Yet another one-goal loss extends Thrashers losing streak

For the second straight game, the Atlanta Thrashers failed to capitalize on scoring the first goal of the night and dropped yet another one-goal game. This time it was 3-2 to the Devils in New Jersey.

On this night, however, the Thrashers were not grossly outshot…in fact, both teams took 26 shots each on goal. Johan Hedberg turned away 23 while Martin Brodeur saved 24.

Zach Parise score the Devils first goal as...in what is becoming avery common occurrence...Ron Hainsey trails behind the play (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Zach Parise scores the Devils first goal as...in what is becoming a very common occurrence...Ron Hainsey trails behind the play (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

The losing streak for the Thrashers now stands at five straight, three consecutive in regulation. They are 1-5-1 in the last seven games and 4-9-1 in the month of December with one left to play.

Atlanta is also 2-8-0 in their last ten road games. Both of those wins were of the shootout variety.

Five of the last six losses have been by one-goal margins. The lone exception was last week’s 6-4 loss in Boston…and then the two-goal difference came by way of an empty-netter at the end.

Scoring for Atlanta Monday night…Ilya Kovalchuk, his 23rd, and Marty Reasoner, who has scored in two straight games. It was Marty’s fourth goal so far this season.

Kovy has scored in four straight and in his last ten he’s netted 7 goals, 8 assists and is a +2. He’s also a +5 in the last five games.

Atlanta has now gone seven straight games in which they have surrendered at least three goals. The last time they allowed the opposition less than three…December 14 when Johan Hedberg was in goal and they beat the Rangers 3-2 in a shootout.

The time before that, it was a 2-1 shootout win in Florida back on December 5. Moose was in goal that night as well, as he was on November 28 when he shutout the Flyers.

Have you seen me? Going 29 straight games without a goal puts Todd White on the milk carton

Have you seen me? Going 29 straight games without a goal puts Todd White on the milk carton

The last time Ondrej Pavelec started and gave up fewer than three goals…the night before Thanksgiving when he laid a goose egg in Detroit. Since then, the only time he gave up less than four goal in a start was on December 3 when he allowed three versus the Islanders and last week when he gave up three in Boston. But as you’ll recall, he was pulled halfway through the first period after giving up three on eight Bruins’ shots.

The only game he’s started and won in the month of December was a 6-5 overtime win against Dallas.

Atlanta has allowed a total of 121 goals in 38 games played this season. 56 were surrendered in the first 19 games…65 in the last 19 games.

The Thrashers have now gone one a full month since their last regulation win. That was a 4-3 victory at home against the Panthers back on November 30 when Maxim Afinogenov score the game-winner with 5.5 seconds left in the third period.

You have to go back to the 27th of November to find Atlanta’s last road win in regulation time. That was the 6-4 game in Carolina in which they scored 5 third period goals to overcome a 4-1 deficit after two.

Todd White's over under

  • He'll score on or before Jan. 23, 2010 (28%, 13 Votes)
  • He's not lighting the lamp until after Jan. 23, 2010 (72%, 34 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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Todd White’s goal-less streak now stands at an amazing 29 games…or 35.3% of the season. If he does not break the drought in Boston Wednesday, he’ll have drawn an OH-fer for November and December. Monday night he had no points on zero shots and was a –1. In the last sixteen games, White has 4 assists on 18 shots and is a –3.

Given that…it’s now time to start an “over/under” contest to predict how long it will take White to score next. I’m setting the date to be January 23…yes, of 2010… when the Thrashers play in Tampa Bay. If you think he’ll score in that game or any game prior, pick the “under”…if you predict his slump will continue past that game, pick the “over”.

Me…I’m going with the “over”…partly because I think John Anderson is going to be forced to sit him for a few games and so he’ll lose some time then.

64 comments Add your comment

BG33Brown

December 28th, 2009
10:59 pm

BG33Brown

December 28th, 2009
11:03 pm

I going under on Todd White. For some reason (well b/c Anderson has coached him before) he isn’t going to bench him.

