Is it time for a ‘White-Out’ in Thrasherville?

Monday night’s butt kicking aside…the Thrashers are in the midst of a pretty good season. Their 15-9-3 record gives them 33 points, which is good enough for the sixth position in the Eastern conference heading into Tuesday’s NHL action.

That, boys and girls, is known as a “playoff spot”.

The offense overall is playing as well as we’d hoped…although they’ve hit a soft patch in the last couple of weeks…the goalkeeping has been better than hoped and the penalty kill has been outstanding. However, there are some areas of concern.

Todd White last scored on October 29 and has only 3 goals all year (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Todd White last scored on October 29 and has only 3 goals all year (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

From my point of view, those areas of concern carry the names of Todd White, Bryan Little, Colby Armstrong, Christoph Schubert and Mark Popovic…some would even suggest Ron Hainsey as well. And I think it’s time one or two of them was shown the way to the buffet counter in the press box for a while.

After 27 games played, White has accrued a grand total of 3 goals and 9 assists. He also carries with him the distinction of having the team’s lowest plus\minus rating…a very un-good –9. The closest to him is the –4 that belong to Pops, Slava Kozlov and Jim Slater.

At this time last season, Whitey had 7 goals and 14 assists.

Todd last scored a goal way back on October 29 during the 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals. To be fair, however, all 9 of his assists have come during and since that game. But White’s current rate of scoring has him on pace for 9 goals and 27 assists…a stat that, if realized, would be one point less than his forgettable first year with the Thrashers two seasons ago.

Coming off his career year last season of 22 goals and 51 assists, many of us thought he would certainly see somewhat of a production reduction. After all, there is a reason they call it a “career” year…but to be this much off? Yikes!

Honestly, I don’t think many thought we would see the return of the 2007-08 Todd White.

Offensive stats aside, White has not played well in the defensive side of the ice either…again playing the soft style of game that has earned him the nickname Charmin by some in these parts.

But White certainly isn’t alone in having a down year so far as the man playing off to his right on most nights isn’t exactly lighting it up either. Bryan Little had a remarkable breakout season in 2008-09, netting 31 goals and 51 overall points…but so far this season he has the exact same 3 goals and 9 assists White has…although Bryan is a +1 for the year.

Who most deserves a seat in the press box?

  • Colby Armstrong (9%, 10 Votes)
  • Ron Hainsey (7%, 8 Votes)
  • Bryan Little (7%, 8 Votes)
  • Mark Popovic (16%, 18 Votes)
  • Christoph Schubert (8%, 9 Votes)
  • Todd White (53%, 62 Votes)

Total Voters: 114

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Little’s first two goals came way of a deflection off his skate…thank you Rich Peverley…and a nicking of his stick by the puck on it’s way into the goal via a blast from Toby Enstrom. Since that time, however, he went twelve games without a goal…finally hitting twine during Monday’s 5-2 loss in Toronto. In the last month of play, Little has that one goal, 3 assists and is a –4. Two of those helpers came during the 6-4 comeback win in Carolina.

Tell me the truth now… if someone would have told you two months ago that the Thrashers would have a winning record at this time, holding a playoff spot even…while at the same time Little and White had a combined 6 goals and 18 assists between them… wouldn’t you have looked at them like they were from Mars?

I would have.

Then there is Colby Armstrong…he of 3 goals and 7 overall points in 26 games played. Not even playing alongside of Rich Peverley, (10 goals, 16 assists & +4) and rookie sensation Evander Kane, (8 goals, 5 assists and +6) has seemed to rub off on him yet. In his last eleven games played, Army has all of one entire point and is a –6.

Colby’s 28 penalty minutes are the most of any Thrasher not named Eric Boulton and Christoph Schubert…although 20 of those came during the Philly game a couple weeks back.

His overall stats give me reason to include him as a candidate to sit…but the toughness he brings to the game would give me pause to put him in the box over someone like a Todd White.

On defense…well, who you gonna single out on a blueline corps that surrenders an average of 34.5 shots on goal per game. And the fact of the matter is that that stat reflects an overall “team” defense…including forwards and the ability/inability to back check and move the puck out of the zone.

Regardless…with Boris Valabik back in the mix, it isn’t too much of a stretch to think that somebody who has seen some minutes will be hanging out in the press box some time soon.

Could that person be Christoph Schubert…who has played in 25 games and is a –3 with a goals and three points. Maybe, but I don’t think he’s played poorly and I really like that 6’-3” 230 pound mass out there for us.

Mark Popovic, while not playing terribly overall, has done little to impress me of late. He’s a –4 in 17 games played and has helped out on the attacking side with a pair of goals and an assist. He was a –3 in Toronto…has been a –5 in his last six games played and a –7 in his last 13 games dating back to October 22nd’s 5-4 loss to the Caps.

As indicated above, some would insist that Hainsey should lose some ice time. He’s played in 25 games thus far and is a -2, contributing 2 goals and 4 assists. Most recently he is EVEN in the last seven games played with no points…-5 with a goal and 4 assists in the 12 games before that.

