Time for Thrashers to ride the Moose

Last night’s win over Montreal is likely to be remembered for the overtime goal that Ilya Kovalchuk delivered to win the game. But the match may well have never gotten past the 60-minute mark if not for the outstanding save that Johan Hedberg made on Sergei Kostitsyn during a short-handed breakaway during the third period.

Moose got the right pad out far enough to keep Kostitsyn from sliding the puck in nearside and the 3-3 tie was preserved.

Now, Hedberg did not have one his most stellar performances on this night. The Thrashers’ defense held the Canadiens to but 19 shots on goals during three periods plus a buck-eighteen of overtime and three got past him…a couple he would certainly like to have back. But when the big save needed to be made…Moose shut the door.

No goal for YOU! Headberg denied Sergei Kostitsyn on his short-handed breakawy to keep the game tied (AP Photo/John Amis)

No goal for YOU! Hedberg denies Sergei Kostitsyn on his 3rd period short-handed breakaway. The timely save kept the game tied at 3-3 (AP Photo/John Amis)

In his last nine starts, Hedberg has won seven time allowing only 2.10 goals per game and compiling a .928 SV% in those starts. For the season, he’s 8-3-0 with a .929 SV% and 2.22 GAA.

Conversely, after a very fine beginning of the season, Ondrej Pavelec has struggled over the past few weeks…losing three straight starts. Counting the 6-4 win in Carolina, he’s surrendered 16 goals on 122 shots in his four starts since the 2-0 shutout in Detroit, (.869 SV%).

Is Pavs just going through a bit of a rough spell…or is this the Opie so many of us feared we’d see at the beginning of the season? Personally, I think it’s the former rather than the latter…but when you have a defense that is allowing opponents 34.0 shots per game, you have to go with the hot goalie that can keep you in the game.

And right now…that’s Moose. And I say coach Anderson should ride him as long as he can.

Thrashers ’Build a Bear’ Charity Auction

Still looking for that one special present for that certain Thrashers fan in your life? Well, here’s something that might be of interest to you.

This Saturday when the New Jersey Devils come down to Georgia, the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club will be hosting a silent auction where fans will have a chance to bid on  Thrashers “Build a Bears”. Each one of these bears has been personalized by an Atlanta Thrasher… including a special holiday message from that player.

Just check out the “Moose Bear”!

The items will be on display Saturday outside of the team Gear store in Philips Arena and all proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Atlanta Thrashers Foundation.

78 comments Add your comment

Christoph Schubert

December 13th, 2009
9:15 pm

Ich bin erst!!

Smoothie

December 13th, 2009
9:35 pm

Rawhide

December 13th, 2009
10:26 pm

Smoothie – Hey buddy! Had a great time with you, Miss Ten and the Blueland Chronicle boys Saturday night!

It was also very cool to have Rightshot, Russian and Bluenote nearby as well as five_hole and RStroz just below with their lovely brides.

Christoph Schubert – Glückwunsch auf Ihrem Ziel Samstag Nacht. Ich freute mich, Sie nach dem Spiel getroffen zu haben auch.

Smoothie

December 13th, 2009
10:56 pm

Indeed, Herr Schubie was a real stand-up guy at the post-game show last nite. Even cracked a few jokes like he was right at home. Few more games like that and all the ladies will forget about that Ron Hainsey guy.

Brendan

December 13th, 2009
10:59 pm

I AGREE with you, Rawhide. Moose is the hot hand. Stick with him until he cools off. Moose has as many wins as Pavelec does now. Now, I can’t go ahead and declare Moose to the #1 goalie in Atlanta. But statistically, he is. I think almost everyone knows that Hedberg cannot start 55 games a year for Atlanta, or ANY team. He’s a backup. But, he’s the “red hot” backup. So, why not stick with him a while? The team seems to respond better when he’s in net. I don’t know why. They just do.

Tony C.

December 13th, 2009
11:09 pm

Have to agree on riding the hot goalie-especially if it serves to stoke O-P’s competitive fires-he seems to do better when he has something to prove.

I know I’m probably in the minority, but I’ve been hoping that KL would be able to make a return this season-say what you will about his fragility (body, ego or mind), when he’s on, the guy is world-class… Moose is an NHL-caliber goalie, but there’s a reason he’s been a backup for the majority of his career-nothing bad against the man’s play or preparedness, but he’s shown he’s not able to shoulder the load of a “true #1″…

I sgree in your assessment that O-P is just going through a rough patch-but I believe that he is suffering from something that’s been plaguing the team as a whole:

NOTE TO THRASHER COACHES & STAFF: THE REST OF THE LEAGUE HAS VIDEO SERVICES TOO!

