Pavelec shines, White gets off milk carton as Thrashers pound Ottawa

There are so many great things to discuss on this winning night…Ondrej Pavelec’s strong performance in goal…Eric Boulton’s first ever power play goal…lots of great work from all players on the ice…and even a real-life, honest-and-for-true regulation win for the Atlanta Thrashers, something that hasn’t happened since November 30.

But I simply have to start out with Todd White, who scored his first goal since October 29. That’s right, after 34 games without lighting the lamp…he netted a dandy of a goal 122 seconds into the second period, giving the Thrashers a 4-1 lead at the time. White finished with two points on one shot on goal and a +1.

The big moment came after Slava Kozlov fed him from the right corner…all alone, White then lifted the pick over the shoulder of Brian Elliot, who had just entered the game in relief of Pascal Leclaire.

And of course, the goal also officially gets him off the milk carton…which is great news indeed as most law enforcement agencies say that when someone goes missing for this long, it normally doesn’t turn out very well.

All joking aside though, congrats Todd…I hope it’s the first of many more the rest of the way.

Halfway through the first period though, it looked like White’s night might have been finished. He tweaked his right knee during a face off in the offensive zone and needed assistance off the ice. Fortunately, however, he was bale to return after the break.

Boris Valabik congratulates Ondrej Pavelec after the Thrashers 6-1 win over Ottawa (AP Photo/John Amis)

Boris Valabik congratulates Ondrej Pavelec after the Thrashers 6-1 win over Ottawa (AP Photo/John Amis)

But the Thrasher that shined above all others in this game was Ondrej Pavelec, who turned aside 30 of the 31 shots the Senators took…many of them of the outstanding variety. As this game went on, Opie started to look more and more like the player we saw in October and November…strong, confident and resilient…fantastic game out of the kid.

“It was special for me”, Pavelec said afterwards. “It was a big game. We needed the points”.

Counting the game played in Ottawa on Halloween, Pavs has turned aside 80 of 82 shots taken on him in the last two games against the Senators…a .976 SV% in those two matches.

Atlanta played 54:59 of this game with only five defensemen as Christoph Schubert was given a game misconduct for boarding Jonathan Cheechoo at the 5:01 mark of the first period. Schubert had seen just 37 seconds of playing time before being sent off. The team did a great job killing off the five-minute all-you-can-score Ottawa power play that resulted in the major penalty…it was cut short by an Alex Kovalev slashing call with 1:42 remaining in the Sens’ man advantage.

Atlanta was successful on both PK situations and scored once on their five power play chances.

Captain Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 26th goal of the season and tossed in a pair of assists as well, finishing the game a +3 with 5 SOG. Pavel Kubina and Toby Enstrom provided scores from the blueline while Bryan Little’s blast from the right circle gave him his sixth goal of the season.

Ron Hainsey was a +4 with an assists during 24:13 TOI.

And how about that bout between Eric Boulton and Chris Neil, eh? The two went skate to skate and exchanged blow after blow before Bolts eventually took him to the ice. One of the better scraps so far this season.

This was as near of a complete games as we’ve seen from these guys in quite a while. Coach John Anderson apparently got these guys attention during the unscheduled practice Sunday morning…one that wasn’t exactly a happy time for his players. Hopefully, he can keep his players this focused for quite some time.

Ottawa came into the game with several key players out…captain Daniel Alfredsson is nursing an injured shoulder, Filip Kuba missed his second game with an Upper body injury and Milan Michalek missed his third with the same. Jason Spezza and Jesse Winchester are both out long-term with knee injuries.

But Anderson wasn’t losing any sleep over any of that. “I’ve got my own struggles. I don’t worry about Ottawa”, Anderson said.. “They are not spending too much time worrying about us”.

Nope…and I would imagine the Northeast Division-leading Buffalo Sabres aren’t spending any time fretting over Anderson’s team either. They’ll be making their way to Thrasherville Thursday night.

114 comments Add your comment

DWTOO

January 13th, 2010
2:45 pm

Hey LAC – want to see a loser – look in the mirror. F YOU!

Red Light

January 13th, 2010
2:48 pm

Brendan: Between periods the suddenly improving Nat Taylor said to Enstrom, and I am paraphrasing, “Your line has been playing well, tell us about your goal.”

Should Enstrom reply: “I’m a defenseman and we have pairings, not lines” or “I don’t know…”

Brendan

January 13th, 2010
3:06 pm

Tablehockey, did I call it, or what?