Ron Hainsey isn’t going to blind anyone with flashes of brilliance, mind you…but I don’t think he’s the one to be sitting right now. If given a choice between the three defensemen…I’d sit Pops and give Boris a chance to see if he’s mastered the backward skating skills needed to play at this level.

However…considering all the options I’ve provided to sit either Todd White, Bryan Little, Colby Armstrong, Mark Popovic, Ron Hainsey or Christoph Schubert…I would opt for a “White out” scenario in Philips.

With that…I’d place Slater into the fourth line center position and move Reasoner to the second line between Kozlov and Little. I could see an argument made to place him between Kane and Armstrong, moving Peverley up to the second line…but I just like the chemistry that’s developing between Evander and the Pevs Dispenser.

Maybe Kane and Peverley could move up with Little…leaving Kozzy and Reasoner to line up with Army? That third line might not score much, but it might not get scored on too often either and maybe Little would benefit from the wheels attached to Kane and Peverley.

73 comments Add your comment

World Be Free

December 8th, 2009
8:38 pm

I beat Stroz!

World Be Free

December 8th, 2009
8:40 pm

Now that we have that out of the way, I would consider giving Schubert some time at forward. He’s played there before.

Several of the forwards you mentioned need a shakeup, it’s a wonder we have done so well with so many players contributing so little. How about a call up? There has to be some players at Chicago knocking at the door. You can’t move guys to the press box without having replacements.

Curly

December 8th, 2009
8:44 pm

Curly

December 8th, 2009
8:46 pm

DANG! – Third.

I agree White should sit this one out.

What’s up with the Thrashers web-site listing Boris V. at Left Wing?
Maybe White will be sitting and Big Boris can bring some toughness to the Forward Corps.

Alan R.

December 8th, 2009
9:08 pm

Sit White or Pops. Schubert shouldn’t even be mentioned, as I think he’s been one of our hardest working players thus far. Yes… he’s taken some bad penalties, but his strong play overall is good for us.

five_hole

December 8th, 2009
9:31 pm

The thing with Schubert is that he has been playing well on the PK. Without question, Popovic is the 6th d-man, but does anyone think Valabik is an upgrade defensively? I would prefer giving more ice time to Salmela.

Upfront, I would have sat White down a month ago. Either move Reasoner to 3rd and put Pevs on 2nd, or just bump Reasoner to 2nd.

jason

December 8th, 2009
9:57 pm

Darn Rawhide, I was thinking this was about wearing white t-shirts while the Thrashers wore blue and the road team wore white, like that ill-fated “white-out” a couple of years ago.

If this were really about wearing a color, I would suggest Navy Blue. That way, everyone would blend in with the 8 empty seats around them. 301 might actually look sold out.

But in hockey terms, White has been less than impressive, but I’m leaning towards Hainsey. I think he has too much on his mind thinking ahead trying to make the USA squad as a d-man. Sitting him a couple of times might help him refocus a bit and get the Olympic thoughts out of his mind.

HookyBob

December 8th, 2009
10:13 pm

Earlier Viv had a story that it was our strong goaltending that was the key to the “boys in blue” success this year. After my doubting OP was a #1 goalie he stole (outright larceny) a couple of games and played very solid in others. He kept us in games and gave us a chance to comeback. Through the first 20 games he had made a believer out of me. Since then, it seems he has come back to earth. Now, I’m starting to wonder when Kari will be back. Yeah,..call me fickle.

I’m also wondering if (well, sorta hoping) Moose gets the start in Cal-Gary tomorrow night.

Regarding some of our proven performers who haven’t gotten going this year,..White has to be having the worst start. Before he may not have scored but was defensively responsible enough that his +/- wasn’t too bad. Right now I gotta think White, Kozlov and Little should be getting 3rd line minutes, while Peverly, Kane, and Armstrong (maybe Little) should be going over the boards when Ilya’s line comes off.

I used to think Armstrong was slow,..but in the LA game he was really pulling away from Dougherty in a race for the puck. Now I’m thinking he is much faster than he looks. Colby has a bit of agitator (a la Dan Snyder)in him,..and I like that. I’ve often wondered how he would fit on the 4th line.

Speaking of the the 4th line. WBF & Alan,…Schubert could definitely generate some energy as a forward on the 4th line. Question is who do you bump off? Maybe you bump Thorburn up to the 3rd. Right now I’m of the opinion this line is doing quite well as is,…I wouldn’t change it. They are our best cylers of the puck in the O zone.

Ok guys lets bring see your A game tomorrow in Cal-Gary.

World Be Free

December 8th, 2009
10:21 pm

Hooky-I can’t see sitting anybody currently on the 4th line. You bump up Thorny, at least you’d have somebody driving the net like a madman (that’s Thorny). Like you, I like the idea of maybe moving Schubert to forward. But he also might not want to go up, since he’s a defenseman by trade. That’s how things went bad in Ottawa, moving back and forth. Tough call.

But you have to sit somebody soon, or these underachieving guys will start to think it’s ok to float. Shake ‘em up J.A.!