Seriously, even the announcers from MTL last night were comenting on how the boys kept running plays and making passes that just were not there!

The rest of the league has solved our top 5 entry plays-and I believe that O-P’s tendencies have been broken down (honestly, you watch him for about half a period and you know all you need to do is get the kid going side-to-side to open up lARGE parts of the net), and opposing teams have a pretty good idea of what we don’t do well.

Brendan

December 13th, 2009
11:14 pm

Seven out of the past ten (7/10) wins have come with Johan Hedberg in net. http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/teams/schedule/ATL/

sisu

December 13th, 2009
11:59 pm

Good write up again, I think Moose is on a roll so stick with what works. I think the coach really gave Opie a chance to work out what has been bothering him during the Leafs game with no luck. I don’t think there is any injuries involved, just a young kid learning the ropes. Kari will play a huge part on this teams future one way or another, it could be he gets traded to a team and the Thrashers face him in the first round, or could be he makes a strong case for getting ice time here…I hope he is at least looked at and see if he will turn it up down the stretch.

Smoothie

December 14th, 2009
12:09 am

Indeed, ride that hot Moose till the filthy stench of Christmas cheer knocks you off!

In other words, play the hot hand and let it ride! Too many cliches you say?

Lastly, I do think the return of Kari Lehtonen could really help this team later in the season as competition between netminders is always a healthy thing. Kari will be playing for his career and should Pavy struggle mightily later in the season, Kari could provide a real lift after the Olympics especially. Boobs.

Anyway, good night.

Smoothie

December 14th, 2009
12:10 am

Trixie! Care to fix my typo?

stendec

December 14th, 2009
1:26 am

Bravo Mr Iceman Sir. Play Moose. Been top netminder this season. Play Pavs. May allow no goals or six. Inconsistent. Play Joe Blow from Kokomo. Just, for the love of God, do not put Kari Lehtonen back between the pipes! God bless you and yours, Exhausted after all my Falcon posts. Good night friend(s). ++STENDEC++

Alan R.

December 14th, 2009
2:23 am

Trixie! Care to fix my typo?

I think she might be mad at you

TheFan79

December 14th, 2009
6:45 am

I am guessing that 3-4 winning streak started with the win over Montreal .

DWTOO

December 14th, 2009
7:26 am

Riding the Moose? That’s just not right. Except in Montana.

Jameson

December 14th, 2009
7:36 am

Smoothie- Re: C’s and A’s – My issue is actually that I have an old Kovy jersey that I’d like to get a C put on.

World Be Free

December 14th, 2009
7:41 am

Moose was shakey in the 1st period Saturday night, awful in the 2nd period. It’s good that the Habs only had 18 shots on goal for the game.

I understand the thinking here since Moose is playing well, but I just can’t get past the fact that he’s a backup goalie. Does this mean we’ve given up on Pavs with no idea when Kari will return?

Dwayne

December 14th, 2009
7:43 am

I’m with Tony C. on the Kari situation…He is better than OP hands down…but there is that health issue.

stendec

December 14th, 2009
8:23 am

Kari better than Pavs? Hands down? Maybe Falcons are not only ones experimenting with illegal substances which affect coherent thought! Folks who spread outright lies like that should remember what Bible says about liars. Something about a burning lake! Think about it. ++STENDEC++

Rawhide

December 14th, 2009
8:28 am

I understand the thinking here since Moose is playing well, but I just can’t get past the fact that he’s a backup goalie. Does this mean we’ve given up on Pavs with no idea when Kari will return?

WBF – Nope…woud not give up on Opie at all. He has shown us a great deal so far this season. My point is that my belief is that Anderson should stick with what is working between the pipes. Pavs will be OK…but stick with Moose right now.

BTW, sorry I missed ya Saturday.

The rest of the league has solved our top 5 entry plays-and I believe that O-P’s tendencies have been broken down

Tony C. – Yup…this is also true on the PP. They look for Kovy on the point…which all in all isn’t a bad thing, mide up, but they gotta switch things up a bit to keep ‘em honest.

Riding the Moose? That’s just not right. Except in Montana.

DWTOO - That’s hysterical! :lol:

Trixie! Care to fix my typo?

