Still some fight, life left in Thrashers after 6-3 win over Sens

OK…so in my previous post I engaged in a little math exercise to show how difficult it would be for the Atlanta Thrashers to overtake the New York Rangers as well as Boston Bruins and make the playoffs. The numbers, as of yesterday, did not look very good at all…and the schedule looked equally as rough.

Nope…didn’t look good at all.

Then the Thrashers go out and smack the Ottawa Senators 6-3. To make matters even that much better, New York then gets beat by St. Louis 4-3 and Boston gets blanked by the Pens 3-0. With that the simple math calculates to…3 points out of the playoffs with 12 games left.

Oh…and the Bruins are in town Tuesday.

Johnny Oduya is checked against the boards by Ottawa's Erik Karlsson (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Johnny Oduya is checked against the boards by Ottawa's Erik Karlsson (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

In between now and then, however, is a pair of games against the Philadelphia Flyers… Saturday here, Sunday there. Were the Thrashers to actually sweep the two…don’t laugh, we are 2-0-0 this season against them…then Tuesday matchup could be for that 8th spot in the east.

Boston plays the Rangers Sunday afternoon…so that’ll be an interesting matchup to watch as well.

The Thrashers still have a bit of an uphill climb here…but by putting a solid effort together against a playoff-bound team, combined with a couple other outcomes that went their way, they at least have put themselves in a better position.

As for the game itself…like I said above, it was one of those rare games this season that the Thrashers played what could be called a complete game. Not a perfect game, mind you…but a good solid effort from start to finish.

They got on the board early when Evgeny Artyukhin took advantage of a misplayed puck at the blueline by Andy Sutton…remember him?…and slipped the biscuit past Brian Elliott at the 2:35 mark of the first period. They advanced that margin to 2-0 early on in the second when Jim Slater deflected home a pass from the left side by someone in the #12 jersey.

I say “the #12 jersey” because…well…I don’t really know who that was, but I wish I knew what he did with Todd White. This guy was playing some pretty darned good hockey Tuesday night. In the first, he caused my oldest tax exemption to exclaim, “Hey, is that Todd White fighting for the puck in the corner? Who does he think he is?”

For the night, “Todd White”…or whoever he was…finished with 2 assists and +3 rating.

Nik Antropov tipped home a pair of goals… both while Atlanta enjoyed a man advantage. In the second period he deflected in a Pavel Kubina shot…Kubina was originally credited with the goal but the score sheet I’m looking shows him with it. He later gave the Thrashers a 4-3 in the third when he did the same off a Toby Enstrom shot from the point.

Yes, that was a Toby Enstrom shot while on the power play…in the same game Todd White played very well and was a +3 with 2 helpers. There are some strange things happening in Thrasherville.

The assists was also Toby’s 100th in his NHL career.

Colby Armstrong then salted the game away with a pair of goals to put the score at 6-3. The first came about a minute and a half after Antropov gave them the lead…taking possession of the puck just inside the Senators blueline when Chris Phillips bobbled the puck. Later Army lit the lamp again with assists going to Slater and White.

Regarding the Thrashers playoff chances, Armstrong said, “We’re chipping away at it…hopefully it will be for the best”.

Johan Hedberg faced 39 shot on his goal…and one to his jaw when Jarkko Ruutu knocked him over in the crease chasing the loose puck. The play resulted in one peeved Moose as the goalie had to be held back from trying to…ahem…discuss the matter with referee Stephane Auger.

“He couldn’t get back to the net and was elbowed in the face”, coach John Anderson quipped after the game. “Other than that, the ref said it was a good hockey goal”.

As the play happened, I couldn’t help but remember a goal that was disallowed last week that would have tied the game against Nashville. The refs waived it off because it was ruled Armstrong …no, it was Thorburn…interfered with the keeper, not allowing him to play the puck. But that play was nowhere near as egregious as this one.

With the win, Hedberg moved his season record to 18-13-52.69 GAA and .914 SV%.

I ask you, where would we be without the Moose right now? I’ll tell you where we wouldn’t be…we wouldn’t be just 3 points away from the playoffs with 12 games left to play, that’s for sure.

Who’s That Lady?