R John

December 8th, 2009
10:57 pm

It’s pretty awesome that the AJC employs a hockey blogger who doesn’t know the difference between goalkeeping and goaltending.

Because it would be mean not to tell you: Goalkeepers play soccer. Goaltenders play hockey.

Alan R.

December 8th, 2009
11:36 pm

Because it would be mean not to tell you: Goalkeepers play soccer. Goaltenders play hockey.

They both mean the same thing. If you’re going to be a grammar nazi, it might be a good idea to be correct.

Hockey Biltong

December 9th, 2009
12:34 am

or a Coaltender on a train….

jim

December 9th, 2009
5:30 am

Yeah, Atlanta is really Hockey Town (not). 12 whole comments on this.Pu-leeze

Bill

December 9th, 2009
6:01 am

I think R. John is right. The resulting slang is different. In Hockey he becomes a “goalie”. In Soccer, he (or she) becomes a “keeper”.

I was surprised that the only options discussed were sitting someone down. Hockey is very much a team sport and you need to find the right chemistry. In baseball, you sit someone down if the numbers are bad. In hockey, if you have good players who aren’t producing, you shuffle the lines.

World Be Free

December 9th, 2009
6:36 am

Jim-back to the Hawks blog with you…..

Zoomo

December 9th, 2009
8:11 am

Sit White. Army to the 4th line. Move up Reasoner.

I made a comment way back during training camp that White was going hard in camp, every drill was sharp, and he looked like he was in mid-season form. Uhhh..I was wrong!

Buzzeng

December 9th, 2009
8:24 am

Like HB, I thought this was going to propose a white jersey night to replace the doomed Thursday Thirds…

White needs a new perspective, and a performance-related sit-down may be just the key. I have to (hope to) think Little is in the sophomore slump, but at least he’s not as big a defensive liability.

Last comment – in Quebec, they call them “goalers”.

KovyRules

December 9th, 2009
8:25 am

IMO, our biggest problem is effort, as seen clearly in two blowouts against teams with inferior skill (The Laffs and the Isles) but far better work ethic. So you send a message by sitting the ones who aren’t working. In those two games, that would be the whole first line. Since that’s not an option, you alternate games sitting White and Armstrong (perhaps with their upcoming free agency, they’ll be adequately scared by sitting in the press box to put up some real effort) up front and Pops and Hainsey in the back.

Then there’s the question of how many games you let the check-free first line continue together. The opposition formula is clear – put a hard-working strong fore-checking line against the Soviets and you’ll leave the game with a plus rating (I’m still mad over that third goal against the Isles, where Kovy and Antro skated away from the pack handler like he had H1N1) (but not mad enough to call Antro a Russian)…

We appreciate you stirring the pot like this, Rawhide!

KovyRules

December 9th, 2009
8:34 am

Schubert refers to the goalies as torhüter. I heard Kubina call them a brankář, but Toby corrected him that they are målvakts. But I think Kovy said it best when he called them the вратарь.

Sage of Blueland

December 9th, 2009
8:35 am

It’s really not that big of a deal!

If they win, the sheep will come! Result: LORD STANLEY’S CUP on Peachtree!!

Suckers.

GaVaHokie

December 9th, 2009
8:57 am

Well, if you plan to trade anyone, you might want to sit them out to see what you’re left with… in the example of Todd White… it would be nice to see if you have chemistry with Pevs, Kane and Little before doing something drastic.

I think it’s time for Schubert to get a rest… he was on the ice for two of the Leafs goals right in front of the net… that should never happen if you’re the guy who’s supposed to be clearing the crease.

R. Stroz

December 9th, 2009
8:58 am

GaVaHokie

December 9th, 2009
9:00 am

Thrashers are on pace for 104 pts.

Perhaps lightning strikes twice at Casino Night, and Kovy signs his contract in front of the fans and the team gets another momentum boost for the final stretch.

… here’s to wishing in one hand. ;)

hip czech

December 9th, 2009
9:03 am

“I think he has too much on his mind thinking ahead trying to make the USA squad as a d-man.”

Bogosian should be thinking more about it than Hainsey. Andy Strickland has Bogosian in his top 6 D for team USA. That would be cool if ZB does get the nod. Hainsey? No way.

Popovic was atrocious defensively Monday night, sit him, play Salmela.

One thing I’ve wondered about is how other teams might exploit Enstrom’s size. I give major props to Toby for doing as well defensively as he has through good positioning and some smarts. But it seems the Buds may have hit on something, just keep two forwards around the net and let them out muscle our defensemen

Get The Puck Out

December 9th, 2009
9:08 am

All the opposing team has to do is put their best defensive line against our first line and they are on the plus side of plus minus. Try startin another line besides the first line at the begining of the game, maybe the hustlin forth line at the begining. if we could get started hustlin, maybe even get a goal first(WOW) it might make the rest of the team put out a little more. Effort’s gotta be there from everybody. Go Thrashers!

