Biggest Game in Three Years – Be There, Thrasherville!

April 2007…almost three years ago. That was the last time the Thrashers hosted such a meaningful game. Back then, they were games number 83 and 84 of the season…the first two playoff games in the history of the franchise.

I ask you Thrasherville…do you remember what those games were like? Do you remember the excitement…the energy…the emotion…the thrill…the intensity that permeated throughout Philips Arena during not just those two games, but the games leading up to them? Do you recall the way the barn was packed with 18,000 + Thrashers fans and how the stands shook when they took to the ice for game one?

Yeah…I do too.

It’s been many a-moon since that time. The experience lasted but a few short days as the Rangers took games one and two by the scores of 4-3 and 2-1. Then they finished us off with a 7-0 beat-down in game three and a gut-wrenching 4-2 decision that denied Thrashers fans of at least a return home for a third home game during the series.

It ended all too soon…and we haven’t come close to anything like it since.

Since that time we cheered as the 2006-07 Southeast Division Banner was raised on opening night six months after that playoff sweep, then immediately went on an OH-fer six losing streak to begin the season…costing Bob Hartley his job.

Then we suffered though a season in which Don Waddell added “coach” to his previously existing titles of Executive VP & GM…the Marian Hossa saga…the complete collapse down the stretch…and the slow start in the fall of 2008 with new coach John Anderson behind the bench.

We then experienced the hope that came from how the team performed in the last couple months of last season, which continued into the fall…then came December and a 9-game losing streak…the Ilya Kovalchuk saga…a five-game losing streak…followed by the 4-0-1 week that we have recently gone through. And here we are in late March 2010…72 games played, 10 games remaining.

But not once during the past three years has one single game had any type of serious playoff implications attached to it as those of thirty-six months ago.

At least not here, not in Thrasherville… until now.

The Thrashers have risen from the ashes of NHL despair, following up the near-disastrous five-game losing streak with a 4-0-1 week. Where they were just a week ago flirting with a trip to Lotterypickville, they now find themselves once again knocking on the door of a playoff position. And tomorrow night, they face the team that…at this time… stands between them and that coveted position, the eighth-place Boston Bruins.

And while it isn’t a “playoff” game exactly…I can’t help but think it’ll take on that same feel.

What’s on the line here? Simple…win in regulation and the 8th and final playoff spot belongs to the Thrashers with but nine games left on the schedule. Lose in regulation and the Thrashers are 3 in back of the Bruins, who have a game in hand.

Must win? Well, it’s as close to it as we’ve seen in quite a while, I’d say.

Naturally, the question many have at this time is, “Just how will the team respond to such an important game with playoff implications attached”?

It’s a logical question of course, especially given the Jekyll and Hyde aura that surrounds this team. But the only one’s that have any say-so in regards to that question will be the players and coaches…no one else.

But I have a question that only you can respond to…”How are YOU going to respond to such an important game, one with so much playoff implications attached to it”?

This isn’t intended for the STHs or those of you who have made there way to games on a regular basis. This is a question directly aimed at the crowd who have stayed away for some time and have been waiting for some reason to return to Philips. Is THIS enough for you to make your way down there and support this team? Is the position they find themselves in…no, wait…is the position this team has WORKED themselves back into enough to get you in the building?

If it isn’t …then it should be.

Folks, can you just imagine what will be said if…as the NHL community looks in at the proceedings in Thrasherville tomorrow might…the backdrop of the drama unfolding on the ice of Philips Arena is that of a vast sea of empty blue seats? It will be nothing short of brutal.

But this time…their scorn will not be unjustified if we see what a “normal” Tuesday night crowd assembled. Therefore, if you have ever claimed to be a hockey fan in this town…if you have ever claimed to be a fan of the Thrashers…then tomorrow night you simply must be in the house!

Period.

Are you a part of the “don’t subsidize the incompetence” crowd? Yeah well…that’s all well and good and I’m not gonna tell anyone how to spend their hard-earned money. But if you claim to be a hockey fan in this city and you choose to stay home for those reasons…at this time…then stay away for good. And do not waste anyone else’s time by throwing you cyber-stones in here.

