Thrashers loss to Bruins was as bad as it sounded

Greetings from sunny Florida. Well…actually where I am, it’s actually kinda gray and cloudy with rain expected…but it’s still Florida. I’m spending time down here at the lake house with the family for New Years. We’ve recently upgraded this place to circa 1990s technology and so I’m able to come to you by way of a dialed up internet.

Slowwwwwwwww….

I do, however, have modern-day techno-gadgets in the new vehicle and thus I was able to listen to last night’s beat-down in Beantown via satellite radio. XM provided the Bruins radio feed, so I was able to get their prospective of things…which is always interesting.

I’m sorry that I cannot recall the pairs names as they did do a very fine job of calling the game.

As I was “enjoying” the game while cruising through south Georgia and north Florida on I-75, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “I wonder if this game is really as bad as it sounds…or if this game seems so one-sided given the fact that these guys are just focusing on the team they are paid to cover”.

I mean, the last five minutes or so of the game, the pair of broadcasters piping though my radio started talking about the ice conditions at Fenway Park where tomorrow’s Winter Classic will be held. Oh, there was the occasional…”And Savard shoots, kicked out by Hedberg”…but then they would return to the subject of the New Years Day event and discuss the forecasted weather and if they were going to prepare any differently for it.

So, they were looking for anything to keep their listeners tuned in.

Well, when I got in shortly before 11:00, I checked the comments that were left by you all and yup, it sure appears as though it really was as bad as it appeared…maybe even worse.

Much of your observations mirrored what I heard coming from Boston for most of the game. The one phrase I think I heard 3 or 4 times from Boston was that the Thrashers had no “push-back” in them on this night. What they meant was that after getting down 3-0 after one period of play and chasing Ondrej Pavelec before the first intermission…again…the team seemed to just stand there and “take it”. There was no fight…no spirit…no intent to stir things up.

“Providing little resistance”, was another phrase used. I’m tellin’ ya… the radio broadcast guys from Boston were making it very clear that the Atlanta Thrashers simply phoned in that effort and rolled over…showing little or no pride in how they looked out there.

Phoning it in is inexcusable. Well…I mean, unless it’s using dial up to “phone in” this entry. :grin:

Some of the low-lights include…Opie being chased for the second time in a week before playing 20 minutes. This time, he surrendered 3 goals on 10 shots in 16:50. Hedberg seemed to perform mop-up duties well by stopping all but one of the 20 shots he faced, however.

The Thrashers offense mustered up a grand total of 18 shots on goal themselves. With the way this team plays defense, they cannot have an off night in the attacking zone.

The power play took an Oh-fer…failing on all four of the man advantages they were afforded.

The normally reliable Marty Reasoner was a –3 on just 11:10 TOI.

Eric Boulton was a –2 on less than seven minutes on the ice, as was Chris Thorburn playing just under eight minutes.

This team needs a good kick in the pants right now…and I’m hoping John Anderson gives ‘em that prior to tomorrow night’s game in Buffalo. Last night’s phone in was simply embarrassing and if there is one player that does not feel that way and has the pride to come out of the locker room against the Sabres willing to at least put up a fight should be put on the next flight home.

Until then, I wish you all a very happy New Years…may it be enjoyable and safe!

126 comments Add your comment

Riceowls8891

December 31st, 2009
10:50 am

They were unwatchable. I turned over to Bowling Green vs. Idaho.

JJ (formerly 302)

December 31st, 2009
10:55 am

Bill you are lucky you only had to listen to it. Watching it was a nightmare!! Lets hope they can continue their winning was against Buffalo Saturday and end this streak.

R. Stroz

December 31st, 2009
10:57 am

I watched/listened to the whole game as I was preparing the 2009 tax records and new file folders for 2010.

I used the game as background noise.

Next time, I’ll listen to Barry Manilow, as he would probably put up a better fight than the Thrashers did.

Dwayne

December 31st, 2009
11:09 am

Maybe Max will be fired up enough to get us a win.

Michael B. Shapiro

December 31st, 2009
11:12 am

Anybody check the plus/minus figures lately? I know that JA doesn’t want to stop Kozzy’s team leading games played in a row mark, but his -12 leads the team too (followed by Bogo, Hainsey and the Invisible Todd White at -10). At least 2 of those need to sit for a game. Pick one of the forwards and one of the defenders. Let Slater and Pops or Salmonella play.

O. Pavelec

December 31st, 2009
11:30 am

I would like to thank Coach Anderson for continuing to start me despite the fact that I have been one of the worst goaltenders in the entire NHL for the better part of the last month.

I look forward to Anderson continuing to reward potential over production as he keeps Johan Hedberg on the bench for reasons that cannot be explained.

HonkyTonkHero

December 31st, 2009
11:51 am

This is ridiculous….yes Boston is a good team but we totally rolled over. I quit watching shortly after Opie was pulled. I saw that Hedberg would do fine but the rest of the team was in a fog. Made me mad that I had just bought tickets to the Thrashers\Rangers game. Turned that off and watch the Swedish junior team beat up on Russia. Now that was good hockey.

I think coach needs to invite a few irate fans to sit in the locker room before and after the game. These guys need to be uncomfortable.