Christoph Schubert

December 9th, 2009
9:13 am

Und in Deutschland würde R John gerufen werden, “ein Scheißekopf“.

Ach, und Todd White sollte nie auf dem Eis wieder sein.

J-man

December 9th, 2009
9:17 am

Like five_hole, I too would like to see Salmela play more. I don’t see Valabik as being a good fit for the kind of team the Thrashers are now.

White has been fairly inconsistent in his career. His 2 seasons in Minnesota weren’t very impressive. I can’t say it’s a total shock to me that he has reverted back to his old, low scoring self. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he has a season in 2010-11 like he did in 08-09, making people wonder whether the under 40 point a season or the 70+ point a season White is the real one.

Little has had reduced PP time which has hurt his stats somewhat, but he’s also been scoring at a reduced rate since late last season. I don’t know what to think, but I am accepting the possibility that last season may have been a big fluke and we’ll be lucky if he ever scores even 20 goals in a season. Unfortunately I think that he may be our version of Patrick Eaves.

Spud Webb

December 9th, 2009
9:30 am

I’m going to turn this glass upside down. I love the fact that we have 33 points. 33 with a LOT of room for improvement. Upgrades or just better play from the people you listed Rawhide would be a HUGE lift for this team. If we get just above average the rest of the season from them, think about what we could do??? Shake ups needed with Slava, Colby, White and a little more consistant tending this team could be in GREAT shape!

Scotty

December 9th, 2009
9:31 am

R John really took time out of his busy morning to tell us that hockey fans cannot use the term “goalkeeping” because it belongs exclusively to soccer?

Really? I mean, really??

As for who should sit, I think it should be Todd White. He has been simply awful this season.

Nikita

December 9th, 2009
10:03 am

I’m disagreeing re: Todd White. He’s been playing o.k., though he’s been both taking and giving way more hits lately and I think that affects his effectiveness. His line could use an enforcer. Also, I think it would be fine to sit him occasionally or concentrate him more on a particularly type of task. With his proficiency in damn near everything, he tends to be on the ice a lot. More than he really should be to avoid wearing down.

I also would prefer Salmela over Valabik, and I think Bryan Little is his own worst enemy. He needs a break, because he’s evidently being hard on himself and affecting his performance.

Why not sit all of the strugglers a little, particularly those who are prone to breakdown (Reasoner, White), and bring someone in from Chicago to bump the lines from the bottom?

Rawhide

December 9th, 2009
10:07 am

Darn Rawhide, I was thinking this was about wearing white t-shirts while the Thrashers wore blue and the road team wore white, like that ill-fated “white-out” a couple of years ago.

jason – That would be the game against Colorado when the Thrashers planned to wear their white uniforms…or “jersey”, I dunno if “uniforms” is used only for soccer teams or not…but anyway, it backfired because the Avs told us they only packed their white jerseys. So, the Thrashers wound up playing in the blue one.

I think the whole “white out” or “black out” thing has totally been “done” to death anyway by pro and college teams. Just my 2 cents.

Hockey is very much a team sport and you need to find the right chemistry. In baseball, you sit someone down if the numbers are bad. In hockey, if you have good players who aren’t producing, you shuffle the lines.

Bill – I hear ya…but I think Anderson has moved and switched lines a number of times already. Sometimes a player just needs to be sat. In Todd White’s case…I think the time has come.

One thing I’ve wondered about is how other teams might exploit Enstrom’s size. I give major props to Toby for doing as well defensively as he has through good positioning and some smarts

hip czech - Agreed 100%…great point.

R John – Ah…um…sigh…whatev… :roll:

Bob

December 9th, 2009
10:42 am

Sit White and move Peverly up in between Kozlov and Little and watch that line take off.

Reasoner should center Kane and Army and Slater can center Thorburn and Boulton.

Smoothie

December 9th, 2009
11:38 am

I’m not ready to say the 2nd iteration of the Little White Russian line (with Kovy that is) is such a bad thing. Last season, and it started on the West Coast road trip, JA shuffled the deck and rolled out 17 – 12 – 10; 13 – 47 – 20; 11 – 19 – 49 as his top 3 lines. Starting with the AHM game, Todd White went on a tear with a 7-game points streak (and a +/- rating of +5) followed by a poor effort vs FLA and then a 9-game points streak (with a + 1). Over those 17 games, the Thrashers won 11 times and there were 7 instances in which White was the primary assist man on a Kovy goal or vice-versa. I’d say the line was pretty effective, and it was excellent as the primary PP unit, and didn’t even fall off that much in the 3 or 4 games Kovy missed with a back strain.

ben

December 9th, 2009
11:49 am

i didn’t see the game in toronto but the ones i have seen look like they’re passing too much

World Be Free

December 9th, 2009
11:58 am

Not sure Todd White will ever be better than he is right now. So the question is, is what he brings to the ice good enough for the present and long term? Player evaluation.

Bob

December 9th, 2009
1:19 pm

“So the question is, is what he brings to the ice good enough for the present and long term?”

No, it is not good enough now or long term. Jettisoning him and replacing him with Peverly on the 2nd line is a no brainer, get it done.

