Tough finding right words to describe Thrashers loss to Devils

I am finding hard to come up with the right word to truly describe Saturday night’s 5-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils…and un-good doesn’t seem to do it justice.

Frustrating comes to mind. So does aggravating…and maddening…and puzzling…infuriating, maybe? Bedeviling…I suppose that word could be considered appropriate.

I do, certainly, have some other words that could be used…but I do try to keep things at least a PG-13 level around here.

Things started out in a manner that one could say was fortunate for residents of Thrasherville. The home team somehow found themselves leading 3-1 after one period of play despite being completely outplayed. Their first goal came from Ron Hainsey, who just seconds prior was sprung from the penalty box. Assisting on the play was Christoph Schubert and Pavel Kubina…two defenders assisting on a goal by a third defenseman.

But the main reason they found themselves is such good shape was due to Ondrej Pavelec turning away 23 shots face out of 24 while his teammates put 3 of 6 past Martin Brodeur.

That’s right, outshot by 18…defense playing about as out-of-sync and unfocused as they have all year…but somehow Atlanta was up by two after twenty. If you are a Thrashers fan…ya gotta be feeling bless about where your team stands in this game, don’t ya?

Dean McAmmond's goal in the third period gave New Jersey a 5-3 lead (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Dean McAmmond's goal in the third period gave New Jersey a 5-3 lead (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Adding to that fortunate set of circumstances, Marty the Magnificent took a seat at the end of the Devils bench as the team emerged from the locker room to start the second period. Now, I don’t mean any disrespect to the New Jersey backup goaltender…but if I’m nursing a 2-goal advantage with 40 minutes left to play and am given a choice between facing Martin Brodeur or Yann Denis, I’m going to take my chances with Denis…even if he’s coming in 2-0-0 in three games played with a .923 SV% and 2.14 GAA and even if Brodeur did play just the night prior.

So what did the Thrashers do with their good fortune? Well…to start with, they can’t get anything past Denis on 12 shots in the second, continue to look scattered in the defensive zone and watch as the Devils put three past Opie on just 9 shots before returning to the locker room again.

Talk about looking the proverbial gift horse in the mouth…

New Jersey than padded the lead to 5-3 in the third by way of a 2 on 1 break. Dean McAmmond took a pass from Patrik Elias and buried the shot past Pavelec…despite Maxim Afinogenov hooking him all through the defensive zone.

Adding to the overall frustration as a fan is how this team yet again managed to allow 40+ shots on goal to get through on the goalie. On this night it was 42…Thursday night it was 47…Monday it was 48. For the season now, Atlanta surrenders an average of 34.9 shots against…that, folks, is dead last in the league.

Which word best describes how you feel about the Thrashers consistently giving up 40+ SOG?

  • Whatever (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Nuisance (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Aggravating (19%, 19 Votes)
  • &%$#@! (81%, 82 Votes)

Total Voters: 101

Loading ... Loading ...

Of the three goals New Jersey scored in that middle frame, the most agonizing one for me was the third. With the score tied at 3-3, Rod Pelley found the puck around the blueline fired the puck in from there. Pavs simply didn’t look ready for it and in it goes. I was sitting in the press box for this game…and they ask us to be professional and all that while there…but I do believe a choice word escaped my tongue at that point. Sorry Ms. Sunshine.

To be fair, Pavelec was simply outstanding in the first, making great saves much like he did Thursday against the Stars. But it looked like the kid was just worn out after the opening period when he helped his team build the fortunate 3-1 lead.

Fortunate, however, was not the word that Hainsey used when speaking of the early lead…”false” was what he used to describe it. “We got outplayed in the first and built a false lead,” he said after the game. “They outplayed us the entire game except for our goaltender”.

Sleeping was the word Pavelec used to explain what went on out there. “We were sleeping during the first period,” Pavelec explained. “We did not play 60 minutes”.

Of his personal stats of 37 saves on 42 shots, Opie took no solace. “Five goals is five goals no matter how many shots”.

There are some teams you can squeak out two points from while not playing your “A” game…but these New Jersey Devils are not one of those teams. And regardless of whom the opposition is, when you consistently give up 40+ shots on goal, you are looking asking pleading begging for trouble.

Another major concern is this whole “didn’t play 60 minutes” thing. How many times have we heard that phrase used when discussing a Thrashers outing this season? Too many, I’m sure. And if that isn’t addressed…and soon…the “not playing 60 minutes” issue could more than likely equate to “not playing past 82 games”.

And that would indeed be cause for Thrashers fans to begin to utilize many, many more choice words this spring.

120 comments Add your comment

Barry

December 20th, 2009
3:45 am

Confusing: Confusing how this team still does not get how to play 60 minutes of hockey and how work together as a team to play respectable defense in their own zone. Majority of the other teams do it. Why can’t the Thrashers???
Befuddled: Befuddled how the Thrashers can allow 24 shots in the entire FIRST PERIOD. That’s right folks. For those that wasn’t there or didn’t watch the game, Pavelec faced 24 shots in the 1st period alone and they weren’t cheap flutter shots from 50 feet either.
Aggrivated: Aggrivated as the play of some players named Kovy and Bogosian left me shouting words the two kids in front of me didn’t enjoy hearing. When one of the Devils announcers describes Kovy’s play as “painful to watch”, then that be telling that something is wrong with our captain.
Disappointing: Disappointing to go to the game, see the Thrashers get up 3-1 after the first period only to look completely lost out there in the second period and relinquish that lead they would never get back.

