Moose dropping piles of saves all over Thrasherville

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

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

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

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

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

Even counting the debacle against the Caps on the 9th, he has a .935 SV% and 1.76 GAA in his last five outings. Overall for the season, he is now 11-8-4 with a 2.46 GAA and .917 SV%.

Although Ondrej Pavelec has performed much better of late, Hedberg play between the pipes has by far been the most consistent between the two. And as I have opined before, if the Thrashers are going to get through “Kari Down ‘09-’10″ and still be in a position to make a playoff run…they are going to have to do so riding the Moose.

Unlike last week’s disappointments in Tampa and Sunrise, Florida…the team was able to reward their goaltender with a win as Colby Armstrong netted the game’s first goal and Maxim Afinogenov’s power play tally in the third gave them just enough offensive production to carry them through.

Max’s goal snapped an Oh-fer fourteen stretch of fruitless man advantage opportunities for the Thrashers. For the night, they were 1 for 4 on the power play while successfully denying Anaheim on all four of their power play chances.

“Before the game we spoke about we wanted the power play to get going and how it’s going to win the game,” Afinogenov said afterward. “We just tried to shoot more and I think its working. We got a couple of shots…The puck was bouncing there for me. I just tried to put it into the net and it worked”.

As for the win itself, Moose remarked, “It’s a big win for us tonight…We’ve been deserving to win the last few weeks, and tonight we managed to get the extra goal. Hopefully that’s what we need to put us on a roll here”.

Well…if it’s a “roll” the Thrashers are to get on, it’ll have to be continued Thursday night in Philadelphia, where the Thrashers last won a game…hmmm…when was it…the Hoover administration? Maybe I’ll have Trixie look that up in the morning.

Of course, it was just last November 28 that Atlanta finally snapped their long losing streak to the Flyers…a 1-0 shutout authored by Hedberg in which he stopped all 34 shots that got though on his goal. Two night’s later, he helped the Thrashers to a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers.

Why is that significant? Well…that was the last time Atlanta has put together back-to-back regulation wins.

Given his play this season…and especially of late…my hope is that the team will once again be riding the Moose into Philly and he and the Thrashers can drop that little streak off as well.

And Finally…

Yes folks…we have a star in our midst. Our very own Mr. Heat Miser has made the cover of Atlanta Magazine….just scroll down towards the bottom and you’ll see him and his hair in all it’s flaming glory! It’s a part of their “67 things every Atlantan must do”.

Seeing that Mr. Heat Miser…a pround member of the Nasty Nest has graced the cover of that publication, I guess one of the 67 manditory things is to partake in the “You Suck” chant down to an opposing goalie at Philips Arena.

Congrats Heater…you just remember all us little people now that you’ve made the big time!

156 comments Add your comment

jason

January 27th, 2010
12:37 am

Great job by Kovy not giving a rip tonight.

Mr. Heat Miser

January 27th, 2010
12:40 am

Cup Guy

January 27th, 2010
12:44 am

First?! Well Mr. Rawhide it was indeed an excellent game! However, not to kill anyones “BUZZ” (So Darren and Dan said on the radio) Kovy looked horrible. I mean just beyond awful. Do you think anyone address his play in the locker room? I mean surely they don’t think he plays well, do they? I saw him skate a perfect, beautiful circle 8 tonight. He was all over that blueline, but rarely in the defensive zone. I don’t mean to hound on him, but it is always like this. Even when we scores 2 goals and an assist, it was him just skating in a circle waiting for someone to pass him the puck. I think they call that cherry picking?! Anyways. Great game for MOOOOOSE! I love to see him get those lucky goalie bounces. Boris! Wow! I called the stars at the end before the announced him and I gave him a 3 because we played great. Blocked shots, shot the puck…ON GOAL… and played a strong defensive game. Props to the team tonight! Cya in Nashville not quite like Thrasherville, but we will make it like Thrasherville. I think I will watch 300 before we go. :) Except we will win and not die!

Mr. Heat Miser

January 27th, 2010
12:46 am

Moose was da bomb. Kovy looked bombed.

Brendan

January 27th, 2010
1:51 am

Everyone see the Jeff Schultz article yet? He makes some good points. And he’d have something more positive to say, if competent ownership and management were in place, to address the Core Areas of responsibility for “player development” and “player retention.”

Dwayne

January 27th, 2010
5:46 am

Great Headline Mr. Bill.

World Be Free

January 27th, 2010
6:41 am

The “guys” played well last night-Slater, Thorburn, Salmela, Moose, Max and Marty (as usual). And big ups to Boris, as much as I pick on him, he played well and earned a 3rd star. No Doris last night.

Todd White threw 2 body checks – I hope the eggs in his pocket didn’t break. He played OK
Max put his head down, skated hard and backchecked on 2 occasions-I need to buy a lottery ticket.

