Hedberg, Thrashers survive Moose season in Manhattan

Was Monday night the opening of Moose season in Manhattan?

It sure seemed that way as Johan Hedberg took shot after shot during Monday night’s 3-2 shootout win in New York. In fact…the Rangers fired off 48 rounds at the Moose, who turned away 46 of them.

The shots came early…often…and constantly.

Johan Hedberg was everywhere...on the ice...on the puck...on the players (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

Johan Hedberg was everywhere...on the ice...on the puck...on the players (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

First there was the highway robbery committed by Hedberg on Ales Kotalik in the first period…diving to his right to get the paddle down to deny the goal. Then there was the stuffing of Christopher Higgins during a Ranger 2 on OH MY GAWD break with about two and a half minutes left in the third to preserve the 2-2 tie.

In between, the Moose put the Thrashers on his back and they rode him once again to a win.

All four goals scored came during special teams play. In the first period, Slava Kozlov score his sixth goal of the year while the Thrashers were on the power play. At the time, Wade Redden was sitting in the sin-bin for holding, grabbing and clutching Chris Thorburn who had just worked his way past him on the left side boards.

With 2:50 left before the second intermission, Moose was beaten by Ryan Callahan who had slipped between Zach Bogosian and Christoph Schubert coming through the neutral zone. Zach took a hooking call on the play and the Thrashers again played a man down.

But Hedberg proved to be Atlanta’s best player on the ensuing penalty kill by stopping all five shots faced during the two minute New York onslaught.

Two minutes into the third period, the Thrashers took a too many men on the ice call…but were still able to execute the oft-practiced and highly-difficult “185-foot Ron Hainsey pass down the left hand boards, wrapping around behind the back of the net to find Colby Armstrong between the right circle and the boards who then takes the puck to the net to score” short-handed type goal.

It’s a thing of beauty…really.

Hedberg turns away Sean Avery's shot. There was no rebound and, thus, Avery was denied a sloppy second chance (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

Hedberg turns away Sean Avery's shot. There was no rebound and, thus, Avery was denied a sloppy second chance (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

However, Marian Gaborik scored his league-leading 23rd goal of the season during the very same power play just 59 second after Army’s.

By the time that second period ended…Moose had faced 35 shots on goal. Remember, he only faced 19 all game last Saturday night. He then turned away all 12 shots taken in the third to get the game into extra time…none more important than the afore-mentioned stop of Higgins when the game was on the line.

After the Thrashers and Rangers failed to end things during the 5-minute OT, Moose then stopped Gaborik and Kotalik…if you wanna call stopping a slow rolling puck after it rolled off Kotalik’s stick a “stop”….while Ilya Kovalchuk and the Slavamatic beat Henrik Lundqvist on their shootout attempts.

Kovy broke out a nice move during the first round as he moved left-to-right…waited out Lundvist…then snapped it over his shoulder once he committed. Kozlov just moved in and blasted it into the net.

Sean Avery was being his normal annoying pest-self…as if we expect anything less. Twice he attempted to draw a Thrasher into doing something. The first time he was wrestled to the ground by Boris Valabik…the second time the ref did him a favor by getting in between he and Christoph Schubert.

Before skating away, it appeared as though the 6’-3” 230-pound Thrasher defender looked down on the 5’-10” 195-pound twerp and said something like, “Sie wollen jenen Fehler nicht machen”.

But in the end… this was once again the Night of the Moose. Johan has now won 8 of his last 10 starts and his overall record is now 9-3-0 with a very nifty 2.19 GAA and .932 SV%.

And yeah…I’m gonna say it again. The Thrashers should continue to ride the Moose while he is playing the way he is. I’d start him again in Florida, then put Pavelec in there Thursday on the tail end of the back-to-backer when Dallas comes a-callin’ to Thrasherville.

129 comments Add your comment

jason

December 15th, 2009
12:10 am

Joe

December 15th, 2009
12:22 am

I agree totally. The Moose looks like it’s not wearing him down.
Hedberg is definitely amazing this year. I feel a lot more confidence watching the team with him in goal. Instead of declining, he has gotten better with age.
Pavelic is good, especially on the first shot, he will be better when he learns to read the play as well as Moose, and when he doesn’t play himself out of position anymore.

Wayne stuck in AL

December 15th, 2009
12:56 am

For all of you who insist on polluting blogs with “FIRST!!!” when you’re the first one to post:

http://news.cnet.com/2300-1023_3-10002005-11.html?tag=mncol

Fierce Dawg

December 15th, 2009
2:00 am

Keep starting the Moose as long as he’s on that hot streak!
I love winning games we have no business winning……similar to sneaking out of Sunrise with 2 pts, we snuck out of MSG with 2 as well!
Colby has really been showin me some STUFF lately…..that shorty was b-e-a-youteeful.
Cant wait for the boys to come home, gonna go see ‘em Thursday.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2009
5:21 am

I really like it when Darren Eliot very nicely told Kovy to “get up” when Kovy was marginally tripped in OT. The leader needs to get back in the play.

Evander Kane makes every hockey player wish he were 18 again. The kid has jump and never gives 100% every shift. How good will he be in 2 years when he puts on 15-20 lbs and goes back to center, his given position?

Mitten-Strings

December 15th, 2009
7:08 am

Great game guys. I know we almost need to score on the rush but this “rope-a-dope” style is hard on the ol nerves.

The NHL has released it’s video commercial for the 2010 Winter Classic. Anyone who has ever worn mitten-strings will appreciate it.

KovyRules

December 15th, 2009
7:42 am

I’m liking all the new line pairings. Only remaining problem – why is White still on the second PP unit?

How much do the Rangers have to be hating the Kotalik signing? Last year in EDM his main use was on the shootout. Last night? Even that was laughable!

World Be Free

December 15th, 2009
7:55 am

Kovy, as a Sabres fan, I laughed pretty hard when the Rangers signed Kotalik this summer. He’s a big guy who never hits or goes in traffic.

His one strength is the shootout-you know, when he doesn’t have to worry about anyone hitting him. The Rangers have “Alice” for 2.5 more years. Another great Glen Sather signing.

Brett

December 15th, 2009
7:57 am

48 shots! WOW! If the forwards would help out in the defensive zone our goalies wouldn’t face so many shots. We need more forechecking pressure and more defensive play by the forwards once the puck enters our zone. Personally, I’m tired of watching Kovy hang out at the blue line whle the puck is in our zone. Moose looked good last night. I say keep playing him. Pavalec may be the future, but he hasn’t proved yet. Nice win.

Riceowls8891

December 15th, 2009
8:05 am

The exagerated way Moose stopped Kotalik’s shot was priceless. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

Putting On The Foil

December 15th, 2009
8:12 am

Looked like Kovy and Koslov switched their shootout strategies last night. Damn! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!

Glovesave29

December 15th, 2009
8:31 am

48 SOG is inexcuseable. Sure, many were longer attempts Moose could see, and many were on the PP, but c’mon – that number is ridiculous. Then to only pot 2 on a defensively challenged team and a goalie struggling with his confidence is also need for concern, NOT PANIC, but concern. I am beginning to tire of the way we sleepwalk through games, just to pour it on in spurts to win the game. We seem to get outworked on a regular basis. That may suffice against the NYR’s, FLA’s and MTL’s of the league – but we saw what happens against the more elite squads like VAN or CGY. I cannot help but think of “The Ox” when watching this team. It’s just like when Sgt. “Big Toe” Hulka notices Ox never giving a full effort, to which Dewey says “I’m pacing myself Sgt!”. We need that paranoid tenacity a la Francis. Stop pacing, get mean and collect those points now, as they become significantly harder to earn down the home stretch.