We can gripe…we can bitch…we can moan…we can complain…we can insist changes be made…we can demand accountability when things go as wrong as they have for far too long . That’s a fan’s right. But when this type of game at this juncture of the season comes around after so long a time…if you don’t at least WANT to be a part of it in person, then go on and watch Lost or American Idol or …ahem…Biggest Loser.

But if you are indeed a real, honest-and-for-true fan of NHL hockey and the Atlanta Thrashers, and if you have the financial and logistical means to be in Philips Arena on Tuesday night March 23, 2010…well, then get your ticket now and plant your backside in a seat then. But don’t expect to spend too much time in it…not the way these guys are playing right now.

Be there, Thrasherville…

Be seen…

Be loud…

Be raucous…

Be rowdy…

Be supportive…

Be festive…

Be fanatical…

But most of all just … BE THERE!

256 comments Add your comment

DWTOO

March 22nd, 2010
1:57 pm

Can I get an AMEN from the choir!?

LAC

March 22nd, 2010
2:01 pm

Even more of a lost Philly weekend, Jeff carter is out a month after blocking a shot, has a fractureed foot, I would think like Kane has… That hurts their chances even more, and they are being RIPPED in the Philadelphia blogs & press… How Nice !

Riceowls8891

March 22nd, 2010
2:04 pm

The Choir

March 22nd, 2010
2:04 pm

A-FREAKIN’-MEN!!!

J(Z)

March 22nd, 2010
2:08 pm

I’m doing my part in trying to recruit as many of my friends to this game as possible…here’s a link for $25 lower bowl and $10 upper bowl tix (use code “THRASHERS”)

https://oss.ticketmaster.com/html/group_corp_start.htmI?l=EN&team=thrashers&owner=1804450&group=3795&err=&event=&customerID=

Netminder

March 22nd, 2010
2:10 pm

We WILL Be seen…

We WILL Be loud…

We WILL Be raucous…

We WILL Be rowdy…

We WILL Be supportive…

We WILL Be festive…

We WILL Be fanatical…

We WILL BE THERE!

Look for my group in the first row of 219 with our BLUELAND flag!!!!

Please post back if you have a BLUELAND flag and what section YOU will be in!!!!

Darkhorse

March 22nd, 2010
2:10 pm

I truly do hope it’s a packed house tommorow, but I worry will word find its way to the casual fans around the metro about what’s going on? Of course everyone here knows and folks who follow hockey around here in general, but the Thrashers PR and Marketing need to reach further past us to get the alert on how big a game it is and the deeply discounted tix that are available for Tues and Thurs game.

GO THRASH!! Keep playing like a team and giving it everything and people will start to take notice.

Thrashers27

March 22nd, 2010
2:12 pm

LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!!!

J(Z)

March 22nd, 2010
2:12 pm

Oh – and no extra typically ticketmaster fees added to that…it’s a flat $10 or $25 for print-at-home tickets!!!! Can’t beat that!!!

Bob

March 22nd, 2010
2:12 pm

I was there Saturday night and it was a rowdy old good time. In negotiations with the Mrs. to let me out for tomorrow (she won’t go back after that last debacle against the Rangers I took her to). I just saw that Carter is out as well for Philly, we can get to the 7th spot people!

Brendan

March 22nd, 2010
2:19 pm

Get to sixth spot … and Atlanta just might draw Buffalo. Finish 8th, and welcome in the Capitals. I’d rather face New Jersey, at #2. I sure don’t want the Penguins at #2, if we’re #7.

Smoothie

March 22nd, 2010
2:25 pm

AMEN Big Willy!!

Gonna be loud, proud and crazy rowd-Y!

C’mon, let’s do this!!

Red Light

March 22nd, 2010
2:26 pm

Brendan: At this point, beggars can’t be choosers, but wouldn’t it be sweet to draw Jersey in the first round as long as we’re begging?

