Curses, chickens and the non-announcement featured in today’s Sunday Thrasherville Times

Ahhhh…what a BEEE-U-Tee-FUL pre-spring weekend we are enjoying in lovely Atlanta, eh? It’s the kind of weekend we get here in the south that makes you remember why it is we are so blessed to live in this region.

Yesterday, the tax-exemptions, the Dive Mrs. R and I dusted off the mower and lawn-tending equipment and got the yard work season off in fine fashion. What a gorgeous day for it…even got a little burn on the noggin to show for it.

And today…well, it looks to be equally as nice also.

I’m sure many of you will once again head to the great outdoors to soak in as much of this spring tease weather as you can before making your way to Philips Arena for this afternoon’s matchup with Carolina, but before you do…sit back, sip on the morning brew and enjoy this morning’s Sunday Thrasherville Times

Curses! Thrashers Niittymaki-ed Again

16-0-0, 1.74 GAA and a .940 SV%. Those were the numbers Antero Niittymaki put up against the Atlanta Thrashers during his career going into Saturday night’s matchup in Tampa Bay. Well…make that 17-0-0 now.

This time it was a 6-2 loss to Niittymaki and the Lightning. It was the first time the Thrashers came away with no points earned in the standings since the 5-2 loss in Washington seven games ago.

Niclas Bergfors and Colby Armstrong with the goals for Atlanta. Johan Hedberg took the loss in goal as he allowed six goals on 30 shots…one on the power play and one a penalty shot.

The Thrashers failed to capitalize on six power play chances of their own.

Regarding this Niittymaki curse that continues to afflicts the Thrashers … as we move closer and closer to April 15, tax day, we were reminded yet again last night of the three certainties in life…death, taxes and the Thrashers losing to Niittymaki.

The good news is that we won’t have to face him anymore this season.

Just Happy To Be Here

Do you remember last month when Johnny Oduya and Nic Bergfors came over in the Kovalchuk trade and they were using phrases like “it is what it is” to describe how they felt about it? Well, recently Chris Vivlamore asked newcomer Clarke MacArthur about his reaction to the news that he was leaving the Sabres and heading to Thrasherville. His response?

“There were a few rumors. There were four or five of us [rumored to be traded]. I’m actually excited to be here. I’m glad it was me. They wanted to get a big third-line guy there and they didn’t see me fitting in. I think it’s a good fit here. There are a lot of good players here and I want to just jump right into it.”

Clarke MacArthur is happy to be a Thrashers. Antero Niittymaki is happy to play the Thrashers (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Clarke MacArthur is happy to play with the Thrashers. Antero Niittymaki is happy to play the Thrashers (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Now, in all honesty, maybe too much was made of Bergie and Johnny’s words last month, but I would venture to guess that if they we asked again what they thought about their situation here in Thrasherville…they would probably that they like “what it is’ that they are experiencing here.

However, those are very welcome words coming from a playing heading this way via a trade. But words are just that…actions are another thing. Case in point, did you see how he backed up what he said to C-Viv with his actions Saturday night… standing up for his new teammate Marty Reasoner? After Steve Downie left his skates to plant an elbow in Marty’s ear, C-Mac took a run at a Lightning himself in retaliation…finding Marty St. Louis behind the net an plastering him into the glass.

Don’t really like to see any play have to be helped off the ice like St. Louis did…but when the cobwebs have finally cleared from his head, he can thank his teammate for the hit he took. If you’re gonna dish out a punk hit like that…expect to catch one yourself or see your linemate treated the same.

Regardless, it was good to see the newcomer take exception to the dirty hit and dish out a little instant retribution.

So Long Slow Starts

We have discussed at length the trades, deals and acquisitions that have seen players come and go around here in the past month or so. But somewhere in the shuffle the Thrashers seem to have also parted ways with the slow starts that plagued them for much of the season. Too many times they found themselves down 2-0 or 3-0 before they decided to show up. and start playing.

That’s certainly not been the case of late.

Starting with the game is D.C. on February 5, Atlanta has scored the first goal in seven of the last eight games. The one time they did fall behind early on, Feb. 6 against the Panthers when they trailed 2-0 after one period of play, they stormed back to win 4-2.

Their record during those eight games…4-2-2.

