Would starting weeknight Thrashers games 30 minutes later really make a difference?

One of the topics that pops up every now and then on these blogs is the subject of weeknight start times. As you know, Thrashers games normally are scheduled to begin at 7:00 during the weeknights…that translates to a puck-drop of around 7:10. But many people have expressed their desire to have this moved back 30 minutes to 7:30…dropping the puck at about 7:40-ish.

The reason for this is very simple…with so many fans living outside the perimeter, (or OTP), getting from their places of employment to the games is a challenge. This is complicated even further if they are to swing by the house to pick up the spouse and/or kids. That extra 30 minutes, they say, will make all the difference in the world between being able to get to weeknight games and not being able to do so.

I can certainly appreciate that.

Of course, that translates into more dollars being parted ways with for tickets…not to mention parking, souvenirs, food and drink.

However, the trade off here is when the game ends keeping these same fans out 30 minutes later than usual. If the kids are of school age, then that means they are getting to bed 30 minutes later than normal in order to get up for school the next morning.

As a parent, I definitely can appreciate that as well.

When would you like to see Thrashers games begin during the week?

  • 7:00 pm (31%, 33 Votes)
  • 7:30 pm (69%, 74 Votes)

Total Voters: 107

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For me, if a game starts at or shortly after 7:00, then I know a regulation game will be over at about 9:30-ish. Under normal circumstances, that means I will be back home in the Kennesaw/Acworth area sometime around 10:15 or 10:30…although most of the time it’s later for me since I like attend the Taco Mac post-game show for a while. I’m sure, however, that those in the Roswell/Alpharetta or Duluth areas have the same ETAs.

Start a game at 7:30, and that pushed the home arrival to about 10:45 or 11:00. That’s no problem for me even if I have the tax exemptions with me… given that they are 17 and 16 years of age…so for yours truly, it really makes no difference whatsoever. But again, that could be different for those who have young-uns in the elementary school age.

So personally, it doesn’t matter if the start at 7:00 or 7:30…but what I’m looking for here is your opinion. I know regulars will chime in, however I’m also hoping that the many lurkers we have will do so as well as I’m sure the fine people who consider such things inside the organization would very much value your input.

Now, is there something we can point to…a game that started any other time during the week than 7:00…to use as a “for instance” when debating start times for Thrashers games?

Well, I’m glad you ask…as a matter of fact there is. See, there was a Wednesday game against the Ottawa Senators played just last season that was televised nationally in Canada. For that reason, the game here in Atlanta was slated for 7:30. I was there that night…a 3-2 loss to the Sens.

I remember anticipating going to that game for two reasons. One…I wanted to see this new kid the Thrashers had just plucked off the waiver wire by the name of Rich Peverley…and two, I was curious to see whether or not moving the start time back 30 minutes would indeed make a difference in the crowd size.

To be honest, there really was no noticeable difference than any other weeknight game that season. The “announced” attendance…14,163.

Of course I use “quotes” around the word attendance because what normally is “announced” is not always indicative of “how many” fans attended…but that’s a subject for another day.

Regardless, I did a little digging into other weeknight games just before and just after that January 14th one and looked at the attendance numbers from those games that were played during the week but started at the normal time of 7:00.

Here is what I found from that small sampling:

Wednesday December 10 vs. NYR, (3-2 OTL): 13,704

Tuesday January 20 vs. Montreal, (4-2 W): 13,076

Wednesday February 11 vs. Chicago, (3-1 L): 14,029

Tuesday February 24 vs. Colorado, (4-3 W): 12,101

Thursday March 26 vs. vs. NYR, (5-4 SOW) 13,157

Wednesday April 1 vs. Buffalo, (4-3 OTW): 15,038

The average announced attendance for those six games in the sample is 13,517…646 less than the Wednesday January 14 game against Ottawa that started at 7:30. Obviously this isn’t a scientific study by any means, but like I said…I was there in January 14 and I remember that the start time played no visible role in boosting the number of fans in attendance.

Obviously this isn’t a “scientific” study by any means and, admittedly…its just one game. But at least it is something to use in comparison to the normal 7:00 start time.

And I’ll add this in closing… when it comes to attendance, there is this other line of thought that goes…”win and they will come”. And that, my friends, is ultimately the side that I fall on. The more this team wins consistently…and wins consistently at home…the less and less it’ll matter what time the puck  drops.

104 comments Add your comment

Dwayne

November 6th, 2009
1:16 pm

Alan R.

November 6th, 2009
1:24 pm

Second, or SILVER!

Ryan

November 6th, 2009
1:25 pm

Attendance in all sports is pretty simple, all you have to do is read the final paragraph. While 30 minutes here or there could make a difference for some people, it probably evens out when you take into account all people (for instance, I live downtown and get up early for work, so I’m more likely to go to an early game, but someone else may need time to come in from OTP). The bottom line is win and the arena becomes the place to be. People will work around the time if they truly want to attend an event

Sara

November 6th, 2009
1:26 pm

To me, it doesn’t matter what time the games start during the week – with a few notable exceptions over the years, I don’t do weekday games. Period. My girls are in bed before the 2nd period is even half-way over. No chance I’m dragging them out on a school-night. And my guess is I’m not the only parent who feels that way. Therefore, I think it’s ridiculous to schedule for families with young children because I’d wager the majority of ATL families are like mine – just not gonna do it.

LAC

November 6th, 2009
1:35 pm

The main thing is parents who have kids… on a school night, home later
less sleep all that stuff. Might hinder the players on back to back games with one here and one out of town. We could care less about other teams ! Maybe it would annoy them or the like.

So I agree with Sara, mine are grown so no issue for me.

somaatl95

November 6th, 2009
1:36 pm

Yes, it all boils down to winning the game – as the points increase so will the rear ends parking it in the seats – but anyone that has to suffer through Atlanta traffic (especially if a drop of rain enters the picture) knows how hard it is to get to Phillips on time. As far as the time situation goes look at the other sports throughout the world that start later than 7PM. Growing up if I had the joy of going to a braves game (usually starts at 7:35 and ends closer to 11PM) I was still expected by my parents and teachers to get up and go to school. I don’t speak for anyone else when I say that while a Professional Game should be safe for a family atmosphere the game time should not be dictated to get the little taters home in time for school tomorrow. If a grown man goes to a game, drinks entirely wayyyy too much and ends up getting at home past 2AM he is still expected to get up and go to work the next day. If the Braves and Falcons have packed games (with Children as well) and they start in prime time, what keeps the Thrashers from doing the same thing? Anyone who lives/works outside of Fulton and DeKalb play hell getting to the arena, parked, and inside the arena before puck drop – and god forbid you want arena food, a $6 beer or $4 coke as well and want to beat puck drop. No disrespect to any parent that reads this, not one bit, but we all grew up with late sporting events and did just fine at school the next day – why should things change?

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
1:37 pm

It doesn’t make so much a difference in attendance through the turnstiles as it does in who is there and IN A SEAT between 7:08 and 7:45 for our first frustrating 20 mins of hockey. I can’t tell you how many times I am annonyed by the flood of people into seats in front of or below me while I’m trying to watch the latter stages of the 1st period. The team has nothing to feed off as 30-50% of the people coming to the game are still stuck in traffic. It’s more a matter of addressing the horrendous traffic in this town and being more accommodative of your actual supporters and STH’s.

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
1:40 pm

BTW, Kane is gonna bring the pain on Saturday playing with the Big A and Crazy Legs…Tavares is going to cry for his mommy.

Miami Screaming Eagle

November 6th, 2009
1:45 pm

Win games, sign your stars (now) and show the folks you plan on being here 3 years from now. 7, 7:30 or 10:00, doesn’t matter if there’s commitment!

Sign Chelios so we have to attitude on the blue line!

