Ladies and gentlemen, the playoffs have left the building

With apologies to Ross Perot…that giant sucking sound you’re hearing is the noise being made by the Thrashers playoff chances flying out the window in rapid fashion. In the last three games, Atlanta has failed to secure nary a point and have been outscored 12-3 doing so. This after scrapping their way back into the playoff picture just prior to and after the Olympic break.

Tuesday night’s 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predator’s was the latest defeat in the Thrashers March from the Playoffs. And while the team’s play did not register near the level on the Suck-O-Meter as the last two games, it eared just as little in the standings and the weekend’s losses did.

Zilch.

Johan Hedberg got the start and stopped 30 of the 32 faced. He was beaten on a Ryan Suter power play goal…Colby Armstrong taking the skate of shame afterwards due to his interference infraction…and when Colin Wilson was left all alone with Hedberg thanks to Mark Popovic’s e-GREEEE-gious turnover inside the blueline.

To Pop’s credit, he made a great sprawling play in the third that denied the Preds of a scoring chance…keeping the game within reach at the time.

Both Nashville scores came in the first period in which the funk that has engulfed the Thrashers over the past few games carried over into Tuesday night’s matchup.

However, Nik Antropov’s tip-in from Johnny Oduya just 29 ticks into the second seemed to ignite the team’s play and they performed well throughout the final 40 minutes…out-shooting the Predators 24-20 in periods two and three.

It appeared as though the Thrashers had tied the game at two-all later in the second period, but it was ruled that Chris Thorburn interfered with Preds goalie Dan Ellis’ ability to play the puck. Ellis played a very strong game in goal for Nashville, stopping 30 of 31 for his fourteenth win of the season.

While the Thrashers were losing to Nashville, Boston was in the process of netting one point in their overtime loss to Toronto and Montreal was busy snatching two from Tampa Bay. The seventh place Habs now have 72 points while the eighth place Bruins have 70…Atlanta is still getting it’s kicks on route 66.

Colin Wilson cashes in on the gift given him by Mark Popovic in the first period. It wound up being the deciding goal in the game (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Colin Wilson cashes in on the gift given him by Mark Popovic in the first period. It wound up being the deciding goal in the game (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The Lightning remain one point behind the 10th-place Thrashers. With Florida’s shootout win in Minnesota, the Panthers are now just 2 points in back of Atlanta.

In between Atlanta and the two teams sitting pretty in the final two playoff spots are the New York Rangers who have 67 points. They’ll play in New Jersey Wednesday night before heading this way on Friday evening. The Thrashers, of course, have a date in Columbus with the Blue Jackets Thursday night.

Atlanta has twelve home games during this final full month of the season…but so far they are 2-2-0 in the first four. That’s not exactlt taking advantage of the home cooking when ya need to.

Better showing tonight than against the Canes and Bolts? Yeah…sure it was. But, like I said earlier, the zero points earned in the standings is the same as those loses. And points are precious for the Thrashers right now as the season ain’t getting any younger. If you’re one that believes 90 must be earned to have a chance at post-season play, that means Atlanta would have to go 12-5 the rest of the way to reach that mark.

My official term used for the odds of that happening…especially given the five opponents they’ll have to play in April…notgonnahappennowayinhell.

Ladies and gentlemen…the playoffs have just left the building!

190 comments Add your comment

Nikita

March 10th, 2010
9:57 am

P.S. I actually don’t think Nashville is a much better team. They played a lot better, and we played horribly.

Not Blind

March 10th, 2010
10:04 am

Carolina is more likely to make the PO than the Thrashers. They would also be more likely to actually win some PO games.

The amazing thing about DW still having a job is the amount of money he has cost the Spirit due to his poor decision making. It’s amazing how many people the Spirit have paid a lot of money to while said people sat at home, example- Bob Hartley. To have signed him to an extension after the Rangers swept the Thrashers out of the PO illustrates DW’s incompetence.