Dwayne

December 9th, 2009
1:19 pm

Maybe NYI and the Leafs will be last years Philly and Pittsburgh.

English Teacher

December 9th, 2009
1:32 pm

Fourth line. Not forth line. There’s a reason I have this handle.

Jimbo

December 9th, 2009
1:36 pm

Like many others, I too would like to see a Kane-Peverley-Little line combination. All can skate and all are OK defensively. Where ot put White is an enigma. He’s not physical and doesn’t add a whole lot of energy to any line. I agree, sit him. Schubert does hit and pushes people away from the net on the PK. Give Salmela more time than Popovic.

English Teacher

December 9th, 2009
1:40 pm

“Maybe Kane and Peverley could move up with Little…leaving Kozzy and Reasoner to line up with Army? That third line might not score much, but it might not get scored on too often either and maybe Little would benefit from the wheels attached to Kane and Peverley.”

This is EXACTLY what I would do. I think Little’s big problem (see what I did there?) is the company he keeps on the ice. I would love to see the three hardest working guys not named Boulton, Reasoner, and Thorburn on a line together. I think Slater and Marty can go on either the third or fourth line without any loss of productivity, but I would really like to see more productivity from Kozzy and Colby. That makes Reasoner my third line center.

World Be Free

December 9th, 2009
2:22 pm

That’s seems to be the common belief Bob.

Putting On The Foil

December 9th, 2009
3:55 pm

Agree with White OUT! Personally, i like the play of Schubert, especially on the PK. Hainsey starting to remind me of Devries. Seems to float into the picture after a goal is scored.

Thrashers27

December 9th, 2009
5:33 pm

Yep, out with Hainsey and White…maybe Army. I’ve never understood the hubub over Colby in the first place. I’m not sure what his +/- looks like this year, but unless he’s +20, he’s done nothing to earn his paycheck this year.

Cornbread

December 9th, 2009
6:02 pm

I’m going to disagree with much of this blog and the majority of comments. I’m not sure how fair it is to look at the season as a whole for individual players while not considering the trends over the past 5-10 games. This should be more of an indicator of who sits especially since there has been plenty of uninspiring play of late.

That said, the Little White Russian line has actually been trending in the right direction. Over the past 5 games they have been getting some of the best looks and chances of any line combination. White is there setting up Little and Kozlov only to be robbed by the opposing goalie. (Kozzie made Versus’ plays of the week last night getting denied twice.) Over the past 10 games, the LWR line has a combined 14 points, -5, 6 PIMs, and 63 shots. They have 4 points and are a -4 over the last 5.

Compare that to the second line of Peverly, Kane, and Armstrong who are a combined 6 points, -9, 41 PIMs, and 55 shots over the past 10 games and 1 point and -8 over the last 5. They are getting shut down big time and if any forwards sit they should come from this line.

The top line is a respectable 25 points, +3, 35 PIMs, and 70 shots over the past 10 games and are un-good with 8 points and a -6 over the last 5. This is due to the irresponsible play of Captain Kovalchuk that many of us have been pointing out.

Let’s compare some individual numbers over the past 5 games:
Kovalchuk 3 points -5, Antropov 2 points -1, Afinogenov 3 points -2
Kozlov 1 point -1, White 1 point -2, Little2 points -1
Kane 0 points -3, Peverly 1 point -2, Armstrong 0 points -3

The numbers do not bear out for sitting White especially since the line he centers is starting to click. I know it’s sacrilege but the worst line over the past 5-10 games has clearly been the number two line of Kane, Pevs, and Army. The play of Kovalchuk has been horrible of late and I believe it is rubbing off on the team. He surely is not as fired up as the beginning of the season and when he came back from his foot injury. What are you going to do, sit the Super Star Captain? No, but sitting anyone from the second line makes more sense than sitting White. And over the past 10 games that clearly points to Armstrong and his team worst 0 goals, 1 assit, 1 point, -5, 22 PIMs, 16 shots.

Notice I did not mention the “best fourth line in the league”. Clearly none of them deserve to sit as they are proving their title appropriate as over the past 10 they have 9 points, +10, 26 PIMs, and 29 shots. Something is clearly wrong with the Thrashers when the Energy Line leads the team on 5 on 5 play and is playing far better and more responsible than the second line.

I am not worried about the D-men’s respectable individual numbers and pairings as I am team defense as a whole. Even over the past 10 games their numbers are decent. Tighten things up with the forwards in the Thrashers’ zone and they will improve. Not sure that Hainsey belongs on this list as I see his role changing to a more stay at home blue liner allowing Bogosian to jump in the play more as he clearly leads all D-men in SOG over the past 10 games. They also have the best +/- for D pairings over the past 5 games when the team has not been at its best. Popovich has bad numbers but he has not gotten a lot of support lately and that was evident in the loss to Toronto. Still, Salmela should see some action in his place.

White gets a lot of bashing here and elsewhere. Some of it may be justified but sitting him now is not.