BlueSpark

November 6th, 2009
1:47 pm

I work in Sandy Springs, and I have to say that taking MARTA is definitely the way to go. I can get to the game way before the puck drops with no hassle. Getting back, on the other hand, always means a packed train and some standing around. So I just make sure to have enough adult beverages so that I don’t mind the journey. Puts me home at about 11.

I agree with Sara about families though. If I’m going to take my boys, it will most likely be a Sunday 5PM game, not 7 or 7:30 game.

I wonder if having more of a crowd would make a difference to the team’s first period woes. I was thinking about that last night while watching the game on my DVR.

Rob

November 6th, 2009
1:48 pm

I don’t comment much, but I know I’ve talked about this before and nothing seems to happen. It’s like management doesn’t care. But I do understand why they start the games at 7, for families to be able to come. But I would like to echo Sara’s point that families with younger kids are not going to come to weeknight games no matter what the start time. Not with homework, dinner, etc. And with older kids, the extra 30 minutes isn’t going to matter anyway, they’re up just as much at 10:30 as they are at 11:00.
Also, looking at total attendance isn’t comparing apples to apples, because if you’re going to the game, you’re going if the game starts at 7 or 7:30. What a better comparison would be, is how many people were in the seats for the 7:30 start time as compared to the 7:00 start time. I would venture to guess that there are significantly more people with butts in seats for a 7:30 puck drop as compared to a 7:00 puck drop.
My vote on this then is to move the start times to 7:30. Given that families with younger children aren’t coming anyway, it doesn’t matter. All that does is give people that work OTP that extra 30 minutes to get downtown.
I’m an ex season ticket holder (mostly disgruntled at the product on the ice for the past 10 years), and I can tell you that I’ve given up on making puck drop for weeknight games. If I can make it by 7:30 or 7:35 I’m fine with that (which is right about half way through the first period)

Russian

November 6th, 2009
1:50 pm

Finnaly, Slava is going to 3-d line. I am interesting to see Kane in First line.
Could anybody drop me address for TJ restaurant? :-) I will come to Saturday Party. :-)
I do not care about 7:00 or 7:30 PM. I always take Marta to Philips arena on weekend games. I get the Arena at 6:30PM every time. My family did not go to hockey in weekend, only at Saturday or Sunday.

BG33Brown

November 6th, 2009
1:50 pm

Even at the 7pm games….How many kids are in attendance? In my 5 years of being a season ticket holder the answer is very few. So if kids don’t come on weeknights anyway, why not give the adult crowd a chance to get to the freaking games on time.

somaatl95

November 6th, 2009
1:55 pm

Hey Smoothie, if the past has shown anything Atlanta will never address its horrendous traffic – for anyone who had to sit in Olympic Traffic in 95 and early 96 while every major road was worked on we know its been a serious issue that nobody wants to address (that is Atlantas biggest bull in the china shop) Thanks to wonderful mismanagement of MARTA, and the perceived amount of crime that comes with it the City and Suburbs will NEVER embrace Rapid transit…
Bring the pain Kane!
And I go by this name on Xbox 360 and PS3 if anyone ever wants an online game of NHL10!

hip czech

November 6th, 2009
2:02 pm

Don’t the Braves have start times of 7:30 (well, 7:35 for the old TBS telecasts) for weekday games and 7:00 for Saturday games?

To me, that would be the way to go, 7:30 starts for weeknight games and 7:00 for Saturdays. But then again, we don’t have the school issue to worry about during the week…the tax exemptions are un-socialized homeschoolers.

Buzilla in CT

November 6th, 2009
2:27 pm

Going to be Buzilla on LI come tomorrow. I will have my TJ sign all ready to go Willy. I am so siked for this game. Plus its away so we have a good shot at winning. Wish Kovy was playing though

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
2:35 pm

While we’re talking numbers, I’ve gleaned some stats from the first 12 games last season when we started out 3 – 7 – 2 and endured a miserable 6 game losing streak in which we were outscored by a whopping 29 to 12 margin. Ouch! Looking at the numbers you will see that we have made progress year over year, but we still have a number of issues that are keeping this team from accummulating points. To wit:

Pertinent stats from beginning 12 games of 2008-09 season:
1) negative goal differential of -15 (31 versus 46)
2) goals allowed average of 3.833
3) goals scored average of 2.5 (1 of 31 was a S/O “goal”)
4) even strength goal differential of -10 (ouch)
5) negative shot differential of -53 or avg of -4.42
6) Kozlov recorded 6 goals, 3 assists and a -4 in 12 gms
7) Little recorded 6 goals, 3 assists and a +2 in 12 gms
8 ) Kovy recorded 5 goals, 4 assists and a -3 in 12 gms

Pertinent stats from beginning 12 gms of 2009-10 season:
1) positive goal differential of +5 (includes S/O loss)
2) goals allowed avg of 3.00 (without S/O loss “goal”)
3) goals scored avg of 3.50
4) even strength goal differential of -2 (ATL has 2 S/H goals)
5) negative shot differential of -78 or avg of -6.50
6) Kozlov has 0 goals, 5 assists and a -2 thru 12 gms
7) Little has 2 goals, 6 assists and a +5 thru 12 gms
8 ) Kovy has 9 goals, 1 assist and a -1 thru 7.067 gms

So, are we a better team? I’d say yes, but only in certain respects namely special teams efficiency and goaltending / team defense. However, as far as being a more well-rounded, complete team, the jury is still out. The fact we are getting outshot so dramatically with better personnel in our Top 9 is a bit sobering. Perhaps it is due to the numerous new faces (Nik, Max, Kane) that is causing more fits and spurts this season.

Last year, JA demonstrated that he could fix things, sometimes only temporarily like the 5 game winning streak we went on after losing 6 in a row. But the team improved in just about every facet of the game from the 1st half to the 2nd half. Will that be the case this season or will the chemistry issues and lack of toughness continue to plague this team?

mar1jdh

November 6th, 2009
2:36 pm

I’m a 10 year ticket holder and parent of a 5 year old as well. The 7:00 times suck for me a as parent becuase I’m not taking my child on a weekday anyway (he goes to bed at eight) and I’m choose to go home after work, have a family dinner before I leave – generally leaving for the game around 6:45 once traffic breaks. I generally miss half to all of the first period on weeknights. (Even if I didn’t go home first its near impossible to leave Alpharetta at 5:30-6:00 and get to my seats by 7)

In addition, the sparse early corwds make for a dull atmosphere which probably turns off an occassional spectator from coming back. (And the empty philips experience and no TV’s on in the concourse probably are doing the same).

The 7:30 start time is imperative on all M-F games. The STH survey says its split 52-48 for 7, but I bet the 48% that want 7:30 are more irritated about 7 pm starts than the 52% that prefer 7:00 would be about 7:30 starts. (BTW, my account rep tried to blame the decision on teh NHL prefering 7:00 starts for TV reasons, but judging from our lack of TV exposure I know thats crap.)

It may not help the team win games but it will make for a better atmosphere in the arena and probably over the long term boost attendance if games started at 7:30.

Phil Foley - Atlanta Thrashers Examiner

November 6th, 2009
2:37 pm

This is always a topic of conversation between myself and some my colleagues, not only about the Thrashers and Hawks, but the Braves as well.

Living OTP, I personally think it is foolish to start games at 7:00 and was shocked when the Braves matched the Hawks and Thrashers and moved the bulk of their games (except Friday) to that time a few years ago.

Assuming you leave the office at 5 or 5:30, trek up to get the kids, fight traffic both ways, drive down to the ballpark/arena, you’re lucky to get there by opening faceoff. Hence you see really small crowds to start the game and a true lack of energy in the place until it fills up sometime during the middle of the first period.