Not Blind

March 10th, 2010
10:07 am

Nikkita, the Thrashers make the other team look great. The TB game was a perfect example. While watching that game I wondered aloud how TB could be so far down the standings. Watch TB’s game from last night and it becomes clear. They suck. The problem for us is that the Thrashers suck worse.

rob

March 10th, 2010
10:21 am

Lotta dumb penalties out there recently that have had us on the ropes. How about going forward into next year they set up a dumb penalty for charity fund? If the penalty does not DIRECTLY stop a CLEAR scoring chance in the defensive zone:$100, neutral zone:$200, offensive zone:$300, and on a PP:$500. LMAO or maybe JA can have a practice with “points” assigned like he did when the PP was faltering before, THAT seemed to work well and get the guys motivated!

Rawhide,
if you think the season is lost, do you think it would be better for the team to just miss, or completely tank in a free fall? Which would work better to put the pressure on the turds running the place? And how long will Dudley stick around and watch this nonsense go on before removing his name from it? THAT more than anything Kovy can say or do now would lend credence to our problem here. Though while Kovy is still upset over things here maybe an interview by a sports writer asking him about what goes on here wouldn’t hurt either, with questins to other players also let go because of poor management….but what writer cares about our predicament? Sorry that was really gonna be just a one question thought that got away from me.

Spud Webb

March 10th, 2010
10:28 am

“the fish”, I’m sure there is some canadian blog you can post on, correct????
Well, 3 in a row that we should’ve had, could’ve had and if we we’re a playoff team would’ve had.
Not much to say…exhausted from this season. What could’ve been!!!
Now we get to watch the UFA leave at the end of the season. Hedberg coming back? Are we gonna get an NHL ready player in the top 6 of the draft???
Also, whats up with Brian Little? Keep or what, I believe hes restricted but took a major step back this season. Espo coming up next year if his knee is healthy??? Kane and Bogo will be better.
What do we do in goal? Legace will be free again (kind of joking)…all these questions and Don will still be in charge!!! DOH

Rawhide

March 10th, 2010
10:29 am

rob – The simple answer is that I never want to see the team “tank”…regardless of the situation.

While I do think the playoffs are lost…I would still much rather be proved wrong on that. I want to see the Thrashers play as hard as they can every single game. If that means they still lose and are a lottery team…or win more than they lose and have the 10th or 11th pick, I’ll let that sort itself out.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

March 10th, 2010
10:40 am

Nikita-the fact that they play better is because they have a better coach and better system. Same coach since day one, same system, same GM.

I don’t know why this is so complicated.

Get The Puck Out

March 10th, 2010
10:40 am

No starting goalie. Waiver wire pickups. No FA’s wanting to play here. No playoff wins in our history. last three games losses in a playoff run. I think today’s team is a complete mess and the team management is horrible. I wish i could express how i feel about this hockey team to owners, but i just don’t think they really care how i feel about this team. ” MARCH TO THE PLAYOFFS” is just a ploy to try to put more butts in seats. I watched last night’s game till 9:00 pm and i turned it to watch lost. As a matter of fact i was watching lost on Sports South till 9:00 pm.

Alan R.

March 10th, 2010
10:41 am

The Popovic goal was bad, but overall, I’m blaming this loss on Toby not shooting the $&@&ing puck on the Power Play

Not sure how Enström’s performance on the power play is the problem when Popovic is the one who coughed up the puck, with no pressure on him whatsoever, allowing Wilson to step in and score on us.

It’s easy to imagine what could have been, but don’t ignore what did occur.

Nikita

March 10th, 2010
10:46 am

*Also, whats up with Brian Little? Keep or what, I believe hes restricted but took a major step back this season. *

Huh. You know, I agree on the season as a whole, but I would put Little in the category of having played well last night. And he’s not been bad down the stretch.

