Archive for April, 2010

It’s again time to show your personal playoff prognosticalorial proficiency

The temperature is getting warmer…the pollen count is off the chart…we are having to mow the lawns again…the kids have finished their spring break…the Braves are playing games for real once more…the Hawks are gearing up for their third straight playoff appearance…and Don Waddell is once again making statements that express his belief he’ll be back for another stint as Thrashers GM, dispite yet another season that ended after 82 games.

Will this be the year Washington and Alex Ovechkin skate away with the Cup? (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Will this be the year Washington and Alex Ovechkin skate away with the Cup? (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Yes folks…it’s that time of year again. We’ve finally come to the part of the season that is normally reserved for teams other than the Atlanta Thrashers…the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As such, here is your chance to show us what you think will play out over the course of the first round by showing us your personal playoff prognosticalorial proficiency.

And as I told you last spring…yes, that is perfectly legal to do in the state of Georgia.

Let …

Continue reading It’s again time to show your personal playoff prognosticalorial proficiency »

Perfect ending to Thrashers 2009-10 season

While it may only serve to ease the fact that the Thrashers once again will be ending their season after only 82 games played, Sunday 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins to close out the 2009-10 campaign was a perfect way wrap things up.

Well…as “perfect” as it can be, I suppose, without a trip to the post-season.

First, the win itself gave Atlanta a 35-34-13 record for 83 points…which in the NHL world is considered a “winning” season. It is third-highest point total in franchise history…2005-06 they had 90 and the next season they won the Southeast Division with 97. In the Southeast Division they end up as the second place team, albeit 37 points behind Washington, who still have one game against Boston today.

Johan Hedberg makes one of his 33 saves against Pittsburgh Saturday night (AJC photo)

Johan Hedberg makes one of his 33 saves against Pittsburgh Saturday night (Hyosub Shin, hshin/AJC)

Two players that may have played their final game in Thrasher blue came up big in this finale. Johan Hedberg kicked out 33 Penguins shots for his third shutout of …

Continue reading Perfect ending to Thrashers 2009-10 season »

How long will Thrashers continue to circle the same sand dunes in Desert of Mediocrity?

This weekend will bring to a close the Thrashers’ 2009-10 excursion through the NHL schedule…one that saw a “March to the Playoffs” fall just short, ending officially with the 3-0 loss to New Jersey Tuesday night. Thus, the good people of Thrasherville will once again be left to observe the post-season festivities minus their team’s involvement.

Now, many will claim that this season was not like the one experienced last year…and the one before that. Where those campaigns ended with just 76 points and our playoff fate written much sooner, this year we where “in it” until the last week…that plus the Thrashers have earned 81 points with two games still left to enjoy. This, as someone once said, is movement in the right direction…right?

Eh, maybe…maybe not.

See, there is also the notion that this year’s “March to the Playoff” wasn’t actually a journey in the direction of the promise land known as post-season play…but rather an optical trick created …

Continue reading How long will Thrashers continue to circle the same sand dunes in Desert of Mediocrity? »

Who is your Thrashers MVP?

With the season winding down, let’s take a look back at the Thrashers top performers and vote your selection for team MVP. But before we do…a couple of brief items to discuss, starting off with one player that I wish were able to be on this list, Slava Kozlov.

I hope that coach Anderson opts to start #13 Saturday night and allow the fans in Atlanta a chance to watch Slava play one more time in Thrasher blue and give him a proper farewell. He has been nothing but a consummate professional for the seven seasons he’s been with us. I don’t know if he plans on trying to latch on with another NHL team or maybe play next year in Russia, but regardless he’s been nothing but a great part of this team, regardless of this season’s numbers.

Thank you Slava for all you have done here, God bless and good luck to you and your family…I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors.

Also, congratulations are in order for Brett Sterling as he has been awarded the …

Continue reading Who is your Thrashers MVP? »

Thrashers lose, fans boo, fat lady sings

And now it is official…the fat lady has sung, (thank you, Rightshot), and it is officially over.

With the 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils, it is now 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, mathematically certain that the tenth Thrashers season in the NHL will end exactly like eight of the previous nine have…with no playoffs. And the only real question left for these Thrashers is can they find a way to net one or two more points in order to spare themselves of finishing with a sub-.500 record for the eighth time in their decade of play.

Remember…in the NHL, 82 points is “break even” and the Thrashers currently have 81.

Toby Enstrom battles David Clarkson for the puck during Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Devils (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Toby Enstrom battles David Clarkson for the puck during Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Devils (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

The Devils took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to Dean McAmmond’s 7th goal of the season. They upped that to 2-0 just 51 seconds after the break on Zach Parise’s 37th, then they struck again early in the third…like, …

Continue reading Thrashers lose, fans boo, fat lady sings »

E-Day is upon Thrasherville

E-Day…elimination day…the day that the Thrashers could be officially eliminated from any and all playoff possibilities…is now upon us. Given the 3-2 overtime loss in Washington last night, the Bruins now sit with 85 points in the Eastern Conference.

What that means is this…if the Thrashers lose in regulation tonight against the Devils, the most they could hope to gain is 85 with wins in the last two games. That would eliminate them from finishing any higher than eighth in the east. However, if such a loss was combined with the Flyers winning or even gaining a single point in Toronto…that would be enough to mathematically eliminate Atlanta.

Now, for those of you still clinging to sort of hope that this playoff thingy can still happen for the Thrashers…and really, why are you doing this to yourself?… Yes, there is are still scenarios that Atlanta could squeeze into that eighth spot. But they mostly involve Atlanta winning all three games this week…you know, …

Continue reading E-Day is upon Thrasherville »

Thrashers playoff hopes on life support after overtime loss in Pittsburgh

If the Thrashers slim playoff hopes were in serious condition coming into the game in Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon…they are now on life support after blowing a lead late in the third and then losing 4-3 to the Penguins in overtime.

The Thrashers had lead 3-2 late in the game and help 1-goal leads three times in the game…1-0 , 2-1 and 3-2.

 With the score 3-2, Jimmy Slater was whistled for a holding call with 2:27 left and the Penguins capitalized on Sergei Gonchar’s power play goal with just 1:14 left before the period ended. The Thrashers then watched the much-needed second point skate away with the Penguins as Jordan Leopold scored 2:50 into the extra time…Sidney Crosby set up the goal with his 3rd assists on the day.

Maxim Afinogenov opened the scoring with 48 second remaining in the first period. It was his 24th of the year, setting a new career mark for goals scored. That’s right…24 goals from a player so “hurting” to sign with a team last summer that he …

Continue reading Thrashers playoff hopes on life support after overtime loss in Pittsburgh »

Thrashers just can’t seem to help themselves

They came into this final stretch of games knowing they needed some help. They were just a couple points out of a playoff spot, but the teams they were trying to catch had a game in one hand and tie breakers in the other. Even if they won out, Atlanta needed Montreal, Boston and/or Philly to get tripped up.

Wednesday night, they got some of that much-needed help in Montreal as the Carolina Hurricane slipped past the Canadiens 2-1. Then, as the Thrashers played in Washington, they were received not one, but two gifts in other places. In Boston, the Panthers made a Keith Ballard goal in the first period stand up for a 1-0 Panthers win over the Bruins…and on Long Island, the Flyers were in the process of getting smacked around by the Islanders.

With that, Atlanta found themselves in the same position they’ve been in a few times already of late… all they had to do was take care of their own end of the bargain and they would pull themselves even in the standings for that …

Continue reading Thrashers just can’t seem to help themselves »

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, …

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