Time again to consult with Magic-8 Ball for Thrashers season predictions

It’s that time again folks. Another summer has come and gone, taking with it the NHL offseason months. And now, finally, we are on the doorstep of another NHL campaign. As such, it’s time once again to weigh in with the official Rawhide’s Thrashers Fan Blog predictions for the 2010-11 season.

As was the case last year, I had hoped to be able to gaze into a crystal ball to see if I could properly prognosticate what the coming months will hold for the residents of Thrasherville. But just like last time, my procurement request was flatly denied by the AJC.

Tightwads.

But let your hearts not be troubled…they are once again allowing me to use the old Magic-8 Ball that has sat in the back of a storage closet since the late 1970s. I think it use to belong to Furman Bisher who then gave it to Jeff Schultz. Shultzie’s then used it to help him predict the outcome of Falcons, Georgia Tech and Georgia Bulldog football games.

Anyway, I’ll first review the Thrashers as they stand going into the season…then I make known my predictions for what lies ahead for Thrasherville’s ice combatants.

Since I believe the best way to build a hockey team is from the pipes out, I’ll begin in the goal then move forward.

GOALTENDING

One thing we don’t have to worry about anymore is when we might expect “Kari-Down ‘10” to begin this year. The good people in Dallas can deal with that now. In his place is Chris Mason, who started 61 games last year in St. Louis and compiled a record of 30-22-8 with a 2.53 GAA, .913 SV% and 2 shutouts. Those numbers represent an “average” season for him as his career stats are 115-86-1-26 with a 2.54 GAA and .914 SV%.

In games in which he has faced 33 or more shots, Mason has compiled a very impressive record of 38-16-9 with a .250 GAA and .931 SV%. That is a very important stat to consider given the history of defensive ineptitude that we’ve suffered though over the years.

Chris Mason was 30-22-8 with a 2.53 GAA, .913 SV% with 2 shutouts while with St. Louis last season (AP)

Chris Mason was 30-22-8 with a 2.53 GAA, .913 SV% with 2 shutouts while with St. Louis last season (AP)

Ondrej Pavelec will assume backup duties behind Mason. The 23-year old Czech has been, shall we say, inconsistent in the past three years with Atlanta. In 2007-08 and 2008-09 he was called upon after Lehtonen went down and started just 16 games in those two seasons. Last year he was given the starter role when “Kari-Down ‘09” began long before the season started. He performed well for a while, only to fall off shortly after Thanksgiving.

Overall, Opie has been less-than-inspiring while playing to a 20-28-7 record with a 3.33 GAA and .902 SV%. He has a pair of shutouts to his credit.

But this time around will be different as he goes into the fall knowing he’ll backup the dependable Mason and can grow into the role of starter over the course of the next couple of years. That, plus having a goalie coach…er, uh, excuse me…having a goalie “consultant” around might just help out a bit as well.

Speaking of consultants, let’s now consult the Magic-8 Ball.

Will Chris Mason provide steady, reliable goaltending for the Thrashers this season?

…shaking, shaking, shaking…

“You May Rely On It”

Will Ondrej Pavelec’s play be less erratic and more consistent as he backs up Mason?

…shaking, shaking, shaking…

“As I See It, Yes”

DEFENSE

A-T-L-A-N-T-A T-H-R-A-S-H-E-R-S.

Do you see any “D” there? …No? Well, that’s not a coincidence as there hasn’t been much “D” involved with this organization over the first decade of its existence.

Last year the Thrashers allowed an average of 33.1 shots a game to their opponents, only Anaheim and Florida surrendered more. The year before that it was 32.7 SA/G, the year prior to that it was a league-worst 33.9…you get the picture.

As I’ve been one to say, Atlanta goalkeepers take more rubber to the face than a possum on GA-20.

But this summer Rick Dudley has set out to change that. He’s brought in not only a new head coach in Craig Ramsay, but also an entirely new coaching staff. Their first job is to teach the players on the roster to play solid, responsible, respectable hockey in the defensive zone. You know…everything the Thrashers have not been for too long.

Toby Enstrom, Ron Hainsey and Zach Bogosian remain from the start of last season, and Johnny Oduya returns after being traded for last winter. But joining them will be Brent Sopel and Dustin Byfuglien fresh off their successful Stanley Cup run of last spring. Freddy Meyer or Boris Valabik will round out the seven-man defensive unit, but given their playing time in preseason…I would think Meyer gets the nod there.