Mr. Nikita and I refer to Bryan Little as Little Jimmy MacElroy or Jimmy Curl. I have been a Little fan since we first brought him up, and I think he has great talent and a fantastic work ethic. The reason we call him Jimmy MacElroy is because he’s technically very proficient, but he has zero enforcing skills and in general doesn’t play the body. He’s also not an agitator, and doesn’t in general get into the mental aspects of the game. He simply pushes himself as hard as he can to do as technically well as he can. Which is a great thing, but it’s going to be a problem if we as a team need physicality and we’re not getting it and physicality is the dividing line between playing a good game and playing a great one. Bryan Little’s not going to get physical. He’s not even going to curse anyone’s mama. Mostly he just looks kind of queasy when faced with confrontation. And if physicality and leadership are what we need from this team as a whole, then maybe Bryan Little is better off somewhere where his lack of grit and personal assertiveness isn’t a problem.

But I’d keep Bryan Little. He is very skilled and very talented — on the open market we’d have to pay a lot for someone like him in a year or two. I think this is an off year and we’ll see more from him next year. And I also think that as we resolve other issues in our lineup, the situation will become more conducive to his playing his type of game. Plus, he’s very young — he’s still learning, and his assignments have been especially volatile.

da 'boomer

March 10th, 2010
10:47 am

The need to completely clean house. NHL needs to light a fire under these owner to commit or sell like they did in Phoenix. Fire Waddell…he is just awful. The scouting & farm system need to be re-tooled. Promote assistant gm Rick Dudley to GM. Implode Philips Arena. It sucks. Build a rink in the burbs – Gwinnett, Forsyth or even the old Doraville GM site. Pure demographics. The ice surface at Philips is awful. Fire the mascot, fire the Ice Girls, hell – fire the ushers & get rid of the fruity home jerseys.

Nikita

March 10th, 2010
10:49 am

*the fact that they play better is because they have a better coach and better system. Same coach since day one, same system, same GM. *

Oh, b.s. We both watched that game — and the fact is they didn’t look much better than we did. They simply looked alive and alert.

They do have a better coach and GM. But they’re also injured and fatigued and they look, objectively, pretty awful. Last night they simply looked a smidgen better than the Thrash, which looked and played like a last-place team with no hope of making it to the weekend, much less the playoffs.

DawgDad

March 10th, 2010
10:54 am

“if you think the season is lost, do you think it would be better for the team to just miss, or completely tank in a free fall? ”

Tank? Why? Are you looking for another high draft pick? A little more “Hope and Change” for the next decade of disasters?

This is a failed (past tense) hockey organization. If the organization does not change wholesale from the top down it will soon be a failed (sold and relocated) franchise.

Having followed NHL hockey very closely for more than 40 years I did not think it was possible to turn me off as a supporter of the local NHL team, but this franchise has done it. They have to have set some kind of record for squandering high draft picks, free agents, their lone playoff appearance (oh, so painful), fan support, and other golden opportunities. Clueless doesn’t do them justice, either in building a team or marketing it effectively.

While I place NONE of the blame on local fan support, quite frankly this is NOT a good hockey town. There is hockey here, but there is not a sufficient base to attract quality hockey people to relocate here and build a franchise base integrated into the fabric of the metro area. I come from St. Louis; there are ex-Blues all over town there. My son played on a youth team with Paul Stastny, and played against sons of Bernie Federko, Perry Turnbull, Mike Zuke, Joe Michelletti, and others, with the ex-players actively involved in youth hockey and extended marketing operations of the Blues and NHL. Hockey there is a daily discussion topic in workplaces, gyms, churches, and youth sports outlets. Here, it’s barely a fading blip on the public’s radar.

Spud Webb

March 10th, 2010
10:54 am

Nikita, well put on the little situation. Nice.