I think it’s time Anderson steps on some toes and nobody should be excluded. Anderson can step on Kovy’s other foot but he needs to be held accountable. Every player that wears a blue jersey needs to be held accountable for some soft lazy defensive play. Thrashers have not played a good solid game for 60 minutes for aobut three weeks now to be honest. If things don’t start getting better then I’m afraid we’ll be out of a playoff picture and Kovy will be traded.

East Point Bob

December 20th, 2009
6:13 am

At this stage I have had enough. Players need to go, Little, White, and I believe Bogosian needs to be traded, he is awful to watch, out of position, lazy, plays like some creampuff. Hanisey is no good and Enstrom needs some AHL time, he is simply not an NHL defensman. Evander Kane, what is going on with him ? He does nothing night in and night out, nothing. Then there is our Captain, what a one dementional player,
he does nothing except hang around, he had a chance to stop a NJ rush out of their zone in the first period, this rush ended up in our net, what does he do ??? Peels off and goes to the bench. All I can say to him is dream on if you want that kinda of money, you do not play a complete game and are one of the laziest players in the NHL, sure you can score some goals, but your defensive game is no better than some player in the Central Hockey League. I say trade the guy asap,Hell
there are about 6-8 that need to be gone and the sooner the better.
I just wonder if this GM we have is listening or not.

Not Blind

December 20th, 2009
6:32 am

I see three options.

1. Strip the C off Kotton Kandy’s jersey. He is not a natural leader. He IS setting the tone.

2. Healthy scratch at the next game.

3. Quit talking to Grossman. Trade KK NOW.

KK is giving the Thrash management all the ammo they need to say to the fans that ‘this lazy azz is not what we envision as the face of the Thrashers’.

2. At the nex

Jimbo

December 20th, 2009
6:57 am

Watched the game on Center Ice. Chico Resch, Devil’s color guy and former NHL goalie summed it up. ” Anderson has no defensive system so teams that played the night before don’t have to worry about physical play. Instead, it’s “Bombs Away”. Bogosian pulled a Pink Flamingo on the first Devil goal. Instead of blocking the shot with his leg, he picked it up to let a screened shot whiz past Pavelec. He and Kovalchuk were absolutely pathetic on defense last night. Again Resch “the worst examply of defense he has seen in many years in the NHL”. The SLIDE MAY BE STARTING.

True Hockey Fan

December 20th, 2009
7:29 am

Chico new exactly what he was talking about. No defensive effort at all. his best statement. Kovalchuk you hve got that ” C ” on your chest for a reason. You are supposed to lead by example. Kaptain Kotton Kandy is by the far the biggest defensive liability I have ever seen. I get the feeling He really doesn’t care. No effort on the defensive side of His game at all. Don’t be suprised Russia takes Him off of the Olympic team. This Team better wake up or there will be no playoffs again. what a terrible effort by a group of professional players. I say get what you can for KAPTAIN KOTTON KANDY KOVALCHUK.

Ashamed

December 20th, 2009
7:45 am

The center ice announcers were laughing at Atlanta. They were laughing, not giggling, not making jokes to keep viewers in the game, they had uncontrollable laughter. It was like they were watching a stand-up comedy act. I was not laughing. This is the first time I have ever posted though I read Rawhides article every chance I get, but I gotta post and let out a little %$#@&# $%#$&@$ frustration. Since Kovy is captain will anyone on the team step up and tell him if he doesn’t wanna play defense then sit on the bench. That little circle he skates at the blue line while the rest of the team is trying to get the puck out of the defensive zone just ain’t gonna cut it no longer. He has to man up or John Anderson needs to find a new captain. I have been just as frustrated with Don Waddell as everybody else and yes I have chanted the “fire waddell” chants too. However this is not a GM issue. The team has NO HEART. The recent problems lay 100% with each and every player that steps out on the ice and plays like they are gonna smear their mascara. I don’t come to as many games not because Atlanta don’t win (lets face it, if that was the case I would’ve stopped a long time ago). Because they play like a no contact girls league (hope that isn’t offensive but I am pi–ed off right now). For crying out loud run somebody over. When was the last time anyone has seen a Garnett Exelby caliber hit from the team. They have not because they are non-existent. When was the last time you have seen a Canadian team style, or for that matter, a Sean Avery style scrum in front of the opposing goalies net from our team (yall know what I am talking about just plain out nasty good ole fashion hockey). Hasn’t happened Ron Hainsey will surely scuff up that pretty face. Yes, Boulton will fight, Yes, Bogosian will drop the gloves every now and then but as a team will they ever get NASTY…APPARENTLY NOT BECAUSE THEY HAVE PLENTY TO BE FRUSTRATED ABOUT AND THEY STILL PLAY LIKE THERE WEARING THEM LITTLE SKIRTS THAT THE BLUECREW WEARS WITH NO SHORTS UNDERNEATH. Don’t get me wrong I am no stendec (sorry stendec no offense meant, don’t yeah love that you can wipe away any insult with that little “no offense” phrase being thrown out there) and I love our team. But if I was in the locker room right now I would probably tote a big ole A$$ whoopen because what I would have to say to the players would pi$$ them off. And as they were ripping me a new one as a team and sending me to the hospital I would have a toothless grin telling them thats what I am talking about men. As a team STOMP A MUD HOLE IN THE BAD GUY that comes in your house talking smack and WALK THE (very dirty word with mother as a reference point) DRY. I know the team has heart, passion, grit, and a desire to win. I have seen it. But the desire to win was a lot more present when they did not have the talent to win. Now that they have the talent to win the desire is gone. I don’t blame Boulton for not fighting lately. What is his team giving him in return when he goes out on a limb with the Brashear’s of the league? NOTHING. Please, this team needs to get in the locker room and tell each other exactly what they think of their head up a$$ skating, no defensive, no body contact, running scared play of late and for god sakes don’t end with a group hug. End with an article on how the locker room was destroyed because the team had a meeting that turned into a royal rumble and then, come together, go out there on the ice, and play some FREAKEN hockey. I would like to thank yall for letting me vent on this wonderful thrasher blog and yes I do feel better. Also one note I would like to add is Valabik has been looking good since his return, major improvements (not counting the New Jersey Phiasco).