Brendan

January 13th, 2010
3:08 pm

Red Light, I did miss that part. I think we know what Natalie meant. She’s still a work in progress, but progres is the operative word.

Stefan

January 13th, 2010
3:17 pm

Rawhide:
Here’s the link to the Boulton destruction of that trashbag Neil:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f6Np82Io3I

Reliable Source

January 13th, 2010
3:26 pm

I believe I saw our blog host Rawhide sitting with Natalie Taylor in CNN Center a few hours before last night’s game. I wonder what that was all about.

TableHockey

January 13th, 2010
3:40 pm

Yes you did Brendan – that is “accountability”. Poor guy is packing his bags from New York!

Nikita

January 13th, 2010
3:57 pm

Natalie Taylor is generally competent. Particularly since she comes from the NCAA sports and spends most of her year covering them.

I think that’s the first interview I’ve seen with Toby since his face got rearranged. His english is still very, very poor, but he does get his point across.

Bob, IMO, we looked pretty good. We were definitely fired up, and most of those goals were earned. The only one I’d consider soft would be Enstrom’s, and only because it was hard but straightforward — if the goalie wasn’t screened, he should have gotten it.

Rawhide

January 13th, 2010
4:16 pm

Now that we’ve won 2 out of three, here are some good trends from the last 10 games (excluding Washington) to make note of:
Avg shots on goal FOR: 30.5
Avg shots on goal AGT: 30.1

Smoothie – If you go back over the past 11 games, we have taken an average of 31.2 shots and allowed 30.6. Indeed, that trend is looking up.

Good to spend time with you and Miss-10 up in the Blueland Chronicle Perch last night.

Hey Rawhide – just saw on Twitter via Chris Viv that White got injured last night and is having his knee looked at by the docs today. No word on whether or not he will be a scratch for Thursday.

TableHockey – Yeah…I saw that. It’s a bit surprising because he skated well after he returned. Hmmm….maybe he should tweak his knee before every game?

On second thought, maybe that’s not a good idea.

I saw none of the game, did we look good or did the Sens just blow?

Bob - Actually, I thought it was one of the better played games of the season for the Thrashers. Of course, we were playing a depleted Senators squad…but like JA said, that’s not our concern.

Stefan – Thanks for the linkage.

Reliable Source – I can neither confirm nor deny that rumor :cool:

Bravos33

January 13th, 2010
4:21 pm

Rawhide,

I am an avid reader of this blog, but I rarely comment on these things. I love seeing the varied opinions of everyone on the Thrashers blogs, both yours and Viv’s. While I am an ATL native, I now live in DC. I splurged (I basically have eaten out 3 times in two months) to pay for the Center Ice this season. Needless to say, I am a fan. i did get to go the Philly game over Thanksgiving, and the MTL game prior to Christmas, but I will likely not get to see our boys until they FINALLY make it to DC in early Feb. I am actually dreading it though because we have performed so pitifully against the Caps.

My question to you and other people on here is this: I know you (Rawhide) have predicted us to just miss out on the playoffs, but my question has to do with if we were to make the playoffs. If we were to make the postseason, but were to get swept (again), would that be better or worse than being on the outside looking in? I know, the obvious answer is that of course making the playoffs is better than missing, but would the embarassment of another sweep be worse for potential fan support and/or morale than just missing? That being said, you never know what the future holds, so obviously I would much prefer to make the playoffs, and worry then about what will happen in the playoffs. If it were to happen though, my first priority will not be for us to win a series, but to get of the postseason snide island for good!
Go Thrashers!

Rawhide

January 13th, 2010
4:33 pm

Bravos33 – Thanks for being out there, and please chime in more often. Yes, I still do believe we will fall short of post-season play. I’d love to be wrong, mind you…but I’m stickin’ with that.

As for your question…I guess I would go with making the playoffs. I know there are those here who would disagree with that hypothetical question…but that’s how I feel. It’s more games at Philips, albeit but just two. Plus, as for the fanbase…I think after the last two years, not making the playoffs would be seen as a bigger failure than the other option. Plus, simply making the playoffs would bring a lot of media attention around here and that’s good.

As for possibly doing with Kovy what FLA did with J-Bo last season…no. Simply cannot run the risk of letting him walk for nothing in return.

