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

Midfield

November 12th, 2009
10:44 pm

Elliot cracked me up after Kovy’s wrister, “He can make Henrik the King look like a Hank the Golie.” Good one.

Joe

November 12th, 2009
10:51 pm

Kovy’s backhand pass to Max should have been a highlight reel goal…my only real disappointment in this game. I hope this carries forward at home.

Mr. Heat Miser

November 12th, 2009
10:55 pm

Kudos for Bogosian stepping up and not taking any crap. Wish the refs would have let Brashear and Boultz go longer. 3rd period made me nervous. Hope the birds bring it all weekend!

Nikita

November 12th, 2009
11:43 pm

Random observations:

1. Pretty much everybody looked good tonight, though Kozlov didn’t start really firing all cylinders until the 3rd. Which is when everyone else got road legs. Anyway, it was good enough for a win. I’ll take it.

2. Our goaltending situation scares the hell out of me. I don’t like Pavs — I think he’s still in need of some fundamental technique refinements. Moose did fine tonight, but a couple of those saves were dumb luck. And in comparison to the other two goalies, Moose is a midget. He covers very little of the net when he saves.

3. I think Darren Elliott was high tonight. He sounded like the announcer on South Park. “It takes two guys with hurt feet to get a leg up on the Rangers”? Really?

4. Good tilt between Brashear and Boulton.

5. Gorgeous goals on the back to back. Just amazing.

Brendan

November 12th, 2009
11:47 pm

John Anderson said, “I think we controlled the game tonight. It was one of our best games of the year.” When a coach says that, he’s in a good mood. He liked what he saw. And yes, Max Afinogenov missed a glorious chance on a feed from Kovy. And Kovy, truth be told, should have finished the evening with at least two (2) goals. But heck, for a guy who’s missed six games, he had a 3-point night. Kane had a goal and an assist. Boulton had a decent fight. And Moose made 33 saves.

I don’t know what it is about MSG that brings out the best in the Thrashers, but we do seem to play well there.

How about Tim Thomas? He always plays so well, but his team doesn’t score. Remember the 193 minutes of scoreless play, before a 4-1 win over Buffalo? I think the Bruins just beat somebody like 1-0. And now, tonight, they lose, 1-0, in the shootout. You gotta feel bad for Thomas. These losses aren’t his fault.

And what’s with the Wild? They give up a goal with 14.7 seconds left to Tampa Bay. Then the Bolts won it in the shootout. So, we didn’t pick up any points on the Lightning tonight. But, we’re 6-2-1 on the road, for thirteen of eighteen (13/18) road points, for the year. That reflects “good character.”

Clearly, Kovy must have seen how the team fought in his absence.

Rawhide

November 12th, 2009
11:53 pm

Brendan – Yeah…and Montreal beat Phoenix 4-2, so we couldn’t gain on them in the conference either.

But…whatchagonnado?

And then Pittsburgh… losers of four straight and scoring but 3 goals doing so. Only one in the last something like 9 or 10 periods. Yikes!

Brendan

November 13th, 2009
12:32 am

Crosby finally got a point on the lone Penguin goal.

What about these New Jersey Devils? Winners of 9 road games in-a-row, and seven-straight now, is it? They’re what?, 13-4? Wow. They’ve come on like gangbusters. The NY Rangers, last year, had a strong start and limped into the playoffs at #7. This year, the Rangers were off to another flying start, but they’ve been rather pedestrian over their last 8-10 games.

On NHL TV, the OTF boys were kind to the Thrashers. They complimented us on our play in the absence of Kovalchuk, but indicated how fortunate we are to have him back now.

What a goal by Owen Nolan, tonight, for the Wild against Tampa Bay. That’s the highlight of the night.

