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

Brendan

January 13th, 2010
12:31 am

Well, the Senators are out of control in the Nation’s Capital. No, I’m not referring to hockey team, I meant Canada’s Parliament. :)

Okay, I mean the Ottawa Senators hockey club. If you think a 5-game losing streak is bad, you haven’t seen anything yet. How much are the Senators in disarray? So much so … that they got b!tchslapped by the imploding Thrashers, who came into the game 1-7-3 in their last eleven (11) games, on the heels of an 8-1 thrashing by the Capitals. If the Sens cannot get a win here, they need to make changes. Lose to the Thrashers, and ‘the threat is real.’ Tomorrow’s Ottawa Sun or Ottawa Citizen very well may be calling for someone’s pink slip. Ottawa is fighting for a playoff spot. One of the teams they’re actually competing with for that spot … is Atlanta. Who just pulled off the ol’ “4-point swing.” And netminder Brian Elliot did very little to help mop up in relief. To make matters worse for them, FORMER Senator, Todd white, a second line forward who was goal-less in 35 games, and how many months?, scored against them. And to add insult to injury, Ondrej Pavelec got on the stat sheet. No, it wasn’t a goal. But still, it’s a goalie point against them. Atlanta’s PP unit came in at 10% over its last 11 games, but it got one tonight, in the form of Eric Boulton’s 1st period tally.

Anyway you slice and dice it, Ottawa’s 5-game losing streak is cause for concern for them. Conditions don’t get any BETTER than this, for Ottawa, to end their streak. They laid an egg. I can’t wait to read the morning paper in Ottawa. Should be GOOD! In Canada, they have this thing called, “accountability.”

Brendan

January 13th, 2010
12:37 am

Would it be fair to put Boris Valabik on the milk carton?

Tony C.

January 13th, 2010
12:38 am

Soooooooo.

Found this.

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/columnists/pagnotta100111.html

What jackasses. I understand you want to make your books look the best they can, but isn’t this the same group that boasted about having no significant debtload? One wonders if they’ve ever heard the phrase “penny-wise, pound-foolish” if this blog is any indication, this is messing with an already disgruntled fan-base.

I would like to see if we can get a “NHL HELP US-Atlanta Hockey Fans” Sign up against the glass on the broadcast???

Please those of you who have seats close to that, let’s make that happen.

please

hoosier_hoser

January 13th, 2010
12:53 am

John Anderson — Genius, sheer genius! Moving Eric Bolton to the 2nd line! Playing Bolts on the power play! That’s why JW gets the big bucks and posters on boards like this get paid what their collective opinion is worth? What’s with the refs conspiring to deny Bolts the opportunity to get his Gordie Howe hat trick?

The Thrashers need to reshuffle their lines pairing White with Slater and Bolton so that we can realize the chemistry and scoring power of our hottest players.

Somaatl95

January 13th, 2010
1:00 am

So I get really pissed and want nothing to do with tonights game. Figures the Fall 2009 version of the team decides to show up. Hopefully they stay awhile and try to make up for that really pathetic December we just suffered through – was about to ask if the team from the comeback against the Canes could be on the milk carton. You agree Brendan? :) Go Thrashers! Lets make it 2, Then talk about a trend after 3 – then maybe a streak of 4 or more. Then a few of you will be glad that I might STFU about wanting DW and the ASG to pay for their “Let them eat cake” attitude towards the fans.

Tony C.

January 13th, 2010
1:13 am

hoosier-good point about the line-juggle.

When I heard that Thorburn was riding shotgun with #17 & Pevs, I thought to myself “niiiice reward… I bet Kovy gets more time in the slot than he has in weeks

Also-Boulton’s 1st-ever PPG? = Sweet!

Springtime hockey is all about puck possession and being able to sustain zone presence. A hard forecheck is essential to this, just slightly below winning the faceoff IMHO. Remember when PGH was on such a tear earlier in the season? Their forecheck was relentless!
Coach gave each line balance- Boulton providing much-needed ass to the White/Slavamatic combo.

