Thrashers drop second preseason game despite better effort

Just as I did after Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to Columbus, I want to open up by saying that Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Carolina was just a preseason game…nothing more, nothing less. However, unlike the first preseason game, this recent one gave us a lot more good than un-good to talk about.

First on that list of good things is the play of newly acquired goalie Chris Mason. He stopped 28 of the 29 Hurricane shots in his first performance as a Thrasher and deserved a better fate in the outcome. That he looked this sharp in his first preseason contest is not totally unexpected, he’s a veteran and looked like he came into training ready to go.

Another vet that looked like he was ready to get the season underway was Freddy Modin. He led the Thrashers with 5 shots on goal and looked very comfortable with linemates Rich Peverley and Fredrik Pettersson. Combined, the trio accounted for 12 of the 32 total shots Atlanta was able to get off on Cam Ward.

Unfortunately for Atlanta, Ward was yet another veteran who was on his game.

Ben Eager impressed me once again. He’s a hard worker on both ends of the ice and makes his presence known each shift. Love the way he badgers defensemen who are trying to work the puck out of their zone.

The penalty kill was very impressive this night. They denied the Canes on all 6 man advantage opportunities, including 40 seconds worth of a 5 on 3. After two games Atlanta has killed off 9 of 10 penalties. Chris Thorburn and Freddy Modin stood out in particular tonight, as did each of the defensemen.

As for Fredrik Pettersson…simply put, after two preseason games I think he’s got the best shot of all prospects of making this team. Fast, scrappy, slick and crafty…I like him more and more every time I see him.

Alex Burmistrov improved upon his first outing… seemed to get his nose into more of the action. He played well killing penalties and his 3:52 TOI during the PK led all forwards. I’m still not convinced he’s ready for the NHL yet, but he’s has shown signs of the player he potentially could be.

Also, I have to point out the overall team defense again as they again held the opposition to under 30 shots on goal. Carolina was allowed but 4 SOG in the first period…only 1 in the opening 14+ minutes. This is the type of play Craig Ramsay was brought in to teach and so far after two preseason games it looks like we’re seeing signs of hope here.

This is one of the stats I’ll be watching most as the season gets underway. The more it goes below 30 SOG the better our chances of making the playoffs.

What were your first impressions of Dustin Byfuglien on defense? He certainly brought a nice edge to his game, very physical and aggressive. He swept the puck away from in front of our goal a number of times and had no issue stepping up into the attack. His 3 SOG led all Thrashers defensemen who took 10 total for the game.

Unfortunately, he was also involved the play that sent Carolina forward Sergei Samsonov off the ice on a stretcher. Buff tripped the Russian winger as he raced toward Atlanta’s goal and he crashed into the boards. He suffered a strained neck form the impact of going in headfirst.

The good news is that the Hurricanes have indicated that Samsonov does have full feeling in his extremities.

As for the un-good…

The lone goal of the game was the result of sloppy play behind the goal early in the third period. I couldn’t quite tell from my angle if the puck was played poorly off of Mason’s stick behind the net or if Zach Bogosian muffed it in the corner. But either way it ended up back out in front of the net and was put in by Jeff Skinner, who was selected in last June’s draft just prior to Burmistrov.

Chris Thorburn at center? Color me unimpressed after one game.

And of course there’s the goose egg on the scoreboard next to the Thrashers goal total. That’s never good to see. I know scoring 2 goals in a loss followed by 0 goals will cause some to start the wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding scoring concerns, but Atlanta got their opportunities but were just unable to figure out Mr. Ward.

The power play went 0 for 5 and is just 1 for 12 in the two games played.

But again, it’s just preseason folks.

102 comments Add your comment

jeff97

September 26th, 2010
1:14 am

Even though we did not put the puck in the net tonight, i certainly can live with an effort like we gave tonight. for a 1-0 game, it was pretty entertaining. I have to agree with you Pettersson seems like he might have the best chance to make this team, although i can certainly see why Burmistrov was drafted where he was. He is tough on the puck (drew a penalty late in the game), sees the ice well an passes well.