Also, I don’t understand why it makes sense from a concessions standpoint. Would you rather have fans there early, eating, drinking, spending money, etc.? Or arrive late and lose out on a beer or two in revenue?

I understand the kids/babysitter argument. But for whatever reason, this seems to be the trend in sports, be it for local television or whatnot, I don’t know.

Personally, I’d much rather have a 7:30 start than a 7:00 one during the week, even if it means that I leave the arena at midnight instead of 11:30 or so when everything is filed.

mar1jdh

November 6th, 2009
2:38 pm

Why are all number eights ( 8 )becoming smiley faces?

Rawhide

November 6th, 2009
2:56 pm

Russian – Glad to read you’re coming to TJ’s tomorrow. See ya there.

mar1jdh – I have no idea how those 8s were turning into smilies…must be something with the coding that creates the emoticons. Anyway, I fixed ‘em…and thanks for the comments!

Rob – Thanks…exactly the kinda feedback I’m looking for.

Phil Foley – It’s always a hot topic…isn’t it. BTW, when we gonna hit the Kennesaw Taco Mac to look at an away game together?

Zilla – We’ll be looking for ya!

Matt A

November 6th, 2009
3:01 pm

Rob got it right … the impact on start time is seen in crowd size at the opening face off. Unless someone has statistics to show the breakdown of attendance by age range, I would suspect that anyone too young to attend a 7:30p start is also too young to attend a 7p start, so with that assumption, the later start seems like the better choice for weeknight games with holidays and weekends getting a 7p (or earlier) start.

somaatl95

November 6th, 2009
3:07 pm

A 7:30 start / 7:40 puck drop gives people enough time to get to their seats and get their lungs ready to scream “Woo-Hoo!” “Lets go Thrashers!” or “Shoot the *@!^&*@ Puck!” and gets the rest of the league off our collective backs. Until they know what we face to getting to Phillips on time they will always throw attendance at us when the ” (Insert Crazy Business Owner or Canadian Town Name Here) plans on buying and moving the Thrashers…” Why do all Atlanta teams take forever before they get a decent footing and make waves?

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
3:12 pm

Bill, sorry for the statistical post, I forgot which blog I was on! Thought I was on C-Viv’s…I’ve obviously been posting too much today!

As for me and Special K, I’m not sure about tomorrow night as her mom has taken ill and they are at the doctor’s right now. We shall see, but I don’t think we’ll be able to leave the vicinity to go to Alpharetta. Sux cuz I’d love to meet Russian and some of the other bloggers.

Go Thrash! Flush the Island-turds!

Rawhide

November 6th, 2009
3:20 pm

Smoothie – So sorry to hear about Special K’s mom. Please forward to them both my best wishes and hopes for her speedy recovery!

Who cares...

November 6th, 2009
3:32 pm

…it is freakin’ hockey – I guess you might be able to tell the difference in attendance since only 25 people attend now, and that could go up to 30 or down to 20, so it seems to me to be a wash.

Hey, somaatl95...

November 6th, 2009
3:34 pm

…it’s because all “professional” Atlanta teams suck!

somaatl95

November 6th, 2009
3:35 pm

Lessons learned from Kindergarten – If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all!

Viking

November 6th, 2009
3:38 pm

Since I am lucky to live close to a Marta station on the east-west line, it makes life easier to get downtown avoiding traffic and parking hassles. However, this is only part of the problem, since you have to get home from work first.

7.00PM starts on a weekday is just out of the question. Not considering going. It is quite an investment in time, effort and money to attend a game. If you risk missing up to a third of the game or be exposed to severe stress beforehand, and if TV is available, it is the the obvious choice. If no TV, I rather sit and stare at the computer updates while listening to Kamal & Co., than experience more stress and aggravation than what live hockey would bring.

If there is some general NHL TV conformity to satisfy with a 7PM start, you would think that it would actually be a good thing to have the games a little staggered. At least for the viewers. Maybe not for commercial views, which increase during period pauses.

7.30PM for weekdays and 5.00PM on weekends!

Hey Coward....

November 6th, 2009
3:47 pm

Why don’t you grow a set and tell The Thrashers, Hawks, Braves and Falcons that to their faces? Oh yeah, because it’s much easier to sit behind a keyboard and troll on a whole citys “Professional” teams. Bet you’re one of those fairweather fans who rushed out to buy a yankees cap yesterday to replace the phillies cap from 2008. Most people come here for civil debate, NOT to be told their teams suck.

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
3:47 pm

Bill, thanks for the well-wishes. She’s in a lot of pain so hopefully the prescription helps. How’s your brother faring since seeing the specialist?

EA

November 6th, 2009
3:48 pm

If 7:30 would bring in more adults/college students, I vote for it. There are not many young kids at the weeknight games. Sat. 7:00 and Sun 5:00 for families.

somaatl95

November 6th, 2009
3:48 pm

Brendan

November 6th, 2009
4:05 pm

I support the 7:30PM start time. And here’s why. If you are toting the youngsters, what’s that HALF HOUR really going to matter? If you’re bringing the kids out, it’s gonna be a “late night.” So, catering to the 7PM crowd doesn’t “seem” to make that much sense.

Chances are, people leave work at 5PM to rush home to go get the kids, then haul as fast as they can to the arena, fighting traffic all the way, and maybe stopping for “fast food” as a dinner solution at around 6PM-ish, to make the 7PM start. That’s crazy.

Might as well let the family sit around the dinner table and eat a healthy meal, while everyone gets a “reasonable” amount of time to change clothes into their Thrasher gear, for the game. That extra half hour gives you time to fight the traffic.

Games don’t usually take 3 hours anymore. It’s more like 2H, 40 minutes, unless there’s overtime and/or a shootout. Then it might go 3 hours. Is leaving the Arena at 9:45PM really that much better than 10:15 PM? It’s way past any child’s bedtime anyway. And if you want to go do the Taco Mac thing, have at it! Like I said, it’s a “late night” anyway.

Now, there are some traffic tips out there. That’s another blog topic, however! When I lived in Duluth, GA (Gwinnett County), I used Williams St. as a solution, and sometimes West Peachtree St. For those on the Southern Crescent, Harris St., off Spring St., is the fastest way to get a car load full of people onto I-85/I-75 South. So, park on Spring St. and walk the extra distance to make your quick get-a-way.

For an inexpensive lot, that gets you quickly up north as it does south, try the one next to the Courthouse/Martin Luther King Federal building. It’s adjacent to the CNN parking lot off of Marietta St. You walk through a very large parking lot, but you can either access the arena from the escalators or you can come up through the CNN parking garage, up the steps or elevator, and come into CNN through the side doors or into Philips under the A-T-L-A-N-T-A writing. It’s usually $3-$5 to park. There’s hardly anyone there, and you can exit right to Forsyth St. via Alabama St.

To avoid all the traffic, take Forsyth all the way past the Greyhound Bus station, and it winds around the Georgia Dept. of Transportation building, and dumps you right on to I-85 South. This route also works for I-20, off Martin Luther King, East and West bound. I don’t think escape route has ever failed. It’s a two-minute walk to the car, and another two minutes to the Interstate, North, East, West, or Southbound. I’ve never sat in the parking lot. Ever. Even for a soldout game. Just tryin’ to help, folks!

AuburnZ

November 6th, 2009
4:09 pm

I voted for 7:30. I don’t have tax exemptions, but hubby and I have to come from OTP to our home downtown to meet up for the games. Leaving work at 4:30 to make games is not always doable, though. If we leave on time from work, we have (just) enough time to stop at the Va-Hi Taco Mac for dinner and a couple of beers on our way, but we usually have to walk pretty fast through the parking deck to make puck drop. No time to buy concessions or anything which I would think would be important to ASG.

