Archive for January, 2010

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 …

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Is the Kovalchuk era in Thrasherville nearing an end?

As recently as New Years Eve, I held to the proposition that there was a better than even chance that Ilya Kovalchuk would re-sign with the Atlanta Thrashers…the only NHL team he has ever played for.

But as I also told a handful of close friends around that time, if a deal had not been announced by the team’s annual Casino Night, then chances are he’ll be pulling on the sweater of a different team in the league before he dons the one for his native Russia in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Could Thrashers captain Ilya Kovalchuk be saluting Thrasherville good-bye in the coming days?

Could Thrashers captain Ilya Kovalchuk be saluting Thrasherville good-bye in the coming days? (AP Photo)

Casino Night came and went this past Sunday and, of course, there was no surprise announcement similar to last year’s when Kovy was given the “C” to wear on his jersey.

Then Monday morning, Don Waddell told our own Chris Vivlamore, “Our first priority still remains to sign him…that’s clear. I probably didn’t leave the door open enough at the beginning of the year …

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Capitals build snowman in Atlanta

The Southeast Division leading Washington Capitals came into cold, frosty, frigid Atlanta and built a snowman. No, not outside in what remained of Thursday night’s frozen precipitation that blew through here…they did so inside Philips Arena by putting up 8 on the scoreboard.

And alas…the one-game winning streak comes to a crashing end.

Colby Armstrong and the Thrashers were unable to hold back the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/John Amis)

Colby Armstrong and the Thrashers were unable to hold back the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/John Amis)

You know things are not going to go your way when you outshoot your opposition 18-6 in the first period but go into the intermission trailing 3-0. But that is exactly what happened to the Thrashers on this night…and it looked like it took all the fight out of this team.

During the post-game interview, Caps coach Bruce Boudreau made the point that Atlanta came out playing hard…playing much of the game in the Capitals’ zone. But when his team was able to go into the break leading by the margin they were, it really just took the wind …

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Ding-dong the streak is dead!

The Thrashers losing streak officially ended Thursday night when they defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 in a shootout that took five rounds. Slava Kozlov and Bryan Little converted on their shootout chances and when Johan Hedberg forced Michael Del Zotto to miss on his attempt… ding-dong, the streak was dead!

And there was much rejoicing around Thrasherville!

Ron Hainsey and Johan Hedberg celebrate after defeating the Rangers (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Ron Hainsey and Johan Hedberg celebrate after defeating the Rangers (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Scoring the Thrashers only goal during 65 minutes of play was none other than Jimmy Slater, who is responsible for all three of the goals scored by Atlanta in the past two games. He was last off Schnide Island…not counting Boris Valabik who has missed most of the season due to an ankle injury…but he seems to making up for the slow start.

Slates now has 4 goals in his 22 games played.

Defensively, this was one of the best games from the Thrashers blueline in a very long time. Zach Bogosian and Ron Hainsey especially had …

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No, I don’t think Anderson should be fired. However…

Well, as sure as hell is hot, one thing that a nine-game losing streak will spawn is calls for a coach to be fired.

“His system doesn’t work”…is what we’ll hear.

”He’s losing the locker room”…will be the reasoning.

”Someone has to be held accountable”…people will demand.

Certainly, it’s to be expected from paying customers and passionate followers of a team mired in the type of slump the Thrashers find themselves in. This is especially so here in Thrasherville given the fact that not too long ago one coach was axed the day following a sixth-consecutive loss to begin the 2007-08 season.

About the only place that is warm around Atlanta these days is the seat John Anderson is on. But is he the only person in the organization whose backside should be a bit toasty? (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

About the only place that is warm around Atlanta these days is the seat John Anderson is on. But is he the only person in the organization whose backside should be a bit toasty? (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

That man was Bob Hartley and, as many will point out, the losing streak that cost him his job was not six but actually ten games dating back to the …

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Loss in Pittsburgh extends Thrashers losing streak to nine

With Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh, the Thrashers losing streak now stands at nine straight…the last seven coming on the road. Since defeating the Dallas Stars 6-5 in overtime back when there was still seven shopping days left before Christmas, Atlanta has played to a 0-6-3 record…a level of play that has seen them go from an 18-12-3 record and sixth place in the conference to 18-18-6 and are now but a point away from 12th in the east.

With the win, Pittsburgh snapped a five-game losing skid of their own.

During the nine-game nightmare, the Thrashers have been outscored 19 to 41 despite the fact that the S/G to SA/G ratio has almost been even, Atlanta being outshot by an average 31.2 to 30.1.

Jim Slater accounted for all of Atlanta’s offense, scoring two goals…yes, I said Slater scored two goals. His first tied the game at one after taking a Chris Thorburn pass, broke through up the middle and beat Brent Johnson via the five hole. His second was unassisted and …

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Has Anderson given Pavelec a vote of no-confidence?

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

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

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

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

Just a week prior, after giving up three to Boston on eight shots, Pavelec was lifted and Moose’s efforts in the …

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Thrashers need to ‘Just Win’

November 30, 2009…34 days ago. That was the last time the Atlanta Thrashers won a regulation game. Since that time they have played to a record of 4-10-3, earning 8 points in the standings while surrendering 34…29 to teams in the Eastern Conference.

Since their last win of any kind…a 6-5 overtime victory against Dallas…they are winless in eight consecutive going 0-5-3.

After starting the season with a road record of 9-2-1 in their first 12 away from Philips Arena, they have stumbled to a record of 1-8-2 outside of Thrasherville since. The last time they won on the road was on December 14 when they downed the Rangers in a shootout. The last time the won in regulation outside of Philips was back on November 27 when they lit the lamp 5 times in the third period up in Carolina.

Ahhhh…these are indeed the times that try mens souls. At least, if they are Thrashers fans.

Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates Saturday's game-tying goal with Toby Enstrom and Rich Peverley (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates Saturday's game-tying goal with Toby Enstrom and Rich Peverley (AP Photo/Paul J. …

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