Smoothie – I passed on the request to Trixie…but she just kinda rolled her eyes at me and gave me “that” look when I mentioned your name.

shrugs..

Russian

December 14th, 2009
8:30 am

I hope it will be interesting for evreybody. I found one more thing. SovSport(Russian newspaper) took interview from Maks and Kovy after thet won game at Saturday. One of the question was about Kovy contract. He said that he will meet his agent at Monday in NYC and get more information about his Contract. Also Maks and Kovy said that if Coach wanted to change lines they will play their best game to make a victory.
If anybody interesting to read original I can drop a link here. :-)

stendec

December 14th, 2009
8:32 am

Bill please let me ask you something since it goes beyond folks on this site. If a goalie is playing well and gets into a hot streak should he play? Even a supposed backup? Even a guy culled from stands? Moose will not be the franchise saver for decades due to age restrictions. How many older netminders have gone on miraculous runs which have carried teams all the way to Lord Stanley’s Cup? Youth does not equate to success or longevity. Just look at Kari “Back Hurts” Lehtonen and Matt “Toe Bruise” Ryan. Is there any validity is anything I typed? Please help me out. Thanks. ++STENDEC++

darren

December 14th, 2009
8:32 am

post the link. thanks

A2B

December 14th, 2009
8:33 am

I’d be willing to wager that Kari comes back and blows people away with how good he is this year. Yes, I know that sounds off the wall, but think of this, how much better is our Defense now than it was a year ago or two years ago when Kari was putting up stellar numbers? It was pretty horrible, but now that we are getting to the average area in the NHL defensively, I think its fair to deduce that Lehtonen could put up some serious numbers and we could ride a 10 game win streak. Then again, this is also assuming that he is taking care of himself and he really has no back pain anymore.

five_hole

December 14th, 2009
8:34 am

So, the question seems to be, when Kari is “healthy”, who do we put in goal? Moose, who’s a good backup, but too small to be an every day goalie? OP, who never (IMO) had good technique and is now breaking down, whether from the strain of playing every day or from opposing teams figuring out his technique? Or Kari, who has all the ability of a true #1 and the durability of Waterford crystal?

stendec

December 14th, 2009
8:36 am

Folks have said I require meds. Someone please get A2B his! Quick. Totally unreal. Zowee! ++STENDEC++

Russian

December 14th, 2009
8:40 am

darren

December 14th, 2009
8:43 am

thanks Russian

Dwayne

December 14th, 2009
8:47 am

Everyone knows, when HEALTHY, Kari is better than OP. Now, will OP get better in another couple, 3 years? Maybe, I heard 5 years for a goal tender? Glovesave29??

Putting On The Foil

December 14th, 2009
8:50 am

Thanks for the link. If I could only read Russian.

Rawhide

December 14th, 2009
9:02 am

stendec – A lot of what you say in the 8:32 am post is true enough…though I’m gonna disagree with what you say about Matt Ryan….if Hedberg continues to play well and put up Ws, I don’t see how one takes him out of the net.

As for A2Bs comments…that is not without merit as well. Just take a look at what Kari did last spring when he returned from the back injury. Now, this time I am a bit more concerned because a knife was involved…but I still would not be 100% stunned if he played lights out up his return in February.

However…the big question is this. If/when Kari does return…how is he going to get his minutes if Moos and Opie are teaming up to put up wins. If we are in the thick of a playoff push…and I believe we will be…and we are playing well going into the Olympic break, who’s gonna get kicked to the curb to allow Kari enough playing time simply to prove if he is truly ready or not.

Remember, last season when Lehtonen returned, the Thrashers were hurting for wins and Pavelec was stinking up the place. So it wasn’t a big deal to put Kari in right away and send Opie packing. This season is a lot different.

shrugs…

Oh well, I guess we just need to get from here to there in order to find out those answers.

stendec

December 14th, 2009
9:09 am

Thanks. Well said. ++STENDEC++ Even friends can agree to disagree. GO THRASHERS! Whip those Ranjerks. Puck drop in…

Bob

December 14th, 2009
9:49 am

I hear you on riding the hot hand, but Pavelec is the future, can’t ruin his confidence. Let him start tonight, Moose got the W Saturday night but let in a couple softies and can’t carry the night after night load of a #1.