Red Light

March 22nd, 2010
2:28 pm

Lets hope that everyone who says they will be loud and crazy (RE: lets boo Waddell) will actually hold up that end of the bargain tomorrow night. I say everyone on their feet screaming and yelling until the Thrashers score their first goal!

James Brown

March 22nd, 2010
2:37 pm

I always look foward to going to a game………I always a get that little kid feeling………..This one will be way fun……….I hope the crowd puts a jump into the place………….Go Thrashers!!!

Jeff

March 22nd, 2010
2:39 pm

After the five game losing streak, I wasn’t sure I was going to bother going to another game this season, but I will be there tomorrow night for sure!!!

Badger Bob

March 22nd, 2010
2:45 pm

I’m bringing a buddy who is in town from T.O., so I know we’ll change at least one Canadian’s mind about Atlanta hockey fans! And I know it will be rockin’!! AMEN!!

whitaker77

March 22nd, 2010
2:47 pm

Should be a loud, heat, fan crazied, looking for blood, and all out wild time… My hope is that the Thrashers Fans are not our done by the Bruins fans. NOTE: DO NOT ZOOM IN ON ANY BRUINS FANS, SPORT SOUTH in arena video people, or you WILL see more birds than you want to.

These games are always close, and with the new attuide of the Thrashers I am looking to see some blood on the ice.

Smitty

March 22nd, 2010
2:55 pm

I will be right be behind the netminder and I wont yell put that damn flag down.

ben

March 22nd, 2010
3:07 pm

I’ll be in class . . .

I think it would be car-razy tomorrow night.

Monkey

March 22nd, 2010
3:10 pm

Michael Jackson

March 22nd, 2010
3:19 pm

I’ll be there

World Be Free

March 22nd, 2010
3:20 pm

One shift at a time, one period at a time. Time for Anderson to earn his money.

Matt

March 22nd, 2010
3:28 pm

Ohhhhh, SNAP!!! Way to call out Sage and his ilk there Rawhide.

I’m currently trying to find someone willing to go to the game with me. Rest assured though, if I can’t be there in person, I will be watching the game on TV or other “alternative” media forum.

C’mon Sheeple, let’s fill the Bulb

Savannah Blueland Fan

March 22nd, 2010
3:29 pm

Heading out the door now!!! Oh, wait….I live pretty far away. But I’ll be there in spirit! Damn, Rawhide, you got a little bit of preacher in you. Pump up that crowd!

Rawhide

March 22nd, 2010
3:39 pm

Savannah Blueland Fan – You officially have a pass on this one.

Badger Bob

March 22nd, 2010
3:47 pm

Matt – surely even Sage would cheer for Les Thrash a little just to see Rawhide do that Lucky Charm thing!

j nes

March 22nd, 2010
3:52 pm

If you are like me and shudder at the thought of putting even a single dollar in the pocket of the Atlanta Spirit Group, but you still want to attend the game, I have a solution. Purchase your ticket from one of the wonderful secondary ticket brokers outside of the arena. Contrary to their alias, they will not remove your hair from your head, and I have never paid more than $20 for a seat from these lovely gentlemen. Don’t worry about finding them either, they are usually kind enough to find you and ask you if you “need any tickets?” Don’t pay face value to the octocluster. Support your local economy and save yourself some money.

Jason

March 22nd, 2010
4:00 pm

Or, if you want to pay about $3.50 for two tickets in the arena:

http://www.ticketmaster.com/promo/dcymht?camefrom=NHLTHRASHERS_0910_E_032210STH

Yung JB from MTL

March 22nd, 2010
4:06 pm

F**K me for livin in Montreal! Sweet cheers from Canada! If we win, we’re in

Rawhide

March 22nd, 2010
4:12 pm

Yung JB from MTL - You have a pass as well.

Jason – Nice!

j nes – I wholeheartedly endorse your suggestion…BE THERE!

Brendan

March 22nd, 2010
4:13 pm

Red Light, I’m not too sure how that’ll work out. Let’s say the Thrashers score first. Everyone erupts with joy. Then we sit down, and get a good “Fire Waddell!!” chant going?