Mrs. DWTOO

March 10th, 2010
11:00 am

I’m glad I wasn’t at the game last night and enjoyed a good concert instead. The Thrashers’ lack of effort apparently displayed last night would have frustrated the hell out of me had I gone to the game. They play hockey like I play tennis – streaky and inconsistently. At least with playing more tennis my game is improving alot. However, I’m not a professional tennis player (never will be since I got a late start playing) and must keep my day job. Being professionals at this level (playing hockey since they could barely walk), and this being their ONLY job, one would think this team would be past the streakiness and inconsistency and be more accountable for the sloppy play displayed over the past 3 games against teams they should have beaten. I thought these guys played hockey because they love the game! There are no acceptable excuses for this lack of effort, from the ownership all the way down the line….

Paminski

March 10th, 2010
11:02 am

So much for still watching hockey mid-April. I’ve about stopped watching in mid-March.

WBF – replying from previous blog…It’s my 3rd visit to Vegas and I’ll be at the Mirage. My lurker husband and I are meeting some other friends there, so it’ll be more fun than staying home muttering about the Thrashers not still playing.

Brendan – Yes. Wetzel’s has become the best part about attending a Thrashers game. However, I prefer Newcastle to Guinness.

Sheep

March 10th, 2010
11:03 am

Even we don’t love Don Baaaah-dell anymore.

World Be Free

March 10th, 2010
11:19 am

Paminski-Mirage means Carnegie Deli!
I would each there every day!

I would like to make it there sometime this year. Great place to escape reality.

Nikita

March 10th, 2010
11:24 am

(Oh, on Little — Watch any game and you’ll see Little completely ignore bumps, cross-checking, slashing, and other minor fouls. Last night he got flattened in a completely illegal and uncalled cross-check. Can’t we pay Slater a few extra bucks to beat the tar out of someone for messing with Little occasionally?)

Rawhide

March 10th, 2010
11:27 am

Dwayne

March 10th, 2010
11:36 am

Reports out of Winn-e-peg are that JA will be fired at the end of yet another, non playoff season.

Alan R.

March 10th, 2010
11:40 am

According to my friend in Winnipeg…

That big announcement that was supposed to occur on 4 March? It did happen. It was an announcement stating Iron Maiden is returning to MTS Centre.

Unfortunately, Dream Theater will not be able to attend. It’s the only tour date they won’t be in attendance at.

Winnipeg gets shafted again.

Savannah Blueland Fan

March 10th, 2010
11:40 am

I was negative yesterday, so I’m determined to be positive today. God, this is hard! BUT–if the two games prior to last night hadn’t been so terrible, I think we could have stomached last night’s loss. Yeah, they played a terrible first period (don’t they always?), but they came out fairly strong in the second. The third period was just a case of not putting enough shots on the net. If Pops hadn’t of whiffed the puck, and if Thorns hadn’t been called for a crease violation (which, let’s be honest, happens in EVERY SINGLE NHL GAME and NEVER gets called), then we would be here today celebrating the win. Am I being positive enough?

Dwayne

March 10th, 2010
11:41 am

When I played hockey I would shoot when I crossed half court.

World Be Free

March 10th, 2010
11:51 am

Chelly!
can’t wait, I’ll be at the game Sunday waiting on Chelios.
Chelly, George Blanda, George Foreman, Nolan Ryan, Alex Delvecchio, Wilt Chamerlain (before his book)-bring on the old guys!

Makes me feel young again. I hope he kicks someone’s butt.
I guess they felt the team needed leadership-after the last 2 games!

Russ

March 10th, 2010
11:59 am

I have been thinking about Bogosian’s complete regression in his play from last season and early this season. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t DW say Bogosian was the Thrashers pick even if they would have picked number 2 that year (rather than Doughty). I know he also could have said that because you aren’t going to say “we would have a lot rather had Doughty”, but if he honestly would have picked Bogosian over Doughty that could have been another laughable decision by DW. Maybe he never even said that and I am confusing it with people on these blogs that liked Bogosian over Doughty. I guess I’m just looking for ways to show what a complete failure DW is as a GM and should realize I don’t have to look that hard.

