Thrashers win eliminates Leafs – Sets up big finish

The penalty kill has been the most consistent aspect of this Atlanta Thrashers team of late. In fact, they are currently riding a streak of eight consecutive games in which they have not surrendered a power play goal. The last time they failed, in fact, was back on the 16th of the month when Jason Pominville made Evgeny Artyukhin pay for his slashing penalty during the first period of Atlanta’s 4-3 win against the Sabres.

They killed of the subsequent two Sabre man advantages that night…then all four against Ottawa…all three against the Flyers at home as well as all three in Philly…both during the shutout loss to Boston…the one and only last week against the Leafs…all four against the Canes in Carolina up there…all three when the Canes came here Monday night…and then both Tuesday night up in Toronto.

That’s an even two dozen straight successful penalty kills.

And none was more important than the last one, which came with exactly two minutes remaining in the third period and the Thrashers up by one. Jimmy Slater was whistled for the tripping infraction…prompting the latest John Anderson F-bomb dropping while the cameras were closed in. It was as big a PK situation as they’ve face all season. Fail and risk losing in OT and fall another point behind in the standings. Kill it, and keep hope alive.

And kill it they did, and they secured points number 79 and 80 on the season to keep pace with the Boston Bruins who where in the process of beating New Jersey in overtime. It is only the third time in the Thrashers’ ten seasons of play that they have reached the 80-point mark.

Not to be overlooked here is the work between the pipes by Ondrej Pavelec…stopping 27 of 29 shots faced for his 14th win on the year. In his last four starts, Opie is 2-0-2 with a .949 SV%.

The kid has looked real good of late…solid work in goal, good positioning and not a lot of ugly rebounds.

Maxim Afinogenov notch goal number 23 to open the scoring at the 6:18 mark of the second period…tying his career high set in the 2006-07 season. 46 seconds later it was Evgeny Artyukhin hooking up with Marty Reasoner on a two-on-one break to make the score 2-0. It was R2’s fourth goal since coming over from Anaheim earlier in the month.

But it was Nic Antropov proving the game-winner in the third just 57 seconds after Toronto tied the score. Nic tipped in a Ron Hainsey shot for his 24th of the year…he is now just two shy of his career mark of 26 set two seasons ago while with the Maple Leafs.

As it turns out, that goal…scored by the former Maple Leaf…provided the loss that officially eliminated Toronto from the playoffs. It also brought a chorus of boos from Leafs fans.

“It’s OK. They can do whatever they want”, Antropov said of the jeers from the stands. “We got two points, and that’s all that matters”.

Regarding the fact that his goal led to the Leafs’ official elimination from post-season play, Nic quipped, “That’s good to hear”.

And so…it comes to this. The Thrashers with 80 points now trail Boston, Philly and Montreal by 2 points. The three hold the last three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. However, the Thrashers have five remaining on the schedule while the trio of teams they are chasing have six left.

The Rangers, also with a game in hand, have 78 points after their 4-3 win on Lonnnnn-Gisland.

And the five remaining are those we looked at last summer when the schedule came out and thought to ourselves, “Dang…I sure hope it doesn’t come down to those games to make the playoffs”.

But indeed, that is the situation Thrasherville finds itself in.

As I opined following the 4-1 loss to Carolina, I believe that loss sent the playoff chances up in smoke…because even with the win in Toronto, I still think they have to win a minimum of four games of those five to have a chance. That’s a very tall order indeed, especially for this Jekyll and Hyde team.

But regardless, here we are after 77 games played…after a 0-6-3 nine-game Holiday losing streak…after a 0-5-1 six-game March meltdown…after a 8-7-1 overall month of March…after all of that, here we are with a chance to make these five games in April mean something.

And we don’t have to even wait until Thursday for a game that means a lot to the Thrashers. Tomorrow night Montreal hosts Carolina…so, tomorrow night we become Caniacs. Then, as we watch the thrashers and Caps on April fools day…we keep an eye on the Islanders vs. Flyers game…go Isles! Friday night the Habs and Philly play…so someone gets a pair of points there, we just hope a third point isn’t doled out because of overtime.