Okay, I think that about rounds it out. Oh yes, the Nashville Predators, who had struggled mightily to start the year, are now back to .500. Good for them. I’ll be honest. When Nashville was awarded a team, I really didn’t agree with decision and thought it could turn into a disaster. But, GM David Poile did a really good job getting that team and keeping that team into playoff contention. The Preds missed the playoffs by a few points last year. With some breaks, they could have been a playoff team. That move to acquire Peter Forsberg, a few years back, hurt them a little. And they made other trades with Philly, I think. Maybe I’m misremembering that, however. It’ll be interesting to see what Nashville does, this year, at the trade deadline. I think they could well be on the bubble, looking to buy.

Alllright, one last thing. Max Afinogenov scored his 4th of the season. He’s equalled Kane’s goal production. And three of Finny’s goal have been the “insurance” variety, to cement a win. That $800,000 investment is looking better all the time. If Finny gets 60-points, that move was a coup, even if he overskates the puck, is a turn-over machine, and misses wide open nets at the end of games. He’s still converting enough to be on the stat sheet.

LAC

November 13th, 2009
12:42 am

Yes and Tampa won AGAIN too, to keep us kinda pinned down, making the LA game very important…

As for the Forbes artical, right on the money. When you have owners who are not as smart as monkeys, making complete fools of themselves with how stupid they really are, and little snot nose punk michael gearon,
who likely has diapers on ALL the time making stupid comments like he
“knows” everything, well you get exactly what you deserve, a worthless franchise, if it were run by a professional owner who cared, then it would be a different story…

But nice all around effort, except bryan little, this kid has lost it completely, he is doing nothing, tonight NOT one SOG and a -1 to boot,
why can’t we package him/slater for something for pete’s sake…?

Hockey Biltong

November 13th, 2009
12:48 am

Woo hoo.
One helluva game!!!!!!!

Lee

November 13th, 2009
6:53 am

ahhh the feel of a win

stendec

November 13th, 2009
7:28 am

Congratulations! Fantastic victory Thrashers. Always means just a little bit more when fall guys are overrated New York Ranjerks! Moose allowed a couple of soft goals which were painful but did man up on a few stellar saves especially one which I thought was going to be a sure goal. Believed Thrashers would triumph when score went to 4-2 but also thought it would come down to final seconds. Made empty netter that much sweeter. Pleasantly shocked to see Captain Ilya Kovalchuk back on ice! Way to gut it out guy. Presence gave team a lift. Nice night all around. Thanks everyone! Keep up gritty effort. Especially in home arena! Peace. ++STENDEC++

Sara

November 13th, 2009
7:29 am

That game ended up way closer than it should have. Playing to hold the lead in a third period means tightening up on defense, not allowing the opposition to file for homestead exemption in your zone, as Rawhide often says. That’s a specific area for improvement to work on between now and the end of the season. But at least that “team improvement” list is pretty short this season.

Re: the links – It’s really nice to see someone other than Thrasher fans recognizing how much Kovy has matured and become an unselfish player on and off the ice. The OTF guys last night also highlighted a defensive play Kovy made near our blue line that ultimately resulted in his goal.

As for Gearon’s reaction to the Forbes article, he is correct that Forbes seems to have dropped the ball regarding the debt load and also the purchase price. IIRC, they paid not much more than $80M (relatively speaking) for the entire kit and caboodle. However, there are two things that make Forbes’ valuation and analysis a bit more accurate than he’d like to suggest. One is that, as much as Gearon might want to deny it, there can be no question the lawsuit had a major impact on both franchises, and the Thrashers in particular. Once that lawsuit really got going, the Thrashers salary was not able to keep up with the increasing cap. It’s also well-documented that Belkin did not make capital contributions. Sorry, but that’s as direct of a linkage as one can get. The other issue is that business valuations are also predicated on potential for the ability to generate future cashflows. And as of yet, the Thrashers haven’t proven they can generate enough cashflow to be profitable.

And unless I miss my guess, I’d say Gearon is mostly irked by the report because they are supposed to be looking for other investors and that valuation could hurt that process.

I also found it interesting that it’s Gearon doing the talking about the Thrashers most recently, instead of Bruce Levenson. In fact, Levenson hasn’t been heard from in a while as far as I can remember. Now that’s a breath of fresh air.

waffleboy

November 13th, 2009
7:45 am

Kovy is amazing. He plays the game, blows everybody on Broadway away, and then after the game, he has to put the walking boot back on. Anybody want to question his leadership now?

