Stick a fork in them and pull them off the playoff grill – The Thrashers are done

Ah, yes…late March-early spring in Atlanta. It’s a beautiful time of year in these parts…a time when we, among other things, pull the cover off of the grill that’s weather through the winter on the back deck and prepare it for another season of outdoor cooking.

You name it, it gets flamed up on the grill here in the south…burgers, hotdogs, steaks, chicken,chops, ribs…mmmmmmm, meat is good!

Carolina goalie Cam Ward denies Pavel Kubina during the Canes 4-1 win Monday night (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Carolina goalie Cam Ward denies Pavel Kubina during the Canes 4-1 win Monday night (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

But ya know what else got grilled around here recently…the playoff chances for the Atlanta Thrashers. Yup, with the giant flameout on the ice of Philips Arena Monday night they all but went up in smoke in the night skies of Thrasherville. And I assure you, the smell that permeated around the intersection of Marietta Street and Centennial Drive did not smell as sweet as what will surround the cul-de-sac I live on this weekend.

Oh sure, the Thrashers are not mathematically eliminated and technically they remain within “striking distance” of Boston, Philly and Montreal…but the 4-1 loss to Carolina last night pretty much puts the Thrashers on the side of the NHL grill where ya put the “done” meat…no, make that the “well done to the point of charred” meat.

Put a fork in ‘em, folks.

Although the box score will show their only goal was via a power play, for the most part of the evening the Thrashers performance while enjoying the man advantage left the paying customers at Philips steamed and sizzling mad. After Nic Antropov put Atlanta up 1-0 on the first power play of the night, they simply looked lost and confused on the subsequent five they were afforded the rest of the way.

The penalty kill, however, continued it’s strong work of late…killing off all three Carolina power plays. Over the last seven games, Atlanta has gone 20 for 20 when facing being down a man.

Southern hospitality was again the order of the day as the visiting team won …as was the case in the previous five matchups between the Thrashers and Canes. Atlanta took all three in Raleigh by a combined score of 15-7 while the Hurricanes took all three here and outscored our team by a total of…now get this…13-3. In the last two it was 8-1.

Just ouch.

Making matters even more frustrating was the fact that we got a nice serving of “help” smothered in Buffalo sauce as the Sabres downed Bahhh-ston for us…the score of that game hovering above us all night like the blue light of a bug zapper that served only to illuminate Carolina’s grilling of Thrasher meat below.

I tell ya…rooting for the Sabres sorta gives me the same feeling in my gut as eating a jar of potato salad after it has sat out on the back deck in the sun for an entire week…but it’s worth it when they take care of the Bruins for us like that. Of course, it wouldn’t feel so bad if the Thrashers had done more to help themselves. But right now, I think I need a stomach pump.

And so, if last night’s game was considered a “must win” in regards of keeping hope alive for the playoffs…the one tonight in Toronto has to be considered a “must-er win”. Because after that we are down to those final five with three of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference…three teams that the Thrashers are collectively 1-8-0 against so far this season.

Ugh…there goes my stomach again.

And Speaking of Southern Hospitality…

I met a pair of fairly cool Caniacs last night…Liz and Sydney who had driven down from Carolina to enjoy the game, (and unfortunately, “enjoy” the game is just what they did). They sat a few rows in front of myself, Rightshot and “Lola the Lurker”.

When chatting with the pair, Liz showed me a picture of her favorite Thrashers fan…it was none other than our very own Mr. Heat Miser. The picture was taken last weekend during the Thrasherville invasion of Carolina. After the game, MHM was gracious and kind enough to chat with them, even though it was obvious he was still seething from the outcome.

Cool, classy guy that Heat Miser.

Anywhooooo…Liz and Sydney share our passion fro hockey and agreed with me that the two fan bases always have a good time together when visiting the other. We can go, cheer our team, and enjoy the good times in and around the arena without being a group of obnoxious %$#&#@!.

Nice to meet ya both, Liz and Sydney.

138 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

March 30th, 2010
10:31 am

All hail the ominiscient Stooge of Bwuewand!! His holiness has spoken.

