Can Thrashers stay off ‘the cart’ and continue quest for playoff Holy Grail?

The Thrashers simply refuse to get on the cart. You know…like the old man in that classic scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

Bring out your dead…clang!

Bring out your dead…clang!

Uh-huh…this is the part where the Cart Master is collecting the dead during the Black Plague and a “customer” looks to take advantage of the situation, ridding himself of an old man, (probably an in-law). Problem is, he isn’t quite dead yet and doesn’t want to go…much like the Thrashers of late.

“Here’s one”, says the customer. “Nine pence”, replies the Cart Master. “I’m not dead yet”, begs the old man.

I tell ya, I’ve seen this movie 100 times and it still makes me laugh, and this scene is simply hysterical.

“Ere, he says he’s not dead”, objects the Cart Master. “Yes he is”, responds the customer. “I’m not”, cries the old man.

Cart Master, “He isn’t”? Customer, “Well, he will be soon. He’s very ill”.

Then the old man insists, “I’m getting better”!

“No your not! You’ll be stone dead in a moment”, snaps the man carrying the old geezer.

The Cart Master then protests, “Oh, I can’t take him like that. It’s against regulations”.

Then gramps whines, “I don’t want to go on the cart”.

Ahhh…classic.

And like I said folks… as I look a these Thrashers over the past few weeks, their resilience…their ability to cling to life as the NHL grim reaper reaches out to clutch on to them…their uncanny nack of snatching new life from the jaws of certain death…is nothing short of remarkable. They just don’t want to go on the cart it seems…no matter how much some have tried to toss them there.

And yeah, recently I have been one of those who have done just that…just like the guy with the old man over his shoulder.

You see… a number of times in the past few weeks this Thrashers team has worked it’s way into a position that, with a win, they could possibly find themselves on the other side of the playoff window…on the inside instead of outside looking in. Earlier in the month, just after a 6-3 win over the Islanders, they were “right there”…but fell flat in Tampa the very next game which began a five-game pointless streak. Then nine night’s ago a win against the Bruins would have gotten the Thrashers back into eighth place, but they were whacked 4-0. And just last Monday night a win over Carolina combined with a Bruins loss to Buffalo would have done the trick…we got the Sabres win, but fell flat against Canes, losing 4-1.

Each time I thought for sure they were dead…given up the ghost…assumed room temperature…kicked the oxygen habit… gone Tango Uniform…fallen off the branch…kicked the bucket…and I shoveled dirt on ‘em knowing what lay ahead once we got to the month of April.

”The playoffs have left the building”, I insisted…”Stick a fork in ‘em” I said, “They are done”!

But as sure as hell is hot, each time they seemed to have run down the curtain and join the bleedin’ choir invisible…they popped right back to life, thrown off the sheets that covered their face and jump off the gurney while being wheeled down the hall to the morgue screaming “I don’t want to go on the cart…I’m not dead yet”.

Call it a bad case of premature prognostication on my part…it’s something that happens to guys at my age I’m told.

And just as our own mortality awaits us all, we have come to the beginning of the end, the dreaded last five games that we’ve known would certain come. And now the only question left to be answered in regards to this 2009-10 Thrashers season is…will there be life after 82 games?

Last night, they got some more life support extended to them from our friends in Carolina as the Hurricanes slipped past Montreal 2-1. The Canadiens still remain two ahead of the Thrashers, but now they have one fewer to play…five, just like Atlanta.

Truth be told, I’m still skeptical…I still think they’ll fall just short given the road ahead and we’ll look back on games like last Monday’s disappointing loss to the Canes all summer and ask ‘what if’ for six months. But I do hope to heaven above that I’m wrong.

Tonight, we begin to find out the answer one way or another as another cart comes around…this time while the Thrashers are in D.C.

Bring out your dead…clang!

Let’s see if indeed they are “not dead yet” and still have enough fight in ‘em, se if they can stay off that cart once again and continue their quest for the Holy Grail of a playoff birth.

