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 in one himself.

Kovy scored first for Atlanta with a bullet from the left point to cut Toronto’s lead to 2-1. His second goal of the night gave the Thrashers a 4-2 lead in the third after Chris Thorburn intercepted a wayward Leafs pass in center ice. Kovy took Thorburn’s feed into the attacking zone and rocketed the puck past Vesa Toskala from the right circle. They were goals number 29 and 30 for Ilya and his assist on Peverley’s power play goal gives him 56 points on the season.

Assuming he plays in the Thrashers 33 remaining games, Kovalchuk on pace for right at 99 or 100 points.

The captain’s play caught coach Anderson’s attention. “That was the best game I’ve seen Kovy play in two weeks”, Anderson said. “I guess he felt good…he always plays good but that was special”.

As for Kovalchuk, he was more than willing to deflect much of the credit to Ondrej Pavelec, who had another fine start…stopping 37 of 40 Maple Leafs shots. “Pavelec made some unbelievable saves and the penalty kill stopped them in the final minute,” Kovalchuk said. “It was a team effort. If we work like we did tonight, we’re going to win a lot of games”.

Captain Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates the win over Toronto with his teammates (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Captain Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates the win over Toronto with his teammates (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Indeed.

Also scoring for Atlanta was Evander Kane. His nifty wrap-around job halfway through the second tied the game at two. It was his first goal since New Years night in Buffalo.

Atlanta’s penalty kill unit was successful on all five Toronto man advantage opportunities. The Thrashers went 1 for 7 on the power play…however, Kovalchuk’s first goal of the night came just three seconds after Ponikarovski has exited the sin-bin after his hooking penalty 40 seconds into the period.

With the win, the Thrashers leapfroged back over Florida into second place in the Southeast…both teams now having played 49 games. They remain tied with Philadelphia…who thumped Columbus 5-3… in the ninth and tenth spots in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have 51 points, though Philly has played one less game, and they trail the eighth place New York Islanders by one single point…New York having played 50 games.

This was a great win by the Thrashers tonight, one that they really…and I mean realllllllly…needed in a bad way.

Viewing Party at TJs

So…whatcha doin’ Saturday night? Well, how about joining us at TJ’s bar and grill located on Holcomb Bridge Road to watch the Thrashers take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. As they normally do, the Atlanta Thrashers fan Club will be putting on quite the party and Tim, Mark and the entire staff will certainly be providing their normal top-notch service.

Is the opportunity to hang with yours truly and other regular posters around here not enough to persuade you? Well, how about 15% off your food and beverages?

Uh-huh….That’s what I thought. See ya’ll there.

And Finally…

So…I’m walking out of Philips Arena last night and holding the door for me was James Brown.

No…not that James Brown. He’s a self-described “lurker” on this blog and it was very, very nice to make his acquaintance…along with the three lovely ladies he was with.

I guess it’s only natural that I would meet someone with the name James Brown on a night like this, because after such a nice win by the Thrashers….

OWWWWwwwwww….I feel good!

sigh…sorry

135 comments Add your comment

World Be Free

January 20th, 2010
8:49 am

First! Beat stroz!

World Be Free

January 20th, 2010
8:50 am

You could say they burned the Leafs too.

Jimmy and Salmela looked good last night. That’s right, I said Jimmy looked good. Competition was the best thing that ever happened to Slater. He’s pulled his head out of his —- since sitting in the press box for the first few weeks of the season.

Time for Kovy to sign so we can shut Eklund up!

Eileen

January 20th, 2010
8:52 am

Philips is really rocking lately. A small crowd (which is sad), but very loud and festive. Great come back by the Thrashers!

Hockey Biltong

January 20th, 2010
8:55 am

Slava has been hit hard the last three games. I hope he will survive the bashes…..

rightshot

January 20th, 2010
8:56 am

Thought OP was shaky in the first but really played better the rest of the game. Liked the overall team effort and that they to win tried pretty much the whole game. I think if we can play like this, and better, we will see playoff hockey in Atlanta. Well, here’s hopeing.

