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

Derrick

October 6th, 2010
11:06 am

Rawhide Those are the exact same lines I would go with. I even posted it on Ben Wright’s blog yesterday. It’s just too bad Coach Ramsay and the rest of the coaching staff isn’t as smart as we are. :P

R. Stroz

October 6th, 2010
11:06 am

At first, I was positive about the new coaches and players. However, after watching some of the boneheaded choices lately, I have extreme reservations.

Here are a few examples:

1) Modin and Antrpov on the same line.

2) Pavs starting on opening night.

3) Buff, not only moved to defense, but NOT parked in front of the opposing net for even one power play during preseason.

Plain and simple, these are just dumb decisions.

If Pavs is starting, I have reservations as to who the “real” GM of this team is.

Rawhide

October 6th, 2010
11:09 am

Derrick – Well, great minds do think alike…and apparently, so to do ours :lol:

ChippersLoveChild

October 6th, 2010
11:10 am

I did my best to sneak in a hockey question with Dan Reeves on 680 yesterday… sadly they were having none of that.

ChippersLoveChild

October 6th, 2010
11:11 am

And I’m with Rawhide on the lines… they look much better to me that way and Stroz on the decision we have been making… it’s like we are trying to lose games, I just don’t get it… hopefully they prove me wrong.

R. Stroz

October 6th, 2010
11:15 am

If Pavelec was a baseball player, he’d get tagged out for sliding past the base.

Smoothie

October 6th, 2010
11:19 am

I will be, as well as many other paying customers, very pissed if I look down during the national anthem and see #31 standing in the blue paint. No offense to Ondrej, but you brought Mason in to stabilize the back-end and he should start the opener, period. Let Pavs play in TB on the back side of the B2B and then go from there. But chances are we’re gonna lose to WSH anyway and I’d at least like to have a fighting chance. Pavelec’s numbers against WSH are not just terrible, they are down right frightening!!

rob

October 6th, 2010
11:24 am

Anyone else think the radio commercial and slogan sucks? People who don’t know the sport will listen to that and go HUH? Bunch of uninformed unknowledgable uninspiring people running the advertising department. Must be the same people who redesigned the AJC Thrashers page.

Thrashers27

October 6th, 2010
11:25 am

Joe Friday,

My initial reaction is the same as yours to the lines, but after some thought, I’ll give it a chance before passing judgement. I mean, think about it. We’ve never had a defensively responsible scheme here. Maybe that’s what one looks like. There is defensive responsibility and a potential scorer on every line.

the closer we get to opening night the more skeptical I get, but all we can do is trust that coach konws what he is doing. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt until he proves otherwise with the teams performance in the regular season.

I give it five games if we do poorly to start off and Buff is back on the RW.

Smoothie

October 6th, 2010
11:29 am

rob – yeah, I am totally underwhelmed by the slogan and so far, the campaign, but I am happy about the fact they seem to be using SS as more of a platform for original programming. And the fact that Coach Ramsay appeared on CSS for a chat with the press is refreshing as well. Not that anyone really watches CSS! ;-)

Rhytnmpenguin

October 6th, 2010
11:30 am

Buff has not been playing much in the preseason because he has some kind of injury. That’s probably he hasn’t been on the power play (hopefully).

Joe Friday

October 6th, 2010
11:37 am

“Plain and simple, these are just dumb decisions.”

It kind of sucks to watch, doesn’t it? I’m still perplexed by the move with Buff and no move to bring it scoring. It’s making me wonder if Waddell and Dudley were banking on some cap strapped team being forced to make a trade and Waddell with his poker playing ways being caught with his pants down again.

“If Pavs is starting, I have reservations as to who the “real” GM of this team is.”

