Archive for January, 2010

Thrashers drop tough one during Music City Snow Jam 2010

Greeting from snowy, icy, cold Nashville, Tennessee…a place that looked more like the state capital of Montana this weekend than that of one in the south.

As I’m sure you know, hundreds of Thrashers fans braved the elements to make their way up here to participate in Music City Snow Jam 2010…most traversing the frozen tundra in buses with the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club.

But many made their own way…climbing through the slippery slopes of I-24…or even up I-65 by way of Birmingham…to take in the festivities and root for our hometown Thrashers. Such was the case with the Rawhide-Blueland Chronicle Consortium. Razor Catch Prey and I traveled together and met Big Shooter, Mortimer Peacock and French Catalogues who arrived an hour before us, just about lunch time.

It only took about 3-1/2 hours to get to the outskirts of Nashville…the roads were cleared off nicely and we traveled speed limit most of the way. The Tennessee DOT deserves much credit there. But once we got inside the …

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Operation ‘Take Sixth Place’ – Mission Accomplished! (well, at least for now)

I take you back to Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 pm. In that post, your humble blog host opined that there was a mathematical formula in which the Atlanta Thrashers could take over sixth place in the Eastern Conference. All that needed to happen was for Tampa Bay to beat Montreal and the Hurricanes defeat the Rangers that evening. Then, on Thursday night, Carolina needed to return home to take care of the Islanders and…most importantly…the Thrashers would then need to take care of there end of the deal by beating the Flyers in Philadelphia.

And with that…Operation “Take Sixth Place” was a go!

First, the Canes smacked New York 5-1 while the Bolts were shutting out the Habs….and we’re halfway home. Then tonight, Carolina continued to hold up their end of the deal by thumping the Islanders 4-1. Three down…one to go. All that was left was for the Thrashers to do their part in Philly.

Mission accomplished!

Well…I mean, at least we are in 6th place for now.

Behind a pair of goals from …

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Moose dropping piles of saves all over Thrasherville

Johan Hedberg may be just less than four months shy of his 37th birthday, but one thing is for sure…he’s not showing any signs of slowing down due to his escalation in years. In fact, he’s playing with the enthusiasm and agility of a goalie 10-12 years his junior.

After Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, Hedberg has now gone three straight starts in which he has allowed the opposition but one single goal. Combined with last weekend’s game in Tampa Bay and last weeks start in south Florida, he’s stopped 82 of 85 shots faced in those trio of games…which calculates to a .967 SV% and 0.98 GAA in 183 minutes of play.

Going back over his previous five starts, he has four games in which he’s only allowed one goal per as on January 7 he turned aside 29 of 30 New York Rangers shots on the way to a 2-1 shootout victory. As you’ll recall, that win snapped the nine-game holiday losing skid the Thrasher were on.

Johan Hedberg makes one of his 34 save against the Ducks (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Johan Hedberg makes one of his 34 save against the Ducks (AP …

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Thrashers still cannot get Niitty-Monkey off their back

The Atlanta Thrashers have now failed fifteen times to procure two points in the standings when going up against Finnish goaltender Antero Niittymaki. It doesn’t matter if he’s wearing a big Flying P on his jersey or a lightning bolt…when he’s between the pipes it spells Loss with a capital L for Thrasherville. This was again the case Saturday night when the Thrashers fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in a shootout.

Niittymaki’s take on this phenomenon…”I can’t explain it”.

Yeah well…I have a theory.

Somewhere in the icy, frozen outskirts of northern Canada, in a sealed vault deep in the basement hockey god’s ice rink…I’m sure there is a contract that was inked several years ago between the gods and Niittymaki. That pact, no doubt, assures the 29-year old Finn that, no matter what the circumstances, he will never, ever, never…ever… never….everrrrrrrrrr be beaten by the Atlanta Thrashers.

The only thing I haven’t quite figured out is… what is it exactly the hockey gods are …

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Thrashers pending UFAs – Sign ‘em or ship ‘em?

As I’m sure you all know, the Thrashers have a fair amount of pending unrestricted free agents on their roster. Given the fact that we are now in late January, the time is drawing near for the organization to decide whether to retain their services beyond this year…or to ship them off at the deadline.

And given that we have an Olympic break scheduled between now and the official trade deadline, chances are good that we could see teams pullin the trigger on deals in the next couple of weeks…as well as the first week of March.

Therefore, this weekend’s assignment for you is to review the list of those in Thrasherville whose current contracts expire this summer and are able to swim in the NHL UFA talent pool, then…acting as the team’s cyber-GM…let us know if you would attempt to re-sign the player or ship them off for something in return.