Red Light

March 30th, 2010
10:32 am

Ray Shero extended RFA Kris Letang for four years at $3.5 million per season. What a novel concept, extending a contract within a fortnight of the beginning of the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Here’s your reward Kris for a job well done, and by the way we expect you to play your ass off in the playoffs again this year. A strong message from a proactive GM. What a breath of fresh air.

Meanwhile, Atlanta’s Captain Queeg wants to know who took an extra scoop of strawberries.

ChippersLoveChild

March 30th, 2010
10:35 am

There is always next year?

Alan R.

March 30th, 2010
10:35 am

Remember the last time we stuck a fork in ‘em?

Sure, the Thrashers “smell” pretty well done, but are they?

Probably. There’s still some raw meat in there, though. If you’re looking to char them, then you’ll need to keep them in the fire for a few more games.

TableHockey

March 30th, 2010
10:39 am

Thanks for the reminder Rawhide – I need to get my propane tank refilled.

Can’t wait till we are mathematically eliminated so we can start talking about exciting things like who will be our new coach, what RFAs will we be able to resign, what UFAs will we resign, where will the draft party be, etc. etc.

Last season ended on about as high a note as it could (sans playoffs) thanks to the strong finish. Don’t think we will have the benefit of that with the April we are facing. We will go 0 for Caps and probably 0 for Pens. Maybe we take Jersey – unless Kovy decides to get his first hat trick for the season. That will probably not help with the re-signings we need to make.

joedaiceman

March 30th, 2010
10:40 am

This is a team with no leadership and no heart, excepting Moose and Slats. It is worse than a story of failure, they simply do not care. Last night was a travesty.

Sage of Bluesland

March 30th, 2010
10:42 am

Who’s the “stooge” again? Who continues to subsidize this incompetence? Who, amazingly, comes to the same conclusion others have years ago?

Uh-huh, that’s what I thought!

Don’t worry, there’ll be another batch of sheep and their ‘comments’ to laugh at arriving shortly…

Captain Obvious

March 30th, 2010
10:48 am

Yeah… they’re forked for sure

J-man

March 30th, 2010
10:48 am

It’s just better to face the reality of not making the playoffs. Continuing to hold out hope in the (almost) impossible just makes it harder when they finally fail.

TableHockey – Anderson will return as coach. How could he not given the “success” (ha ha) of this season? The only chance to get rid of him was if the team continued its free fall earlier and plunged into the bottom 5 of the league standings.

Thrashplayhere

March 30th, 2010
10:50 am

You’re a moron, Ice Man.

Ashe

March 30th, 2010
10:53 am

4 bad goals on hedbergs part/defense part. and a lack of offense.

we arent done, we just need to not lose when philli or boston wins. If either of them gets a win and we lose. We are then done.

World Be Free

March 30th, 2010
10:54 am

Red Light-A Caine Mutiny reference?

I am impressed, do you think he has marbles in his pocket?
This team has been steaming over its own tow line for years!

Classic reference!

Smoothie

March 30th, 2010
10:56 am

Hey moron, when have I ever said that Don Waddell is a great GM? When have I ever said that I was a STH? Why do you continue to labor under the misconception that I am some mindless “sheep” who isn’t realistic about this team? I am just trying to keep things fair and balanced when it comes to a sports franchise that gets no legitmate or fair reporting of the facts. You seem to think you’re entitled to success or some reward just because you’ve been given back a franchise after it was unceremoniously yanked out from under you 30 years ago. I’m sorry that Don Waddell pissed in your cornflakes 8 years ago but you are the saddest of the sad when it comes to our mostly classy and level-headed fan base. If you actually knew me, and you won’t because I have no desire to ever meet your pathetic and arrogant ass, you would actually understand my perspective. But alas, you just bleet on and on and on about the same thing over and over eventhough you fail to provide any facts to support your position that a STH revolt / boycott has bore any tangible fruit in the cause to shift the fortunes of this franchise.

ben

March 30th, 2010
11:05 am

Wow, we all need to take a breath. This team is bad, but let’s not trash each other over it.

Rightshot

March 30th, 2010
11:06 am

Rawhide – Had fun sitting with you and “Lola the Lurker” last night. Thanks for inviting me to sit with you two.

BTW Lola, you promised to say hi today.

