Oh where, oh where has our goal scoring gone?

The Thrashers scored one goal last night in Calgary, losing 2-1 to the Flames. Monday night they were able to slip all of two into the net in Toronto…after they found themselves down 5-zip after two periods, that is. In three of the past four games they’ve scored only once and have a total of five goals during regulation in those four matches.

Dating back to the 2-0 win in Detroit, Atlanta has not been able to score more than twice in six of the last eight games…the exceptions being the 4-3 win against Florida and the 6-4 victory in Carolina, thanks to a 5 goal outburst in the third period.

That comes to a grand total of 18 goals in eight games plus five minutes of overtime…which is a goals per game average of just under two and a quarter, not counting the “pseudo-goal” awarded for winning the individual skills competition down in Florida last Saturday. This is in stark contrast to the offense that was pumping in goals at the rate of close to three and a half per game over the course of the first 20 games of the season.

So, where have all the goals gone all of a sudden?

Some have wondered if Ilya Kovalchuk’s right foot is still bothering him a bit…even though he has been in on 1/3 of the 18 goals scored since the shutout in Detroit, (3 goals and 3 assists). Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t…but he certainly has looked a tad off his game recently.

Maxim Afinogenov? Well, he’s not dropping the biscuit in the basket at the torrid rate he was a few weeks back, but he does have 2 goals and 4 assists in the past eight games…again, like Kovy, that’s a third of the offensive output.

Rich Peverley has been held scoreless since the comeback-style win in Carolina and last night he picked up his first assist since the 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh back on November 21. Since that night, he has but 2 goals and 4 overall points in the past eleven games.

The Thrashers are looking for goals wherever they can find them these days, but Toby Enstrom might be taking that search a bit too far  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Jeff McIntosh)

The Thrashers have been looking for goals wherever they can find them lately, but Toby Enstrom might be taking that search a bit too far (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Jeff McIntosh)

Evander Kane did not play in Cal-GARY due to illness, but during this eight-game power outage, he has netted but one goal in seven games played with no assists.

After scoring one of the two Thrashers goals in Motown, Nik Antropov has been held off the scoresheet in six of the last seven games.

Todd White has been…well, he’s been Todd White. 3 assists in eight games and hasn’t tickled the twine since…flipping through stat sheets and notes…since…ah here it is…since October the 29th. That’s a drought lasting 19 games and counting.

We could continue down this list of forwards…but let’s turn our attention to the back lines. Thrashers defensemen were chipping in with goals-a-plenty for the first month and a half of the season, but only have accounted for one of the 18 goals scored during the eight games since Thanksgiving Eve… thank you Mark Popovic.

Going back to the 3-2 win against Edmonton on November 15, the Thrashers benifited from a goal from defenseman Zach Bogosian that Sunday afternoon. But since then they have only two from the blueline in the past 11 games… Toby Enstrom’s in a 4-3 overtime loss to Tampa Bay and Pop’s goal during the win against Florida on November 30th. This is after getting 18 goals from the defensive unit in the first 17 games of the season.

So maybe if we are looking to see where all the goals have gone of late…we need look no further than the blueline.

Is this to say that the defense is solely to blame for the recent lack of offensive prowess? Nope…not at all. But in a John Anderson style of play where defenders are called upon to step up into the attack, when the offensive production stops coming from that area…it does tends to stick out.

42 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

December 10th, 2009
11:30 am

FIRST, or GOLD

R. Stroz

December 10th, 2009
11:31 am

Nate

December 10th, 2009
11:43 am

I was thinking the same things last night. All of these one and two goal scoring performances lately keep driving me crazy. But it’s because the defensemen aren’t scoring at the same rate as earlier in the season. Elliot made the comment that Bogosian has actually been playing better than he was earlier in the season with all the goals scored. And that is was okay the Bogo hadn’t scored lately. While I agree he has been playing better defensively, I disagree with it being okay that he hasn’t scored. This team needs him and the other defensemen to score. Like you say Bill, Anderson’s system calls for the defensemen to join the rush to provide offense. If they don’t, the goal-scoring well dries up.

five_hole

December 10th, 2009
11:45 am

We’re a team built on speed and offense and when the other team clogs the middle or forechecks well, we get trapped.

Couldn’t stay up for the 3rd period, but I thought we played well. We got some bad bounces. Sometimes it happens.

Valabik didn’t suck as badly as I expected him to. 14 1/2 minutes of ice time and a +/- of 0. The only time that I saw him embarrass himself was after he got elbowed, and started skating after the guy and the referee put 1 hand out & knocked him down. ‘Come on. You’re 6′5″ & 240 lbs and you skate like a 3 year old.

Hope we do better tonight.