The effort was solid across the board. Solid goaltending, good special teams, all four lines putting pressure on. I really feel our second line(or is it our third line now?) is on the verge of clicking. Little’s got some jump back, but he still looks tentative out there.

Big-time props to Bogo and Bolts. You knew Brashear was going after him as soon as he stepped on the ice, and while Brashear won the fight, Boults was certainly not embarrassed. At least not as embarrassed as Callahan was after his tilt with Bogo.

Don’t worry too much about not making about ground on anybody right now. We still have a few games in hand, especially on Montreal, so once that balances out it’ll be a matter of them trying to play catch-up with us.

World Be Free

November 13th, 2009
7:47 am

That was a fun game to watch. Always nice to beat the Rangers, especially in MSG with all the suits in the stands. I really dislike that stupid Rangers cellebration song the idiots chant after a Rangers’ goal.

Kovy really looked good-I hope last night’s total team game was the sign that this is a good team, worthy of his long term commitment. All in front of the NY faithful too. I betcha the Rangers’ fans would love to “buy” Kovy like they have so many other players.

Now-all I can say is “SHOOT THE PUCK MAX”!
You can see why so many Sabres’s fans get frustratred with Max. All that talent; he was like Ralph Cramden on Kovy’s drop pass
“A hum-a-duh, hum-a-duh”

waffleboy

November 13th, 2009
8:00 am

BTW, even the NY announcers thought Callahan was going to get an instigator for that fight with Bogo.

World Be Free

November 13th, 2009
8:00 am

Bryan Little is totally lost and it really concerns me. He’s gone from a guy that was a real concern in the off season (offer sheet material) to a player that looks to have totally lost his stuff. I think the only solution is to put him with Kovy, move Max to the 2nd line. Little has to get more chances to bury the buscuiit to get his goal scoring mojo back. It won’t happen where he is in the lineup right now.

We all know where we would be as team if Little gets going. I don’t want to give up on him yet.

jen

November 13th, 2009
8:01 am

See, and I actually like the Rangers goal song, even though I really, really hate the Rangers.

Kovy didn’t look 100% out there at times, but I’ll take Kovy at 80% wearing his desire on his sleeve any day of the week. Both Antro and Max need to just let it fly instead of making the pretty pass. I know our shooting pct. is something still somewhat insane, but still think overall, the team needs to shoot more.
Is everyone else as in love with this year’s version of the AK47 line as I am. I think that line is just awesome. Got a touch of the nasty with Colby, creativity with Pevs, and Kane is so much stronger on the puck than I would have ever expected a rookie to be. His puck positioning, especially on the boards is really excellent. Everyone can finish. Plus they forecheck. Alot. Something this team doesn;t usually do.
On to the Kings tonight, definite must win, since we didn’t make up any ground last night in the standings.

Riceowls8891

November 13th, 2009
8:15 am

I think I’ll be “completely” at ease when Kovy skates tonite. Adrenalin can get you through a game. Now we see if its too early. But what a way to return!

five_hole

November 13th, 2009
8:22 am

It was great to see Kovy back out there (and something of a surprise, too). I had faith that the doctors wouldn’t let him play before he should, but I was worried about his skating ability & timing on the ice. He put those fears to rest (along with Slater back to the buffet, I might add).

Before I blogged that Colby is an “Army of one”, but maybe his line should be an “Army of three” because he, Peverley & Kane have got some serious Shock & Awe going on the opposition.

Little & White (AKA Charmin) are out of sync, but it’s Koslov that’s pressing way too hard. You can see that he’s second guessing his decisions, and that’s a bad thing at this level.

Matt

November 13th, 2009
8:23 am

Good win last night, but I must repeat my mantra, “PLAY SIXTY MINUTES”. This team also needs to learn to play with and protect a lead better. It seems to happen far too often, we have a two goal lead late, opposing team scores to bring to within one and then it’s a nail biter for the rest of the game.