WM

December 15th, 2009
8:33 am

I have to say, I’m really impressed with the way Moose it playing. Its like he’s still has the training camp mind set playing for a spot on the opening night roster. I guess whatever works. And watching this team this week over last, its like night and day.

Hockey Biltong

December 15th, 2009
8:34 am

Twelfth!!!
Saw the replay of the game and somebody better by that Mooose a beer. Hell, the whole team needs to by him a 50 in l.e.d. flat screen and a convertible Bentley!!!!

KovyRules

December 15th, 2009
8:36 am

WBF, I missed your earlier comment about the “Kovy get up” thing. He did go down because of the Ranger’s stick, but that kind of pathetic petitioning for a penalty will make refs assume he’s a diver and he’ll lose out on other calls (not to mention make fans dislike him, the way I hated Whiner Gretzky and Cindy Crosby).

Dandylions

December 15th, 2009
8:38 am

Great game but am I the only one that can’t stand when the announcer calls him Moose Hedberg. It’s Hedberg, Johan Hedberg or Moose.

Jeff

December 15th, 2009
8:47 am

Morning guys,

Am I crazy or Valabik is scared of keeping the puck? you guys noticed
he kinda closes his eyes and shoot it anywhere without looking?

Moose is indeed playing well..ride him as long as you can…I was also impressed with our guys physical play…If they could only play like this all the time…

GaVaHokie

December 15th, 2009
8:49 am

Dandylions… can’t say that bothers me. Sorry.

Hedberg is proving why he was the best back-up in the game when we signed him years ago… he’s paying major dividends. He’s gone from “odd man out” to the “who do you trade? Lehts or Pavs?” in my book.

I’m really liking the Schubert and Valabik pairing… Valabik is awesome when he’s not taking stupid penalties.

KovyRules

December 15th, 2009
9:23 am

Hokie, I agree – last night I finally felt there’s hope for Valabik. Jeff’s right that he needs to learn to pass rather than just ice it with his eyes closed, but we are definitely seeing progress. And Schubert plays the man physically and had a great game last night.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2009
9:27 am

Kovy-bad thing to develop a reputation as a diver AND a whiner. Ask Derek Roy/Buffalo-it took him 2 seasons shed the “Louganis tag”.

Biltong-Should we by Hedberg Moosehead beer (skunkiest beer on the planet)?

Doris was not horrible last night, which is an improvement.
Hit somebody, you are 6′7″!!

Bob

December 15th, 2009
9:29 am

“Am I crazy or Valabik is scared of keeping the puck? you guys noticed
he kinda closes his eyes and shoot it anywhere without looking?”

He handles it like it’s a hand grenade. Valabik is absolutely brutal, as long as they can keep him in low minutes against the other team’s 4th line, he won’t hurt us, but Salmela is a much better option back there.

Great call on ridin the Moose. He absolutely stole 2 pts for us. How can we give up so many odd man rushes, even gave up a breakaway on the PK?

Smoothie

December 15th, 2009
9:32 am

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! Was he wearing lucky socks??
http://thrashingbirds.blogspot.com/2009/12/rangers-moose-merized-by-johan-hedberg.html

I think his style and ability to read the play is the right fit for this team, which 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 place with a game-in-hand on the Broons.

Paminski

December 15th, 2009
9:37 am

Classic Slava play on his goal. It was like he made everyone else slow down to match the old man (especially the Rangers defense), then threw it into high gear exclaiming “Ha! Fooled you! I’m really only 27!”

Shootbert and Boris both dealt well with the knavery of Avery.

I noticed no one here is calling for trading Army the last couple blogs. ;)

And one thing I can’t fault the Rangers for. They spin the good tunes in MSG. I believe that was Phish’s “Tweezer Reprise” right before the 3rd period. Jam on!

Rawhide

December 15th, 2009
9:48 am

Wayne Stuck in AL – per your 12:56 am post…personally, I’m not that bothered by the “first” thing given that it’s a kinda tradition here dating all the way back to my very first blog entry on Oct. 10, 2007.

For the record…Buzilla won that little contest and everyone who contributed to this blog back then still owes him $5.00.

But as long as we are on the subject of “annoying” things…one thing that bugs the snot outa me is, as per the headline in the piece you linked, those who are doing “best of the dacade” write ups right now when NEXT YEAR is the last year of this decade.

Decades run from year “ONE” through year “TEN”…the first decade was from the year “one” through the year “ten” and the second decade was from the year “eleven” through the year “twenty” and so on. Right now…we’re in the first “decade” of the twenty first century, which runs from 2001 through 2010.

I remember dealing with this issue 10 years ago when people were running around hollering about the turn of the century. 1999 was not the last year of the 20th century…2000 was. The 21st century began on January 1, 2001. Thus…the first year of the current decade began and ends next year at the end of 2010.

sigh….

As you can see…I was one of those poor souls stuck on I-75 in that traffic mess and it took 2 hours for me to go 19 miles into work! So…I had to vent about something!

Going to go get my overdue cup of coffee now…

Russian

December 15th, 2009
9:49 am

I like to keep MOOSE now, but I want to give a Wednesday OFF. Play Pavs in Florida, give Moose rest and ride him at Thursday at home.

five_hole

December 15th, 2009
9:55 am

I’ve been pointing out that for the last 5 games now, Boris has a +/- of 0 in each game. He only clocks 13-14 minutes/game but for Boris? He’s improving. He’s got a loooooooonnnnnnnnnng way to go before he’s good. But he’s getting better. He’s skating better (not well) and he actually cleared a couple of pucks. I so wanted him (or Schubert) to go with Avery.

People seem to be slapping themselves on the back for a great game, but the only ones who really had a great game were Moose, Kane & Army. Most of the rest of the effort was pedestrian, at best.

R. Stroz

December 15th, 2009
10:03 am

I noticed no one here is calling for trading Army the last couple blogs.

Paminski – As one of those individuals calling for Army to shape up or ship out, I’m glad to see him shape up. Sometimes, it’s nice to be wron….wro…wr..somewhat incorrect.

h

December 15th, 2009
10:05 am

Hey guys. I took a road trip yesterday and was there in person for the game at MSG. Absolutely love the result. I thought Moose was outstanding. I was also at the game on Saturday night and I thought Moose had a horrible game that night as it looked like he was not seeing the puck well at all…..different story at the funeral home called MSG. That place cracks me up….20% of fans wearing jerseys, and the other 80% of the fans are in dark suits and dark overcoats. It looks like they were trying a “blackout” or something. Anyway, a great game to watch along with about 8-9 other Thrashers fans in attendance. I know I freaked several fans out by yelling Mooooooose most of the night. Moose was great but I was really impressed with both Kovy and Slava pulling out “new” moves on the shootout. Kovy pulled a Slava from the opposite side, which was truly awesome. A great game at a historic arena. All-in-all, a worthwhile road trip for sure!

Cornbread

December 15th, 2009
10:10 am

I’ve been saying it all year, the Thrashers need to tighten things up. By this time of the year I would have hoped they would but they are actually looking worse. Their break-out, if that’s what you can call it, is one of the worst I’ve seen. They don’t support one another in their own end and are looking to spread things out and get out of the zone before the puck is. This leads to things like failing to clear the zone, neutral zone turnovers, and 48 shots against which is totally unacceptable. What’s even worse is the 4 breakaways and numerous odd-man rushes they gave up. Tighten it up Thrash or you won’t be stealing too many more wins like this one.

