Has Anderson given Pavelec a vote of no-confidence?

This past weekend, Thrashers coach John Anderson turned to Johan Hedberg to start in Saturday night’s game on Long Island…this after Hedberg had played the night before in the 4-3 overtime loss in Buffalo. After the team fell behind 3-0 after the first period against the Islander, Anderson opted to stick with the 36-year old veteran instead of pulling him for the younger, rested Ondrej Pavelec.

Conversely, the last two times Opie has been tagged for three in the first period, he was yanked in favor of Hedberg. Last Wednesday, after allowing three goals on ten shots, Anderson pulled the youngster and sent in Hedberg…who then stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced. Unfortunately in that game, the Bruins’ defense and Tuukka Rask simply denied Atlanta any chance of mounting a comeback.

Johan Hedberg is 9-6-3 with a 2.62 GAA and .914 SV% (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

Johan Hedberg is 9-6-3 with a 2.62 GAA and .910 SV% (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

Just a week prior, after giving up three to Boston on eight shots, Pavelec was lifted and Moose’s efforts in the nets gave his teammates time to at least make a game of it. That night, Hedberg stopped 20 of 22 in relief of Pavelec and the Thrashers were able to get to within a 5-4 deficit before an empty-netter closed the door on that comeback attempt.

So, can one take Anderson’s recent decisions with his goaltenders as a vote of no confidence for Ondrej Pavelec? Not so, say’s the coach.

“[Hedberg] was just playing really well”, said Anderson Monday. “ I think I pulled Pavs two of the last five games. I’m not a guy that pulls goalies. The first time I did it in Boston, I thought we just needed a change of heart. Then we came back”.

Continuing, “Now we are in the same situation. As a coach you revert back to what happened last time. I’m not blaming Pavs, but I’m trying to get the team going. If it’s pulling the goalie, that’s what I’m going to do. It wasn’t so much with his play.”

Regardless, I do have to admit that I was pleased to hear Anderson chose to go with Hedberg Saturday over Pavelec. Yes it was the backside of back-to-backers…and yes Hedberg is a 36-year old career backup…but I’d just rather see him start than Pavs at this time.

Opie did great for longer than many of us thought he would to begin the season, but when this kid hits a wall…he hits it hard. And I think he ran head-on to one shortly after blanking the Red Wings in Detroit on November 25.

Ondrej Pavelec is 9-11-3 with a 3.52 GAA and .900 SV% (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Ondrej Pavelec is 9-11-3 with a 3.52 GAA and .900 SV% (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Overall, Hedberg is 9-6-3 with a 2.62 GAA and .910 SV% on the season. Pavelec is 9-11-3 with a 3.52 GAA and .900 SV%. But most importantly at this time, Hedberg is 5-3-3 in his last 11 starts. Also, there has only been two times this season that the thrashers have lost by more than one goal when Hedberg has started the game…and one of those was a 3-1 loss in Calgary in which the third goal was an empty-netter.

More recently, since we stuffed our bellies with Thanksgiving turke Moose has looked the more reliable of the two. Of the most recent 15 points the Thrashers have earned in the standings dating back to November 30, 13 of those points came from games started by Hedberg.

During that same time frame, Opie has started eight times winning only once. That victory, as you’ll recall, was the 6-5 OT win against Dallas. However, in his last eight starts, he has a 5.29 GAA with an .860 SV%. Three times in those games, he’s been yanked from the nets by Anderson…twice before the second period began after surrendering 3 goals.

Which goalie are you more confident in now?

  • Johan Hedberg (93%, 81 Votes)
  • Ondrej Pavelec (7%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 87

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The only time Hedberg has had to be pulled this season was back on October 24 when he was lifted in the second period after allowing four goals on 12 San Jose shots. He left with the score 4-1 and the Thrashers wound up losing 4-3.

So the coach may say he’s hasn’t lost confidence in Pavelec just yet, but his actions look to me as though he certainly does have the youngster on a short leash…a leash that he doesn’t seem to have fastened on Moose’s collar.

John Anderson indicated to Chris Vivlamore that Kari Lehtonen could possibly return to play sometime this month…2 to 3 weeks. This means Pavelec or Hedberg is going to have to carry this this team to that point and…depending on how they perform…will give the Thrashers any hope of a playoff push when Kari does return.

Which one are you more confident in to get us from here to there…Opie or the Moose?