Secondly, I thought we played a very good game (except for the turnovers on the 1st 2 goals) BUT…..we have just played probably the worst month of hockey you could ever play and we are still right in the thick of it. Is it true that we have squandered several opportunities, of course. Could we collaspe and drift farther into the abyss. But if you told me that coming up on half way through the season, we would be tied for 8th, I’d have taken that.

stendec

December 28th, 2009
11:04 pm

Hope you and yours had a truly great Christmas Bill. Nothing new to add so…The losing streak lives on! Damn heartless Yardbirds stunk up New Jersey which is almost impossible to do considering the suffocating stench in that Yankee state already. Another mail in job by losers. Moose looking more like untalented Finn Kari Lehtonen every time he takes to the ice. Kapitan Ilya Kovalchuk has packed it in for remainder of season. Ship his sorry uncaring Maryann Hossa a$$ to whichever deluded team that still thinks the Russian is worth a damn. Totally embarrassing debacle in a long series of gag giveup jobs. Glad Coach John Petrino no score system has been ingrained so well into these clueless quitters. Close up Loseland. This season is finished. No playoffs. No more highlights. No more hope. Sure am happy that all damn apologists are happy. Ship the untalented bestards to Hamilton. Hell, anywhere but Atlanta. The sooner the damn better. To Hell with all of them. ++STENDEC++

stendec

December 28th, 2009
11:07 pm

Appears another apologist has surfaced! Sheesh. Yardbirds are on downward spiral. Heartless play reason. No apologist drivel can change that fact. Idiots! ++STENDEC++

sisu

December 28th, 2009
11:16 pm

biggest issue right now is goal tenders, both are struggling which is no surprise with Moose since he is a career back up who has had to play way too much! Nice to see video of Kari on the ice.

Smoothie

December 28th, 2009
11:41 pm

Yeah, shots have been down on avg in the month of Dec to around 32 per gm compared to Oct and Nov when we were up closer to 35 shots allowed per gm. Problem is, our team SV percentage has gone from .924 in those first two months to .890 or so in December. And its a combo plate of fatigued / bad goaltending and less than acceptable defense as a team.

HonkyTonkHero

December 29th, 2009
12:08 am

Kovy isn’t the problem….even with the cloud of uncertainty hanging over his head he still scores. His leadership qualities may be suffering but then again we have 10 alternate captains to make up for that. The guys are lacking confidence…yes they don’t quit when behind but they don’t go into the games expecting to win…at least it doesn’t look like it to me. They don’t believe they are an elite team worthy of being in the top 8 in the conference. I don’t blame them…its very rare that the Thrashers logo is sitting in that grouping.

As for White…bench him and bring in Crabb…I miss that guy. I know for a fact the Thrashers have been trying to trade him…he is not wanted.

Strip Kovy of his “C” and give it to Thorburn…a man who shows up to every game and will kick your ass (or at least try) if you don’t get in line. Kovy needs to just be Kovy…I think you need a leader and a well rounded player as captain…he is neither.

Rawhide

December 29th, 2009
12:59 am

Building upon the “Todd White Over/Under” predictions…regardless of which way to go with that pick, try to forcast the game/date he’ll score his next goal.

I’ll go with…hmmmm, say…January 30 in Nashville, just missing three straight OH-fer months.

HonkyTonkHero

December 29th, 2009
1:12 am

White’s first point will come on Tue Jan 12th vs his old team the Senators. Something about playing the old team increases your chances for scoring. One can only hope this is the case for Todd “Milk Carton” White.

LAC

December 29th, 2009
3:04 am

I simply cannot figure this… When other teams in mid-season, Pittsburgh last year, Washington a couple years, going bad, make CHANGES, and get MUCH better. Why can that novel idea NOT work here ?

Why can players like tood white continue to suck in the cash and do not one darn thing on the ice ? Remember this was a “great” signing by The Career Loser himself Stupid don waddell… and just think folks, he is signed for another year OH BOY !

Where are these IDIOT CLOWN owners, why can The Man With NO Brain not do something ? Just what in the hell are these owners afraid of, change IS GOOD, and if any NHL team needs changes on and OFF the ice it is Atlanta and NOW.