“Get Up Kovy!”

Viking

December 15th, 2009
10:19 am

I have always wondered from where Hedberg got his “Moose” nickname.

I have been quite sure that it have not had its origin in Sweden, since “The Moose” or translated “älgen” is a common nickname for a tall person who is having a slow start, but could after gained momentum reach considerable speed, while showcasing an awkward running style. Hedberg might be a fast top speed runner, but I do not picture him doing it “Moose style” and thereby justify this in Sweden somewhat derogatory nickname.

In case you do not already know, after consulting Wikipedia I got the answer to the origin of “Moose”;

“Hedberg started a game in Pittsburgh on late notice and as a result was still wearing his customized Manitoba Moose helmet which, not surprisingly, had a large moose painted across it.”

Rawhide

December 15th, 2009
10:28 am

I’m liking all the new line pairings. Only remaining problem – why is White still on the second PP unit?

Kovy Rules – I’ve been asking that question for weeks now. He’s killing us!

Wayne stuck in AL – Oh…and that rant above was in no way meant to be offensive to your post or comment regarding the “first” tradition. I actually got a chuckle out of the piece you linked.

sipping coffee…

I’m better now.

Viking

December 15th, 2009
10:32 am

R Stroz, since the off season, so far I have been wron….wro…wr..somewhat incorrect about Pavelec, Armstrong, Kane and the and the PK. Nice.

On the other hand I have also been wron….wro…wr..somewhat incorrect in a negative sense about the Little, White Kozlov trio. Not so nice. 2/3rds of them show signs of living up to my expectations, so I hope it will be OK in the end.

Jeff

December 15th, 2009
10:37 am

Anything new on Kovy’s contract? Think he was meeting his agent in NY yesterday?

Get The Puck Out

December 15th, 2009
10:39 am

The Thrashers have absolutely going to have to cut down on the SOG’s. You cannot have the opposing team DOUBLE your SOG and expect to win on a consistent basis. The puck stay’s on our end of the ice wayyy to much,and no one can seem to clear on the PP. Moose HAD to be on top of his game last night, otherwise it would have been a loss. If anyone deserves cudo’s it’s Moose. I wonder what Moose is thinking when he was being bombarded by all those shots last night? GET THE PUCK OUT!!!!!!

World Be Free

December 15th, 2009
10:39 am

Anyone going to the game Thursday?
Not Saturday though, gotta a Christmas party to go to; work on a new hangover.

Zoomo

December 15th, 2009
10:46 am

>>noticed no one here is calling for trading Army the last couple blogs

Hah! I jumped right on that bandwagon. I’ll happily eat my crow with a little melted Colby! Who else needs to get going? Whitey? Let’s bash him Rowdies style and see if he catches fire.

The SOG’s were extraordinary, but I never really got the sense that the team was overwhelemed. Outside of the last part of Period 2, I thought they did a decent job chipping pucks back to center when the pressure got high.

Agree that Boris showed a bit of promised. Boris and Shubie make a big combo and I think the development of the D Corp – with Ronzo, Bogo, Kubina – into a rough and tough crew could be the key to making a playoff push and run.

Hainsey – who either plays good one game and not the next, or plays good one play nad not the next, depending on who is posting here – played a heck of game last night.

Glovesave29

December 15th, 2009
10:56 am

Drop the rose colored glasses…Valabik is brutal and needs to go back to the AHL. On D he plays too deep thus screening the goalie, and gets easily suckered out of position into corners and behind the goal line. Paint dries faster than Doris skates. On offense he is far behind the play and is terrible at covering his point. He disrupts the flow that Anderson has finally got them understanding, and his useless 60 foot snap shots also do little to help the cause.

Anyone know what Moose’s long tem plans are? This is the last year of his contract, but is he wanting to get another after this? Critical info as to what we need to do down the stretch and for next season and beyond. Kari and Ondrej splitting 50/50 would be a nice tandem if either can accept it. Would certainly extend their careers, but that type A personality most athletes have may not let that occur peacefully. Kari, due to his injury issues would certainly come at a discount, thus not breaking the bank in he net…but if Moose wants another 2 years, that allows for Kari to be trade bait and the time to develop Ondrej’s back up. Rumor has is Ponikarovsky is on the block in Toronto, and they need a goalie (Monster’s continuous heart issues and 1 year contact are certainly issues)…

Smoothie

December 15th, 2009
11:17 am

Kids, we are 10 – 5 – 1 on the road this year so far…WOW! 25 more games “on location” and we just need to maintain a .500 record from here on out. Eventually we will figure out how to rack up more wins than losses at home. We’re finally over .500 at home (well, sort of) with a 7 – 6 – 2 record. Go 12 – 7 at home after the Olympics and we’re in the playoffs. But to do so, we do need to get the shots against down closer to 31 – 32 / game. We’re pushing 35 per game and that’s a bit obscene for a playoff caliber team.

Zoomo – thanks for giving Ronsey his due last night. He’s been pretty brutal in December but last night his play was sterling. He was more physical, made smart plays with the puck deep in his zone and probably saved a goal or two with his stick. Now if we can just get our Russians to hustle like Evander Kane on EVERY shift, we’d be golden.

Spud Webb

December 15th, 2009
11:22 am

I vote to move boris to the wing and let him goon it up with the 4th line. LETS DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hhahahaha
Moose, I mean what can you say?? Great game for him.
Army, must be reading the blogs now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good job. Army.

BlueSpark

December 15th, 2009
11:45 am

I said trade Army, and I stand by it. Yes, he’s got 4 G in 4 G, but I didn’t say trade him because he sucks. You don’t trade players who are sucking; you won’t get back value. I think they ought to trade Army because I don’t think he wants to be here. I can’t back that up, it’s just a feeling. So I hope he does get hot, and then we can fleece someone (in the Western Conf) at the deadline.

Now, how about all the a-holes who said Moose should retire/be traded/not be re-signed? As I’ve always said, he’s a perfect backup. You can’t ask for a better backup. Last night, Kevin Weekes on NHL OTF called him the #1 backup in the NHL.

Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooose!!1

Matt

December 15th, 2009
11:55 am

If I don’t get some info on the Kovy contract talks, I will hold my breath until I turn blue, pass out and hit my head on the coffee table!!

My 2 centimos on White. There was a play in the Montreal game that sums up his season nicely. Wide open net, shoots the puck towards open net but near Price, Price able to scramble back and make save. You have absolutely got to bury those kinds of chances.

Glovesave29

December 15th, 2009
12:05 pm

While I agree Moose has been great this season, I think it’s a bit much to call someone an a*****e for wanting to move Johan during the last off season. He was coming off a season where he was near the bottom of the league in nearly all statistical categories. He’s a great team player and I am as thrilled as the rest of us with his resurgence, but I must say it was unexpected. I do agree with you on Army…I just get that same feeling too. I cannot explain why…maybe it’s because he signed just a one year contract – but I feel like he just does not want to be here.

Spud – been saying he’s a winger all along. I wanted to scream at him for continally guarding the far post on the weak side last night. THATS FOR THE WINGERS! Guard the near post and cut off the passing lane Boris!