Matt

December 20th, 2009
7:45 am

I’m just going to throw this out there, could the problem be the coach and his system?? I certainly don’t see any progress being made on these issues which have existed from the start of the season. We continue not to play from the start and continue to give up waayyyyy too many shots per game. I don’t care who the players are, if the coach or system ain’t working then those things may need to be changed and I can’t believe I’m saying that not even 1 and half years into the Anderson regime.

Ashamed

December 20th, 2009
8:05 am

I think the coach and sytem could be a factor, but I am not ready to point the blame there yet. I often question why the on-ice play cannot adjust to in game situations. I think there is a need for mroe dump and chase abilities in the offeensive zone to allow the team to carry the puck across the blue line a little easier. However, I am not educated enough on the coaching aspect for this to be anything more than just an obsevation of mine.

Ashamed

December 20th, 2009
8:08 am

Also if I may add the tilted shots on goal appear to be a reult of so much ice time spent in the defensive zone. So the system could use a little more defensive emphasis….IMO

Dwayne

December 20th, 2009
8:18 am

um….uh….cant find the words to describe last nite.

The Real Thrash

December 20th, 2009
8:36 am

Been saying this for years! But everyone including the sports media keeps saying that SOG don’t matter. Any hockey fan knows that it’s just not true. Trying to say quality shots are what matter doesn’t take into account that non-quality shots go in, and those count.

The team has no defensive identity. They have tried small quick defensive players and big defensive players to no avail. Consistent winning teams have a defensive system. We just fly around behind the puck leaving it all to our goalie. It starts at the top.

BG33Brown

December 20th, 2009
8:44 am

Kovy=Randy Moss. And you can’t build a franchise around a “leader” who sulks around the ice. The rest of the team feeds on him. If he is playing like crap (which he has been for 3+weeks), Anderson needs to do something about it.

Forget about the “negotiations” going on. JA this is your team, and the other 20+ guys will respect you and play harder for you if you call him out.

Smitty

December 20th, 2009
9:26 am

Looks like their is a problem with our captain and coach. This team seems to be following Captain Kovy’s example and playing very poorly. Believe me I had some #&*@^%# words for that effort last night. Had to walk away or risk losing a TV. Chico said it best when he said Kovy lacked the maturity to be captain after throwing a tantrum last night.

I believe mgt has done a pretty good job this year in assembling a decent team this year. I thought the Kovy contract issue would become a distraction the longer the season progressed and it seems that has happened. I do not buy into the reasoning that Kovy is saving himself for the Olympics. Yes he might be playing hurt but how many of us have gone into work with a horrific hangover and not feeling our best.

When Kovy was playing well the team was playing well. I guess you would call that leadership. But what do you call it when he is playing badly and the team plays the same way. This has been going on for some time now. Allowing 24 shots in one period is inexcusable even if you are short-handed for a part of that period.

As I mentioned earlier, it looks like Anderson might be losing the locker room. The look on his face last night was nothing but disgust. We all know what the big problem is and that problem is the contract.

Right now I would have a hard time rationalizing a long term 10 million $/year for Kovy. DW finally has improved the club this year and it is time Kovy stepped up and start playing like a franchise player. I listen to the Canadien talk shows on Sirius every day and the Kovy situatin comes up quite a bit. I take their opinions with a grain of salt but there are very few who consider Kovy a top 5 or even a top 10 player. There is more to this game than putting the puck in the net. A big part of it is trying to keep the other team from putting the puck in your net. When your franchise player is a -, you are going to have problems.

If the contract situation is going badly, which it seems it has, then DW has to start taking some calls or making some calls regarding a possible trade. Very few fans want to see Kovy go but this type of play cannot go on. If he is unhappy here or if he feels mgt is not doing enough then he should request a trade. But to go on going through the motions just to save himself for the Olympics is not fair to the organization or to us fans.

If Kovy goes hockey in ATL will continue. The Flames drew well as did the Knights. I was not here when the Flames were here but I was here when the Knights played. They sold out quite a bit especially the year they won the Turner Cup. A lot of horns were honking on Techwood and Spring after the clinching game.

Atlanta like any city outside of up North will support a hard working hockey team. And right now there isn’t one in Atlanta.

StateBird

December 20th, 2009
9:43 am

I enjoy the opportunity to see out-of-town Center Ice broadcasts when available to hear an unbiased perspective on the Thrashers. While Mike and Chico were saying things like “I’ve never seen defense this bad” then they obviously don’t watch much tape. We get the “pleasure” to see defense this bad on a daily basis.