I would hope that neither Waddell nor Dudley has input on that and it’s a coaches decision, but if you don’t realize Waddell is still the guy in charge here, I need to get me my own bullhorn . . .

kracker

October 6th, 2010
11:38 am

WHOA folks! Pavelec starting Friday against the Caps was merely a regurgitated (by me) tweet from Dan Kamal. It was his reading-between-the-lines guess as to who might start. Now it seems to have morphed into a fact that Pavs is the starter…as evidenced above by being included in a list of supposed bone-headed decisions by the coaching staff. –[Have I missed that Pavs has been announced as starting?]–

Blogs can be fun, but c’mon folks, this is the internet where a whole heck of a lot of the information is bogus. Excepting Rawhide and C Viv of course :)

Rhytnmpenguin

October 6th, 2010
11:45 am

Right on kracker! =)

Rawhide

October 6th, 2010
11:46 am

kracker… – But you see…since you are a highly-regarded regular on this and C-Viv’s blog, your input carries more weight than others. You add in the fact that you were commenting on something that was tweeted by The Grand Kamalian and…well…I’m surprised this hasn’t been picked up by The NHL Channel yet.

Really, you have to consider these things before you toss something like that up on this blog…you could cause a riot! :cool:

Spud Webb

October 6th, 2010
11:55 am

I dont care who starts in goal. They both HAVE to perform. Let’s get to it, if its pavs, then lets do it. It’s go time…for sure.

As far as our “sports talk radio”…it makes me throwup. We (us bloggers) can do a much better job and 97% of the A clowns that are on 690 or 780. Not knowledgable & not funny.

Zombie Steve

October 6th, 2010
11:58 am

Have they brought back “The Fly” yet?

TrueBlue

October 6th, 2010
11:58 am

Riot Causer (Red Light)

October 6th, 2010
12:23 pm

Assumptions without factual basis often leads to errors. May I?

• Ramsay has never said that Mason was his No. 1 goalie. If so, show me where?

• Which defensive pair is more capable of shutting down an opponents’ top line than Hainsey and Sopel? Bogo and Oduya? Maybe! Byfuglien and Enstrom? Hah!

• Burmistrov’s signing doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be here all year. He can still be sent to Barrie.

• Kulda is the odd man out because of Meyer and Byfuglien’s move to “D”, not because of Boris. If a young d-man isn’t in your top four, he’s better off playing 20-plus minutes in the A, rather than 10-12 here, or winding up in the press box. Those issues aren’t the same with Meyer (he’s used to stale pretzels and flat Coke) and Boris may need additional time to feel 100 percent. Knowing what you know about Boris, would you claim him off the waiver wire? (He looks good getting off the bus!).

• 92 points hasn’t been good enough for 5th place in the Eastern Conference since the 1997-98 season (no shoot-out bonus point)

• Waiving Zubrus does get the Devils under the cap presuming that Salvador goes to Long Term IR along with Salmela, but outside of the Devils top 6, things are looking pretty weak unless the youngsters step up. Two rookies on D, too.

And finally, after so much unbridled glee after the acquisitions of the Chicago 4, the Thrashers enter the 2010-11 season with more questions than answers on the ice, more answers than questions behind the bench, a budget mandate that leaves them last in the conference and the division, and 29th in the league, and the same three people involved in personnel decisions that were here last season. So, the hearty Thrashers fans are left to endure almost as much uncertainty to begin this season as they have in year’s past.

That same scenario exists in many NHL cities, Toronto, Manhattan, Dallas and Calgary to name a few. The main difference being that this team is attempting to change its style of play, which makes it even more implausible that “something neat is going to happen” this year. Improvement along the way is the hope. An injury to a key player can derail that hope unless young players can step in and perform better than expectations. Many here have said clearly that Mason, Ramsay, the Chicago 4, the style of play and the turnaround in one-goal games can make a difference in adding the 10 points required to make the playoffs from last year’s total.

If all 83 points had nothing to do with the presence of those who have departed from last year’s squad, then improvement in the standings could happen. I’m just not convinced that this team has the make-up for a 90+ points season. It’s like I am a Missouri resident…Show Me!

Smoothie

October 6th, 2010
12:37 pm

And I suppose everyone saw Colorado’s resurgence coming a mile away?