Bob

January 13th, 2010
4:34 pm

thanks for update on our play, guys and gal! What the heck, all we can do is root this guys on and play like the 3 monkeys (see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing) and let it all play out with Kovy and the Spirit/Waddell mess. And I like the takes some of you have on our games upcoming, a club that get hot at this time of year is dangerous, but you need the keeper hot also (Kari? what the heck, he’s always hot as balls the 1st 5 games of each year, mabye we put him in the pipes whenever our next rough patch of opponents is coming up and mabye he stays healthy/focused for longer this time).

“Should that scenario present itself, would you or wouldn’t you be okay with holding Kovy for a playoff run (a la Florida last year with J-Bo) and coming away with nothing but a couple draft picks by the end of June? Basically, would you be okay with getting nothing in return for Kovy other than a *chance* at the playoffs and some picks?”

No way, no how. Can’t do that. Have to move him, however, seeing on the other blog about Grossman’s smarmy answer to J.B. which seemed to be “call up the owners and tell them you want him” mabye there is one giant game of chicken going on between Waddell and Grossman, who gonna blink first? Not Grossman, remember what he did with the Bulin Wall?

Paminski

January 13th, 2010
7:35 pm

WBF – section 307, row C, seat 3 or 4…look for the “Paminski” jersey

LAC

January 13th, 2010
7:55 pm

Boy what a WIMP this dwtoo, F me huh ? Well I would love to see you try you FOOL, just name a location and I will make sure to meet you…
We’ll see if your punch is as big as your Pottymouth !

World Be Free

January 13th, 2010
9:30 pm

Paminski-I look forward to meeting you tomorrow night, sharing our Buffalo memories. The Sabres come in well-rested, too well rested when you consider how many games have to be jammed into a small calendar this time of year. Can’t wait to see Tyler Myers in person for the first time.

LAC-thanks for your explanation and reasons for not attending games this season; fair enough. I understand and respect your feelings. As for your dispute with DWTOO, I sure ya’ll will work it out.

Jimbo

January 13th, 2010
9:50 pm

How about that? A little show of grit and crashing the net actually work. Who wudda thunk it?

Jimbo

January 13th, 2010
10:41 pm

Buccigross has an interesting observation in his hypothetical 29 trade scenario. Namely, that Kovy is saving himself physically for the “big deal” and may have “fire in his belly” that will appear with a decent team in the playoffs. He also points out that with his speed and size, that he should be delivering the thunderous type of hits that the Great O delivers. Combined with his lack of frustration about the slow negotiating process, we are better off without his half-hearted leadership.

Brendan

January 13th, 2010
11:30 pm

Bob, the Senators goaltending really let them down last night. It snowballed out of control. At 3-1, they still had a shot. They brought in Brian Elliot to try to change their fortune, but he surrenders two more in the 2nd period, then the Little goal just seconds into the 3rd period, to make it, 6-1. Remember, this is a team in the midst of a losing streak, so their confidence was a bit low. Look at the GF/GA differential for Ottawa. Paints a picture, doesn’t it? The good news for the Senators? Someone got held accountable. The goalie coach got fired. And it doesn’t get any better, one of those goalies will be gone.

Answering truthfully, before the season began, I had Ottawa pegged for 28th or 29th in the league. Then they pulled off the Heatley trade for Michalek, Cheechoo and a 2nd round pick from the Sharks. To see Ottawa even in the playoff field … is great for them. I actually feel like I could root for Ottawa, again, now that Heatley’s gone, Pothier’s gone, etc.

Brendan

January 13th, 2010
11:37 pm

I hope Trixie doesn’t get upset about Rawhide’s ‘casual encounter.’ Err. Uhh. Ummn, I meant a ‘chance meeting.’ with Natalie Taylor. I wouldn’t read too much into it, Trix, don’t get mad and go away, we’d miss you here, Trixie.

Moving right along, the Penguins and Flames are midway through the 3rd period, with Pittsburgh owning a 2-1 lead over Calgary.

LAC

January 14th, 2010
7:13 am

Thanks WBF, Funny how others like to start things, Neither myself or Stendec said anything about this guy, but he can only make an attack on the blog and nothing else, makes you wonder who he really is ?

Big behing the computer, Not so tough when it counts !

World Be Free

January 14th, 2010
8:25 am

LAC, I understand how you feel and I appreciate the $$$ investment you have made in the club in the past. I did the same with the Buffalo Bills for many years and feel the same way about the Bills as you do about the Thrashers. I am just trying to take this situation less seriously than I do the Bills.

Good game tonight.

TableHockey

January 14th, 2010
8:35 am

Off topic but I am looking to pick up a few different NHL team pucks. Does anyone know a local business that sells these? Thanks!