Scoundrel

December 15th, 2009
12:14 pm

Am I the only one who thinks Kovy is being affected by the contract talks….? He’s been practically invisible for the last 5 or 6 games. Yes, he’s drifting out at the blue line in his own zone, nothing new there, but I see zero creativity on the attack – he almost looks bored in the offensive zone. Half the time he’s motionless. Of course, he can still pop-off a rocket every now and then – he could score 30 in his sleep. But to me I’m fearing the worst – that the talks are going badly and he’s already mentally gone. Am I wrong? I sure hope so.

Hockey Biltong爽

December 15th, 2009
12:16 pm

BlueSpark , believe it or not I spoke with Army about 2 weeks ago and he really does like it here. He wants to stay and play with Le Trash!
I think he is finding his groove now. I hope he keeps it up….

J.B.

December 15th, 2009
12:25 pm

I think the restaurants will be what keeps army in atlanta. every interview i read with that guy, he mentions the food here and going out to eat.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2009
12:26 pm

Scoundrel-Kovy, no that’s been a common subject on the blog,but alotta people don’t want to hear it. The sooner it gets done, the better.

Spud-Doris won’t drop the gloves. He actually don’t look awful last night, an improvement.

Army is starting to play better, he’s hittng and rushing the net. He must have gone back and seen footage of playing in Pittsburgh when he was coming on as a player. Different Army the last 2 weeks.

Glovesave-Ponikarovsky has been playing great for the Leafs. I would like to have him, but I think Brian Burke will ask for the world for him.

Hollywould

December 15th, 2009
12:55 pm

I loved Kane manning up to the Ranger. Did you see him jawing at the end? This kid is gonna be something, not afraid of mixing it up/going in the corners. I find myself watching every thing he does.Go Thrash

Spud Webb

December 15th, 2009
1:25 pm

Perfect, “doris” ahahhahaha, LOVE IT. I think he’s not anxious to drop them as a D man and have the team down one (not that we would notice) for 5 minutes. I truly believe that big boris can play the wing, hit, fight and quit thinking so d&mn much.
-Glovesave how you been?? Saw you post yesterday and today, havent seen you too much as of late.

StateBird

December 15th, 2009
1:31 pm

Nevermind what line White is on or if he should be on the 2nd PP unit, what will take to get him out of the lineup. We all know Slater’s shortcomings but at this time I can’t find any reason for him to sit behind White. He has more speed, plays with more edge and is a better on the PK. Slater struggles finding the net but he certainly wouldn’t be worse than White.

Can anyone offer a reasonable defense as to why White should be playing over Slater?

Rawhide

December 15th, 2009
1:33 pm

If I don’t get some info on the Kovy contract talks, I will hold my breath until I turn blue, pass out and hit my head on the coffee table!!

Matt – Ya know…my oldest son used to pull that trick on me, (BTW…his name is also Matt). He stopped doing it what he figured out I actually liked watching him turn blue.

Seriously though…the only thing I’ve heard lately is that he and his agent met while they were in New York.

Nevermind what line White is on or if he should be on the 2nd PP unit, what will take to get him out of the lineup.

Statebird – Yup…I’d like to see White sitting next to Salmella in the press box. My lines would be:

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

Can anyone offer a reasonable defense as to why White should be playing over Slater?

Compromising photos of someone high up in the Thrashers organ-I-zation?

Smitty

December 15th, 2009
1:54 pm

Rawhide, I would like to see a Kane-Peverly-Little line. Lot of speed and some defensive reponsibility. It also would give Kozzy a little break from playing second line minutes. White is hurting the Thrash. Maybe a couple of games upstairs will wake him up. Wish they would get the Kovy situation resolved before the season starts, I mean before Thanksgiving, I mean before Christmas.

WM

December 15th, 2009
2:01 pm

Just a question. How many think that if Atlanta doesn’t resign Kovy he either a)stays in the NHL or B) goes back to play in the KHL? Also, regardless of choice, what would you consider a fair replacement cost for Kovy? Equal valued star player (assuming he stays in the NHL), prospects, draft picks, combo of players, cash, or all the above? I personally think if he leaves Atlanta (which I hope he doesn’t) he’ll leave for the KHL.

Miami Screaming Eagle

December 15th, 2009
2:10 pm

NHL-the best we can expect is prospects and draft picks.
Great huh?

Hockey Biltong爽

December 15th, 2009
2:12 pm

Moosehead beer Not….
WBF – see you Thursday.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2009
2:12 pm

Spud-Doris needs to hit the weight room and bulk up. He and Kari seem to avoid training for the purposes of improving.

Doris would become Boris if he would start knocking people down!

Jimbo

December 15th, 2009
2:33 pm

Never have been a real fan of the Moose. He always seemed to be battling the puck. Now, he appears to be far more comfortable and on top of his game. Not many of the 48 shots were real threats to go in. The Rangers were firing from everywhere, apparently trying to come up with anything to break there recent scoring drought. Enstrom once again played well. I agree with many posters that a Pevs-Little-Kane line could be both a good scoring line and a defensive shut-down line when we need to slow down someone else’s top line. Little isn’t scoring but boy can he play defense- great positioning, good hands, a harder hitter than most his size. Love the kid!

Nate

December 15th, 2009
3:12 pm

Yeah…that was a bit fortunate last night. Looked like a repeat of the Ottawa game earlier in the season. Hopefully we see a stronger effort against the Kitties. And like other’s mentioned, looks like Kovy’s been working with Slava on the shoot-outs. So much so it was like watching a mirror image last night. That should help his sniper move even more if goalies have to watch for the hesitation wrister.

Glovesave29

December 15th, 2009
3:57 pm

WBF – just passing alonmg what I read in the Canadian media (so take that for what it is worth). Burke supposedly has been less than happy with Alexei and has offered him up in a few trades. They need goaltending up there. I think so far “the Monster” has been overrated, plus he has heart defect issues. They have the best goalie coach in the business, and I can see them having some interest in Kari. It’s all just speculation, though.

I can’t see Kovy or any top star really considering the KHL. Top athletes like to play at the highest level available, and while the KHL is a good league, it does not touch the NHL. My gut still says he stays here. I certainly do not think it has affected his on ice play as of late. The whole team is in a bit of a scoring funk, Kovy included. I do not think his contract status is even on his radar when on the ice.

TableHockey

December 15th, 2009
4:01 pm

WM – I think that if Kovy doesn’t resign with Atlanta he will stay in the NHL. I personally think he wants to hoist the Stanley Cup more than the gads of money that the KHL is reportedly offering him.

I imagine the olympic hockey gold medal match will be Canada vs. Russia – if Russia pulls it off then Kovy will only be short a Stanley Cup of joining the triple gold club. There are only 2 dozen or so players that have accomplished that – pretty exclusive club.

On Twitter they are reporting that both the Kings and Canucks have called about Kovy and the Kings are supposedly willing to part with Dustin Brown in a package. No word on what the Canucks are willing to part with.

I posted something on the last blog but it got lost in between some lengthy rants – the other day Doug Maclean was on 590 and supposedly said they are not in a hurry to resign Kovy and he apparently acknowledged the possibility of selling the team. I heard this on Twitter – did any one hear the actual interview and can shed light on what was said?

Spud Webb

December 15th, 2009
4:08 pm

WM, I think he’ll stay in the NHL, like some of the others here, I believe he wants his name on that cup, to truly cement his “greatness”.

TableHockey< i'll start digging to see if I can find the Maclean bit, interested if he actually said that.