The team played with an edge for most of the night. Something we dont usually see. This is the most physical team we have had and I dont see too many nights where we are going to get pushed around..thankfully…

Mason looked real solid in net. Gave up few rebounds and his positioning was very fundamentally sound. Thrashers also did a great job of limiting Carolina’s chances by blocking shots and get their sticks in the passing lanes. I think the goals will come, once this team gets fully used to the new system and they figure out how the lines will shake out

I see this as a 1-0 loss that is a step in the right direction.

Smoothie

September 26th, 2010
1:38 am

Three key thoughts on tonite’s game:

1) Big Buff was pretty darn impressive on the blueline. Thought he looked comfortable in all phases of the game. Perhaps Johnny Oduya is just that good at making his pairing-mate look good, but Buff moved well, handled the puck adroitly and skated like hell up the ice. Thumbs up!

2) Johnny Burma or the “Burmese Python” will make the team if he continues this upward curve. Kid was everywhere on the ice but he didn’t look out of place. He was quick to strike on the backcheck and squeeze the puck off unsuspecting sticks, therefore he is a Burmise Python. And he is a lot stronger on the puck than I expected. Just needs to be a bit more careful with the biscuit near his own blueline. Injury to Slater may be the opportunity he needs to cement his role.

3) Freddy Modin, albeit a bit slow of foot, is healthy and he came to play! A true pro’s pro who doesn’t seem to make a bad read or play with puck. Smart and savvy enough to move to the off wing to take advantage of his great wrister. A line of Modin-Pevs-Freddy P may stick. But Modin gives us tons of flexibility.

Oh lastly, agree with you completely on Eager, but not so much on Thorbs. Thought he played a solid two-way game at center. Good option to have especially with Slater’s wrist banged up. I think a line of Eager-Slater-Dawes/Thor will be hell to play against! Love it.

Wayne stuck in AL

September 26th, 2010
1:38 am

Considering the Thrashers’ flagship radio station is pre-occupied with baseball and college football (which doesn’t excuse why they didn’t broadcast the game), why couldn’t the team do a webcast?

Nate

September 26th, 2010
1:47 am

Rawhide – It still concerns me. Anybody can SHOOT the puck. Actually putting the puck past the goalie is an entirely different story. That’s why the Gaboriks, Kovalchuks, and Hossas of the world get paid the kind of money they do. I’m afraid these two games may be a sign of things to come. Lots of 2-1, 2-0, and 3-2 losses. Hope I’m wrong.

Cornbread

September 26th, 2010
2:13 am

I listened to the game on the internet. It sounded like the entire game – even strength – the Thrashers outplayed the Cains. It was a veteran goalies battle with Ward standing on his head at times to win them the game and Mason letting one in on the miscommunication turnover by Bogo. Sounds like it was a good game. I have yet to be concerned with the Thrashers goal scoring capability. They will score plenty if they keep applying the pressure that it sounds like they had.

I did not hear Bergfors name called much. And from the stat sheet he did not do much. Those of you at the game, what do you think? Was it the different line he played on, a new role on the team, or something else, particularly, behind the scenes?

From the Carolina homer announcer, it sounded like Ladd had an exceptional game. True? Little, Modin, Burmistrov and Petterson’s names were called a lot, also Thorburn’s. The D sounded like they were jumping up and making good plays. Enstrom, Oduya, and, of course, Buff got a lot of mention. The only negatives were a bad penalty from Welch and the bad turnover by Bogo but they got good calls as well. As did Sopel, who apparently just played a solid veteran D-man’s game.

Sounds like this team as a whole might just be pretty solid. The biggest negative according to the Carolina announcer was, “up the middle”. He specifically mentioned, “Antropov, Little, and Peverley not being Superstars”. That may be true but that does not mean that they too are not solid and won’t contribute to winning big games. I’m liking what I’m hearing so far. Put Kane, Antro, Hainsey, Dawes, and Slater out there and it gets even more solid.

Sara

September 26th, 2010
2:16 am

Nice to see a lot of familiar faces tonight. :)

Really impressed with Mason. Also really impressed with the overall team D. They did a great job of clogging the center of the ice in front of Mason, forcing shots outside. And while Mason gobbled the puck up a lot, the team was overall quick to move out the rebounds (with one notable exception). The PK was excellent, especially since it rotated personnel all the way through the roster. The PP was blech.