It sucks worse knowing that we have the talent to be winning these games and they just don’t pull together to make it happen. This just sucks.

stendec

December 31st, 2009
11:51 am

I might be willing to take over the GM position. I would guarantee one thing. Efforts (if it can be categorized as such) like the one against the Boston Bruins would be a thing of the past! Players who fail to compete for 60 minutes would be benched for a game. Salary would not be a consideration! If two of three goals are marshmallows then netminder is pulled (sorry Moose). If minimum number of players not available then young hungry Wolves would be provided opportunity to showcase wares. Only players with fire in their guts and hearts of lions would be allowed to skate for team. Most of these guys are celebrating Olympic selections. Whoop dee do! Do the Olympics sign their paychecks? Not since former USSR once got away with it! Not one Thrasher (except Mr Moose Hedberg sir) gives a flying f#ck about winning. Do not have tiniest iota of respect for any one of them! Laughingstocks? They could care less! Bank accounts matter. No Thrasher forced to wait in soup line! Apologists can kiss my a$$! ++STENDEC++

Miami Screaming Eagle

December 31st, 2009
11:51 am

I have avoided really “thrashing” management, but somebody on top (DW) need to pay for this situation. And the situation goers back to Kovy’s contract and the fact that this thing is STILL lingering.

The entire team is preoccupied with what the captain will be doing in the coming weeks. Why these idiots don’t see it is beyond me, totally. Sign him or trade him today and move forward. This team will drop out of playoff contention BECAUSE of Kovy.

What the heck are they waiting for?

lilibeter

December 31st, 2009
11:54 am

Interesting that you chose the phrase “no spirit” because I used a very similar comment to describe last night’s game to my husband (FIF)…they are playing as if they’ve had their spirit broken. A month ago, our Thrashers were playing like they believed they could walk onto the ice and beat anybody. Even when behind, their attitude clearly said “so what if you’re ahead right now, we’ll come back and whip you in the 3rd period if that’s we have to do to wind this game”. Over the last month though, that attitude has undergone a dramatic transformation. Our Thrashers now look like they don’t believe they can beat anyone. It literally hurts to watch them – not because of how poor their game play is right now but because of how crushed their spirits look.

I hope, hope, hope that our Thrashers find their heart again. Soon. This “tail between the legs” thing just doesn’t suit a team that holds the kind talent that our Thrashers have.

Smoothie

December 31st, 2009
12:08 pm

Sure Bill, just rub in the fact you’re in Fla while we’re all here left to suffer not onlyl this crappy weather, but also this crappy, spirit-less effort by the Thrashers. Enjoy your lake time though!

Last year this team struggled mightily early in the season due to erratic goaltending, players who did not buy into JA’s system (Perrin, EC, Williams, KOVY and Kozlov), and players who were either too young and inexperienced (Bogosian, Valabik, Pavelec) or too confident in themselves as veterans (Havelid & Schneider…perhaps Hainsey but he played well in the first couple of months IIRC).

This year, early on, the players seemed to be buying in to what JA was selling as a collective unti…not all the time mind you, but when the system broke down, the goalies bailed us out countless times. Now, through December, our goalies (especially Pavelec) have started to break-down and confidence is waning in our netminders as a result. But that isn’t the real problem. Certain players who were already struggling are really going through the motions due to a lack of commitment by a certain Kaptain Kotton Kandy. When is the last time Kovy hit someone? Can anyone remember? The team feeds off him. And when you’re the highest paid player, it really sucks the life out of a young team when the leader is not giving 100%. Remember when Kovy would start fights to defend his and the team’s honor? Hasn’t happened since Vancouver but that was more of a frustration-induced hissy fit. Where is the Kovy of last March??

As for who is buying in and who isn’t:

Buyers: Antropov, Kaner, Thorburn, Reasoner, Army (but for how much longer?), Kubina, Schubert (but he’s prone to knuckle-headed mistakes), Enstrom, Hedberg, Pavelec (but he’s had to face too many shots too often) and Peverley (starting to hit a wall since this is the most ice-time in a calendar year at this level he’s ever had)

In-betweeners: White, Little, Slater (all three had bad starts or reduced ice-time and it shook their confidence; now they aren’t bouncing back due to lack of leadership / commitment), Finny for awhile but he is just too spontaneous when things are going badly

Questionable: Hainsey (who is too soft for being an ‘A’), Bogosian (sophomore slump or too good too soon leading to overconfidence?), Kozlov (too often in conservation mode and won’t be aggressive enough to set the tone), Finny (I am wondering about his commitment to the system as he seems to get the same latitude Kovy does without the results…especially now) and lastly, KOVY!

I left off Salmela, Popovic, Valabik, Slater, Boulton and Lehtonen either because they haven’t played enough or it’s too hard to tell because they don’t play consistently enough. Well, with Boultsy we know he does what he’s expected of fairly well, but he has to let his knuckles heal before he can fight again…we don’t have enough toughness to round things out. Bogosian seems to have lost his edge, Thorburn knows he can’t get too crazy due to his responsibility as a PK’er and Slater tries to play with an edge, but it often seems wasted.