Despite the strong play of Moose and ,dare I say it, MOST of the defense (sorry toby) it was the forwrds that let us down last night. On several occasions, they had a chance to shoot the puck and did not and turned the puck over numerous times (I’m looking your way Max)

I am disappointed at the effort and apparent lack of willingsness? desire? determination? put forth by the team, including the coaches.

My own 3 stars of the game,
#3 the 2 very nice Carolina fans we got the pleasure of speaking with.
#2 Rawhide and Lola for their hospitality
#1 the blonde with the big… uh beer that kept walking past us last night. Thanks :)

Sage of Bluesland

March 30th, 2010
11:13 am

Jackpot!

Some, you know who you are, keep looking for that key which definitely does NOT exist…

It does make me laugh, I have to admit…

DWTOO

March 30th, 2010
11:13 am

Ah Smoothie well said, but, please refer to Rawhide’s advice regarding trolls – best ignored.

First time I’ve seen Mr. Heat Miser and “classy” in the same sentance. LOL!

WBF/RL – Noitced the refernce to the Caine Mutiny. They (Waddell and Anderson) have to have their marbles in their pockets – sure don’t have them in thier head.

Hoping for a change in leadership in the off-season. NHL caliber teams don’t have a power play that looks as bas as ours. That was painful to watch last night.

Old Yellow Stain, aka Red Light

March 30th, 2010
11:14 am

“This team has been steaming over its own tow line for years!”

Beautiful WBF!

“I’ve got those Yellow Stain Blues”

Joe Friday

March 30th, 2010
11:15 am

Glass 1/2 full guys, we’re one step closer to getting the root cause addressed and that is the removal of Don Waddell as GM.

Does anyone know for sure if his contract is in fact up at the end of this season?

Smoothie

March 30th, 2010
11:17 am

ben – I appreciate the sentiment, but I’m only trashing one person on this blog: the resident know-it-all who can only seem to satisfy his oversized ego by bashing honest hockey fans, who manage to glean more from the fan experience than simply the bragging rights that come with supporting a team that wins consistently. Guess he was spoiled rotten by all that constant winning and success of the Braves during their unprecedented run of success and choking. I know how bitter one can become from watching teams that choke all the time (Buffalo Bills, Wake Forest etc) but I refuse to buy into the boycott bull pucky the Sage-less one likes to bombard us with on this blog.

World Be Free

March 30th, 2010
11:21 am

Red Light-on a day of sorrow created by our team, good that we can reference one of America’s great war movies staring Humphrey Bogart.

So the question is-who will be our Moral Officer?

World Be Free

March 30th, 2010
11:23 am

Now, now Smoothie, no dissin’ the Bills please. Sabres did the Thrash a favor last night but we couldn’t close the deal.

Baaadger Bob

March 30th, 2010
11:23 am

Just when you get your hopes up, things looking brighter, the potential of a better future, it all get’s dashed. I’m refering to Sage making civil and insightful comments yesterday, not the Thrashers. Sage, can you run the numbers for us on boycott effectiveness? Please list all franchises that have moved as a result of poor fan support in your analysis.

Ashe, I’ve shared your hopeful optimism for the past two weeks, but can’t get there anymore. It’s not that they lost their last 3 at home. Its not even who they lost to. It is HOW they lost – uninspired, disinterested, uncoached. PP is pathetic beyond all words. No coordination whatsoever. If we dump in, none of our guys seem to expect it and often lose the race to the puck. If we carry it in, none of our guys are charging in to at least give their D more to think about than just checking the puck carrier. 4-on-4 is even worse. We treat puck possession like its a bad thing. JA must go.

moriler

March 30th, 2010
11:24 am

In general I don’t recommend responding to trolls such as Sage; he long ago checked out of caring about the Thrashers, and only posts here to see who he can get riled up. But this much I do have to say: Leaving Blueland empty will cause you all to lose the team completely, not just Waddell. I think most of you understand this, but for the lurkers, it’s worth repeating.

Nothing will make Bettman move this team unless the fans choose to not show up, rendering it unprofitable for _any_ owner to keep it in Atlanta. If that happens, you can watch them get moved to Hamilton or some other bumble**** town in Canada, regardless of how good the on-ice product is at that time — look at the rumors surrounding the Coyotes.