Ideally, we’d have a wee bit more skill to go along with the sandpaper, but I hope the work ethic of the 4th-liners is infectious.

Brendan

January 13th, 2010
1:34 am

Truthfully, Somaatl95, I don’t like comebacks. It means something WENT WRONG in the first place. No team should get down to the this year’s ‘Canes, 4-0. If I recall correctly, the Thrashers won that game, 6-4.

Switching gears, I’m going to refrain from calling John Anderson a “genius” when the team is only one game over .500 past the midway point of the season. If Boulton has caught fire playing on a different line, GREAT! That’s fabulous, zip-zup-zabulous. But wouldn’t a “genius” have hatched this plan back at Thanksgiving? What? That’s not a fair question to ask of a “genius?” Allright, then. Cheerfully withdrawn.

So, Kari Lehtonen is being interviewed by Natalie Taylor. Chris Thorburn is being interviewed by Natalie Taylor. Toby Enstrom is being interviewed by Natalie Taylor. Ondrej Pavelec is being interviewed by Natalie Taylor. What do they all have in common? Don’t answer, “A pretty blonde holding a microphone.” The correct answer is, the words, “I don’t know,” escape their lips, in response to her questions. Then John Anderson gives a press conference, and he lets an “I don’t know” answer out.

Shouldn’t there be a meeting about that? Constantly saying, “I don’t know” comes off as, “because we’re clueless.” And that’s not really the impression I think this organization wants to reinforce. By the way, Natalie Taylor is getting better. She’s developing a more professional demeanor. She wasn’t giddily clueless. Maybe they’re changing her “role” on the broadcasts? Maybe our efforts to “free Natalie Taylor” were heard? Someone once replied, “Free Natalie Taylor? Okay, I’ll take her!”

Dwayne

January 13th, 2010
6:04 am

Thrashers have won 2 out of 3, do that for the rest of the year and we win the CUP !!!! AHHHHHHH, what a nice dream.
Did Kari look like a fat kid who’s been eating cup cakes for the last 3 or 4 months?

Riceowls8891

January 13th, 2010
7:19 am

No changing seats for you the rest of the season. :)

Russian

January 13th, 2010
8:13 am

It was a good game. Good Victory. I like to see game at Thursday against Buffalo. If we will beat Buffalo, that willbe Great Victory. Ottawa was very weak team. They got AHL players from farm, but Buffalo will be good test for us.
White was score goal. Finnaly. But I like to see line back to normal, if Antro come back. This is my lines for Thursday:
Kovy-Pever-Max
Kane-Slater-Little
Slava-Antro-Armi
Bolt-Rizon-Thrombon
White should take a sit.
If Antro is not ready I will put White back to line and should be like that:
Kovy-Pever-Max (this line will work good)
Kane-Slater-Little (I want to see them together one more game)
Armi-Rizon-Thrombon
Bolt-White-Slava (I hope they found a chemistry):-)
We are still on 11 spot. Tampa have a same points as we do. I hope we will get to win at lease 5 games.

Zoomo

January 13th, 2010
8:25 am

I heard that Whitey exclaimed “Take that Rawhide!” after his goal.

GaVaHokie

January 13th, 2010
8:26 am

We got a good chance to win 5 out of the next 6 games.

Get The Puck Out

January 13th, 2010
8:33 am

Maybe they need to replay the beatdown they got by Washington before every game in the locker room.

Mike

January 13th, 2010
8:38 am

Great game last night. I agree with Hokie that can win several of the next few games.

While the lines didn’t look like they made sense, they seemed to work. Yes..it was against the Senators and maybe anything would have worked, but mentally it had to be a good thing for the guys.

I would still like to see Little center Kovy’s line. Anyone else see the no look behind the back pass he made in the neutral zone to Kovy. It seems he knows where Kovy is all the time.

