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

Rawhide

October 6th, 2010
2:23 pm

Jeff97 – Also keep in mind that last season NHL Center Ice sometimes aired games that were not on either team’s TV networks. They aired the stadium feed for the video and dubbed the home team’s radio play-by-play over top of it. I’m sure they’ll do the same for some of the games…if not all…of the one’s you listed.

Joe Friday

October 6th, 2010
2:33 pm

“JF: Coming Friday night?”

As of right now, that’s a negative. Have to talk to the wifey but the boy has his leg in a cast and I don’t think we need to drag him down there quite yet . . .

SomaAtl95

October 6th, 2010
2:39 pm

Rawhide, thanks for this most excellent blog. It has helped while my wife and I are up in New York. Off the blog topic but a point of interest – I’m at a Wal-Mart up here and wearing the White Thrashers Away Jersey – the greeter says “Atlanta Thrashers! Nice Jersey!!” and then a line of Rangers Fans all gave me quite the stink-eye. I knew they were rangers fans because they had jerseys, hoodies and hats on all decked out for the Rangers. I guess they were upset about Todd White as well – however I think I saw earlier that they put him on waivers? Thats just too funny! The funniest part was that the Rangers fans were (and I swear this is no joke) buying Milk and TP.

Fun times!

Jeff97

October 6th, 2010
2:41 pm

for me at least, there is only a handful of games that cant be watched one way or the other as I dont normally purchase the Centre Ice Package.

Rawhide

October 6th, 2010
2:45 pm

SomaAtl95 – HA! :lol: Did the milk cartons have White’s image on it??

Yes, he was waived a few days ago. No word on if a team has swooped in and snatched him up yet.

Best to Mrs. SomaAtl95.

Adam

October 6th, 2010
2:46 pm

Brendan – I, like you & Stroz, am keeping 1 eye on the clock. 15 minutes to go…

GaVaHokie

October 6th, 2010
2:48 pm

Kozek on IR, Thrashers need to make one more decision… most likely Slater goes to IR and they’re done.

Still, it’s awfully quiet this afternoon with so many teams needing cap space… 10 minutes!

SomaAtl95

October 6th, 2010
2:51 pm

I think the cartons had a pic of the Ranges in the playoffs saying “Have you seen me?”
Almsot made me want to see if they had a half priced buffet up here called “Sean Avery’s sloppy seconds”
Thanks for the messages, nothing is consoling my wife but as much as she hears me talk about this blog it made her feel good that you passed on your condolences the other day. Quite the very nice thing and we really appreciate it :)

Jeff97

October 6th, 2010
3:00 pm

Looks like an old friend is back in our division.

CANUCKS TRADE HORDICHUK TO PANTHERS FOR PETERS

Spud Webb

October 6th, 2010
3:01 pm

The Hawks are the Clippers…

Tom

October 6th, 2010
3:05 pm

CViv is reporting that Pavs is most likely in goal. WTF

A new coach, a newish GM, and a new highly respected goalie, Mason, was brought in.

So what do the powers that be do to reinvigorate the fans for opening night???

They bring in a young, inconsistent goalie who could blow up against the best offensive team in the NHL.

Not very bright for getting the fans re-invigorated…

kracker

October 6th, 2010
3:06 pm

Pavelec in goal: Let the second-guessing begin!! err…continue

GaVaHokie

October 6th, 2010
3:07 pm

Looking at the TV schedule… 10 Away games not televised, wtf?

If there is any reason to show a game on TV, it’s an away game.

R. Stroz

October 6th, 2010
3:07 pm

No Trades? Nothing? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!

R. Stroz

October 6th, 2010
3:10 pm

The Thrashers should change their new slogan from “A Brutally Good Time” to “You Can’t Fix Stupid.”

Pavelec in for opening night, now that’s BEYOND STUPID.

Rawhide

October 6th, 2010
3:12 pm

Let me go on record right now as saying I hope…pray…that Opie has a strong showing Friday night if indeed he is the one in goal. regardless of what I may opine or say, as long as he’s got a Thrashers jersey on I want him to do well.

That being said….