105 comments Add your comment

docsbro

April 1st, 2010
7:45 am

rob

April 1st, 2010
7:47 am

If they make it at this point, they will have earned it, to a certain extent.

moriler

April 1st, 2010
7:56 am

If I had to bet $100, I’d bet against ‘em makin’ the playoffs. But this is why I’m glad I don’t have to bet $100. :D

That said… if we get in, it’ll be because we earned it. Five top-four teams left and two points to make up? Yeah, no freebies there, folks. Speculation at this point is mostly pointless, I think; it’s going to come down to plain ol’ guts. They’ve already shown a lot more guts than prior Thrasher teams, so…

Get The Puck Out

April 1st, 2010
7:59 am

I hope they make it, but if you’re holdin your breath, then you’ll end up on the cart with the rest of the dead teams.

HookyBob

April 1st, 2010
8:03 am

I, too, was ready to put the “toe tag” on the Thrashers,..but the Habs, Flyers, and Bruins are pretty sick themselves and refuse to let the Thrashers die.

Our Boys in Blue have left themselves a pretty steep hill to climb. But then again Team Canada took the hard route and still took home the gold a few weeks back.

Looks like a tease right to the end. If we let it be.

Adam

April 1st, 2010
8:04 am

The better movie analogy is to Bruce Willis in “A Sixth Sense,” actually.

Buzzeng

April 1st, 2010
8:07 am

..maybe if they built a giant badger…

jimbo

April 1st, 2010
8:08 am

I’d love to see them come through but let’s face it, WE FALL APART IN EVERY BIG GAME. Why? I think that it’s not lack of effort but a TOTAL LACK OF COACHING CAPABILITY. Anderson does not have the ability to install adjustable, adaptable systmes that enable us to meet what other teams throw at us. We’re so predictable and other teams know it. Washington will throw a rush at our D-Men and win every side boat scrap leading to many chances right in front of the net. Moose had better be beyond his best tonite.

Brave Sir Robin

April 1st, 2010
8:18 am

The Caps had better not demand “A Shrubbery”!

World Be Free

April 1st, 2010
8:33 am

Caps have nothing to play for tonight. But we do-will that mean something?

Great “Python” reference Bill!

Jeff

April 1st, 2010
8:38 am

We can’t lose tonight….need to keep the pressure on the Bruins/Flyers/Habs. One or more may fold if we can keep the heat on!

Badger Bob

April 1st, 2010
8:51 am

Absolute classic, Rawhide!! And the laughing keeps us from crying!

Roger the Shrubber

April 1st, 2010
8:52 am

What do you have against shrubbery, Brave Sir Robin?

moriler

April 1st, 2010
8:55 am

Need someone holding up a sign reading “WE ATE’NT DED”

Monkey

April 1st, 2010
8:57 am

We must cut down the Caps…WITH……..

A Herring!!!

The Black Knight

April 1st, 2010
8:59 am

The loss to Carolina Monday….’twas but a flesh wound.

Joe Friday

April 1st, 2010
8:59 am

Joe Friday: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with these Thrashers, my lad. They’re dead, that’s what’s wrong with ‘em!

Rawhide: No, no, they’re, uh,…they’re resting. Takin’ their pre-game nap, they are.

Joe Friday: Look, matey, I know a dead Thrasher when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.

Rawhide: No no they’re not dead, they’re, they’re restin’! Remarkable bird, the Thrasher, idn’it, ay? Beautiful uniforms!

Joe Friday: The uniforms don’t enter into it. They’re stone dead.

Rawhide: Nononono, no, no! they’re restin’!

Joe Friday: All right then, if they’re restin’, I’ll wake them up! (shouting at the ice) ‘Ello, Mr. Polly Thrashers! I’ve got a lovely fresh ticket to the playoffs for you if you
show…

(Rawhide smacks Moose on the back of the head)

Rawhide: There, he moved!

Joe Friday: No, he didn’t, that was you smackin’ his noggin!

Caps 5 Thrashers 2. Bring out your dead, clang!

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 1st, 2010
9:05 am

You know when they interview someone who has been rescued after being stuck out in the wilderness for 10 days in minus 40 degree temperature? And how the rescued person says that at a certain point of their ordeal they just gave up? And how this person sat down in the snow and felt a sense of peace and calmness? THAT is kind of how I feel about the Thrashers’ chances of making the playoffs. If it happens, I’ll be dancing in the streets; but I can’t seem to work up any enthusiasm about the possibility. I guess I’ll believe it when I see it.