On Kovy, I want him to stay, but I don’t want to handicap the franchise by paying him too much. There is no guarantees that the franchise will win consistently with him or without him, and we know that winning is the only thing that will fill the seats. It takes two to tango, so I will put the blame on this not being done yet on both the ASG (including DW) and Kovy.

Rawhide

January 13th, 2010
8:40 am

No changing seats for you the rest of the season.

Riceowls8891 – HA! You may be right. For those of you not in the know….what he’s talking about is that I spent last night up in the Blueland Chronicle perch in the front row of 317. The last time I did so was on Nov. 30…which, of course, was the last time the Thrashers won in regulation before last night. So…I guess we’ve found the magic formula, eh?

I heard that Whitey exclaimed “Take that Rawhide!” after his goal.

Zoomo – Maybe…but it’d be just fine with me if he has the chance to “curse” me under his breath 20-25 more times this season.

GaVaHokie

January 13th, 2010
8:42 am

Looking at the teams ahead of us… Ottawa has an absolutely brutal schedule the next few weeks. Coupled with injuries, I’d say they’re free-falling.

The Islanders have a pretty rough schedule as well… so if all goes well, I’d say Atlanta and Montreal are battling for the 8th spot over the next two weeks.

Nikita

January 13th, 2010
8:53 am

Last night’s game was a good one. All my dudes played well.

General thoughts:

1. Valabik has been maturing decently. Of course, at the moment his restraint is nice, but I hope it turns into class, sophistication, hard hits, and scoring.

2. Yay, Todd White! Yay, Chris Thorburn! Yay, Kozzie! Yay, Enstrom!

3. Yay, Eric Boulton! And incidentally, he didn’t get a Gordie Howe hat trick, but he did exceed the Jeff Odgers record for penalty minutes. He now is the all-time champion of PIM for the Thrashers.

4. Poor Kari. The dude’s still a horrible interview, with his extremely limited english proficiency. And he does have a bit of butter face at the moment.

Which reminds me…can you trade someone on the IR?

jt

January 13th, 2010
8:56 am

I like our chances of putting together a decent winning streak over the next few weeks. I will be there next Thrs. against the Canes. Hope tosee a repeat of last night.

Ice Daddy

January 13th, 2010
8:57 am

Lost in all of the giddiness is the fact that the refs actually called a very good game last night. I can usually find something to blame the refs for, but not last night. Schubert isn’t a dirty player and I’m sure he just meant to check Cheechoo, but sending him off with the misconduct was the right thing to do. It keeps the game from descending into a chippy wrestling match because you know Ottawa would have come after him if he stayed in the game. Same thing with sending Bolts and Neil off at the end. It wasn’t really warranted based on the infractions, but from a ref game management standpoint, it was perfect. Especially nice to see after the whole Alex Burrows incident.

I would like to see Kane get on a hot streak. As I watch him in games, he’s got everything going except results. I have a feeling that once he gets a few in the net, he will start rolling.

Great win. The Sabres will be a real test.

FormerIslesFan

January 13th, 2010
9:21 am

RH,

Great to see you and the BC Boys last night. Redlight, nice to meet you as well and put a face with a name.

Before the game, two extra tickets fell into my lap. Belive it or not, I couldn’t GIVE them away last night (and believe me, I spent about ten minutes outside the box office before the game looking for someone to give them too). Not sure how that bodes for us…

Now…onto the good…

We’ve pretty much covered everything here. A few other points I have not seen above:

The defense FINALLY remembered the one HUGE thing that has been missing for the past many games. When your goalie gives up a rebound, fight like hell to get it out of the slot. For some reason, we have been giving tons of second chances lately. Last night, I saw people hustling and diving out there to make sure that there were no real second chance opportunities. I think I noticed maybe two times were there was a shot-rebound-shot combination against us.

