Archive for June, 2010

Next three weeks should be very interesting in Thrasherville

Now that the playoffs are over and the NHL is officially over, we now focus our attention towards events that will shape the makeup of the Atlanta Thrashers. From the coaching staff to player signings, the next several weeks look to be pretty interesting in these parts.

First off, the Falconer is reporting that the Thrashers have signed Swedish left wing Fredrik Pettersson. He’s 23-years old and scored 20 goals last season in the Swedish Elite League.

So, the fun may already be getting started.

Outside of that, I fully expect that sometime this week we will begin to hear of a planned meeting with Rick Dudley and John Torchetti. Once that occurs, I’m sure we in the Thrasherville blogosphere will be looking for white smoke billowing from atop Philips Arena in anticipation of the decision.

Maxim Afinogenov, seen here scoring against the Buffalo Sabres, will be a UFA on July if not re-signed by the Thrashers (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

Maxim Afinogenov, seen here scoring against the Buffalo Sabres, will be a UFA on July if not re-signed by the Thrashers (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

And as the organization is in the process of …

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Pressing question regarding Thrasherville blogosphere

Should the Atlanta Thrashers issue press credentials to bloggers who write about the team?

This question periodically gets kicked around the blogosphere from time to time. Those who support such an idea believe it would allow them to gain certain insight and information for their readers and would help the team tap into this new form of online journalism. There are some who even feel that these blogs, specifically sports blogs, are a natural evolution from the so-call mainstream media.

As most of you already know, there are a number of Thrashers blogs out there that are set up and hosted by some very talented and entertaining writers. You can find a sampling in my Blog Roll normally located to the right of this column. Their styles of blogging vary from the very serious and insightful to those who take a more light-hearted and satirical approach. The beauty of these online forums is that the author can inject a great deal of his/her personality into them as they discuss the …

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Is Dudley about to light the Torch in Atlanta?

First there was a fellow by the name of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in the mid-nineteenth century…then the Olympic games in the summer of 1996. And now, if rumors are be believed, Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley could be ready to march another “Torch” into the city of Atlanta.

I’m speaking, of course, of John Torchetti…who right about now is probably waking up in Chicago after a night of partying with the Blackhawks and Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Hawks ended the SCF by beating the Flyers in game six 4-3 on Patrick Kane’s overtime goal. And now that the NHL season is official over, the Thrashers and Dudley can now fly him into town for an interview.

John Torchetti celebrates in Philadelphia with Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Tomas Kopecky after winning the Stanley Cup. Could the Torch soon be making his way to Thrasherville? (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

John Torchetti celebrates in Philadelphia with Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Tomas Kopecky after winning the Stanley Cup. Could the Torch soon be making his way to Thrasherville? (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Torchetti does have limited experience as a head coach at the NHL level…39 games total as a bench boss. In …

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I never thought I’d say this… but I’m OK with the Thrashers defense returning

As we have opined here many times, the Thrashers have never been remotely close to being an NHL defensive powerhouse. More times than not over the course of the past decade, their play at the blueline looks more like a turnstile allowing opponents free access to the defensive zone than a tollbooth that requires stiff payment to pass through it. And once they’ve entered the D-zone, opposing forwards have spent so much time there that they’ve been able to file for Homestead exemption.

Indeed, this has been a team built more upon the philosophy of outscoring other teams in order to win instead of keeping the puck out of their own net. The Thrashers brain trust…as admitted by then-GM Don Waddell last winter… have looked to construct this franchise around an Ilya Kovalchuk-type scorer and not around the concept of team play, whether it be inside the defensive zone or out.

Pavel Kubina played in 76 games last year for the Thrashers scoring 6 goals and 32 assists and had an EVEN +/- rating. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Pavel Kubina played in 76 games last year for the Thrashers scoring 6 goals, 32 assists and had an EVEN …

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Blackhawks one win from hoisting the Stanley Cup

What’s that old saying about Democrat voters in Chicago…that come election day, they vote early and often. Well, if that is the case then the Chicago Blackhawks showed up for game five with that same attitude, scoring early and often on the Philadelphia Flyers. They built a 3-0 lead in the first period on their way to 7-4 win.

Patrick Sharp and the Chicago Blackhawks moved past the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4 Sunday night. They will look to close out the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Patrick Sharp and the Chicago Blackhawks moved past the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4 Sunday night. They will look to close out the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Dustin Byfuglien scored twice for Chicago and added another pair of assists. He now has 10 goals and 15 points during the playoffs this spring.

With the win, they could bring an end to the Stanley Cup Finals…and the entire 2009-10 NHL season…Wednesday night back in the city of brotherly love.

However, Flyers fans…and for that matter, Marian Hossa… will be quick to remind us that a year ago the Detroit Red Wings found themselves in exactly the same position the …

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Video replay gets goal call right in Philly as lack of replay robs Tigers pitcher

Wednesday night the Philadelphia Flyers pulled off a 4-3 win in overtime, taking their first game of their series with the Chicago Blackhawks after dropping the first two in Chicago. There are several factors that lead to Philly’s victory…not the least of which was that their second goal was made possible by the league’s ability to utililize video replay to get calls right.

With the score tied 1-1 in the first period, Chris Pronger’s shot on goal deflected off of Scott Harnell’s stick and slithered through Blackhawk’s goalie Antti Niemi. Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson swept the puck away and, even though the red light was flashing, play continued for another 1:42. The boys in Toronto then took another look at the play and correctly awarded the goal to Philly… although initially they gave it Pronger before changing it to Hartnell.

The rest, as the old saying goes, is history.

This was a prime example of why the NHL…and NFL for that matter… implemented video …

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Blackhawks take 2-0 series lead – Thrashers sign pair of prospects

Hey there gang…I’m back in from a week off in sunny Florida…the east coast, far removed from any effects of the nasty oil mess in the Gulf of Mexico. One interesting highlight I’d like to share if I may…we spent the last couple of days on Cocoa Beach, just south of the Cape and got to experience a night launch of an Air Force rocket right over our heads. If you’ve ever experienced something like that at such close proximity before then you know just how thrilling and awesome that truly is.

And while we are on the subject of vacations, let me and the readers know where you are planning to head off to this summer. I already know that one of you is taking your family to Switzerland very soon. Nice!

 In case you missed it, there was this one piece of Thrasher-related news that happened over the Memorial Day weekend. Per C-Viv, the team announced that they have signed a couple of their recent draft picks…Carl Klingberg, the 34th overall selection last summer and Danick …

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