I have been a season ticket holder for a while now and have only been asked once (after the first year) for preferred start time. I don’t know who the ASG is asking, but it isn’t all of their STH base. I have asked around and haven’t found anyone who has been asked recently by ASG for their opinion on start time yet ASG always refers to this 52-48% split preference for the 7pm start time. I think it is the ASG employees themselves that prefer it since most of the sales and marketing people are at the game after putting in a full day of work so they would prefer to start earlier to get their day over with earlier.

Bill Tiller (Rawhide)

November 6th, 2009
4:19 pm

Smoothie – He’s better thanks…doctor said there should be no scaring due to the burns and no nerve damage. Considering he was on fire from the waste up for a few seconds…he’s gotten off quite lucky.

Everyone – I just found out that Tim and Mark Ecclestone will have 2 pairs of tickets to raffle off tomorrow night at the viewing party complements of the Atlanta Spirit and the NHL Alumni group.

Smoothie

November 6th, 2009
4:34 pm

Ooo, the vote is 19 to 10 in favor of 7:30…change we can believe in!

Bill, that’s great news about your brother!! Have fun tomorrow night…it’s looking more and more like we can’t make it…probably will have to look after moms. See you on Sunday though!

Nix

November 6th, 2009
5:06 pm

I work in Duluth and generally can’t leave the office before 6pm, so a 7:30 start time would be a huge help. I’m lucky if I can get to my seat before puck drop. When I do manage to get there on time, there is a huge difference in how many seats are filled at the start of the game and the end of the 1st period.

Wish I could join ya’ll tomorrow night, but I’ve got a birthday party to attend. Maybe next time…

Thrashers27

November 6th, 2009
5:28 pm

Smoothie….”Crazy Legs”…Love it!

Get The Puck Out

November 6th, 2009
6:11 pm

7:30. No doubt about it. I live north of Cherokee county so i need all the time i can get!

ranallo10 (in AT)

November 6th, 2009
6:22 pm

Start time never made a difference to me except for on one horrendous occasion…the first playoff game in franchise history. Normally leaving from Roswell (work) at 5pm meant in my seat by 6:30pm at the latest. Thursday traffic was especially bad for getting to games, but usually it’d only impact me by 15 minutes or so with some hot potato traffic jam handling. However, on the first playoff game I left work at 5pm, wasn’t to Lenox Road until 6pm, and didn’t come into the arena until fricking 7:15pm.

Of course, the one game I miss puck drop at is the first playoff game, and of course the first playoff game is wisely scheduled at the same time as a marathon/parade/some other traffic jam causing festivity in Buckhead and downtown Atlanta.

Otherwise, 7pm was never a problem for me. What I found interesting was that if I left at 5:30pm for a 7:30pm game, I would show up just before puck drop because traffic gets WORSE the closer to 7pm you leave.

So honestly I never experienced poor situations where a 7:30pm start would’ve been the cure to my Thrashers attendance woes. I’m sure others have wonderful reasons for supporting 7:30pm, but in my experience a little planning and sacrificing a dinner at home got me to the game on time. My priority however was hockey, not eating a family meal, so clearly opinions will vary from my own.

But again, I doubt 30 minutes is what is keeping season ticket holders and other casual viewers from selling out the arena. How many games do the Braves sellout with their later starting times, winning records, playoff races, etc? However, winning will definitely help the Thrashers sell out, even if puck drop was at 3pm on a weekday.

jcwhitingjr

November 6th, 2009
6:33 pm

The wife and I have been season ticket holders for several years now and have been asked twice in surveys from the Thrashers about the start times. Each time we’ve voted for 7:30 starts. I don’t know many people who prefer the 7pm starts yet we are told that is what the majority wants.

Working from home in Cumming, I just wait for the wife to get home from work, usually around 5pm. She gets into her Thrasher’s gear and we are off. On a good day we are there by 6. Bad days we are there around 6:30ish. On a really bad day, we miss the first half of the first period. Getting home is usually not a problem. Last night it took 35 minutes.

jcwhitingjr

November 6th, 2009
6:38 pm

I’ve not been to a Braves game in several years but, if they start at 7ish, they won’t end usually until around 10pm. If you started a Thrashers game around 7:30 it would end around the same time. If a baseball game that is going to end roughly around 10pm good enough for families to attend and a hockey game that ends roughly the same time not?

mutton

November 6th, 2009
6:39 pm

As for me, it doesn’t REALLY matter what time the games start. I live in western North Carolina, although far enough south that Atlanta is closer (about half the distance) than Raleigh. So either way it’s pushing 3 when I get home if I’m lucky. But I’m more of a night person anyway, and with no time by which I need to be home, I’d rather the game start at 7:30 so that if traffic is particularly heavy (as it has seemed both times, although I know that’s just the country boy in me) there’s a little buffer. But again, since it’s a good 3-4 hour drive (since I have a penchant for Waffle House and usually stop at one on the way) it makes little difference for me.

jcwhitingjr

November 6th, 2009
6:48 pm

OH yeah, one more thing, the wife and I may be able to make it down to TJs tomorrow night as well!

Glovesave29

November 6th, 2009
8:02 pm

I’m with Sara…I’ve got two little ones who like to go to games, but we just pick the weekend games, so in that respect, the time difference means little to me. But on the other hand, when meeting up with the boys to catch a game, I am more likely to go to a 7:30 game. Gives me a bit more time to get down there and get a meal and a brew before they drop the puck…with traffic from the Johns Creek area, it’s tough to make it down there in time for the earlier start.

See y’all tomorrow night.

Wayne stuck in AL

November 6th, 2009
9:09 pm

As a former Atlanta resident, I’ve never understood why the Braves and Thrashers scheduled 7 pm games when the bulk of their fan base comes from outside 285.

Tony C.

November 6th, 2009
9:35 pm

I don’t think most parents of school-aged children are taking their kids to a weeknight game. Now, for some, I’m sure that the prospect of getting out of the game @ 9:30 is more appealing than 10pm.

But uhh… howabout they promote the weeknight games to kids that DO go out on weeknights? Seriously!

GSU’s campus is very close as well as GT…. I know that we live in the belt buckle of the bible belt, but why not do a beer promotion on weeknights? I’ll bet that the cost of 10-15 extra security guys would be more than offset by ticket and concession revenue.

We went last night, and didn’t even make the 1st period due to extremely horrible traffic on 400-anyway, I would like to say that those of us that were in the lower bowl (and c’mon guys, if it’s that empty-C”MON DOWN-they won’t stop you. Seriously.) made some pretty good noise for as small a crowd as was there.

Anyway, I think 7:30 would definitely help those of us on the 400 corridor actually make it before the 1st intermission.

Glovesave29

November 6th, 2009
10:56 pm

Garnet Exelby has been benched up in TO. Internet boards up there are hanging ol’ X out to dry. Guess thay’d like to have Pavel Kubina back right about now. They are actually singing the praises of Jeff Finger as he relinquishes his seat in the pressbox. Leaf fans are hysterical – X went from a tough guy savior, to the root of all their problems in a month…can anyone here prescribe about 20,000 xanax for those yahoos?

sisu

November 6th, 2009
11:05 pm

Coming from Marietta it’s quick and easy to go up I-75, I avoid 400 like the swine flu! 7:30 would be my preferred time, that way I can eat something other than the crap food at the bulb.
As a 7 year sth I have been asked twice in a survey about start time and I prefer 7:30

Greg

November 6th, 2009
11:53 pm

While I have no real data to contribute to the discussion, I am someone that would attend FAR more games if they started at 7:30. As it is now I pretty much only go to the weekend games.

I tend to leave my office around 6, have a carpool to drop off, and by the time I am back at my place it is 6:45. With Marta I can be at the game by 7:20 or so. So on weekdays I currently have the choice between going to the game, paying for a ticket, and arriving late, or simply going home and watching the game on TV? I love watching hockey in person, but guess which one usually wins?