People were drving the net!!! Finally!! I saw at least three different three on two rushes where there was a drop pass at the blue line to the D-man and then the two forwards drove the net to either screen the goalie or pounce on a rebound. This was confirmed by Bolts in the post-game show on 680 where he said that was something that JA had drilled them on in the practice on Sunday. Good to see, believe me!

Toby

January 13th, 2010
9:27 am

Three words… Crash the net!!

If they do this on both ends of the ice, it’ll be a lot tougher to lose.

Midfield

January 13th, 2010
9:34 am

Schubert had an easy enough game.

Paminski

January 13th, 2010
9:39 am

Keep perspective here. It’s one win against a struggling team. I still believe they CAN win more games. However, I’m not at all convinced Atlanta is committed to winning. I’ll keep cheering regardless.

jwizzle

January 13th, 2010
9:40 am

I am so happy to see White off the milk carton! I had a thought though…can we put Kovy on there for his overall absconded effort or enthusiasm? Maybe that would be a juice carton…where the hell is Kovy’s juice?

I will say though our team was incredibly focused from the start. Perhaps the pounding we received from the caps (I winced hard the entire last two periods) was a fire starter? I don’t know how long it can last if the coaching leadership doesn’t remain focused as well.

Great game last night and excellent company in 317!

J.B.

January 13th, 2010
9:43 am

i really enjoyed the fight between boults & neil last night as well. it went on for quite a while and was pretty evenly matched in my opinion. if i had to pick a winner, i’d give the edge to boulton; he landed some good ones.

Rawhide

January 13th, 2010
9:44 am

FIF – Great to see you an Lilibeter as well. Sorry I could not join you in your “far more closer to the ice” seats…but there was some “mojo” going on and we didn’t wanna mess woth Kharma.

Toby – Three words…You Are Correct!

Midfield – Ooooh…that was cold! :lol:

jwizzle - Indeed…good times in 317. Nice to see ya again.

Red Light – Great to meet you in person last night.

sisu

January 13th, 2010
9:51 am

Nice game all around, I am going to enjoy this until tomorrow

Hockey Biltong

January 13th, 2010
9:56 am

RH, Boults and Neil fell to the ice, but Neil was riding cowgirl!I’m guessing Eric wanted to stay up longer, but was unable to do so.
NHL on the Fly pretty much said that Ottawa lost a game to Atlanta that they shouldn’t have. They said we were a mess, which is pretty accurate.

Mr. Heat Miser

January 13th, 2010
10:12 am

They split up the bangers, so each line had someone that would actually backcheck. Backchecking – what a novel idea……

TommyT4

January 13th, 2010
10:26 am

From the glass “half full” department: 1) This was a much needed win after the Caps debacle, and against a team near us in the standings. 2) despite that abysmal road trip, we still have games worth attending/watching 3) favorable schedule coming up against lower tier teams and many, many home dates in March 4) Kovy could still end up staying in Atlanta. Go Blue!

Somaatl95

January 13th, 2010
10:45 am

Not a reflection on last nights game, but since I have been pointing out the un-good of Atlanta sports history I will bring up comebacks that had us all shocked, surprised and extremely happy, if only in the short term. 10/14/1992, NCLS Game 7 – Sid Bream slides his was into Atlanta Sports History and the Braves go to the World Series.1/17/99, NFC Championship Game – Terance Mathis ties with less than a minute to go in regulation and in OT Morten “The Great Dane” Andersen kicks the Falcons into their very first (and only so far) Super Bowl. And who could forget the Hawks forcing the “Best” team in basketball, The Celtics, to a game 7 a couple of seasons ago? 3 Comebacks that any long suffering Atlanta Sports Fan will remember in their hearts and minds till the day they die. This city loves a “comeback kid” and if the Thrashers manage to turn it around in grand fashion maybe this can be the year that they make our hearts race in the post season and give us yet another reason to say that we believe :)
As I said before, I don’t hate. Just passionate. And I want our boys in blue to become a force to be reckoned with, not laughed at, and staging big comebacks are sometimes just as fun to watch as last nights blowout of the Sens was.
And a question for anyone who goes to TSN.ca and reads their coverage of the Thrashers. You ever notice how all those people who comment after the stories do nothing but tear other Canadian cities apart between talking trash about the Thrash? No sense of sportsmanship or pride, just utter nastiness.