Send a message Waddell: send down White and Kozzie on waivers and see what happens. Worse case scenario is that somebody claims one of them, but c’mon, who? Perhaps a team that needs a QB on the PP, but we need grit and toughness (see Sobotka, Bitz and Wheeler) to compete. Machacek, Crabb and Grattan might just be the cure in the short-term.

stendec

December 31st, 2009
12:09 pm

Happy New Year Mr Rawhide sir. Birthday observance December 23, Christmas observance December 25, anniversary observance December 30 and another birthday observance January 1. Busy times for family. That said…I might be willing to take over the GM position. I would guarantee one thing. Efforts (if it can be categorized as such) like the one against the Boston Bruins would be a thing of the past! Players who fail to compete for 60 minutes would be benched for a game. Salary would not be a consideration! If two of three goals are marshmallows then netminder is pulled (sorry Moose). If minimum number of players not available then young hungry Wolves would be provided opportunity to showcase wares. Only players with fire in their guts and hearts of lions would be allowed to skate for team. Most of these guys are celebrating Olympic selections. Whoop dee do! Do the Olympics sign their paychecks? Not since former USSR once got away with it! Not one Thrasher (except Mr Moose Hedberg sir) gives a flying f#ck about winning. Do not have tiniest iota of respect for any one of them! Laughingstocks? They could care less! Bank accounts matter. No Thrasher forced to wait in soup line! Apologists can kiss my a$$! ++STENDEC++ Happy New Year everyone!

Miami Screaming Eagle

December 31st, 2009
12:16 pm

Change of subject-can you believe how Mike Leach got hosed at Texes Tech? TT was a non-player in football until Leach arrived, both on and off the field. Craig James’ (see demise of SMU) little boy gets his feelings hurt and all heck breaks loose.

ESPN circle the wagons around their boy, then turns around and glorifies the gangsters and thugs at Univ. of Miami in their “30-30″ segment. That network is a total joke. Only Lou Holtz has the guts to question the decision at TT.

Barry

December 31st, 2009
12:30 pm

Ya it’s pretty obvious this team has no confidence they can even win a game. There’s a saying “Fail to prepare and prepare to fail”. This team is not preparing or even thinking they can win. They are thinking they will lose and soon as they get 1 or 2 goals scored on them they “phone it in” as you say. I think back to the Tampa game and for two periods they were neck and neck with Tampa but that 3rd period came and soon as Tampa scored 1 or 2 goals most of them were just standing around. I mean it took them almost 17 mins into the 3rd period to even register a shot on goal in that game. They gave a pretty good effort against NJD only to be beaten by a better team and then they come in to play the Bruins and pretty much start the game with their heads hanging low not believing in themselves at all. This team has got to start getting its heart and confidence back and if coming out this weekend playing hard out of pure desperation alone to get that back then so be it but they have to do something.

WM

December 31st, 2009
12:37 pm

It was just a matter of time before the Birds of old came back. I do have a question though, last night was our 6 loss in a row correct? Wasn’t Hartley fired after loosing six in a row? Again, yet another decision made by our uber suave and smart GM that I will never understand. Kovy needs to be traded now…now as in when the Olympics are over, he catches a plane back to a city other than Atlanta. Two glaring positions we need to trade for: Defense & goaltending. The Pavs/Moose combo isn’t getting the job done…well let me be more specific, Pavs isn’t getting the job done. Two games he’s started and two games he’s been yanked before the final buzzer. Yeah, tell-tell signs of a #1 goalie. And please don’t give me “He’s young” or “He’s not getting help up front” lines. I’ll never be able to figure out why this franchise can never get a true #1. Think about it. Detroit=Osgood, Vancouver=Luongo, New Jersey= Broduer, Dallas=Turco, Calgary=Kirprusoff, Pittsburgh= Fluery. Defense is a whole nother issue. Heck, I’d be willing even at 45 Chelios could skate circles around our present defense. C’mon Don, make the man a legit offer and see if he bites. We are a young team that lacks leadership on the ice b/c our leader is younger than me (30)and is sandbagging & trying to sweat out the organization all while the organization is tanking. Yeah, true leader to me. This team needs a vertern presence on the ice badly. One that will get after the young guys for blowing plays…will get after them during intermissions in the locker room, will get after them at practice. I doubt we’ll win a game before the break and by then we’ll be so far out of the playoff picture it won’t matter. I’m going to Columbus tomorrow night to watch the Cottonmouths. At least there I’ll get to see players put in 60 minutes of effort. Y’all be safe tonight!!

LAC

December 31st, 2009
12:39 pm

This is a HOCKEY blog NOT STUPID AS HELL WORTHLESS college football,
college football is worthless as HELL, who gives a crap about some STUPID football coach, I could care less if an F-5 Tornado picked him up and stripped his skin off, and he was found laying DEAD next to some mobile home… Now THAT would be some GOOD college football news, maybe bill king could fly abound a bit too as looney as he is.

Like I said, time to dump Bogosian, he is completely worthless a low grade ECHL’er nothing more, like little one year wonder, anderson needs to be gone and a REAL Professional coach aquired… But with worthless waddell in control, well maybe a Tornado will hit HIS house, That would be THE highlight of 2010. Because this team stinks and is tanking, last in the East is now a sure bet and likely 30th as well, great job “don”

Miami Screaming Eagle

December 31st, 2009
12:59 pm

LAC, I think you need to grow up just a bit instead of making a fool of yourself on a blog.

Wayne stuck in AL

December 31st, 2009
1:01 pm

To quote Marvin Gaye: “Make me wanna holler/Throw up both my hands”

Smoothie

December 31st, 2009
1:24 pm

LAC, your rant about college football made me laugh out loud! Priceless.