Toby Enstrom will begin his fourth season as a Thrasher. He's played in all 82 games each year prior (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Toby Enstrom will begin his fourth season as a Thrasher. He's played in all 82 games each year prior (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Byfuglien’s transition back to defense has been much discussed and debated for the last several weeks. But he seems at home there and I have to say I’m far less concerned about it now after seeing him play during preseason. His presence there should help to make this blueline better.

Overall team defense is what new head coach Craig Ramsay will be looking to instill in these Thrashers, however, and that means getting the forwards to play their parts on our end of the ice. This too is something Thrashervillians are unfamiliar seeing in these parts of late.

Last year the Thrashers’ penalty kill unit played well for the bulk of the season, though it struggled somewhat down the stretch…finishing with an 82.2% PK efficiency, (16th in the NHL). Gone is Marty Reasoner who Atlanta relied heavily upon here, but Chris Thorburn, Rich Peverley and Evander Kane should play key roles along with the defensive penalty killers.

And given that goal scoring may be more of a premium than in years past for this team, killing off penalties at a better clip will need to happen.

Returning to the whole SA/G bug-a-boo that has plagued Thrasherville… one positive that can be taken from the 0-5-1 preseason is that the Thrashers held the opposition to fewer than 30 SA/G in five of the six games. The lone exception being the 2-1 OT loss in Carolina in which the Canes took 29 shots in regulation and 1 in 1:06 worth of overtime.

If this can continue into the regular season the Thrashers could find themselves playing beyond 82 games.

Let’s again go to the Magic-8 Ball, shall we.

Will this year’s Thrashers defense be better than the past several years?

…shaking, shaking, shaking…

“Signs Point To Yes”

Can they improve on the 82.2% penalty kill efficiency from last year?

…shaking, shaking, shaking…

“Outlook Good”

Can this defense hold opponents to under 30 SA/G for the season?

…shaking, shaking, shaking…

“Cannot Predict Now”

I think the Magic-8 Ball would like to give a better answer to that last question, but given the team’s history I’m sure it wants to see it before it believes it.

OFFENSE

For the first time since 2001, the Thrashers go into a new season without the ability to pencil-in the 45-50 goals that come with having an Ilya Kovalchuk on in their lineup. Gone also is the concept of designing the entire game plan around that one player. In its place is a team that will rely on several 20-something and 30-something goal scorers.

Included in that number are returning players such as Nik Antropov, (24 g, 43 a last season)…Rich Peverley, (22 g, 33 a last season)…Bryan Little, (13 g, 21 a last season & 31 g, 20 assists two years ago)…Jim Slater, (11 g, 7 assists in 61 games last year)…Evander Kane, (14 g, 12 a in his rookie season)…and Nik Bergfors, (21 g, 23 assists in his rookie year between NJ and ATL).

Joining them will be former Blackhawk Andrew Ladd, who netted 21 goals and 38 assists last season as well as 3 goals and 3 assists in the playoffs. Then there’s Nigel Dawes, who accounted for 14 goals and 18 assists last year for the Calgary Flames.

Andrew Ladd is fresh off a Stanley Cup championship in Chicago, the second of his career (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon)

Andrew Ladd is fresh off a Stanley Cup championship in Chicago, the second of his career (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon)

Also in the mix is Freddy Modin, who will provide veteran leadership… Ben Eager, who’ll provide some pop on the lower lines… and first round draft pick Alex Burmistrov, who was just signed to a 3-year entry level deal.

Last season the Thrashers offense scored goals at a 2.80 per game clip. The season before that it was an impressive 3.05 G/G. This year, to be quite honest, we may be looking at an offensive production that nets something closer to 2.65 – 2.70 G/G in my estimation.

What could improve that outlook? Well, the power play could have a better showing than last year’s 16.1% efficiency, (25th in the NHL). That’s not an impossible scenario, though, given that opposing defenses will no longer be afforded the luxury of just waiting for the Thrashers to predictably circle the puck over for him to one-time it at the goal.

Another place the offensive could look for help is the blueline. Last year Thrashers defensemen chipped in with 32 goals. Zach Bogosian led the way with 10, but it isn’t a stretch to think he’s capable of 15-20. Having Byfuglien joining the rush from the back could also reap benefits. If he could muster 10 or 12 from the blueline, that would be nothing but a bonus for this team. Last year he netted 17 while playing up front for the Blackhawks.