Red Light – anything is possible in this new era of salary cap-strapped franchises, thin bluelines and big goalie equipment, although it has been reduced a bit recently. If Mason or Pavs can get hot out of the gate and the T-birds get off to a good start, anything is possible in a conference that gave us the Montreal Smurfs ousting the defending Stanley Cup champions. In all likelihood, we’ll end up in the low 80’s in points, but this team has the *potential* to do better. We’ll see.

Russ

October 6th, 2010
12:41 pm

“Plain and simple, these are just dumb decisions.”

It kind of sucks to watch, doesn’t it? I’m still perplexed by the move with Buff and no move to bring it scoring.

R. Stroz/Joe Friday – This franchise was starting to look like a legitimate organization this off-season(although I was never crazy about the Byfuglien trade), but ever since the failaure to re-sign Kubina things have gone back downhill. Admittedly, maybe Pavel was set on going back to Tampa, but I find it hard to believe a 3 yr/$12mil. deal wouldn’t have convinced him to stay. And before you say that is overpaying please keep in mind this team is usually hard pressed to meet the salary floor. Now, management/coaching seems to be kissing Buff’s a$$ by letting him play defense because that is where he wants to play even though he would be infinitely more helpful up front. How far did the a$$-kissing get us with Kovalchuk? I made my prediction of 90 points with the assumption/hope that they would come to their senses quickly and move Buff up front, but if he stays on the blueline long, you are looking at about an 84 pt. season and another top five draft pick. Also, Mason should start about 60 games this season. That is what he was brought here for, period. At one point I was feeling very optimistic about this season, but it’s starting to feel more and more like the same ol’ crap. Hopefully, they come out flying on Friday and instill a little confidence in everyone.

TrueBlue

October 6th, 2010
12:43 pm

Saying that not resigning Kubina was a huge mistake is a joke. He was slow and made stupid plays most of the time. He has lost his step over the years. He is easily replaceable.

Rawhide

October 6th, 2010
12:49 pm

Ramsay has never said that Mason was his No. 1 goalie. If so, show me where?

Red Light - To my knowledge he hasn’t. Mason as the number one netminder is my opinion. But I base that opinion on what I have observed and what the two have done in their careers.

Your comments regarding Kulda is spot on. I would have like to have seen him here, but when Buff went to the blueline that sealed his fate. He is better playing everyday in Chicago.

Red Light

October 6th, 2010
12:55 pm

That comment was not directed at you Bill.

Here is the list of games with no local TV broadcast scheduled!

Tues. Oct. 12 @ Los Angeles 10:30 p.m. No TV
Fri. Oct. 15 @ Anaheim 10 p.m. No TV
Sat. Oct. 16 @ San Jose 10:30 p.m. No TV
Sat. Oct. 23 @ Washington 7 p.m. No TV
Sat. Oct. 30 @ St. Louis 8 p.m. No TV
Tues. Nov. 9 @ Ottawa 7:30 p.m. No TV
Sun. Nov. 21 NY ISLANDERS 5 p.m. No TV
Sun. Nov. 28 BOSTON 5 p.m. No TV
Sat. Dec. 11 @ NY Islanders 7 p.m. No TV
Mon. Dec. 20 @ Toronto 7 p.m. No TV
Tues. Dec. 21 ST. LOUIS 7 p.m. No TV
Fri. Jan. 7 TORONTO 7:30 p.m. No TV
Sat. Jan. 22 NY RANGERS 7 p.m. No TV
Mon. Feb. 7 @ Toronto 7 p.m. No TV
Sat. Mar. 5 FLORIDA 7 p.m. No TV
Thurs. Apr. 7 @ NY Rangers 7 p.m. No TV
Sun. Apr. 10 PITTSBURGH 3 p.m. No TV

Joe The Joker Friday

October 6th, 2010
12:55 pm

“Saying that not resigning Kubina was a huge mistake is a joke.”