Sara: Nice points on the Forbes article. ASG is deluded if they think that the Hawks and Thrashers are anywhere but the bottom of their respective leagues as far as value, especially given the neglect of the Thrasher franchise and the “fair to poor” gameday experience at Philips Arena now(see: Concession problems)

World: I agree with you about Little. He just doesn’t seem to have his head in the game for some reason.

As for Kane, WOW, it certainly looks like we hit the draft jackpot for two years in a row. His goal was beautiful, no hesitancy just put it right by Lundquist.

LAC

November 13th, 2009
8:27 am

I agree Sara, we should have had at least three more goals…

WBF, yes Little looks totally lost to the point of almost being afraid to do anything. Neither of his “2″ goals have been shot in by him…
No 100% ready to give up on him, but would not mind seeing him moved if we can improve !

Found this bit in the New York Times, interesting, the contract saga gets worse and worse by the day, I, for one, wish waddell would for ONCE in his worthless life, come clean about the talks… But then you know he will be LYING and that is his MO.

From NY Times…

Kovalchuk, 26 and in the last year of his contract with Atlanta, is being pursued by the Russian K.H.L., which can offer high salaries.

That league’s president, Alexander Medvedev, told Bloomberg News on Monday, “Our competition is based on the very simple fact that the tax conditions in Russia are better than in the U.S.” He cited the Russian income tax rate of 13 percent as opposed to the top tax rates in North America of roughly 40 percent.

A prospective offer to Kovalchuk from a Russian club is expected to exceed the $5.5 million Jaromir Jagr makes with Avangard Omsk, which would work out to more after taxes than the $7.5 million that Kovalchuk is making this season with Atlanta.

Thrashers General Manager Don Waddell, who this season has surrounded Kovalchuk with Russian-speaking players acquired partly on Kovalchuk’s advice in an effort to keep his star happy, said that the K.H.L. represents a different kind of competition.

“If Ilya decides he wants to play in Russia, there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said. “We compete against 29 other teams in the N.H.L., but there’s no mechanism that would keep him here if he decides to go over there when his contract is up.”

But negotiations with Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman, have been “very positive,” Waddell said. “He’s the base of our franchise,” Waddell said of Kovalchuk. “I believe he wants to be the best player in the N.H.L. and wants to win the Stanley Cup.”

After the game Kovalchuk was upbeat but noncommittal about next season. “When I play, I don’t think about my contract,” he said. “My agent talks with them all the time. I think we’re doing real well this season and we’re going in the right direction.”

Glovesave29

November 13th, 2009
8:31 am

The play of the year (so far) has got to be Kane’s goal. Besides the fact that is was a beautiful play to watch, it showed two players with good hockey sense, and that they out-thought the Rangers. Hank the Goalie was trying to start a break out, so the Rangers wingers headed up ice…but Peverly sees that the goalie is not leaning into the clearance and that he wont get much behind the pass, so he goes to the half wall to intercept the pass. Kane sees the defense clearing the slot and what Rich is up to, so he goes to the deep slot to anticipate the pass. BOOM, puck is in the net before Lundquivst can set himself. The shot is to Henrik’s left, the side where he just came from, so that momentum is taking him the opposite direction of the shot. I am sure Kane saw more twine to the other side of the net, but that would have played right to Lunddqvist’s advantage. PERFECT!

Third period was a bit concerning. I want to see them with the killer instinct to bury a team when they get the chance.

I’d like to see how Kovy plays tonight to judge the residual effects of the game last night. Skates fit snuggly and keep the ankle bent forward. That can mask a bit of pain as the foot is kept relatively immobile, much like a cast. The pain comes once you take the boot off and put on street shoes. I hope he’s good to go today and let it all out against the Kings.

JLH

November 13th, 2009
8:39 am

Wow, Stendec! Nice post.

World Be Free

November 13th, 2009
8:45 am

Glovesave-to add your excellent post-
Kane scored the GWG because he was in the position to take the pass and score-in front of the net.