The Press Conference That Wasn’t

Last week was a very big week in the NHL world, what with the trade deadline and all. But, if I’m not mistaken, last week was also the time that a major announcement was to be made in Winnipeg, Manitoba in which the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers was to be announced as well as their relocation to that province capital.

Well…unless I missed it, the major news conference never materialized.

Whewww…thank the hockey gods, I was really worried. But it seems as though our NHL franchise has been spared once again from yet another near miss from the “Make It Seven-ers” that reside just north of the border.

Maybe there was a technical snafu…maybe Gary Bettman was unable to be there for the big event…maybe the whole thing was called off due to syrup tasting contest down at Canad Inns Stadium…who knows.

Regardless, the thing never got off the ground.

Kinda makes one wonder if the whole thing was just a made-up false rumor put out on a western Canadian classic rock radio station that sme people…like that poor sole who called into NHL Live last Friday asking what was the word on the “announcement”… just fell for.

But that couldn’t be the case…could it?

Hmmmmmmmmm…….

Atlanta Chickens? I Think Not

In case you missed this little ditty that was reported on February 25 in the AJC…you know, that other paper…seems as though somebody has gotten their feathers a-flitin’ about having the official Georgia state bird changed from the brown thrashers …to the chicken.

Uh-huh…the chicken.

Chris Cunningham… a restaurateur in of Augusta, GA… feels that since the poultry industry brings in millions of dollars to the Georgia economy, it’s more fitting that the chicken should enjoy the honor of being named the state bird…taking the place of our beloved brown thrasher.

How did he come to such a revelation? Well as Mr. Cunningham puts it, “”My wife and I, we sit on the patio and have a cocktail and we were sitting there thinking, ‘what a waste.’ The brown thrasher is the state bird, and what’s it ever done for the state of Georgia?”

Continuing he adds, “[The brown thrasher] hasn’t done anything. It’s a pretty bird, nothing against the brown thrasher, but the chicken brings millions of dollars.”

OK then…just for kicks and giggles, let’s say this whole chicken thing actually gets off the ground…get it, a chicken ‘off the ground’…and the chicken becomes the state bird. Would that mean the Atlanta Thrashers would need to change their name, given that they were named such in honor of the official state bird of Georgia?

Seriously…the Atlanta Chickens? Balderdash!

There are too many other possibilities out there that would fit the team better. One suggestion I’ve seen recently regarding a name change came from regular contributor to this forum, Smoothie…the Atlanta Ice Crushers. His reasoning is that it would reflect the newly found toughness and size of the team.

That’s not bad, but if such action were taken against the brown thrasher and the organ-I-zation looked to change their name, I would advocate something else… something that relates to the city of Atlanta, something uniquely ours.

My two cents on the matter would be that since we boast one of the busiest airports in the world, many times even the busiest, why not rename them…oh I don’t know, say…the Atlanta Jets!

And besides, its not like that name is being used by any other NHL team…is it?

Wysh Betting On Thrashers To Make Playoffs

In last Friday’s Puck Daddy entry, Greg Wyshynski opined that he’s bullish on the Thrashers making the post-season. In the article, Greg cites the Falconer’s thoughts on the state of the race in the Eastern Conference that show how tight things really are there. Wyshynski then goes on to explain why he likes Atlanta’s chances to play past 82 games this spring…amoung other things, he likes the Thrashers schedule down the stretch.

“Why Atlanta? Check out the Thrashers’ schedule for March and April. Five games against the Hurricanes and the Maple Leafs, and an entire April slate against teams that might not have anything to play for at that point. Meanwhile, the Rangers have to close against the Flyers”.

New Jersey Fans Suffering Through A Taxing Season

A lot has been opined and written about the amount of empty seats at Thrashers games, but apparently things are nowhere near as bad as they are in New Jersey. No, not the Devils… I’m speaking of the NBA New Jersey Nets.

The Nets are struggling with the NBA’s worst record…an abysmal 6-55…and as such people up in the garden state haven’t been willing to part ways with their hard-earned dollars to see them compete play perform lose anymore. In fact, and certainly not surprisingly,they have the lowest home attendance in the NBA this season.

Given that, their marketing department has come up with a few clever ideas to entice people back into their arena.

First, they gave away tickets to unemployed citizens of the state and avail them to career advice while there. Uh-huh…yeah.