Don’t agree with you about Bogosian though…you’re being way too impetuous on that topic. He’s only 19 for crap’s sake and he’s already scored 17 goals in roughly 82 games played. He needs more seasoning and a vet like Chelios might just kick him in the pants. 19 y/o can be way too easily distracted or perhaps you don’t remember what it was like to be a college-age student or kid and not give your best all the time.

Waive a veteran (White preferably) to send a message that medicority or “softness” will not be tolerated. Chances are, no one will bite on White (ha that rhymes) when he’s on waivers. But who cares?! He’s not gonna suddenly start scoring in bushels. We don’t need him on the PP anymore either. Let Kane play the PP 2nd unit in his stead.

Call up Macho-check and Kulda and send down Salmsy and Bogo while they still have AHL options waiver-free. See how Bogey responds to a) the demotion and b) playing with Chelios. Let Kulda play 3rd pair minutes with Schubie and see how it goes. Valabik can play with Hainsey for a while just like last year or put Hainsey with Enstrom and Boris with his “country”-man for some on-the-job training of his own.

Let Macho take Kaner’s spot on the 3rd line and make that line a true knock-your-block-off, forecheck-you-into-next-week third line with Reasy at C and Slater at RW. Put Little at his natural position, CENTER!, on the 4th line with Boults and Thorbs and keep their time down to 7-8 mins / game. It will be good conditioning for Bryan to get his feel back at C.

Kovy gets dropped to the “2nd line” playing LW with Peverley at C and Kozzy at RW. Kozzy said he’d be willing so let him flip pucks down the wing to Kovy all night a la Hoslov circa 2006. New top line is Kane at LW, Antro at C and Finny at RW. That line showed some serious potential at the end of games during the latter part of November. Tell Kovy if he doesn’t get his ass in gear, he’ll be traded to a midling team out West (think Edmonton) and perhaps that will get his attention. If he doesn’t play like his “give-a-crap” meter is set on “superstar” all the time and begin using his size to forecheck once in awhile, then screw him.

Kane – Antro – Finny

Kovy – Pevs – Kozzy

Macho – Reasey – Slater

Boults – Little – Thorbs

Oh yeah, lastly, move Kovy off the point on the first unit PP. Use Kubina to shore up the left point while the PP operates THROUGH Kovy at the LEFT CIRCLE with Pevs and Antro doing the dirty work in the corners. Enstrom and Kubes should know what to do at the blueline. Second unit becomes Kovy at the LP, Hainsey at the RP, Kozlov on the right circle with Little and Colby to do the dirty work.

That should just about do it! Oh yeah, after a 4 game winning streak and post-Casino Night, sign Chelios to a deal for the remainder of the year and bring back Bogo at the same time. If Kovy is still loafing too much or hasn’t signed a deal, then strip hiim of the ‘C’ and give it to Peverley. Take Hainsey’s ‘A’ off if he doesn’t start hitting and give it to Chelios or Kubina. If we still don’t have any leadership and consistency, then blow the whole thing up and start from scratch with Kane, Bogey, Antro, Enstrom, Pevs, Little and hopefully Kubina as your core. Drastic measures we need and SOONER THAN LATER!!

OmniFan

December 31st, 2009
1:35 pm

Are these guys begging for Iron Mike?

stendec

December 31st, 2009
1:37 pm

Hi Bill. Do not recall earlier USA upset of USSR hockey squad at Squaw Valley but remember 1980 gold at Lake Placid as if it were yesterday. 1980? Sigh. Oh well. True hockey highlight for all true Americans! Here goes…Legend Herb Brooks had an edge Coach John Petrino does not. The Olympic coach could require players to do Herbies until they puked because he possessed power of the cut. A player could be sliced from team at sole discretion of coach. Do not want to be a team player? Unable to put team first? Bye bye. No Olympics for you! Heartless Russian Kapitan Ilya “Pay Me Millions Now” Kovalchuk is blackmailing the Yardbirds. He can coast, dog it, never play defense, skate at third speed, make fancy figure eights while awaiting a breakout pass or remain in full Maryann Hossa mode without consequence. Why? Uninformed persons perceive the Russian as a premiere athlete. Premiere? Premiere my a$$! This captain is a total team liability. Lazy, uncaring, disinterested and a complete slacker! More enthusiastic at being selected to Olympics than mad as Hell angry over fact that group of which he is the damn captain (supposed leader) has become laughingstock of NHL. Anybody else see anything wrong with this scenario? A long term contract? Hell no! I do not even want to see IK in a Yardbird uniform in 2010-2011. Give me three guys who can score 20 plus goal. I would trade the bum in a second. If that long! Happy New Year! ++STENDEC++

Jimbo

December 31st, 2009
1:50 pm

Happy New Year, Rawhide! No one can characterize last night’s game as an “effort”. There was no effort. The Thrash simply did not show up. Anderson’s so-called “System” and his ability to motivate players are in question. TIME TO MAKE SOME MEANINGFUL CHANGES DONNIE BOY!