Overall the game was pretty darn good though, and that’s a better sign since many of our starters were in and Carolina certainly didn’t ice a team of prospects.

And a big shout out to JLH who snagged a game puck for my girls …. made the night for them!

R. Stroz

September 26th, 2010
9:00 am

First, I have to say the picture of the Bennings outside the Team Store nearly brought tears to my eyes. The really neat thing was watching others stop and taking a look as well.

Second, I enjoyed the impromptu Thrasher family reunion at the front of the Team Store. Good to see everyone again. Also, enjoyed meeting Mrs. WBF and WBF at Cowbell Corner.

As far as game observations, I’ll take Eager over Thorburn on the depth chart. I just kept noticing Eager all over the ice.

Also, Freddy, a.k.a. Superfly, Pettersson was a blast to watch. If this guy doesn’t make the team, somebody is an idiot. He reminds me of a young St. Louis.

On the concerns side, I’m not sure Modin has the wheels to play the style of game Ramsey is promoting. On several breakouts, the other forwards were waiting on Modin.

However, my greatest concern is a lack of a finisher, a guy that can bury the puck in the net.

Cornbread – I thought Bergfors was invisible. He’s probably none to happy over his forced labor, nearly NHL minimum wage contract.

OmniFan

September 26th, 2010
9:06 am

2 cent impressions from last night:
Kudos to-
Sopel: good positioning, consistently took the man or steered the puck out of danger.
Buff: When is the last time you remember a big Thrasher D using his size effectively? The speed and the heavy point shot are great bonus points.
Freddy the Fly: Always in the right place at the right time, fights hard out of proportion to his size. Those pads sticking out of his hips look like fly wings, too.
Enstrom: Nice to see him shooting without hesitation. Heavy and accurate.
The PK as a group: The end of the 20 foot Zone of Exclusion defense that the Thrash used throughout the last 10 years. Finally a PK that was active, involved, even suffocating.
The pace: skating hard, winning puck possession battles. Not the Thrash we have come to know and love(?).
Auditions over for: Holzapfel, Machacek, Welch.
Concerns: Energy faded over last half of the game. Some of it may have been concern over Samsonov, but is fitness an issue? Did they go out too fast and too hard at the outset? The old 3rd period dominance was nowhere to be seen. Bogo’s brain freeze that led to the Carolina goal-maybe the wrist/brain connection hasn’t completely healed yet.
All in all a very entertaining effort and as good a loss as you can take if any losses could be called good. Ramsay’s presser responses were well-considered and bump on.

EA

September 26th, 2010
9:09 am

Chris Mason stood out to me more than anyone. It is nice to feel confident about our man between the pipes. Cam Ward played just as well. The game was solid and very entertaining. The Chicago guys bring such great skills. It is obvious they were part of a Stanley Cup team. I think the fans walked away feeling good about the game despite the score.

AtlFlamesFan

September 26th, 2010
9:20 am

There were a few things that went bad with the Canes’ goal, but in the end, Mason had the puck and mishandled it.

R. Stroz

September 26th, 2010
9:34 am

One more concern, I wasn’t favorably impressed with Ladd. He seemed disengaged and wasn’t hustling.

At one point, I reminded Ladd he wasn’t Kovy and needed to play defense.

Cornbread

September 26th, 2010
10:03 am

Could the Thrashers have their future Chis Pronger in Dustin Byfuglien? He certainly learned from the best playing against him nearly every shift in the Stanley Cup Finals. As a former D partner of his told me, “Buff is one of the most naturally gifted hockey players I’ve played with. He can play any position he wants.”

DWTOO

September 26th, 2010
10:30 am

Much better effort last night in comparison with tuesday. FP continues to impress – he’s like a sugared up tem year old – never stops moving. And s slick shot. Along with Eager, Dawes, Slater, et al we should have Cup winning third/fourth lines. Unfortunately we need to be s bit stronger on the first two. Also thought AB played a stronger game. Liked the shot he gave the Canes player in the third a bit after the whislte blew,

Thrashers27

September 26th, 2010
10:36 am

I know it was his first game, but I thought Buff looked a little lackadaisical at times. Sopel looked great. Mason was sharp! Burmistrov definitely showed flashes of what he’s capable of. Pettersson is just fun to watch.