Hockey Biltong

January 20th, 2010
8:56 am

TSN had Toronto highlights and the first thing the announce said was “and 10,000 fans bothered to show up at Philips tonight.” OUCHY

Hockey Biltong

January 20th, 2010
9:12 am

DWTOO- McConnell[sp]also has a habit of calling Boris “Big Bo” which drives me batsh$t.
ANybody from Ohio remember the Cincinnati Mohawks?

ben

January 20th, 2010
9:16 am

good game. I remember all the excitement when the team played their first game against New Jersey and lost. I remember how rockin’ the place was for Pasi. I just wish the team’s ownership would get creative on how to fill the seats. Like, maybe move the seats to a different arena. Like say the one up I-85. I go up to Alpheretta and see a lot of sub-30 year-olds wearing thrashers jerseys. Maybe demographics is destiny, or maybe they should find a way to get up there.

R. Stroz

January 20th, 2010
9:30 am

WBF – It’s not always good to be fast, but Congrats!

Cup Guy

January 20th, 2010
9:34 am

It was a great game tonight. I did laugh at one point tonight before Kovy’s second goal. He was just doing his usual lazy skate in a figure 8. Then i was like watch this guys lazy lazy, now we have the puck, now he skates a little, now he has the puck and skates a lot watch this goal here it comes here it comes…. GOAL!!!! Lol. He is so freakin lazy but whatever. They will pay him that ridiculous amount and he will stay. I did laugh when Natalie asked him about him leading by example and i just laughed. Sure he leads 1/3 of the ice but the other 2/3 he sleeps. I thought he played alright but not great like JA said.

last it was good to run into you bill. Twice. It was a much needed win and i always get excited when we win and people get excited. see you all on thursday.

Hockey Biltong

January 20th, 2010
9:37 am

High praise, indeed.

LAC

January 20th, 2010
9:38 am

Yes the TSN announcers also made a BIG point about ENTIRE SECTIONS available for seating and one said, How can this Atlanta team stay here
and simply not draw ? TSN blogs calling for “relocation” like never before… Maybe it is over here ?????

Well if we had a commited OWNER, it would thrive, winning does that.

But with the collection of misfits & liars what else can we expect ?

Good game, but this zach kid is a complete BUST on defense, responsible for goals two & three, go to the game replay and what his LAZY LAZY play behind the net, gets stripped of the puck, one pass and Toronto GOAL. This is now a regular thing with this guy, he gives the other team a goal a game about and several chances, in other highlights, he can be seen wandering or just staning around watching when he should be
confronting their players… I have simple seen all this kid I want too, he STINKS, sure he has some offense, but he had NO defensive skills and has turned into a marshmellow. Trade his to Edmonton or someplace, he is TOAST here.

Otherwise important game to win, and Carolina will be likewise.

StateBird

January 20th, 2010
9:42 am

Kubina steamrolling Ponikarovski was nice but for me the turning point was Kovy steamrolling an unidentified Leaf (couldn’t catch the number). Kovy played like a “max” player last night. Unfortunately the track record shows that while he is capable of those efforts they are few and far between.

Paminski

January 20th, 2010
9:46 am

Does McConnell get paid extra every time he says “it’s the hockey way”? I can’t blame anyone for doing this tho. Market, market, market. Especially get those kids while they’re young. By the time they have disposable income, southern children will already be hockey fans.

I’m in 305 tomorrow behind the attack once net I think. And I thought 307 was far away. Also, some friends have asked to meet at T-Mac for a beer after the game, so I should be visiting there.

Let’s go, Slater!

Tom

January 20th, 2010
9:47 am

I was about to send an ambulance to the Stroz house? Thanks God he showed up. :)

Rawhide

January 20th, 2010
10:28 am

You could say they burned the Leafs too.

WBF – True…but I think I’ve used that header before. Good to see ya last night!

Philips is really rocking lately. A small crowd (which is sad), but very loud and festive. Great come back by the Thrashers!

Thought OP was shaky in the first but really played better the rest of the game.

rightshot - Agreed. It’s good to see Opie able to shake off early goals these days.

Kubina steamrolling Ponikarovski was nice but for me the turning point was Kovy steamrolling an unidentified Leaf (couldn’t catch the number).