But back to the Thrashers…they need some help and they’re gonna have to beat some good teams to get in, so it’s still looks tough. But hey…like the old saying goes, “That’s why they play the games”.

90 comments Add your comment

Hockey Biltong

March 30th, 2010
11:53 pm

Come 7 come 11…..

LAC

March 31st, 2010
12:06 am

Excellent game, How can they play like this tonight and last night…. That is what gets me.

Wayne stuck in AL

March 31st, 2010
12:13 am

It’s great coming from Pension Plan Puppets and hear them talk about contracting Atlanta (again)…

kreedham

March 31st, 2010
1:07 am

Being the optimist here says the best we’ll get is a split with W and Pitt and a win against Ilya’s devils. You’re right….we need 8. Pray the Caps and Pens rest their big guys and we salvage a couple of single points. I see Montreal, Philly and Boston getting 6 each.

Sure would be nice but based on opponent’s we might just miss.

kreedham

March 31st, 2010
1:08 am

Anyhow based on my previous comments 8 points will get us in, 7 might, 6 won’t

Tony C.

March 31st, 2010
2:14 am

Go to the net=good things happen.

World Be Free

March 31st, 2010
5:57 am

LAC-me too, just don’t understand it.

Tony C.-pretty simply formula, so why doesn’t Armstrong get it?

Kovy had another invisable night in NJ. Soon the Devils and their fans are going to finally realize they have been had. Rumor has the Devils offering him 6.5-7.5M to stay in Jersey, which is the .65 on the dollar that I predicted he would get when he turned down $103M.

Lee

March 31st, 2010
6:49 am

Good game, but it came just a little late! If they win 1 out of the 5 games I’ll be happy!

Rawhide

March 31st, 2010
6:58 am

Well…it looks like the Thrashers eliminating Toronto last night really upset this Leafs fan.

:lol:

Flagstaff

March 31st, 2010
7:21 am

Because the whole situation is heart-attack-provoking, I will stay with what is funny: The Anderson Whiskey Tango Foxtrot™ incident last night was the best one yet. It was loud, drawn out, and supported by body movement.

Matt

March 31st, 2010
7:52 am

Rawhide-That Dude needs to get OUT of his Mom’s basement.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

March 31st, 2010
7:57 am

Add to the Kovy situation, the fact that he obviously never intended to resign in Atlanta. Many of us on this blog stated this in late 2009. We saw it and we are not PAID to predict that he had no intensions of returning! So why don’t the people that are PAID to see the light!?

What a classic example of the shortcomings of this organization. Kovalchuk could have been traded when we had leverage AND he had greater trade value then waiting until early February to make the deal. At least we would have rid ourselves of the massive distraction. He never wanted to stay in Atlanta, he wanted to get out of Atlanta.

Bluenote

March 31st, 2010
8:06 am

Mornings playlist: Back Up Against the Wall (Atlanta Rhythm Section/First Album)

Not holding my breath for the post season….but who would have guessed my RIT Tigers would be appearing in the NCAA Frozen Four vs. Wisconsin next week?

Bad idea playing the John Anderson Fbomb/shot game last night…but it was entertaining

DWTOO

March 31st, 2010
8:14 am

We need to beat Max up a little bit more on the blog. After criticizing his performance on monday night he goes out and scores a key goal and assists on the game winner. Great game Max.

The fat boy looks like he’s going to have a coronary.

Saw about three “WTF’s” from JA. Hilarious. And a weak penalty.

Did anyone realize the Leaf’s have a true Hanson brother? Christain Hanson, # 20, is Dave Hanson’s son. Wonder if he puts on the foil before every game.

Evidently SportsSouth got a lot of calls about not showing the game monday. Evidently Versus has exclusive rights on monday.

GaVaHokie

March 31st, 2010
8:16 am

Great Dumb and Dumber reference, Bill. :) Great movie with a great Cam Neely cameo!