Next came the clever idea to give away jerseys to anyone purchasing a 10-game package. Oh, and the jersey featured not only a Nets player…but one of an opposing team as well. Hey, if you can’t sell your team…sell one of the others, I guess.

And the Nets’ most recent marketing ploy…any one 18-years or older that attended the Nets vs. Orlando Magic game would receive a coupon that they couple redeem at a local tax consultant in order to have their state taxes taken care of…a $29.00 value.

BTW, the Nets fell to Orlando 97-87. It was their 28th loss in 31 home games.

Hey…I wonder if Winnipeg would like a basketball team.

Sunday Morning Funnies

What’s a Sunday paper without the Funnies? Well, to that measue, I bring you this little clip that certainly made me chuckle. I wonder if Marquette basketball coach Buzz Williams will be appearing on Dancing with the Stars anytime soon.

Quote of the Week

“From good honest hard work you are going to get rewarded. There are no short cuts”. – Johan Hedberg

72 comments Add your comment

Alan R.

March 8th, 2010
10:02 am

WBF, since Dickey Dunn says it, it’s gotta be true!

Smoothie

March 8th, 2010
10:14 am

Bob – you must be THE jinx! ;-) Man, I’m so sorry that the Thrashers do this to the people of Atlanta. Just when you think the team is turning a corner, they run head first into a wall that they didn’t think was waiting for them. I can understand losing, although they should’ve been able to at least get one of the games to OT, but losing without any real emotion really gets under my skin. They were brain-dead in the first, came out hard at the start of the 2nd, but got discouraged and stopped working. The third period was the most gutless display of hockey all season long, even with Koval-choke skating figure 8’s at the blueline. It’s such a shame…we finally get a decent crowd on a Sunday with lots of young, prospective fans, and we foop all over ourselves.

Nikita

March 8th, 2010
10:22 am

It was an interesting experience. And in the you-think-it’s-bad-in-Atlanta department, as I arrived I had to ask the backup visiting goalie to please let me by for my seat — they make the poor guy sit on a folding chair outside the box, in the aisle. There actually is a fan, which they flip on to ruffle the flag for the national anthem. Some guy who, I swear, was the dude playing Dickey Dunn, was at the end of my aisle. What was especially fun, though, is that the locker rooms are across the hall from the rink — the ushers actually pull out security gates so the teams can walk through the crowd back to the ice. But the budget there is so bad that there is no “Lady of Spain” or any organ music at all — probably because organists are skilled professionals, and they can’t afford them.

Ah, good times. Especially good when I tried to take Mr. Nikita to the Aces….not only is it no longer in its old location, but it’s in a very, very, veeeeeeerrrrry sketchy neighborhood. Some kid tried to sell me illicit things. We made sure to get out before the sun went down.

Old-Time Hockey. Eddie Shore.

Rawhide

March 8th, 2010
10:25 am

Stroz, did you yell through a blue plastic bullhorn “hey Waddell, you should have signed Legace” as you were leaving the game yesterday? If yes, you had our section cracking up throughout the game with some of your zingers and we were sitting down in front of you.

Bob – I just got off the phone with RStroz and told him of this comment/question. His internet service is down right now, but it was indeed him.

next time you are at a game…let me know, please. I’d love to meet ya and I know he would too.

Smoothie

March 8th, 2010
10:31 am

Bob – get with Bill and next time you’re at a game, you can meet a bunch of dedicated fans including yours truly. We sick minds need to stick together. Hell, I’d even be honored to meet stendek. At least he is consistently deranged in his passion for the Thrash. Sometimes I feel like the most insane person in Atlanta pulling for this team.

I’m just glad I’m not quite as pessimisstic as Sage, LAC etc. But 3 or 4 more games like last night and I’ll probably be committed.

Midfield

March 8th, 2010
10:36 am

Russian, could you confirm or deny that Seydel has pitched some share of Thrashers ownershp to people like Prokchorov of the NJ Nets fame via Sov Sport reporter the other day?

Bob

March 8th, 2010
10:37 am

Rawhide, I figured that was him. Early in the game he was yelling at Charmin to play like a man and I turned around to see if that was you, but I could tell from your picture on this blog that it wasn’t. When I heard the Legace comment as we were leaving, I then figured it must have been him as he was giving it to old Don, but game was over and everyone was headed out. Stroz, you had our 122 section cracking up the whole game!