And with that, let us begin…

  • Sign Armstrong (36%, 76 Votes)
  • Ship Armstrong (64%, 138 Votes)

Total Voters: 214

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Colby …

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Another Thrashers attempt to win two straight ‘Staals’ out

The Carolina Hurricanes are mired in the middle of a horrific season with league’s worst record. They were 14-27-7 as they came into Philips Arena for a Thursday night match with a Thrashers team who…if a few other scores fell their way…could have moved into the 8th position in the Eastern Conference with a win.

However, just the day before, the Canes announced that they were switching captains… Rod Brind’Amour handing over the ‘C’ to Eric Staal. Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said that the new captain “is the player around whom the team will be constructed” during Wednesday’s announcement.

Well, if Thursday night’s performance is any indication of what the future holds for that organization, they should be just fine as the new captain led his mates into Thrasherville and spanked the home team 5-2 behind his hat trick. Staal had 8 shots on goal.

Eric Staal's second period shot gets past Ondrej Pavelec. Opie saw 4 of 21 shots get past him (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Eric Staal's second period shot gets past Ondrej Pavelec. Opie saw 4 of 21 shots get past him (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The …

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Thrashers collect themselves then bag Leafs

Wasn’t it about a year or so ago that the Toronto Maple Leafs came to town, built a nice lead after the first period…only to see the Thrashers steam back to win? In fact, I believe that was the game that I asked if alien beings had abducted the players from the home locker room, took over their bodies and returned to the ice in the second period…because the team that played the last 40 minutes plus overtime was not the same one that played the first twenty.

Well, although the Thrashers did not play as bad this time during the first period….they still went into the locker room trailing 2-0, thanks to a pair of goals by Alexei Ponikarovski.

Evander Kane celebrates his game-tying goal against Toronto (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Evander Kane celebrates his game-tying goal against Toronto (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

However, just like last year, they came out in the second and kicked it up a notch in order to net a win. The final score was exactly the same as last years comeback win…4-3…and just like last January, Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice while Rich Peverley chipped …

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Passion for sports shines through in Natalie Taylor’s work

So, what’s a nice girl from Van Wert, Ohio doing in a place like this? And by “this” I mean, outside of the Thrashers locker room interviewing players as well as other on air activities for the team.

Well, if you’re Natalie Taylor, what you are doing is providing Thrashers fans with updates and information about the team and the players. And it’s something she really enjoys doing.

Natalie Taylor is in her second year covering the Thrashers

Natalie Taylor is in her second year covering the Thrashers

Raised in a small town, she grew up knowing just about everyone there was to meet in the community. Her father is a county manager for the Ohio Department of Transportation…responsible for snow removal… and her mom was a homemaker.

“My younger brother and I kept my mom pretty busy with after-school activities and staying involved with us”, Natalie told me when discussing her family. “Thank goodness because that’s a big reason why we have the confidence and relationship with our parents that we do. In fact, when it’s not in the middle of an …

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Captain Kovalchuk Rights Ship as Thrashers Weather Hurricanes Surge

Some might say the Thrashers shouldn’t have even been in the situation they found themselves in…the score tied 3-3 with just over nine minutes elapsed in the third period. They had come out of the locker room up 3-1, thanks greatly to some fine goaltending from Ondrej Pavelec, solid defensive work and goals from Zach Bogosian, Jim Slater and Rich Peverley.

But Rich Peverley took a questionable slashing call at the 6:06 mark…Darin Elliot called it a “marginal” call, I call it a load of male bovine excretion. Then, exactly one minute into killing off the Carolina man-advantage, Boris Valabik was tagged with roughing call to put them down by two men. It was one of those plays where the defender took exception to an attacker’s extra swipe or two as the goalie was covering up the puck, stepping in to push the player out. In this instance, it was Eric Stall…who didn’t much care for the way he was treated by Boris.

Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates game-winning goal against the Canes (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates game-winning goal against the Canes (AP …

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Thrashers and Sabres take game to overtime…again

Ok, so tell me…what is it with the Atlanta Thrashers and Buffalo Sabres having to play every game into overtime? Thursday night’s contest was …what…the seventh time in the last eigh games that the two have needed more than 60 minutes to decide things?

Let’s see…the two of the three times so far this season, then all four last year and the last meeting of the 2007-08 season that the Thrashers won 5-4 in a shootout. And before that, then the last time the Thrashers and Sabres played a game that did not go into overtime was, if I’m not mistaken, back in January of 2008 when…oh yea, that was the 10-1 beat-down in Buffalo.

Ok…I’m fine with OT, then.

Ondrej Pavelec makes one of the 30 saves Thursday night against the Sabres (John Bazemore / AP)

Ondrej Pavelec makes one of the 30 saves Thursday night against the Sabres (John Bazemore / AP)

Thursday night’s 2-1 loss in overtime was disappointing, obviously…but I have to say it’s one of the best-played, most entertaining hockey games I’ve been to all season. The Thrashers played a lot of minutes in Buffalo’s zone… they kept the …

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