Spud Webb

December 14th, 2009
9:58 am

I’m with Bill on this. Ridem, why not?? It’s not rocket science, the guys on FIRE…can we get a good job for the D allowing such few shots on goal??????? We love to rip’em!!!!
Now, back to what I’ve been saying for a few weeks, that FIRST LINE IS KILLING ME. Gave, GAVE two breakaways, a 3-1 and then the wide open 1 on nobody in the 3rd. Kovy at the blue line, waiving Moose out to get the puck, REALLY KOVY????????????????????????????????????????? I was SHOCKED. I’m not sure what Mr.Anderson needs to do, but that line is a train wreck when it comes to D and protecting that puck.
I freaking LOVE BOGO, man crush!! This kid is a beast. Exciting to think of him and Evander, bruising folks, scoring goals!! Yahooooooooooo. Rangers SUCK.

DWTOO

December 14th, 2009
10:36 am

Was just watching Coach’s Corner from saturday night – Don Cherry actually had good things to say about our PK. Mentioned Randy C. by name. We’re 6th overall and FIRST on road PK! Home PK is rather pedestrian tho’ at 79%.

ben

December 14th, 2009
10:48 am

God in Heaven, this team hasbeen held back years because of Kari’s “development.” AKA he looks like a good goalie, but he can’t handle the mental aspect of it. He was quoted as saying he’s had to make too many stops. As an ex-goalie myself, I wanted to make lots of stops. Think about it, it’s like Jordan saying “don’t give it to me! Scottie! Let Scottie do it!” And the goalie never blows up on their defense in public, i.e., game situation. Not because of bad manners, but when it gets behind him, the goalie always thinks he’s at fault. Whether he was or not, it’s the only way he can stand out there and take it.

Pavs has better goalie instincts than Kari ever did. He’s got guile. That’s not something that goes in a slump. Nor is it a skill you aquire. You just have it or not. You can have the best form out there. Have the best technique, but with no guile, it’s worthless. You have got to have guile to be a good goalie. It’s why thyey say goalies are born, not made. You could have Hasek or Roy as goalie and they would not be able to teach guile.

ChippersLoveChild

December 14th, 2009
10:52 am

Anyone ever thinks Pavs has hit the rough patch because he never gets to start consistently? It’s always Pavs, Moose, Pavs, or Pavs, Moose, Moose, Pavs…. hard for him to get in a rhythm when he never knows when he will get to play. I agree that he hasn’t looked great lately, but I’d rather he get the chance to work out of his funk than just ride Moose.

World Be Free

December 14th, 2009
11:23 am

“Bill please let me ask you something since it goes beyond folks on this site”. Stendec, everybody has their opinions based on our experiences. I happened to have played along side some hot goaltenders, so I know signs of when a keeper who is in a groove. And I havs seen some backups get hot beyond the number 1 or 2 guys. Moose is playing well for the most part, but he has had spots where he’s not looked good, like periods 1 and 2 Saturday night. I am hesitant to ride him too long, since I think we have seen the best we will see out of him.

I think the only blogger who can honestly judge Moose, Pavs or Kari is a former keeper like Glovesave. He pegged Pavs right on earlier this year concerning positioning. add to this that Moose was totally out of position on the first goal Saturday night. And so on…..

Spud Webb

December 14th, 2009
11:47 am

WBF, I haven’t seen glovesave on here as of late??

Dwayne

December 14th, 2009
11:56 am

“agree to disagree”? That looks like an answer Matt “toe bruise” Ryan or Kari “hurt back” Lehtonen might give.

World Be Free

December 14th, 2009
12:02 pm

Spud, haven’t seen the glove-meister in some time.

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
12:09 pm

Anderson’s job, as coach, is to field the team that best gives Atlanta the chance to win. If he sticks with Hedberg, I won’t blame him. I think Anderson and Waddell sat down, back in training camp, with this thought in mind: “Let’s just try to get through these games, banking points with Moose and Pavelec until Lehtonen returns.” Lehtonen has been out a pretty substantial period of time. Much more than either Waddell or JA probably thought. If Kari can return and contribute as the team’s true #1 goalie, then I think we’d all be happy. Even Stendec?? Yes. If his favorite Finnish netminder were to return and win at a 70% clip, Stendec would make posts about how Lehtonen is finally playing like a high-end draft pick should. Win and Stendec is happy and full of praise. Lose, and watch the tirade that follows. After each successive loss, Stendec will post about what a pile of steaming of human excrement Lehtonen is, and that he should be traded for a scarf, a water bottle, and an autographed Patrik Stefan rookie year card.