I believe all parties are to blame but I will point to coaching first. I still like and support JA but it appears he needs to bring in a defensive minded assistant to replace his AHL buddies.

Am I the only one that has seen Bogo regress this year, starting from day 1? That is not lack of talent or ability, but lack of proper coaching. You can also point fingers at Hainsey and other D but too many times I see forward lines that simply peel off, don’t come back and support, and hope that they don’t have to dig the puck off the boards in the D end. Again I don’t think that is lack of talent or ability but rather lack of coaching and accountability.

On an unrelated note I thought Kovy had his worst performance of the year last night. Totally disinterested. The fifth NJ goal was started by his turnover and he didn’t even make a decent effort to get back. Maybe he was distracted by Grossman in town. But my fear is that talks went poorly yesterday and Kovy started to mail it in.

Hockey Biltong

December 20th, 2009
9:50 am

I missed Kovys’ tantrum. Smitty, what caused it????
Anderson needs to tweak the ‘d’ now,before we hit the crapper head first.
I’ve pointed this out before, but once again, poor passes have been a bane to our existence. And Jersey moved the puck up very well. Passes landed on sticks and were deftly flicked, slapped or deflected on to the next guy. Something we really need to work on besides being held accountable on D.
If Kovy goes, I’ll take a hard work ethics player over a prima donna any day.
Now I’m gonna throw up in my mouth…….

Rightshot

December 20th, 2009
10:00 am

The team played like a blind, heart transplant donor. They were slow, unsmart and to put it nicely, generally stunk up the ice. I don’t understand why someone, anyone, on the team doesn’t stand up and say “What he #$%& !”
Bill, I have a request. Next time you get a chance, please ask JA two things. #1-Is Kovy feeling OK or is it his contract that is causing his play to suck. #2- In your system, are the wingers guarding the point or just skating around randomly. IE what are the defensive responsibilities of the wingers.
I just had an idea.
Lets get a petition going asking, no DEMANDING the Thrashers get it in gear.
“We the undersigned ask the players and coaches of the Atlanta Thrashers Hockey Club to play like they are in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final for the rest of the season. We understand there are games when bounces will not go your way. We understand that there are games when a player will not have a good game. We also understand that there are other players on the bench to take up the slack when some one is having a bad game. We also understand the even of you don’t get the bounces, you can still keep fighting to change your fortune. We are not asking for a perfect season. We are asking that you play like the cup is on the line every game. We ask that for a 60 minute game, you play for 65. We ask that you support each other along the boards. We ask that you take more shots on goal. We ask that play defense. That everyone play defense.
We ask that when you step out on the ice, you realize there are people out there, no matter how few are actually in the stands, that support you and have supported you since the start. We ask that you realize you are not just playing for the win or for points in the standings. You are also playing for pride. Not just for the team, but for the fans. We do not like hearing other commentators stating we have no defense or stating it was painful to watch the Thrasher’s play. We as fans are embarresed too when we hear those words. We want to be able to hold our heads up high and say “We may not win, bit you WILL know, you have been on one hell of a fight.”
We the undersigned ask all that and more. Play with purpose, play with determination, with speed, with a desire to win not only for yourselves, but for the fans and more importantly for PRIDE.”

Editing may be required but it may make a difference. They need to know that even though the stands are empty, we care and support the team.

Eileen

December 20th, 2009
10:24 am

I listened to the post game radio show. Dan and Daren did not hold back on their concern for Kovy’s play and LEADERSHIP in the last 20 games. I was surprised. Again a “decent” holiday Saturday night crowd and no passion until the last few minutes. Danis, the NJ reliever, did not have to earn the relief win in goal. I also listened to the replay when I got home. Chico was very critical of the Thrashers, but it was honest. He really went off on Kovy. Basically saying a defensive liability is not worth top dollar.

whaler8888

December 20th, 2009
10:25 am

I think most all of us like to follow a team that has an attack personality. Quite frankly I would be bored with a “trap” team. That said, there has to be defensive responsibility and it has vanished in recent games but I don’t think the knock is Anderson’s system, he has proven throughout his coaching career that you can play exciting offensive oriented hockey and still win.

Kovy really seems to be in a funk and I guess there are three possible reasons:
1) He is a totally one dimensional player who cares more about stats than team
2) He is distracted by the contract status
3) He is still not near 100%

I am hopeing its a combination of 2&3. He has been, with the exception of the last few weeks, since being named captain a true leader. Saying the right things, very spirited on the ice regardless of who scored, standing up physically for teammates. The reason why I think he is not 100% is his offensive zone performance, he just isn’t looking sharp, making physical and mental errors. If it was just in the defensive zone than evidence would point more to reason number 1.

All of us have experienced “limbo” situations and if it has involved our health or job we no doubt have seen how distracted we can become, affecting us in all sorts of negative ways.I am not trying to excuse his performance but trying to understand it. I would love Kovy to say to the team “I am playing poorly and need to sit out a game or two”

One other observation, the team hasn’t had much practice time because of the heavy schedule. It is very hard to make adjustments without the repetition of practice, bad habits compound and do not get corrected. (ever try to fix your golf swing during a round)

I like this team, I like Anderson. Let’s look for a quick turn around.

billandjessie

December 20th, 2009
10:32 am

Rawhide — you hit the nail on the head. Very frustrating to watch last night. Watching Kovy was maddening! It took me half of the first period to realize he was actually on the ice. Of course I quickly learned he was when he made bad pass after bad pass. Really looked like he didn’t want to be out there last night. Certainly not what you would expect from your “leader”.