71 comments Add your comment

Scotty

January 4th, 2010
4:25 pm

Lee

January 4th, 2010
4:26 pm

Lee

January 4th, 2010
4:29 pm

As for Pavelec, no I don’t think he has. Pavy is young and he’s streaky. Moose, is older, and has been pretty good, except for tha suckish goal against the Isles. UGH, just makes me sick. Oh, well, I’m over it. It’s funny becuase the thrashers seem to play extremeley well when Moosie is in net, but when OP is, they play downright awful. I hope to see him play more though. He just needs to get some fundamentals down.

Nikita

January 4th, 2010
4:40 pm

I really think Anderson should let them play for starts. Keep playing whoever is hot until he cools and then the next one gets his shot.

Alan R.

January 4th, 2010
4:42 pm

Which goalie are you more confident in now?

A cardboard cut-out of Terry Sawchuk.

Brendan

January 4th, 2010
4:42 pm

Well, he’s not as confident in Pavelec as he was previously. Ondrej Pavelec is 22 years old. He’s just a prospect. He’s been RUSHED and PRESSED INTO SERVICE, a full YEAR ahead of schedule. All things considered, he’s done remarkably well. But I’ve never liked rushing a goalie.

LAC

January 4th, 2010
4:44 pm

No lee, the suckist goal was against Buffalo, the one that hit the post on the glass… That DID suck ! But that happens to all teams every season. I enjoyed hearing waddell being BLASTED on NHL Live today, great to hear that others… Think he is not a good GM and as Radak said, “If don waddell got fired today, I would NOT feel sorry for him,
because he has had long enough to put a better team on the ice.”

Then he nailed these worthless owners and says #17 is all but gone from Atlanta period.

Ok lee, what good is there to say right now?, when there is good, we will ALL say it, but this is as Rawhide says… UNGOOD !

Rawhide

January 4th, 2010
4:45 pm

“Which goalie are you more confident in now?”

A cardboard cut-out of Terry Sawchuk.

Alan R. – HarHarHarHarHarHarHar!!!!! :lol:

five_hole

January 4th, 2010
5:03 pm

John Anderson indicated to Chris Vivlamore that Kari Lehtonen could possibly return to play sometime this month…2 to 3 weeks.

Aren’t we close to the full roster limit of 23, with 2 extra defensemen & 1 extra forward? If they activate Kari, they will have to send someone down or trade them.

We have a problem in goal, and teams don’t make the playoffs (or certainly go very far) with inconsistency in goal. Kari tends to go on the injured list with a sunburn, Pavelic apparently is a headcase, and the Moose is getting to the age where things start to hurt a lot more (I know from personal experience).

World Be Free

January 4th, 2010
5:10 pm

We need Kari back soon, for reasons already mentioned in previous posts.
Pavs is good one night, lousy the next. Hedburg is an over the hill backup. His “Moose” streak in Pittsburgh a decade or so ago is just that, a streak.

Any remember Steve Penney from Montreal? He had a streak in the mid 80’s for the Habs, the faded into the night.

Dwayne

January 4th, 2010
5:17 pm

Nobody denies Kari is a BIG OLE QUESTION MARK……but when healthy, he is better than Opie. I can go on record as to say I have never said that I wanted trade Kari, our expert bloggers who know goalies, know a HEALTHY Kari is better than what we have. Time will tell.

Petty Officer Thrash, USN

January 4th, 2010
5:51 pm

One thing is for sure: If Opie doesn’t get his act together soon, it WILL be a healthy Kari that we see starting in goal. If that’s does happen, we will find out for once and for all if Kari Let-em-in has a future with this franchise. That’s a situation that makes me shiver with fear. On the upside. If we fail to make the playoffs again after the start we had to this season, good ole Donny W. will be DONE. Anybody else excited that he had something to do with the team selection for the U.S. in the Olympics?

R. Stroz

January 4th, 2010
5:54 pm

Stroz-you in 222 this week, “The Cowbell Section or Stroz’s Little Piece of Heaven”?

Miami Screaming Eagle – Yes, weather permitting. Come by, say hello, and join in.

Sage of Bluesland

January 4th, 2010
6:05 pm

I sincerely hope that blustering, lisping little fraud of a GM we currently have writes a book one day (as he blustered about how he could and the stories he could tell)…I believe an appropriate title would be “How I ruined hockey in Atlanta (and laughed all the way to the bank!”