We will have a 9 game losing streak when we return home 1/7, watch as we finish at the Bottom of the Eastern confrence yet again !

Proving we ARE the WORST NHL team of the decade and until the very least waddell, who has proven NOTHING in 10+ years is GONE, is FIRED or Worse, we will never be good.

Plus I have seen enough of anderson’s system, failed one.

We need to model after the way NJ plays, then we might start to recover.

Sit or tade this zach and little ASAP, waive white and sit enstrom, PLEASE !!!!

NorthStarsDave

December 29th, 2009
6:33 am

There is only one day that White will ever score again….February 14th….

Russian

December 29th, 2009
8:08 am

I hope for next game against Boston one of them players will sit in press box. White or Slava should sit. Both players did not show up. May be they are old or not interesting, but they are not playing hockey.
Anderson should make a lines for Boston game:
Kovy-Antro-Maks
Little-Pever-Kane (this line played once and they played well. Little and Kane are crushing net every time)
Slava-Rizon-Armi (White sit)
Bolts-Slater-Trambon
or
Slater-White-Armi (Slava sit)
Bolts-Rizon-Trambon

PP unit is suck. We lose our PP energy from begining of the season. First PP unit should be:
Antro-Pever-Maks Kovy-Tobi
Little-Slater(he is good on Face Off)-Kane Kovy-Pasha

I hope it works. Anderson must fix his “SYSTEM” or his “SYSTEM” fix him very soon.

five_hole

December 29th, 2009
8:39 am

I’m gonna be an optimist and pick Jan 2, against the Islanders. ‘Course, I’m also waiting for Heather Graham to return my calls (Heather, I’m still waiting . . . . call me).

I’d like to ask the people of the blog to all start calling the Thrashers phone during the next game, so they could finally take that “Steal of the Game” promotion off. Please, can we get 10 people to call them?

Agree with Russian that we need to change our PP. Why not play Bogosian on the point? Why not give Kane some love on the PP? Why not skate with the puck, and force their defense to move? Why not drive to the net?

Jimbo

December 29th, 2009
9:11 am

One goal losses are simply not acceptable. They are not respectable. They are losses by a team that needs some spark. While Kovy scores, he is not providing the spark. I agree with a few who are calling for some changes to shake things up.
1. Sit White.
2. Call up Kulda- send Bogosian down to the Wolves to get his attention. He is way off his game.
3. Put Schubert on a wing paired with Armstrong and Slates. Boulton/Thorburn ain’t providin nuthin.
4. Re-unite Pevs/Little/Kovy line.
Time to shake things up a little bit.

Brendan

December 29th, 2009
9:14 am

I’ll go with UNDER on White. The”law of averages” says he’s due. All he has to do is park himself in front of the net and maybe Kozlov or Armstrong will shoot it in off his skate. Or, maybe, the other team will shoot it in their own net, and White will have been the LAST Thrashers to touch it. Your contest doesn’t say HOW White has to score. Just THAT he score. “Law of averages” says he’ll pot one soon, somehow … some way. I’m going with the empty-netter. Of course, that presupposes this team can win a game in regulation time.

Bad teams, generally-speaking, can beat a team even the caliber of the Red Wings, in October. But come March or April, they have no shot. Are we that that type of team? Did we “take advantage” of those better than we EARLY ON, but now, the season has caught up to us? Or, is this something.

And if you’re voting for “This is something more, fire Anderson!” Heaven helps us if Waddell doesn’t accompany him, for Waddell would then be in charge of hiring a 4th coach during his reign over the Thrashers. Would Dudley Coach? Would Waddell? And if they go 11-4-1 in the next 15 games, if history is our guide, it means Waddell & Co. get another TWO YEARS added to their contracts.

Who’s in charge of oversight of this team? The owners appointed Waddell. Okay, they inherited Waddell. But the GM has oversight. If there’s a problem in the dressing room, it should be addressed. Maybe, it’s just a slump. Every team has them. But this team cannot afford to have any prolonged slumps and still think about the playoffs. It’s surprising that New Year’s Day is nearly upon us, and Kovalchuk remains un-signed. My panic date is January 24, 2010.