Little has spent very little time in front of the net. I believe this is the reason why he is lost. B-L spends to much time in the “Max Zone”, off to the side of the net, out of position to bury any scoring chance he receives.

Never follow Max’s lead!

GaVaHokie

November 13th, 2009
8:49 am

I noticed Kovy didn’t bring the puck up ice last night… he defered to Toby… which is fine.

I think that was the best 2nd Period of hockey the team has played all year… they’ve been relatively flat in most 2nd Period play.

Funniest moment of the night was Callahan having to dig his helmet out of his jersey after fighting Bogosian.

GaVaHokie

November 13th, 2009
8:52 am

I don’t think Kovalchuk stands in his mansion with his tennis court in the backyard and thinks, “I could use more money”.

I’ve gotta think it comes down to happiness.

KovyRules

November 13th, 2009
8:58 am

Two quick thoughts – first, we don’t need to focus on other teams won-loss at all. If we get to 10+ games above .500, we’re in. Why bemoan a late rally and win by Tampa? We did the very same thing against the Blues. It all balances out, so just keep your eye on the Thrashers and let everyone else get too high or too low about their own teams…

Second, Little will be just fine because the effort is still there. He’s still fearless in the corners and working hard. Sophamore slumps (and last year really was his rookie year, even if not official) are a reality and good teams don’t dump good players because of slumps. There were many fans in Calgary calling for the Flames to move Dion Phaneuf when he looked lame in his second year after an incredible rookie year. Do you think those fans are still wanting him moved? Phaneuf is a brick wall, and holding him long term was wise. Bryan Little is a born goal scorer who will dig to make those goals happen. He’s a keeper. And I still think teams will start focusing on the Army Kane Dispenser line as No. 2, and that the Little White Russian line will thrive when matched against line No. 3 from other teams.

Kovy vs Kopitar tonight! I’m psyched!!

EA

November 13th, 2009
9:05 am

Kovy and the others want success along with fans in the seats. Antro was the lastest to weigh in about the Rangers fans. He stated in so many words they are there for you in the good and the bad. I know we all have had to endure a lot over the last decade, but perhaps if we fill the seats, Kovy and the rest of the guys will see that we have dedicated hockey fans in Atlanta.

GaVaHokie

November 13th, 2009
9:26 am

Kovyrules… great points… and I would add Brandon Dubinsky to your example of sophomore slumps. So many rumors about him being involved in possible Heatley trades with Ottawa, and NY wouldn’t move him, even though he slumped last year.

Red Light

November 13th, 2009
9:28 am

The difference in this edition of the Thrashers than all others is the blend of quality youth along with the intrinsic element of will demonstrated so often by Peverley, Kovalchuk, and Enstrom, among others. Additionally, they have more speed than they ever had before. Kane and Bogosian have been revelations at times, while I am shocked at how well Kubina has competed since his arrival. Last night was a great win, albeit playing a team without two of its top centers Drury and Dubinsky, but I think Hedberg’s performance was the key to the win. The saves on Callahan and Prospal after the Rangers ties it at 1-1 were huge. Hedberg’s unreal save on a wide-open Gaborik in the second was the game saver in my mind, when the game was 2-2. And, soon after Kane’s goal to make it 4-2, he stoned Anisimov on the doorstep.

On the other side, the Del Zotto kid is going to be a great player for NY and they have 13 guys on the roster at 27 years old or younger, including Gaborik and Lundqvist, which is very similar to the Thrashers. More good battles to come against the Rangers.

hip czech

November 13th, 2009
9:36 am

Hokie, that wasn’t just the best 2nd period this year…the 2nd period last night was arguably the best period of hockey the Thrashers have played in almost 3 years. They just totally dominated that period, every pass was crisp and right on the money. They really should have come out of that period with a 3 or 4 goal lead (especially if Kovy SHOOTS rather than try to set up Max).