I’m not suggesting renewing your season tickets blindly, mind you — only do so if you enjoy going to games. But any “boycott” would simply move the team out of Atlanta again, and if it happens twice, it will never come back.

Badger Bob

March 30th, 2010
11:27 am

Sorry guys, I missed the posts calling on the rest of us to be civil while I was typing my last post. I’ll go back to ignoring the troll.

ThrasherTim

March 30th, 2010
11:29 am

* Last 3 home games during a ‘playoff’ stretch drive: L, OTL, L to Boston, Toronto, Carolina and scored a total of 2 goals? WTH?

Red Light

March 30th, 2010
11:35 am

World Be Free: I know it’s a mistype, but I’m reminded of one of the great Danny Ozarkisms of my youth.

When asked during a losing streak if his team had a morale problem, Ozark said, “I don’t think our morality has anything to do with it.”

Since Ensign Willie Keith isn’t available, I nominate our current Kane!

Smoothie

March 30th, 2010
11:42 am

“It’s not that they lost their last 3 at home. Its not even who they lost to. It is HOW they lost – uninspired, disinterested, uncoached. PP is pathetic beyond all words. No coordination whatsoever. If we dump in, none of our guys seem to expect it and often lose the race to the puck. If we carry it in, none of our guys are charging in to at least give their D more to think about than just checking the puck carrier. 4-on-4 is even worse. We treat puck possession like its a bad thing. JA must go.”

Baaadger – well said man, well said. Nail, hammer, head. Why JA can’t seem to get these guys on the same page for a big game is beyond me? Yes, the talent of this team is incomplete, but there should be enough passion and determination to overcome it in a game against an opponent no more talented than yourself. It’d be one thing if we were getting demolished by Washington or Pittsburgh, but losing in the fashion we’re losing speaks to a lack of leadership and sound coaching. Sorry JA, but your ship has sailed in Atlanta. Perhaps you’ll learn from it and become a better coach, but the puck bounces your way more often than not because you work harder than the other team, not because there is some sort of cosmic hockey law of averages that makes it so.

Prudence

March 30th, 2010
11:48 am

Bill, I find it offensive that you are talking about grilling the Thrashers meat.

Dwayne

March 30th, 2010
11:51 am

Why do we stink 4 on 4? Because JA mixes the D men up and they skate around the rink, hollering, “I got ‘em, you take ‘em”

Smoothie

March 30th, 2010
11:54 am

Clarke MacArthur makes Todd White look like a defensive stalwart.

Toby Enstrom sometimes makes Mark Popovic look like Brian Rafalski.

Please tell me that Evander Kane will get to lace up the skates 2nite.

Rawhide

March 30th, 2010
11:55 am

There is always next year?

ChippersLoveChild – Yes…and has been said in Atlanta before after a “burning”… tomorrow is another day.

Thanks for the reminder Rawhide – I need to get my propane tank refilled.

TableHockey – Did mine last Saturday.

Thrashplayhere – That should read “You’re a moron, Iceman”…not “You’re a moron, Ice Man”.

Red Light – Thanks for swingin’ by last night…great to see you as always.

Rightshot – The pleasure was all mine. Glad you could join us.

Bill, I find it offensive that you are talking about grilling the Thrashers meat.

Prudence – Dear Prudence…nice to have the PETA crowd come out and play. :grin:

Not Blind

March 30th, 2010
12:04 pm

There is nothing that infuriates me more than seeing a Thrasher [ D or forward ] skate right by the opposing puck carrier. It’s like the coach has told them that they are supposed to skate to a certain spot and watch the opposing player take his best shot. It would seem to make more sense to slightly change course and knock the opposing puck carrier on his backside.
Knowing that this is how the Thrashers play means that the opposing team knows they have all the time they want to really take a great shot instead of being hurried and either shooting the goalie’s logo or totally missing the net.

volgrad1985

March 30th, 2010
12:06 pm

Rawhide……Didn’t you already publish this article once before?

This sorta reminds me of the TV news trying to scoop each other during elections, being the first to report that someone has won a state with 1% of the votes tallied. If anyone wants to really get a scoop on everybody, why not pronounce that the Thrashers have a fork stuck in them in the first week of October?