A27

December 20th, 2009
10:43 am

Rawdide I think I have the right words to describe this game…… PISS POOR!!!!!!!!!

HookyBob

December 20th, 2009
10:54 am

No doubt, the Thrashers, led by Kovy, laid a stinker last night. Of course the trap that the Devils play has probably led a lot of teams to lay stinkers. I can remember thinking last year when watching the Wild game,..”our guys just can’t seem to get going.” The common link that I’m driving at is the coach (and system played) by the opposition.

Anderson’s system relies heavily on the rush to score. An effective trap stop’s this in its tracks. The trap has been around for years,…does Coach have a plan B?

Still, it wasn’t just the Devils system,…how many times (aka..how many blog comments) have we wondered why the Thrashers aren’t able to start playing when the puck first drops? The Devils game had our “late start” and their “trap” as the makings of a perfect storm,..or should I say a perfect stinker. Only OP kept this one respectable.

“OP kept this respectable.” How many times have we noted that it was our goaltending that has kept us in games (even stole a couple of points)? When our defense does its job,..it isn’t as noticable as when they don’t. However, I can not recall ever thinking it was our D that won that game for us.

My 4th “de-ja vu all over again” comment has to do with Kovy’s effort. The most troubling part of this is that the pattern seems to have come on in the last several games. I wonder how closely his effort, or lack of it, correlates to high shots on goal?

Looking to the Habs game Monday evening,…what is it going to take to get 60 minutes of strong effort? As noted before (5th de-ja vu all over again.) we need Kovy to come out hard, fast, and ticked off.

De-ja vu….please tell me again the definition of insanity?

Sage of Bluesland

December 20th, 2009
10:56 am

Maybe when Coach Sunshine’s “system” is completely figured out, he will be shown the door? Maybe then the one incompetent constant in this franchise’s existence will also finally be shown the door?

Just when it’s darkest, where is one of Sara’s “reassuring” wittle spreadsheets to show us that Don has actually “outperformed” his counterparts and we weally should be thankful to have him as our organizational leader?

Sheep…Stop subsidizing the incompetence…

Jimbo

December 20th, 2009
11:28 am

With all the action in front of Poor O.P., Mike had a great line “Danis is down at the other end of the rink in the public skating area”
Strip KK of the “C” and give him an “O” for Ole. All he does is skate in circles and wave his cape at the puck and skaters as they whiz by. Send him off the Vancouver, Russia or somewhere else. He’s more than a defensive liability right now, he’s toxic.

Red Light

December 20th, 2009
11:42 am

Maybe the injury to Kovy got him and Grossman thinking about what will happen to his millions if he gets hurt again this season before the free agency bonanza begins next summer. Kovalchuk, like most of this era’s players, is a power-play guy, first and foremost. He has 10 g and 11 a since his return Nov. 12, and five of his goals have come on the PP. In fact, 113 of his 316 goals (36%), and 127 of his 277 (46%) helpers have come on the PP during his career. By contrast, Iginla’s percentages are 31% and 37%, Crosby 32% and 48%, Zetterberg 36% and 37%, and Ovechkin 35% and 46%. But, at even strength, particularly in the defensive half of the ice, he remains a liability unless motivated, thus he is not a complete player as illustrated perfectly by Chico’s comments last night, and not worth a maximum contract for whatever the term.

Now, he has improved as a teammate since his arrival, and occasionally demonstrates his captaincy, but in his world hockey is still all about Ilya. If he wants to win as badly as people have stated, then he’s still got a lot to learn. The best thing that could happen to him is for the Thrashers to trade him, and then watch him sit a few months during the summer while no one makes him a $10 million plus offer. Maybe then he’ll wake up and realize that like Resch said last night that being a captain isn’t just about scoring goals. My fear is that Waddell will wait too long to make a trade, thereby losing any momentum or strides the team has made.

Yes, they looked like crap last night, and should have lost 8-4 rather than 5-4, but I disagree that it’s the system or Anderson’s fault. It’s just one of 82 games, write it off and move on. But, for #17, it was another example of why he can’t be the leader, because he’s only concerned with his personal achievements and the money. He wants to be like Ovechkin — but isn’t — and never will be.

Riceowls

December 20th, 2009
11:44 am

How to describe last nite’s loss? Frustrating, sure. How about entertaining? With this team the game is never over.

But man, reading the comments you’d think this was a Carolina blog. The team currently stands in 6th, with games in hand against #5 and everybody chasing them. The team is in the top 10 in PK and PP. They are fourth in road wins. They are starting to win at home and have a favorable second half schedule. And they haven’t even played their best hockey yet.

Get a grip.

bartdunwoody

December 20th, 2009
12:07 pm

Suppose Anderson has been told to not be too critical of Kovy? We don’t want to upset him and ruin any chance to resign him.
Remember when Hartley used to bench Kovy for charging into the offensive zone and trying to go 1 on 2 or 3 and end up turning the puck over? How many times every game do we still see that move from Kovy?
It seems like the last Hossa year all over again. I think the lack of effort from Hossa poisoned the whole team and it seems to be starting again.

Red Light

December 20th, 2009
12:28 pm

While in 6th place, Riceowls, they are just four points ahead of the 10th place team and eight points ahead of the 14th place team in the East. We’re not talking juggernaut here!