Overall, I was very pleased to see them play as a “team”. They may not have all the kinks worked out yet, but I’m optimistic about this team.

Smoothie

September 26th, 2010
10:38 am

Stroz – great to see you and meet Mrs Stroz for the first time last nite! And bumping into Mr and Mrs DWTOO was a pleasant surprise as well. Great to be back at the Bulb for actual hockey!

RE: Ladd, I don’t think he was disinterested or disengaged, I just think his timing was off last nite. Plus he’s never played with Lits and Machacek so they were not quite on the same page on a few scoring chances. But I thought Laddy worked hard in the corners and his line cycled well at times. Just don’t know if Laddy and Lits are ideal complementary pieces. I think Ladd may have shown some fatigue in the 3rd but Lits makes most look tired late.

I’d be a little more concerned with Bergfors even though he got stuck on a line w/ Holzapfel. And Bergy’s quicks were no match at times for Burma’s hyper-jets so their chemistry was pretty minimal. They did have a nice give and go play and Bergy may have sprung Burmie for that near breakaway that led to a good chance in tight. Bergy is prolly not in tip-top form. Hope its not waning motivation but we got guys who can fill in till he gets his head screwed on straight.

World Be Free

September 26th, 2010
10:50 am

Stroz-great to meet Ms. Stroz last night as well. Looking forward to a long, maybe extended season this year.

Good points by everyone today, alotta good things happened last night. The passing of this team was what imnpressed me last night, good transitions out of the zone into offense. Bergfors did not do much, but remember Antropov was not in this game Bergie and Antro are attached at the hip.

Cornbread-you may remember I was not against Buff moving to “D” when the news was announced. So when Buff came out and played “Buff hockey” I was pretty pleased. He rushed the puckj a few times, a thumper and worked hard all night. As for the game, I was pleased last night, especially when comparing to Tuesday night.

Omnifan-totally agree on the auditions. Dudley must have forsaw this when he decided to sign Dawes and Modin, He knew he didn’t have the depth in the minors-a bunch of “Joe Crabbs” from Chicago.

Carolina looks real good-Cam Ward in mid season form; scarey. Good to hear Samsanov is OK.

World Be Free

September 26th, 2010
11:04 am

Forgot to say-how nice is this team without Boris/Doris in the lineup? Nice to have a group of NHL defensemen.
Also, sorry to hear about Josh Harding’s knee injury. Tough for a goalie to rebound from ACL and MCL tears.

Smoothie

September 26th, 2010
11:07 am

WBF – I’m outraged! Joey Crabb has much better hands than Riley and Spencer combined! ;-)

Thrashers27

September 26th, 2010
11:12 am

I saw Joey Crabb get hammered into the boards the other night…I think it was the Philly game.

World Be Free

September 26th, 2010
1:09 pm

Smoothie-Joey, Riley and Spencer-all espiring NHL-er’s

sisu

September 26th, 2010
2:39 pm

Great game compared to the first game, pre season is always a hit and miss type of hockey. Seems to me that with the handful of games being played the team needs to play the starters early to get some chemistry. This was an issue still but it is only the second game!
Mason, what can I say? He gives the team stability in net and played a very solid game, between the d and him it was hard to score for Carolina.

Smoothie

September 26th, 2010
3:05 pm

sisu – great seeing you at the ATM last nite…I’m sure we’ll be bumping into one another a lot this season. See you in the upper deck when the puck is dropped for real! I guess we’re a bit thin on Fins but the season is still young…wouldn’t mind having a player like Jussi Jokinen! Thrasher killer.

goose

September 26th, 2010
3:51 pm

Cheechoo released from his tryout with the stars

Dwayne

September 26th, 2010
4:39 pm

5-2 loss with Doris, 1-0 loss without him. Very intresting.