Nope, I think I’ll just wait till the next week plays itself out to see what happens.

World Be Free

March 30th, 2010
12:06 pm

Smoothie-3 losses
I posted something similar last night when I got home. Surprised more did not chime in on my blast of Colby “Swiss” cheese.

Red Light-who would be Mr. Keefer in the scenario? The “Yellow Stain Blues” referring to cowardice, pretty appropriate for our recent play.

Rawhide

March 30th, 2010
12:10 pm

volgrad1985 - To your point…this team does have an uncanny nack of coming back from being seemingly buried. And I hope to heavens they do it again. But…IMHO…for this team to have had a serious chance at making a run at it next week, they needed to take last night’s game and tonight’s.

Like I said, hope I’m wrong…but right now, I think they’re toast.

sisu

March 30th, 2010
12:10 pm

So another season is done…only way it would not be is to win at least 5 out of 6. Don’t think that will happen. This off season will be mighty important, the goalie situation needs to be looked at, coaching change along with the GM would be nice…

There was no way this was the same team out there last night that I went to see in Carolina last Saturday. If these guys are professionals then I for one would not know it. Toby was horrible last night, if there was a goalie who could have stolen a game for us last night he was not in the building. Nice to see how a discard from Dallas is tearing it up in Carolina (jokinen)

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

March 30th, 2010
12:19 pm

I am not sure in Toby and Clarke are the issues here. I think this system is as dysfunctional as this organization.

Some of you people have taken shots at your fellow bloggers today. Our frustration should not be with each other, it should be directed at this stupid organization. We all know where the problem lies and it’s not with us. All we can do is hope that the powers that be finally see what the heck is going on here and bring in somebody that knows the game. Whether it’s Dudley or not, we need a hockey man, scouts and coaches that can build a culture that will sustain a winner.

The problem is not us folks; our only fault is our continued support of this team. It’s not that we are sheep or idiots, it is because we are hockey fans. We hold out the hope that one day, this team will be one that we can be proud of, that Atlanta will become a preferred destination for free agents. The Braves comparison made the other day is classic example of how a team can change with the right people in charge.

R. Stroz

March 30th, 2010
12:31 pm

do you think he has marbles in his pocket?

Yes, he has marbles in his pocket because he took them out of his head to play with them.

Badger Bob

March 30th, 2010
12:33 pm

WBF – agreed Colby has mostly sucked the past two months (at least). He’ll likely be able to sell his pathetic play as a dislike for ATL or JA when he’s talking to UFA suitors, but at this point I’m perfectly happy he’ll be sailing on.

PPF – good post. We all agree the organization must change – our lovely host has said so almost all year, I believe – hopefully starting with a sale by Octocluster, then a new GM, and finally a coach, in that order and in short order. In the meantime, all we’ve got left it to assess the play of individual players.

With Toby, I’m willing to excuse his knuckleheaded play of the past week as exhaustion. I don’t think it is typical of him. And I blame JA for not seeing it and giving him some rest. We’d hardly do worse with Kulda, Vish or Chelli in his spot.

With Clarke, I think its too early to tell. It would be nice to see a young guy actually improve and develop here.

Bob

March 30th, 2010
12:44 pm

“Our frustration should not be with each other, it should be directed at this stupid organization.”

Yep, some guys are missing the big picture and focusing on players. The players come and go every where, there’s one thing that doesn’t change, and that’s the futility of it all. That won’t change until Waddell is gone.

“With Toby, I’m willing to excuse his knuckleheaded play of the past week as exhaustion. I don’t think it is typical of him.”

Sorry, he’s been the same guy since his first year here. He constantly gets ridden of the puck and manhandled by bigger forwards driving our zone. Sure, he makes pretty figure 8’s circling back into our zone with the puck and can make a nice pass from his backline to the middle, but we need more than that. We need D that can play D. Enstrom is a typical Waddell mistake.

Joe Friday

March 30th, 2010
12:44 pm

crap, the damn cookie from this site keeps wanting me to be Bob!

Badger Bob

March 30th, 2010
12:49 pm

volgrad1985 – you may have uncovered the key to this team – Rawhide’s posts.