Supes

March 10th, 2010
12:11 pm

This team looks finished…and it’s all KOVY’s FAULT…I tell you, the lack of leadership and goal scoring…if that dammed Russian would just get his act together…oh wait…you mean he’s been gone for a while…and WE CONTINUE TO fail? I guess it was NOT all Kovy’s fault! Who else can some of you blame now? Does DW play? If he did you could always BLAME him!

World Be Free

March 10th, 2010
12:12 pm

Matt Cooke is at it again with his hit on Marc Savard. MS may be out for the season with a grade 2 concussion.

This league is a mess-the questions there days are related to whether these cheap shot artists are using elbows or not. Most of the cheap shooters are using the football-style shoulder pads to the head, which are just as lethal as elbows. I have my old school elbow and shoulder pads in my smelly hockey bag-they are nothing compared to the news pads.

World Be Free

March 10th, 2010
12:14 pm

Russ-put Bogo with Chelios.
It will be like the first day of boot camp for Bogosian!

This Ain't the AHL

March 10th, 2010
12:17 pm

When a faint glimmer of hope resides with a 48-year-old defenseman, it’s time to wave the white flag. Great leaders don’t just talk, they lead by example. Apparently, you all have forgotten that Chelios only played 28 games last season for Detroit averaging just 11:40 per game. In 2007-08 he played 16 minutes per game, and if you look at his ice time, he hasn’t played No. 1 minutes since 2003-04. You can’t lead playing those few minutes for a team so desperately in need of a leader. Yzerman and Lidstrom are/were the Wings best leaders, not Chelios.

Sage of Bluesland

March 10th, 2010
12:18 pm

Lauging at the sheep–well, those who had the guts to show up…What, we’re NOT making the playoffs???

(Gee, big surprise there)

Those who continue to put money in these owners’ pockets are the problem now. This organization’s management have shown you–on MULTIPLE occasions–what they are all about…yet, you still act like the pitiful sheep that you are!

It would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic…Wake up and grow up…

World Be Free

March 10th, 2010
12:18 pm

Supes-I blame Kovy cause he strung out the team on his stupid contract. Mr. First Class Organization showed no class of his own.

rob

March 10th, 2010
12:20 pm

The point of my question wasnt for a draft pick, It was the question after that I was looking for an answer to. I can see the spin that will be placed on the season by DW, LLC. “Well we lost a lot of talent in Kovy and Kari, and you know umm, we ALMOST made it anyway, but next year will be different just wait and see”. My thought was which scenario would (in a real team) get the most chance for actual change? Will the fanbase continue to say it’s OK guys, better luck next time? I just wonder if the fans got together somehow and rocked the boat at the games and such would the NHL get the point? We want hockey here but can’t have any faith in the dedication of the ownership/management in putting a viable team on the ice with 10 of “trying” to do so?

Paminski

March 10th, 2010
12:25 pm

WBF – Ha! Carnegie Deli is one of the reasons I like to stay at Mirage. The pirogi are calling me…

Get The Puck Out

March 10th, 2010
12:26 pm

Someone needs to send Matt Cooke with Alice to wonderland. He gives hockey a bad name.

kracker

March 10th, 2010
12:29 pm

So it’s definite. Kane is out for the rest of the month. Sucks big time, they really miss him :( (

Sage of Bluesland

March 10th, 2010
12:30 pm

Wow–it’s ‘all’ Kovy’s fault now?!

How pathetic. I’ve heard hilarious excuses ranging from the refs to the ice–this takes it to a new level of lambness!

But, like I’ve said before, there is some comedy value with the ridiculousness of the sheep…

Sage of Bluesland

March 10th, 2010
12:31 pm

Wah, wah, wah…It’s all Kovy’s fault we can’t build a winner…

Pathetic.

(but funny at the same time)

Next, the sheep will blame the ice or the refs…oh wait, that’s already been done…

Enjoy what you bought, lambchops!