I’m getting more comfortable with Max…Antropov is definitely the square wheel out there, if he had any speed at all he could have gotten to the puck on the side boards and fed a wide open Kovy, but he didn’t even come close to beating the D to the puck.

I still stand by my Peverley-Savard comparison, that no look pass to Kane was a thing of beauty.

Let’s see if the Thrashers can put two good home games together this weekend. Hope so.

Toby

November 13th, 2009
9:37 am

You stop Kopitar’s line, you win. If not….loooong night.

Smoothie

November 13th, 2009
9:50 am

Great point Kovy Rules about the Little White Russian line, which has consisted of skim milk as opposed to heavy cream thus far. Once teams realize how dangerous the new “AK-47″ line is (Peverley has 20 points!!), they will start to game-plan accordingly. As long as Kovy is on the ice, he will draw the toughest D matchup.

But with the AK-47 line getting the 2nd best line, the Kahlua line should really benefit by playing against weaker 3rd lines and even the occasional 4th line. If I’m JA, I do everything in my power to match up on home ice for the next 5 games. He should NOT fall into a mode of just rolling his 4 lines in some rigid order; he really needs to step and manage this team to 3 or 4 wins and at least 7 of 10 points on this homestand.

Andy

November 13th, 2009
10:10 am

Great article by Tom Ferda. Come on Donnie & Spirit Boys…let’s pony up the cash. He is arguably the greatest athlete this city has ever seen. What a great combination of skill and desire to win. It would be ashamed to lose him because of front office incompetence. It’s obvious by last night’s game how important he is to the team and what a great leader he has become. If Chipper Jones broke a bone in his foot, they would have to shoot that candy-a– redneck like a race horse.

Rawhide

November 13th, 2009
10:16 am

Kovy Rules – Playing off your excellent point regarding other teams wins and losses…as well as referencing back to my Thrashers Math Class earlier in the week…right now the Thrashers 8-6-1 record gives them a points winning % of .567. That puts them on pace for about 93 points. At this time that is the 7th best PW% in the Eastern Conference right behind Tampa Bay’s .594, (on pace for 97 pnts) and just above Ottawa’s .563, (on pace for about 92 pnts).

BTW, New Jersey is currently on pace for 125 points, (.765 PW%).

So, as you stated, we just take care of our business and the chips will fall in our favor.

Spud Webb

November 13th, 2009
10:24 am

Does Gearon think they should be ranked in the top 10 or something? Nothing surprises me with these &ss clowns, they’re all delusional. We need the playoffs this season, I’m tired of looking like the class clown to everyone in the league. SELL THE TEAM, FIRE DW, heheheheehe, I bet Kovy would sign if DW got fired, he’d know then that the team will “head in the right direction”!!!!! hahahahhahhahhahahhaha
There is a LOT to get excited about, 2nd line is the exception. At this point I say sit White, bring up Espo. Lets see what he can do. It cannot get any worse can it??? Why not? White out, Kozy OUT, Slats OUT…we’re getting close, I can smell it!!!!
Bogo is a monster, I cannot wait to watch this kid grow and grow. I love when we win!!!!! Beat LA tonight and things will start to take off.

Barry

November 13th, 2009
10:41 am

In reponse to a previous poster…no Little should not be playing with Kovy and Antropov. That was the line at the beginning of the year and it did not work out at all! Kovy and Antro had this 2 man game going and they never even looked to Little. It’s frustrating to have the Kovy line working well, the Kane-Peverley-Armstrong line really doing well, and the fourth line always does it’s job but the Kozlov-White-Little line is like on life support. They are almost generating no scoring chances whatsoever.

Anyway, it was a great road game and a great win. Anytime you can beat the Rangers on their ice and stick it to the fans is a good thing. :) Now Thrashers better play their A+ game tonight for the Kings. Apparently they are an improved team this season.

Alan R.

November 13th, 2009
10:42 am

More and more in recent years, I’m beginning to see the Rangers as a rival, rather than just a team we come up against.

Great win last night. Hope we can keep this momentum going!