Again, to the Magic-8 Ball…

Will this team be able to at least match last season’s 2.80 G/G production?

…shaking, shaking, shaking…

“Don’t Count On It”

What about the power play, will it be better than 16.1% form last year?

…shaking, shaking, shaking…

“Most Likely”

SEASON OUTLOOK & PREDICTIONS

The contrast between this year’s edition of the Atlanta Thrashers and previous ones could not be more distinct. Whereas we are used to going into a season confident the goal production would be there but worried about a porous defense…many now look at this defense as much improved but now wonder where will the goals come from.

What does your Magic-8 Ball say about the Thrashers playoff chances this year?

  • Don't Count On It: Under 76 points (4%, 8 Votes)
  • My Sources Say No: 76-81 points (13%, 23 Votes)
  • Very Doubtful: 82-88 points (38%, 69 Votes)
  • Most Likely: 89-94 points (39%, 71 Votes)
  • Yes, Definitely: Over 94 points (6%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 181

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As such, this Thrashers team is going to have to find a way to win 2-1, 3-2 type of games if it’s to make it to the playoff promise land. Last season they led the league with 28 one-goal losses…a stat that will have to be reversed.

Mason will be solid in goal I trust, and Pavelec will improve his play with the pressure removed to be the go-to guy between the pipes.

And finally, I think the new coaching staff will provide a measure of leadership and guidance that will prepare the players better than what was the case over the last few years. This will make a difference, I believe, in those tight, low-scoring games.

All that being said, I peg this team for 88 points…say 38-32-12. They’ll be in a dogfight with Tampa Bay and Carolina for second place in the Southeast Division, I believe. But I’ll put on my blue-tinted glasses and pick the home team to win the title of “Best Team in the Southeast Division Not Named Washington Capitals”.

I think they struggle somewhat at the beginning, but under the tutelage of Ramsay, Torchetti and Stothers, they get their act together quicker than some may think and make a hard run at postseason.

88 points was enough to qualify for the Great Hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup last spring, but normally that total leaves you on the outside looking in. The big question is then…will it be enough this season to earn the Thrashers only their second-ever playoff birth?

Again, I turn to the Magic-8 Ball.

Will the Thrashers make the playoffs this season?

…shaking, shaking, shaking…

“Concentrate And Ask Again”

…shaking, shaking, shaking…

“Reply Hazy, Try Again”

…shaking, shaking, shaking…

“Ask Again Later”

…shaking, shaking, shaking…

“Cannot Predict Now”

…sigh…

How the heck did Schultz get anything from this gadget?

229 comments Add your comment

kracker

October 5th, 2010
7:21 pm

I just asked the on-line Magic 8 Ball if the Thrashers would make the playoffs this year.
Answer: My sources say no.

Well, it’s not the real Magic 8 Ball.

Sage of Bluesland

October 5th, 2010
7:30 pm

Thrashers make the playoffs? Oh, heavens no they won’t.

Not with this ownership or senior “leadership”….Not a chance.

Lee

October 5th, 2010
7:35 pm

Nice blog. I predict that the Thrashers will either make the playoffs BARELY or fall just short of the last spot. Looking for a better season, but I can’t expect too much…

Drop the puck.

kracker

October 5th, 2010
7:46 pm

Regarding goaltending the Opener:

dankamal Just watched Coach Ramsay on Comcast. He was very high on both goalies, but reading between the lines, my guess: Ondrej Pavelec starts Fri.

Wow! That would surprise everyone, including I expect, Ondrej Pavelec. Maybe Kamal’s own magic 8 ball needed another shake or two.

ex-ex-STH

October 5th, 2010
8:07 pm

DEFENSE

A-T-L-A-N-T-A T-H-R-A-S-H-E-R-S.

A-T-L-A-N-T-A T-H-R-A-S-H-E-R-S Do you see any “D” there? …No? Well, that’s not a coincidence as there hasn’t been much “D” involved with this organization over the first decade of its existence.

I fell off my chair with that line. Great post again, Mr Rawhide!! I bought season tickets again (how do you pass up $999 for lower bowl?) but not sure what is going to happen here. But….can’t wait for the Friday game to get this going!!!

BG33Brown

October 5th, 2010
8:46 pm

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news;_ylt=AtzHwl05kO1ptMkgXWOhXex7vLYF?slug=rm-nhlpower100510

Yahoo power rankings….thrasher #30. Ouch. Maybe some pointed this out earlier but now that there are 4 different blogs going on, I didn’t have time to read them all.