StateBird – Both were great hits! Kovy was playing really great last night…actually, make that, the last several games.

Eileen - Yes it was! Sorry I missed ya last night! Please give my best to your two tax exemptions.

Slava has been hit hard the last three games. I hope he will survive the bashes…..

Hockey Biltong – Indeed. If he doesn’t and has to sit in the press box, that means Todd White skates again. shudders

last it was good to run into you bill. Twice. It was a much needed win and i always get excited when we win and people get excited. see you all on thursday.

Cup Guy – Nice to see you again as well.

DWTOO

January 20th, 2010
10:33 am

Damn good and entertaining game last night. And since I was there I didn’t have to listen to Matt call “Big Bo” (Thanks Hockey Biltong). Because most nights Big Bo needs a the Big Seat. Shame to see to those Leaf fans spend all that money to see their team jump to a two goal lead and fold. Hope they enjoy the aquarium.

Am I’m tired of Canadian fans harping for relocation. Get over it!

HB – MRSDWTOO brought some biltong back from SA, but, the kids ate it all before I had the chance to sample. She was not sure of the laws regarding what she could bring back so only brought one bag. Was in your native land in Novemember and it is truly beautiful, especially Kruger NP, where I did get to dine on Kudu (sp?).

Alan R.

January 20th, 2010
10:33 am

Whoa whoa whoa… hold the phone. The Toronto Sports Network and their esteemed and knowledgeable “bloggers” are calling for a southern market re-location??? I’d have never guessed!

World Be Free

January 20th, 2010
10:34 am

Hey folks, what TSN and the other idiots do not realize is that THEY DON’T OWN THE THRASHERS. You can’t relocate something you don’t own.

Maybe we should relocate the Toronto Blue Jays to Gwinnett because they only draw about 20-22,000 per game?

Those people all sound like Keith Brooking.

Smoothie

January 20th, 2010
11:00 am

I prefer a headline referring to how we “smoked the buds”! In fact, that’s what I used on my short blog entry last night:

http://thrashingbirds.blogspot.com/2010/01/thrashers-smoke-budstotally-awesome.html

WBF – ’twas indeed a pleasure to finally meet you after the game last night. Next time, we’ll take it to the “Mac” and have a few brews. But 10-Spot and I needed a break from the late hours “celebrating”; not to mention it’s hard to feel THAT excited to beat the lowly Leafs. I hope this was just a case of being a bit road weary and saving their energy for the 2nd two periods. Still a LOT to work on.

I figure they’ll be right in the thick of things if they can go 2 – 0 – 1 in the next 3 games. Hell, winning all 3 is possible, but this team just can’t seem to put it all together right now. Seems like there is always one period in which they play miserably or one facet of their game that is severely lacking such as the POWER-less PLAY-around with the puck too long.

Rawhide

January 20th, 2010
11:07 am

Whoa whoa whoa… hold the phone. The Toronto Sports Network and their esteemed and knowledgeable “bloggers” are calling for a southern market re-location??? I’d have never guessed!

Alan R. - Yeah…who-da-thunkit?

I prefer a headline referring to how we “smoked the buds”! In fact, that’s what I used on my short blog entry last night

Smoothinator – Niccccccccccccccccce!

Smoothie

January 20th, 2010
11:09 am

I don’t know, will they give Marty Booker another chance? If you ask me, they didn’t throw to him enough and instead forced too many throws to TG and Roddy. But then again, if Harry Douglas is healthy, our offense should be pretty damn tough to stop!

Oh wait a minute, what blog am I on?! Too many blogs, make it stop!

World Be Free

January 20th, 2010
11:09 am

Smoothie-I totally agree, the 3 of us need to hit the Mac next time for some recreational beverages.

One more point on the Canadian media-I really doesn’t matter if the house was half empty or totally full last night, the TSN idiots would complain. The Canadian media is the BIGGEST group of whiners I have ever encountered. If you think the Liberals in America have an entitlement mentality, then you need to listen to the Canadian media. The simple-minded hockey fans that adore Don Cherry chime right in.