Not re-signing Kubina was a huge mistake.

Kubina in, Buff to forward, this team looks much better right there.

Joe Nielsen Ratings Friday

October 6th, 2010
12:56 pm

Red Light, is that no TV at all (meaning no opposing team’s feed off CenterIce) or no local TV?

Red Light

October 6th, 2010
1:01 pm

no local TV broadcast

Red Light

October 6th, 2010
1:02 pm

By an Atlanta based station! A day off for Matt McConnell!

Red Light

October 6th, 2010
1:03 pm

Or, 4,000 viewers in limbo for 17 nights!

Red Light

October 6th, 2010
1:03 pm

JF: Coming Friday night?

Smoothie

October 6th, 2010
1:08 pm

Thanks Red Light, for ruining my day. How does SportSouth not piggy-back on the FSN-West (or whatever Fox station it is) broadcast to bring us at least 1 game from the 3 game west coast roadie? I guess I’ll be looking into Center Ice. Interesting that our last two games are not televised, guess they don’t think we’ll be playing for the playoffs!

Brendan – is Comcast doing their free-trial again for Center Ice during the first two weeks of the season?

Red Light

October 6th, 2010
1:13 pm

Smoothie: I posed that very question to Matt and Darren last year. Why wouldn’t all of the Fox Networks provide the home team broadcast and pipe into the away team’s station, with the ability to sell regional TV ad spots? Frankly, I don’t give a hoot who the announcers are as long as I can watch the game. It makes no sense to pay travel expenses for crews, etc. when all fans really just want to watch the game. Has to be an NHL thing.

kracker

October 6th, 2010
1:21 pm

Most games have at least one team’s broadcast on CI.

Smoothie

October 6th, 2010
1:22 pm

Probably so, another bad marketing strategy from Bettman and Co. But then again, there could be some legal issues and I’m sure the NHL pockets their share of revenue for the Center Ice packages sold t/out the USofA.

Thrashers27

October 6th, 2010
1:28 pm

How do you not air the team’s last game of the season. If there are playoff implications involved that will be a giant mistake. I am continuously disappointed by Fox Sports South’s coverage of the Thrashers. Don’t want to cover every game, fine, but at least figure out what the key games to your viewers are. It’s not that hard. First game of the season: Important! Last ten games of the season: Hugely important if the team’s still has a shot at the post season. I think Carlos Mencea put it best when he said “Dee da Dee!”

Alan R.

October 6th, 2010
1:31 pm

But, I think the NY Rangers will find a way to finish below us, for 12th.

They’re already on to a good start: Erik Christensen is their top line center, at least to start the season.

Derrick

October 6th, 2010
1:33 pm

Smoothie Well Directv’s Center Ice free preview is until Oct. 24th. Not sure about Comcast.

Rawhide

October 6th, 2010
1:39 pm

How do you not air the team’s last game of the season. If there are playoff implications involved that will be a giant mistake

Thrashers27 – I think it’s because NBC owns the rights to air games on Sunday afternoons for certain select games. They would pick it up if that game meant something to the playoff race I’m sure.

Russ

October 6th, 2010
1:45 pm

“Kubina in, Buff to forward, this team looks much better right there.”

At the time I thought this was going to happen I thought this team would be very capable of not only reaching the playoffs, but winning a series once there. Unfortunately, the decisions that have been made since then leave me thinking we will be on the outside looking in once again. Let’s go Thrashers!!! Please prove me wrong starting Friday night.

ChippersLoveChild

October 6th, 2010
1:52 pm

Hawks must be facing the Clippers at the same time as our last game of the season..

ChippersLoveChild

October 6th, 2010
1:52 pm

That or there is a popular demand for the Pat Summitt show that day.

Thrashers27

October 6th, 2010
2:03 pm

Good point about NBC, there, Bill. I’m still annoyed at the fact that it took so long for them to get the sched out and that there is still no indication of whether, or not there will be an HD signal.