And let’s say we do miss the playoffs, and pick up something decent at the draft. By the end of next season, the Thrashers should be pretty good, with Kane, Bogosian, and the 2010 1st round pick in the lineup. And when a team is doing well, like now, it doesn’t make any sense to a casual fan that anyone should be upset with a Coach or a GM, during a time of prosperity. And it’s a waste of time and breathe to attempt to explain it to them. To someone “new” to following the Thrashers, they couldn’t and wouldn’t possibly understand the level of frustration from having endured a decade under this GM. For such people, they see not but the nose on the end of their face.

And who wants to rock “the good time” boat? And if a fan is “new,” they’d laugh out LOUD at the thought of being angry over just missing the playoffs this year. And I’d be right there, WITH THEM, laughing at the negative posters, if the calendar read 1999, 2000, or 2001. Or even 2002. My calendar says 2010. And I’m anxious to see our first-ever playoff victory.

I guess, it really boils down to this. Whether Atlanta makes the playoffs, doesn’t make the playoffs, or if it sleets, snows and ices over in May … Waddell WILL be renewed. Nothing can get him fired. So, knowing that AHEAD of time, everyone might as well root for success. I mean, that is our job, as fans. It’s what we’re there to do. And if a person does profess to love the team, winning is the best part of the experience. I know, I want that. I want the Stanley Cup. And if Don Waddell could deliver that, I’d be thrilled. But … the results of the promises are what they are, and have been. In my way of thinking, someone has to be made accountable for it. And to rationalize it by comparing our situation to those less fortunate, whether that’s the Lions in football, the Clippers in basketball, or the Nationals/Expos in baseball, or the Phoenix Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets in hockey, is simply not relevant. It’s to miss the point entirely. Which was … that there should be accountability over annual lottery draft finishes. And so forth.

But I can see it now. I can hear Bruce Levenson’s voice. “We knew we had the right guy all along. We knew that if we hung with him, he’d learn and grow within the job, knowing his job was secure. We knew we’d get to a Conference Finals. And here we are. Just like we said.” Yes, well … embarking a four year plan of failure, snaring players off the waiver wire as a bottom feeders, and reloading via the lottery will tend to do that for you. But, I suppose, … in the end … immediate success supersedes all prior failures.

Somaatl95

March 22nd, 2010
4:16 pm

I WILL BE THERE! Parker42 and I will be in section 119, Row Q!

We WILL Be seen…

We WILL Be loud…

We WILL Be raucous…

We WILL Be rowdy…

We WILL Be supportive…

We WILL Be festive…

We WILL Be fanatical…

We WILL BE THERE!

LETS GO THRASHERS!

COMMENCE A$$ KICKING MODE!

Lets send em back to bean-town with sore rear ends and lets show the rest of the NHL where the Bear sh**s in the buckwheat!!!

Mooseberg

March 22nd, 2010
4:19 pm

Ticketmaster website is broken at the moment, I have 2 season tickets and was only allowed 2 free ones for Tues and Thur, didn’t stop me from buying the second set for tomorrow…anyone want free tickets for the next two games?

puckhead

March 22nd, 2010
4:33 pm

What a week and 9 points does for the soul. I wish today was tomorrow. What an opportunity for the team and the fans. Let’s not worry about the playoffs as WBF posted One shift at a time, one period at a time and if I might add one game at a time.

Jason

March 22nd, 2010
4:39 pm

Mooseberg – SHHHHH! Don’t tell anybody! I’d rather the Spirit make $1 than $80.

R. Stroz

March 22nd, 2010
4:44 pm

PACK THE HOUSE!

DON”T MISS IT!….BE THERE!

Smoothie

March 22nd, 2010
4:47 pm

BTW, ASG isn’t making any profit off the Thrashers right now. If you believe they are, then you’re delusional. Just consider your ticket money as a contribution of prepaid salary for the current roster of players. And if you want to keep the likes of Kubina and Afinogenov, it would probably help to support your team regardless of who the owners are. Support the team, don’t worry about the ownership / GM right now.