Brendan

November 7th, 2009
3:47 am

Good discussions on the start times for games. The thing that I liked about the 7PM start, and remember I’m someone who prefers 7:30, was that if I went to a game alone, and knew ahead of time that that would be the case, I could go straight from work to the game, just throwing a jersey over my head. (Note: Always keep a Thrasher jersey in your car or at work, just for such occasions.) Philips Arena, for much of the past 5-6 years, was less than 25 minutes from my place of business. Even with bad traffic. On those days, I’d actually work late, and leave around 6:30, arriving right at puck drop. If the game ended at 9:40, I’d be home by 10:30, at the latest.

Which leads me to this thought: “Maybe the Thrashers are catering to the non-married persons, or childless couples, who are more apt to have disposable income?” Sometimes, leaving directly from work worked best for me. It made attending weeknight games very easy. And, answering truthfully, the 7PM start worked best in those instances. So, I can see that, by catering to childless persons, married or otherwise, 7PM was the Thrashers’ start time of choice.

A possible solution not yet suggested, lest I missed it, was a compromise, splitting the difference, for a 7:15PM puck drop. What do you think of that? For those returning home to pick up kids, this doesn’t help all that much. But it’s better than 7PM. For the young professionals crowd, that leaves from work right to the arena, it’s only 15 more minutes to wait for puck drop. More time for you to socialize in the CNN foodcourt.

Bluenote

November 7th, 2009
9:18 am

The big idea here is win home games and this issue disappears.

Have been asked for preferences several times on this by STRs and consistently stated preference for 7:00 starts. Blame me 730istas.

Reasons being this has made it possible for growing deductions to attend games on school nights. Faced with the choice between supporting academics and seeing some of the NHL’s best, we’ve consistently made the irresponsible choice. They’re older now so it matters less

Another angle here is attracting more young hockey players (or wannabes) to attend games on weeknights. OK, it’s hundreds, not thousands of potential butts in seats, but long-term, the team has to consider how to attract new viewers. Being able to attend weeknight games AND make school the next morning has been a strong plus for 2 deductions at my house.

Have heard consistently the 52/48 split so this debate will rage forever.

Red jerseys, start times, better food or intermission entertainment really have very little to do with the end result. Win at home and this debate goes away.

Glad to hear the encouraging news on your brother Rawhide. Good kharma and prayers answered. Sorry to miss the festivities tonight at TJ’s…previous social obligations with Shehomustbeobeyed. Raincheck please.

jcwhitingjr

November 7th, 2009
11:57 am

I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep last night and remembered a two part blog that you did recently, Rawhide. I believe Tim Ecclestone hit the nail on the head as far as how to get butts in the seats at the Bulb in that interview.

If you’re looking to build attendance in most non-traditional markets you have to win. Short of that if you want butts in the seats you have to have a team that plays a game more like football on ice as opposed to futbol on ice. Those of us who love hockey are going to be at the games no matter what. Those that aren’t as well versed in the hockey way need something more to bring them in and in a football mad area you have to try and highlight the similarities between football and hockey.

hip czech

November 7th, 2009
4:30 pm

Take Eklund rumors with a giant grain of salt…but two interesting comments:

“The Thrashers are talking turkey with the Hawks about Patrick Sharp. it is getting much more serious according to my sources than I thought it would get this early in the year.

Marty Biron could VERY soon be headed back to Buffalo with Rick DiPietro closer than anyone knows to returning… Biron also has interest from Detroit and Atlanta.”

What would it take to land Sharp? With an interest in Biron (if true) that pretty much seals the deal that Lehtonen won’t be seeing any action this year…and could possibly mean we have seen the last of KL as a Thrasher.

Smoothie

November 7th, 2009
6:14 pm

I would love to get both Biron and Sharp! Trade Moose and a prospect not named Postma for Sharp and try to wrest Biron away fron NYI for some defensive depth (Salmela or Pops?) And call up Kulda.

Of course Eklund is never right, but Sharp rumors are realistic considering Chicago’s cap issues. Regardless, Waddudley would be wise to explore that avenue and use those Hawk connections to their advantage.

sisu

November 7th, 2009
8:17 pm

What the heck, once again the team is starting slow….

Would love to see an upgrade by adding sharp, but as you may know the Hawks are missing a forward from each one of their 4 lines…so what would we send in return?

Curly

November 7th, 2009
8:21 pm

Definitely 7:00 pm starts on Weekdays. I live outside the perimeter (East Side) and can leave work at 5:00, go home and grab a quick Supper and make it to the Arena by 6:45.

7:30 pm starts are a bit too late for week nights.

LAC

November 7th, 2009
8:27 pm

This is starting to look like the Titanic, This is NUTS, letting guys score at will right in front of the net, POOR goaltending and a defense that is ASLEEP !

Did anyone see that GREAT centering pass Hanisey made to Park for a SOG ?

We cannot exit our zone in a quick & effective manner, like other teams and look like $HIT tonight.

I hate to say it, but this is NOT a very good team, Slava is coasting like never before, Little looks LOST, Kane seems to not know how to shoot the puck and the defense is TERRIBLE !!!

The most ineffective is Enstrom, he is getting WORST on the defensive side as the season goes on and Hanisey is no better…

Changes need to be made and made QUICK or we will be out of it by Thanksgiving, say good bye to Illya, how could any superstar want to remain with a LOSER like Atlanta ?

Sorry folks but you see it on the ice tonight it STINKS, it STUNK Thursday night and will be an OUTHOUSE after we get BEAT tonight and Sunday by St.Louis, another GREAT season for us fans offered up by STUPID don waddell, It’s over !

12345

November 7th, 2009
8:55 pm

Boy this is ungood to say the very least. So awful I am now watching reruns of Family Feud, 5-2 ????? I have to agree the defense we have is awful, we are for sure heading back to be a bottom feeder in this league, like we have always been. What an incentive for Kovy, WOW
more of the same year after year after year, by 1/2010 we will be at least 20 points out of a playoff spot, but no changes will ever be made
and the man responsible for this entire mess will remain messing everything up. I think it is time to sell the team and move them, because I for one and DAMN tired of this lackluster play ! There is never any improvement !

sisu

November 7th, 2009
9:20 pm

Bad game tonight, one teams was ready the other one not. But to say that the season is over??? What is wrong with you people here? Are you fans or just here to insult the true fans? A flat game, no hitting and too many shots given up.

If you feel that this team stinks, then look at Hurricanes and see how it could be…

It seems to me that the same posters always come in and hammer on the team after a bad game or two.This team is better this season and will be battling. All teams have bad nights. Get over it!

Big Bill

November 7th, 2009
9:44 pm

I was going to the St.Louis game Sunday, but after watching the game tonight, I am going to save my money for some other entertainment
that I will enjoy, not something I will waste $ on to see another
poor preformance and loss. This team is not a very good one.

Brendan

November 7th, 2009
11:37 pm

Look folks. It’s really not as bad as it looks. If things were really that bad, this team would be 5-6 games under .500, NHL-style. We’re at .500. We’re 5-2-1 on the road. The Islanders have been 6-2-2 in their last 10 or so. But don’t quote me on that. So? So we caught them on a hot streak.

Keep something else in mind, please. We are without the “face of the franchise,” the leader, the Captain, Ilya Kovalchuk. So, a real, true comparison between us and the Isles didn’t take place. But I’ll give credit to the Islanders. They played a very determine, CONFIDENT style of play in front of the home fans, for a Saturday night game. The Islanders are now 6-6-5, good enought for 17-points and a .500 record. Atlanta is 6-6-1, for 13-points, with FOUR (4) games-in-hand.