HookyBob

December 9th, 2009
6:30 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong,…but I remember Cal-Gary as a team that is very strong along the boards. There’s no doubt in my mind that this will be a physical,…really physical,…game. Perhaps if we can keep the puck more in the middle it will work to our benefit.

With that in mind,…I’d say tonight is the night to sit White (start Slater),…move Kozlov to the 3rd line,…and watch Peverly, Kane & Cobly’s cornerwork closely. Take some of the 3rd line minutes and give them to the 4th line. Maybe even move Thorburn, Bolts & Slater to the 3rd line slot for tonight.

What to do with Little? He works the boards well but lacks size to excel. Get him the puck in open ice

We need a strong physical game from our D-men. Kubina, Schubert, & Bogo need to bring their physical A-game tonight. I like Salmela over Popovic. If Valabik were to get a start this game would be my choice.

I wish Hainsey & Toby luck and good speed on covering rebounds. Seems to me we get blown out when the other team’s forwards are much quicker to the rebounds than our guys. (It may be that when the rebounds bounce further out they lead to more goals.) So lets hope for some good rebound control / response tonight.

Who’s in goal? My thoughts are to go with Hedberg,…not because of the Flames,…but OP has not been having his best games of late.

BTW: Did anyone see Pronger knock out Taveres’ front tooth last night? I’ll bet it isn’t the 1st lost tooth that Pronger has been credited with. He may even lead the league.

NASCAR Dave

December 9th, 2009
6:43 pm

RAWHIDE – RE: CHARMIN WHITE/ RON “LAZY” HAINSEY…

It’s not about “sitting” them… It’s about GETTING THEM OFF THE DAMN PAYROLL… IMMEDIATELY!!!

http://www.nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=ATL&season=0910

Rawhide

December 9th, 2009
7:28 pm

Cornbread – That was very well crafted dissenting opinion…very well done. I still stick by my belief that White should be sat, but I didn’t want your comments to seem they went unnoticed.

Nikita…Ditto. How are things in your new neck of the world?

LAC

December 9th, 2009
9:54 pm

Interesting Kane is out tonight…

Rawhide

December 9th, 2009
9:57 pm

LAC – Word I have is that Kane is under the weather.

Putting On The Foil

December 9th, 2009
11:09 pm

Am I the only one who thinks Matt McConnell sucks? Delacamera was way better IMHO. Got to snap outta this scoring funk in the third.

stendec

December 9th, 2009
11:27 pm

My Flames are looking good! Absolutely heartless 40 minutes for don’t give a damn Thrashers. Moose snoozed in second period long enough to surrender a pair of goals. One was a very Sori Leteminesque marshmallow ole whiff. Thrasher losing streak should be at two and counting after another period. Kapitan Ilya Kovalchuk is now officially in Maryann Hossa mode. Does not give a damn. Clear from his uninspired play at third speed. The no score offense of John Petrino is so much fun to watch. Totally embarrassing! Oh well. The freefall has begun! No less than Thrashers and no accountability fans deserve. GO FLAMES! ++STENDEC++ Apologists can kiss my a$$. In no mood for any of you losers tonight!

stendec

December 9th, 2009
11:49 pm

Two teams headed in opposite directions. Flames en route to playoffs! Thrashers on way to bottom of division. Flames contenders! Thrashers pretenders. Flames can score! Against religion of Thrashers to do so. Flames have top tier goaltending! Thrashers do not. There goes damn shutout! Oh well. Under review. Shutout OFFICIALLY gone! ++STENDEC++

Tom

December 10th, 2009
12:02 am

I have to say I hope Kovy is hurt because his effort has been severely lacking the past few games. There has been a lack of hustle and focus, not to mention an absolute distaste for playing defense.

It is obvious as number 17 goes we go, but he is going downhill fast.

stendec

December 10th, 2009
12:02 am

Another heartless effort by the gutless Thrashers! Second regulation choke job. Zero points! Kapitan Ilya Kovalchik has become unproductive liability. Why rush to sign this Maryann Hossa clone? It is obvious Russian wants nothing more to do with Atlanta. Trade his uncaring a$$! Screw all the quitters with chickens on their chests. Thanks for effort Flames. Well done fellows! ++STENDEC++

R. Stroz

December 10th, 2009
12:19 am

Send Charmin to the outhouse.

Brendan

December 10th, 2009
3:03 am

Cornbread, I enjoyed reading that post. (That’s how one goes about writing a dissenting opinion.) Especially the stats on our 4th line, who do surprisingly well, with the little ice time they receive. I’ve been somewhat of a Todd White defender. I see him as a “depth center” who is relatively inexpensive. I never had expectations of him being “the center that keeps Marian Hossa in Thrasher blue for the coming years.” White had a career best season last year. And, truthfully, I thought it would continue into this season. The numbers don’t bear that out, however. But would I “sit” Todd White? Hmmn. Maybe just to give him a jolt. When a player sits, sometimes it motivates him to play better. Sometimes, it just agitates him. When Don Waddell first signed Todd White, White’s quote in the morning paper was, “I really likes to play both sides. I like to think I excel defensively as a forward.” At the time … I thought, “Good, we need forwards who can backcheck. Maybe he should play with Kovalchuk?” I was having some fun, of course. But when I read Kovalchuk’s comment about the NEW Todd White acquisition (July 2007), it was all positive. I figured they might actually turn into linemates.