I’ll be there Friday for the Blue Skirts but we’ll be in the clubs, any of you guys sit in there?

Henny Youngman Jr.

March 8th, 2010
10:41 am

Sorry for stepping on your thunder WBF. Peruse here reguarly, but, missed that one.

Hockey Biltong

March 8th, 2010
10:43 am

YungJB fromMTL – Great minds think alike and fools seldom differ!
WBF good to see you.
Bill – I lost my appetite for texting after 2-0!!!!

DWTOO

March 8th, 2010
10:43 am

Nikita – Must have been like a pilgrimage to J-Town. Went to school in that area about the time Slapshot was filmed and it was neat to see all the familiar scenes in the movie.

Dave Hanson’s book is also a good source of Splatshot trivia.

Rawhide

March 8th, 2010
10:52 am

I’ll be there Friday for the Blue Skirts but we’ll be in the clubs, any of you guys sit in there?

Bob – I’ll be above you up in a suite that night. We definately have to get together.

MB

March 8th, 2010
11:03 am

Nikita, my wife has a friend who grew up in Johnstown and was there when they were filming “Slap Shot.” In fact, Paul Newman showed up at their prom and she got to dance with him…guess she wins for best prom story.

World Be Free

March 8th, 2010
11:07 am

Alan R-”here’s to the sapp that would buy the Chiefs”
Henny-great that we are thinking the same way-Henny is so quotable.
Biltong-I had my blue cheese fries before the game-almost lost them after 2-0.

Russian

March 8th, 2010
11:37 am

**to Midfield**
I read this article on Sov Sport. It is a just Future IDEA. They (8 members)want to sell Part of Thrashers or Whole Team. Actually it is very intersting story. Seydel asked Prohorov and Medvedev to be a member on Atlanta Spirit. You can read it here, aftre translate from Google.

http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/article-item/374506

It can be done. It is just my opinion. Russian busnessman have a money now and they can pay for the NHL team. But If you pay it it should be MINE! That’s a problem. Usually they did not want to share. I buy it, I am a BOSS. I hope I explaine to you. :-)

Smoothie

March 8th, 2010
11:51 am

Holy crap balls! If you count the penalty shot goal as a PP goal against, then we’ve given up 9 PP goals in our last 6 games. Uh, that’s not how you get to the playoffs. Destruction, doom, depression.

Without Kane, we REALLY are screwed. New prediction 7 – 9 – 2 in the last 18 games to wind up with 82 points…incremental progress! :wink:

Bob

March 8th, 2010
11:55 am

Rawhide, I’ll buy you a beverage of choice at the club bar (the one on the main level that’s open to the arena, not the upstairs) prior to the game, mabye 7:15pm or so? I think I can find you from your picture

Russian, that is interesting news. Not sure I would like to have absentee foreign owners, but I think it would be an improvement if they sold the whole club and we got out from under the octocluster. The caveat being that they keep the club in Phillips.

The Winnipeg rumor won’t go away, but now they’re saying it’s the Coyotes who are moving there.

Red Light

March 8th, 2010
12:49 pm

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”

Rawhide

March 8th, 2010
12:56 pm

Rawhide, I’ll buy you a beverage of choice at the club bar (the one on the main level that’s open to the arena, not the upstairs) prior to the game, mabye 7:15pm or so? I think I can find you from your picture

Bob – That…or the RAWHIDE plastered across the back of my #65 Thrashers jersey :grin:

Midfield

March 8th, 2010
1:08 pm

Thanks, Russian. Well, if Seydel went on the record in Russia with this interesting idea, why won’t he explain himself to the people in the market as well? I think, it’s only fair, but it’s just me.

Rawhide

March 8th, 2010
2:37 pm

Well, according to C-Viv, the Thrashers won’t know the status of Kane until tomorrow…but it doesn’t look good.

Meanwhile, I have a question for you in my latest entry…how long will the Thrashers wait on pavelec to develop?

Brendan

March 8th, 2010
3:15 pm

You have a point, Midfield.

the phantom

March 8th, 2010
10:09 pm

Spoke with one of the Thrasher owners last week. Say good-bye everyone…this team is moving to Canada. Hasta Lavista Baby!!!! They’re outta here. All you season ticket holders are a bunch of suckers.