Hate to think the worst, but it just might be a Kovalchuk game winning goal that eliminates the Thrashers “officially” next week.

I hope we can catch Pittsburgh and Washington “coasting” to the playoffs. I think a nice physical game might make Washington and Pittsburgh bench their stars. Maybe hold them to 15 min. TOI.

Badger Bob

March 31st, 2010
8:20 am

kreedham – two flies in your playoff ointment – BOS, MTL and PHI all hold the tie breaker against us, so we need three more points than one of them in one fewer games (so us 4-1 while one of them stumbles to 2-3-1). Second, one point separates the Pens and Devils for their division lead. Winning the division likely means home ice in the second round and avoiding the Caps, so don’t look for either team to be resting. If we get in the playoffs, it won’t be from our opponents making it easy for us. We needed to be up by 4, not down by 2 at this point. But there’s still a chance…

EA

March 31st, 2010
8:32 am

This team has a ton of potential. I am really encouraged by Pavalec since he appears to be our future goalie. Kovalchuk was not invisible last night in NJ. He made a huge mistake which led to the winning Boston goal! If we fall short of the playoffs this year, I am still very optimistic about next year. Similar sentiments were shared on the NHL On the Fly show following last night’s game. The guys pointed out the young talent Atlanta has now. Great game Thrashers!

jimbo

March 31st, 2010
8:34 am

World Be Free- Kovy didn’t just have an invisible night, he gave the game to Boston. In the overtime, he feel and lost the puck at the blue line, rushed to get back into the play near the net and accidentily knocked the stick out of his defenseman’s hand. And the winning OT goal came because the d-man couldn’t poke check the puck away from the net. Thanks Kovy for another game winning contribution- against us.

ThrashDawg

March 31st, 2010
8:39 am

How can Philadelphia hold the tie breaker against us? If I am not mistaken we swept them this year head to head. If all are tied, I guess they look at conference record? Please elaborate. Thanks

JT from Columbus

March 31st, 2010
8:40 am

Looks like the three losses to Carolina at home will be our undoing. We should have won at least 2 of those games. Those four points would be really big right now.

Red Light

March 31st, 2010
8:41 am

Rawhide:

What’s even more maddening is that before this latest stretch of solid penalty killing, in the prior 11 games the Thrashers allowed 14-of-54 opportunities, or 26 percent. Before that stretch, opponents tallied just once in 29 opportunities. And, there it is again, more inconsistency that baffles us.

If you haven’t seen the highlight of Kovalev’s OT game winner against Washington last night, it is amazing. A tip-in from a horrible angle. It was his first point since the Olympic break (13 games) and he is minus-11 in those games.

Now that the Thrashers are just three points out of sixth place in the Eastern Conference, just imagine if they wrestled that spot away from the others and faced the Buffalo Sabres in the first round?

Here’s the remaining schedules for the five contenders for the 6th-8th spots!

Atlanta
At Washington
At Pittsburgh
New Jersey
At Washington
Pittsburgh

Boston
Florida
At Toronto
At Washington
Buffalo
Carolina
At Washington

Montreal
Carolina
At Philadelphia
Buffalo
At NY Islanders
At Carolina
Toronto

Rangers
At Tampa Bay
At Florida
At Buffalo
Toronto
Philadelphia
At Philadelphia

Philadelphia
At NY Islanders
Montreal
Detroit
At Toronto
At NY Rangers
NY Rangers

Red Light

March 31st, 2010
8:42 am

Total number of wins is the first tiebreaker among tied teams.

Red Light

March 31st, 2010
8:45 am

All have a game-in-hand over Atlanta.

Current number of wins
Philly 38
Montreal 37
Boston 35
Atlanta 34
Rangers 34

World Be Free

March 31st, 2010
8:47 am

I still say we need to resign Max.