Maybe that’s our next contest? Which happens first, (1) Todd White scores a goal or (2) Captain Kovalchuk gets re-inked?

Bob

December 29th, 2009
9:33 am

Those early season wins were fluky, and now it’s all catching up to them. The more I see Anderson’s system, the less I like it. Dmen are constantly jumping up in the play and it leaves us way too exposed to the counter, the Devils were feasting on us last night and made it look easy.

Sorry kids, this is not a competitive club in the long run, no hope here of a playoff series win, if they do eek in, as they are much too weak defensively.

This losing streak pretty much falls into line with the rumors of when Kovy’s contract really proved to be a problem, but nah, no effect on the club from it, eh?

Matt

December 29th, 2009
9:58 am

“The Song Remains the Same”
“Same Old Song and Dance”
Does anyone else feel like we’re in the NHL version of “Groundhog Day”?
It’s the same thing over and over, game after game.

rightshot

December 29th, 2009
10:12 am

This is why I just went to the Jeff Dunham concert last night.

Hotrod

December 29th, 2009
10:25 am

Uff-Da-Mega!

I can’t write anymore. I already said it over the past several years of posting. Its now just a scratched broken record stuck on the same note playing over and over again – “fire coach,fire GM,resign the best player,one goal loss. – fire coach, fire GM , resign the best player, one goal loss. – fire coach, fire GM , resign the best player, one goal loss” etc. etc. etc. and on and on and on and on every single day of every single season for 10 freaking years.

As a fan of Atl hockey, going back as far as remembering when my parents use to bring me home the plastic hockey stick drink stirers they would get at the Flames games in the Omni in the 70’s, its going to take a good 7-2-1 run for me to even give a flying crap anymore. Then, just maybe, I will come back and wade in the river of lava flowing from Mt. Stendec.

Paminski

December 29th, 2009
10:28 am

grumble grumble grumble

mr. mike

December 29th, 2009
10:31 am

Russian; excellent call on the line “shake-ups”.
Brendan; insightful as always; but my panic date is a lot sooner than 1-24-10. Teams that see a need for help are already moving(note Caps-Blue Jackets trade). I have tons of hockey buds in Philly; word there is that due to alleged affair between Carter & Hartnell’s wife; their clubhouse is a disaster; they’re looking to move Carter(maybe the basis of last weeks rumored Carter-Giroux-Parent deal for Kovy?). I’m fearful that if we wait to move Kovy(cause I see zero chance he will re-sign); that any good trade opportunities will once again pass by Waddell & we’ll get hosed with another Hossa-Dupuis for Armstrong-”Crusher”(ha-ha) deal. In other words; since Kovy won’t re-sign; let’s get him traded ASAP!

Jeff

December 29th, 2009
10:46 am

OK….now that college football season is over and the Falcons are about finished, ATL sports fans are now ready for some hockey! We have been hearing a bit that the team was pretty good this season, so let’s check the AJC and see where they stand. Oh….um….jeez….. sohen does Braves spring training begin??

Smoothie

December 29th, 2009
11:12 am

If we could get Carter – Giroux – Parent for Kovy, I’d do it in a New York minute. Screw their goaltending needs if they are that desperate for Kovy. However, we might as well throw in White since they will need some additional depth at Center.

Kane – Carter – Max

Kozzy – Pevs – Army

Slates – Giroux – Little

Boults – Reasy – Thorbs

Kubes & Toby / Hainsey & Parent / Bogey & Schubes

Russian

December 29th, 2009
11:31 am

I do not like the Idea to deal with Philli. I will explaine why?
Carter is $5.5 and he will be RFA after two years. We will get him only for two years.
Giroux is not expencive, but it is a same two years deal. He is another center and he is not big (5′11″)
Parent is young Def and we have lot of prospect in Chicago.

Russian

December 29th, 2009
11:37 am

Also Kovy has 40 points now, Carter got only 30. If Don think to trade Kovy, he has to keep him until Deadline (March 3) and make him score more goals. Don has to trade him to West Team. I could not see Kovy come to Atlanta often. I will cry every time. :-(

stendec

December 29th, 2009
11:42 am

Georgia Bulldogs won. Atlanta Falcons won. Even Atlanta Hawks won. Guess who did not win? GOOD GUESS! ++STENDEC++ Not just losers but quitters which is far, far worse! Hamilton Quails has a nice ring to it. Make it a reality!