The lovely lady that was seen on the big screen in Philips Arena during the Two-Minute Drill contest was none other than Mrs. RStroz. Unfortunately, she did not win as the Thrashers were killing off a penalty for most of those two minutes…thank you Mark Popovic.

Oh…and RStroz was next to her.

80 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

March 19th, 2010
12:39 am

Repost from previous blog:

Did the lady that donated her kidney nominate herself for the seventh man award? I doubt it. She donated her kidney for the best interest of another human being. People who behave in this manner don’t turn around and toot their own horn, instead, they usually truely believe anyone else would do the same thing if they could. These people represent everything that is right with the world.

Most people with any degree of intregity don’t raise their own hand to receive an award, and when they do receive an award, defer the award to others that they deem more or equally worthy.

That said, can anyone truely, sincerely believe that the elderly couple shouldn’t be nominated for the seventh man award. This couple has attended games for season after season. Does anyone else get concerned if the couple isn’t at the game. I do. Last season, they missed numerous games, and the next time I saw them, instead of walking hand in hand, the gentlemen was wheeling his wife in on a wheelchair. Ladies and gentlemen that is devotion, compassion, passion for life, and marriage at its best.

Despite obstacles, they continue to attend games and have won the hearts of many fans. Why? Because they represent all that is right with marriage: longevity, a passion for life, and compassion. How many of you hope that your life/marriage weathers the test of time like theirs has.

As fans, they continue to support the team through thick or thin.

So I say nominate those who don’t promote themselves but promote devotion to the team and devotion to one another as human beings.

To me, the lady who donated her kidney and the elderly couple inspire the rest of us to be better people. Those type of individuals deserve awards, not self promoters.

Quite frankly, I don’t see how anyone could nominate themselves for any award. I have been nominated for awards year after year for volunteer work in my community. I always turn the award down unless those that have assisted “the cause” are equally recognized.


March 19th, 2010
12:59 am

That was a fun game to watch….


March 19th, 2010
1:18 am

If ASG trades away our hockey idols for AHL scrubs every year, the least they can do is change the contest rules for the 7th Fan. Geeze, it sure would be amazing if the T-Birds made the playoffs without Savy, Hossa, or Kovy. Say what you want, but this team could have been special. At this point I just can’t care quite as much as I used to.

Paul Culpepper

March 19th, 2010
1:35 am

I think it was Thorburn last week vs Nashville who was involved in the no goal call.


March 19th, 2010
1:39 am

Nik was an amazing presence in front of the net tonight. Sticks were on the ice and guys were thinking hockey. That lead to the 3 turnovers that were quickly turned into goals. Excellent game. One game at a time guys.


March 19th, 2010
1:39 am

Bill – there’s your 7th man essay right there. Stroz just did it for you / us.

Stroz – man, that damn near brought a tear to my eye.

The Bennings looked quite happy and eager to please the Blueland faithful on the Kiss Cam tonite. And in spite of what Andy Sutton tried to do to ruin the evening!!

Toby Enstrom – see what freakin happens when you shoot the damn puck!!

Folks, as crazy as it sounds, we are right back in this. At least in the sense that we can partially control our own destiny vs Philly and hipefully Boston. If I’m a sheep for believing, then BAAAAA freakin BAAAAA infidels!!

BTW, if Wake freakin Forest can come back and win down 8 in OT, then anything is possible. Believe.


March 19th, 2010
1:51 am

Oh yeah, I’m not sure if I trust my eyes but I swear Mike Fisher snuck into our dressing room to kidnap Todd White and then impersonated Mike Fisher while wearing Todd White’s jersey!

And somewhere in China, a woman touches a pig.


March 19th, 2010
2:01 am

Enstrom has the weakest shot from the point in the NHL. Still, it’s encouraging to see him putting it on net. At least he hits it, unlike some other D-men.


March 19th, 2010
2:40 am

*I think it was Thorburn last week vs Nashville who was involved in the no goal call.*


*For the night, “Todd White”…or whoever he was…finished with 2 assists and +3 rating.*


And I dodn’t know what’s wrong with Toby this year. He has — had a decent shot — and he used to use it.


March 19th, 2010
3:35 am

Solid last two games, Just keep the one game at a time focus…


March 19th, 2010
6:10 am

Enter your comments here


March 19th, 2010
6:58 am

I’m a happy hockey girl this morning!