Red Light

January 14th, 2010
9:05 am

TableHockey: Try JT Sports Collectibles
1050 E. Piedmont Road, Piedmont Commons, Shopping Center, Marietta (770) 977-0001‎

DWTOO

January 14th, 2010
9:26 am

Know what LAC – I shouldn’t have made the crack about you and Stendec. My bad. Since I don’t know either of you my attempt at humor was inappropriate. Doubt that you, Mr. Stendec and I will ever meet or really want to meet. Will keep posts to hockey only.

World Be Free

January 14th, 2010
9:40 am

I actually went on a hockey web site this morning, with no mention of Kovy, the negotiations or a possible trade of our star player. Is a signature on a contract in our future?

Red Light

January 14th, 2010
9:45 am

Since Lindy Ruff was named Buffalo’s head coach on July 21, 1997, there have been 150 coaching changes in the NHL!

Somaatl95

January 14th, 2010
9:51 am

Gotta give the Sens a little credit. They held someone accountable for their showing the other night. Sucks that someone lost their job but maybe JA can start doing the same and send under performing NHL’ers to the AHL… since we all know that D-”Its not a hairpiece, its just made that way”Wad will not be held accountable for keeping the Thrash as a 10 year expansion team.

Hockey Biltong

January 14th, 2010
9:59 am

Bravos33- I’m curious how many of the Thrashers games on Center Ice you get to view in High Defintion???? Cause in Atlanta we definately get boned by Fox….

Hockey Biltong

January 14th, 2010
10:02 am

WBF- our tix are generally weekdays. So Tues and Thurs seem to be the most often we are at the Bulb. Come on down if you see us, there is usually space!

stendec

January 14th, 2010
10:39 am

I have no doubt that Thrasher El Kapitan Ilya “Only Money Counts” Kovalchuk is a liar. No, make that a DAMN liar! Do not believe a word of his carefully thought out with the aid of agent responses. Once the Russian is locked into a decade long contract which makes him local hockey tsar (Soviet spelling) the losing will start in earnest. No accountabilty now? Just wait! His uncaring play will worsen with more figure eights than ever. Will take even more of a who gives a damn attitude with a Stanley Cup out of realm of possibility. More of the tiresome me-me-me bullshet. MUCH MORE! I have come to believe this team can never move forward being a supposed one man team. Cut losses now! IK for 10 more years? No. Hell no. HELL NO! Crucify me apologists. I simply speak the truth. ++STENDEC++ Yes, I would not hesitate to call IK a liar to his face. Just as I did not hesitate returning a single finger salute to Falcon Chris Miller! That was quite a few years ago. Sen win was sweet. As Josey Wales once remarked…I got no complaints.

World Be Free

January 14th, 2010
10:53 am

Biltong-are you in club tonight?

World Be Free

January 14th, 2010
10:55 am

Stendec-Josey Wales? Could quote William Money (Unforgiven) and Dirty Harry as well. Clint is quotable in any decade.

I reckon so…..

Rawhide

January 14th, 2010
11:23 am

:!: RAWHIDE BLOG PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT :!:

Ladies and gentlemen… In keeping with my desire to maintain a fun, entertaining and even informative blog/comment thread format, I would respectfully request that we refrain from persoanal attacks on fellow commenters. If someone expresses a thought or observation that you disagree with and you wish to engage then in a type of cyber-debate or banter, please keep it somewhat respectful.

Or…just ignore them.

I try to allow a great deal of latitude to certain comments posted…erroring on the side of free and open speech and all that. But I feel the need to step in and insist that “threats” and “challenges” be refrained from. I will also say that referrences to a certain “criminal” eliment that was associated with another Atlanta professional sports team isn’t appreciated by your blog host either.

In short, if you want to “curse” out players, coaches and/or management of the Atlanta Thrashers…knock yourselves out. Part of this site allows for and encourages “venting” of a certain level. All I ask is that we keep it close to a PG-13 level as possible and we keep the focus on the team, please.

Thank you

Dwayne

January 14th, 2010
11:38 am

Rawhide, I know what you look like, if you ban me, I’m coming after you, better yet, I’ll let my two Grandson’s handle take care of you.

Dwayne

January 14th, 2010
11:38 am

take out the “handle”…I cant even make a threat without messing it up.

Somaatl95

January 14th, 2010
12:00 pm

Can’t we all just get along?