:eek: Whisky – Tango – Foxtrot!?!?!

jen

October 6th, 2010
3:16 pm

over under on the season:
I think that this team will be frustrating. They’ll be right there every night, but i just don’t see the offense as it is currently being enough to avg. 2.8 goals or higher per night. Prove me wrong Kane, Bergie and Little – because if those three can step up and pot 30 each, its another story, I just don’t think its a realistic expectation for this season. Defense should be better and I’ve seen good promise of that during the pre-season. I just don’t think the entire team is going to gel before nov. They need time to build chemistry and find each other on the ice. That anticipation of where a teammate was going to be was completely missing during the one preseason game i saw, and the hole might be too big to dig out of by then.
86 points, 3rd in the SE, 10th in the conference

And I want the over on Modin. I think he’s got something left in the tank

kracker

October 6th, 2010
3:17 pm

Hey!!! You guys stop swearing at World! Wait, in this case he will be leading the swearing.

GaVaHokie

October 6th, 2010
3:27 pm

All teams were compliant after waivers yesterday.

Chicago was safe after moving Huet
Rangers were safe after waiving White and Kennedy.
Vancouver was safe after trading Hordichuk and O’Brien
NJD was compliant after Salvador and Salmela on IR
CGY… ?… not sure. So close it’s hard to say what they did.
Boston safe after Paille on waivers.

ChippersLoveChild

October 6th, 2010
3:29 pm

Any predictions for Friday? I say 6-2 Caps…. Pavs will let in three goals in the first 12 minutes… goals coming from Kane and Hainsey for us… shots are 49-27 in favor of the Caps. It will get better, but I don’t think it starts off well for us this year.

Joe The Greek Friday

October 6th, 2010
3:37 pm

Ok Brendan, no trade was made. Anyone else think Wadudley played a little poker here and lost (thinking they’d be able to leave themselves some cap room to swoop in and pick off a player from a cap strapped club)?

79 pts, 4th in the SouthLeast, 12th in the Conference.

Buff at D, no top line scoring, moving forwards out of position, questionable line makeups, starting Pavs off at #1? The more things change, the more they stay the same . . .

Russ

October 6th, 2010
3:49 pm

CViv is reporting that Pavs is most likely in goal.

This, along with Buff on D is making me realize I was giving this “organization” way too much credit. I’m sure there are more horrifically stupid decisions to come.

Brendan, please change my predictions to 84/4th/13th. Thanks.

FormerIslesFan

October 6th, 2010
3:50 pm

Brendan: Okay…I finally have a moment to give you my vote (especially since you called me out earlier in the blog!). Since there is so much money riding on this one, I’m going to go out on an optimistic limb: 89 Points, 3rd in Division, 8th in Conference.

Red Light: Is the Hat Trick contest still open?

RH: I have no problem with Opie starting in goal on Friday night. As much as I hate to say it, I just don’t think we’re going to pull that one off. So, why tarnish Mason’s debut as the Thrashers’ goaltender for the next two years?

Jeff97

October 6th, 2010
3:56 pm

Per ESPN – Semyon Varlamov on injured reserve list.
so we will see Neuvirth in goal on Friday night. I dont know if that is a good thing or not. But it appears that we will see two young goalies on Friday.

goose

October 6th, 2010
4:22 pm

Saw a tweet from NHL Sources that said the devils waved Zuberus, does anybody know if this is true?

89 points third in the conference ninth in the East

glovesave29

October 6th, 2010
4:48 pm

So Edmonton send Souray down to the AHL – that was expected. But they shipped him to the Hershey Bears, the affiliate of the Capitals, not their farm team in Oklahoma City.

Hmmmmmmmm…..

This ability for GM’s to bury their mistakes in Europe or the AHL is pure BS. I hope the next CBA addresses this.

Rightshot

October 6th, 2010
5:56 pm

Brendan – 90 pts, 3rd in SE and 10th in confrence (however you spell it)

Thrashers27

October 6th, 2010
6:09 pm

It’s along the same lines as waht Rawhide threw out earlier, but I’m hoping for something that looks like this once Cormier and Slates are back in the mix. Burmi goes back to Barrie after nine.

Thrashers27

October 6th, 2010
6:10 pm

Guess it would help if I put my lines in the post.

Ladd Antro Berg
Kane Little Peaver
Modin Slater Dawes
Eager Cormier Thorb/Stewart

Fan from Flames Days

October 6th, 2010
6:38 pm

Brendan, put me down for the following: 96pts/2nd Div/5th Conference

Adam

October 6th, 2010
9:17 pm

Well Brendan, Stroz & anyone else sitting around waiting for a trade to go down today. You’ve got to wonder if Dud’s is sitting on his couch tonight thinking “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot just happened today”

It looks like all of the teams over the cap are either sending players down or listing them on IR to get under the cap, pure circumvention.

As long as the AS clowns own this team there is no hope because we all know what their bird sings.

