Thrashers Loss To CBJs Is Like Déjà vu All Over Again

Ever get that strange and unexplainable feeling that you seen this before?

Thrashers playing at home…come out of the locker room in the red third jerseys…get down by two or three goals…mount a comeback…end the game with a final furious rally in front of the visitor’s goal…but fall just short.

Now, was that the Thrashers last game I just described?

Evander Kane and the Thrashers were up against it all night (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Evander Kane and the Thrashers were up against it all night (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Was it last Thursday versus Washington?

Maybe it was the Thursday before that against, again, Washington?

Or was it the Saturday game against San Jose in between the two Capitals game?

Outside of the fact that against the Sharks Atlanta wore their blue jerseys, the same story line held true in the 4-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets… who escaped Philips Arena with two points just one night after falling 3-2 in a shootout to the Sharks back in Columbus.

Forget “Blueland”…Philips Arena has become “Déjà vu-land”!

Atlanta lost despite out-shooting the Blue Jackets 35-21…18-8 in the second and 15-2 in the third. They have now out-shot opponents all of three times so far this season…and they have lost all three games.

For the first couple of periods Thursday night the Thrashers looked like a 6-year old soccer team…you know, the way they’ll all mass around the ball focusing their attention to that and paying no attention whatsoever to any positioning. Much like the kids on the soccer pitch, the Thrashers played “follow the puck” too much and left Blue Jackets wide open for easy goals.

What is it going to take to get the Thrashers to win at home again?

  • Wear their road white jerseys (21%, 12 Votes)
  • Charter a flight to circle them around for 2 hours the night before (5%, 3 Votes)
  • Put 'em up in a hotel before every home game (25%, 14 Votes)
  • Paint the visiting team's logo at center ice to make 'em think they are at their rink (5%, 3 Votes)
  • Change the start time to 7:30 when they actually start playing (44%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 57

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Raffi Torres netted a pair for the CBJs, his 7th and 8th goals of the season. Jakob Vorecek scored his 5th and Derik Bressard scored his third of the season.

Toby Enstrom got off of Schnide Island Thursday, scoring his first goal of the season on his 25th birthday. It came during the second period while Atlanta was on the power play, drilling the puck into the net from the right side…and by “drilling the puck into the net”, I mean he literally drilled it into the net as it was lodged into the twine. Toby’s goal came with the assists going to Todd White and Slava Kozlov.

Earlier in the period it looked like Toby had punched his ticket off the island, but his shot from the left point deflected in of Bryan Little’s stick for his second goal of the year. This leaves Nik Antropov, Slava Kozlov, Jim Slater, Marty Reasoner and Christoph Schubert to gather coconuts on the Isle of Schnide.

Pavel Kubina scored his second of the season with a power play goal in the third to get the Thrashers to withing one at the 2:06 mark of that final frame…leaving them with with 17 minutes and 54 seconds remaining to tie the score.

But back to the subject the Thrashers home woes…what is behind the pattern of losses at Philips Arena? Well, coach Anderson said after the game that, “We don’t dictate the game, we wait to see how the game unfolds and then we play”.

He also pointed out in the post-game press conference that the team did stay in a hotel prior to the season opener at home when the beat Tampa Bay 6-3. So, could that mean they should go straight to a hotel after flying home from New York before Sunday’s game against St. Louis, or prior to other home games in the future, to simulate the feel of still being on the road?

“Don Waddell might not like that because it means spending more money”, Anderson explained.

Spend it, Don…spend it!

72 comments Add your comment

Rawhide

November 6th, 2009
11:30 am

EA – Such vents are welcome here…it’s part of the reason there is a place for readers to comment.

Now, to those giving voice to the 7:00 vs. 7:30 start times…last night when I placed that option in the poll, it got me thinking about that whole debate and put some ceribral activity to the subject. As such, I will post a blog tomorrow morning that is dedicated to just that issue and will be looking for your feedback.

I know the Thrashers marketing guys have asked for STHs to chime in on the matter in the past, but it might be good to get some input from all fans that attend the game…or, for that matter…don’t attend because of the start times.