Smoothie

December 14th, 2009
12:19 pm

Pavelec started 11 of the first 13 games this season. The only times Moose started were the back end of back to back road games on our early season road trip and after the full-ice, monkey-puck skipper debacle versus WSH when Moose was put in the reins for the San Jose game.

In those 13 games, our record was a so-so 6-6-1 and Pavs was pulled twice in favor of Moose after especially bad outings. During that initial stretch, Pavs faced 373 shots, of which he stopped 339 for a save percentage of 90.88 % and a GAA of roughly 2.92.

Over the next 12 games, Moose and Pavs split time each starting 6 times. Moose’s numbers were slightly better even with Pavs getting his first 2 career shut-outs against LA & DET. Here are the numbers for that stretch:

Moose: 200 shots faced; 187 shots stopped for a SV% of .935 & GAA of 2.15 (roughly) and a record of 5-1-0 including a S/O win over StL and a shut-out of Philly

Pavs: 222 shots faced; 208 shots stopped for a SV% of .937 & GAA of 2.30 (roughly) and a record of 3-1-2 including a S/O loss, an OT loss and 2 shut-outs

Based on this stretch as well as Pavelec’s struggles on the road last week, I’d say that Moose has earned his chance to get at least 60-70% of the starts until the end of the year. They both will be needed to play well and Pavs must sharpen up as we have 6 of the next 9 on the road. Moose for NYR & Fla, then Pavs for Dal on the B2B. Then Moose vs NJ & Mtl and perhaps Pavs for Bos. Then Moose again for 2 with Pavs getting the Bos game again.

Nikita

December 14th, 2009
12:22 pm

Kari is the most talented of our goaltenders. Period. Both Moose and Pavs have challenges — both leave more of the net exposed when they work and are prone to being out of position.

As to who should start…nobody is actually consistent enough to be the #1 for the whole season. Both Moose and Pavs play well at times, but not well enough to own the #1 slot. So, I think the coach should start whichever one and let him keep starting till he breaks down. This early in the season there’s no reason not to.

Smoothie

December 14th, 2009
12:36 pm

End of the (calendar) year, that should read.

Also, in case anyone is wondering, Pavelec has faced, on average, more shots per game in the 17 games he started in the first 25 games of the season. In Moose’s 8 starts, he faced an average of 33.8 shots per game and Pavelec faced, on avg, 35.9 shots per game in his 17 starts.

Nate

December 14th, 2009
12:36 pm

Saturday night’s shot count – Can someone answer me these two questions?
1 – When was the last time the Thrashers held an opponent to fewer than 20 shots before Saturday?
2 – When was the last time the Thrashers outshot their opponent by 15 or more shots as they did Saturday?

hoosier_hoser

December 14th, 2009
1:43 pm

To Rawhide and his fellow travelers:

Have you (sorry, I mean’t y’all) taken leave of your senses? Has the ghost of Bob Hartley returned to manipulate your strings?

“And I say coach Anderson should ride him as long as he can.” This is Hartley-speak. Ride your best goalie until he breaks down in failure. When that happens, make sure your backup has his confidence sapped so that he won’t be effective.

The best goalie management is to adjust starts so that your hottest goalie gets more starts and your other goalie gets starts to build his confidence. Right now I say that is 70-30 Moose. If Ondre does well in his starts, adjust back to 50-50.

Didn’t someone post a couple of years ago that Moose’s performance fell off after his 3rd consecutive start and that Kari’s fell off after his 4th or 5th consecutive start. Rather than ride I say rotate on a weighted basis.

Assuming that Kari makes it all the way back, I can see Kari and Ondre competing and rotating in 2010/2011 with each realizing that a bad performance opens the door for the other goalie. That should keep them focused.

Glovesave29

December 14th, 2009
1:47 pm

Ben – sorry, but youre dead wrong. From a talent aspect, OP and Moose cannot hold a candle to Kari. I am sure both our current goalies would admit as such. His positioning is superior, his reading of the play is superior (to OP, not Moose…but that comes with age), his rebound control is better, and from a technical aspect, Kari is much better than Pavs. Hard to compare Moose to Kari, as Lehtonen plays the butterfly and Johan a hybrid between butterfly and the traditional style. I only wish that Kari could have Mooses professional dedication to his craft. But its not uncommon in any sport to see the lesser talented guys be the harder workers. I’d be interested to see Kari behind this team…after some of the schlock that has been his defense over the past few years.