How Cherry stayed on the air past his first season is a mystery to anyone who has an IQ above Forrest Gump (ID 44).

Smoothie

January 20th, 2010
11:11 am

Rawhide – Yeah dude. Totally.

Smoothie

January 20th, 2010
11:15 am

WBF – I think the only reason Cherry is on TV is because IT IS ABSOLUTELY HYSTERICAL to watch that ruddy-faced drunk ramble on and on and on aimlessly like a senile old war vet in a nursing home mumbling about the good ol’ days after the War. Remember, Candadians also love the movie Strange Brew!! That says it all. Oh wait a sec, I LIKE that movie too. Oh well, I’m just a closet hoser eh?

MASHAPlayer7

January 20th, 2010
11:24 am

@Hockey Biltong – I’m not from Ohio, but I’m a big AHL fan – didn’t the Mohawks play in the 50s or 60s?

MASHAPlayer7

January 20th, 2010
11:25 am

Didn’t Andy Sutton and Pascal Dupuis play a season together here in ATL? Looks like there was no love lost after that cheap Sutton hit (surprise) on Dupuis last night.

Bob

January 20th, 2010
12:01 pm

You can tell Kovy’s contract is moving forward now, his play has been much better the past couple weeks. I think they sign him now and it’s pretty funny how you can tell the contract per his play, I guess he’s an emotional guy and it reflects in his effort, reactions to goals, etc.

I know that’s just the Buds (smoke the buds, nice!) but that’s the kind of game that can get you on a roll. Hate to say it, but our playoff chances are going to rest on Kari’s shoulders, Moose and Opie aren’t going to get us there.

GaVaHokie

January 20th, 2010
12:02 pm

After Kovy’s second goal last night, he scribbled his hand across the ice… does that count as a signature? ;)

GaVaHokie

January 20th, 2010
12:06 pm

Mooseberg

January 20th, 2010
12:08 pm

Damn Canadian’s….haven’t they figure it out yet that you need Corporate Sponsorship to keep a team…fans in the seats help but a team cannot survive on that alone….this is why they lost their teams to US cities in the first place. With all those “Big” Corps moving there office to Canada they shouldn’t have any problem with that…right? Molson can only sponsor so many teams, then what? MooseDroppings, Inc? FrozenBrains Corp? Clueless in the Tundra, LLC?

James Brown

January 20th, 2010
12:15 pm

Well Rawhide I just had to blog……………yes folks…………….I was the original JB on here a few years back……………….great comeback for the Thrash last night…………….I say we are still in the thick of things with the schedule being a lot kinder from here on out……………….Kovy did look good last night and I hope Kozlov can play better on the power play…………………………..after those two hits he took last night I just don`t know……………………..nice to be back………..I enjoy this blog

Paminski

January 20th, 2010
12:32 pm

GaVaHokie – You might be on to something!

J.B.

January 20th, 2010
12:32 pm

Does this mean I need to go back to using ‘The Other JB’? I thought you’d passed the torch :-)

(meaning of course I just got lazy and started typing ‘JB’ instead of ‘The Other JB’).

World Be Free

January 20th, 2010
12:35 pm

Hope Charlie Daniels is OK. He lost alotta weight so I was surprised to hear he had a stroke.

Bob-nice post, you are right on on all counts.

Smoothie-haven’t seen Strange Brew in awhile, but it’s a great movie.

Don Cherry reminds me of John Madden. Bobby Orr is to Cherry what Brett Favre is to Madden. Someone needs to tell Cherry that he doesn’t need to dress like Liberace.

Masha-Ex went after Kozlov last night, Kubina nailed Ponikorosky. Guess the old buddy network has a time limit.

CEO of MooseDroppings, Inc.

January 20th, 2010
12:52 pm

GaVaHokie: Wow, I didn’t notice that last night, but I think you’re on to something!

DWTOO

January 20th, 2010
12:53 pm

Think Don Cherry is entertaing – kinda’ like political talk radio in the states. You get ratings by being bombastic and outrageous. How many talk shows, outside of NPR, actually have serious discussions? About Zero.

Now that Smoothie brings it up think I’ll go smoke a bud (in a previous life).