March 18, AM: “Ungood Math” post appears, stating we need to face up to the Thrashers demise.
March 18-21: Thrashers beat three straight playoff-positioned teams to reignite their chances
March 22, AM: “Be There” post appears, expressing optimism with “the way these guys are playing right now”
March 22-29: Thrashers lose three straight home games to all but erase the playoff hopes of their fans
March 30, AM: “Done” post appears.
March 30 – April 10: ???

If they win the next four, I’m going to have to insist on nothing but pessimistic blogs from you, Mr. Rawhide!

Mitch

March 30th, 2010
12:50 pm

I am a true fan and Bleed Blue, but it seems to me that this team is playing like its game 42 midway into the season no Urgency since that Philly series seems like they think there done, either that or they just can’t handle the pressure We need better leadership to keep everyones mind and focus right and a coach that doesn’t sound like Droopy when we lose. I like Anderson’s style and gameplan but he seems like he wants to be all the players friends He needs to go in that locker room and rattle some skulls and bruise some egos. My other concern is the powerplay Even if the stars align and we do make the playoffs How will we compete with our broken powerplay? “It will be lambs to the slaughter” GO Thrashers anyway!

Rawhide

March 30th, 2010
12:52 pm

If they win the next four, I’m going to have to insist on nothing but pessimistic blogs from you, Mr. Rawhide!

Badger Bob – You got it!

World Be Free

March 30th, 2010
12:58 pm

Badger-this younger generation is the instant gratification generation, not wanting to put forth the effort required to make something bad better or even good. Colby is a classic example of this. These guys are all paid a salary slightly higher than the Average Joe. It’s not too much to ask for a player to do the best he can do every night. We all know players and teams have an off night. We cannot change humanity. But it should be expected that a guy that makes as much as Armstrong will show up more often than not. Sorry to sound like an angry old man.

Colby hasn’t this year. GMs and scouts have a tendency to have memories when it comes to offering up a long term deal to a guy who has had it in 2nd gear (at best) all year.

Attention all free agents-most of the teams in the league are up against the cap, have RFAs to resign and holes to fill in their rosters looking for players at the right price. I think these UFAs are all expecting windfall paydays July 1. July 15 and August 1 may become more frequent signing days as long as the cap stays where it is for the time being. Hockey is not like football, where teams can void or buy our bad contracts so easily. Just look at Zhitnik’s contract.

Braydon Coburn is a FA this year, not sure if he’s an RFA or UFA. Interesting.

Rawhide

March 30th, 2010
1:07 pm

WBF – I was speaking last night to someone..was it Rightshot?… who was surprised to learn we are still paying Zhitnik to “not play” for us. But the $1.16 million we’ve paid him for the last 2 seasons comes to an end this summer. My proposal is to call that sum of money the “Zhitnik Buyout Fund” and keep it on hand to drop a deserving player from the roster.

July 1, the next recipient of the ZBF should be Todd White, IMHO.

Oh…and Coburn is an RFA, coming off a $1.3 million contract.

Smoothie

March 30th, 2010
1:08 pm

Anyone a bit surprised like me that Kane won’t be in the line-up (see Dan Kamal’s tweet) tonite? If he’s skating pain-free, why not let him play? If they’re worried about him, why take him on the trip?

WBF – I think you are right…some of these UFA’s will be in for a rude awakening. That may actually help the Thrashers, but they have some tough decisions to make. Right now, I’m inclined to bring back C-Mac (potential is there to be a solid 3rd line contributor), Arty, Boulton cuz he’s a cheap 13th forward, Pops over Schubie and maybe Kubina if he’s willing to sign for 2 years. But I doubt that. Plus, we need to get younger and ornery-er on the blueline. We may want to trade Toby while his price is higher than ever. But it may make more sense to keep Toby and use Oduya as trade bait since they are such similar players.

Smoothie

March 30th, 2010
1:10 pm

Oh, and Slater of course! He might even be alternate or captain material. Fancy that!

Badger Bob

March 30th, 2010
1:10 pm

WBF – Philly’s situation will be interesting this summer. Short of an unlikely visit to the conference finals, this year will be viewed as a failure. Yet they’ve got less than $10M of cap space to find a goalie, three Dmen and a forward or two. Although Coburn is an RFA, they may be willing to deal since they’ve got no breathing room.