Ashamed

December 20th, 2009
12:42 pm

I agree with [Red Light] in reference to [Riceowls] comments. No one here is saying Atlanta is a Carolina. However, at the beggining of the season the product on the ice was much better with much more grit and energy than what we have seem the past several weeks. The issue is not one game, several games over the course of several weeks. Atlanta will not be in six place long if they continue to play like this. Maybe not even ahead of Carolina.

Mr. Heat Miser

December 20th, 2009
1:20 pm

Defense wins championships. Coach needs to realize this.

Bob

December 20th, 2009
2:01 pm

Said it before and I’ll say it again. They cannot continue to give up so many shots night after night. We have been very lucky to win a lot of games so far where we were outshot, but over the long haul of the season, that will catch up to them, and is starting to catch up to them.

There is obviously something wrong with Kovy’s contract and it’s been reflected in his play for weeks now.

Dwayne

December 20th, 2009
2:11 pm

Kari’s build a bear fetched 1025.00 dollars. Thank you for your donation Stendec.

Smoothie

December 20th, 2009
2:11 pm

I have a word for it: PATHETIC!

How in the hell can a professional hockey team have so little heart and pride that they don’t come out with a concerted effort to limit the other team’s chances and play more as a cohesive unit?? Are they not aware of the fact they are 29th / 30th in shots allowed going into Thursday and Saturday nights’ games? Do they not realize goalies cannot continue to save 94-96% of shots when they are coming at a rate of .75 / minute??

JA’s system can work, but not if the parts on working together. Right now, there is very little cohesion between the defense and the forwards, unless we are talking about the Kane – CENTER – Army line. Kane and Army have been the only 2 players (perhaps Little) who have been consistent in their work ethic over the last 6-7 games. They seem to be the only ones who realize that they need to go below the circles occasionally when the D is in trouble to help get the puck out. In fact, Army seems to be the only one willing to go into the defensive zone corner to not only win a puck battle, but then effectively shuttle it to the center who then carries it out of the zone. Little and White try to do it, but they are rarely successful.

It really peeves me to see that when things are going their worst, JA reverts back to the lines we had before the trip to Fla, Tor and the Western Canadian frontier. How the hell is this going to solve anything? It may work at home against a weaker, finesse team like the Habs, but this will not work against the Devils, Pens, Flyers, Bruins etc. Little and White should be demoted to the third and fourth lines, respectively, until they can regain some confidence in scoring the puck. Make White play RW with Reasoner and Slater / Boults so he can be the “finesse” element on that line. Or just plain bench him until it’s time to bench Kovy for a few games.

Kovy – Antro – Thorbs

Kane – Pevs – Finny

Kozzy – Little – Army

Slates / Boults – Marty – White

Russian

December 20th, 2009
2:24 pm

Please Everybody! Do not say any words about Anderson System. THERE IS NO SYSTEM. He could not control the Team. He lost all of them. They are not responde for his stupid things. We played almost Half a Season and we are staying in PO spot, but we are going to Loose this spot very easy. IF:
1. Kovy situation will be clear soon. If contract should sign that do it now. Give him a correct date and amount. Ask him do you want it? NO. Thanks next step. Trade him and get a good player back.
2. FIRE COACH. yes, Please Do it now. Anderson has everything and I did not see a good result. Every game we played bad and bad until we will be out of play off.

World Be Free

December 20th, 2009
2:37 pm

Didn’t see the game, just watched the score on my Blackberry.

This situation all comes down to the contract, and why it has to be settle NOW. If you can’t sign the guy, get someting for him and move on before this ruins the season.

This team cannot protect a lead, period. Start covering someone in the defensive zone.

Monday night’s game will be the true test of what this team is made of. Guys don’t want to play, sit them and make the watch Thorburn give 100% on every shift.

Rawhide

December 20th, 2009
2:54 pm

C-Viv is reporting that the lines during this morning’s practice were…

Kovy – Antropov – Afinogenov
Kozzy – Pevs – Little
Kane – White – Army
Boulton – Slater/Reasoner – Thorns

I like the fact that Peverley is moved into that second-line center spot and that Max has rejoined Ilya and Nik…but I just gotta ask the question…why the hell is Todd White still even as much as a third-line center. He simply has to see the press box for a few games. True he has 2 assists in the most recent games, but they were secondary. In the last month, dating back to Nov. 22 OT loss to the Bolys, the only time he has had anything more than a secondary helper was on Reasoner’s empty-netter in Carolina.

White has not scored a goal in…get ready for this…25 straight games. That is more than 30% of the season.

Sit Todd White NOW!

Is he the sole…or even main…reason the team is playing inconsistently? But how much longer can Anderson wait for him to turn it around?

My lines would be…

Kovy – Antropov – Max
Kane – Peverley – Little
Kozlov – Reasoner – Army
Bolts – Slater – Thorns

Brendan

December 20th, 2009
3:12 pm

Well, I found Resch’s comment to be genuine and sincere. “Chico” Resch didn’t have his dog run over by Kovalchuk’s luxury automobile, and was now VENTING. I absolutely believe Resch was being sincere when he said things like, “Doc, it’s not just about passing and shooting. And scoring goals. That’s not what the Captain’s “C” is about. He’s got to set the standard, Doc. Look at Kovalchuk here. He gets his stick lifted, then doesn’t even get back defensively. And it results in a goal. That just CAN’T happen.” I do realize that comments like those may upset some folks. But, Resch is just calling it as he sees it. And his comments aren’t baseless. He’d go on to say that only COMPLETE players should be receiving the MAX contract. And then he capped off with this comment, “Doc, Kovalchuk might just NEED to be on another team, where he isn’t the TOP BANANA. So he can learn and grow. And become a complete player. (’Cuz I don’t see it happening in Atlanta).”

