Thrashers Kane-ing of Rangers Dispenses any worries of Kovy’s return

Ok, let’s see…I got a Kane… a Peverley, aka the Pevs Dispenser… and a Kovalchuk reference all in on one title. No too bad, eh?

Anyway…a few hours ago I was curbing my excitement of Ilya Kovalchuk’s possible return to the ice after just six games missed with the hope that he wasn’t just rushing things…not giving the broken foot enough time to fully heal.

Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates his goal during the Thrasher win in New York (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates his goal during the Thrashers win in New York (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Consider me completely at ease now.

In a very entertaining and fun to watch hockey game…one coach Anderson called “one of our best games of the year”…the Atlanta Thrashers made Ilya Kovalchuk’s return to the ice a successful one, beating the Rangers 5-3. The captain scored a power play goal and chipped in with an assist on Rich Peverley’s goal…also of the power play variety…as well as Maxim Afinogenov’s empty-net icer at the end.

Ilya led the Thrashers with 6 shots on goal while Maxim Afinogenov and Christoph Schubert…or could that bet, SHOOT-bert…each had 4.

Kovy and Kane teamed up for a pair of bang-bang goals that took a 2-2 game late in the second period to a 4-2 advantage heading into the break. Kovy snapped home a wicked shot for his tenth goal of the season, fourth while on the power play, at the 17:41 mark to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead. He and the Thrashers had no sooner ended their celebrations when, just 25 seconds later, the Rangers where Kaned by Atlanta…young Evander netting his fourth of the season with the assist going to the Pevs Dispenser.

For the night, Rich had a goal and a pair of helpers as he now leads the Thrashers in scoring with 20 overall points. Kane finished with a goal and assisted on Colby Armstrong’s goal that opened up the scoring just 19 seconds after the puck dropped to start the game.

Kovalchuk returned with a lot of energy and spirit… and the team seemed to feed off of it throughout the game. He and Max had several great passing flurries that lead to good scoring chances…a few of which appeared as though they were thinking pass almost too much, giving up shots trying instead to set up the other. Ilya, Max and Nik Antropov seem to have not missed a beat during the 6 games that Kovy missed due to injury.

Colby Armstrong gives his regards to Broadway after scoring 19 seconds into the game (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Colby Armstrong gives his regards to Broadway after scoring 19 seconds into the game (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Meanwhile… that line of Kane, Peverley and Armstrong just keeps chuggin’ along as well.

Gotta say I’m a big fan of the new defensive pairings by Anderson…Toby Enstrom playing alongside of Pavel Kubina and Zach Bogosian skating with Ron Hainsey. Nice mix of veteran experience and youth’s strength and energy.

Johan Hedberg made his second straight start after Sunday’s 3-2 shootout win. Moose stopped 33 of New York’s 36 shots and improved his record to 3-1-0, lowered his GAA to 2.77 and now sports a nice .917 SV%.

The 8-6-1 Thrashers will now wing their way home to play the 11-6-2 Los Angeles Kings Friday night…then they’ll face the Edmonton Oilers during a Sunday afternoon Matinee.

Weekend Reading Assignments

Just in time for Ilya’s return, Tom Ferda opines on Thrashers Kaptain Kovalchuk.

As Jeff Schultz told us, Forbes Magazine ranks the Thrashers almost dead-last in value and, as Phil Foley writes, the Atlanta Spirit are none-too-pleased.

Donald Fehr, the outgoing executive director of MLB’s Player Association will help the NHLPA search for a new leader.

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com asks…are happy times nearing in KHL-NHL relationship?

And finally…this from Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski. Former Thrasher Glen Metropolit could shoot an apple off your head.

80 comments Add your comment

Brendan

November 13th, 2009
1:53 pm

On January 20, 2010, I’ll begin to start publicly panicking over Kovy’s contract. Until then, he’s just evaluating. Like Kovy should. Other people will say, “it’s a distraction,” but that’s only true if the players in the lockerroom read and believe the media. Kovy is right there with them, every day. He might be telling them, “Keep it going, guys. You’re doing great. I’m gonna re-sign. Ignore the news. They don’t know. I know and I’m telling you … we just stay the course … and the contract will be here before you know it.” And it’s fine by me if he waits all the way until a week before the trade deadline, if need be, to make that call. But, let’s be clear about something. If he’s undecided, at the trade deadline, more time isn’t a luxury he should get. The trade deadline is pretty late in the season to still be ‘waiting.’ No contract probably means he’s getting traded, lest the Thrashers be right in the thick of the playoff hunt. And by that, I mean 7-8 or so games over .500, “NHL-style,” on the way to 94 or more points. (12 games over .500, “NHL Style.”) If Kovy hasn’t signed by then, it might just be because he WANTS to be traded to a contender. But, my heart tells me … he just wants to lead the Thrashers to the playoffs this year, and try to advance as far as possible. Fine by me.