We all have talked before about the need for a goalie coach. JS Giguere, for example, was wandering around from the NHL to the AHL and back for HFD and CGY, not finding his place until Allaire took him under his wing in Anaheim. BOOM – he was an All Star. Athletically, OP is strong, but until he is coached properly, we will never know his true potential. He gets into bad habits when things are not going his way, and that makes a bad situation even worse.

Goaltending is a mental as it is physical. Don’t want to wear out Moose, but since right now he is the hotter of the two…ride him.

Rawhide

December 14th, 2009
2:00 pm

hoosier_hoser – Uh, ya…ya know…it ah does sound ah-lot like dat Bob Hartely guy now dat you mention it :lol:

Seriously, though…I’m not saying start hime 35 straight games. But right now we are at a point in the season where we can make great strides toward a legidimate playoff run. Moose is playing better IMHO, so I say start him. We have a back-to-backer this week, so Pavs will have his time there.

I just say go with the one playing the best…that’s all.

And talking about goaltenders….it looks like Moose will be in the net todight against the Rangers, per Dan Kamal. Hedberg is 9-3- lifetime against the Blueshirts with a .929 SV% and 2.10 GAA. Last month he stopped 33 of 36 Ranger shots in the 5-3 Thrashers win at MSG.

Pavelec is yet to play against the New York Rangers in his NHL career.

Bob

December 14th, 2009
3:17 pm

Key to tonight’s game is getting Bogosian to stick to Maid Marian like white on rice. As Gaborik goes, so goes the Blue Skirts.

Dwayne

December 14th, 2009
3:38 pm

STENDEC…STENDEC….SEE WHAT GLOVESAVE29 IS WRITING!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Smoothie

December 14th, 2009
3:43 pm

Bob, much the same could be said about us w/r/t Kovalchuk. Of the 24 games he’s played in, we are 13-8-3. Also, we are 9-2-1 in the games in which he has scored a goal. Conversely, we are only 4-6-2 in the 12 games he hasn’t scored a goal. And in 2 of those 4 games, he had an important assist.

FormerIslesFan

December 14th, 2009
4:09 pm

Wow, I saw a statistic today that is quite telling if it is accurate. Gabronik leads the league with 22 goals, but no one else on the Ranger$ has more than 6?? http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20102NYRSASAll&sort=goals&viewName=goals

Also, and I say this with the remaining bit of Blue and Orange in my blood, the Ranger$ have been passed by the Islanders in the standings!

Now is the time for the Thrashers to go in for the kill.

Nutznorm

December 14th, 2009
4:15 pm

I am really torn on Moose. To me he is spectacular at times, and also the guy who gets beat on more clean, not screened shots from 20 feet out than any NHL goalie I have ever seen. The best possible scenario for this team is Kari / Pavs as a 1-2 punch. Will Kari finally be the Kari he was supposed to be? Who knows, but if he is healthy you have to play him if for no other reason than get his trade value up. The Flyers are desperate for a goalie and Kari would look great pulling a groin for them, but we need more than a bag of old pucks for a top former draft pick and I dont think the line is going to be long with teams lining up for an older Moose..

Matt

December 14th, 2009
4:48 pm

Rawhide, saw you sitting over in Section 120(?) in the first period, was going to stop by and say “Hi”, but did not see you there after the 1st. Maybe next time!

As for the game on Saturday, that may have been the most putrid display of a power play I have ever seen. It was getting to the point where I was thinking they should’ve just declined the penalty. That being said, who in the heck flipped the on switch on the team? Dreadful first period, fall behind by two goals and THEN start to play like a house on fire? It’s just mind boggling how this team comes out flat game after game.

As for Moose, I have to say I thought his play was only OK. Sure, the breakaway stop was great, but that 2nd goal was one I thought he should have had. The first goal I blame the D for letting Metro walk right up to the goal and the 3rd was the fault of the D’s inabilty to clear the zone and he had no chance on that one-timer.

Rawhide

December 14th, 2009
4:55 pm

Matt – Sorry I missed you. I did indeed spend the first period in 120. However, I was summonsed up to the Bluland Chronicle perch located just above there…first row of section 317…and spent the rest of the game with Mortimer Peacock, Big Shooter, Razor Catch Prey, Smoothie and the lovely Krisabelle, (a.k.a. Kris-TEN).

Hopefully next time we can meet up.