Just to clarify, since I went back and read through some of the posts from yesterday re: 7th Man. The rules to the contest are not set by the Thrashers – they are NHL rules based on state laws. In fact, it sounds like the Thrashers are trying to do the right thing by allowing nominations. They just have to be a bit on the down-low about it since I’m sure the NHL isn’t overly impressed when teams “go rogue.”


March 19th, 2010
7:37 am

Now for Philly, with Brian Boucher (6 starts all season) and an AHL call-up, in goal. There is life (at least until April).


March 19th, 2010
7:39 am

Just when I think I’m out…they pull me back in

World Be Free

March 19th, 2010
7:46 am

Stroz-that’s a pretty long post for you, almost Brendan-esque.
I am accustomed to the Henny one-liners!

Go to the net, just look at Jimmy. Slater had another go to the net goal last night. Jimmy is not big, not like “Arty” big but he sure gives his best. If he resigns, I might have to invest in a SLATER jersey! Maybe.

I watched the Rangers and Boston last night. Both teams look WORSE than the Thrashers right now. Tampa got thumped by Buffalo, Florida blew a 3 goal lead in the 3rd period and lost to an offensively-challenged team in Phoenix in a shootout (sound familiar).

Dave Tippett is coach of the year for the Yotes-hands down, what a job!

Boston wimped out on Matt Cooke; Brunes fans should be ashamed of their lack of desire for “proper revenge”.

As LAC properly stated, one game at a time.


March 19th, 2010
7:56 am

RStroz; Great, well written reminder that there are things in this life a little more important than some silly game played on a sheet of ice. THANKS. Back to the boys- this weekend will tell the tale. It will be interesting to see if they band together and give themselves a chance against Boston. I’ve given up on Anderson’s ability “to motivate”. His personality and style may fit with a veteran laden team like Detroit but a young team like the Thrashers has to be “roused”. He just doesn’t seem to have the spark and his so called “system” might fit for the shoot-em up AHL but not the NHL.

World Be Free

March 19th, 2010
8:13 am

For all you people that are lobbying for Nittymaki as our starting goalie next year-you better watch the highlights of last night’s Buffalo-Tampa Bay game and see how “Niity” plays against all other teams except the Thrashers.

Stroz-nice people on the old couple.


March 19th, 2010
8:23 am

So a few columns ago ( I said…

“The only way to make the playoffs at this point is to take the one positive we have left (most home games) and try to ride it as hard as we can — and hope that Boston flounders with Savard out. That’s enough to get us into a first-round matchup vs. the Capitals.”

And now look where we are. We scraped together a few points by losin’ to teams we were supposed to beat, and beating teams we probably shouldn’t have, and Boston has gone 2-5 in their last 7. Mmm. Tasty crunchy Bruins. I feel bad for Savard, but Cooke’s cheap shot may have done us a huge favor.

Poor Philly. Bet they’d like to borrow Nitty back for two games right about now…


March 19th, 2010
8:26 am

Nice post Stroz. Your crumegdon (need spell checker here Rawhide) reputation will be ruined. Thanks.

My faith has been severely tested this past week and reluctantly attended last night, was hockey or clean carpets/yard work. I would have been PO’d sitting on the couch last night rather than be at the arena.

And a Thank You to Mandy Sutton for his cheap shot on Bolts last night. That seemed to spark the Thrash. And then he punked when Bolts called him out. Did anyone see the linesman shadow him at the end of the game?


March 19th, 2010
8:32 am

You’re right Bill it wasn’t a perfect game – but if the ref hadn’t gotten between Boulton and Sutton it would have been pretty darn close to a perfect game!

I’ve really enjoyed watching Nik grow this season and step out from under the shadow of Kovy and come into his own. He is a much needed presence for the Thrashers in front of the net.


March 19th, 2010
8:45 am

Funny how Army started out with a miserable first period but ended up the hero! But when you play with Todd White, your destined for greatness! LOL

BTW, what is it gonna take to make our PP look even semi-NHL caliber?