The thing that always sticks out in my mind about Todd White is this. When the wheels fell off this franchise, and they were swept out by the Rangers, and Bob Hartley had lost the room … Todd White said, “I want in. I want to try to help the Atlanta Thrashers.” He was, after all, an UNRESTRICTED free agent. He could have signed anywhere that would take him. Waddell offered, more than likely, the best offer Todd White was apt to get, 4-years for $9.5 million. Nobody lodged a double-barelled, sawed off shotgun into his short ribs to sign that deal. There was no mobster standing behind him saying, “Todd, either your signature or your brains go on that contract.” So, I tend to go “easy” on Todd White. If John Anderson sits him, it might do him some good.

I can hear the detractors already. “Shoulda traded him in the offseason while his VALUE was so high.” Well, how could anyone know if he wouldn’t continue that career season? From the GM perspective, you’ve got a low cap hit guy making decent contributions. That’s one of the goals a GM sets for himself. Todd White is not now, nor has ever been, a Tier I center. He’s a depth player. Every team, in an era of salary cap, needs an inexpensive yet able to contribute, depth player. He is that guy for Atlanta. I’m sorry he’s not on pace for last season’s totals. But there’s also more than half the season remaining. I always cringe when people say, “Brendan, in hockey, the games don’t even matter until New Year’s Day anyway.” Sigh. Well, supposing that assertion is true for the very moment, Todd White still has ample time to do something noteworthy to turn his season around … and into one that more closely resembles last year’s output.

Tough loss, tonight. The shots against were, once again, over thirty (32). Armstrong got the goal, his 4th. He also got in a fight. I’d actually give the nod to Curtis Glencross in the bout. Peverley got his 17th assist on the year. Pretty nice stat, there. Here’s a “not-so-nice” stat: Finny was a -2. On our blueline, Enstrom, Bogosian, and Hainsey were all -1.

And finally, every team in the Southeast division lost tonight. Caps and Cats got shutout. Tampa Bay fell, post-regulation time. Carolina lost to NJ. And we lost to Calgary. Only the Bolts banked a point in the standings, for the whole division. In other news, the Detroit Red Wings had yet another 40+ shot effort WASTED in a shutout. St. Louis’ Ty Conklin made 42 saves in a 1-0 Blues victory.

Dwayne

December 10th, 2009
8:47 am

Need a win bad…understatement of the year.

Dwayne

December 10th, 2009
8:51 am

Another heartless effort by the gutless Stendec! Every blog choke job. Zero class! Kapitan Stendec has become unproductive liability. Why rush to sign this Richard Simmons clone? It is obvious Stendecn wants nothing more to do with common sense and decency. Block his uncaring a$$ from blogging! Screw all the Stendecs with chickens on their chests. Thanks for your support.

Bob

December 10th, 2009
9:05 am

Good to see Valabik has improved…what a waste of a pick that guy was.

Those line combinations last night were a disaster. Who scored the only goal last night? Armstrong, when Peverley’s shot went in off his skate on the rebound. Peverly the catalyst again.

There’s one move that needs to be made. Sit White and skate Peverley in between Kozlov and Little and watch that line take off. Put the top line back together and move Reasoner to center the 3rd line.

This one move of centers fixes the problems:

Kovy-Antro-Max
Kozlov-Peverley-Little
Kane-Reasoner-Armstrong
Boulton-Slater-Thorburn

White is the broken cog in this wheel, take him out and put Peverly on the 2nd line where he belongs and watch the offense take off.

World Be Free

December 10th, 2009
9:07 am

Forgive me for not trashing the Thrashers in general like some of the idiots that “contribute” to this blog.

I have been communicating a concern for some time. This concern resurfaced last night on the first goal. We do not cover the points in our defensive zone. I have no idea why the forwards collapse to the faceoff circles. Last night on the first goal, the left point was wide open, long enough to make a play (not just shoot). Nigel Dawes, a “pipe fitter” at best, had enough time to make a decent deflection for the first goal.

Cover the points guys!

Spud Webb

December 10th, 2009
9:51 am

Son of a b7tch…Glencross with a BEATDOWN on colby. OUCH, that had to hurt…our number 1 line better get responsible, VERY QUICKLY.

Spud Webb

December 10th, 2009
9:53 am

WBF, you’re correct. These same people will be telling us next week to sign Max to an extension, telling us how great DW is, blah, blah, blah!! Bash em when we lose and jump on the wagon when we win!! Classic.

R. Stroz

December 10th, 2009
10:25 am

Little needs to be de-coupled from White. I don’t understand the reluctance of the coaching staff to “Give Little a Chance”. As I’ve stated before, I’d like to see a line of Peverely-Little-Kane. These guys are the future of the team.