Shannon

November 6th, 2009
11:33 am

Honestly, Jim Slater could not score a goal if the net was as wide as the whole rink. I know he is a great guy, but he had so many blown opportunites last night, it was really sad.

EA

November 6th, 2009
11:40 am

Thanks Bill, I am home today with my sick daughter who chose to comment as well. I haven’t seen you at the games lately. Our paths must not have crossed. Hope to see you soon.

somaatl95

November 6th, 2009
11:42 am

I posted this earlier on TSN.ca/nhl to combat the remarks from others about our attendance and thought it would work well here as well –

“To everyone commenting on the attendance at Phillips – The game starts @ 7, with a puck drop usually at 7:10. Atlanta traffic is a nightmare, coupled with the fact that our ‘mass transit’ system was developed in 1971 when Atlanta had less than half of the population it has now. I live about 18 miles from the arena – on a good traffic day it takes about 25 minutes but during rush hour it takes at least an hour. If you watch more than the first ten minutes (or early highlights) you’ll see by the start of the second period there are a lot of people who arrive late. In one of the Hockey blogs in the Atlanta Journal there are lots of people that have asked the Thrashers organization to move puck drop to 7:30 PM. The attendance comments would stop. To the people constantly bringing up that the Thrashers are for sale or should move – stop! C’mon now – didn’t we all learn that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all? To everyone else – yes, its heartbreaking to see the team play better in so many areas and still be lacking in defense, especially on home ice. If we had the road mentality we have had as of late we would be winning our home ice games as well – hopefully Anderson can light a fire under the players making the stupid mistakes that lead to easy goals for the opposition. Also I find it interesting that many teams have star players out with injury, but nobody gangs up on Washington when AO is out and they notch a loss or two – given a few basic corrections the Thrashers may surprise a lot of you – And to those that want to make some snide remark back to me about what I have said please know that I’m not trying to stir anything up or tick anyone off – there are a lot of rabid hockey fans in Atlanta but you wouldn’t really know that unless you are here for a game and see that what is on TV and what is in reality are two very different things. If you have center ice switch between both feeds of a single game and you’ll see two entirely different takes on the game being played. Have a good weekend everyone and enjoy watching your teams this weekend.”

Just my take on the whole thing – they REALLY love to dog on us and I hope we can prove all of them wrong with a decent Home Ice turnaround and some other team can become the favorite “Whipping Boy” of Canadian Hockey Fans and D-Bags from the Northeast.

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
11:48 am

Traffic was particularly bad last night…I didn’t go to the game but it took me twice the time to get home and I have a reverse commute! I’m sure the bad accident on 400 SB prevented a bunch of folks from getting to the game on time. I will give the 6 – 7,000 credit though as they were loudly chanting “Let’s Go Thrashers” several times in the 3rd.

But EA is right, the team needs to take it more personally that the crowd is so small. People are skeptical and a lot of fans are waiting for something to get excited about. Obviously, the current affliction where by we spot the other team 2 or 3 goals does not make for an enthusiastic and raucous crowd until it is too late. Time for these guys to get pissed off and start playing with a chip on their shoulder and prove to the city of Atlanta they are worth the price of admission, horrible concession service and crunk traffic!

RS

November 6th, 2009
11:49 am

Part of the perceived problem with Atlanta’s attendance is the club section. That’s the section that people see on TV. At last night’s puck drop there couldn’t have been more than 50 people over there. It does eventually fill up some, but that looks terrible.

Nikita

November 6th, 2009
11:53 am

Why do we drop games at home? Let’s see — is anyone there to see the team lose? By the looks of the tv broadcast, no, they are not. As much as I get the whole “I paid a lot for my seats and don’t want the great unwashed in my section” business, I really, really think the management needs to do absolutely anything to get butts in those lower-level seats. I’d suggest starting with selectively promoting upper-level ticketholders into the cheaper lower-level seats if they arrive prior to the game. Your seat’s normally in 300? Since you arrived at 6:45 and have a sign, you’re moving to 120. Obviously the prime seats wouldn’t get that treatment and it can’t be done all the time, but for non-tv games or games against low-ranked opponents, why the hell not?

Morale is a big issue with this team. That’s why they win on the road and lose at home. The arena energizes them or sucks the energy out of them. Also, to a lesser extent, when on home ice they fall into the ancient patterns of being reactive rather than proactive.