March 19th, 2010
8:45 am

Stroz, lordy, I have a tear in my eye. Having lost my sweet husband and father of our young childrent prematurely to cancer, I share your sentiments. Particularly about hockey being a game. While I want to win and am often very annoyed by the product on the ice (although there are games like last night!), I always put it into perspective. It is a game. Every time I see the elderly couple, I am reminded what a blessing it is that they are still well enough to be sitting TOGETHER at an NHL hockey game. To you naysayers, a winning product is what matters to most fans, but some times just having the opportunity to escape reality and sit with my kids and watch a game live, is such a blessing.


March 19th, 2010
8:49 am

Jekyl and hyde…DAM Which team will show up on any given night is making for one roller coaster ride isn’t it? When they’re hot, I think we can play with most, but when we’re flat….the WHOLE team is. Way to keep the intensity and make them pay for their mistakes last night.

Now for thoughts to ponder. I have issues with the game last night, and here it is. When someone takes the liberty to intentionally hit your goalie IN THE HEAD, he needs his a$$ beat. Adding insult to injury, they scored, and the refs looked the other way. Now Moose is rightfully pissed, and his head was not in the game which directly led to the 3rd goal. Luckily the period ended to regroup, which they did. If someone had gone after dumba$$ ruttuu then and there then Moose may not have been so upset, the fight would have cleared the air, and we move on. Not doing so, they later crashed the net AGAIN with Foligno, who sat on Moose for quite some time with Hainsey finally pulling him off, and Heim (?) them grabs the Moose and isn’t hit. C’mon guys!!! If Moose goes down where are we? He is a team leader and no one stands up for him?!?! Yes we won and that is great, but I felt that was something that needed to be addressed and was of great concern watching the game. Does anyone else think the same?

I posted about Nitti previously with same concerns. He is at best average except against us.


March 19th, 2010
8:52 am

I had the same thought concerning Armstrong. Amazing what being in the right place at the right time can do. Maybe this will get his head out of his rear?


March 19th, 2010
8:59 am

RStroz – As I psoted last night before putting up this blog…well worded and very well done, sire.

Paul Culpepper – Yes it was Thorburn…

rob – “Jekyl and Hyde”…that is probably the most appropriate way to describe this team. They can go out on any night a beat a very good team, and then lay an egg against a very mediocre the very next game. I guess it’s that “inconsistency” thing John Anderson refers to so much.

World Be Free

March 19th, 2010
9:04 am

rob, which leads us to the conversation of which tough guy to keep, Boulton or Arty. Bolts would not stand for our goalie getting slammed. This team seems different without him on the ice. That will be management’s call. I do remember your post on Niity. Not sure he’s the answer next year. What about Turco?

Smoothie-looks like army is playing for his next contract. I think his departure is certain of all tghe UFAs we have in our lineup.


March 19th, 2010
9:08 am

I get it… you beat the good teams, and lose to the bad ones… well that should make for a productive April at least.


March 19th, 2010
9:11 am

The fact that it is to such extremes is what makes it so difficult to grasp. We need stabilization, but from where? I would like to think that Nik is slowly taking over and giving us hope, and Kane’s enthusiasm can be a good spark as well, but I wonder if JA is the man to be able to grab their attention on those nights when everyone is just in zombie mode. By this point in the season you would hope that we were all on the same page. I just hope that they are all there when we take the kids to their first hockey game this weekend and they can cheer LET’S GO THRASHERS!! clap clap clap clap clap a lot. They have been practicing watching the TV games LOL


March 19th, 2010
9:17 am

rob – I agree. I was waiting for us to get a lead and then send someone to kick ruutu’s back side to a pulp. I would have told one of the players to go seek and destroy.

Moose looked much better, more solid and rested. Perhaps play Opie Saturday and Moose Sunday?

Was before and still am a Slater fan. Always liked his grit and how he always goes all out every shift.

BTW, saw Tyler Myers last night. He has a bruise under his nose and on his chin.

As for the 7th man award. I suggest we all write into the Thrashers and nominate the lovely couple depsit whatever rule there is against it. It might work. (I wonder who’s jersey they would pick at the last home game?)


March 19th, 2010
9:19 am

I like Arty, and don’t actually see him in the tough guy spot, he looks like a good 3rd line guy I think. Size AND speed. Has shown already he can score some nice goals and crash the net, I like it. I think it falls on every guy on the ice to go after anyone who takes liberty with your goalie. Anyone else, sure let the tough guy take care of it, but the goalie needs immediate attention, not a few shifts later (or never as was the case last night). Other teams will look at this and a playoff series against the same guys night after night doing that without fear will NOT be good.