Matt

December 14th, 2009
4:58 pm

Oh, and I’ll be sticking straight pins into my stRANGER voodoll tonight in hopes of getting Gaborik’s groin to implode again! (You know, for some strange reason that sounds familiar)

Not Blind

December 14th, 2009
5:18 pm

On the Kovy Kontract: I don’t think either party really wants to do a big $$$ long term deal. So why not sign for 1 or 2 years and see what happens ? The way he has been coasting lately makes me think back to the Miroslav Satan debacle. I would hate to see the ownership sigh him for a long term and then the fans have to watch an overpaid undermotivated player sucking up ice time. Go with a short deal and both parties will have to try their hardest to prove themself to the other.

World Be Free

December 14th, 2009
6:20 pm

Thank you Glovesave-you are the goalie meister. Kari is the most talented of the 3 goalies though he is currently not available. Obviously, the issue with Kari is his health, both physical and mental. I still think he needs a personal trainer 12 mos/year to keep him in shape. And he wouldn’t be the first goalie with a wonkey back.

Nate-I was thinking the same Saturday night. I remember when KARI SHUT OUT MTL last year, the Thrashers held the Habs to 25 shots. Montreal’s offense is a work in progress.

Brendan-it does seem almost comical how some people’s moods change with every win or loss. Like little kids looking for attention.

Arguing about goaltenders is like doing the same with quaterbacks. Both positions are the most important for their respective teams. Glad I am not Anderson having to solve the goaltender question.

World Be Free

December 14th, 2009
6:23 pm

Not Blind-I think a few of us have asked the same question about a short term deal for a few weeks or mos. Whatever it takes to get a deal done is fine with me.

Not Blind

December 14th, 2009
6:38 pm

My wife says the player I am thinking of was Alexei Yashin :) Maybe it was both of them.

Dwayne

December 14th, 2009
6:38 pm

NUTZNORM…Good one. The Flyers are desperate for a goalie and Kari would look great pulling a groin for them

KovyRules

December 14th, 2009
6:43 pm

TSN looks at last summers free agents (http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=302356), with some well deserved recognition for Max and Antro. Consider Max’s contract ranks about 70th out of the 90 signed in terms of annual cost, yet he’s top ten in TSNs performance rank. Antropov comes in at 14th.

Kudos for DW, and kudos for you fellow bloggers who were talking up Taylor Pyatt and Manny Malhotra all summer – they are looking like decent signings. DW should stay tuned here for more tips from us bloggers…

And as far as Kovy’s contract – I’m torn between the Red Wings long-term loyalty approach and the keep ‘em motivated, shorter term contract approach. It has been scary to see Kovy floating and uninspired as he has over the past month. Perhaps a Rangers game is what he needs to rekindle the competitive fire.

Hockey Biltong

December 14th, 2009
6:45 pm

uuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp!

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
7:49 pm

Tremendous 1st period by Hedberg. He’s the story, so far, tonight at MSG. Atlanta tends to play well at the GAH-DEN. Atlanta leads, 1-0, on a PPG by Kozlov. Hallelujah!

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:13 pm

Nice shorty by Colby Armstrong! Too bad the Blueshirts tied it up so quickly. It’s 2-2, with 12:00 left in regulation. It’s important to make sure that “pity” point doesn’t sneak away. It’s been a relatively good road game.

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:28 pm

At this point, I’m fine with however long Kovy’s next contract is. One year, two years … 10 years. So long as he signs with Atlanta. In his shoes, I’d wait until July 3rd to sign ANYWHERE. I’d want to see what happens in free agency. Kovalchuk holds all the cards over ALL the GM’s, not just Waddell. Kovalchuk is such a coveted free agent, that he could literally say, “sign this other player, too, or I won’t come to your club.” That goes for all 30 teams.

I’m choosing not to panic about Kovalchuk until January 24, 2010, at the earliest. Will Belkin be bought out by then? And a new investor found, by then? That might be part of the holdup. Kovy’s been waiting 4 years for the ownership turmoil to be ultimately resolved. And it still hasn’t happened. How long is he supposed to wait? And that’s a fair issue to raise if Kovalchuk winds up ELSEWHERE next season. Everything begins with ownership.

Thrashers have a 5-on-3 Power Play!!! And it’s late in the third period! 5:24 left!!

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:34 pm

Hedberg stopped Higgins on a 2-on-0 breakaway. Moose just saved our bacon!! And this, right on the heels of failure to score on 5-on-3 powerplay. What a game, for a neutral fan to watch. Without a dog in this fight, this is a lot of fun to watch.