There was a regular poster here named Russ who would routinely post, “Yep, nobody develops talent like the Atlanta Thrashers.” If Kovy isn’t a complete player, and it’s HOW MANY YEARS since he was drafted, then why hasn’t it happened for him? If Bogosian is so terribly regressing, why is it happening? We can go on and on like that. But I certainly wouldn’t advocated trading Bogosian. He’s a lottery draft pick from 2008. It’s a little early to pull a “Coburn trade” with Bogosian. It might be a bit “late” to try it with Valabik (2004 draft pick), another fine, shining example of player development by the organization.

Okay, I don’t want to sound too negative today. Especially as I gaze at the standing and see Atlanta in playoff position. And then I gaze at the scoreboard and see a “one goal loss” to the #1 ranked team in the NHL. Do these things sound like a “Sky is Falling” situation? Yeah, I don’t think so either. Was it a pathetic way to lose a game? Sure. Was Kovy off? Yes. So was Brodeur, the greatest goalie of all-time. He laid an egg, too. He got a “no decision” for the game. Jan Danis got the win. Amazingly.

Regular poster Bob nailed it with his comments that this team gives us way too many shots on goal. And that we’ve been fortunate to have been saved by our high-end 3rd period goal production. But no team can go through a season, STEALING games in the 3rd period. That catches up with you. It’d catch up with anybody.

Months ago, maybe even YEARS ago, I posted that if/when Kovy leaves, there’ll be people who rush to Waddell’s defense that the MONEY he got in FREE AGENCY was too much/excessive. Add Glenn “Chico” Resch to that list of people who just don’t see Kovalchuk as worth that kind of money. I understand the reasons why Kovy might want to leave. And I certainly understand why he wants to get handsomely paid. Folks, if he stays, at the salary he wants, it’s gonna be tough for the Thrashers to build a team DEEP enough to challenge for the Cup. This might, honestly, be a situation that is untenable for them, financially, moving forward. If Kovy would just agree to $8 million-ish, I think they’d have some chance at building a more substantial team around him. If not, it’s more lottery draft finishes and capped rookie year contracts.

If Kovy leaves, Atlanta has a lot of other options, in terms of strategies. They could try to roll four lines of 20 goal scorers, with youth and grit, as added features.

Cornbread

December 20th, 2009
3:46 pm

The Thrashers poor defensive play has been evident since the beginning of the season. Many of us have been screaming that this needs to be addressed or they will not be playing in the Spring. Last night was painful evidence that not only has the team not improved in their own end it has gotten worse. Much worse!

Teams have figured out that all you have to do is leave the third man high in the Thrashers end and forecheck the Hell out of them on the half wall with that man and a pinching D and you will keep them penned in all night long. The forwards are too spread out to support one another and the Captain is usually floating around not covering his point or breaking to the center line while the puck is still being pressured in the zone.

The last game the Thrash played where they actually looked like a competent hockey team was the 2-0 win against the Wings on 11/25. They are 6-4 in the month of December and it took overtime to get those 4 wins. They gave points to there opponents in all 10 of those games. Another way to look at it, out of the 20 possible points they could have earned they got 8 while giving there opponents 16. That is un-good. The last regulation win came 11 games ago. This is a team in trouble. I said the change starts with the Captain and him leading by example. As Kovy goes, so go the Thrashers. His “most irresponsible defensive zone player in the NHL” title is proof of what is going on. It is time to sit him for a game. If he does not respond strip his “C”. If he continues to pull a Marianne Hossa ship him out BEFORE the Olympics. When he came back from his injury there was an argument that could be made that he was one of the top ten in the league. In all seriousness, he is not even in the top 50 right now.

The word to describe the Thrashers is “insanity”. They keep doing the same thing expecting different results.

Tim

December 20th, 2009
4:05 pm

If you think Hockey in Atlanta will survive w/o Kovalchuk, go the message boards and sign my petition w/ a “bump”.

http://fans.thrashers.nhl.com/forums/67

I don’t want mgmt to sign him to a huge deal just because they think they’ll lose the fan base.

Red Light

December 20th, 2009
4:54 pm

Brendan: Personally I think Resch’s comments are a bit of fresh air since few ever call anyone out in the Atlanta, particularly Kamal, Elliott, et al. Spoke with an ex-NHL defenseman at the Stars game and we discussed how some Atlanta fans don’t know the difference between good play and bad play because the talking heads rarely point these type of things out. Now, I’m not saying that about this board because I know many of you know hockey, but comments like Chico made last night were long overdue. Captains have to play in all three zones every night. Players wishing for $10 million per year have to play in all three zones every night. Thrashers fans who want management to pay that kind of money for anything less to “save hockey in Atlanta” are shortsighted, which of course many of us have pointed out about the GM since day one. He’s getting close to being backed in a corner again, for the umpteenth time, so it’s time to make a move now or have Grossman make room on his private jet for Kovy and DW as they leave town together. That’s the best scenario!

Cornbread

December 20th, 2009
5:03 pm

Another insane stat for the Thrashers in the month of December. GAA = 3.6, GFA = 2.8, a complete reversal of where they were in October and November.

Cornbread

December 20th, 2009
5:11 pm

“Get Up Kovy!”