March 19th, 2010
9:23 am

kudos, stroz.

The Bruins have no offense. They absolutely stunk last night in a home game they should have been pumped for against the Pens, a Pens club who had just been beaten by the Devils in a tough game the night before. They are catchable, but the only spot that matters for any success is getting to the 7th seed, and that is still going to take a miracle (the Caps will just be a 4 game sweep).


March 19th, 2010
9:25 am

Damn it! I thought someone wrote that Dallas beat Philly. Guess we’ll need to do it ourselves.

rob – I agree with you that it was disheartening to see the lack of retaliatory response when OTT was bum-rushing Moose. However, when you are missing Thorburn, Kane and lack grit on the goaline, it puts the onus on Boulton. He invited 2 guys to fight and was declined by both Neil and Mandy if I recall correctly.


March 19th, 2010
9:27 am

How about getting the old couple recognized not as the 7th man award, but something else? Get the Thrashers to recognise them for a decade of inspiration? As many have already posted, those two are as much a part of this team as most players. Get a jersey with their last name on it signed by everyone on the team. That way there is no uproar and they are recognised not for one year as 7th man, but for their continual support and inspiration to the team and the fans. Just a thought.

Badger Bob

March 19th, 2010
9:38 am

Rightshot, I picked Slater as last off Schnied Island and, at the start of the year, would have listed him as least important UFA to sign. He’s completely changed my mind. I always liked his grit too, and he always shows up, works and HITS hard. But what’s changed is that his hands might not be as stony as I used to think now that he’s playing with playmakers, like Bergie on Tuesday and (cough, hack) Whitey last night. Well, I guess he didn’t use his hands for the Buffalo GWG, but you know what I mean…

You know if we’d just played .500 hockey since November we’d be a lock for the playoffs. Jekyl and Hyde for sure. 3 points away from the playoffs and 5 points away from the number 3 overall pick. What to do, what to do…


March 19th, 2010
9:43 am

…lack grit on the BLUEline, not goaline, not that goaline is actually a word!

rob – I like your idea re: the sweet, storied couple. But perhaps a petition-like blog by Rawhide would be a better way to deliver the message in a resounding fashion.

Badger Bob

March 19th, 2010
9:54 am

Is it irony that Sens fans were laughing that the Thrashers picked up Schoobie on the waiver wires (for nothing, and only half his salary), then they go get Mandy (for a second round pick, and paying all of his $3M salary)? Well, it’s funny, at least.

Alan R.

March 19th, 2010
9:56 am

The play resulted in one peeved Moose as the goalie had to be held back from trying to…ahem…discuss the matter with referee Stephane Auger.

Stephane Auger. Remember him?

Glad this team came back from intermission to beat the “Senators & Friends.”

It was nice to see the team make Andy Sutton look like the traffic cone he really is.

Savannah Blueland Fan

March 19th, 2010
10:20 am

Toby would like to thank all the posters on this blog for reminding him what to do with the puck. Something got into his head.

After the second period with the score tied, I thought–here we go again. Getting me all excited just to blow me off. There is a word for that, but this is a family show. That is why I would like to extend a personal “thank you” to Andy Sutton. Hitting Boulton seemed to add a spark that sealed the game. That is, I believe, the first time I have ever seen Eric dazed and confused on the ice. But probably the reason we won the game.

Stan H.

March 19th, 2010
10:31 am

I think the team that is ripe for the picking is Philly. They have lost BOTH their goalies. If we are able to sweep them, I think that is a blow that they don’t come back from.

Toby Enstrom

March 19th, 2010
10:40 am

Anything for you, Savannah. I’ll never leave you hanging out there, hot and bothered.


March 19th, 2010
10:42 am

When I played 35 yrs ago you didn’t “invite”someone to drop the gloves,If I was pissed I jumped in and if the other guy declined,so be it, I would hand him his hat w/ his head still in it. Bolts needed to jump first,then send an “invatation”.Mandy Sutton is a wimp,only hit people that have their head down.He did not want any part of Bolts,but he should not have had a choice. As far as I’m concerned Ruutu should still be picking parts of his jaw out of a set of Thrasher knuckles. “I ain’t sayin’, Im just sayin!!