GREGORY DOBBS

December 31st, 2009
2:03 pm

EVERY SEASON THE BIRDS GO ONE ONE OF THEIR INFAMOUS 10- 12 GAME LOSING OR NON-WINING STREAKS THAT DOOMES THEM FROM MAKING THE PLAYOFFS. HERE WE GO AGAIN. ALSO, WHY IS WADDELL IS HERE?HE’LL BE GONE WHEN KOVY DEPARTS.

sisu

December 31st, 2009
2:13 pm

Happy new year to all. I think it is getting close to something having to give. Since most of the time not all players can be released it will fall on the coach no matter if it is fair or not. I do not think this team can afford to miss the playoffs once again. We need to bring up a goalie to replace Pavs, can’t believe he made the Olympic team! Get someone new on the Penalty kill and quit the one dimensional pass to Kovy for a shot on goal on the PP!

Juan Waddell

December 31st, 2009
2:42 pm

When you find yourself down 3-0 in the 1st period (like that game and others similar), it kind of takes the fun out of it. It also causes fans to turn the channel or leave the game.

hip czech

December 31st, 2009
2:56 pm

Bogosian would be fine if he starts be a little more assertive. The first 10-15 games he looked to shoot and played with confidence, now he looks tentative and timid. Maybe he’s just afraid to screw up because the way the rest of the team is playing one mistake kills this team.

The PK has gone back to forming a nice, passive box rather than attack. If it were me, I’d do a triangle and one and just put someone on Savard the whole time. No way you can just sit there and let Savard pick you apart. Other teams ought to do the same to the Thrashers – just put a man on Kovalchuk on the PP, the Thrasher PP would be even deader than it is now.

Little has become the new Slater…tons of effort, no results. Wow, hard to find any positives in the last few weeks.

World Be Free

December 31st, 2009
3:03 pm

Happy New Year Rawhide-hope the people that hijacked our team brings back our boys real soon.

Tony C.

December 31st, 2009
3:06 pm

I’d love to see Coach be given authority to bench the guys he feels deserve it. How many of yall are looking forward to KL’s return???

I still say Coach needs to grow the FU back.

Brendan

December 31st, 2009
3:22 pm

So, I just gotta ask. “Did the Thrashers ever give away those FREE SEATS along the glass?” They were advertising them to the first ten (10) callers to buy a seat to an upcoming home game. Considering that that had to re-run the offer in the 3rd period that they initially ran in the 2nd period, I’m guessing that had trouble drumming up some business.

How much are seats along the glass worth? I’m just curious. If they’re valued at $200, is that something an organization strapped for cash should be handing away as a FREEBIE? I’m just asking a question.

Last night, the NHL Network had the “On the Fly” show with a special guest name Darren Dreger. Darren Dreger said, and I quote, “negotiations are a LONG WAY from being finalized. I very much doubt that a contract will materialize after the next tournament. In fact, no OFFER has been FORMALLY TABLED yet between Kovalchuk’s agent and Don Waddell.”

Well, excuse me, but “What the FREAK?” We were TOLD that an OFFER was made to Kovalchuk. And that, quote, “A counter-offer was presented from the Kovalchuk camp.” Anyone ELSE remember that? As I recall, we all thought, “Why isn’t the contract announced and finalized, then? If Kovy’s camp has made a counter-offer, then we just agree to it and announce the deal.” But now we hear Darren Dreger announce, “No offer has been formally tabled yet.” My GOSH! We’re not even THERE, yet? And to hear Waddell actually publicly say things like, “They want years at a fixed rate,” just amplifies how much in the infancy stage of the contract process they really are. If true. Again, things we hear in the media, like Darren Dreger, or Waddell, or Grossman, or Kovalchuk, we must take with a grain of salt. But if anybody’s actually telling the truth, God forbid, this entire situation is utterly unacceptable from a January 2010 calendar date perspective. These things should be talked about in July 2009. And what’s “left open to evaluate” … is how well or poorly the team is doing by Thanksgiving. Christmas at the latest. Honestly now. What HAVE they been discussing? What restaurant to PRETEND they’re having contractual negotiations, while billing their clients?” I hope Grossman is SOAKING Ilya blind. I hope Grossman ordered the LOBSTER, with the most expensive bottle of Dom Perignon that the eatery had to offer. I hope he had caviar as an appetizer. On second thought, I hope it got billed DIRECTLY to Bruce Levenson. For HE, above all, should have to pay for every nickel that it costs to operate this franchise. I hope Grossman billed the 1st class flight, ice cream sundae, any and all onflight booze and entertainment … to Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta, GA. Shoot, I hope Grossman, on top of dinner, had ROOM SERVICE in the Penthouse Suite, while billing massages, tee times, adult movies, and more booze, to #17’s home address. I hope he stayed at Chateau Elan and took a taxi to meet Waddell in Atlanta. And that THAT, too, got billed to Kovalchuk.

And if Ilya sits there, UNAWARE of how contract negotiations are going, he DESERVES to pay for all that, and MORE. Raise your hand if you honestly believe Kovalchuk has not given his agent INSTRUCTIONS about what he wants? And that, “Well, it’s all whatever his agent wants. That’s why he pays him. So he doesn’t have to do any thinking.” Pfft. Ovechkin got a 13-year/$124 million deal, which he negotiated all by himself. He didn’t pay an agent one PENNY of that deal. And he got EXACTLY what he wanted. And he negotiated the contract … with the OWNER, Ted Leonsis, not with George McPhee, the GM.