As to last night, ATL-CBJ is not the most thrilling game to watch because CBJ is like NJD in that they have good defense and often it’s not so much a thrill ride as a war of attrition. That said, I watched it anyway.

I thought Pavs did o.k., but both of the out-of-position goals were inexcusable. Relative to Lehts, he too often leaves large portions of the goal uncovered. He has some distance to go.

Slater is, meh, past his expiration date. Yes, he was a high draft pick. Whatever. He could possibly develop further, but he’s not showing any appreciable improvement. He’s allowed to skid along at whatever standard he sets and that standard seems fairly low. The rest of his line put in a lot of hard work over the summer and you can tell. But he’s still performing like it’s 2008, and eventually his poor performance is going to affect the others. Don’t we have any grinders in Chicago who would like a shot at the big time?

I’m quite happy with White, Kozlov, Little, and Peverly. I’m not thrilled with Kane — he’s good, but I think he’s in a position that is out of line with his skills at this point.

Altogether, meh. We could’ve won, and it’s pretty pathetic that we did not.

somaatl95

November 6th, 2009
11:56 am

I wasn’t disagreeing with EA, in fact I agree completely. It is kind’ve hard trying to justify attendance when anyone who watches a Hawks game at Phillips sees a packed house. And yes, the concessions are really bad most of the time, especially given the fact that price should reflect service and most def does not. I still believe in the Thrash though, they just need basic adjustments and playing with their heads and the losing at home (and attendance) will change.

Rawhide

November 6th, 2009
12:02 pm

somaatl95 – Very well done, thank you for sharing…and welcome!

Ryan C. – Welcome to you as well and great points.

EA – Please tell the young lady that I hope she feels better soon. Also, I’m happy to see that she isn’t feeling bad enough to not post on today’s blog! :grin: Also, please give my best to your young man.

Family issues have kept me from attending last night’s game and the one last Thursday as well…but I’ll have the Divine Mrs. R and both tax exemptions along with a guest or two with me on Sunday. I hope to see ya’ll then.

Last 3 Thursday night games

November 6th, 2009
12:13 pm

I agree with the lack of a crowd. Though the good thing is I can move down to much better seats. They seem to have the talent and skill this year, but not if they keep playing 40 minutes instead of 60. Did anybody watch the Habs game on Center Ice? Hockey games on the canadian stations is SO much better than games on in the states. Awesome camera angles and lots more cameras.

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
12:16 pm

Bill, first of all, see you on Sunday. Myself, Ms. “ten” and our friend Jen will be in our normal seats in 318. Perhaps we can meet up between periods for some chatter as we’ll probably head downstairs for a smoke break. I may come your way and track you down…you in your normal sec?

Secondly, since you are planning on writing a blog that excoriates the ASG for poor choice of game time etc (well, I hope it takes them to task in the same vein as the blog about the poor relationship with the old Flames players), please make sure you include a paragraph about the absolutely wretched concession service in the upper level.

The employees are as slow as molasses and they never have enough product. I can understand not opening many windows when the attendance sucks during the week, but can we at least get better employees who actually give a crap about good service (I know, easier said than done)? But that is the ASG’s responsibility as owners and operators. I try to bring friends who aren’t as familiar with hockey to learn the game and its embarrassing as hell for them to see how loyal patrons are insulted with pathetic service!!

hip czech

November 6th, 2009
12:23 pm

ditto on the concessions…my kids like to get one of the cinnamon pretzel things on the first level, last game we went to they were OUT during the first intermission, so we all had to stand around and wait while they made more. That is inexcusable, if you don’t plan on having the product ready at the INTERMISSION that’s pretty sad.

Plus, even when they DO have product, the concession workers really are slow as molasses.

I grin and bear it forking out outrageous prices for concessions because it’s a treat for the kids and ostensibly is helping keep the Thrashers here (I hope).

The CBJs have financial woes far greater than the Thrashers…wonder how long it will be before the Canadian press starts talking about Columbus moving to (fill in the Canadian city).

World Be Free

November 6th, 2009
12:24 pm

I am becoming concerned about Evander Kane. Even my wife noticed he’s getting pushed around alot.