GaVaHokie

April 1st, 2010
9:10 am

Pfft… If they make the playoffs at this point, they’ll be the hottest team going in. They will have beaten Washington, Pittsburgh and New Jersey… chances of that? Very slim. But, no it’s not over yet…

Technically, I mean, we JUST eliminated Toronto’s chances mathematically, and they’ve been out of the picture since… oh… December?

Coroner

April 1st, 2010
9:15 am

They’re bleedin’ DEMISED!!

GaVaHokie

April 1st, 2010
9:15 am

If they want to get Washington to fold tonight, they need to put in Boulton, Arty, Army, Thorsy, and Chelios… hell, Valabik on crutches… pound the Caps top line into the boards. Force them to bench those guys out of fear of injury before the playoffs.

Seriously though… Arty should be on Ovechkin like stink on manure.

J.B.

April 1st, 2010
9:17 am

to those of you who do not believe it is possible to beat the Caps who say “Ni!”, I fart in your general direction

J-man

April 1st, 2010
9:19 am

I gotta agree with Joe Friday on this. They’re not refusing to get on the cart, they’re nailed to the perch.

Look matey, these Thrashers wouldn’t voom if you put 4000 volts through them. They’re bleedin’ demised.

Don Rickles

April 1st, 2010
9:32 am

Would someone please take Waddell and throw him on the cart.

Russ

April 1st, 2010
9:38 am

Quick question for everyone: What would you do with the goalie rotation these last five games?

Moose has certainly been more consistent throughout the season, but Pavelec has played very well in his last three or four starts. I think you give Moose the majority of the remaining games, but Pavelec has earned one more start. I’d go something like this:

4/1 at Was. – Moose
4/3 at Pit. – Moose
4/6 Devils – Moose
4/9 at Was. – Pavelec
4/10 Penguins – Moose

Of course, if they fall out of contention for the playoffs prior to the last game, then you might as well give Pavelec some extra work.

Anyway, big game tonight. Like Rawhide, I think their chances are slim to none, but how often has this team been this close with five games to go? So, you might as well enjoy it while it lasts and cheer them on whether you believe or not.

GO THRASHERS!!!!!

World Be Free

April 1st, 2010
9:38 am

GaVa-becoming a big “Arty” fan, or better called “The A Train” the way he went to the net on his goal against the Maple Loafs.

Flagstaff

April 1st, 2010
9:41 am

Another question remains… Who are the French Guards in this situation? The Canadiens? The original-6-loving media?

Don Rickles

April 1st, 2010
9:43 am

The team has been sold to an investor in Hamilton.

APRIL FOOLS CANADA!

ChippersLoveChild

April 1st, 2010
9:43 am

In my mind it’s going to take 8 out of the ten points to make the playoffs… best of luck with that, Thrash. I will keep hope alive, but it isn’t going to be easy. I want Pavs in goal, though. I think Moose is steady, but if anyone is going to have a special moment or streak it will be him, and we need to be special to pull this off… just keep Moose warm in the event we go to a shootout ;)

Joe Friday

April 1st, 2010
9:47 am

Russ, I’d go with Pavelec. Can’t get it done with Moose, that’s a given. Might as well try to mix it up and see if Pavelec can stand on his head and steal some wins.

Badger Bob

April 1st, 2010
10:00 am

By Sunday we could be eliminated. Also by Sunday we could be in 7th, with control of our destiny and two teams in the rear view mirror.

Torment me no longer! I have seen the Grail!

J.B.

April 1st, 2010
10:18 am

Puck Daddy (@wyshynski) just RT’d a posting on twitter that indicated Semin is not skating this morning and that he did not skate yesterday either. If he doesn’t play, that’s good news for us.

Smoothie

April 1st, 2010
10:18 am

Honestly, I could definitely see Montreal going 2 – 3 over their last 5 games, but we’d have to win at least 7 of the next 10 points since we have no tie-breaking edge over any of the three teams. Too many OTL’s and not enough W’s. Can this team go 3 – 1 – 1 against WSH, PIT and NJ? Sure. Will they? Hell no!!