Bruce, are any bells and whistles going off in your head? What are you paying Don Waddell for? Mr. Levenson, if you cannot see what Ilya means to this franchise, then you deserve to face the consequences. You have put Don Waddell in charge of negotiations with Kovalchuk’s agent. And clearly, you SEE where they are now. Why did you stand IDLY by? Fine, if your answer is, “Because we wanted Ilya to help us sell tickets all year, up to the trade deadline.” But if that’s NOT honestly your answer, you have a lot of explaining to do. And fans ARE going to hold you accountable, irrespective of whether you hold anyone ELSE on your staff accountable. Hockey fans in Atlanta don’t appreciate being bamboozled, flimflammed, hoodwinked and hornswoggled. They’ll vote with their wallets. Fans have the power to fire you.

Chew on that for a while.

LAC

December 31st, 2009
3:37 pm

Hey miami, you should blog about your sport on their blogs not a hockey blog, I do not care one bit for college football, a lot of folks do, but posting what you did was simply STUPID !

Now… Is there any way we can start to pattern our Thrashers, A Hockey Team, like New Jersey. They do not have a real superstar forward, so to speak, they have several GOOD ones and their defense is not a standout bunch of big names, but they do an excellent job of defending their goal. Of course it does help to have perhaps, the best goalie of all time backing you up, but they are always in the middle of the pack in goals for and always near the top in goals against.

Why can Atlanta not employ a system that playes defense first, strong backchecking, and the defensemen playing defense, not as much offense.

We run all over the place, very poor positional play the past month,
with most defensemen out of position way too much.

Anderson is the coach and he has three assistant’s, can THEY not see
this malfunction in their system ? We can ill afford to continue to play this wide open style, we need the defense to stay back and play defense, not this run and gun style. Can this be done here ?

Anderson’s system is, in my mind, very flawed. Look at how easy other teams come out of their zones. Most never get caught in this being trapped in our own zone for 2-3 minutes or until a goal is scored.

Why can we not change ? Is a coaching change the answer ? I think anderson has lost the team. We look like we are playing pond hockey, NHL teams do not win when they do that.

A lot of DRASTIC changes now need to be made, but with this corwd running the team and waddell, it will never happen.

I agree with you Brenden… where are these owners in these contract talks. We ALL know waddell cannot get the job done, so why won’t they get involved ? Just amazing, I hope the NHL takes control of this franchise very very soon.

Pollyanna aka Sara

December 31st, 2009
3:43 pm

You guys are all way off base. Don Waddell is a wonderful GM and we are lucky to have him. He’s right on track with his 15 year plan. Kovy will sign it here, I heard it from the Nosey Nest, he loves it here and will never leave (never mind that he doesn’t even speak English in his own home).

R. Stroz

December 31st, 2009
4:16 pm

After careful consideration and hours of deliberation, I have ascertained what the Thrashers need to perform better:

BRING BACK THE ALIENS!

Miami Screaming Eagle

December 31st, 2009
4:31 pm

LAC, the point I was really trying to make about Leach was more about ESPN than anything. ESPN is sticking it to Leach the same way they stuck it to the NHL.

For 25 years the NHL was a main part of ESPN’s programming. Then one day they decided they were too good for the NHL. Theu have been badmouthing hockey ever since. How much time does Sportscenter give to hockey highlights?

My issue is with ESPN, not Texas tech. This is relavent to hockey.

Happy New Year

R. Stroz

December 31st, 2009
4:35 pm

Brendan – I wish Ovechkin would call Kovy, tell Kovy to fire Grossman, and inform Kovy that negotiating a contract “is so easy a caveman can do it.”

Brendan

December 31st, 2009
4:51 pm

:lol: , R.Stroz. “Bring back the Aliens!” I love it! :grin:

Right now, I’d sure welcome them back.

R.Stroz, I think Ovechkin secretly laughs at Kovalchuk. I can’t prove that, of course. On the other hand, had Atlanta drafted 1st overall, and Ovechkin were picked by the Thrashers, I think Ovechkin would flat out say, “I will not play here beyond my capped rookie contract. I will sign the first RFA offersheet that I know the Thrashers cannot match. And if none comes, I’ll play in Russia.” That, of course, after PRIVATELY telling the Thrashers, “You would do well to trade me for a quality return. Here, let me help you by telling you which deeply talented team I want to play for, so you can at least get something decent back in the exchange. And don’t say I never did anything nice for you.” Ovechkin is DIRECT like that.

Brendan

December 31st, 2009
4:52 pm

R.Stroz, did you just post that hoodwinking Waddell is so easy that even a Caveman can do it? I hope not, since the GEICO Copyright attorneys are everywhere, you know. Intellectual Property Right (IPR) civil cases are all the rage now.

Brendan

December 31st, 2009
5:06 pm

Look folks, before it slides too far out of our memories, I want to remind everyone what a BEAUTIFUL hockey game was played last night in Calgary, between the Flames and L.A. Kings. To briefly recap, Dion Phaneuf drove Anze Kopitar into the boards. This ERUPTED into a melee, in which even the Head Coaches, Terry Murray and Brent Sutter, threatened to have a knock-down, drag out, slobberknocker-fest. The game was hotly contested all night long, filled with physicality, grit, tenacity, and utter determination to win. By both clubs. It finished in a 2-1 win for Calgary.

And believe you me, that exchange between Coaches FIRED UP their players. On both teams. It was a BONDING moment. Some things do that. Family, friends, love and WAR will do tend to do achieve that result.