Darkhorse

January 13th, 2010
11:10 am

Hopefully, the good play last night will carry over. This paticular team for some reason seems to need extra motivation and “atta boys” almost every game.

As Get The Puck Out suggested, a motivating reminder of how bad they can be and how great they can be should be played before each game. If this team needs a motivational wake-up call every time, then Anderson & Co need to be creative and give them just that.

Maybe he should take the team to a Hypnotist. My wife has a friend that just went for personal and family issues, and supposedly she says it really helped her relax and refocus. I’m not joking either. Nothing else seems to be doing it consistantly with this team’s effort. Didn’t a couple of the Braves, Smoltz and a few others, get hypnotized in the early to mid-ninties to assit with their pitching woes at the time? Maybe Steve Avery was another?

Smoothie

January 13th, 2010
11:51 am

All the boys needed was a little bit of reinforcement and encouragement from me and “10 Spot” at Casino Night! My sweetie gave a “hug” to 4 of the 6 goal scorers Sunday night including Mr. Boulton who seemed quite smitten with her. And we gave extra special encouragement to Bryan Little and Todd White, whom I told was robbed the other night when they took the goal away and gave it to Max.

Nikita

January 13th, 2010
12:13 pm

I’m kind of smitten with Boulton, myself. Some of you may recall the Fire on Ice campaign, which was my personal quest to make the Thrashers capitalize on some of the hotness of the on-ice talent other than the lovely ice girls. I haven’t given up.

Boults isn’t my physical type with his stupid flavor saver and country music obsession, but I do find his chippiness, affability, humor, and diehard work ethic pretty sexy. And, um, he’s pretty frightening up close, with biceps the size of my head.

Adding to the “hot” list: Schubert, Hainsey (now that’s discovered regular hair cuts and cut back on the gel), Toby (who’s adorable…plus I find his defensive play totally hot), Valentine Valabik (the smoldering attitude is kinda hot…and maybe for his birthday he’ll get a few goals?), Chris Thorburn (blue is his color. Rrrowr.), Ondrej Pavelec (really nice-looking), the Moose, Kane (good-looking kid), Youngblood, and…I’m sure I’m forgetting someone. Oh, some people find Kaptain Kiltwearer kind of hot.

Bogosian might make the list if he’d lay off the mafia-boss jewelry.

World Be Free

January 13th, 2010
12:24 pm

Since everyone is feeling so good, is it ok if I say ZHITNIK! I knew that would make everyone’s day.

See, I didn’t talk about Kovy’s contract.

World Be Free

January 13th, 2010
12:35 pm

…..And with everything we have gone through, it could be worse.
We could be U of T football supporters that just got hood-winked by Lane Kiffen. My father would have slapped me if I did what he did. In this case, Kiffen and Dad are doing this dastardly act together.
“Thanks for your support, Dad”

This makes the Vols gangster recruits look not so bad.

J.B.

January 13th, 2010
12:35 pm

i’m a kovy fan but those pics of him in the kilt look ridicuolous. LMAO every time I see one of ‘em.

Nikita

January 13th, 2010
12:43 pm

Yep. I’m not sure what he was thinking. Oh, wait, he was probably thinking “kilt like so drives the russian girls wild.”

TableHockey

January 13th, 2010
12:58 pm

Woohoo – we’re a coach killer – the Senators fired goalie coach Eli Wilson this morning: http://senators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=513454

Hockey Biltong

January 13th, 2010
1:07 pm

WBF-Afinagenov,Afinagenov, Afinagenov… kind of like Beetlejuice!!!