Thrashers27

December 20th, 2009
5:14 pm

Yep, White’s gotta go! I like the lines as you have them, Bill.

Kovy, get your head out of your %*# and play hockey. If you’re gonna sign, then sign immediately. If not, I hope you’ll be decent and work with DW on a sign and trade.

Tom

December 20th, 2009
5:46 pm

I was thinking about Kolvalchuk and had an insight.

He sees the player as his peer in Ovechkin. When he looks in the mirror that is his comparison and he probably wants a better contract. Boys will be boys and all that.

But when we compare their games, Ovechkin wins in every regard.

And then lets look at the players recently. Ovechkin is suspended for playing to hard. The discussion is will he hold up because of the hits he throws.

Meanwhile all we see from Kolvalchuk is a player going through the motions. No intensity, no passion, and no defense. The only time he is moving hard is when he has the puck on his stick.

The more I think about it, how can we reasonably think of cutting a 10 million dollar a year check for this lack of full rink effort.

LAC

December 20th, 2009
7:01 pm

Well what Great comments, ALL us bloggers ARE on the Same page concerning this rotten play of last night…

Resch was right on the money, something darren is too afraid to say, but should, to chase a Hall of Fame Goalie then get beat, NO EXCUSE.

Kovy, maybe $4-5 million a year, but NO more, you do not deserve it and you sure as hell have not earned it. How long have you been here ?
You are NOT a complete player, you do not hustle, you give up along the boards, your passes are lame at best and you NEVER hit anyone.
You are not that good and we the FANS deserve better, give up the C,
advise everyone you do not plan on signing here and let’s hope the DUMBEST GM in pro sports gets enough in return.

Now, others on the GET OUT OF TOWN list, todd white, done NOTHING at all this season period, bryan little, I still cannot believe he scored 31 last season, lucky to get ten this year, zach B, flash in the pan, now team creampuff leader, not hit, no defense no nothing, enstron, bad defenseman, always beat by bigger players, cannot clear the front of the net and out of position most of the time.

Like others said, DEFENSE wins championships… NJ’s style may not be the most interesting, BUT… They are Number #1 overall in the NHL.

I am now convinced John Anderson knows NOTHING about defense period.
We are helter skelter out there, running all over the place, NO defensive plan, and ron hainsey needs to do more ON THE ICE, and less in the paper !

Lastly Evander Kane, where is he ? He is invisable out there, never shoots the puck, never makes good plays and never gets in position for goals. I say send him back to WHL ASAP.

I still cannot believe the game last night, worst I have seen in a LOOOOONG time ! Terrible.

I am afraid we have started our out of control downward sprial
that will, yet again, lead us to the BOTTOM of the NHL, and we deserve it, other teams don’t quit… ATLANTA does.

Alan R.

December 20th, 2009
7:06 pm

Lastly Evander Kane, where is he ? He is invisable out there, never shoots the puck, never makes good plays and never gets in position for goals. I say send him back to WHL ASAP.

a. White is his center. ‘Nuff said.
2. Kane can’t be sent to the WHL. He’s played more than 10 games in the NHL, and is thus ineligible for WHL (games played) or AHL (age),

Not Blind

December 20th, 2009
7:11 pm

The most frustrating thing is that in a game where they could easily have been blown out the fact is that they only lost by one point. If the whole team played hard for 60 mins [ forechecking, backchecking, going to the net and HITTING ] they could be one of the top teams in the league.

What would happen if the goalies started calling out [ in the media ] the players playing in front of them ?

Miami Screaming Eagle

December 20th, 2009
7:45 pm

The blog looks more like Vivlamore’s did on Friday. To be frank, everybody is pissed off for good reasons.

This will continue, as long as Kovy’s contract situation is unresolved. The contract is the center of all this garbage and it will continue until he’s resigned or traded. The captain is the center of the disruption (captain=leader), so much so that interested teams may shy away from trading for him or at least giving up full value for a player of Kovy’s abilities, when he doesn’t have his head up his shorts.

Ya’ll can rant as much as you want, but this situation has to be resolved in the Thrashers are going to get to the playoffs, with or without Kovy.

World Be Free

December 20th, 2009
8:05 pm

I see everyone likes Chico-

Now you see the reasons why the guy has been on television for 20+ seasons. He knows his stuff.

Jimbo

December 20th, 2009
9:56 pm

Brendan, Red Light, Cornbread- great to see posts by people who know hockey and provide a thoughtful analysis of recent Thrash play. I have to believe that JA is under orders from DW not to come down hard on Kovy during the negotiating dance. All Kovy’s indifferent play is doing is to raise questions here and for anyone who might deal for him if DW doesn’t sign him. He’s simply shooting himself in the foot. With all of the Kovy bashing, the spectacular play of Pavelec goes almost unnoticed. The kid is something else and will be a great NHL netminder. Too bad he’s being forced to face the a Blitzkreig every night. But, it’s going to make him even better. Chico mentioned it in the first quarter last night “the guy who deserves $10 mil a year is Pavelec”. While I too am not a favor of the “trap”, a more balanced, lower scoring team with some grit is far less frustrating than the current edition.

LAC

December 20th, 2009
10:11 pm

You may be correct Alan, todd white is a COMPLETE BUST.

Why is he NOT sitting ? That is my question, but this defense
collapse has to be corrected, maybe it IS time to bring in Chris Chelos,
He knows how to play DEFENSE ?!