English Teacher

November 13th, 2009
1:56 pm

This is all I have to say about last night:

Woo Hoo!
When I feel heavy metal
Woo Hoo!
And I’m pins and I’m needles
Woo Hoo!
Well I lie and I’m easy
Woo Hoo!
All of the time but I’m never sure when I need you
Pleased to meet you

GaVaHokie

November 13th, 2009
2:17 pm

I’ll be listening to this on the way over to the arena tonight…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmS7ULDcopY&feature=fvw

Smoothie

November 13th, 2009
2:31 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X6bB2mwq1c

How about a little Kanye West?? Go Big Daddy Kane!

Miami Screaming Eagle

November 13th, 2009
2:33 pm

Brendan, I agree with your recent post. Your thoughts are well-written, as usual.

My only disagreement is concerning the distraction being solely media driven. The guys on the team know how important Kovy is and his contract status. It’s in their minds, maybe not all the time but it does exist. Just think if the Thrashers wer like the Blue Jackets. Columbus has their cornerstone locked up-the idea of Rick Nash’s contract is not up for discussion because he is signed long term.

Dwayne

November 13th, 2009
3:04 pm

If Kovy would have signed before the first game, we would be 15-0 and Kovy would not have broke his foot. Slava would be leading the league in goals and Opie would have a 1.25 GAA. They would go ahead and hand Don the Award for best GM, ever, maybe a lifetime acheivment award.

Dwayne

November 13th, 2009
3:05 pm

Now thats a well written blog.

Alan R.

November 13th, 2009
3:45 pm

Did somebody just say Big Daddy Kane?

Oh yeah. I went there.

Miami Screaming Eagle

November 13th, 2009
3:53 pm

Dwayne-if you say so, who knows maybe it would have happened?

Smoothie

November 13th, 2009
3:56 pm

Oh yeah oh yeah! Big Daddy’s in da house!

That is one sweet hi-top fade he’s got. Since some of the boys are growing out the ’stache for Mo’vember, perhaps Evander should start growing out his hair for a sweet fade with an “Ultimate Warrior” Thrashers logo carved into his head.

Alan R.

November 13th, 2009
4:31 pm

I can definitely see that happening if the Thrashers make the p-word (not gonna jinx it!) this year.

greg

November 13th, 2009
5:11 pm

i have 3 extra tickets tonight good seats, if anyone wants to go to game 404-5581912

A27

November 13th, 2009
6:13 pm

Enter your comments here.If you want a good Thrashers fight songlisten to Still I Rise from Shadows Fall. Its heavy and fits the Thrash well. Also its a part of my pregame ritual.

Brendan

November 13th, 2009
6:16 pm

Miami Screamin Eagle, I agree, completely, that the sooner Kovy signs, THE BETTER. Those other players are … well … also “evaluating Kovalchuk’s evaluation.” Now, some can’t leave. Bryan Little isn’t going anywhere, lest an offersheet come in, and not be matched. Which, c’mon, isn’t gonna happen. Same deal with Pavelec. Atlanta would match any offer, I would think. I’m trying to think who the UFA’s are. I used to know this at 3AM, if awakened from a sound sleep. I know Slava is. But truthfully, I don’t want him back. I think Boulton is. And so is Slater. But these are players who will be happy to get ANY NHL paycheck, Thrashers or otherwise. I can’t remember if Reasoner was a 2-year deal, but I think it was. I can’t rightly remember about Thorburn, but that’s a replaceable player. Antropov’s on a 4-year deal. Todd White is in Year Three of his four year deal. Hainsey is in Year Two of his FIVE year deal. Kubina is a guy who can hit the market. Kubina may not even get a contract offer from Atlanta. But if he were thinking about staying, the Kovalchuk contract could influence him. Kane’s not going anywhere for two more years, and then, Atlanta would match an RFA offersheet. Same deal with Bogosian. Now, Max can hit the market. But again, he’s a guy who should be happy to get an NHL paycheck somewhere. And if he stays on pace for 60-points, it’ll be a nicer one that he got this time around!

Tom

November 13th, 2009
8:14 pm

No Little tonight. I wonder if it was a healthy scratch. If so, good move JA.

LAC

November 13th, 2009
8:30 pm

About time Little sits…

Miami Screaming Eagle

November 13th, 2009
8:53 pm

Marty’s deal is a 2 year deal. Little is sitting and I believe this is a good thing, as LAC noted.

Brendan, I hope we can put the Kvy saga behind us soon. I just would have liked to have the situation wrapped up by now. I believe management is doing as much as it can to satisfy Kovy’s needs.

At has also been stated here that Kovy and Din have a good working relationship. I believe this will weigh favorably in Kovy’s final decision.