Jimbo

December 29th, 2009
11:46 am

Bob- couldn’t agree molre. The Anderson System is flawed and others have discovered how to capitalize on our D-men getting caught in the offensive end or pinched on the boards. Chico Resch pointed out in a Devils-Thrash game a week ago that it has no fallback defensive approach to it. Looks like we’re doomed to a “ground hog day scenario” of one goal losses with an occasional 6-5 shootout win.

Smoothie

December 29th, 2009
11:49 am

But Russian, we would own their rights as they are all RFA and at the very worse, we’d get them until they were 26 / 27. Looks like Carter would probably opt for a 1 yr RFA extenstion unless he really liked it in ATL and the other two are very young so we’d have them for 4-5 years. I’d say that’s better than losing Kovy for nothing or missing the playoffs, which is becoming more and more of a reality than just a possibility. You can see the particulars at http://www.nhlnumbers.com.

Vitamin Z

December 29th, 2009
12:31 pm

Russian, you also have to remember that +/- also plays a role. Read Falconer’s blog on this. I’m not saying Carter would be a better fit/player here nor would I want to lose Kovy, but points alone don’t tell the whole story.

http://www.birdwatchersanonymous.com/2009/12/22/1211054/pick-one-30-goal-scoring-plus

Russian

December 29th, 2009
12:54 pm

I am not saying that Carter plus Company will be bad deal for us. My point is that Don should see other teams. I just read Eklund about LA King and Atlanta scouts were in that game.

Smoothie

December 29th, 2009
1:01 pm

I’d be fine dealing with any of the following teams: LAK, CHI, PHIL, EDM (either Gagner or Cogliano with Moreau or O’Sullivan), and perhaps BOS if Wheeler is involved.

At any rate, none of that matters unless we shore up our special teams. Russian is right…it is time to do a serious shake-up and ruffle some feathers of our venerable, wind-sucking vets. To wit:

Considering we have lost all 5 games during the slide by essentially 1 goal, the PK ineffectiveness has definitely been the primary factor along with just overall poor team defense. Kill those 13 penalties at our previous clip of 85% and that’s only 2 goals allowed on the PP. That’s a difference of 5 goals and perhaps we get points in all games or even win a couple by taking care of business on the special teams.

Now that the NHL has figured out our 5 v 5 deficiencies and how to exploit them AND our penalty kill, we need a quick elixir fast! How about some fresh legs for the penalty kill?? Bench White and Kozzie and bring up Crabb and Stapleton or Sterling. Move Kane to Kozzie’s spot on the PP and let Crabb replace Army on the PK. Use Reasy / Thorbs, Pevs / Crabb, Reasy / Kane and Slater / Pevs (sparingly cuz Pevs is wearing down I think). Roll out some different lines and hit the hell out of EVERYTHING THAT MOVES!!

Kovy – Antro – Little

Kane – Pevs – Mad Max

Staple / Sterling – Reasy – Army

Greek Gods

Bench Bogosian for Kulda and Salmela for a few games too as it can’t get any worse. Bogey needs some time to reflect on things and realize he’s counted on to clear the crease in addition to his offense from the point…but that is SECONDARY!

The Charmin Song (Second Verse)

December 29th, 2009
1:11 pm

(To the Cadence of Are You Happy and You Know It)

If you get knocked off the puck,
You’re Todd White

If you can’t score a goal,
You’re Todd White

If you suck and you know it,
and every shift you show it,

If you’re hosing up the roster,
You’re Todd White

stendec

December 29th, 2009
1:32 pm

Happy New Year friend Bill, Falcon Tony Gonzalez and Thrasher Moose Hedberg. Hope it is healthy and prosperous for all of you.