Bill, can you tell C-Viv to kick the sports editor in the ass and get us some top headline coverage to convey the importance of this game to the casual fan? These are the latest internet “headlines”:

Barnhart: Getting caught up
Pilots grounded for Tech flyover
Ex-UGAer Edwards now a coach
More jail for ‘Bama Heisman winner’s dad
Collins Hill soccer ranks national No. 1
Masters: Who plays with Tiger?
Tenn. gets Ga. recruit
Pick the 2010 Peachtree t-shirt

Is any of that newsworthy at all at this point in time?? Irrelevant compared to the intrigue and importance of tomorrow night’s game!

God our paper sucks. No offense intended towards C-Viv, of course. :cool:

Red Light

March 22nd, 2010
4:56 pm

Smoothie: Straight from an article I posted this morning:

“Sadly, Atlanta boasts more front-runners than die-hard fans and that makes it tough to count on fans packing the arena on a nightly basis. And, if you count the most hotly debated sports topics in print, online and on-the-air in this town, hockey rarely registers unless you want to discuss the Thrashers shortcomings. Even the Thrashers “flagship station” is more apt to drone on about the NCAA Tournament, the NFL Draft, spring college football, Tiger Woods’ transgressions or the upcoming Braves season, rather than talking hockey and the Thrashers playoff chances.”

Blueland Buddha

March 22nd, 2010
4:58 pm

Got my 2 tickets- can’t wait!

Smoothie

March 22nd, 2010
5:05 pm

Red Light – I’m sorry I missed that. Where was the article published?

Spot on…truly shameful. Sometimes I hate this town.

Tim

March 22nd, 2010
5:10 pm

I would be there too…. but Burnaby BC is kinda far away from Atlanta, GA :)

AuburnZ

March 22nd, 2010
5:12 pm

I will be next to Netminder holding our blueland flag in the front row of 219. And we gave out our STH extra tickets (the $3.50 for 2 tix) for the Bruins game to a friend who’s first game was the Buffalo game last week. She is excited to come back to blueland for Tuesday’s game.

I am hoping that the team that has been playing all 60 minutes and scoring so quickly shows up. If they stick around, hopefully we make it above 8th place. Wouldn’t it be sweet to knock NJ out? For now, we just need to take it one game at a time but it is hard not to look forward. I hope the team can stay concentrated on each game.

rob

March 22nd, 2010
5:13 pm

BBBBAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH freakin BBBBBBBBAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH people. You gotta support the TEAM!!! F^@# DW and the ASG!!!! These guys got a shot at the PLAYOFFS! Let’s go make some noise!!!!!!!!!!!
LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!!!!!!!!

Mooseberg

March 22nd, 2010
5:15 pm

AuburnZ you can get more if you want them, just do it again.

rob

March 22nd, 2010
5:16 pm

Brendan,
DW and Co. MAY get credit for success through failure, that will remain to be seen. In the meantime though, these guys have a chance, maybe only a slim one, but a chance nontheless and to NOT support them would just not be right, so win lose or draw, let’s show the guys WE LOVE OUR HOCKEY!!!!!!

Savannah Blueland Fan

March 22nd, 2010
5:17 pm

Back when the AJC deigned to honor South Georgia with delivery, the Thrashers reporting was non-existant. Guess it hasn’t changed. All this belly-aching about ownership should, perhaps, be redirected towards the newspaper’s editors.

Red Light

March 22nd, 2010
5:21 pm

AuburnZ and Mooseberg: You are doing your part to grow the game and the hockey fan base. A hearty well done for what you are doing, but get in line behind Rawhide. This is a great way to inform and entertain hockey fans in Atlanta and beyond.

I just wish he’d change the number on the back of his Thrashers sweater. Makes me think of a slow offensive guard.

Badger Bob

March 22nd, 2010
5:22 pm

Burnaby BC, home of the SFU Clan! How’d you end up a Thrash fan, Tim?

Zoomo and Mrs. Zoomo

March 22nd, 2010
5:27 pm

Hope we can get a pass too…..Ryan has a baseball game at 7:30 pm and Zoomo is the head coach and we are playing the only team Zoomo wants to beat.