Nate

October 5th, 2010
8:50 pm

I can’t see it. NHL teams these days don’t make the playoffs without one or two stars unless they play sterling defense. And those two words have never been used to describe the Thrashers D. While I do see the defense being better this year, I don’t see it being “sterling” either (say top 10). I see more like 22nd in the league in goals allowed. Baby steps. An improvement, but not enough to compensate for the lack of goal scoring. Unfortunately, this team seems more like it was built with NEXT year in mind, not this year.

BG33Brown

October 5th, 2010
8:56 pm

It pains me to agree with Sage but I don’t have a good feeling about this team. I hope I am wrong….man-I want to be wrong.

mikey da mug

October 5th, 2010
9:08 pm

Well written analysis, and accurate prediction “Cannot Predict Now” – I think they’ll fall just short, but hoping we see live hockey here into May

ex-ex-STH

October 5th, 2010
9:24 pm

I bought my season tix again this year after a 2 year hiatus (who could pass the $999 lower bowl seats?) but I’m not too thrilled with the trade that didn’t happen for another top 6 forward. Something has to happen!

World Be Free

October 5th, 2010
9:32 pm

If Mason can play consistently then this team will be better than last season. Another improvement on last year at this time, is not having to deal with the “what will Kovy do?” garbage. we all seem to forget the soup opera that surrounded this team last year at this time. Beyond that, I have no prediction-ask me in 82 games.

Pavs stinks out loud-get a better backup

Brendan

October 5th, 2010
10:13 pm

Several regulars have YET to case a vote in the Thrashers Point Total Contest. Fear not! There’s still time. Precious time, that is now ticking. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. The carriage turns into a pumpkin at “puck drop” on Friday, October 8, 2010. After which time, all guesses will be IGNORED, LAUGHED AT, SCORNED, and RIDICULED for even ATTEMPTING to be entered. You can change your guess, by the way, all the way until puck drop. I’m estimating that will be sometime around 7:40-ish PM.

These posters, are currently without a guess in this contest.

Rawhide
Adam
Bob/Joe Friday
Brendan – I know. I’ll get one in. I swear. I’m waiting on that Zajac trade. You know, the one that isn’t happening.
Andrew
Buzilla in CT
Dandylions
Darren
Denny
Ex-STH
FIF
FrostyTheSnowMan
Get The Puck Out
h
JLH
Mehoff
mutton
R.Stroz
rightshot
Scotty
Sharon
Smitty
Thrasher Jim
Toby
Tony C.
Yung JB from MTL
12345

The range of guesses starts at East Point Bob, with 60-points, tied to 5th in the SE division, and 15th in the Conference, to “Mr. Willson,” at 100-points, tied to 2nd in the SE Division, and 4th in the Conference. James Brown changed his 103-point pick to 93-points, 2nd in SE, and 7th in the Conference. The first tie-breaker criteria is “rank within SE Division.” The SECOND tie-breaker criteria is “rank within the Eastern Conference.” Several posters do have absolutely identical guesses. That was bound to happen. We’ll crown multiple winners in that case, should they win. For example, “Derrick,” “Spud Webb,” and “Will L.” all have guesses of 96-points, 2nd in SE division, and 6th in the Conference. “Diego from Lilburn” has 95-points, 2nd, and 7th in the Conference. “Flames” also has 95-points and 2nd in SE division, but he has opted for 6th in the Conference, the “2nd set of tie-breaker” criteria. There have been sixty (60) entries already in this contest.

Who can enter the contest? Answer: Anyone makes a post at this website. What do I get if I win? The UNDYING admiration of your fellow posters. Maybe something else could be tossed in?? Maybe a free beer a TJ’s viewing party?? We’re not committing to anything, however.

Poster “Jimbo” still has not indicated a SE division rank with his guess of 85-points and 10th in the Conference.

Joe Friday

October 5th, 2010
10:15 pm

If no move is made to bring in a top line scorer, then this club’s potential is low 80s and very short of playoffs.

ex-ex-STH

October 5th, 2010
10:40 pm

Brendan, barring no trade before tomorrow’s deadline, I would have to say 80 pts, 4th in the SE and 12th in the East. This is subject to change when Duds trades for Langenbrunner – the next one to wear the “C”.