The bad-too many giveaways in the neutral zone again. Thrash are lucky the Ducks didn’t make them pay. We proved we could win without Kovy-he was a no show last night. I am normally not that hard on him, but he was invisable last night.

The refs were bad again-you wonder if they know they suck? Some of the calls were real bad, or as Charles Barkely would dsay – “that’s turrible”.

DWTOO

January 27th, 2010
7:20 am

“Riding the moose” – that’s just wrong. Except in Alberta. No room foe beastiality in this blog. Think I pointed this out before.

Not Blind

January 27th, 2010
7:27 am

I even heard D Elliot comment negatively on Kotton Kandy’s lack of defensive effort.

Brett

January 27th, 2010
7:49 am

Was Kovy a healthy scratch last night? He was nonexistent. Trade him already! It’s obvious the guy has moved on. The Moose played a great game last night! I think Slater has finally found his stride. He has been playing great of late. I thought the team look decent last night. They had their usual lapses, but held their own.

Somaatl95

January 27th, 2010
7:49 am

Great Game! And yes, congrats to the Miser for hitting the big time – couldn’t think of a “cooler” guy for them to make a coverboy!

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 27th, 2010
7:57 am

I think you can judge Kovy’s future by watching his play last night. He looked like the Kovy of 3 years ago, making it on talent alone, less the determination. Last year at this time, he was truly trying to become a leader. Now he’s not even trying because he and his people know he outta here.

I’d rather have a legion of loyal players anyday than overpaid “stars”-just look at New Jersey and Ottawa.

Navin R. Johnson

January 27th, 2010
8:12 am

Heat Miser – YOU’RE SOMEBODY NOW!

R. Stroz

January 27th, 2010
8:14 am

Kovy had a good mentor on how to dog it in your contract season, Maryanne Hossa. He learned well.

Ice Daddy

January 27th, 2010
8:21 am

I was impressed last night with 2 people that have been getting dogged here lately – by me and others. Boris had an excellent game and while I thought he deserved it, I was surprised to see him get the third star. I guess the media was watching him too.

The other guy that looked much better was Zach Bogosian. He’s still got a ways to go, but his positioning was much better as was his decision making. Most of the time, people aren’t getting behind him because he is slow. They are getting behind him because he is out of position and makes a bad decision. Much improvement for him last night.

Moose is definitely on a roll. Now if he can turn that roll into a Philly Cheesesteak, I’ll be happy. Pavs isn’t playing too bad either but I say ride the Moose.

MASHAPlayer7

January 27th, 2010
8:24 am

On the flip side, maybe we didn’t notice him because he was giving the puck away or out of position. Maybe he was playing team hockey. I’d take 40 goals from Kovy and 2-way play. But nah, that’ll never happen. And for $10 mil/year or whatever – no thanks – I’d like to see our trade return.

Doing some American Hockey League trolling this morning, and look who I found…old friend Brad Larsen. http://theahl.com/stats/player.php?lang_code=en&id=696

MASHAPlayer7

January 27th, 2010
8:26 am

correction: didn’t notice hime because he WASN’T giving the puck away….

Mooseberg

January 27th, 2010
8:27 am

You want to make a statement to the team and move on…take the C off Kaptain Kupcake now and give to someone who can lead by example. Then your not trading your Captain…just a Kupcake. Any suggestions on who should have the C on their jersey?

World Be Free

January 27th, 2010
8:38 am

Last night, I got a kick out of going into the store inside Philips, looking at the $100 game jerseys worn by some former Thrashers. Most of these guys had a cup of coffee in the NHL, primarily with the Atlanta.

They should rename this rack the “Who’s That” rack or the “Brad Tapper Rack”. Scary how many of these guys were deemed NHL worthy. Some of them couldn’t skate as well as I do.

J.B.

January 27th, 2010
8:43 am

anyone know why moose was wearing a mask from like 3 seasons ago last night? just curios…

Daculafan

January 27th, 2010
8:46 am

Let’s give a shout out to Jim slater who was the un-named assist on that Army goal. He created huge traffic in front of the net and pulled 2 defenders which really opened up the slot for Army. He may have never touched the puck but I can assure you that without his play hard at the net there’s no way that goal goes in.

Rawhide

January 27th, 2010
8:46 am

anyone know why moose was wearing a mask from like 3 seasons ago last night? just curios…

J.B. – Yes.. he said he broke his SpongeBob mask in Tampa so he had to go with that old one. I believe I remember him say that the one worn last night was the same one he used during the playoff run.

Daculafan

January 27th, 2010
8:47 am

If that’s the case now that this mask has proved lucky he won’t be able to change until the fortunes of the team turn south again…I give it a week or so

DWTOO

January 27th, 2010
9:03 am

Be sure to look for Mr. Heat Misers spread in an upcoming issue of Cosmo. He’ll be appearing in wig, sunglasses, his wrap around balls, and his NN thong.