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:36 pm

Headed to overtime, 2-2. A PPG and short-handed goal for Atlanta, coupled with great goaltending from Moose.

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:46 pm

Here’s your boxscore. http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009020483. 48 shots by the Rangers???

Brendan

December 14th, 2009
9:49 pm

Thrashers win!!!! Shootout goals by Kovalchuk and Slava Kozlov. Credit MOOSE for the win, folks.

five_hole

December 14th, 2009
10:02 pm

47 saves by the MOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Just an incredible game for him.

The only flaw I saw in the game tonight was how the Rangers consistantly got behind our defense. Someone ’splain to me how we allow a breakaway while we’re on the PK?

Afinigenov is a magician with the puck. He just continues to generate offense.

I don’t know which was more impressive in the 1st period. The save Moose made diving backwards with the stick, or Valabik ending up on top of Sean Avery (same play)? I think maybe the Valabik play, ’cause I expect the Moose to come up with big saves.

World Be Free

December 14th, 2009
10:07 pm

Guess Bill was right about riding the Moose-nice call.
Kovy’s contract-I won’t talk about it for at least 1 week.

FYI-Garnet Exeby was the 3rd star in tonight’s Leafs-sens game. How about those Leafs?! I was dancing on their supposed grave a few weeks ago. Now they are winning with little talent and alotta guts. I like teams that play hard and the Leafs give it all they have every night. Kudos Ron Wilson.

Darkhorse

December 14th, 2009
11:05 pm

WBF-Who would have thought the Leafs go on a tear and Ex had two assists tonight?

I also thought Pavs would get the call tonight, glad I was wrong. It easily could have been 3-1 Rangers after the first, if not for Hedberg standing on his Hed. Can we just establish the forecheck and put a man in front of the net on a consistant basis? They put Antro in front of the net on the PP and what happens, a nice screen leading to the Kozlov goal.

But hey, gutty, greasy, and gritty road win. Hedberg desrved the W.

Midfield

December 14th, 2009
11:31 pm

Good call on Moose, Rawhide! Bull’s eye. Not so much for Armstrong bashers, eh? What’s with the three back-to-back break-aways for New York? I’m not impressed with Bogosian as of late. The kid is spaced out or something. Kubina looks like he’s playing hurt, I’m afraid. On another good note, Kovy scored back-to-back on his SO attempts.

LAC

December 14th, 2009
11:33 pm

I wish the NHL would have a place for DH of hockey, keep Slava forever !! Is there ANYONE in the NHL who has been better than Slava ?
Maybe, But bet it would be tough to top him, and #17’s goal was Unreal, old Sam Rosen was speechless after that one…. on MSG.

But the defense tonight was TERRIBLE, Hedburg saved us and got it to the shootout. Gotta quit giving up so many SOG fellows.

We move ahead of Ottawa into 6th position.

FL won BIG 7-1 on the Island, so expect another tough game with them Wednesday night, But Nice win @ MSG !

Smoothie

December 14th, 2009
11:51 pm

Guess you could say the Rangers were “Moose-merized” by Hedberg’s stellar, game-stealing heroics under the bright lights of Gotham’s MSG. Way to go Moooooooose! I think his style and ability to read the play is the right fit for this team that seems to do a much better job, on the whole, clearing pucks and moving bodies from in front of the open spaces in the crease.

Once again, ride that hot Moose till the filthy stench of Christmas cheer fades into oblivion…and perhaps beyond into the future!! Fifth place is ours and a chance to overtake Boston for 4th with a game-in-hand on the Broons.

Rawhide

December 14th, 2009
11:59 pm

Smoothie – “Moose-merized”…classic!! :lol:

OK…new blogity-blog time.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2009
8:00 am

Darkhourse-you know, nobody would be happier to see the LEafs fall on their face but me. Bit i have to give them props for playing hard. Nice to see an American coach (Wilson) make it in Toronto. The idiot Lefa fans have focused so much on the fact that he’s American than on his coaching abilities. Nice to NOT have to hear from the Leaf whiners.

LAC-folks have talked about how Max has thrived since leaving Buffalo, But I say the player that has benefited the most if Slava. He’s out from the under the Buffalo pressure of being “the guy” obtained in the Hasak trade with Detroit. He’s a good guy; this is nice to see.

He’s the next UFA management has to sign after Kovy and Army.