Eric

September 26th, 2010
6:51 pm

I think Ladd will be our new Colby Armstrong. Overrated, big, lethargic… I wasn’t impressed at all. Who did we give up for him again?! Morin… Vishnevskiy (sp)? You take a guy who puts up 30ish points with a team like Kane, Toews, Kieth, Seabrook, Hossa, etc… He’ll put up maybe 20 for the Thrashers.

Buff impressed me a lot. He’s the big body on D we’ve been missing. Petterson really impressed me, too. He’s got a lot of talent and he’s got that Eurpoean edge to him – you can tell. Burmistov fanned on a very simple one-timer which kind of pissed me off but it happens. He seemed to really skate hard and was fast. I wouldn’t mind sticking them both on a line together and see what they can do together. Maybe they could build some great chemistry for mid-season and for the future.

Mason was a stud. Plain and simple. The one goal he gave up was a fluke – bad luck. He lost the puck, thought it was behind the goal and it got kicked/poked around and finally in.

Welch was very unimpressive. He took two or three dumb penalties and You can tell he just isn’t going to cut it.

As a side note: Do NOT pick up Cheechoo. He is a BUST and will be nothing but bad for us.

Brendan

September 26th, 2010
6:59 pm

So, Cheechoo is out of the NHL now?

Jameson

September 26th, 2010
7:13 pm

I was listening to a hockey podcast that I enjoy earlier today, when I found out that Boston recently got 11,000 fans in the building for a preseason game. How? $5 tickets. I know I’d make it to every game that work didn’t keep me from for $5. Especially, if the seats were first come first serve.

World Be Free

September 26th, 2010
7:57 pm

I am not concerned about Ladd – he will get going and be alot better than Colby Cheese

js

September 27th, 2010
12:48 am

When is the last time a Canadian source had positive things to say about the Thrashers:
http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/866216–cox-thrashers-best-bet-in-east-to-make-jump-to-post-season. this guy is definitely not a Blueland sheeple.

Barry

September 27th, 2010
1:38 am

I agree pretty much on all your points Rawhide. Modin really stood out to me. He was just a force out there on the puck especially along the boards. He seemed to have good wheels and hands for a big guy. Mason was just a stud out there I thought. Most of the shots were just sticking to him like velcro, unlike Pavelec that gives up rebounds like a pinball machine. I was glad to see a better defensive game from the boys and looked good out there on the PK. Something else I sensed is the team seemed to play with more confidence. They looked like they knew what they were doing out there and had a game plan. I too however am a little concerned over the lack of scoring especially Saturday night. I know they had some 2 on 1s that amounted to pretty much nothing. The guys have to do more on 2 on 1s instead of just holding onto the puck too long and then trying something last second. That’s an easier read for the defender and goalie. I guess Byfuglien looked alright out there on defense. He definately was a physical force out there. There was one play where he turned the puck over near our blueline I wasn’t happy about. He had a couple of bad passes and on the powerplay. Surely it’s just rust from having played forward most of last season, so maybe next couple of games he’ll get his timing down. I still would like to see more goals and more offense generated. I saw alot of zone time and puck cycling but not a whole lot of grade A scoring chances…just a couple. Again they have to be able to do more on those odd man rushes. That could have been the difference in the game.

kracker

September 27th, 2010
7:49 am

Anyone think the Isles will have any interest in Boris? Would they want Freddy back? Zubarev maybe. After losing Mark Streit they will have to do something. The Isles can’t easily replace a player like Streit, and who knows, maybe Wang has always wanted really big defenseman…

Smoothie

September 27th, 2010
10:20 am

Wow, this place is eerily silent. Falcons’ hangover or busy work week?!

Smoothie

September 27th, 2010
10:23 am

kracker – I think the Isles might be more interested in Freddy Meyer than Boris, but what would we really want / need from NYI? They don’t have any extra snipers so I doubt they’d be a trade partner. I hope we hold onto Zubarev and Meyer frankly. As for Boris, he’ll probably be a fairly permanent pressbox resident. Didn’t think he had to clear waivers but apparently he does since he’s in his 6th year. Makes the competition for the #7 spot (Boris = 8) that much more fierce among Meyer, Kulda and Zubey. Welch should be part of the next release IMO.