Rawhide

October 5th, 2010
10:40 pm

kracker – I hope my friend Dan Kamal is off on this one. Now, granted it is a back-to-back game situation and maybe both will play over the weekend. But I would start Mason opening night…he’s got to to be the starter unless otherwise proven differently, iMHO.

Also, look at the numbers the two have vs. Washington.

Mason: 3-0-0 w/ 1.84 GAA & .928 SV%

Pavelec: 1-7-0 w/ 4.10 GAA & .876 SV%

Start Mason.

Brendan – I believe I have entered my points projection. 88 and a second place finish in the SE. I have yet to predict their finish in the Eastern Conference, however.

Brendan

October 5th, 2010
10:44 pm

Ex-STH, you’re entered at 80-points, 4th in SE division, and 12th in the East.

Joe Friday, I’m right there with you. My guess is going to be right where you’re describing, unless a major move is made to increase goal production.

litz

October 5th, 2010
10:52 pm

Brendan – Rawhide’s guess is in his post at the top of this blog

- litz

Terry

October 5th, 2010
10:54 pm

I was all excited about Thrashers Opening Night this Friday until I found out about this weekend’s Dominatrix Convention in Vinings.

DomCon, here I come.

(No pun intended)

Thrashy Thrashy

October 5th, 2010
11:06 pm

Kane, Little, Bergfors, Antro, Pevs, Ladd, Buff, Bogo…

I’m expecting those eight guys to give us close to 180 goals.

Can the rest of the guys pot 40-50? We’ll see.

One thing I fully expect is for the GA/G to come down, and if that happens, the Thrashers will be in much better shape even with a slightly lower G/G total.

Brendan

October 5th, 2010
11:18 pm

Terry, that got cancelled and replaced by the “Bi-Mon Sci-Fi Con.” But the good news there is … girls put out just to get OUT of that place. So, it still could turn out well.

Rawhide, you are entered at 88-points, 2nd in SE division, and NO GUESS for Conference rank.

Litz: Thanks!

Brendan

October 5th, 2010
11:36 pm

Okay, I have the right to change this pick, if a move is made, but as is, I’m going with the same pick as “Polskidawg.” 81-points, 4th in SE Division, and 11th in the Conference. Dwayne is thinking, “Hey, that was my pick, too.” No, you had 3rd in the SE division, with 81-points and 11th in the Conference.

They way I figure conference rank, Atlanta has to finish ahead of the Panthers, Islanders, and Maple Leafs. That would make them 12th. But, I think the NY Rangers will find a way to finish below us, for 12th. So, we’ll be 11th, just behind Montreal, in 10th.

Red Light, I’m going to go with Buffalo to repeat in the Northeast, edging out Boston. I do have the Bruins in the playoff field, at # 7.

All this, of course, pending changes … if trades are suddenly made in Boston and NJ, etc. In the crazy NE division, I have Buffalo, Boston, Ottawa, Montreal, then Toronto. Habs, from Conference Finalists to outside the playoffs?? Sorry, I just don’t think Carey Price is the answer. They should have kept Halak. Is Auld the backup?

Derrick

October 6th, 2010
12:18 am

According to C-Viv the lines that were together today are likely going to be the lines that open the season together. Is anyone else as worried by this as I am? I really hoped that all the stupid line combinations we saw in the preseason were going to stop before the regular season started but I guess that was just wishful thinking are my part. Putting Stewart on a line with Kane and Peverley? I mean seriously? Not only that but also putting Hainsey with Sopel. We all saw how well that worked when they were paired together in the preseason. I really hope that Chris was wrong and we see some changed before we play the Caps.

Thrashers27

October 6th, 2010
12:41 am

Rawhide, I had no idea that Mason had such a stellar record vs. “Le capitales.”

Wouldn’t it be nifty if Mason was our “Nittymonkey” to the Caps.

World Be Free

October 6th, 2010
6:52 am

Pav’s record against the Caps is yet another reason to send him packing to CHI town and get a real backup goaltender in here. 1-7 vs a top flight team shows that he does not have the ability to raise his game.

hockeymom92

October 6th, 2010
7:06 am

Believing that my 2011 has to be better than my totally disastrous 2010 thus far, I am going to optimistically predict 92 points, 2nd in division and 5th in conference. I know I am probably dreaming, but that definitely beats reality – don’t ya think???