I can do more than rant. For whatever the Hell it is worth! I have been fan of professional sports teams in Georgia all my 50 plus years. Sick to death of uncaring, overpaid, prima donna, crybaby, heartless and unloyal quitters. Parades of them have gone through Hawk, Falcon, Brave and Thrasher organizations. Loved Atlanta Knights. Respected Atlanta Chiefs. Still idolize Atlanta, yes, Atlanta, Flames. Want to save Yardbirds? These steps must be taken:

1 – Sale squad to buyer or investment group which is serious about building Stanley Cup champion. Relocation mandatory. Hamilton or some other market which will draw more than 2,500 per game. This step will not be taken. Needs to. Oh well. Onward.

2 – Fire General Manager Don Waddell immediately. This is an absolute necessity. Failure should never be rewarded! Better off without GM.

3 – Obtain the best trade possible for Ilya Kovalchuk. The team captain puts forth only limited effort when the mood strikes him. Reason his scoring is passable is due to constant feeds from teammates. Russian gets passing marks for scoring. Maryann Hossa clone complete waste in defense, leadership, hustle and ice sense.

3a – Teams with one star which can be easily defensed are easy marks. My beloved Flames won a Stanley Cup without one legitimate star outside of perhaps goaltender Mike Vernon. Would much rather have three players with 20 plus goals than one egotistical puck hoarder with 50. Think about it. Drives defenses berzerk!

4 – Secure tough minded goaltender. Guy should be hard as nails. He should take losses personally and play out of his mind. Goalie should hate damn losing as much as I do. A few broken hockey sticks or unkind words to lazy defensemen would not be out of line. No Yardbird netminder is tough mentally or physically. This is an absolute necessity.

5 – Sit players who coast. Even if it gets to point where only minimum number of players are on bench. Lackluster uneffort should never be accepted or tolerate. Under any circumstances. No player should be above benching. True athletes want to compete. Slackers do not give a damn.

6 – Allow no score system of Coach John Petrino a little more time. If players are not smart enough to perform system or refuse to do so then coach must go. No discipline on this team at all. Coach lost control long ago. Champions finds ways to JUST win. Quitters find ways to JUST lose. How many single goal losses? I rest my case!

Will Yardbirds reach playoffs? No! Will team make strong showing? Perhaps. More morale victories for apologists to savor. More heartache for true suffering fans. More money in bank for uncaring losers. Who said crime does not pay?

Rants will resume soon.

++STENDEC++

Matt

December 29th, 2009
1:57 pm

The Charmin Song-classic, absolutely classic! Now you just need the Nasty Nest at Philips to start singing it as well.

Brendan

December 29th, 2009
2:02 pm

I agree with Bob. Even if this team does finagle its way into the postseason dance, they’re not going anywhere, as presently coached and assembled.

stendec

December 29th, 2009
2:18 pm

Ilya Kovalchuk statistics are misleading. Russian is not one of premiere players in world, NHL or even metrpolitan Atlanta! His long term contract demands are totally outrageous. Especially coming from a professed team captain who skates at third speed the majority of the time. Maryann Hossa clone bestard! Pay jerk what he is worth. Around $500 per game plus all the concessions his stomach can hold. Reward Kari Lehtonen when he returns. Slip him $200 per start plus a bag of marshmallows. Fair IS fair! ++STENDEC++

Alan R.

December 29th, 2009
2:30 pm

Hey everyone, remember that Mathieu Schneider guy? Yeah? Well, he just got waived today.

Russian

December 29th, 2009
2:32 pm

Russian

December 29th, 2009
2:33 pm

I hope we will not take Mathieu. He needs to take a rest.

Matt

December 29th, 2009
3:05 pm

Oh Yeah, let’s trade for Steve McCarthy again and bring back Schneid. Why not suck with familiar faces? That will be sure to make Kovy sign.

Cornbread

December 29th, 2009
3:52 pm

The problem with Anderson’s system is not when the Thrashers are in the opposite end of the ice on the attack, although that has not been looking very good lately, it is when they are in their own end and going through the neutral zone. Play in their own end and failure to make a clean break-out has been the problem all year.

Last night I thought the Thrashers looked pretty good for the most part even the break-out and going through the Devil’s clogged-up neutral zone. BUT, all 3 of NJ goals were a direct result of the Thrashers inability to get the puck out of their end.