I’d like to blame Kovy and his performances for our playoff shortcomings. Truth is, had we performed and controlled our own destiny, especually last week, we would be in a much better position to gain a playoff spot. Kovy makes a great whipping boy, but the truth is our lack of intensity in key games is the reason for our current position.

jimbo and EA-thanks for the update on what Kovalchuk did in OT, I did not realize he gift wrapped the game for Boston. Wonder if Lou really still believes he got the better of this deal. I know alotta people from Jersey, they have a Philly attitude when it comes to players, meaning they only have so long to prove themselves before they turn on them. Wonder if Kovy will start slamming his stick like a baby when the boo birds start flying.

ThrashDawg

March 31st, 2010
8:57 am

Ahh…I see! Thanks for the information on the tie breakers

World Be Free

March 31st, 2010
9:05 am

Max-let me explain why I want to resign him.

One of the benefits of Kovalchuk or any big, fast player is that they create space for other players. That is one of the attributes that I always liked in Kovy, when I liked him. Max does the same thing, though he’s not the same size as Kovy, he is lightning fast. His speed creates mismatches on defense, forcing a forward to assist a back peddling defenseman to cover him on a rush. This creates space for players like Bergfors and Antropov, which partly explains why this line is currently our best line. Resigning Max and Bergfors (an RFA) will ensure we have a number one line to build on for a few more years.

We know Max has a tendency to turn the puck over, he always has. His problem is that he tries to make difficult plays at times when he should shoot or be more conservative. I can say he has been better this season that in past seasons. If he wants to stay, sign him for 3 more years.

ChippersLoveChild

March 31st, 2010
9:13 am

I’m so happy I have Centre Ice.. I’ve got a feeling I won’t be leaving my couch this week, gonna be watching the three in front of us and praying for a miracle!!

I flipped over to NJ/Boston just in time to see Kovy f up and Boston win it. Thanks for nothing, Ilya between that and that awful game against Philly on Sunday… and the way things go with this team I have a feeling that Jersey is going to turn it on just in time to beat us. Still holding out hope though, and either way it sure is nice having games that mean something this late in the year.

DWTOO

March 31st, 2010
9:17 am

WBF – With you on Max. He’s definitely an exciting player – just thought he had a bad game monday. Everyone has them. Max’s problem is trying to do too much – ie: threading a pass in traffic. One thing I really like about Max is he always hustles. He may not be the best defensive player, but, rarely do you seem he dog it on the defensive end. Unlike another un-named player that is no longer part of this team.

DWTOO

March 31st, 2010
9:20 am

Another thing – if we resign Max and Bergie for another three years we’d have a top line signed for an extended period. And resigning Bryan Little would give us a player to plug in the top line to change things up. Imagine that – a top line established for more than one season! What a novel concept.

Red Light

March 31st, 2010
9:25 am

World Be Free:

Interesting take on Max, but no way for three seasons. He does create space, but as you suggest, he tries to make plays he shouldn’t. The fact he has played 646 games in the NHL and is still prone to rookie mistakes is maddening. I think that’s why Ruff and Regier gave up on him. One more goal is a career high for him, but minus-10 is worrisome. He is very skilled skating and stickhandling, but his shot and vision can be called into question. He has the ability to be a great North-South player but too often wants to go East-West. All that being said, I personally think he would thrive with Bergfors on the opposite wing and Antro between them.

Smoothie

March 31st, 2010
9:52 am

WBF – you make some good points on Max, but Bergfors is never going to be a net crasher. Antro yes, but he needs to be third man high often times knowing Max’s propensity for free-lancing like a headless chicken. I contend — and I may have the stats to bear this out — that Antro’s +/- would be close to +25 if he never played with Max. He’s had the burden of both Kovy and Max at times and he’s still a +17!! That’s just plain retarded.

I might sign Max for 2 years, but never 3. Eventually he will lose a bit of that speed and his hands aren’t good enough to overcome that. Also, I would prefer Bryan Little moving back to his natural position next year and it may make morse sense to have him center the first line since he has had such good chemistry with Bergfors. Please keep in mind that Little has 4 goals and 6 assists since the Kovy trade. And I believe 2 of those goals and all 6 assists (all primary) were to either Bergie or Antro. If Bryan remains committed to working and puts on another 5-10 lbs, gets some extra work with Cunney to regain his shooting touch / confidence, I think he can thrive between those 2 players for years to come. But that’s just my opinion.