Sara

November 13th, 2009
10:46 am

Spud – Kovalchuk and Waddell have a very close and very good relationship – firing Don could back-fire badly.

LAC – man use your head. There is no way Waddell needs to breathe one word in the press about details of ongoing contract negotiations. It’s no one else’s business, paying customers or not and nothing good comes of negotiating in the press. If he did that, and ultimately Kovy walked, you along with Bob and a host of others would be on here *crucifying* Waddell for talking out in the press. It all comes down to Kovy and what he’s willing to do. And judging by the last line of the article you posted, I’d say there’s less reason to worry than there is reason to be optimistic.

Why some of you people are stressing yourselves out over this is beyond me. Even under the worst of scenarios, the world will not cease to turn and life goes on. Some perspective is seriously in order around here.

World Be Free

November 13th, 2009
10:48 am

Barry-then how do you propose getting Little going?
Doing something (playing with Kovy instead of d-bag Max) is better than having him rot.

Got any suggestions?

Smoothie

November 13th, 2009
10:57 am

Rawhide, oh captain my captain, I would like to mention that I have begun blogging for the fun of it over at blogger.com. Not really trying to gain any notoriety from it, just using it like a journal of sorts. But please mosey on over at your leisure and check it out:

http://thrashingbirds.blogspot.com/

Ms. Ten kept encouraging me to start it and I finally got the thing up and running earlier this week. You are more than welcome to use anything you find on there as I likely have stolen it from someone else! I kid, I kid!

I am quite proud of myself though for coming up with a new nickname for our resident puck tease, Max Afino-skatearound (thanks WBF!). I have dubbed the flamboyant Russian the “human Wagnerian Opera”…what? Too arcane a reference for ya? :cool:

Spud Webb

November 13th, 2009
11:11 am

Sara, I didn’t know that they were close. I was half joking either way!!

Alan R.

November 13th, 2009
12:04 pm

Earlier in the week, as I’m sure you read, Medvedev (KHL) was talking how he wanted to bring Kovalchuk home, and that the KHL is in a better financial position to do so than the NHL. In response, Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail has written a piece to illustrate why a Kovalchuk defection is nothing more than a Russian pipe dream.

Dwayne

November 13th, 2009
12:10 pm

Let me clarify Kovy’s adventure on Wednesday of playing or not playing. Weather delayed scheduled flight, Kovy was going to leave with it after the delay, but changed his mind. Started to take a later flight, but decided another day off the foot would be better. Last flight out was a red eye, but decided against that too. Finally, after discussing things with the lovely Mrs. K, he put on his Red Cape and soared to NY.

J.B.

November 13th, 2009
12:11 pm

…and BOY is Mrs. K lovely!

World Be Free

November 13th, 2009
12:18 pm

You know Smoothie, Max reminds of a headless chicken or Dustin Hoffman’s character in “Rain Man” on skates.

Last night’s drop pass, after taking a drop pass created a very nice scoring opportunity for the Rangers. I suggested Bryan Little on Kovy’s line in his place, because Little would have buried the shot!

Alan R-some Eric “The Hatchet” is right on!

Darren

November 13th, 2009
12:29 pm

New Jersey’s on pace to go 41-0 on the road.

After doing some checking, I confirmed that would be a record.

Sara

November 13th, 2009
1:12 pm

Alan – he’s spot on and doesn’t even cover all the issues in the way. Kovy is too keen on winning a Stanley Cup which automatically means NHL. There’s also been this little problem some KHL teams have had actually making payroll. Even with the cashflow problems in Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Phoenix, and Tampa over the past years, the players have still managed to get paid. A $15M contract isn’t such a great deal if you only receive $5M of it.

Dwayne

November 13th, 2009
1:19 pm

J.B. Thank You for reading my post. It is also on the Falcons, Hawks, Braves, GTs, UGAs and Canadien Curling team blogs.

Russian

November 13th, 2009
1:35 pm

DOES ANYBODY have a FREE ONE ticket for today?
Please let me know. I can meet you on Philips Arena at anytime.
THANK YOU

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!!!!