Rawhide

January 13th, 2010
1:10 pm

Woohoo – we’re a coach killer – the Senators fired goalie coach Eli Wilson this morning:

TableHockey – Wow! Talk about “accountability”…Todd White scores a goal on ya and the goalie coach gets axed!

GaVaHokie

January 13th, 2010
1:34 pm

Here’s some interesting reading for you today… 29 proposals for Kovalchuk, by Buccigross… most of these are terrible and unrealistic, but still…

http://espn.go.com/nhl/notebook/_/page/buccigross_100112/ilya-kovalchuk-trade-talk-29-proposals-atlanta

World Be Free

January 13th, 2010
1:37 pm

Biltong! Where have you been?
Max has earned my respect, with some reservation.
I’ll leave it at that-you at the game tomorrow?
Paminski-Where are you sitting?

Will we ever meet LAC and Stendec at the games? Hope so

DWTOO

January 13th, 2010
1:50 pm

LAC/Stendec actually sit in the ASG suite.

Bob

January 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

I saw none of the game, did we look good or did the Sens just blow? I like the line juggling, way to shake things up, Coach. I like Kozlov on the 4th line. It’ll be interesting to see if they bring it tomorrow against Buff-a-blow

Smoothie

January 13th, 2010
2:12 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

Yes, you read that right. We are out-shooting our opponents. Even if you include the WSH game, we have 6 more shots on goal than given up.

Shooting % For: 9.51% (down from our season avg of 10.64%)
Shooting % Agt: 11.96% (avg GAA of 3.60 over those 10 games)

If we continue to reduce the number of shots we allow or stay right around an average of 30-32 AND the shooting % gets back up to around 10% or even 10.25%, we stand a very good chance of winning the majority of our games going forward.

Save percentage against: .913 (I included the WSH game for this)
Save percentage for ATL: .866 (includes the 8 to 1 whitewashing)

Obviously, for the above statement to be true, our goalies must start playing like they did vs Ottawa and NYR. They don’t necessarily need to hold the opponent to 1 goal, but an avg of 2.8 goals against would probably suffice. The 4% difference in our save percentage makes all the difference. If the goalies can get back up to around .905 CONSISTENTLY, then this team will have a shot at making the playoffs.

The schedule ahead is very favorable with the combined records of our next 6 opponents (including Anaheim) just a game above .500. Take away the Sabres, and that record is a whopping 16 games under .500. Even with a distracted Kovalchuk, this team has the chance to win 5, realistically, of the next 7 games.

Let’s say they do just that: win 5 games and earn an OTL point as well. That would give them a record of 25 – 20 – 7 for 57 points after 53 games. Their points earned pace would be on track for 88 points with a very favorable home schedule in March. The management will be faced with a very difficult decision at that point w/r/t Kovalchuk.

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?

LAC

January 13th, 2010
2:15 pm

WBF NO, I was a STH until three years ago, then I got fed up with the scheme of things with this franchise and have not been back since. Have seen games in Nashville/St.Louis/Chicago/Carolina and MSG… But
until, at the very very least waddell is terminated, I will not return, the people who own the team so NO interest in the team OR the fans and
I will show no interest, in person, until changes take place.

For a loser like dwtoo, I would not sit with those dummies for free every game from now on.

Smoothie

January 13th, 2010
2:17 pm

Oooops! Make that 57 points in 52 games…a pts earned % of 1.096 or a pace to earn 90 points for the season. Essentially, right in the picture for the 8 seed and a sweep, probably, at the hands of Wash?

TableHockey

January 13th, 2010
2:21 pm

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.

Red Light

January 13th, 2010
2:34 pm

Former Isles Fan, Bill, et al.
I enjoyed meeting y’all too. It’s incredible to meet the passionate hockey fans in our fair city. Although it might be a small number (and dwindling?), performances like last night certainly will keep it interesting, particularly if the Thrashers can build some momentum. While that isn’t a given, I’ll keep attending and hope to meet more great Atlanta hockey fans during the rest of the season – with or without Kovy!