Concerning Kovy, if he is still injured to the point the injury is effecting his play, Kovy needs to sit a few games. If Kovy is “fine”, Coach Anderson needs to give him a motivational talk.

If Kovy is re-signed, I’d like to see Max re-signed. If Kovy isn’t re-signed, let Max go. Kovy and Max work well together. However, Max without Kovy will not work. As one of few actually in favor of the Max signing, even I have been pleasantly surprised so far. However, as many of you saw last night, when Max isn’t paired with Kovy, Max goes back to his old style of play.

As an aside, Slater really played well last night. I’m sure WBF wondered who stole Slater’s jersey before the game.

Russian

December 10th, 2009
10:26 am

**to Spud Webb**
No No No. Don and Dadly were doing very good job at summer. I like the team and they combined very nice players. It is not a problem with GM. I see the problem with Coach now. “His system”, honestly I do not understand his system, is not working at all. Team did not shoot a puck, team did not score lot of goals. They lost lot of games at home. What is he doing? Where is a Magic System?

Russian

December 10th, 2009
10:30 am

*to Stroz**
Good Point about Kovy. If he still injure, sit in pressbox. Team will go with out him. If Kovy is fine, why we did not see 100% play from him. I heard a rumor, that his contract is not doing very well. Owners put on hold big contract for Kovy. May be he upset.
Yes we have to combine together Kane-Pever-Little and keep them 5-7 games as a second line.

jared

December 10th, 2009
10:30 am

Spudd Webb
I agree with you in that this is a bandwagon blog, but something does have to be said about the lack of scoring on out team. We need to get our 3.46 GF average again. I liked that….ya i liked that stat a lot.
I say rotate sitting Little, white and Hainsey…1 game each is all they need if JA gives a press conference about how poorly we have played of late. It will get their attention. As for trading white…..That accomplishes nothing. We could MAYBE get an Armstrong or Christensen style player for white.

Bob

December 10th, 2009
10:51 am

“I’d like to see a line of Peverely-Little-Kane”

I hear you on the future of the team, but Kane isn’t ready for the 2nd line. He’s quick and defensively responsible, remember he’s only 18. He needs to be on the checking line, Kozlov would be a waste on the checking line.

I really think all they need to do is keep the top line intact, put Peverly in between Kozlov and Little, and move Reasoner to the third line. Kane-Reasoner-Armstrong is a good checking line and can pop some goals in. White is the broken piece that does not fit on this club.

Spud Webb

December 10th, 2009
10:53 am

Agreed Jared, I’m a bit concerned also w/ the lack of scoring. Stroz and Russian, yea, if Kovy is hurt, sit him for a week. Let’s get him healthy.
And Stroz, I thought the same thing about Slats. I thought Slats was drinking w/me last night, I was Jacked UP!! He played a great game. Thought he was gonna go towards the end, ref got in the middle right before the face off!! Dang it.

World Be Free

December 10th, 2009
11:18 am

Spud-sometimes you just wonder what to do with these folks.

I think some of us have pointed out things about Anderson’s system that trouble us. I am confident that these guys will work it out. Some guys just aren’t playing very well.

Rawhide

December 10th, 2009
11:19 am

:!: RANALLO WARNING!! :!:

This is your official 10-minute Ranallo Warning!

Oh, and speaking of Ranallo…where have you been lately, young man?

Dwayne

December 10th, 2009
1:16 pm

Its a blog, so, if people want to bandwagon jump, they can. Do you(to whom it may concern) want everyone to sing in peace and harmony? Fact is, the Thrashers are sucking right now. Having said that, if they win tonight, they go 2-2 on the raod trip. Thats good, but the way they play at home, 3-1 was needed. I do not watch any other teams except the Thrashers? Does every other team changes lines every night? How about the teams in the top 4 of each conference. Aint the Thrashers in 6th place still in our conference? That’s what I thought. Relax?? Not if you don’t want to. My boy Valabik had an assist last night, wish I could have seen it, I fell asleep on my couch after the first minute. How did Slater do?? Kovy still doing piro-wets (spelling) around the blue line? He would look great skating with Chaz Micheal Micheals.

bucky

December 11th, 2009
2:28 pm

Pops is as good as he can be when is playing with a broken foot in the two games he had a -3 and -2. Especially when he is playing with a wannabe defender in schubert who is a freaking pylon! Just watch Pops..he is a solid skater and smart defencemen. he is never out of position unlike Christoph who is either always out of position or in the bloody penalty box. take is easy on Pops..we are lucky we got him back…he is one of the few thrash that actually gives a crap about the team, winning and its fans…its never about the money with him…he just wants to play. he has the potential of being a top 4 defenceman if he gets playing time…and dont get me started on how crap Tobias is…anyone can get points if they play as much as him…and trust me its not about his talent…its because the powers that be dont want to look stupid on their decision on him…he coughs up the puck more than anyone on the squad.

Jameson

December 12th, 2009
5:39 pm

I think he should sit Kovalchuk for at least a period.