Anyway, in said theoretical book penned by the incompetent Waddell, I imagine Chapter 3 would be about how not to draft/sign goalies…Dating from the very first signing (Rhodes) to waiting-waiting-waiting on the soft Euroteen who became our “glass-groined wunderkind”…

That would be some story, wouldn’t it?

(Excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit just then…)

Brendan

January 4th, 2010
6:22 pm

Sage, how would you feel about this title, “How to hoodwink, flimflam, hornswoggle and bamboozle both owners and fans alike,” … Or … “How I learned to stop caring about the Atlanta Thrashers and LOVE the Atomic Bomb.”

Brendan

January 4th, 2010
6:23 pm

WBF, I remember Steve Penney. That’s sure a blast from the past. Do you remember Mike Palmateer?

World Be Free

January 4th, 2010
7:38 pm

I remember Palmateer with the Leafs and I believe Washington too. He could stand on his head for 50 minutes, then let 3-4 easy goals just float on by. Drove Leafs’ fans nuts when he did that, which makes it even more fun.

I also remember Jim Carrey, who interrupted Dom Hasek’s string on Vezina trophies in the 90’s with Washington, then faded into the night. We winded up as a backup in Boston for a season. Funny how some guys play great for awhile, then they must look at some Damian Rhodes tapes or something.

World Be Free

January 4th, 2010
8:04 pm

Brendan-there’s another flashback goalie out there that I was thinking of-Eddie Staniowski of the St. Louis Blues. Eddie played for the Blues in the 70’s, up to 1981 I believe. He was put up against the Sabres in a series in 1976. Buffalo outmatched St. Louis in every facet, but Staniowski kept the Blues in the series with some incredible goaltending. After the season, Stanoiwski would return to his backup role for the rest of his career. His performance left an impression on many fans of the era.

Prior to his death, Dan Kelley, Blues legendary play by play man was asked what was the greatest goalkeeping performance he ever witnessed. Without hesitation, Kelley recalled Stanoiwski’s performance in the ‘76 playoffs against Buffalo. That’s putting “the other Eddie” in some great company.

Chris Tamer

January 4th, 2010
9:49 pm

I have seen more out of Pavelec in 3 months than I have out of Lehtonen since he has been here.

He is a kid, and has more than his share of stinkers….but when he is ON he is superior to Lehtonen right now.

Brendan

January 4th, 2010
11:01 pm

WBF, I remember the name Eddie Stanioski. :smile: But I truthfully don’t recall that series in ‘76. What I remember about that era were the Broadstreet Bullies, the Big Bad Bruins, the smooth skating Canadiens, and Super Potent offense of the Buffalo Sabres, filled with three (3) 50 goal scorers in Danny Gare, Rick Martin, and Rene Robert. Or was it Gil Perreault?

Hasek’s reign over the Vezina was interrupted TWICE by Washington Capital goaltenders. Jim Carey was one, in 1996. But who was the other??

Answer: Olaf Kolzig, in 2000. Right about that time, Jose Theodore came into prominence for the Montreal Canadiens, then has seemingly faded some. I think he’s still with the Captials, making something like $4.5 million. I haven’t followed the Captials goaltending this season. I think Varlamov is the backup, no?

Eddie Staniowski, per my research, played 10 seasons in the NHL, with a 4.06 GAA. He played 8 playoff games, with a record of 1-6, with a GAA of 3.93. 1975-76 was his rookie season, and he played with St. Louis, Winnipeg, and ended with Harford, in 1984-85.

I thought of another name from the past in the Toronto goal, remember Wayne Thomas?

LAC

January 5th, 2010
2:07 am

I remember Palmateer, killing Our Atlanta Flames in the 78′ playoffs,
we should have won like 7-2, but we lost 2-1, Anderson played in that game, remember the BIG Brawl ? It was wild, Last home game coached by Fred Creighton as well…

Remember speaking to Dan Kelly at a Braves game in the early 80’s.
I asked him if NHL hockey would return here one day… He said it might if the NHL expanded, but if not managed correctly the team might not make it. Amazing isn’t it… Dan knew NHL hockey and Atlanta, it’s a shame these wimp owners and worthless waddell don’t !

World Be Free

January 5th, 2010
8:00 am

Wayne Thomas, wow now there’s another name. Last time I heard, he was a goaltending coach somewhere. Stanoiwski-I did not realize he played that long. There’s an interview with him on You Tube.