Max has been great and I’m happy for him that he’s been able to recsusitate his career, but I want the paradigm shift to continue. Put your money where your mouth is Teflon Don. Ante up and bring in more players like Kane, Slater and Artyukhin and make other teams hate playing against us. The SE is probably the least physical division overall, but the Thrashers have the young talent to go along with the grit required to change the complexion of the division. Go do it.

Somaatl95

March 31st, 2010
10:09 am

To echo sentiment from what I said yesterday – Even though it will be a tall order and all of us collectively will **not** be holding our breath, isn’t it nice that it is the end of March and we are still talking about a possible Thrashers playoff spot?
Let me put my Johnny Carson “Carnac the Magnificent” hat on and put an envelope to my head.
Hmmmm… “Industrial Vacuum Cleaners… Overworked Hookers…. Toronto Maple Leafs …” (opens up envelope) “3 Things that seem to suck ALL THE TIME”

World Be Free

March 31st, 2010
10:10 am

Thanks to everyone for your input on Max.

Whether it is 2 or 3 years, there’s another benefit to resigning Max. Proving to the league that this team can convince a player of some accomplishment to stay in Atlanta when they have a chance to go elsewhere. We really haven’t done anything this season to shed the “Malholtra Decision” to sign in San Jose for short term-less money than come to Atlanta for a longer commitment. Manny is one of the best faceoff men in the league this season. This is a stigma that we must shed.

Joe Friday

March 31st, 2010
10:11 am

“What a classic example of the shortcomings of this organization. Kovalchuk could have been traded when we had leverage AND he had greater trade value then waiting until early February to make the deal.”

That was the key to this season. If we had a GM with a clue, he would have known like most of us did, that Kovy wasn’t going to re-sign here. By holding onto him it became a distraction that led to that awful stretch that screwed playoffs for this club. If Waddell had done the right thing and traded him at the beginning of the season, we would’ve received a better return and we would’ve had a club that had chemistry all year.

“which is the .65 on the dollar that I predicted he would get when he turned down $103M.”

First off, Kovy did screw that game last night, I don’t think there’s any way the Devils re-sign him. But Kovy will get his payday, you can rest assured of that. Look at the UFA forwards this summer, he’s the prize and someone’s going to give him $9m plus per year.

Guys, don’t torture yourselves on the playoffs. It was over when we crapped the bed against Boston when we had the chance to tie them in the standings. That 4 pt. swing ended the playoff hopes. Sure it’s nice to look at the standings and think we’re just 2 pts. back of 3 clubs, but we’re really 4 pts or 5 pts back of each of them as all 3 teams we’re chasing have a game in hand on us and all 3 have the tiebreaker on us.

The season was mishandled once again by Waddell in screwing up the Kovy situation and then we simply lost games we couldn’t afford to lose. We do need to be 4 pts up right now, not 3 back, to have a chance to get in.

Smoothie

March 31st, 2010
10:24 am

Bob is right…no way we make the playoffs. We are a combined 1 – 8 – 0 against our next 3 opponents. We’ll be lucky to go 1 – 2 – 2 for 4 points and a tie for 10th in the conference. Too bad our combined record against Carolina, Toronto and the Islanders is 5 – 8. We might actually be the 6 seed if we knew how to beat teams that are worse than us in the standings. Oh yeah, and then there’s the matter of that woeful record against the Tampa Bay Dolts…uggggh! 1 – 3 – 2.

Alex

March 31st, 2010
10:25 am

Can you guys imagine John Anderson acting like this after a loss to Caps… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrkBiyNEY4Q

StateBird

March 31st, 2010
10:25 am

7 points (3-1-1) gets us in. Win on Thursday and 2-1-1 becomes reasonable. Lose on Thursday then start making your tee times.