I wanted to send him back to juniors, just becuase I did not think he was big enough to survive an entire season. He’s “game”, but I am just concerned what his overall play will be in February-March, will he be able to contribute. That hip check on him was a dandy.

Attendance-losing your top drawing card for a month does not help. atlanta traffic will always be bad, until we get some creditable public transportation.

Alan R.

November 6th, 2009
12:34 pm

until we get some creditable public transportation.

That’s a huge problem in this city. There are smaller metro areas with better mass transit, yet we’re stuck with this “blast from the past.” MARTA should have invested the money they had in the system when they had the chance instead of blowing it all.

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
12:38 pm

WBF – Kane is taking his lumps, but he’s not backing down. In fact, he made several good hits after he was summarily dumped by Klesla on the hip check. He’s still working hard and I think he will learn from some of these recent games where teams are pinching him and exploiting his tendency to shoot the gap along the boards.

Certainly we need to worry about his body wearing down over the course of a long season, but I don’t think it’s time to cut his minutes. I think he needs some PP time and the opportunity to work with time and space. Plus, when Kovy comes back he’ll get to play with Pevs again and that will help. Actually, I see no reason not to put him back with Pevs now (see my post above).

Rawhide

November 6th, 2009
12:46 pm

Smoothie – As per you 12:16 pm comments…I do not yet know where we’ll be sitting. I’ll find that out when I pick up the tix from will-call…then I’ll shoot ya a text.

As for the Thrashers organization and the relationship between the former Atlanta Flames and the NHL Alumni in the area…I will indeed be posting a followup to that story in the coming days. I don’t wanna give away too much here…but it’s good news.

Also, I’ll keep your suggestion about the concessions in mind. It may not be a part of the 7:00 vs. 7:30 blog…which my online editor would like for me to post sooner rather than later…but it would make an excellent topic nonetheless.

Will we be seeing you and the lovely Miss-Ten Saturday at TJ’s?

Smitty

November 6th, 2009
12:47 pm

I have to agree with Stendec. Until the Thrash start winning at home on a more consistant basis the seats are going to remain empty. I do not like the fragile label. This is hockey!!!!! Toughen up!!! How many of us would last at their jobs if you only worked 5 or 6 hours as opposed to 8?

I know some of my fellow WNY’s have it in for Max. You cannot teach speed and Max has plenty of that. Defensemen have to skate backwards a little faster when Max is carrying the puck and that creates space. When his linemates learn how to take advantage of that space he creates maybe that could develop into some exciting hockey. I think he has been adequate defensively.

Slater needs to soak his hands in some DOWNEY for a couple of days. Kozzy is looking slow and indecisive. White looks like he did a couple of years ago. Colby must still be hurt but at least he will hit somebody. Would like to see Kane-Peverly-Max on a line.

Pavs was left alone a lot last night. Maybe the defense pairings need to be tweeked. Several of the goals last night were due to the Thrashers being on one side of the ice leaving weak side wide open for Columbus.

Will TJ’s also show the HNIC game Saturday? Like to watch Coaches Corner and the Hot Stove during the intermissions.

World Be Free

November 6th, 2009
12:56 pm

Smoothie-Kane
That’s what I am worried about, Kane taking and givings hits.
You’ll notice guys like Kozlov avoid those types of hits. The NHL season is alike a marathon prize fight. It’s long and you’re not as chipper in the 15th round as you were in the 2nd round.

Guys that “play bigger” than their size usually feel it later on. My back and hip tell me that every day!

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
1:02 pm

Dwayne

November 6th, 2009
1:07 pm

Kane to top line. Slava to 3rd line

Rawhide

November 6th, 2009
1:10 pm

OK…if you wanna continue to discuss last night’s game and all that you may continue to do so here.

However, as I’ve discussed, here is a new blog to express your thoughts about the weeknight start times.

I’m hoping you all chime in on this topic, ecspecially you lurkers…and you know who you are…as I know it is read by the people who make such decisions.

Tony C.

November 6th, 2009
1:52 pm

Yeah the accident on 400 was a killer-we left roswell @ 6:00 and didn’t get to the train station exit until 7!!!