Smoothie

September 27th, 2010
10:23 am

ben

September 27th, 2010
10:45 am

This team needs scoring. As to Cox’s article, I really don’t feel Oppie’s a plus anymore. He’s a backup. I’ll believe that Buff stays when he signs a deal.

kracker

September 27th, 2010
10:49 am

I don’t think we want Jon Sim back :) I was thinking more of where Boris would get claimed if we try to send him to Chicago so rather than have him sit in the box while blocking the availability of Kulda, Meyer or Zubarev, they pick up Boris for a prospect or a pick. If Duds is willing to give up on Boris, of course, and he didn’t pick him at #10, Waddell did.

Red Light

September 27th, 2010
10:53 am

kracker: Imagine scanning the waiver wire or a list of 7th or 8th defensemen to replace your top puck mover? Tough task. No one is trading for Meyer or Valabik when you can claim them off waivers.

Eric: No need to worry about Ladd like WBF said. He’s none of the descriptions you used. Tired maybe? Welch is an AHLer!

Brendan: Concerning your last comment from the previous blog topic…I do like Boston in the Northeast, tough not to like Pittsburgh but I think that division race will easily be the best in the Eastern Conference I can see Philly and NJ making life difficult for the Pens. No question, the Caps again are the huge favorite in the Southeast, but if the best goaltender in the Southeast (Cam Ward) stay healthy for the entire year, the Canes could be a team to watch this year. I guess you could argue Vokoun is the best, but he hasn’t won a Cup either.

They may have trouble scoring again and Maurice said he may have to move Jokinen to center. which gives them Staal, Sutter O’ Dwyer and Jokinen as their pivots. It looks as if O’Sullivan will play wing. The return of Babchuk and Corvo will help some on the backline, and I liked what I saw from youngsters, Harrison, Carson and McBain last year. Gleason and Pitkanen are solid. But, I do think they desperately need to add a scorer at some point in time (sound familiar?).

If Ward plays 60-65 games this year as he has done in the past, he is going to keep the Canes in a lot of games. All you need to know about Ward is that he came back after missing a lot of games to play six games in late March and early April when his team was already done, and his save percentage was .931 and he won four of six. And, that team could have quit in January when they entered the month 10-22-7. They went 25-15-3 the rest of the way.

But, the other four teams are all playing for second place, the Caps are that much better. Take a look at the cumulative standings since Boudreau took over Nov. 22, 2007. They are dominant!

Washington 141-56-28 310 points
Carolina 111-93-20 242 points
Florida 101-90-32 234 points
Atlanta 93-105-19 205 points
Tampa 79-107-37 195 points

Rawhide

September 27th, 2010
11:11 am

Per C-Viv: “Spencer Machacek, Riley Holzapfel and Noah Welch are not at practice and have been re-assigned to AHL Chicago. Welch will have to clear waivers. Roster down to 30 players”

Nikita (in PA)

September 27th, 2010
11:17 am

I was only able to listen to the game, because I don’t live close enough to get it by any local source — XM was carrying a radio feed.

The commentators were generally positive.

Random thoughts:

1. Preseaon games are about testing people out, and that is the only real excuse that they have for putting Machacek on the top line. I love Machacek, really do — and have watched a lot of his film at every level. However, he’s maybe a 2nd liner and more likely a third. He’s got a lot of heart, but there’s no way in a properly staffed team that he plays a top position.

2. Yay, Buff.

3. re: Thorbs, I agree with the coaching staff that he has superior general skills and is a good all-around player. Where that has failed him in the past has been in conditioning and speed. He has the ability to accelerate well, but hasn’t consistently moved at appropriate NHL-level speed. This season, if that changes, I could see him do well in another and higher position.

Joe Friday

September 27th, 2010
11:19 am

That’s very strange to hear that about Ladd, he’s the hardest worker on the ice, a real honest player. Keep an eye on that as that’s not his M.O. at all. Buff will look like a star, and then disappear for long stretches, but it’s good to hear that he picked up in effort where he left off in the playoffs, even at a diff. position.