James Brown

January 20th, 2010
1:02 pm

No JB…keep it……I`ve got James typed in now……………..that works for me………

TableHockey

January 20th, 2010
1:04 pm

MASHAPlayer7 – saw that cheap hit by Sutton. Bet he gets a game suspension at least. It was odd how he laid on him afterwards – I was trying to figure out if he had some remorse but nah…

Schroeder

January 20th, 2010
1:06 pm

Am I the only one that wishes we would claim Petr Sykora and waive Todd White? Any takers? Would that make sense to any one? Or would the cash implications w/#12 contract make it impossible.I would have thought after picking up the Pevs dispenser,DW would jump at that chance or is he gambling that Sykora will get through re-entry and pick himup on the CHEAP!

J.B.

January 20th, 2010
1:07 pm

thanks. i’ve gotten used to just the initials. not sure if i could handle going back to typing two extra words every time i wanted to comment! LOL

Just to keep on topic – that was a really entertaining game last night. i was pretty miserable after the 1st, but the last 40 were just awesome. my only complaint is these guys REALLY need to work on their passing!! I saw some BAAAAAAAADD passing near the blue lines…

Dwayne

January 20th, 2010
1:11 pm

LOL at Mooseberg!!!!
What was White’s, Kozlov’s and Little’s numbers at this point last year compared to this year???
I’m not researching it. To much work to do.
Any takers??

Hollywould

January 20th, 2010
1:18 pm

Man, I agree with LAC. I sat there with my son watching Bogosian and wondering “what the hell is he doing?’. He was awful. I don’t know what has happened but someone(coach) needs to light a fire under him. happy to win but our PP sucks. Change it up sometime/are they trying to see how many passes they can make before they lose the puck?

Hockey Biltong

January 20th, 2010
1:18 pm

DWTOO – I have an Atl connection for my favourite treat! Only beef though, no wild animals like Ostrich or Kudu or Waterbuck. $20. /lb
MASHA7 – you are correct sir! My old man played on the team then coached in the mid- 60’s.I don’t know when they started life though. I think they morphed into the Cincinnati Swords … just a guess.
Schroeder- I think Sykora has head injury problems, combined with overall well being.
Look for Edmonton or the likes to be a source of a pickup….

GaVaHokie

January 20th, 2010
1:20 pm

Sykora cleared waivers… phew!

Just relieved that if we DO claim him on re-entry, it’s half price for a guy suffering from concussions.

Rawhide

January 20th, 2010
1:22 pm

James Brown – Good to see ya posting again…and that you and J.B. have the whole “handle” issue under control.

Oh, and I got your e-mail with the pix. very nice…thanks. I’ll have Trixie post ‘em up on her part of the blogosphere later on!

Am I the only one that wishes we would claim Petr Sykora and waive Todd White? Any takers?

Schroederraising hand…jumping up and down….OOOOOOOOH, ME ME ME ME ME ME ME MEEEEEeeee!!!!!

Smoothie

January 20th, 2010
1:26 pm

I think Sykora can only be claimed on re-entry waivers IF he is assigned to the AHL. But he has a clause in his contract that allows him to go to Europe instead of the AHL. Looks like he’s gone until free agency this summer?? Damn.

Paminski

January 20th, 2010
1:26 pm

Rawhide – Maybe the real Rawhide was abducted by aliens because I know the he would have said he was glad James and JB got a handle on that problem.

J.B.

January 20th, 2010
1:27 pm

bet they’ll try and get him on re-entry. bob mckenzie tweeted at least one team is talking to the wild about trading for him.

Zoomo

January 20th, 2010
1:27 pm

>> Or would the cash implications w/#12 contract make it impossible
I would have to think so. I can’t stand the througth of White coming back to the line up either. Slater has earned the right to play through grit and hustle. He always skated hard, just not with the purpose he seems to have right now.

Nice to see kane get back on the tally sheet. The kid may have hit a bit of a mid season wall, but I can’t really think of any games when his effort hasn’t been there.

What player do you think Kane will resemble in 3 years? Mike Knuble in his prime? A slightly smaller Dustin Penner?