Spud Webb

December 10th, 2009
11:59 am

Tough night, good goaltending, no scoring. Seems to be a team wide slump!!! We’ll pull through it. Calgary and the Canucks are good solid teams. We have our work cut out for us, all the negatives can turn around with a solid W tonight!!
You guys see Colby get pummeled (spelling??)? Wow. And Slats (you all know I want him sitting!!!) played his tail off. Good job Jim.

World Be Free

December 10th, 2009
12:10 pm

Stroz you are quicker than quick

World Be Free

December 10th, 2009
12:15 pm

Start going to the net, force defensemen to play the man to create opportunities for your linemates.

Coaching staff needs to break out a 20 minute highlight reel of John Tonelli, putting his head down and driving the net.

Hollywould

December 10th, 2009
12:15 pm

What the hell is up with Kovy? I saw him give the puck away at least 6 times. 3 times on one shift.
Standing around waiting for everyone else to do the dirty work on the boards. Looks like he could care less. i might not know as much hockey as most of you but I do know teamwork and effort.
Hossa re-done?

Miami Screaming Eagle

December 10th, 2009
12:26 pm

Kovy = contract distraction
Looks like more than Kovy is distracted right now.

HookyBob

December 10th, 2009
12:59 pm

We face Roberto Luongo tonight. What does that make the over/(under)on our goal scoring drought coming to an end?

Is it known if OP will be in goal? I think it is time for him to steal a game for us. As well as Moose played,…I think he should have had that shot from the top of the face-off circle (2nd goal).

Who sits tonight? I think Slater and Salmela both earned another start. Any thoughts on sitting the Kaptain? ? ? Ouch! ! !

As it is a homecoming of sorts,..I hope Kane not only plays,..but leads us to victory. Maybe in OT.

I guess it depends on how the game develops,…but tonight might be good game for Bolts to do his thing to energize the boys. I think it helped against Philly.

Go Blue, say “hey” to Schneider and watch out for Willie Mitchell.

Dwayne

December 10th, 2009
1:19 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.

World Be Free

December 10th, 2009
1:25 pm

It’s a long season Dwayne-a marathon

Brett

December 10th, 2009
1:37 pm

Someone needs to have a word with Kovy. He CAN play defense!

Matt

December 10th, 2009
1:56 pm

The Thrashers appear to be who we thought they were (apologies to Coach Denny Green). For a while we were able to dodge trouble with our “come back” ability, but now those late game heroics have disappeared. The solution is to come out strong and play from ahead for change. I agree that the D needs to step up and the forwards need to be able to screen the opposing goalies (Are you listening Nik?)

Bob

December 10th, 2009
1:59 pm

“You guys see Colby get pummeled”

I’m suprised he wasn’t kicked out for not having his fight strap snapped down.

“What the hell is up with Kovy?”

I beginning to think there is some fire causing this smoke we’re seeing. All of a sudden he doesn’t seem to care, what happened with the contract that was rumored to be all but done? Makes me think there’s some problem here and mabye the rest of the club has wind of it and that’s what’s causing the malaise.

J-man

December 10th, 2009
2:26 pm

I have to agree with Bob. Given Don Waddell’s recent comments in the AJC about playing word games with Ilya’s agent (”Definite what ‘long term contract’ means to you” – or something very very close to those words), I am not at all convinced that Waddell is serious about re-signing Kovy. Perhaps Kovy’s recent poor performance has been because he actually wants to stay here but he’s not getting taken seriously by Waddell. I could be completely wrong about that, but I’m also not willing to rule it out yet either.

Brendan

December 10th, 2009
2:28 pm

Maybe it’s the miles and the time zone change, too? Though, this club did well, last year, on the Western Road Trip. Maybe Bob’s got a point about sitting White and putting Peverley between Little and Kozlov. Vancouver is a good team. But they’re not a GREAT team. We can beat them. Calgary, last night, and all year long, has been a very physical team. Especially inside of their own zone. That’s why I like the Flames’ chances in the playoffs to suprise some teams. I still think, to this very day, that … despite all the current CBA rule changes … that ULTIMATELY … defense is what wins championships. Yes, there’s exceptions to the rule. But those exceptions PROVE THE RULE.

Vancouver fired David Nonis as GM because he never advanced the Canucks into the Conference Finals. Last year, under Mike Gillis, the Canucks were the #3 seed, won their division, and reached the Conference Semi-Finals. But in the game that mattered the MOST, an elimination game in Chicago, they surrendered seven (7) goals. With their very playoff existence on the line. That’s too many goal. Let’s see how much Vancouver ADDRESSED that problem. If they haven’t, they won’t reach the CF again this year, either. The teams to watch, in my opinon, in the West are San Jose, Calgary, Chicago, and Detroit. Sometimes Columbus and Nashville show flashes of being something special. The Canucks signed Roberto Luongo to some whopping contract. Was it 12 years? Something like that, anyways. But just because the Canucks locked him up … doesn’t mean they fixed their defensive problems.