Very nice to hear that Mason had a solid game. I want the final roster set quickly!

Smoothie

September 27th, 2010
11:21 am

Thanks Billy T!!! No surprise there although some may have figured Welch earned himself another game, but what’s the point?

The only roster decision left now is what to do with the Burmise Python now that Jimbo Slater may be on the mend for awhile. Perfect scenario for young Alex I think. Perhaps Anthony Stewart can push for the 4th line RW job with Slater out, but it may make more sense to use Nigel Dawes on the off-wing to give the 4th line some scoring punch. I kinda like Eager-Thorbs-Dawes as a 4th line. Lots of speed with size depsite Dawes 5′8″ frame…he’s a freakin’ fire hydrant!

World Be Free

September 27th, 2010
11:29 am

Red light, I am with you on Cam Ward, he was the difference Saturday night. Mason played as well as he could have, just outdueled by Ward.

Back on my Opie horse-we need a real backup goalie with a “backup’s mentality”. Opie thinks he’s a starter and he is not-I have seen enough of his act. Time for put Opie and Boris on the train. Don’t get rid of Freddy, he was one of the few Thrashers to look good last Tuesday night.

Smoothie

September 27th, 2010
11:32 am

Freddy Meyer is just the dynamic D-man we need to be our #7 guy.

“superior general skills” re: Chris Thorburn

Nikita – I love me some Thorbs as much as the next guy, but this is a bit of a stretch! I do like him in the middle though. He’s turned himself into a very effective defensive player. He might crack 7 goals if things go well and he can play with a guy like Dawes. And Eager will open up some ice with his huge body.

Red Light

September 27th, 2010
11:45 am

Based upon impressions here, then Lisin, Rissmiller, Kozek and Stewart are the odd men out, based upon contract status. Burmistrov stays for nine games and then is sent back to junior when Slater is ready. Valabik, Kulda and Zubarev are sent down, with Meyer occupying the press box with Boulton.

That means Pettersson, Modin and Dawes make the club.

Smoothie

September 27th, 2010
11:58 am

R/L – indeed! Although I could see us holding onto Stewart (as long as Slater is out since we are short RW) and carrying 14 forwards if Valabik is sent down. But do you think they will risk waivers with Boris? Apparently, he must clear due to this being his 6th year. Perhaps they will get a medical rehab exemption for 2 weeks?

Thrashers27

September 27th, 2010
12:19 pm

Boris will be picked off of wires if sent down.

Moses

September 27th, 2010
12:23 pm

Let my Boris go!

Nikita (in PA)

September 27th, 2010
12:25 pm

Let me clarify “superior general skills” — what I’m saying is Thorbs doesn’t play as well as his skills objectively are when they’re isolated. In isolation (drills, etc.), they’re quite good — but they don’t translate well onto 18 or so minutes of play. Or haven’t, anyway.

Assets he has: 1. an exceptionally good multi-level shot, 2. Fairly good lateral movement (which is not as common as you would hope), 3. Exception acceleration speed (which goes with the gangly legs and such), 4. Good vision, meaning he can at times react very impressively to minute changes in position or puck. So he can, in theory, play any general position, though not at a very high level.

Where this breaks down is in the actual play. He hasn’t moved fast enough or long enough to play the longer minutes of an upper line and his excellent multi-level shot is unfortunately quite easy to read due to those long limbs.

I expect to see him get even better on the PK. But I remain conservative regarding his ability to consistently stay on the ice and competitive in terms of offensive execution.

Red Light

September 27th, 2010
12:26 pm

Doesn’t the NHL have revocable waivers? See if there is interest and then pull them back if you fear losing him. He might need extended rehab. Is there a limit on how many guys can be placed on IR?

Red Light

September 27th, 2010
12:53 pm

Looked it up: there is not a limit on number of players on the IR. He would count against the 50-man roster, but not against the 23-man roster. Given the fact Valabik is returning from injury, he can be loaned to Chicago for conditioning for 14 days if he doesn’t object, or can be placed on IR. But, eventually a decision must be made, and quickly. Otherwise, he would have to clear.