Smoothie

March 31st, 2010
10:30 am

I’d like to petition the league for the team to be moved…

…to the Northeast Division!!

Our record against the NE (even with our pitiful record vs BOS) is a startling 9 – 5 – 6 for 24 out of 40 possible points.

Okay, that’s not all that great, but compare it to our SE Division record of 8 – 12 – 2 thus far and it looks pretty good.

Savannah Blueland Fan

March 31st, 2010
10:36 am

Turned out to be a fun game last night, despite the first period being a snooze-fest by both teams. But I don’t understand why Max got the first star and Antropov got the third. Maybe I’m just blinded by my desire to have Antropov named Captain, but shouldn’t it have been the other way around? Nic is the one that won the game.

And I want to give a shoutout to SportSouth for broadcasting JA’s two WTF’s. As per the rules of my at-home drinking game, that was good for two shots of tequila. JA even tossed in a “F* me” which, since I was feeling pretty good at that point, I decided was worth a half-shot.

Savannah Blueland Fan

March 31st, 2010
10:42 am

HHAAA! I just watched that youtube clip that Rawhide provided! I hope he isn’t a Blue Jay fan, as well, or his head will explode!

World Be Free

March 31st, 2010
11:24 am

“But Kovy will get his payday, you can rest assured of that. Look at the UFA forwards this summer, he’s the prize and someone’s going to give him $9m plus per year.”

Joe, I understand where you are coming from. But Kovy is looking for a Stanley Cup. No team in the hunt for the Cup is going to have the cap room to sign Kovy to this kind of deal. Most of the Jersey folks think he’s going to get something close to Patrick Elias, in the $7-7.5M range at best. Kovy had better improve his play between now and the end of New Jersey’s season to justify this type of investment. He’s not exactly a Jacques Lemaire kinda guy and I think Jacques is going to be in NJ until he decides to retire.

Smoothie

March 31st, 2010
11:27 am

Okay, who has been on the ice for the most ES goals against? I will list the forwards before and after the Kovy trade along with their ES goal totals in parentheses and +/- out to the right. Keep in mind C-Mac and Arty have only played 14 games as Thrashers.

Before Kovy trade:

Afinogenov (13 goals) – 51 TOI for GA…-8
Peverley (10) – 47 times…-10
Kovalchuk (21) – 41 times…+1
Kane (11) – 35 times…+1
White (4) – 35 times…-15
Little (5) – 34 times…-8
Antropov (10) – 33 times…+17
Armstrong (9) – 30 times…+2
Kozlov (5) – 30 times…-14

After Kovy trade:

Antropov (6) – 18 times…E
Peverley (4) – 16 times…-3
Afinogenov (4) – 15 times…-2
Bergfors (7) – 15 times…+2
MacArthur (1) – 13 times…-5
Little (4) – 12 times…+2
Artyukhin (4) – 9 times…-3
Armstrong (6) – 7 times…+5
Kane (3) – 5 times…+2
White (1) – 5 times…+4
Kozlov (0) – 4 times…-2

The two things we can conclude from this are 1) Antropov is our MVP beyond a doubt and 2) MacArthur has pretty much sucked as a Thrasher.

Smoothie

March 31st, 2010
11:32 am

Apologies to Jimmy Slater!! Here is his before and after comparison.

First 55 games (only 34 for Jimbo): 7 ES goals, 17 times, -3

Last 22 gms (I believe he’s played all 22 in a row): 3 ESG, 7 times, +4

Badger Bob

March 31st, 2010
11:52 am

Great Max analyses by all. He’s been the key to what little PP success we have had and want him re-inked for 2 yrs. We can only hope DW gives things this much thought.

Smoothie, those numbers make me like Army more. Still don’t want him re-signed, though.

Some posters (me included) were wanting Phaneuf here as part of a Kovy trade. Watching his play on Max’s goal makes me glad we didn’t (stand by yourself in front of net, make a half-hearted cross-check in the general direction of Bergie, then screen your goalie with your a$$ to the shooter). You can’t judge a player based on one play, but that does show a serious level of cluelessness that we rarely see even in our own sometimes inept Dmen. I’ll take one Oduya and a Bergie, thank you!