DB

January 27th, 2010
9:05 am

Rawhide, do you usually wear a coat and tie to the games? You looked busy on your phone or I would have said hello. One thing that was pointed out to me (and this may have been done games ago) was that the “Kovy’s Krewe” area is now missing. Maybe one day soon our esteemed GM will join that sign.

J.B.

January 27th, 2010
9:14 am

Rawhide & Daculafan – Hmmm. I actually like the old one better than the spongebob mask anyhow. The pirates of the carribean one from last season was pretty cool too.

WM

January 27th, 2010
9:21 am

As an avid reader and periodic commenter, I’m done with Kovy. His lack of effort last night tells me his bags are packed and he’s just waiting on the taxi to the airport destination unknown at this point. Sad but true. I can only hope the next move our d-bag of a GM would make would be to hand in his two weeks notice effective immediately. Moving on, last night’s game was alright. I guess I expected two teams each coming off two days rest to play a little faster paced game. It was good to see Moose get a win after busting his tail. I really did like his aggressive play with the puck (especially that PK in 2nd where he essentially cleared it at the blue line). Reminded me of that other net minder up in NJ. Overall the team played a relatively clean game…wouldn’t say they played a full 60, but I’ll give them a full 45. Tough one tomorrow night in Philly.

Rawhide

January 27th, 2010
9:24 am

Rawhide, do you usually wear a coat and tie to the games? You looked busy on your phone or I would have said hello.

DB – Most of the no…I’m normally in my jersey and a pair of jeans. But, as was the case last night, I am sometimes invited to join a group in the press box as well as be involved with some things downstairs with the players/coaches before and after the game. On those nights I am asked to dress “appropriately”.

And while I may don a sports coat overa button-down dress shirt, I never wear a tie. Given the way this team plays sometimes, I might be tempted to choke myself with it. Fortunately, last night was not such a case.

World Be Free

January 27th, 2010
9:33 am

Dacula-good to see Jim up his game. I wanted him outta here last summer but he’s earned a spot on the roster and not a spot in the pressbox.

Did you ever think you would see the day when Slater was more valuable to the team than Kovy? Toss in Boris too!

Hollywould

January 27th, 2010
9:40 am

I was sitting behind the goal last nite and MOOSE was spectacular. How many minutes did the ballerina get last nite? It seems Anderson might have sat him. I watched our so called ballerina captain flat out give up on 3 or 4 plays. Let him go!!! the rest of the team was playing hard.

Cup Guy

January 27th, 2010
9:59 am

To answer your question on who should get the “C”. I say give it to Rich! That guy was a steal and he is definately the most hard working guy on our team night in and out. It’s not always about points but he has them, Its not always about skating hard, but he does it. It’s not always about getting this team fired up, but he does it. It is about all of those things all the time. Something Kovy never does. He leads by examply offensively and that is it. He never gets in the teams face and tells them to hustle. He never plays D. He barely hustles unless we have the puck in the off zone. This guy is the worst captain i have seen in a long long time. BYE KOVY!!!! I can’t wait.

Tom

January 27th, 2010
10:09 am

Watching the game on television it was interesting to listen to Darren’s commentary. He was all over Kolvachuk’s lazy play.

Typically this is ignored as the Darren follows the party line in his commentary. Don’t upset the management that pays my salary and all that.

So it made me think. Is Darren going off the reservation? Or has the team given up on Kolvachuk and the Thrashers brain trust wants us to change our opinion of him?

My guess is that it is the latter, giving the team the story line that we will be a better, well rounded team with Ilya.

Always Hoping

January 27th, 2010
10:37 am

What surprised me was the stat shown on the scoreboard last night…..Evander Kane leads the team with 73 hits. If I had to guess I don’t think he would have been in my top five. The kid is tough but if he is lesding the team in hits it shows the other guys need to step up and play more physical.

3stripes

January 27th, 2010
10:39 am

Yeah, it’s pretty sad knowing Kovy’s checked out already. Watching his lack of effort on the defensive end has gotten really tiresome. I’m wondering if we might actually play better as a team without him. At least others would have to take a shot on the PP…

World Be Free

January 27th, 2010
10:41 am

I’d give the C to Pevs too.
Just think, to go from a waiver wire transaction to an NHL captain.

Eileen

January 27th, 2010
11:01 am

Moose was spectacular. I love that guy. The determination on his face speaks volumes. What a great game. It was also fun to see some of the big names on the Ducks team. Kovy looks lost. If he wants an Ovechkin contract, he needs to perform like Ovie on and off the ice. Ovechkin is such a great two-way player and a PR dream for Washington. When was the last time we saw Kovy interviewed post game?