KovyRules

December 15th, 2009
4:17 pm

Rawhide, I can’t see reassembling the Kovy-Max-Antro line as long as Kovy is on cruise control. That line was a defensive nightmare for the few games before and during the road trip. Having Little or Kozlov in Max’s place balances that line much better.

Plus I thought Kozlov-Pevs-Max looked good last night – generating chances, but still being responsible defensively.

Will be there Saturday and Monday, which should be good. Due to travel I’ve only been in my seats 4 times, but all 4 are wins…

Manley

December 15th, 2009
5:02 pm

Agree with others about Darren Eliot’s “Get Up, Kovy”. At least he is not too much of a homer to call that one. Also, loved the look Schubert gave Avery after one scrum, then again after the blatant dive by Avery by the net. Thought for sure he would force Avery into going at it. Wasn’t a big fan of Schubert before that, but he is growing on me and had a good game.

By the way, The Hockey News website has TWO stories about the Thrashers on the home page and Goalies’ World Computer Rankings have Moose listed no. 7 in the NHL. Considering that Moose is sharing the net, this is pretty impressive since Goalies’ World weighs games played in their rankings.

rightshot

December 15th, 2009
5:13 pm

First, nice to see you again Bill.
Nice meeting Mr and Ms Smoothie, Bluenote, and the guy from the blueland chronical.

Please excuse my cynicism but is it possible that in addition to still not being at 100%, Kovy is coasting because he knows he will sign a contract here and knows he can mail it in a few games because he’s gonna get paid anyway?

I did enjoy the last game but got the impression after the first period, since we had done so well controlling the pace in the first, the thrashers backed off a little and the rangers picked it up some. They came out expecting the slow rangers and got the fired up version instead. just my opinion

Definatly looking forward to the next game, it’s already pre-tuned on center ice.

five_hole

December 15th, 2009
5:26 pm

I’ve only been in my seats 4 times, but all 4 are wins…KovyRules

In that case, you definitely need to go see more games. ;-)

Brendan

December 15th, 2009
5:35 pm

Moose stole that game for us with the breakaway save on Higgins. He stole the Habs game with the save on Kostitsyn. If you had to pick an MVP for the Thrashers, so far in this young season, who would it be? And why?

KovyRules

December 15th, 2009
6:18 pm

Five_hole, I do need to. But by my count I’ve turned at least three clients who had never seen an NHL game into hockey fans! ASG ought to subsidize me.

Dwayne

December 15th, 2009
7:33 pm

Doris needs to sit vrs fla-i-duh. Need more speed on the blue line for this one.

Dwayne

December 15th, 2009
7:37 pm

While listening to NHL on the Fly yesterday afternoon, the guys were talking about the Kings, I wanted to call and ask them about the touchdown Atl. hung on them.

R. Stroz

December 15th, 2009
8:02 pm

Dwayne – Touchdown and extra point.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2009
8:21 pm

Glovesave-I’ve been reading alotta stuff these days. I think the media and the rumor sites are all going crazy cause there’s no trades. Speculation goes off the scale on some things. I just hope they get Kovy’s signature on a contract soon. One long losing streak and this thing could get out of control.

Manley-all of a sudden, Schubert is getting tough and I think it’s great. Maybe he thinks he’s going to have to protect Doris.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2009
8:23 pm

Darren Eliot is one of the best color guys in the league; very few better. What I like the most about Eliot is he is not a homer. He calls it down the middle, which is great. I used to like Mickey Redmond in Detroit, but Mickey has become a major league homer.

Big props to Darren Eliot.

So when do we start talking about Chris Chelios coming to Atlanta?
That would be like getting Tim Horton in the 70’s.

Brendan

December 15th, 2009
8:23 pm

What player (not say, Coach, Assistant Coach, GM, or Associate GM) would you vote to be MVP of the Thrashers, so far, this season? (1) Johan Hedberg, (2) Ilya Kovlachuk, (3) Rich Peverley, (4) Zach Bogosian, (5) Nik Antropov, (6) Max Afinogenov, (7) Pavel Kubina, (8) Ondrej Pavelec, (9) Toby Enstrom, (10) Evander Kane. Or (11), someone ELSE? (Kozlov, Reasoner, Thorburn, Hainsey, Armstrong, White, etc.)

Keep in mind, I’m asking a “light and fuzzy, warm” question. You’re not required to make a doctoral dissertation defense, armed to the teeth with charts, and graphs, and expert witness testimony. This is a blog. Ya know, a FUN PLACE where Thrasher fans come to hang out and not firebombed by trolls.

I’m really curious as to your responses. I wonder who will get the most votes? I know. I know. Some of you just won’t be able to help yourselves. You’re going to say Assistant Coach Randy Cunneyworth, for the team’s remarkable PK conversion percentage improvement rate. Or that Rick Dudley is the Associate GM of the Year, if there were such a distinction. Or that Waddell did a masterful job getting Afinogenov, Antropov and Kubina during the offseason, while drafting Kane. Those aren’t players. :grin:

World Be Free

December 15th, 2009
8:25 pm

Brendan-Rich Peverly
I just do not see any holes in his game.

I can’t vote for Max-I am still not sold that the old Max will not resurface again and break our hearts.

Brendan

December 15th, 2009
8:29 pm

If Valabik needs protecting, Waddell wasted that 10th overall pick in 2004. Uh, forget I said anything.

WBF, Darren Eliot is a sharp guy. I have no doubt of that. Cornell doesn’t graduate many idiots. But, there has been AMPLE evidence of Eliot towing the company line throughout the YEARS, during Thrasher broadcasts. He’s much more … uhh … FREE to speak his mind while doing neutral games for Versus. I chalk it up to him liking his paycheck. I don’t rightly know the deal with Natalee Taylor, but I think she’s fond of her paycheck, too. So, as Thrasher employees … sometimes the truth is the first casualty of getting paid.

Brendan

December 15th, 2009
8:34 pm

WBF, Max is nearly a point-a-game type player. Antropov and Peverley are that, or close to being that, too. And, almost certainly, Kovalchuk will finish the year with more than 82 points. Rawhide once posted that if Finny were north of 50 points, or was it 60-points?, that Max had more than earned his roster spot and that Waddell should be given credit for having procured him. Max is only $800,000 a year, with no bonus incentives in his contract. God forbid that things turns badly for the Thrashers at the trade deadline, but if they did, “Point-A-Game Afinogenov” might fetch something very, very nice at the deadline. Of course, my wish is to keep him and finish the year in the playoffs.

rightshot

December 15th, 2009
8:46 pm

Brendan-I would say Moose is MVP, most consistent and has stolen a couple of games for us.

Bob

December 15th, 2009
9:07 pm

I agree re. Eliot being a homer. He was NOT a homer in calling for Kovy to get up, but Derwood has been the biggest apologist for this club over the years. Remember him going on and on about how great Sutton was in prior years? It was the equivalent of if he was just blowing praise up Doris’ rear this year.

Moose is MVP this year and Peverley is a close second. If KovyRules would get his butt to more games, he’d have the 7th man locked up this year.

HookyBob

December 15th, 2009
9:18 pm

I agree with WBF. My vote is for Rich Peverly, with Pavlec placing and Hedberg finishing (w Moose coming on strong). This is not to diminish the contributions the others have made. As far as I am concerned all the choices have more than earned their pay this year (although Kovy has slipped a bit on earning his pay lately).

Brendon, good points on D Elliot. No question he knows this game and can communicate. It is a bit disappointing though that there is also no question that he toes (or is it tows)the company line.