Red Light

March 31st, 2010
11:55 am

I want to go back to yesterday’s very salient comment by JOE BOB FRIDAY!

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

An excellent point. Everyone seems to get caught up with the players. Max, Army, Toby, Bogo, Whitey, Pavs and countless others have been castigated at times in this forum. Of course, the wrath towards them is secondary to what JA, Waddell and the ASG receive, and rightly so, but the oversimplified points that need to be re-visited here is more about the plan (if there is one), the direction of the plan, the identity of the team on the ice, the system of the team on the ice, adjusting the system to fit the players you have, and then taking advantage of the players strengths and trying to minimize their weaknesses.

As many have stated: “What’s the plan?” What’s the identity? What’s the system? If anyone here can shed light on those three questions, then I salute you for being a much more informed hockey observer than me!

If you watch the most consistent teams in the league, typically you know what kind of game they play on a nightly basis. Since the lockout, the common thread about this franchise is that you never know what you’re going to witness from one night to the next. Frankly, that isn’t the players responsibility!

Comments?

Badger Bob

March 31st, 2010
11:57 am

And who says ASG doesn’t take care of their STHs:

“As a Season Ticket Holder you are first to have access to the 2010 Thrashers Playoff ticket pre-sale. Beginning Wednesday, March 31st, tickets will be available for purchase. Click the link below to purchase tickets for Round 1.”

I have the priviledge of having ASG hold my money for a couple weeks and paying a Ticketmaster convenience charge for an event with a low probability of occuring. My seats will likely remain available until about April 10.

Joe Friday

March 31st, 2010
12:08 pm

“What’s the plan?” What’s the identity? What’s the system?”

All I can picture is Waddell sitting in each office each summer doing his version of Maggie the Monkey . . .

Badger Bob

March 31st, 2010
12:09 pm

RL – absolutely right about identity. It has been defined by our marquee player(s) in the past. We have had an opportunity to create one, but JAs system hasn’t done that. I think RD would solidify an identity. Team speed is perhaps the only constant for the past few years, but that’s more a trait than an identity.

I’d like to see one built on CONSISTENT offense. We’ve been near the top of the league in offense for a few years, but I suspect we’ve been held to 2 or fewer goals more often than any of the other high scoring teams (wanna do the research, Smoothie?). That will need scoring depth. We kinda had that for the first 20 games, but that’s when we still had Kovy and considered Little White Ruissian to be our second line. Retaining Max and picking up a Chicago cap reduction castoff helps with that identity. Keeping Arty for the 4th line may also help.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

March 31st, 2010
12:15 pm

Smoothie-MacArthur’s plus/minus in Atlanta is similar to what he had in Buffalo. We knew what we were getting when we gave up a 3rd and 4th round pick for him. He’s held serve.

Hope this wasn’t Dudley’s suggestion.

World Be Free

March 31st, 2010
12:27 pm

Badger-I was a Phaneuf fan, until I watched some of his recent play with the Leafs. He was duped on a play against the Rangers Saturday night which prompted a statement from the announcers as to what Calgary wanted to get rid of him.

I don’t know what’s wrong with the guy, other than the fact that he has lost his ornery demeanor that was characteristic of his early years in Calgary. He’s gone from being a force with a great shot to being an average defenseman. We can ask Elisha.

Red Light-Can’t disagree with what has been stated here, other than the fact that this team needs a captain. Put the “C” on the player that displays the most passion.

Monday’s performance was a lack of energy and concentration on the ice. This team fell out of gear after the first period and never got it back. Too often, coaches get blamed or receive too much credit for teams’ successes or failures. There’s not much coaching done once the game gets going. As a player, I tuned out the fans and the coaches (depending on the coach), communicating only with my fellow players. The guys on the ice have to play with intensity and as a team. This is the captain’s responsibility.