montreal, Boston, St. Louis, Anaheim, and Carolina.

But … as they say … “it’s still very early.” Let’s not forget something else. Sometimes, teams that win the Stanley Cup are in 13th place in their conference at Christmas. And sometimes, they’re even below .500 at the Holidays. I usually get mad at the casual hockey fan who says, “Brendan, I don’t even ’start’ to pay attention to hockey until New Year’s Day. That’s when the games begin to matter.” It fries me up a bit to listen to that kind of talk. And yet, there’s no denying that that is when the HEAT gets turned up on the season. In 2006, the Devils were 17-points out of first place in their division on New Year’s Day, and they clinched the division in the final hours, of the final day, of the season. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.

World Be Free

November 5th, 2009
5:29 am

Alan R.-can’t tell you what’s wrong with Carolina. I guess they sat on last year’s success too long. Chemistry is all wrong. We’ve been there before.

On another subject, have you folks seen Bobby Clarke on TSN between periods? I hatred Clarke as a player, but he’s doing a nice job on TSN. Clarke, Jones and McKenzie and doing good work, not just dumping on players, teams and cities. These guys were on between the Calgary/Dallas game. Clarke is actually making Jones look good, which is tough.

World Be Free

November 5th, 2009
5:34 am

Brendan-you are so correct, there’s alotta hockey let to play. Injuries and a team’s ability to deal with them (see Kovy) will play a big part in who finishes where.

As a Sabres’ fan, I still think they will finish back in the pack fighting for the 7th or 8th spot in the East. They do not score enough goals or have the NHL depth to stay where they are. If Miller went down today, they’d be falling to a lottery pick in the draft. Lalime is a practice goalie.

Rawhide

November 5th, 2009
7:03 am

stendec – Thank you for your kind words about my brother. He’s doing better, thank you. Went home yesterday and will see a burn specialist this morning. Knowing exactly what happened to him now, I can only say he’s a very lucky guy.

Now…let’s cast our votes for who will be the last off of Schnide Island.

jcwhitingjr

November 5th, 2009
9:57 am

Viking – My wife takes a Nikon D90 DSLR to every game. Last year they asked her a few times to leave hear camera bag at Guest Services. This year she’s gotten herself a camera bag that resembles a purse and has had no problems as of yet from the gatekeepers.