But let’s get it done so we can all move on and move forward.

Tom

November 13th, 2009
8:54 pm

Bam…
Bam…
Bam…
Bam…

and it is 4-0

World Be Free

November 13th, 2009
8:57 pm

Thorburn took on the King’s tough guy and won!

Max just scored. Max had a few nice, juicy giveaways tonight.
Two blind passes right into his own slot!

Tom

November 13th, 2009
9:08 pm

Slater also pounded his guy. An upper cut to the chin and he was heads down the rest of the fight.

jared

November 13th, 2009
9:11 pm

i gotta say that was a nice fight. I love all our brawls

Matt

November 13th, 2009
9:58 pm

OMG, SIX to ZIP against the Queens in the 3rd and forwards have scored 5 of the 6 goals!!! Kane is a GOD and Bogo is as well. Man, if we ever get Little going this year, there is some really nice young talent on this team.

Any news on the Pavs injury situation?

Matt

November 13th, 2009
10:04 pm

That’s it, Kaner with a shorty to make it 7-0. Unbelievable. That kid is amazing. Think I know which jersey I’ll be buying in the near future. WOW.

Dwayne

November 13th, 2009
10:10 pm

Did I mention that Opie can lead the Thrashers to the Pla%#!*$??

Tom

November 13th, 2009
10:20 pm

Bogo +4

Kane and Kovy +3

and

Max and Nik +3

Those are numbers I can live with.

LAC

November 13th, 2009
10:35 pm

WOW, What a game, GREAT Goaltending… for US that is !

Really strange, LA spent a LOT of time in our zone shift after shift,
but out we came and scored… A real Nice ROUT at home…

And the OTF guys are REALLY saying nice things now, team maturing,
was Craig Buttons remark and something special could be happening in Atlanta, was another… REAL Nice, now take care of EDM Sunday afternoon !

Was Bryan Little missed ????? NO !

LAC

November 13th, 2009
10:56 pm

BTW, with this win, we should move into eighth place in the standings !

Brendan

November 13th, 2009
11:17 pm

Kovy looks like he’s having fun out there. What a night! Two goals by Kovalchuk, Kane, and Afinogenov. I’d have to say, Max’s 2nd goal is a candidate for “Play of the Night.” And it ought to be on the End of Year highlight reel.

Congrats to Pavelec, for his 1st career shutout. Kovy tapped his pads three (3) times. He’s happy. I’m a little bit concerned, that one POINT NIGHT, Antropov, White, and Kozlov STILLLL have not scored. And as time expired, all the players bidding for a “hat trick” passed up shots to feed Kozlov, to try to get him off the schneid. And everyone in the building knew it. That’s got to be a bit frustrating for Kozlov, knowing that the whole arena knows … that his teammates are DESPERATE to help him get a goal. He had chances. He did have chances.

Well, folks. I was looking forward to this game as a “litmus test” game to see how well our T-birds stack up against the also several years in rebuilding L.A Kings. In 2008, the Kings took Dought at 2nd overall and they took Brayden Schenn, 5th overall, last year. In 2008, we took Zach Bogosian 3rd overall and Kane 4th overall. Los Angeles ISSSSS one of the teams that we must compare ourselves to for the purposes of truly evaluating how far we’ve advanced. I think the Kings outshot us by 18, in the 7-0 drubbing. I don’t think we truly saw the matchup materialize. What we saw … was a Kane snowball that escalated into a full-on avalanche. I think it’s safe to say … we’re not really SEVEN GOALS BETTER than the L.A. Kings. Gaze at the standings, if you doubt that.

Still, it’s a fun win, on a Friday night … at home. :cool: Are we 9-6-1 now? The Islanders blew a 3-0 lead to allow the Carolina Hurricanes to tie it up, 3-3, and force overtime. Yeah, the ‘Canes finally got point #8 on the season. But the Islanders won it in the overtime. The Isles are now 7-6-6, for a better than .500 record. Carolina is now 0-10-4 in their 14-game losing streak. They were BOOED off the ice in Raleigh. I don’t think that’s fair. They trailed, 3-0, and salvaged a point. I know it’s another loss for them. But it could have been worse. That games had the potential for 5-0, Islanders. I tell you, I had the Islanders with a 29th place finish this year. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think they’re on their way to 79-points or better. They’re on pace for about 84-85 points. That’s big improvement for them. Capitals won again, for the 4th straight time. 12-3-4 now. Yikes. Capitals are are their way to a 3-peat.

R. Stroz

November 13th, 2009
11:43 pm

Wow, what a game. That’s how to increase ticket sales. Lots of goals and fights.

BTW, Kovy and Max are really starting to gel.

Thrashers27

November 14th, 2009
12:43 am

WOOFREAKIN’HOO!!!!