Archive for October, 2010

Which Thrasher will be last to join mass exodus from Schnide Island?

Yes kids, it’s that time of the year again. The time when we take our annual trip out to that tiny, remote, isolated, spec of land that is found in the middle of the Ocean of Zilch… Schnide Island. It’s that desolate place where players are stranded until they’re able to cough up payment for a ticket on the only boat off the island.

What’s the price of that ticket? Scoring their first goal of the season is required to get them off “The Schnide”.

Eric Boulton and a host of other Thrashers have recently made their way off Schnide Island (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Eric Boulton and a host of other Thrashers have recently participated in the mass exodus off of Schnide Island (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

This contest normally begins in late October/early November after the list of players still residing on Isle de Schnide dwindles down to about a half-dozen or so. Those players are then offered up as finalists in the “Who’ll Be the Last Thrasher Off Schnide Island?” contest. You, the readers and contributing commenters of this online forum, then have the opportunity to offer up …

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Pavelec returns while Mason continues crash course in being Thrashers goalie

The fourth weekend of the Thrashers 2010-11 campaign is upon us, and with it comes the fourth straight Friday/Saturday back to backer. Tonight will see the 3-6-1 Buffalo Sabres returning to Thrasherville for the second time in a week and a half. Tomorrow night will be in St. Louis where the 5-1-2 Blues will be waiting. They blanked the Nashville Predators Thursday nigh behind Jaroslav Halak’s 24-save effort.

Halak is now 5-1-1 with an impressive 1.55 GAA and .939 SV%. He also has a pair of shutouts as well. The Blues’ netminder has benefited from playing behind a defense that has allowed a league-low 25.5 shots on goal per game.

As we in Thrasherville are painfully aware of, not all goalies are so fortunate.

With all that in mind, as the weekend’s action unfolds, one place on the ice I’m going to be paying a little more attention to than usual is the blue area just in front of the Thrashers’ goal. I’ll be doing so for two different reasons on both nights.

The area in front of Chris Mason's goal has been a very busy place this fall. The Thrashers netminder has faced an NHL-high 311 shots so far (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The area …

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Thrashers survive Rangers comeback bid to win 6-4

Wednesday afternoon I was sitting in my office when a knock came on the door. It was my friend Sal from the mailroom who had a package for me. He just sat it on my desk without comment. When I pealed back the plain brown paper wrapping, all that I found inside was a soiled, soggy milk carton.

I looked up and asked, “What…what is this? What does this mean?”

Sal replied, “It’s a message from Todd White. It means your milk carton sleeps with the fishes”.

A message…from Todd White? Why, what for? I mean, what in the world did I ever do or say about Todd White that would make him want to send me such a message? Hmmm…??

Later in the evening, I then found out why he wanted to get my attention. White suited up in a New York Rangers blue shirt and scored a goal against his former team. Trailing 5-2 to the Thrashers, Whitey backhanded home a rebound to pull the home team to within two. Atlanta forward Fredrik Modin allegedly was defending White on the play.

It was his …

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Thrashers 3-4-1 so far…eh, it could be worse

If someone had told you just last month that the Thrashers would be at 3-4-1 after the first two weeks or so of the season, I’m sure quite a number of you would have been OK with that. Two games against the three-time defending SE division champ Washington Capitals, a four game road trip just after the home opener…including three out on the west coast against teams like the Kings and Sharks…and even a couple against the much-improved Tampa Bay Lightning.

Not exactly the easiest way to kick off the new season. So being right around break-even can be placed in a positive light I suppose.

As coach Ramsay told Chris Vivlamore, “It’s scary sometimes if you look ahead [at the schedule] and I, honestly, try not to. But you couldn’t help but look at some of that and go ‘Uh-Oh, this is not good.’ When we initially looked at it and saw four in a row on the road to start, I thought we are playing good teams, it’s not good”.

Fredrik Modin, seen here being squeezed out of the play by former Thrasher Pavel Kubina, has not scored since opening night and is a -7 (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Fredrik Modin, seen here being squeezed …

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Semin-chanted evening as Thrashers fall to Caps in OT

If you’re a Washington Capitals fan, you no doubt enjoyed Saturday night’s outcome against our Atlanta Thrashers. It was quite a game, quite a night and quite a win. Truly it was some enchanted evening in Washington D.C.

Or, should I say, it was…ahem… Semin-chanted evening.

The Thrashers gained a consolation point on the road, losing in overtime 4-3 on Tomas Fleischmann’s goal 1:37 into the extra period. But is was Alexander Semin’s hat trick in regulation that got the defending Southeast Division champs into overtime in order to win it. Semin’s third, fourth and fifth goals of the season tied the score at 1-1, 2-2 and put Washington up 3-2 in the third period.

Evander Kane took a Rich Peverley pass from behind the goal to put the Thrashers up 2-1 in the second period. Kane had two goals in the 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Evander Kane took a Rich Peverley pass from behind the goal to put the Thrashers up 2-1 in the second period. Kane had two goals in the 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

There were several turning points in the game, but none bigger than the one that left Atlanta a player …

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Accountability and responsibility – Thrashers face defining games after ‘unacceptable’ loss

Unacceptable: (adj.) Not Acceptable. Unsatisfactory.  – “The Atlanta Thrashers’ effort during the 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres was ‘unacceptable’”.