Brendan

October 6th, 2010
2:09 pm

Smoothie, it’s been my experience with Center Ice that they always run the FREE preview. I doubt it will be different this year. The price, on Comcast, is $171.99. Give or take a buck.

Hockeymom92: Welcome back. You’re entered at 92-points, 2nd, and 5th.

BuzzEng: Sorry for the omission, you’re in at 83-points, 4th, and 10th.

ChippersLoveChild: (Conceived from a Hooter’s waitress??) You’re in at 75-point, 4th, and 14th.

J-Man: You’re in at 80-points, 4th, and 13th.

Cousin Eddie: You’re in at a WHOPPING 102-points, the new leader atop the poster guesses, tied to 2nd in SE Division, and 4th in the Conference. I must say, I wish you the MOST amount of luck in this contest, sir.

R. Stroz

October 6th, 2010
2:10 pm

No trades today to unload salary. One hour left.

kracker

October 6th, 2010
2:14 pm

Thrashers27, I think Ben said all 66 games are to be in HD.

Brendan

October 6th, 2010
2:15 pm

It’ll bother me, if I don’t say it. I was “concerned” about re-signing Kubina, due to his advancing age. You know how I feel about having players under contract in their mid-30’s. But, for the reduced price tag of $3.85 million-per-annum, instead of $5.0 million, over 2-3 years, I do think I would have done it, if Kubina had been amenable to playing in Atlanta. Remember, he got TRADED here. He never signed to play here.

I would have pushed hard, on the day after New Year’s, to re-sign him. If he refused, I would have been forced to make a calculated decision about a playoff-run with him, as opposed to what I could salvage for him, at the trade deadline. Ultimately, as I tend to have more doubts than certainties about this club, I would have traded him, and Hedberg, and Colby Armstrong, etc., for what I could get. But, that’s just mee. And no fan should like what I would do, for it means we “quit” on the rest of the season, in favor of a more favorable draft pick. Fans don’t like that. Fans want to win every game, no matter WHEN the games are played.

We will miss Kubina this season. I wish Pavel the best, as he rejoins the Tampa Bay Lightning. A class act. And a good defender. Nothing we can do about it, now. Bygones.

Rawhide

October 6th, 2010
2:15 pm

Thrashers27 – And just as I post that comment, I read the press release that was sent to me. Here are the first couple of paragraphs which address the 4-10 game and HD.

“The Atlanta Thrashers will have 65 games televised on FOX Sports South or SportSouth and one game on VERSUS during the 2010-11 NHL regular season. FOX Sports South and SportSouth will combine to televise more games than ever before, and, for the first time ever, all games are scheduled to be televised in high definition.

Coverage begins on Friday, Oct. 8 when the 2009-10 President’s Trophy-winning Washington Capitals visit Philips Arena at 7:30 p.m ET in the first of 32 games scheduled to be televised on SportSouth. FOX Sports South will televise 33 games beginning on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. ET when the Thrashers visit the Tampa Bay Lightning. As previously announced, the April 7 contest at the New York Rangers can be seen on VERSUS, the NHL’s national cable partner. Additionally, the April 10 game vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins will potentially be featured as NBC’s Game of the Week.”

Dandylions

October 6th, 2010
2:16 pm

Brendan – can you put me in for 93pts, 2nd SE and 7th. It’s kinda like the Braves – you gotta believe!

Brendan

October 6th, 2010
2:16 pm

R.Stroz: You’re watching the clock, like me? C’mon Lou! Trade us Travis Zajac!!

Jeff97

October 6th, 2010
2:18 pm

If you are able to get the Centre Ice Preview, that gives you 4 extra games at the start of the year that are not on Fox as the preview is from 10/7-10/24 (at least on direct tv). If you are a season tix holder, at my count, there are only 5 games not avail to us either by local tv or going to the game. Oct 30th STL, Nov 9th at Ottawa, Dec 11th at NYI, Dec 20th at Tor., and Feb 7th at Tor. The 4/7 game will be on Versus