This Thrashers team is NOT a ship sinking. This is a mid-level club, probably ranked 19th to 22nd overall in the league. In my opinion, as I’ve said all long, for months and years now, this is YEAR THREE of a 4-year building probject. This team is on pace for 82-points. That’s six-points better than 76-points. I’m not one to trumpet “incremental progress,” as I see “incremental progress” as a BARE-BONES minimum return on consecutive picks inside the lottery draft and the availability to claim players off the waiver wire, like Schubert and Peverley, for example.

Folks, I promise you … we’re not headed to 57-points, or 61-points, for 70-points. We’re going to reach 82-points, at a minimum. We ran a guess the points contest, and the vast majority of the posters here picked Atlanta to be ranked 9th or higher in the conference. I think my guess was 85-points, and 10th in the Conference. And that was one of the lower guesses in the contest.

There are positive things to look at in this game. Hedberg did well in relief. The blueline chipped in all three goals. I have egg on my face right now, because Christophe Schubert got off “Schneid Island” before Kozlov and Antropov have. So, there goes my pick! I’m wrong again. Kubina’s goal, I don’t care what anyone says, was a thing of beauty. When the Top 20 goals of the season are compiled, I think that Kubina turn and slapper to the upper corner of the net should make the highlight reel. Bogosian’s goal was a little weak. Schubert’s was “meh.” It went in.

Invisible tonight, were Kozlov, who looks like he’s CHECKED OUT, and Todd White. One of the most disappointing things I saw, believe it or not, was a simple play entering the zone. Slater tried to advance the puck up the side boards and was UTTERLY PINCHED out of the play. It was embarrassing. Moments later, the Islanders scored that CRUSHING 4th goal. Slater either has to dump the puck and go for a line change, or get around the defenseman. He was made to look like a government mule on that play. I don’t mean to dump on Slater. He’s just a 4th line Center guy, who tries real hard, to the best of his ability. But I felt, in that moment, in that play, that the Islanders felt they had Atlanta on the run. And then they scored.

But this was ONE (1) game, folks. Don’t judge the season by it. If we’re gonna throw the team under the bus after each loss, this is going to be a long season. I can’t support doing that. Especially in a ‘building year.’ I know Kovalchuk wants to win the Stanley Cup this year, and JA says anything short of the playoffs is failure, but really … what are they supposed to say? “We’re cool with picking up the next big piece of the puzzle at the draft next June?” That won’t sell tickets. This team is better than last year. It was more depth. It has more potential, moving forward. The Florida Panthers are 5-9-1. They suck. The Carolina Hurricanes are something like 2-11-3. And that’s 0-9-2 in their last 12. That’s a team that’s not on the same sheet of music. We’re not those teams.

Look what a weird night it was in the NHL tonight? Nashville over the “en fuego” L.A. Kings? The Leafs SPANK the Red Wings, 5-1? Boston, who had scored one (1) goal in 9.5 periods … sank 4 tonight, in a win vs. Buffalo, who has been playing well. Tampa Bay went INTO MONTREAL and beat them, 3-1. Did you predict that one?? Lots of unusual results.

As for attending tomorrow’s game … you go because you want to, not because you expect a win or a loss. It’s a great opportunity to bring your kids to an afternoon game. Shoot, make a day of it! See the Falcons SPANK the Deadskins from 1-4, then eat at CNN, and attend the 5PM game vs. St. Louis. What a great day of family togetherness, doing the things we love to enjoy! And that’s watching our home teams play sports.

R. Stroz

November 8th, 2009
12:48 am

Signs you’re going to lose a hockey game:

1) Mandy Sutton scores the first goal of the game.

Well, that’s sufficient.

Northwest Sider

November 8th, 2009
5:17 am

And I thought we had this “better” team, same old Thrashers…

Baldheaded Thrasher

November 8th, 2009
7:20 am

The game was blacked out by Direct TV for me and I live in the Atlanta area. Direct TV’s customer no service could not give me a reason why this was the case, exept to mention that Direct TV had no control over the blackouts?

My question is what cable or other satellite feeds carried the game?

Smitty

November 8th, 2009
8:20 am

I am disappointed at the play of Kozlov and White. They should not be playing 2nd line minutes. Our defense has been abysmal. Too many screens in front of Pavs last night but that is getting to be the norm leaving Pavs out to dry. Tough to control rebounds when you do not see the puck, just ask Glovesave. We need more physical play from our defense.

A lot of weakside goals against which reflects poor coverage by our wingers. Little was no where to be found on Suttons goal. Could not believe Sutton goal. Only time he shelves anything is after a game when he takes off his equipment.

Thrashers need to come out strong this afternoon. Does a team that is continually ill-prepared to start a game reflect poor preperation by the coaching staff? I hope not.

stendec

November 8th, 2009
8:53 am

I hope heartless Thrashers enjoy Hamilton! That is a lie. I hope they freeze their untalented a$$es off! Hope all you damn apologists savored another close loss. Check that! This one was not even close. Being completely outclassed by the minor league Islanders. THE DAMN ISLANDERS! Coach John Petrino sure had team motivated for this one. Losing streak intact. Swirl down commode continues! Thrashers worst of worst. About Ilya Kovalchuk returning? Forget it! Playoffs? That is a four letter word twice. No chance in Hell. Tell me again how wonderful these gutless quitters are! Deserved NHL laughingstocks. Their eventual departure will be no loss whatsoever! To Hell with them. ++STENDEC++ Uncaring quitters!

Sage of Bluesland

November 8th, 2009
9:49 am

Don Waddell thanks you for your support! Oh well, Year 11 of our Five-Year Plan…Who needs pathetic when you’re “building through the draft!”…

Pitiful.

alex

November 8th, 2009
9:51 am

we going to lose today game also, 100% confident, sorry.

Curly

November 8th, 2009
10:09 am

Great post Brendan.

I recall that two of the Columbus goals were a direct result of Slater being out of position. At least one of the Isles goals was due to his poor judgment. Not to mention his missed shoots, and whiffs. Slater could use some time in Chicago to get his act together. Bring up a few Wolves to see what they can do (ie.. Crabb, Stapleton, Gratton). Some of these guys had a good training camp and deserve a chance over Slater.

Carole

November 8th, 2009
10:50 am

7pm, absolutely. As a 10 year STH, I can remember when weeknight games started at 7:30pm and how disruptive it was to my week to not get home until 11pm, meaning not to bed until midnight. Leaving the arena 9:40ish, I’m home by a little after 10 and then in bed by 11. Come morning, we appreciate that extra hour. I know at least two other new STH for whom the 7pm start was a requirement.

HookyBob

November 8th, 2009
11:26 am

I’ve been on the road a few days and out of internet (as well as cellphone) access. Returned yesterday and have been debriefed.

Several comments have noted that once the tax exemptions reach a certian age the 7:00 starting time looses much of its appeal. Let me put in a word for the AARP fans. At some point in one’s life getting home before 11:00 at night has greater weight. Now I grant that, as a country boy who grew up on the frozen ponds, I am a Jack London advocate in that I don’t believe in “burning daylight.” It would be interesting to see what the age demographics of Thrasher fans are. How are we doing in attracting younger fans?

Kukla’s Corner has an interesting article from the Pittsburgh writer (Rob Rossi?) about southern based teams. He maintains there is a workable “warm weather” model for successful NHL franchises,…but Atlanta isn’t one of them.

Also, read recently that St Louis is an “offensively challenged” team. I’m hoping that is just what the doctor ordered for this team.

Go Blue.

Miami Screaming Eagle

November 8th, 2009
11:59 am

You wonder how much the spector of Kovy being unsigned is hurting this team. The players all know their leader, their captain may be gone at year’s end or sooner.