Brendon, another good question would be “Who has been a pleasant surprise?” For me it is Chris Thorburn, he has found a niche on the PK and cemented his place on the energy/grind line. Along with Bolts and Reasoner/Slater these guys remind of Wings McCarthy-Draper-Maltby LIne back in their day. I haven’t looked at the detail but it seems like our 4th line draws more penalties per minute of ice time than our other lines. Schubert is another pleasant surprise. He’s an offensive D-man who likes to hit.

Let’s see who steps up tomorrow night. Go Blue.

five_hole

December 15th, 2009
9:19 pm

Brendan, MVP’s are usually picked by the # of points they put on the board. If that’s the case, it would be Kovy.

Me, I’d rather pick Pavel Kubina, for the simple reason that by far he’s the best defenseman the Thrashers have had, and a big reason that the defense (and PK) have been vastly improved. I know you said we didn’t have to quote stats, but I’ve got 1 I’d like to throw out: 14. That’s Kubina’s +/-. No one on the team is even close to him.

HookyBob

December 15th, 2009
9:23 pm

Manley,..good to hear from you again. Where are you these days (stateside I hope)?

Dwayne

December 15th, 2009
9:24 pm

At this point of the year, right now. Moose hands down MVP. Look at the record, look at the SOG against, save % and shootout #’s.

Rawhide

December 15th, 2009
9:32 pm

Manley – Hey buddy…great to see you around here again. You stayin’ stateside these days???

Moose is MVP this year and Peverley is a close second. If KovyRules would get his butt to more games, he’d have the 7th man locked up this year.

Bob – Spot on about Mr. KovyRules. If he does and the Thrashers continue to win with him in attendance, I’ll make the public push for him to assume the 7th man throne this spring.

Matt

December 15th, 2009
9:47 pm

Bill, you gotta be proud of the number of comments and increasing number of posters this blog is getting. You are doing a fabolous job and I submit that this blog’s success is directly attributable to your frequent postings. Who says there are no hockey fans in Atlanta?!

Rawhide

December 15th, 2009
9:53 pm

Matt – Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww…shux :oops:

Thank you very much for the kind words…and yes, I am proud of what WE have done here. But it’s people like you and the many, many others who frequent this forum that deserve any and all accolades. All I do is set the table for discussion and you all bring the goodies for us all to enjoy.

I always tell people that the best part of this blog is what happens below what I post.

Brendan – Per the post that Trixie just freed from blog purgatory, I would list my top five MVP possibilities in this order:

1. Johan Hedberg
2. Rich Peverley
3. Ilya Kovalchuk
4. Maxim Afinogenov
5. Marty Reasoner

“What???”, you say. “Marty has only 2 goals this season”. True that…but I would place him in the list of possible MVPs to represent the penalty kill unit for the fine job they have done so far.

LAC

December 15th, 2009
10:32 pm

Good news, Tampa LOST to Nashville and Pitt beat Philly to keep them down. If we win in FL Wednesday night, we can open up a good size lead on TB who just cannot score.

Important game as FL is only four back…

Smoothie

December 15th, 2009
11:20 pm

1) Hedberg

2) Kovy

3) Peverley

4) Kubina

5) Antro / Max (tied)

Unsung heroes: Kane, Tobes, Thor and Marty.

Moose is 6 gms over .500 and so are the Thrashers.

As Kovy goes, so go the Thrash who are like 9-2-1 when Kovy scores. He allows Pevs and Co play vs weaker comp.

Peverley? PEVERYWHERE, duh.

Defense is way improved due to one man: Pasha who has given us a true top pairing and a fairly complete top 4.

Antro and Max have done things differently, one quiet and one loud. But I don’t think u have this success without both.

Dwayne

December 16th, 2009
6:29 am

Just a thought on improved defense, and I use the word defense lightly. SOG??????

Smitty

December 16th, 2009
7:00 am

Good teams are usually built from the net out. If that is the case Moose could be MVP. However I have to agree with Five-hole that Kubina has made the big difference this year. The plus 14 and his play on the PK I feel should swing the vote his way. He is as close to a shut-down defenseman that we have ever had. The year that Peverly has had should give him some votes. I feel MVPs should show up for every game and that has not been the case for some of the other nominess.

World Be Free

December 16th, 2009
7:28 am

Brendan-I partially agree with your assessment of Eliot. My point is that there are soooooo many color commentators in the league that are major league homers. Eliot is smart enough NOT to the tear his meal ticket. But at the same time, he does offer as close to objective comments about the Thrashers that you can expect from a home color commentator. Eliot’s “get up Kovy” comments was a nice way of saying “get off your ass Kovy and get back in the play”. I have no opinion on Natalie Taylor.

FYI-Sabres had a color guy in the 80’s named Pat Hannigan. He was so cruel (i.e. honest) about the Sabres, he only lasted a few seasons. He was the opposite of Mickey Redmond.

World Be Free

December 16th, 2009
7:29 am

Bob-What’s Eliot supposed to do? see comments on Pat Hannigan

World Be Free

December 16th, 2009
7:31 am

Brendan-still leary of Max. I have seen this act before, only to see it go south. You next subject should be unsung hero. And for that I would would say Thorburn. The guy has little talent, but plays 100% every shift, every game. I was calling for his departure last summer. I am glad management didn’t listen to me.

DWTOO

December 16th, 2009
7:43 am

MVP – has to be Peverly. Plays both ends of the ice and the turnaround of the team began when he showed up. Moose is a close second.

As for announcers – whoever said they like their paycheck is spot on. Reminds of the story of the businessman hiring an accountant – he interivews countless numbers asking them what two plus two is. One who gets the job answers “What do you want it to be?”. All about pleasing those who write the check. Eliot does a real good job on Versus. Here, he has good insight, but, too much of a cheerleader.

World Be Free

December 16th, 2009
7:57 am

I think you guys are underappreciating Eliot-alot.
NHL Center Ice gives us a chance to compare Eliot against the rest of the color guys in the league. Most of the other color guys in the league offer no insight. Jimmy Fox in LA is good, but most are forgettable.

Eliot is near the top in quality and insight. That’s why Versus has him on nightsd when the Thrashers are not. Better on Versus? Of course, he has no obligation to either club playing. Too bad…..

Russian

December 16th, 2009
8:44 am

BIG RUSSIAN RUMOR. I will translate it later. I have to go to meeting.
http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/article-item/361483

Scotty

December 16th, 2009
9:02 am

There is no way you don’t start Moose tonight. He is on FIRE! Go with Pavelec tomorrow and hopefully the kid has an amazing start to get back to where he was in the first six weeks of the season.

Either way it’s nice to have this “problem” in Blueland.

Get The Puck Out

December 16th, 2009
9:06 am

I think Kubina is the MVP so far. His +- is WOW, and pk is great. Pevs is one of the best all around players and Moose is lights out. EFFORT is evident from almost everyone and EFFORT is what wins games. Thanks Rawhide for all you do.

Bob

December 16th, 2009
9:08 am

Good find, Russian. And it throws a lot of fuel on the fire that many of us think has been simmering and manifested itself in Kovy’s play and attitude lately.

If I translated it properly, it says that Russian sources have confirmed that negotiations between Waddell and Kovy’s agent have come to a stop. Kovy’s agent wants 10 years at $11.5m per year and since that’s more than Crosby or Ovechkin got, that Waddell is now looking at trade options and will trade Kovy at the deadline if he can’t sign him.

It was pretty obvious to me that something was wrong with Kovy and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out it was the contract.