Cornbread

January 27th, 2010
11:09 am

Kovalchuck quit the team at the beginning of December.

WM

January 27th, 2010
11:09 am

I forgot I had a question. The cross checking penalty Moose took, what was he carrying on about afterwards? I kept seeing him make motions towards the goal as if something were wrong with it. Any help?

Smoothie

January 27th, 2010
11:10 am

Reasoner should get the C. He was the player’s choice as best lockerroom guy and unsung hero. He actually leads by example, coaches / helps his teammates, especially young guys, stays focused with an intense aura all game long and doesn’t make any excuses cuz he leaves it all on the ice every night.

To build on what Hollywould was saying, Kovy is killing the spirit of this team. I too had the privilege of sitting on the glass last night. Thusly I had the misfortune of witnessing Kovy’s lame-ass cherry picking routine in the waning seconds of the game.

With less than 20 seconds left, Kovy just stood at the top of the zone observing Antropov harass the puck handler along the boards. Instead of helping to seal off the puck carrier by coming to Nik’s aid, he just stood there and waited in hopes of a loose puck. If he helps pressure the puck, they probably chip it out into the neutral zone thus effectively ending the game. Instead the Ducks player is able to keep the puck in and they nearly score in the closing seconds.

I reckon that explains why Antropov broke his stick over the crossbar while Kovy skated quickly to the room after tapping Moose on the head. Surely it was out of disgust and disdain for his captain’s lack of leadership and maturity. Good Lord I can’t wait to see him get shipped out, but it won’t be till March 3rd.

Hockey Biltong

January 27th, 2010
11:15 am

Yes, A ‘C’ to Pevs!!! He deserves it!
So will it be “Heat Maestro” now???

Riceowls8891

January 27th, 2010
11:16 am

Antropov should be mad a nobody but himself. A back hand pass up the middle of the ice with less than 10 seconds to play? Pin the puck to the boards and end the game. And thats true regardless of what Kovy was doing.

DWTOO

January 27th, 2010
11:23 am

Count me in among those who would give the C to Pevs. He’s easily the team MVP. Plays both ends of the ice, PP, PK, or ES.

Tom – That’s an intersting point on DE – is he really on Kovy for his play or is he working from the script handed him?

DWTOO

January 27th, 2010
11:27 am

WM – Think Mosse was still upset about the goal and felt there was goalie interference on the play.

Mooseberg

January 27th, 2010
11:28 am

The ‘C’ to Pevs or Marty works with me. I did not get to see the game last night but watching the replay it was really nice of Kaptain Kupcake to give the Ducks a 5 on 4 at the end of the game while he watched from the blueline, glad we were not even strength.

Andrea

January 27th, 2010
11:30 am

Speaking of “Dropping Piles” last night….

Kovalchuk was dropping piles of dog feces in the form of “Ooh, I don’t want to get hurt before my next contract is guaranteed!” all over the ice.

Kovy = The NHL Version of Randy Moss (& Defensive Equivalent)

Cherished by Blueland, # 17 has defecated on the franchise and the entire Thrashers Nation fan base.

Trade that Defensive Liability NOW just to get him out of here!

Oh, and.. ROLL, TIDE !!

Rawhide

January 27th, 2010
11:35 am

I forgot I had a question. The cross checking penalty Moose took, what was he carrying on about afterwards? I kept seeing him make motions towards the goal as if something were wrong with it. Any help?

WM – I’ll echo what DWTOO said…from my vantage point it looked like he was still peeved at that no call.

TableHockey

January 27th, 2010
11:55 am

Looks like Sykora is going to be UFA in the next day or so – wonder where he will end up?

My vote for the “C”? I would be happy with Pevs or Reasoner – both bust their tails and deserve it.

If Kovy leaves and Kubina doesn’t resign – does that make Hainsey our highest paid player?

Jim Mora

January 27th, 2010
11:58 am

J.B. – Yes.. he said he broke his SpongeBob mask in Tampa so he had to go with that old one. I believe I remember him say that the one worn last night was the same one he used during the playoff run.

PLAYOFFS!!! PLAYOFFS?? DID YOU SAY PLAYOFFS??

Smoothie

January 27th, 2010
12:02 pm

Rice – while he was prolly pretty pissed at himself for the bad clearing attempt, at least he was actually trying to make a play on the puck unlike Mr. Cherry Pick.

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 27th, 2010
12:18 pm

Kovy’s nopt the real problem here folks. The real problem are the owners that don’t care. I think Kovy knows the owner do not care so why should he commit himself to being here long term when the owners have no such commitment.

That’s why he’s held out all year, waiting to see if our Whisky Tango Foxtrot owners were going to step up and commit to Atlanta long term and they have not.

I don’t blame Kovy, not one bit.