Shubert’s crushing hit at the blue line should have been a momentum changer for the Thrash. Instead, the puck took a lucky NJ bounce into the Thrasher’s end. Kane was right there during the hit and instead of following the puck into the zone, he pulled a Kapitan Kovalchuk and skated away from it and parked his butt at the wall on the red line. A mad scramble ensued and White makes a half hearted clearing attempt to get the puck to Kane. This was while the NJ player was still on his knees picking himself off the ice and made a great play to intercept the pass. Momentum swings in NJ direction on the turnover and goal that soon followed by a streaking Parise. That turnover and goal never happen if Kane goes back in his zone in support of Defense and the breakout instead of putting the opponent in between himself and the puck.

The next goal was also caused by a turnover when Little could not clear the puck along the wall high in their zone. Yes he was pressured hard but this is exactly what teams have figured out against the Thrash, keep the strong side D-man in and pressure the puck carrier along the half wall with the high third man. The turnover and screened shot that got through the flamingo Enstrom should never have gotten on net. Where was the left wing in support? Pulling a Kovalchuk out in the neutral zone? The Thrashers are spread too thin!

The NJ PP goal was scored on the rush. This in itself was a breakdown of the defence when they failed to pick-up the wide man and the cross ice feed that led to the one timer goal. I do not know where Kubina was on this play but saw him come in the slot late, Shubert had his man in the high slot. Still, the goal scorer should have been picked-up by one of the wings. I believe it was Peverly who was also skating down the high slot. That is three Thrashers skating in the slot. They are already a man down. Essentially they gave the Devils a 5 on 3 when they got out of position so badly. BUT, what led to this PP goal was the Thrashers inability to clear the zone and a turnover along the half wall. This got the team scrambling and Valabik got a holding the stick call down low. Clear the puck on a clean break-out and this goal never happens.

There may be a problem with Anderson’s system but it has been there all year. I don’t see that big of a problem with the D jumping into the rush only when all three forwards are too low or fail to cover for a pinching D-man does it ever bite them. Lately they don’t seem to be jumping into the play as much anyway, they certainly are not scoring like they did early on. The problem has always been support in their zone and making a clean break-out and getting through the neutral zone without turnovers. It is what leads to so many shots against and why they are in their current losing skid and December funk. It has looked better in the past few games, even last night, but it still is what led to the loss.

This needs to be addressed. Other teams have tightened-up and the Thrashers have not. Many of us have been screaming since the beginning of the season that if they don’t we will see the results we are now witnessing. There is still time. The talent is there but I’m not sure the mind-set is. Sometimes when a team is so loaded with offensively skilled guys like the Thrashers are they don’t think or see the game the same way a solid two-way player or D-man does. Kovalchuk is a prime example. If the team is not going to play a more responsible game in their own end and do a better job of executing the system the only way to change that is through trades. Or, fire the coach and bring in a more defensive system oriented guy and hand him a team of offensive minded guys. What would you do?

Alan R.

December 29th, 2009
3:56 pm

Russian, I do’nt know if any team is going to pick him up. If not, he may just retire. It’d be interesting to see if Atlanta brings him in as a coach. Who knows, we might actually get somewhere with team defense if he were here as an assistant coach.

Smoothie

December 29th, 2009
4:02 pm

Cornbread – great post and so very true. On the PP goal, Army got too aggressive ragging the puck on the forecheck, fell down behind the net and was very late getting back. But that still doesn’t explain why the weakside help wasn’t there or why one of the D-men (Kubina especially) wasn’t there to block the cross-ice pass. Force him to shoot from a bad angle or reset the PP umbrella. Stupid, junior hockey stuff.

I still have blind faith in John Anderson to be able to turn this thing around, but I’m running out of patience. I mean, if he can win 13 out of 20 at the end of last year without Nic Havelid and a legit top center as well as using the likes of Perrin, Stuart, an 18 y/o Bogosian in the Top 4, no Kubina, Oystrick and Rich Peverley (no offense to Rich as I love him to death!) as a 2nd line center, then he is capable of turning this team around.