Budder

October 6th, 2010
7:27 am

World Be Free said (re: Pavs)…1-7 vs a top flight team shows that he does not have the ability to raise his game.

How many of those 8 games did The Cherry Picker , a.k.a Kovalchump, stand around the O-Zone Blue Line looking to one-up Alex O (which he could NEVER accomplish)? Forget goaltending – Valabik and Kulda for Langenbrunner TODAY! Yeah, I know, NTC for Jamie, but I still hope!

R. Stroz

October 6th, 2010
7:42 am

If Pavs is starting against the Caps, I’m warming up THE BULLHORN. Yes, Pavs the goalie who gave up a goal from the other end of the ice against the Caps last season.

Since Charmin was traded, I guess the Thrashers decided I needed someone else to yell at other than Hainsey the metrosexual.

The Real Thrash

October 6th, 2010
8:10 am

No mention of face-off percentage. That’s also another way to get extra chances.

Spud Webb

October 6th, 2010
8:23 am

Red Light….so the devils release Danius, soft as charmin, zubrus. Anyone know if that puts them under the cap??
And I’ll say it now………..DONT SIGN that guy, don’t be fooled by his size or skills. The guy plays like Max, a TON of talent, zero heart.

Buzzeng

October 6th, 2010
8:23 am

Brendan – I didn’t make your list of regulars, but I’m a daily follower in NC of the Thrasher blogs. I haven’t posted a prediction before, but will today. Put me down for 83 points, 4th in the SE and winning the tie-breaker with the Rangers to land 10th in the division. Looking at that, it looks a LOT like last year, with a minor improvement in that we finish ahead of the Ranjerks. I hope that we all lose to Mr Willson, though! Go Thrashers!

GaVaHokie

October 6th, 2010
8:26 am

I wonder if players will complaint, in the next CBA, that their over-inflated contracted cause them to be stashed in the minors or “loaned” overseas?

Brendan… dragging this over from the last blog.

You’d have to think so… Huet, Redden, White, Souray… all these guys are still capable of playing in the NHL. Their salaries made them problems for their teams. I don’t think White was even a problem. The Rangers needed to cut $3.1 million and cutting him made the most sense… you can’t cut Drury, Dubinsky or Anisimov. Christensen isn’t making enough money to free up space. It had to be White.

five hole

October 6th, 2010
8:34 am

Why would we sign a true #1 goalie, and then not start him in the first game (also a home game)? Am I missing something?

GaVaHokie

October 6th, 2010
8:41 am

Rawhide… not sure I trust that 8-ball. Did you give it any baseline testing, like…

Will Kovalchuk ever wear a Thrasher jersey again?
Will Stefan be an elite Center?
Does Sage of Bluesland like Don Waddell?

ChippersLoveChild

October 6th, 2010
8:57 am

I’m going 32-39-11 for a total of 75 points…. Sorry guys, just don’t see a good first year with this group. Hope I’m wrong.

GaVaHokie

October 6th, 2010
8:58 am

five hole… the only sense I can make of it is by schedule.

Pavalec has more experience with playing against WSH and TB. Next week, we have a West Coast road trip that Mason will be better suited for.

ChippersLoveChild

October 6th, 2010
8:59 am

Ah for 4th in the division and 14th in the East. I’ve changed from my original projection.

frenchy

October 6th, 2010
9:06 am

Who can explain why Valabik was chosen over Kulda? Kulda has nothing to prove in the AHL; Wasn’t he +30 something last season down there? We saw Valabik play one exhibition game and was that a nice game played… Bring Kulda back here…

World Be Free

October 6th, 2010
9:07 am

Budder-a goalie’s job is to stop the puck on a regular basis. The job of an NHL goaltender is one of the harst, if not the hardest position to play in all of team sports. You are either up for the task of not and Pavs has yet to show he’s the man. Kovy wasn’t here the last 2 mos of the season and Pavs was no better. He was beat out by a 36-year old
career backup last season.

Clarke MacArthur and Tim Kennedy are the poster boys for why you don’t ask for too much from your employer. Calculate your true worth and ask for the money fairly. I know, I know it’s pro sports. Think they would both do it different next time?

GaVaHokie

October 6th, 2010
9:21 am

frenchy… several reasons.

1) Valabik would have to pass waivers. Kulda does not.
2) Kulda would not be a starter… he’d be a healthy scratch most games.
3) Kulda is better off getting a lot of minutes in Chicago and continue developing than sitting in a press box watching.