Is this guy really a leader if he is such a distraction? Don’t try and tell me this hasn’t become a major distraction for the team.

Time to make a decision, by December 1. If he’s not going to resign, trade him and get something for him. This club will be in limbo until this situation is settled. Rick Nash was able to make his decision without an act of Congress.

Fish or cut bait.

Sage of Bluesland

November 8th, 2009
12:27 pm

I don’t know which is more laughable–Don Waddell’s tenure as a big league GM or thinking that 30 minutes is the reason for lackluster attendance at the figurative joke otherwise known as “Blueland”?

Tough choice, isn’t it?

Actually, these two points are intertwined so much so that even a sheep can connect the dots…

Still wondering why on Earth some still subsidize the utter incompetence and abomination…I stopped and am now relegated to chuckling at the few “highs” and mostly “lows” of this forlorn franchise via the box score or miniscule article in the ever-shrinking AJC…

How sad on all levels! Oh well, bumbling Don still thanks you for your support! Enjoy it–you’ve earned it, my sheep!

Thrashers27

November 8th, 2009
12:30 pm

Stendec,

If we ever heard from you when the team was winning, your opinions might be held in consideration. As it is, the only time you ever open your digital piehole is after a loss. If you ever had anything positive to say, your thoughts might be considered, but you never say anything positive, you never point out good things, so what value do you lend to this forum?

None!

++STENDOUCHE++

Rawhide

November 8th, 2009
12:58 pm

Baldheaded Thrasher – Comcast showed the game…I was able to watch the debacle after coming home from TJ’s Saturday night. Really, really sad what Direct TV did…we had a full room at TJ’s full of fans there to see the game and Direct TV basically screwed the pooch. When custumer “no” service was called, they gave some bull about how it was blacked out because it was being aired on Sports South. This even though they could plainly see that the Hawks were on Sports South and that’s why they were blacked out in the Atlanta market.

Tim, Mark and the entire staff at TJ’s did there usual wonderful job of entertaining us…and we had a few games on in the party room to observe and had a good time. But Direct TV…and their lack of support…deserve a GIANT BITE-ME!!

sisu

November 8th, 2009
1:06 pm

Wow, there are always the same posters here who come out after a bad loss. I agree with Brendan, it takes time to get the pieces together and the team is at .500 right now instead of looking at the standings and seeing that they are still hanging in there versus facing an up hill climb of being 4 or 5 games below .500.
Biggest piece is missing is Kovy at the moment, he will come back and give the team the “shot in the arm” needed

Baldheaded Thrasher

November 8th, 2009
1:10 pm

Rawhide_I’m not finished dealing with Direct TV customer no service.
The questions I want answered are:

1) Why did Center Ice blackout Direct TV and not Comcast?

2) The Montreal game on Nov 3rd was the exact same circumstance (away game and no regional or local coverage)but was shown. What’s the difference?

I’ve had Center Ice for a number of years and the game should have been available last night.

Trying to get ready for tonight parking will be a challenge I’m sure.

Rawhide

November 8th, 2009
1:20 pm

Baldheaded Thrasher – Your two questions should be easy enough to answer. 1). They should not have blacked it out and 2). There was no difference in the two.

The problem on their end was that someone mistakenly blocked it out because they thought it was being aired on SportsSouth. That was a mistake….but when the “mistake” was clearly pointed out to the people on the other end of the phone, they didn’t want to correct the mistake.

So you and every other Thrashers fan who is a subscriber to NHL Center Ice via Direct TV has a right to be pissed.

Making mistakes is only human…we all do it on the individual level and business level. But when it is clearly pointed out that you’ve made a mistake but you as a company refuse to correct it for your paying customers…well, you deserve all of the sh!t you get from it on the other end of the phone from those you pay for your service and keep you employed.

But that’s just me.

Anyway…time to make my way down to Philips.

Smoothie

November 8th, 2009
1:28 pm

Time to shake things up a bit by calling up a couple of young hungry Wolves like Spencer and Crabb or Kozek. They cannot play any less inspired than Kozlov, White and even Armstrong.

Put Kari on IR officially so you can carry 14 fwds and 7 D-men and 2 goalies. Time to send a msg about heart and determination. Hell, bring up Crabb and Gratton and knock some heads!

Sick of these gutless loafers playing without any sense of urgency! Your best player is hurt so step up and raise your game!

Kane – Little – Antro

Kozzy – Pevs – Army

Crabb – Marty – Max

Gratts – White – Thor

Send Slater to Chicago to get his act together and make Boults sit in the presser with Salmela. I’d sit Kozlov but he’s still valuable on the 2nd unit PP.

Re-work the D- pairings to give Bogo some vet “protection” with Hainsey. Let Kubina play with Enstrom and hope that Pops can keep the mistakes to a min with Schubert.

Bob

November 8th, 2009
1:42 pm

7:30 starts are a no brainer. Which is precisely why this management makes the mind boggling decision to start weekday games at 7pm with Atlanta traffic. It’s one of the 2 major reasons I don’t have season tix anymore, just can’t get there at 7pm. I had to leave work at 4:30 and leave my home by 5:30 to get there at about 7:05 and just make the puck drop. With the 7:30 starts, I could work a full day and not leave home till 6:45 and make it there at 7:30 as traffic would have died down, that’s a huge difference.

Look at the empty seats and get a clue.

LAC

November 8th, 2009
1:44 pm

Here is an interesting bit in the NHL.com preview of tonights game…

Just tells it like it really is, coming back to Earth,AKA LAST PLACE !

Big story: Since Kovalchuk went down with a broken foot that will keep him out for several more weeks, the Thrashers have gradually come back down to earth. Their 6-3 loss Saturday night on Long Island was their sixth in eight games since the fast start.

Who cares about Carolina or the other teams ? I care about our team, but when our team STINKS, it needs to be pointed out, after TEN years we should be contenders not pretenders, How can ANYONE, except the IDIOTS who own the team, not see this. don waddell STINKS and this team is not one bit better than any in the past two seasons, LOSERS.

It is sad when one of your better players was a WAIVER pickup, how many of those do we have ? You do NOT win with waiver pickups, you win with good UFA signings and smart draft’s, neither is anything Stupid waddell knows anything about !

Tom

November 8th, 2009
2:05 pm

Rawhide

I also had it out with the customer service rep. He said the broadcasting team has the right to block out the transmissions and said it may be because of the whole Versus battle. MSG is owned by the company that owns Versus and they may be blocking away games just to screw Directv and get people to switch to Comcast. That was the idea floated by the customer service agent I had, and may very well be true if Comcast was allowed to carry the game and Directv had to block it out.

I would love to get clarification on the issue though.

One other point, most teams do not have to deal with their broadcast partner not showing away games and this being an issue. Just sayin…

Baldheaded Thrasher

November 8th, 2009
2:23 pm

I was thinking that there might be a nexus with MSG and Comcast. Comcast would love to put the thumbscrews to Direct TV. I hope they resolve the issue or we are really screwed when the playoffs start and we miss the playoffs past the 1st round that Versus will show.

Brendan

November 8th, 2009
2:43 pm

You know something, folks. Sage of Bluesland, despite the vitriol, has a point about accountability. He is HARDLY the only one who simply won’t attend another Thrashers game until Waddell is fired. I understand what an uphill battle Waddell faces. And if you think doesn’t face obstacles, you’re wrong. Bruce Levenson, in my opinion, is the worst owner in all of Atlanta Sports. It is … “difficult” to explain to fans in other markets how and why our GM still has a job. They listen to the explanation, but then quickly reply, “We’d never put up with that in (supply other city name here).” Personally, I think Waddell is doing a better job of building the 2nd time around than he did between 1999-2002. In this respect, I think he’s learning. But I’m sure nobody really wants to hear that. All fans really want … is a good product that produces wins. 10-4. I hear ya LOUD-N-CLEAR.