HOWEVER, it is going to require some tough decisions and losing his favor with some aging, overpaid vets who are not getting the job done. Kozlov has been miserable most of the season, White has ended up on a “milk carton” he’s so missing, Bogosian has regressed, Hainsey is too soft too often, Kovy turns his engine on and off during games and refuses to use his size or rarely back-check, Finny has resorted to going 1 on 2 and 1 on 3 when he’s not making wild cross-ice passes and Marty Reasoner is being wasted playing 4th line minutes because we don’t have enough PK depth in the program.

I’d rather call up the likes of Crabb and Machacek to bust their rumps on the 4th line and see if they can inject some life into the PK and take some of the pressure off of Peverley, Reasoner and Kane who need to have more energy for scoring goals and pressuring the other team on the fore-check.

Even Pevs doesn’t look to be the same player he was for the first 25 or so games. I think his body has taken a beating and he obviously is not used to playing this many minutes against top-line competition.

The Thrashers need a lift NOW but it doesn’t need to be a permanent one. If it means getting back on the right track and resting White and Kozzie for a productive March and April, then the time is now for Dudley and Waddell to act. JA can’t do it without some reinforcements. Let’s hope one of them is a healthy and ready Kari Lehtonen. If we can get the Lehtonen of last March, this team might just take flight to a level we haven’t seen since 2007.

Jimbo

December 29th, 2009
4:10 pm

Cornbread- good analysis. What would I like to see? 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 WINS, WINS, WINS produced by a hustling, hitting TEAM, TEAM, TEAM. We’ve suffered through enough excuses, failed 6 year plans, crazy negotiations to fill a lifetime.

Smoothie

December 29th, 2009
4:31 pm

Despite the moves Waddell has made to improve this franchise this season, his last one — the one to sign Max Afinogenov — may prove to be his final demise. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not piling on Max just because it can be a popular past-time. It’s just that we have too many finesse players and not enough “heavy-lifters” like Army and Reasy.

If Kane were 23 and not 18 and Little wasn’t so devoid of confidence, it might be a different story, but you can’t have Kovy and Finny and sometimes Kane hanging out at the blueline waiting for a breakout pass when your teammates are struggling to move the puck forward and out of the D-zone. The puck support isn’t there.

Strangely, Kovy is still finding a way to score, but we are not drawing penalties like before with our speed and quick-strike attack. And when we do, the PP is not scoring “clutch” goals that turn momentum or make up for a previous bone-headed play that lead to a goal against just 5-10 minutes before. This team needs more grit and some hungry Wolves to light a fire and bring some passion. Perhaps if Whitey, Kozlov, Boulton and Slater know they are fighting for their jobs they may respond with some passion of their own.

Rawhide

December 29th, 2009
5:07 pm

Alan R. – I know this isn’t why you posted the link about Mathieu Schnider…but just for the record…

PASS!!!

LM

December 29th, 2009
5:38 pm

Don Waddell = The NHL’s “village idiot”.

Lee

December 29th, 2009
5:52 pm

Cornbread-Great post. Agreed.

As for Johnny Anderson, I still have hope. We have such a young team that is hard to get good results. Also, with such a weak franchise, there’s only so much Anderson can do.

LM-Why becuase he hasn’t signed Kovy’s contract? Give the guy some time. It’s not him is the ownership. We made bad decisions in the past, now we get the price: less cap space. I bet if we had the room, Kovy would have a 3 year contract now, but you can’t blame donny, cuz he can’t do anything!

Thrashers27

December 29th, 2009
6:46 pm

Gotta admit, Waddell came out on the rosier side of the Schneider deal. He traded Larsen and a fairly innocuous prospect for Schneider and got a second round draft pick with reasonably high expectations in return. Not sure if it was morin, or Klingberg (I think it was Klingberg.) that we got outta that second round pick, but at the moment it seems like DW got the better end of that deal.

alex

December 29th, 2009
6:46 pm

stendec, are you drunk. are you sure that mvp of last hockey word campinship, player who scored most goals in nhl from 2001-2009 not one of premiere players in the word. you in very small minority, please visit your doctor asap