Then there’s Dave Reece-the Bruins 3rd goalie who was the victim of Darryl Sittler’s 10 point night in February of 1976.

Neither Rene Robert nor Gilbert Perrault ever scored 50 goals in a season, but Danny Gare and Rick Martin did. Sabres had 6 – 30 goal scorers back then, Rick Dudley being one of them. Talk about one of the great trades of all time- Rene Robert straight up for Eddie Shack. The game today needs more characters like Eddie Shack, Eddie the Entertainer.

LAC-thanks for your contribution on Palmateer. Yup, that’s the kinda guy Mike was as a player-stone you one night and then very charitable the next night. It was always fun to listen to Leafs’ fans lose their minds about Palmateer. Great to hear you spoke with Dan Kelley-guess he knew his hockey. Kelley is my second favorite hockey play by play man of all time. I used to listen to Dan Kelley and Gus Kyle as a kid on KMOX in St. Louis. That signal was very clear in Buffalo on those cold winter nights.

Jimbo

January 5th, 2010
8:50 am

Forget the Sawchuk cutout and give me on of Prince Patrick Roy. We could also use a couple of Dave “The Hammer” Schultz or Bob Probert cutouts on the bench to send the signal to everyone that is currently pushing our PANSIES around that retribution is only a few feet away. Did Boulton and Thorburn take boxing or dancing lessons this summer?

World Be Free

January 5th, 2010
9:16 am

Jimbo-it’s Doris that needed the boxing lessons!

Alan R.

January 5th, 2010
9:33 am

No, WBF. Did you actually watch Thorburn last year? He couldn’t hit, couldn’t score, and damn sure couldn’t throw a punch.

World Be Free

January 5th, 2010
10:13 am

Alan R-I really wanted to get rid of Thorburn this summer. But he’s really picked it up this year, a surprise to me.

I also like players who don’t have to hide behind a face shield. Pat Verbeek and Chris Malty are two guys that come to mind; they act tough and wear a shield.

GaVaHokie

January 5th, 2010
11:04 am

I’m still optimistic about the season… after this week, the month of January gets a lot easier. The month of March is very favorable with a heavy home schedule against bottom dwellers.

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 5th, 2010
12:05 pm

Kovy’s contract-
Make a decision for crying out load!
What the heck is taking so long!

As the Hockey Night and Canada boys said, Thrashers, fish or cut bait!

Andy

January 5th, 2010
12:09 pm

Reading about Dan Kelley & Gus Kyle brings back great memories of tuning in to KMOX on winter nights in pre-Flames Atlanta and listening to the Blues games. It was my first introduction to a sport that is now my favorite.

TableHockey

January 5th, 2010
12:30 pm

Off topic but does anyone know if any local sports bars will be airing the WJC gold medal game tonight?

DWTOO

January 5th, 2010
12:37 pm

Table Hockey – Firebirds. It’s on Ashford Dunwoody.

Jimbo

January 5th, 2010
12:38 pm

GaVaHokie- What was the last time that we won a game in regulation? Certainly not in Dec. I’m sorry but I don’t share you optimism. The steak is sure to swell to 9 tonight- Pens need a home win badly. Pens win 5-2.

Alan R.

January 5th, 2010
12:41 pm

As the Hockey Night and Canada boys said, Thrashers, fish or cut bait!

I’d like to think the organization already has an offer on the table, and are in fact waiting for Kovalchuk to either bite or swim off. Either that, or the organization is fishing in uncharted waters. The latter is entirely possible.

TableHockey

January 5th, 2010
12:57 pm

DWTOO – cool – thanks for the heads up.

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 5th, 2010
1:08 pm

Alan R-you’d think we would have a decision on this. If the captain is holding out, he’s doing so not considering what it is doing to his team. Management should have never let it get to this point.

Rawhide

January 5th, 2010
1:17 pm

Looks like it’ll be Opie in goal tonight in Pittsburgh, per Dan Kamal. The Pens will go with Brent Johnson who is 4-3-0 with a .919 SV% and 2.49 GAA. Versus the Thrashers he is 7-3-2 with a .912 SV% and 2.49 GAA lifetime.

Pavs is 0-3-0 against Pittsburgh with a 5.30 GAA and .833 SV%.. The last time he was between the pipes when we faced off against the Penguins on Dec. 18, 2008 when he allowed 5 goals on 13 shots in a 6-3 loss. If I’m not mistaken, that was the infamous Crosby Crotch Job game.