World Be Free

January 14th, 2010
12:15 pm

Marek Svatos is available from the Avs? He’s a UFA July 1, how about trading Colby for Svatos?

TableHockey

January 14th, 2010
12:40 pm

Thanks Red Light – I’ll check JT’s out

Bob

January 14th, 2010
12:52 pm

I’m good as long as no one calls me, Francis. Call me Francis and I’ll kick all your asses.

Now let’s go win a hockey game.

stendec

January 14th, 2010
1:03 pm

Thanks Bill. ++STENDEC++

jerry

January 14th, 2010
1:17 pm

Still bums. Stay tuned, more lousy efforts? on the way/

Smoothie

January 14th, 2010
1:50 pm

Pavelec getting back to back starts…look out! History shows that Pavelec has yet to follow up a stellar performance (2 or less goals) with anything more than a mediocre performance (3 or more goals). In fact the best he has done in back to back starts is giving up only 2 goals to St. Louis after the 6 – 3 Opening Night win vs Tampa.

But I’m optimistic…I have no idea why. I think Pavs is ready to turn the corner. He looked very determined against Ottawa and he battled his butt off rarely getting too far our of position or falling down into a helpless position. Let’s hope his teammates rally around him and try to get him back to back wins to the tune of 4 – 2 or 4 – 3.

My prediction: 4 to 3 good guys…in OT of course! Pevs with the GWG from Kovalchuk.

TableHockey

January 14th, 2010
1:52 pm

I’ll be there tonight – either in 101 or the nose bleeds. Just depends on how my luck runs this afternoon.

LAC

January 14th, 2010
1:59 pm

dwtoo, you know that is the best thing to do here. You can disagree with anyone’s stance on a given aspect of our team and that is what Rawhide’s blog is for. I have a point of view a number of folks do not agree with, I respect that. I, also, disagree with a number of posts that come up from time to time as well.

While you may be on the “other side of the fence” on a given issue, remember, Nobody is attacking you, they are commenting on the team and everyone connected with it is FAIR game for whatever the reason.

Your stance is likely different from mine & Mr.Stendec’s, but in NO way are we knocking you, I respect your comments, but the personal stuff, just because we disagree, well that is uncalled for.

I agree, stick to hockey and let’s hope we ALL have more and more favorable comments in the near future !

R. Stroz

January 14th, 2010
2:01 pm

Cowbell Corner, otherwise known as Section 222, will be rocking tonight.

World Be Free

January 14th, 2010
2:02 pm

Smoothie, Good guys Sabres or Thrashers? The term could go both ways with some of us, as you know. Hoping for a great game.

Bob

January 14th, 2010
2:09 pm

“But I’m optimistic…I have no idea why. I think Pavs is ready to turn the corner.”

I feel the same way, and no idea why I feel that way, but I think Pavs is ready to be a difference maker tonight and steal a win for us. Mabye it’s the Kari shadow he might see looming or what, but I think he pulls one out for us tonight and grabs the #1 back from Moose.

Rawhide

January 14th, 2010
2:29 pm

Smoothie & Bob – The only time this season Opie has followed up a game in which he allowed fewer than 3 goals with another such “quality” start…was back in October. On the 16th of that month the Thrashers won in New Jersey 4-2…Pavs saved 28 of 30 SOG. Four days later, he started in Montreal and stopped 34 of 35 in the 2-1 shootout loss there.

It’s been a while…but like many of you, I to am experiencing the “Opie Optimism”…I think he follows up Tuesday night’s gem with another one tonight.

fingers crossed

I’ll be in “Room 222″ tonight…for those of you old enough to remember that TV show

Ray

January 14th, 2010
2:31 pm

I’ll be in 111 again.

Smoothie

January 14th, 2010
2:50 pm

Rawhide, thanks for pointing that out. In both cases though, he had more than a couple of days rest in between I think. Too lazy to look it up now. Regardless, he NEEDS this vote of confidence and I have a feeling he will seize. If I’m wrong, I get to drunk tonite anyway.

WBF – I love my father and I generally like the folks from Western NY, but I freakin’ love to hate the Sabres when they come to town. So many drunk obnoxious blowhards who have to go home disappointed. Well, at least since 2006! So in this case, there is only one “good guys” as far as I’m concerned. But once the Olympics roll around, I am Ryan Miller’s new biggest fan! USA! USA! USA!

It will be weird seeing us take the ice vs the Slugs wearing maroon, or burgundy or whatever the hell that is supposed to be.