There really weren’t a lot of positives to take from Wednesday night’s “effort” against the Buffalo Sabres. And to a man, everyone seemed willing to accept their fair share of the blame for the 4-1 loss, one in which they were outshot 42-18.

But if you’re like me and care little for excuses, then at least you appreciated the words that came out of the Atlanta locker room following the game. Starting with the man behind the bench on down to the players who were on the ice, none were offered up and only words of accountability were expressed.

Thrashers head coach Craig Ramsay was able to get the team's attention after Ondrej Pavelec was carted off the ice on opening night. They rallied for a 4-2 win against the Capitals. But he needs to get them focused and ready this weekend following Wednesday's "unacceptable" effort (AJC Photo/Curtis Compton)

Thrashers head coach Craig Ramsay was able to get the team's attention after Ondrej Pavelec was carted off the ice on opening night. They rallied for a 4-2 win against the Capitals. But he needs to get them focused and ready this weekend following Wednesday's "unacceptable" effort …

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Buffalo enjoys brutally good time in Thrasherville

Wednesday night the Buffalo Sabres provided the opposition for the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena. It’s just too bad that the Thrashers couldn’t return the favor. The beat-down wasn’t even as close as the 4-1 score would indicate as the Sabres simply outplayed the home team all night long.

It was bad…brutally bad.

If you were fortunate enough to miss the Sabre-slapping in Thrasherville, really all you need to know is this: When Cody McCormick scored 2:34 into the second period, the Sabres had more goals scored than the Thrashers had shots on goal. Buffalo led 3-0 and were out-shooting the Thrashers 14-2 at that point.

There was a lot of action going on around Chris Mason's goal Wednesday night. The Thrashers goalie managed to stop 38 of 42 shots faced in the 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

There was a lot of action going on around Chris Mason's goal Wednesday night. The Thrashers goalie managed to stop 38 of 42 shots faced in the 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

On that goal, Chris Mason had bobbled a save, Ron Hainsey tipped the puck back into the crease where McCormick tapped it home.

Overall, the Sabres took 42 …

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Alex Burmistrov: Should he stay or should he go?

Decision time for Alexander Burmistrov is but a week or so away now. After the Thrashers finish with their October 26 game with the New York Rangers, they’ll have played nine games so far in the 2010-11 season. Assuming last June’s eighth overall draft pick plays in all four games between now and then, Burmistrov will have used up all of his time before this season counts against his free agent status. If he plays in game number ten October 29 against Buffalo, then it’s as if he was here all season.

So, the question is…with apologies to The Clash…will Burmistrov stay or will he go?

Will Alex stay in Atlanta and play beyond the ninth game, or will he go back to the OHL and play with the Barrie Colts? Keep in mind here, he isn’t eligible to go to Chicago given the AHL age requirements. Burmistrov will celebrate just his 19th birthday this Thursday.

With a good showing in preseason and in the first five regular season games, Alexander Burmistrov has possibly jumped into a full-time roster spot with the Thrashers (AP Photo/John Amis)

With a good showing in preseason and in the first five regular season games, Alexander Burmistrov has possibly jumped into …

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The good, the un-good and the ugly of Thrashers first five games

Five games into an 82 game schedule is not a heckuva lot of time to pick up on trends, let alone become overly worried about any negatives. But we’ve got a few days before the 3-2-0 Thrashers play host to the 1-4-1 Buffalo Sabres, so now is as good of a time as any to take pause and reflect back on the opening days of this 2010-11 Thrashers season. Thus, I offer up this entry of “The Good, The Un-Good and the Ugly”.

Or, for those of the P.C. persuasion… “The Good, The Un-Good and the ‘Aesthetically Challenged’”.

The Good

The winning Record, (DUH5): Well, let’s begin with winning three out of five games and collecting six of a possible ten in the standings. While some may not tout this as a ferocious start, considering that the last two were on the road, in back-to-back games and won after trailing by two goals in both… a very good showing indeed.

In fact, all three victories have come in games that Atlanta trail. They were down 1-0 in the season opener against the …

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Mason helps Thrashers snatch victory from jaws of Sharks

“Chris Mason is yet to really “steal” a game for us, allowing 13 goals on 142 shots, (.908 SV%). But if coach Craig Ramsay looks to skate the veteran back out there between the pipes, he may need to do just that if the Thrashers are to win their first game against the Sharks since a 3-2 victory eight years ago”

That was from my entry yesterday, opining that if the Atlanta Thrashers were to secure two points from the San Jose Sharks, Chris Mason would need to come up big…stealing one for the team. And indeed that is exactly what he did Saturday night, stopping 37 of 39 shots as the Thrashers hooked the Sharks 4-2.

It was Atlanta’s first ever victory in San Jose and only the second time in their history that they’ve landed the Sharks. The last time was a 3-2 win back on November 13, of 2002 at Philips Arena.

Chris Mason stopped 37 of 39 San Jose shots to earn his third win of the season (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Chris Mason stopped 37 of 39 San Jose shots to earn his third win of the season (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

But it didn’t come easy. After Mason and the Thrashers …

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