Off topic but does anyone know if any local sports bars will be airing the WJC gold medal game tonight?

TableHockey – As DWTOO siad, Fiebirds is a good option…so too is TJs on Holcomb Bridge. Just a suggestion.

I’d like to think the organization already has an offer on the table, and are in fact waiting for Kovalchuk to either bite or swim off. Either that, or the organization is fishing in uncharted waters. The latter is entirely possible.

Alan R. - Some might say that DW is, and has been…ahem…in over his head as GM.

What was the last time that we won a game in regulation? Certainly not in Dec.

Jimbo – November 30, 2009…4-3 at home against the Panthers when Max scored with 5.5 seconds left.

Hockey Biltong

January 5th, 2010
1:52 pm

El Thirty Seventh-O

TableHockey

January 5th, 2010
2:21 pm

Rawhide – thanks for the TJ’s heads up – that would be a shorter drive for me.

Smoothie

January 5th, 2010
2:28 pm

Luckily, tonite is not a “must-win”….technically. But we’re creeping ever closer. Of course, none of this matters until a decision w/r/t Kovalchuk has been rendered from on high…or low, if you’re of the same perspective as LAC or Sage.

Andy

January 5th, 2010
2:40 pm

Zoomo

January 5th, 2010
3:13 pm

Happy New Year, everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts in the past few weeks (I’m sure you all noticed :) ). I’ve taken this streak of play way too hard and you know the old adage…if you have nothing good to say….

I’ve thought about a communal bonfire fueled with our Thrashers t-shirts and jersey…or some sort of exorcism.

Before the season started I had hope that we’d be in aposition to fight for a playoff spot and we still are in that position. However, after the start we had, I had progressed to thinking that we just might make it easier and get some comfy room between us and th 8th spot. Not to be.

The whole slide has felt a bit too much like the last two years, and that’s really effected my enthusiasm. I just want to be competitive -every night! It’s been hard to watch. It’s like a series of bad flashbacks including the bad bounce against the Isles that was much too reminiscent of Playoff Game #2. Throw in the Kovy nonsense and the local media writing obituaries for the franchise and it amounts to fun times.

But Anderson is right, if they can win 4 or 5 in a row, things will look a whole lot different. Can they? I think Pavelec’s run of late, and the defensive breakdowns might be insurmountable unless we can get the PK back to where it was. The PK failures have been to single biggest difference between the start of the season and this latest run. It not only the golas allowed, it’s the mental make up of the team that gets affected. One goes in, and we fall apart on D for the next 10 minutes.

Someone talk me down off the ledge.

GaVaHokie

January 5th, 2010
3:34 pm

Kovy to Calgary, eh?… that would be a perfect place to be overrated and underachieve. ;)

mike

January 5th, 2010
4:57 pm

miami screaming eagle – Kovy’s contract – Make a decision for crying out load! What the heck is taking so long! i am sure decision done. just check his game tonight and you be able to answer is he gone or staying.

Alan R.

January 5th, 2010
5:15 pm

Some might say that DW is, and has been…ahem…in over his head as GM.

Some? You vastly underestimate the entire fanbase :P

(You also underestimate me.)

But, seriously, who is to say there’s absolutely nothing there and the Kovalchuk camp is waiting for an offer to say “Да” or “нет” to?

Dwayne

January 5th, 2010
5:40 pm

Anyone have 3 tickets they don’t want for the caps game Saturday night???

StateBird

January 5th, 2010
7:36 pm

This is the deposit ticket special. Go big on the Pens tonight to win straight up!

Pavs

January 5th, 2010
8:48 pm

My pads de-seive me.

LAC

January 5th, 2010
9:04 pm

Sage & Stendec did you see the WIMPY post of little smoothie ? Ragging on The Real Fans again, Gee Whiz, when they have ZERO to say, they have to rag on us… How funny !

As for this Pavelec, I have seen more than ENOUGH, he is NOT an NHL goalie, and won’t be for years to come. The contract MESS is
taking it’s toll and we are sinking like the Titanic…

Pavs

January 5th, 2010
9:55 pm

I like to give big fat juicy rebounds.

Pavs

January 5th, 2010
9:59 pm

Coach, why is my plane ticket for Chicago? I thought we were going back to Atlanta tonight.