Tonight, I hope John Anderson can expose the Canucks, like the Blackhawks did in the 2009 playoffs. Let’s-Go-Thrash-ers!!

J.B.

December 10th, 2009
2:48 pm

i’m convinced all those guys have the damned flu. We know kovy was sick at the start of the trip; as was kubina. Kane was ill last night. after all the hotel rooms, planes, lockerooms, travel, etc. you know those guys aren’t at 100% or at least most of them. I refuse to concede that a couple of low-scoring, inconsistent road games = contract problems. My preset panic date is Jan 10th. If the signing doesn’t happen before or at casino night, i’ll start to get my ulcer. thank you.

J.B.

December 10th, 2009
2:52 pm

… and oh my god, please please please bench white tonight.

Coach J.B.’s lines:

kovy – antro – max
kozzy – pevs – little
kane – reasoner – army
boults – slater – thorbs

bogo – tobi
kubes – hainsey
salmela – valabik

pavs (with the old fox theater mask)

Dwayne

December 10th, 2009
3:16 pm

WBF…are you really Lloyd Bernard Free? One of my favorite 76′ers of all time?

FormerIslesFan

December 10th, 2009
3:23 pm

Okay, on a totally different, but still very hockey related note, I give you the following. As a drummer, hockey fan and fan of the band Rush, I have to admit that I was amazed to see the following article about Neil Peart recording a “rock” version of “The Hockey Theme” for the NHL on TSN (sometimes referred to as the “Second Canadian National Anthem”). While we don’t get to hear it a lot in Georgia, if you catch TSN games on Center Ice, you know what it sounds like.

Check out: http://www.rush.com/news/news9.html

LAC

December 10th, 2009
3:35 pm

look for yet another FLAT game and a 5-1 loss from my viewpoint.

This contract thing is now as bad or worse than Hossa’s, as far as a distraction… EVERY team talks about it at the START of every telecast
and ALWAYS a snide comment or two, what was it the other night, if #17
does not stay, Hockey is FINISHED in Atlanta… I agree.

If he does not sign, attendence falls to about 5-6K a game and they will be sold and leave town for good… But #17 needs to show “some” effort out there, because he aint showin much here lately !

Afraid two more years of NHL here, Then Bye-Bye !

Rawhide

December 10th, 2009
3:38 pm

FIF – As a hockey fan and fan of Rush as well…thank you very much for sharing that with us!!

Jimbo

December 10th, 2009
3:45 pm

Other teams have learned pretty quickly that they can slow us down by forechecking and beating us along the boards. We’re just not physical enough to work the boards. White is doing little. We need another grinder along the boards- maybe Machachek firts the bill. Give him a shot and sit White.

World Be Free

December 10th, 2009
4:14 pm

Dwayne-I am not “Lloyd”, but I remember him too. That’s back when professional basketball players were real, all around players. Faves like Free, Bob McAdoo (all time fave) and Randy Smith. Witherspoon and Carter in Philly were great too.

Loved it when Witherspoon scored at the Philly Spectrum A/P announcer would yell out – “SPOOOOOOOOOOOON”. Now those were the good ole days!

DanTheMan

December 10th, 2009
4:18 pm

Jimbo: Really? White is doing Little? :)

Midifeld

December 10th, 2009
4:21 pm

In all honesty, the game in Calgary was a decent away game. Thrashers won much worse played game in Miami by comparison. Let’s face it, Kiprusoff can be hands full, especially on the night when Kovy looks for a handle on the puck one time too many. As for particulars, I did not like the way Hainsey lost track of Daws on the first goal. That was a freeby.

Dwayne

December 10th, 2009
4:43 pm

WBF..My recollections were Caldwell Jones, Bobby “i’m the dunkingness white guy you’ll ever know” Jones, Henry Bibby, Andrew “i wish there were a 3 point line when i played” Toney, Henry Bibby, and of course the Dr. Moses leading the Sixers to the promise land. Wonderful memories. Looking back at those basketball players vrs what we have now, no wonder i love hockey so much.

World Be Free

December 10th, 2009
4:59 pm

Dwayne-you are right on my friend, very good recall.

Caldwell Jones-played a long time and was very unrated.
Moses had a cup of coffee in Buffalo too, not long enough to sell any jerseys. Braves-Sixers games back then were great, cause they always played hard, neither team hated each other. Now the Celtics, that’s a different story!

Hockey Biltong

December 10th, 2009
5:09 pm

Dan the Man, you said it!!! lmao.
Defensive lapses cost us the game.
O-ffense sparking, but no ignition.
Slater had the best game in a Thrasher uniform. Bogo was next.
Kovy had terrible passes and footwork and shooting.
Kozy and Little were trying…just haven’t found their groove yet..
We are finally catching up in games played, which means teams are figuring out how to defend against us.Plus we are starting to equal teams in time played which converts to soreness and mild injuries etc.All which can flatten that bell curve of success.