Alan R.

December 16th, 2009
9:27 am

You’re assuming the rumor, as reported by the Russian press, is true.

If Kovalchuk is asking for 10y/11.5m per, then I don’t blame Waddell in the least for exploring trade options. However, I sincerely doubt it. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this 11.5m per talk is just a rehashing of the Schultz blog post that generated a stir in the international press just a few short months ago.

Kovalchuk is likely playing just hard enough to make an attempt at winning these games prior to mid-February in an effort to conserve his energy for the Olympics.

Bob

December 16th, 2009
9:29 am

Trade deadline is just after the Olympic Break ends. No way Waddell can risk Kovy getting injured at the Olympics, so the trade deadline is effectively Feb. 16th, when the Olympic Break begins. With the holiday trade freeze coming up soon, this has to come to a head quickly, Waddell’s probably fielding offers for Kovy at the GM meeting this week.

Bob

December 16th, 2009
9:36 am

“You’re assuming the rumor, as reported by the Russian press, is true.”

Couple that with the basic fact that Kovy indeed has not signed a contract that should have been done long ago, and the obvious drop off in his play and attitude lately, and where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

“If Kovalchuk is asking for 10y/11.5m per, then I don’t blame Waddell in the least for exploring trade options.”

Agreed, they can’t pay him that unless they decide to go max cap every year. The main problem is this, Kovy hasn’t signed yet, and it should have been done long ago, that’s a sign of a real problem. Now hearing that his agent is making those demands, means he never wanted to sign here and they’re just forcing Waddell’s hand to trade him. Problem now is this, there’s no way we get fair value for an unsigned Kovy at the deadline. Look at the crap return we got on Hossa, you can expect the same on Kovy.

Miami Screaming Eagle

December 16th, 2009
9:38 am

Kovy-what a mess

Alan R.

December 16th, 2009
9:47 am

The main problem is this, Kovy hasn’t signed yet, and it should have been done long ago, that’s a sign of a real problem. Now hearing that his agent is making those demands, means he never wanted to sign here and they’re just forcing Waddell’s hand to trade him.

I agree on the first part. On the second part, I consider it a long shot rumor. No offense to Russian, but the press out there isn’t exactly reliable. I want more conclusive evidence before I believe what has been “reported.”

In other words, he’s either signed or traded. That’s the only way we’ll learn the truth to the matter. Until then, it’s just speculation. The rumors aren’t helping anything, so it’s best that we ignore them.

five_hole

December 16th, 2009
9:58 am

I think everyone screaming about “if we can’t sign Kovy then trade him” seems to be forgetting one thing; WE’RE IN A PLAYOFF RACE excuse me for yelling

As of this morning, we’re in 6th place. Why would we get rid of our best player and our captain in the middle of trying to make the playoffs? Conversely, if we didn’t have a Kovalchuk and were in the playoff hunt, wouldn’t we try to trade to rent him for the rest of the season anyway? If we traded him, what would that do to team chemistry?

Quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve heard since “you gotta fight them over there, so we don’t have to fight them here”.

Paminski

December 16th, 2009
10:02 am

I enjoy Darren’s delivery. He’s funny and insightful. Sure, he’s Thrash-centric. Is that so wrong?

Hockey Biltong

December 16th, 2009
10:13 am

Per Kovy; It’s all a part of the negotiation process. We will never know what gyrations the two sides are going through.
Just keep up the hope/good vibe thingy and we will be fine.

Spud Webb

December 16th, 2009
10:25 am

Brendon, Have to vote for Pevs. Just an all around player. I think some of you are realizing Max is hot and cold, when its good its GREAT, when its bad, its horrid!!!!
Just spit my coffee out when I saw the 10 years at 11.5 for kovy. I hope thats incorrect and a rumor.
On that note, Five Hole I have to respectfully disagree. Yes we are in a playoff race and in the middle of it. But can this franchise afford to let a top 5 player just walk with nothign in return?? I don’t think so. As Sara has posted before, if Kovy doesnt sign its not the end of the world. If he doesnt sign we HAVE to trade him. Team chemistry could possibly get better if Kovy is shipped out before the deadline, I tend to look at the glass half full. We can get a boatload for Kovy, especially from some DESPERATE teams up in the northeast, Philly, Rangers to name 2. We have a decent if not great base at this point w/Pevs, Kane, Bogo, Toby, Hainsey, Little. Say we ship him out, at that point we will certainly retain Kubina for next year and have some cash for other free agents??
Now, All of that said, if a trade of kovy happens, I will never, ever forgive DW or the ownership. My dislike now is pretty high and always has been, despite this seasons mild success!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob

December 16th, 2009
10:26 am

“Why would we get rid of our best player and our captain in the middle of trying to make the playoffs?”

Because if you can’t sign him by the trade deadline, then he is free to walk on July 1st 2010 and sign with whomever he wants, and the Thrashers get nothing in return.

You cannot let Kovy walk away and get nothing in return, it would completely hamstring the team.

Yes, it’s horrible to trade away Kovy in the middle of a playoff race, but there would be no other option.

Miami Screaming Eagle

December 16th, 2009
10:47 am

This is why Kovy needed to be signed BY NOW. So we could focus on making playoffs and not have to focus our attention to whether he is going to be here after July 1, 2010. And it does make a different; you have no hope of signing our other UFAs if the club does not show a commitment to Kovy.

If he’s not going to sign, trade him. Remember, we have already won this season without. Get up Kovy, get up and sign the contract!

R. Stroz

December 16th, 2009
10:49 am

In the words of Yogi Berra, this seems like deja vu all over again.

J.B.

December 16th, 2009
10:59 am

for what it’s worth, spector’s not buying it and he’s very good with rumor-type information…

KovyRules

December 16th, 2009
11:15 am

Miami, saying Kovy needed to be signed by now ignores the central question – is his salary demand fair? If it is not fair, as we are hearing it may be, then he never would have been signed – last summer or this winter. What is a fair price for Kovy? And what would we sacrifice in locking up that much salary cap?

Rawhide and Bob – I hear you, I need to be at more games. But 7th man? I’m as rabid as it gets when I’m in my seat, but let me forever disgrace myself with this tidbit: I was enjoying that incredible pasta bar dinner in the Club for the first three goals of the Kings game. That is sad and pathetic!!

Bob

December 16th, 2009
11:42 am

“spector’s not buying it”

Do you have a link to that? I just looked at Spector’s site and don’t see where he’s “not buying it”.

kracker

December 16th, 2009
11:49 am

If that figure is correct – $11.5M for a decade or so, then a trade probably has to be made with the highest bidder. I don’t think this franchise in this market can ice a competitive team if one player has 20% of the payroll. They could pay him 9 or 9.5 maybe, with that difference paying for one good veteran player or two or three young or bottom line players.

It’s probably all just an over-hyped Russian article or maybe a Grossman back-door leak as a negotiation ploy.

five_hole

December 16th, 2009
11:51 am

Spud Webb &Bob it’s your right to disagree, but I ask the same question; if we didn’t already have Kovy, wouldn’t we try to trade for him, knowing that we might not resign him in the offseason? Isn’t that exactly what we did with Tkachuk (rent him for a couple of months)? Isn’t that what Florida did with Bouwmeester? They wanted to make the playoffs, so they kept him, then traded him just prior to the draft & him becoming a free agent. Maybe Florida could have gotten more for him if they had traded him earlier. But sometimes, you gotta take a chance.