March 19th, 2010
10:49 am

Rightshot: You _did_ see the two minute penalty Kubina got for “slashing” Ruutuu right?

Shoulda been five for spearing: kubina put the blade right in Ruutuu’s nuts. :D

World Be Free

March 19th, 2010
10:56 am

rob-Arty amazes me with his speed and size. You don’t see too many players standing in front of him when he gets going. I hope they can keep him.

Badger Bob-good observation on schubert, they hated him in Ottawa. I think he has played well for us, hits alot too! They are trying to sell Mandy as a big time hitter and shutdown defenseman. they must be seeing something I do not see.

Nobody called for Slater’s departure more than me last summer. Now I want the guy resigned for sure. He’s finally playing like a hockey player instead of a figure skater. He’s no longer Johnny Weir! Jimmy rushed the net last night, just like he did on the GWG against Buffalo. His hit on Tyler Myers was great!

Spud Webb

March 19th, 2010
10:56 am

Up and down…down and up. At least this team keeps it interesting huh??? I really, really hope we make the playoffs…hate getting my hopes crushed but dammit we deserve it don’t we????
Lol, anyone see Thornton (bruins) get Matt Cooke last night. Still not sure how Cooke wasn’t suspended??? Anyone else notice things tilt towards pittsburgh in the NHL??? A repeat offender (cooke) not suspended…another repeat offender suspended 8 games (deserved).
Also, not sure if anyone on here has seen the “pat cormier elbow”?? youtube it. He’s property of the thrashers from the kovy trade. Absolutley SICK…one of the worst I’ve seen.

Red Light

March 19th, 2010
11:08 am

The hit by Sutton energized the Thrashers. Whether or not it was a cheap hit as suggested is open to interpretation or bias. Of course, Sutton and Clouston didn’t think it was dirty but Army certainly did. Either way, the Thrashers responded and the roof caved in on the Sens. While the first week after the break didn’t work out as planned, I mentioned awhile back that the stretch of games beginning March 16 through the back-to-back meetings with Carolina would be the key to the Thrashers’ playoff hopes. The back-to-back games against Philly should be wildly entertaining (hopefully).

I had a chat with a great hockey fan last night, who said three out of four points against Philly is mandatory. So, how about your thoughts on the following questions:

1) If the Thrashers don’t get at least 3 points this weekend, are they done?
2) If the Thrashers do make the playoffs, will they draw more than 15,000 fans for the home games or less than that number?

I’m assuming if it’s Washington vs. Atlanta, Ovechkin and Co. should draw but the October home games against the Caps averaged just 13,042.

And, I will finally admit that Nik Antropov was a fantastic acquisition.


March 19th, 2010
11:12 am

if we make the playoffs, the building will be full. hopefully the dominoes will fall just right with thrasher wins and eastern opponents losses to get us into the 8th spot. i may be stupidly optimistic, but i still have a good feeling.


March 19th, 2010
11:14 am

1) If the Thrashers don’t get at least 3 points this weekend, are they done?
No, but they must get at least 2pts setting up the match against Boston on Tuesday. Tuesday is the must win game, must get a regulation win Tuesday. Could be the biggest game of the year for our boys.

2) If the Thrashers do make the playoffs, will they draw more than 15,000 fans for the home games or less than that number?
Yes, if they make the playoffs, the home games will sell out.


March 19th, 2010
11:24 am

my point exactly. ruttuu shouldn’t have been given the option. Go after him, gloves off and either make him man up or he can turtle, those being the ONLY 2 options given him.

Red Light,
I see 15k+ because the FANS want to see playoff hockey. And regardless of who we play (if we can somehow get there) I don’t see a 4 and out. This team will win at least one which will be important going forward. At the same time, IF we make it, we will see why we need a goalie who single handedly keeps a team alive when the team falters.


March 19th, 2010
11:29 am

If we are not within 2 points of Boston when we play them Tuesday, then yes, we are done.

If we _are_ within 2 points of Boston, then we can tie them — and if we do that, we’re squarely back in it.


March 19th, 2010
11:29 am

Critical next two games.