KovyRules

December 10th, 2009
5:59 pm

Painfully, I stayed up to watch it all, including Kovy’s fumble on the point for the empty-netter. He has been at half-speed since Carolina. I did like Kozzy on the Antro/Max line last night, with a few responsible plays in the defensive end that would have been Calgary goals if Kovy were there. But you fellow bloggers suggested a couple things after the TO game that I saw come true last night:

1. With White, what we see is what we get. He is no 70 point guy. He’s a 30 pointer who somehow has some good years.

2. Antro is playing more D than some of our Dmen. I applaud him for being a responsible forward and actually giving a darn (unlike White and Kovy). But that’s not what Anderson wants him doing – he needs to be in front of their net.

I’m not jumping off the bandwagon, but I just can’t stand lack of effort. I can cheer on a losing team as long as their trying hard, but these boys ain’t.

Glovesave29

December 10th, 2009
6:12 pm

Kipper stole that game. Made some sparkling glove saves and his rebound control was immaculate. Teams go through the ebbs and flows of a long season – cant expect to score at will every night. A cold stretch here may follow with a prolonged stretch where the team can do no wrong. It truly is a marathon. You take take a short stretch fromn ANY team (even a SC Champ team) over the course of a season and find some patches where they played horrible. I am hoping for a big effort tonight and put away the Nucks.

HOWEVER – JA please put Boris back on the bench. He was brutal last night. Worst skater on the team – on a team built on skating ans speed, his offensive support consists of 60 foot snap shots (they are called slap shots Boris – and they are far more effective from the blue line), his breakout decisions are poor and his passing even worse. He reads the play poorly and causes all around them to have to pick up their game to cover for him. He is an AHL level player.

Dwayne

December 10th, 2009
6:57 pm

Yall know how I feel about Doris.
WBF…It was Mo Cheeks, where did I get Henry Bibby from? Hated Boston, not because of the players, but Red Auerback…makes me puke just thinking about him.

Dwayne

December 10th, 2009
7:00 pm

All those Celtic Championships, later years, beating up on my Hawks, Detroit and Isiah, beating up on Nique.

mike

December 10th, 2009
8:05 pm

kovy not playing because contract impass. compare his game with rangers couple week ago and last four. it is not about leg or flu, it’s about contract. he wanted be here, but not for cheap. good luck dw and asg. i predictting soon on press release dw going to say that (like with hossa “full story of contract saga be in his memours”). today on espn.com small article saying that bettman looking gor franchise in quebec. do asg and dw deserve team in atlanta. after ten years they can barely put 9000 in. look like nhl begging atlanta to sign kovy, of fear he going to khl. no matter dw and asg staying strong. watch another
lackluster lose tonight. by by hockey in atlanta. only one good news from this saga going to be. dw finally going to be unemployed. quebec could’t afford so great manager.

Brendan

December 10th, 2009
10:26 pm

OMG, Antropov on the PP! From Kovy and Enstrom. And now, Atlanta’s back on the PP. Nice.

Brendan

December 10th, 2009
10:44 pm

Kane’s having a nice game in his “homecoming.” He’s had a few looks. I hear his whole WHL team has tickets for this one.

stendec

December 10th, 2009
11:34 pm

The Thrasher giveup job tonight is in honor of Dwayne. That pile of human feces! Who is fully satisfied with any defeat. Another totally heartless uneffort. Thought that was Kari Lehtonen in goal. Marshallow slipped by Pavs less than four minutes in. Completely inacceptable. Kapitan Ilya Kovalchuk IS Maryann Hossa! Losing streak now three and counting. Fall to lower depths of NHL in progress. Players have that no score offense of John Petrino down pat! Total embarrassment for all true Thrasher fans. To Hell with the damn quitters! ++STENDEC++ And with that mental midget Dwayne too!

LAC

December 11th, 2009
12:41 am

Boy if was a lot more fun watching Man vs Food than watching these LOSERS, about out of the playoff picture, losers of 4 of 5, no heart no drive and no understanding of what TWO points means, This is the start of the end, watch us go BUST in December & January and land in our accustomed position at the BOTTOM of the league again…

Bet Carolina beats us out, with this play, We will never win…

Brendan

December 11th, 2009
12:48 am

Best part of this game might have been the fights. Sedin had the hat trick. Sedin was a lottery draft pick of Vancouver’s back in 1999. (And that’s all I have to say about that.)

me

December 11th, 2009
1:21 am

Thought we would hit a groove in the 3rd…. started to apply the pressure…. then sputter….

Hockey Biltong

December 11th, 2009
8:36 am

Kane put one in Luongos pants… Luongo slid in net….sigh…