I’m certainly not advocating not resigning him. I would love Kovy to stay for the next 10 years (11.5 mil; might be too rich). I just think it would be silly to trade our best scorer when we’re trying to make the playoffs.

Miami Screaming Eagle

December 16th, 2009
11:52 am

Kovy-I just think that management needed to move the process along alot quicker and make a determination of the conditions for resigning before the season. It seems like all of this is coming to light now, at a time when we are in the mix for a playoff spot.

Rick Nash is valuable to Columbus, just like Kovy is to us (more or less). Columbus got Nash locked up last summer; both parties knew that they did not want to deal with this issue during the season. Columbus has problems right now, but Nash’s contract is not one of them.

We should have known the terms before this, so a decision could have been made to sign him or trade him before mid December.

Distraction, distraction, distraction

J.B.

December 16th, 2009
11:56 am

Bob – wasn’t on his website (yet; I’d be surprised if he didn’t mention it on the Rumors page tomorrow). I directed a tweet at him about the article and this was his response…

per @SpectorsHockey…

“@braggjc I don’t put much stock into NHL trade rumors originating from Russia”

Alan R.

December 16th, 2009
12:01 pm

Bob, see here. Not exactly detailed or anything, but that is Spector and that is his official response to the Russian article..

kracker

December 16th, 2009
12:40 pm

Can’t be anything to this Sovsport article….Eklund doesn’t have word one on it so ya know there’s nothing there, hehe.

Hockey Biltong

December 16th, 2009
12:42 pm

Hold on to your hats!!!

TableHockey

December 16th, 2009
12:43 pm

What a conundrum – I see the point in moving Kovy before the Olympics to get the most in return. But if the team stays intact and makes a good run in the playoffs would that help Kovy decide to resign? Or do you fall short of the playoffs and become the next Florida that left a prize walk for practically nothing?

Glad im not a GM.

stendec

December 16th, 2009
1:21 pm

Best non-shutout effort I have ever witnessed from a goaltender! Moose virtually singlehandedly swiped two points for the Thrashers at Madison Squaresville Garden in the rotten Big Apple. Bravo. A breakaway on a penalty kill? PLEASE SPARE ME! Moose was under siege for three periods plus overtime. The seasoned netminder took control during the shootout. Nothing got past him. The Thrasher offense stirred from its slumber long enough to score a couple of times. Still completely unacceptable. The overrated Ranjerk goalie is simply not that damn good! Oh well. Two points! Get two more tonight. ++STENDEC++

Spud Webb

December 16th, 2009
1:29 pm

Five Hole, I see what your saying. Lets just end all of this and sign him, make us all happy!!!!!!!!!!!

five_hole

December 16th, 2009
1:42 pm

Spud Webb Amen!

Tony C.

December 16th, 2009
1:48 pm

I would think #17 realizes that if he signs for max-cap (at least here) he’s pretty much eliminating playing for a perennial playoff team. That seems to be his driving passion; playing Stanley Cup hockey.

Start O-P tonight…. even despite of the recent two-game slump, I think if you go back and look-the loosing streak coincided with Coach shaving off “The Fu”-no idea what counteracted the loss of the mojo (and certainly, not playing CGY & VAN helps a lot) but I’m just sayin’…

Smoothie

December 16th, 2009
1:49 pm

stendec – well said! Wait, did I just type that? I agree with every single word you just typed. Wow, perhaps I need more caffeine.

Anyway, on to the whole Kovy situation. The fact that the deal is not done (or may not get done before the end of the year) is a big problem. The bigger problem is what do you do with him now that we are in a position to challenge for a playoff spot?

It is crucial that we bank mad points NOW in the next ten games (9 of which are against Eastern Conf foes) to get closer to 10 games over .500. If this team goes 6-3-1 over the next 10, that puts our record at 23-14-4 for 50 points thru 41 games or a pace for 100 points. More importantly, it gives us a bit of a cushion going into January.

At that point, the leverage swings to Waddudley I believe. And the reason why might just be Kari Lehtonen (gasp!!). Should Kari manage to get himself ready to play by late Jan or early Feb, the Thrashers will then have more trade leverage at the deadline. Teams like NYR, Mtl and even Tor may be desperate for goalie depth if they are on the playoff bubble. Tantalize them with Lehtonen, after showcasing him before the Olympics, and tell them they can have Kovy too. But they’ll have to give us their best player in return.

If talks break-down and the Kovy situation becomes desperate, then Lehtonen might just be the key to a blockbuster type deal that would not only get us value in return, but also help us make a serious push into the playoffs during March & April, when we play 14 of our last 22 games at the Bulb.

A team like the Rangers, who have already spent some insane loot in FA, may be willing to trade for Lehtonen since their back-up goalie situation is in shambles AND Kovalchuk because he’s a goal-scoring bad-ass. Even if we can’t get Marian Gaborik in return, we could probably wrest away a solid 2-way player like Drury along with one of their RFA youngsters like Dubinsky or Callahan, one of whom they may not be able to afford if they become $3-4 M men.

Hey Glen Sather, how about this deal?

Rangers get: Kovy, Lehts, Todd White and Salmela

Thrashers get: Drury, Dubinsky and a first round pick in 2010

Smoothie

December 16th, 2009
1:57 pm

Whoa! Nevermind on Drury! I thought he had one more year left on his ridiculous deal paying him $8 M this year and NEXT YEAR! I was thinking next year was the last year that pays him *only* $5 M. Chris Drury is making Todd White look like a bargain right now.

I guess I’d rather have Anisimov and Callahan than take on that albatross of a contract for Drury, who is more of a 3rd line C at the ripe old age of 32.

Manley

December 16th, 2009
1:59 pm

I might have sounded a bit too critical of Mr. Eliot. I have had dealings with him through youth hockey and he is a very nice, intelligent guy, who is great for youth hockey in the Southeast region (not just Atlanta). His commentary on Vs. is very good, as well, and there are far worse homers, but there are times…

My MVP vote is for Kubina for the reasons noted. While SOG are still atrocious and the overall defensive play of the team could use some more “fine tuning”, he is a smart defensive player on a team that has been in DESPERATE need of such players.

I am back stateside now at an undisclosed location in lower KY (Ft Campbell) but I am still able to follow Les Thrash on Gamecenter Live (gotta love modern technology). I hope to be at the game in Nashville on Jan 30–anyone making the trip? My son plays for the squirt version of a certain TN team, but he sports his Thrashers jersey to practice on occasion. I troll the blog frequently but usually at work and our system security usually keeps me from posting. Besides, you guys usually say all that needs to be said by the time I get to read it.

Rawhide

December 16th, 2009
2:00 pm

Brendan

December 16th, 2009
6:26 pm

Wow. The voting is almost completely neck-n-neck between Moose, Kubina, and Peverley. My vote does go to Kubina. His plus-minus, coupled with that he brings to our PK, and the way he rounds out out D, solidifying it as a legitimate corps of defenders. It’s not as if Kubina “wows” anyone on a stat sheet. But it’s what he brings that the stat sheet DOESN’T capture … that matters. I think Moose has six votes, Peverley has six votes, and Kubina has five. Hey, that’s awesome that we cannot AGREE on a Thrasher MVP. It means things are going well. And surprisingly, it wasn’t KOVALCHUK who ran away with the voting. Because, let’s face it, he’s the face of the franchise. And if someone asked you, “who’s the best player on the Thrashers,” wouldn’t the knee-jerk reaction be, “Kovalchuk?”