J-man

October 6th, 2010
9:40 am

Brendan – My predictions
80 points – 4th in SE division, 13th in conference

GaVaHokie – I am pretty sure that Valabik does not have to pass through waivers because he does not have enough games played in the NHL based on his age at signing.

GaVaHokie

October 6th, 2010
9:57 am

J-man… that’s already been confirmed. Valabik and Meyer would BOTH have to clear waivers. Viv even mentioned it in his article yesterday.

Under “Roster news”

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-thrashers/thrashers-sign-first-round-661936.html

Rawhide

October 6th, 2010
10:02 am

Rawhide, I had no idea that Mason had such a stellar record vs. “Le capitales.”

Thrashers27 – Me either ’til I looked it up. Obviously he did that while playing with other teams, but the bottom line…as it was pointed out by WBF….is that a goalie is paid to stop pucks. You either do or don’t. Against the Caps, Mason has…Opie hasn’t. Mason should be the starter until proven otherwise.

But that’s just me… shrugs

According to C-Viv the lines that were together today are likely going to be the lines that open the season together. Is anyone else as worried by this as I am?

Derrick – Yeah…me. My lines would look something like:

Kane-Antropov-Bergfors
Ladd-Little-Peverley (or switch Pevs and Little)
Modin-Burmistrov-Dawes
Eager-Thorns-Stewie

Bolts mans the press box w/ Jimmy on IR

Defensively I’d skate Hainsey with Oduya, Enstrom with Byfuglien and Bogosian with Sopel.

Meyer sits with Valabik serving him, Bolts and Slater snacks and beverages.

One more thing, gang…per Ben Wright tweet, “Alex Burmistrov will switch from his training camp number of 49 to #8 to start the season”.

glovesave29

October 6th, 2010
10:28 am

Opie was the beneficiary of a terrible d and no support from the forwards in the defensive zone – that cannot be argued. But his inability to get square to the shooter and his terrible rebound control also led to led to many second chance goals. Pavalec is the king of knocking rebounds straight into the slot and giving opponents easy chances for rebound shots against an out of position goalie.

Rawhide

October 6th, 2010
10:30 am

For those who’ve been asking…and I include myself in that number…C-Viv says the Thrashers TV schedule will finally be released later this morning.

Joe Friday

October 6th, 2010
10:35 am

Modin-Antropov-Dawes

Ladd-Little-Bergfors

Kane/Boulton-Peverley-Stewart

Eager-Burmistrov-Thorburn

The defensive pairings were:

Byfuglien-Enstrom

Bogosian-Oduya

Hainsey-Sopel

Holy crap, those are the lines and pairings that coach is going with? I may have to revisit my thought process, low 80s may be a pipedream. Modin and Dawes on the top line, are you kiddin’ me?

cousin Eddie

October 6th, 2010
10:36 am

I like Bill’s line predictions.
I would like to enter contest with 102 pts. 2nd in division and 4th in conference. I’m usually dissappointed every year, so I am going to aim high with the hope of the same dissappointing results so they hopefully still make playoffs.

Jeff97

October 6th, 2010
10:40 am

Buff is supposed to be on 790 the zone in studio tommorrow morning. Do you think any of those guys even knows what kind of questions to ask him? They hardly ever talk about hockey. The only sports talk guy down here that has any sort of hockey insight or interest is Kincaid. pretty sad.

Rhytnmpenguin

October 6th, 2010
10:58 am

Kane and Mason on air this morning was kind of funny. The hosts didn’t know much about hockey…one of them didn’t even know about Kane’s KO. In general I would like interviewers to be knowledgeable about hockey but, in this case it was nice to hear Kane and Mason answer questions not related to hockey (like about the women in ATL).

Mikey

October 6th, 2010
11:03 am

Brendan, please put me down for 85 points, 3rd in division and 10th in the conference.

Please coach Ramsay, don’t start Pavelec Friday. We have to get off to a good start.

Smoothie

October 6th, 2010
11:05 am

Jeff – they’ll probably ask him what it feels like to be black in a white man’s game. Actually, I’ll give 790 credit as they seem to include Thrashers’ news nuggets in their hourly updates, but I haven’t heard much of anything coming out of our flagship station. But then again, I usually have to change over to Neal Boortz in the morning because they start talking about college football for the 27th consecutive minute. They really are useless. Aren’t they supposed to be able to converse about all sports?