Now look, I’m not exactly saying that what John Anderson needs to do is challenge Lindy Ruff to a fist fight. But it wouldn’t hurt any, if the two managed to exchange menacing glances and heated words, in an effort to breathe LIFE into his troops. Let’s face it. There needs to be SOMETHING like that going on. This team needs to bond better than it has. And sadly, I look to the Captain as the instigator for it. So long as he is un-signed, it’s sending a message that he doesn’t have faith in the organization. Or the coaches. Or the scouts. Or his fellow players. They cannot help but notice that, gazing at the calendar.

Now, I can hardly blame Kovalchuk there. This ownership doesn’t fill me with confidence, either. Their league-minimum payrolls, one GM through how many failing seasons? Same scouts. I’m even fine with Randy Cunneyworth being given a shot, if they want to cleanhouse with an interim Head Coach. I think that’s a bit drastic, however. Every team experiences losing streaks throughout the year.

What separates this from other losing streaks, however, is the lack of effort, heart and grit. There have been other times when the team plays very well, but just didn’t get the results. It’s at moments like that … then Stendec raises the word, “apologist.” For in his world, a team that scores 7 goals is a bunch of gutless wonders, if the final score happens to be 8-7. It’s on to goalie-sieve rants.

World Be Free

December 31st, 2009
5:41 pm

Brendan, Lindy and J.A. fighting would be interesting, all for Randy Cunneyworth. Cunney is a former teammate of Ruff. He also coached in Buffalo system for years. I assume he’d take Anderson’s side, which would create another dynamic. Cunney will be an NHL coach someday, you can bank on that.

I have stayed away from the blog fray recently, but I have to say changes are needed. You have all noted players that need to sit or be waived and I agree with most of what’s need said. You can only go to the well so many times before you have to make changes. I think Anderson’s creditability is in jeopardy if he doesn’t make changes.

Take Lindy Ruff-he sat Drew Stafford Sunday, stafford came back with a 2 goal – 1 assist game against Pittsburgh in a come from behind win. The player got the message, now some Thrashers need the same treatment.

I still say the Kovy situation is the basis for the swoon; the sooner it is dealt with the better the team will be. I am sure there’s alot going through his head right now.

Whether is appropriate for this blog-I think Leach got screwed too.

R. Stroz

December 31st, 2009
5:59 pm

Cunney will be an NHL coach someday, you can bank on that.

WBF – That could be real soon, if you catch my drift.

Brendan

December 31st, 2009
7:33 pm

Actually, WBF, here’s what I want to see more. I want Lindy Ruff to waltz by the Thrashers bench, point his finger at John Anderson, while smirking at Kovalchuk, then say, “Johnny Boy, tonight … we’re gonna show you the difference between a playoff team and a pretender. And we’re the playoff team.” And then walk away, not listening to whatever Atlanta musters as a rebuttal.

It’s a final now. Montreal has defeated Florida, 5-4, in regulation time.

Cornbread

December 31st, 2009
9:03 pm

Now that December has just about gone and, thankfully, the Thrashers do not play any more games in 12/09, let’s take a look at some numbers and who stunk it up the most. I know White is not a fan of anybodys here but he was far from the worst. I could care less whether he stays or goes. I guess that makes me indifferent but I felt with the stats and thoughts on team play I’ve been posting lately that I’ve been defending him. Maybe I have because there are others who really have played worse. Much worse.

The Thrashers started the month with a record of 14-7-3. They ended it 18-17-4 going 4-10-1 and not winning a single game in regulation. They gave points to every team they faced. Twelve of those fifteen games were against conference opponents. In Oct/Nov they scored 84 goals and a 3.38 GFA while giving up 68 and a 2.83 GAA. In Dec they gave up 57 with a 3.8 GAA and only scored 35 for a 2.3 GFA. What was a +.55 goal differential saw them go -1.5 differential in the month.

They have fallen to 9th on the PP at 21% Fallen to 20th on the PK at 79.7% and saw there SF slip to 26th at 28.5 for and shots against an unacceptable 34.1 and dead last in the league. What’s worse is they sat solidly in 5th place in the Conference and have fallen to a shakey 9th place.

Who stunk it up the most? I’ll list the player stats and list them from top to bottom based on those stats and their individual play that I observed:

Fowards# G A Pts +/- PIM SOG PPP,SHP
1. 80 8G 3A 11Pts E 6PIM 30S 4,0
2. 20 4G 2A 6Pts +6 13PIM 16S 0,2
3. 17 8G 9A 17Pts -3 16PIM 51S 6,0
4. 19 3G 1A 4Pts -3 6PIM 22S 0,0
4. 12 0G 4A 4Pts -2 2PIM 14S 1,0
6. 27 0G 1A 1Pts E 17PIM 14S 0,0
7. 9 1G 1A 2Pts -3 12PIM 18S 0,0
8. 47 2G 5A 7Pts -7 8PIM 31S 2,2
9. 36 0G 1A 1Pts -2 16PIM 8S 0,0
10. 23 1G 0A 1Pts -1 2PIM 11S 0,0
11. 13 4G 2A 6Pts -8 2PIM 29S 4,0
12. 10 2G 3A 5Pts -8 2PIM 29S 2,0
13. 61 2G 8A 10Pts -10 6PIM 31S 2,0

Armstrong looked terrible at the beginning of the month then he turned it around with 4 goals in consecutive games and played solid two way hockey finishing with the team’s best +/-. Kapitan Kovy, despite his unacceptable lack of effort at times and maddening irresponsible D all the time, put up good and respectable numbers. If he really did phone it in as has been suggested where would theis team be? White? It’s hard to argue that he has performed any worse than most of his fellow forwards. Peverly? Disappointing. Boulton should have dropped ‘em more but maybe he figured why bother if the rest of team lacks heart. Afinogenov was on fire in Oct/Nov and was named fan player of the month. Complete reversal in Dec and looked like his reputation caught up with him.