Nikita

March 10th, 2010
12:32 pm

Who expects Chelly to be our #1 defenseman? Nice strawman. Not.

Rawhide is Right

March 10th, 2010
12:32 pm

Not a single other person mentioned this, only Rawhide, but Dan Ellis played a magnificent game last night, and was the difference in the second and third periods.

Waddell added just one North American NHL player, MacArthur, to this roster via trade or free agency since last June: Maxim Afinogenov, Niclas Bergfors, Johnny Oduya, Nik Antropov, Christoff Schubert and Pavel Kubina, and need I remind you which two teams played in the Gold Medal game in Vancouver?

Barry

March 10th, 2010
12:37 pm

Ya I’m starting to lose hope this team will make the playoffs now. They still don’t know how to score on the powerplay and they are taking WAY too many penalties all of a sudden. Losing to Carolina and Tampa really hurt this teams chances. Now they’ll have to beat teams like Rangers, Caps twice, Pens twice, Devils, Senators, Coyotes, and those won’t be easy games. If it wasn’t for that HUGE losing streak in Decemeber then we all would not be having this conversation.

World Be Free

March 10th, 2010
12:47 pm

Sage-just tell us you are really Jeff Schultz so we know who to direct our ire to. Suggest you find a Hawks’ blog to pollute.

Get the Puck-don’t think you will hear the Brunes talk about it publicly, but you know just a few Pens will have their heads up next week. It may be Cooke and a few others, like Crosby.

NYC

March 10th, 2010
12:51 pm

It will make my day once the thrashers lose real badly one game and they will be truly exposed for the bad team they are. I actually marked it on my calender: the next game against the caps. My Prediction: Caps expose the thrashers for the REAL Team they are: 10-0 blowout victory. Bad management, bad GM, bad players (players that don’t try to their fullest), and last but not least bad fans who watch this crap unfold. C’mon people have some dignity. Associate yourself around a good team such as OUR ATLANTA HAWKS AT LEAST THEYLL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS!

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

March 10th, 2010
1:08 pm

NYC-the thought of your last sentence in caps pains me.

Rawhide

March 10th, 2010
1:08 pm

Rawhide is Right – Hmmmm….I like that handle. :lol:

Sharon

March 10th, 2010
1:16 pm

I’m sure the arrival of 48 yr old Chelios will give a lot of hope to the 48 yr old puck bunnies. See, ladies, it’s never too late! The Ice Forum will be hoppin’!

:)

DWTOO

March 10th, 2010
1:23 pm

Actually like the idea of Chelios being called up. We’re floundering right now and he can provide some leadership in the lockeroom along with mentoring Bogosian. Zach did a lot better last year playing with Schneider and perhaps Chellie can help this year. Afterall look what he with Kulda in Chicago.

Besides it’s nice to see someone realtively close to my age still playing. Makes me feel better when I’m suiting up with guys about half my age.

Batcork

March 10th, 2010
1:28 pm

As I watched the game and the sea of empty seats, I couldn’t help but think of the premise of the movie “Major League” where the evil owner plotted to derail the team’s post season chances so the team could be moved more easily. Are we seeing this in real life with this team? Or did the recent opposition just wake up and realize that all you have to do is constantly pressure the puck to beat the Thrashers? (something that the opponents in the 4-0-2 post-Kovy run neglected to do for some reason).

Memo to team: Starting next year, for the TV feeds, use the cameras from the club side looking across to the bench side, so you at least see more full seats.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2010
1:30 pm

Sage, tell us how you came to hate sheep so much. I can’t imagine why!

Rawhide

March 10th, 2010
1:31 pm

I’m sure the arrival of 48 yr old Chelios will give a lot of hope to the 48 yr old puck bunnies. See, ladies, it’s never too late! The Ice Forum will be hoppin’!

Sharon – Hey…48 “puck bunnies” are looking younger and younger to me everyday!!!