They will tease us to the end and go 2 – 2 – 1 with a loss tonite, an OTL against PIT, a win over NJ, a win next Friday and a loss in the “biggest” game of the year against PIT next Saturday when they will need exactly two points to take 8th place, but they will choke like the last 3 or 4 times in “big” games.

I’ve tried to be an optimist this year, but as I told Red Light, I am anything but in real life. I’m trying to be fair and “keep it real” this season, but this team hasn’t shown us the necessary guts and testicular fortitude required to be a playoff team. End of story. But they’ll keep it interesting and frustrate the hell out of us until they are finally thrown on top of the heap of dead teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs cart of demised!

Smoothie

April 1st, 2010
10:29 am

Pavelec’s last 10 games:

Goals Allowed — 28 (GAA of 2.75 roughly due to OT games)
Shots Allowed — 327 (not counting EN shots / goals)
Shots Stopped — 299
Save Percentge — .914
Record of 3 – 4 – 3
Times allowing 2 or fewer goals – 5
Times allowing 3 or more goals – 5
# of Goals Allowed in last 4 gms – 11 with only 7 in last 3 gms

Pavs might just have a strong case for getting the start tonite or against Pittsburgh at the very least. However, Pavs has allowed 18 goals against in 3 games vs WSH and 1 vs PIT this year. Ouch!!

Bring out the MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bluenote

April 1st, 2010
10:45 am

They aren’t dead…they’re just pining for the fiords

Dwayne

April 1st, 2010
10:46 am

I can cheer for Buffalo, easy with Ryan Miller in goal, to hell with(some of) their stink a$$ fans though. Does Atlanta lay an egg for easter tonight? Lets hope not. I will miss the last 4 games of the season, heading to Indianapolis for the NCAA final 4 Championship, will keep up with the Thrashers via internet, and of course you guys. Go Thrashers.

GaVaHokie

April 1st, 2010
10:48 am

Russ and Smoothie… the problem is neither Pavs or Moose can stay consistent over long stretches of games. They have to be subbed in and out.

World Be Free

April 1st, 2010
11:07 am

GaVa-bring on Rhodes?

JB-wish Ovechkin could join this list too!

Jeff97

April 1st, 2010
11:08 am

Lets hope the Thrashers are like the Rabbit..harmless and cute looking..but deadly.

Elmer Fudd

April 1st, 2010
11:11 am

Wabbits aw haamwess?

Elmer Fudd

April 1st, 2010
11:12 am

be vewy, vewy qwuit.

Smoothie

April 1st, 2010
11:18 am

GVH – while what you say is very true, I don’t think regular of this forum is willing to advocate riding one of the two players for all of the five games. I am fine with alternating right now, but I would start with Moose to give us the best chance to win tonite. Need to keep the puck moving against the mighty Caps!

Smoothie

April 1st, 2010
11:19 am

And just like that, Anderson strikes again! Pavelec gets the nod per Dan and C-Viv on the twitter machine. Ungood. Pavelec is 1-5 with a 4.29 gaa and a save percentage of .867 against the Caps. Yikes!

Red Light

April 1st, 2010
11:23 am

Ben tweets that Pavelec starts tonight. Against Washington, he is 1-5 with a 4.29 gaa and a save percentage of .867. Whoops. Johan Hedberg is 10-6-2 against WSH, with a 2.52 gaa and a save percentage of .912.

Details!

World Be Free

April 1st, 2010
11:23 am

Anyone watch the Calgary-Phoenix game last night?

Martin Hanzil leveled Matt Stajan, hit hit so hard Stajan’s helmut, stick and left glove flew off. You have to watch it when you come over the middle with your head down!

Red Light

April 1st, 2010
11:23 am

Reading my mind Smoothie?

Red Light

April 1st, 2010
11:24 am

“Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let’s not bicker and argue over who killed who.” King of Swamp Castle

French Soldier

April 1st, 2010
11:25 am

“I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.”

Sherry Taylor

April 1st, 2010
11:27 am

You ride the horse that brung you. Moose with his steady hand, for the most part, got us here. Pav’s has had some incredible games in his last three or four starts, but Moose is the steady horse.

Dennis

April 1st, 2010
11:28 am

“Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.”