Defense# G A Pts +/- PIM SOG PPP,SHP
1. 39 0G 11A 11Pts -3 4PIM 20S 5,0
2. 77 1G 8A 9Pts -4 10PIM 26S 1,0
3. 16 1G 2A 3Pts -1 12PIM 23S 0,0
4. 5 0G 2A 2Pts -1 18PIM 12S 0,0
5. 6 1G 4A 5Pts -8 4PIM 10S 0,2
6. 4 0G 4A 4Pts -8 9PIM 22S 0,0

The most pleasant surprise was the solid play of Valabik in his Dec return. He and Shubert look good paired together. Bogosian simply stunk. What’s worse is he drug Hainsey down with him. Bogo may have been the worst on the team, certainly worse than White.

Goaltending. What needs to be said? Moose played great and Pavs stunk it up big time. Go look at his stats(I need a drink). They ain’t pretty.

That’s it folks. Let’s hope for a Happy Thrashers New Year.

Cornbread

December 31st, 2009
9:08 pm

What happened to my post? I loaded it with stats for the month of Dec :(

Ugly I know but it’s worth some contemplation.

alex

December 31st, 2009
9:16 pm

keep talking stendec. i remember on my pro soccer carreer, during the games, when we are in the lead and opposing players began talking thrash my answer been: “keep talking, but better check scoreboard”. ok stendec, on my last check kovy #12 in point (696 total plyers fo qualifications) with only one-ovy played less games, all rest 10 in front with much more games played. plus minus-even. not to bad. should be 90+ for season even on this contract distraction pace. this is premier players numbers for all hockey experts in the world. so i am assume you are kovy and lehtonen hater (lehtonen argument below). with all do respect stendec, i am intend to belive about kovy personality not to you, but mother later thrasher player SNYDER, saying that kovy most admired man like her late son to her, one of the best person she ever met. i see no reason her to spin this. stendec, sometimes you very close remind me of f..g communist burocrats any time ready to piss on good person. second person you hate picking on is lehtonen, applaied for nhl job via draft and been choosen by gm atlanta thrashers dw. he did’t force this cloyn to draft him and nobody should blame his bad luck because of his bad health like nobody blame you for unfortunatly your weak hearth. anyway keep talking but don’t forget check scoreboard and happy NEW YEAR for everybody.

Hockey Biltong

December 31st, 2009
9:38 pm

sniff…… sob…… what is happening????? I thought we were contenders… I…..sniff …sob… am……so upset.. I think I need an Allagash Curiouex………

Curly

December 31st, 2009
9:41 pm

The Thrashers should watch the USA – Canada Jr, Game (live on TSN). US up 3-2 after 2 periods. (2 short handed goals against the vaunted Canada power play). These guys give 100%, 100% of the time.

LAC

December 31st, 2009
9:44 pm

What a game between Phonix & San Jose, I am so impressed with Phoenix,
All the mess and ownership, new coach, NHL etc… and they are in a shootout with San Jose. Big factor is the arena is packed…

That could happen here with new owners, new GM, they don’t have any big name superstar, Shane Doan is not a true superstar. but they have almost 20 points more than HAPLESS Atlanta.

Can you just think about it, Firing a GM here, selling the team to
ONE owner… Where are these owners ? Where ? Why do they hide from the hockey fans ? What IS their problem. I guess they just don’t want to look bad, well fellows… You already do look AWFUL and are the WORST owners in the NHL.

Wonder if Cindy Crotchby will wave at #17 after they Blast us ?
Say 10-1… Looks like it.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

December 31st, 2009
10:21 pm

Mr. Cornbread – I have released your 9:03 pm post from blog purgatory.

Happy New Years!

Curly

December 31st, 2009
10:27 pm

4-4 USA & Canada at the end of regulation. Going to a 5 minute OT.

Curly

December 31st, 2009
10:44 pm

Canada wins in a shoot-out (3-2). Jeremy Morin (Thrashers prospect) scores a shoot-out goal.

Brendan

January 1st, 2010
12:40 am

Cornbread, nice post. Lots of juicy stats. I learned a few things.

I watched a couple of the “countdown” shows leading to midnight, and they all kept saying, “As we welcome in the beginning of a new decade.” And I kept thinking, “doesn’t anyone beside Rawhide know that 2010 is the 10th year of the millenium decade?” In other words, 2001 began the decade and 2010 closes it. The next decade begins on Jan. 1, 2011. There was never a Year Zero, if you follow. Year Zero was really Year One. Decades aren’t 9 years long, unless we’re talking about how long it takes the AS, LLC to buy out an estranged investor partner. Zing!

Happy New Year everyone! Let’s celebrate the new decade, next January 1st!