Now, call me naive, but I think 5-years is a long time for contract duration. Stay with me. If that’s what Waddell and the Thrashers are offering Kovalchuk, he’s got to wait until July 2, 2010, to go see what kind of team they’ll really field for him … before he should re-sign. I can SEE that. I DO! I see the detractors point CLEARLY as well. “We can’t TAKE THAT RISK. We can’t have Kovy WALK FOR NOTHING, in free agency.” I can see that, too. So, now what? Well, what’s a man’s handshake and the pledge of his word really worth? I’m not a lawyer. Verbal contracts seem rather “hazy” to me. But if Waddell is promising the league max, and to get Kovy the players he wants, and Kovalchuk is promising that he’ll agree to re-sign under those terms, then I suppose ‘an agreement in principle’ has been reached. IFFFF was the operative word. Kovy has tons of “outs” in this situation. His hypothetical promise is conditioned upon the contractual signing of the players he wants in next year’s free agency, coupled with the existing Thrashers that he WANTS to remain here, for the next 5 years.

Okayyyyy. I hear ya. He’s the Captain. The contract is a distraction. He should just re-sign already. Almost all Thrasher fans want that. Maybe a 1-year deal could be struck very soon, just to put the matter behind us???? I don’t know what to say. Other than this. If Kovy leaves, it’s not the end of hockey in Atlanta. And I, personally, am not going to hold a grudge or be angry at #17. He didn’t fail the Thrashers. The Thrashers failed him. Many serious missteps took place with this organization, especially as it relates to accountability and ownership matters. I was on record, in April 2007, as saying, “The time to cement Kovalchuk’s future … is NOW. Not in 2010. The time to clean house and fix things … is now. Not later.” It is what it is. Waddell has shown improvement since 2007. But it’s not as if the organization didn’t have options. Hartley and Waddell hadn’t yet been renewed in 2007. Both those things happened in 2008. The accountability over those 4 trade deadline moves in 2007 … was what?? What, precisely? Nothing. Hartley wasn’t fired until six games into the 2007-08 season.

Get The Puck Out

November 8th, 2009
5:55 pm

If you had the talent that Kovy’s got and you played on a team for your entire career so far with NO playoff victorys and it looks like it’s gonna be a challenge to finish .500 this season what would you do? I know what i’d do.

Squeaky Fromage, The Hockey Debutante

November 8th, 2009
5:57 pm

About Direct TV: We were on the phone with Direct TV twice to find out what the issue was with the “black out” (Twice because it’s just not Direct TV unless they cut you off at least once in the hopes you won’t call back) – and like Baldheaded Thrasher – they had no explanation. I complained when Versus was dropped – got the $10 monthly discount that they gave everyone who whined – and then got ANOTHER $10 off for last nights ridiculous miss. Pretty soon Direct TV will be paying me! So everyone who has Direct TV – keep the noise level up, and maybe they’ll clean up their act. My next play for another discount will be the low percentage of HD broadcasts.
As for a 7 vs. 7:30 start. I vote 7:30. It’s tough to get home, walk the dogs, toss down a quick shot of bourbon, and then get to the arena by 7, whether we drive or “SMARTA” – and we live in town! So I can’t imagine the pressure for our less fortunate brethern OTP.
And while I’m whining… MARTA – for cryin’ out loud – add another train on game nights! It’s an easy 30 minute wait for a eastbound after a game. C’mon! And after these home losses you REALLY just want to leave, and leave fast. Maybe today will be different.

Get The Puck Out

November 8th, 2009
6:04 pm

Wasn’t Moose wearing that goalie mask extension before? I noticed tonight he’s not wearin it.

Miami Screaming Eagle

November 8th, 2009
8:11 pm

Just sign the darn contract already or trade the guy. If both sides had “good conversations” in the summer, then what’s the holdup? dystraction distraction, distraction.

By the way, nice come from behind win today.

There’s a number of posters on this blog that are totally negative all the time. Why you idiots are coming back all the time to post your stupidity is beyond me. If you don’t like the team, find something else to do or just get a life.

Fom crying out loud, you don’t own the team!

Dwayne

November 8th, 2009
8:26 pm

Yep, big distraction, Kovys lack of contraction and his 9 goals and an assist in 10 games…big distraction, wait a minute, lets break it down a little more, its only a distraction at home…since we are 2-4, but its not a distraction on the road, since we are 5-2-1

Dwayne

November 8th, 2009
8:27 pm

how about the monkey puck from Hainsey…karma, aint it a hoot?

Dwayne

November 8th, 2009
8:31 pm

Be happy yall didn’t get the islanders game, they were horrible, Opie was left out to dry 20 times, lucky it was only 6-3, guys wide open in the slot, at the posts, in the crease, Thrashers headed to O-fense when the islanders still had possesion of the puck….if the negative nellies would have seen that game…it would have been even uglier.

LAC

November 8th, 2009
8:55 pm

Finally The Hockey Gods were on our side tonight.

Funny, that is the SAME net where Opie lost a long one…
What’s going on down there ?????

Brendan

November 8th, 2009
9:19 pm

Nice come from behind win. The Center Ice Replay is on Comcast Channel #773. Don’t watch it until the 3rd period starts. :mrgreen:

Smoothie

November 8th, 2009
9:31 pm

Yes indeed LAC!! We finally were the beneficiaries of some dumb monkey puck luck!!

Woo hoo! Way to go Thrashers! Finally rewarded for their late-game balls-to-the-wall heart and stick-to-it-ive-ness!

Mr. Tiller, ’twas a grand pleasure the likes of which defy description to finally meet the Divine Mrs. T! The pleasure was unmistakably ours.

See you on Friday the 13th!!

Brendan

November 8th, 2009
9:35 pm

Hey, anyone remember the last goal scored by a Thrasher FORWARD in regulation time? It was Bogosian, Kubina, and Schubert vs. the Isles and Enstrom and Hainsey today. http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009020238

Spirit Group Management

November 8th, 2009
9:36 pm

Well, it’s painfully apparent that we’ve been completely dense and obtuse in our decision to start games at the silly hour of 7 pm sharp!

From now on, because of the overwhelming support of later start times, ALL Thrashers games will from now on and forevermore begin promptly at 5 pm sharp no matter what day of the week it is!!

Darkhorse

November 8th, 2009
10:19 pm

We’ve lost some we should have won in the past few weeks, and now we finally won one we should have lost. I’ll take a W anyway we can get it.

R. Stroz

November 8th, 2009
10:42 pm

Brendan

November 8th, 2009
10:58 pm

Zach Bogosian played 4 seconds shy of twenty-eight minutes (27:56). Amazing. Kane, Armstrong, and Reasoner were a +2. Guess who was a -1? Yep, Kozlov, Little, and White.

The Center Ice Replay is now just over 5 minutes into the 3rd period. Channel # 773 on Comcast.

kracker

November 10th, 2009
9:00 am

RH said: “The more this team wins consistently…and wins consistently at home…the less and less it’ll matter what time the puck drops.”

Yep.

I voted for 7:30.

Paminski

November 10th, 2009
11:48 am

I have no idea which start time is better for the club. However, 7:30 is better for me. I work in Duluth and don’t get out until 6PM. When I have tickets for a weekday game, it is much more comfortable to have that extra half hour to get to the arena and get a bite to eat. It’s nice to be done chewing before the game starts, so I can get a little more into it. That said, I go to weekend games more often anyway. Typically, I have free tickets if attending on a weeknight.

Joe

November 11th, 2009
7:07 pm

7:30 is better.
Better yet, drop ticket prices by $10 (except for the $10 tickets) and get the parking price down too…most people are not making as much as they did just a couple of years ago