So this year again we will be told a 2pt gain in the standings is improvement. The only problem is we’ll fall two spots back in the conference standings.

Put me down for 85pts, 4th in the Division and 12th in the conference

Curly

October 6th, 2010
9:46 pm

Rawhide – I have to agree with your line-up. I hope Ramsey knows what he is doing. Unfortunately I don’t see it. I predict an opening night result of 4-1 Caps. Ugh!

Rammer

October 6th, 2010
10:30 pm

Mr. Rawhides: If I start him Friday, Pavs has a chance to set the tone for the year against the Craps. If the Craps lay another snowman on us then ole Pavs will need a Magic-8 puck to get back in the line-up.

Rawhide

October 6th, 2010
10:32 pm

I had a good time tonight at the Face Off Event at Philips Arena. It was really nice to chat w/ coach Ramsay for several minutes. He spent some time with World Be Free, myself and my oldest tax exemption chatting about his days in Buffalo.

Now…for those of you who have asked, there have been some modification to the widgets on the ajc.com sports page. There are a number of places where this blog can be found. First, on the main sports page you’ll notice that it’s found down on the left side under “Thrashers and NHL”.

Additionally, they have a new “Your View: AJC Sports Fan Blogs” section located down in the center column. Anytime I, or other fan bloggers, post a new blog it goes the top of that section then cascades down as the others post theirs.

Also, there is a link on the Thrashers page. Currently it’s located at the bottom of the center column labled “Latest Trashers/NHL News”. But I’ve been told it’ll also return to the left side section where Schultz and Bradley have there’s linked when it contains Thrashers related topics.

And lastly, you could always just put this link in your favorites that takes you straight to my home page at the ajc.com. The most recent post will always be right at the top.

I hope this helps.

Rammer

October 6th, 2010
10:39 pm

If you guys are wondering why I’m keeping Boris around……..well let’s just call it the 800 pound gorilla in the clubhouse for now.

Brendan

October 6th, 2010
10:43 pm

Jeff97, I definitely prefer Nieuverth over Varlie! But, isn’t that even MORE reason, in a month with SO FEW HOME GAMES … to start Chris Mason? I cannot understand the thinking here. Unless the thinking is … “Pavelec, don’t cry me a river … we GAVE you the opportunity, from Game # 1 … to be the # 1 goalie here … you played yourself out of a job.” And if that’s the thinking here … that’s not exactly a positive vibe. The good news is … absolutely nobody has SAID that. Or implied it. If it’s true … (if being the operative word,) that the Thrashers INTEND to compete for the Southeast Division Championship this year … then they surely, surely must have sized up the division, identifying WASHINGTON as the front-runner they have to beat this year. And if (there’s that word again) that’s true, then EVERY GAME vs. the Capitals is “essential.” Well, why wouldn’t the Thrashers, facing Nieuvert over Varlie, start Mason?? I hate to harken back to the words of former Head Coach Bob Hartley, but I will. “As dah Coach, it’s my job to field dah team dat BEST give us duh chance to win.” Welllllll. Are these the line combinations (Modin and Dawes on the top line, with Kane REDUCED to a “bottom six” forward!!!) and netminding choices that “best give us duh chance to win?” Holy Schlamoly, Batman! Okay. Okay. Look. It’s one (1) game out of 82. I get it. We have to play Ondrej Pavelec sporadically throughout the season. What’s the big hangup over Game # 1? Well, it is “Opening Night.” Meaning??? Here’s the organization’s BIG CHANCE … to put its BEST FOOT FORWARD … in an attempt to WIN BACK FANS … and show that IT’S A NEW DAY in Thrasherville. Still with me? Well, Chris Mason was, technically, one of the organization’s biggest offseason moves, being an early July FREE AGENT contract signing. Why not “show him off?” UNLESS, GASP, the thinking is … “Who Boy! That’s Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, and Green … we don’t want THEM giving Chris Mason a sun tan on the back of his neck … in the 1st game of the season. Better start Pavelec. So, if we lose … we can offer him up as the sacrificial goat of the “new” Atlanta Thrashers? And, gee, that’s not a very positive vibe, either.

Truthfully, I don’t think the statistical importance of 1/82nd of the season matters all that much. It terms of the final standings. It doesn’t. But, in the court “public perception,” … I would hope … and I would pray … and I would have to believe … that the Thrashers organization would understand the significance of starting off WELL. Maybe, I give them too much credit.

Segue, Mr. Burns turns to Smithers and says, “Smithers, perhaps Homer Simpson was NOT the brilliant tactician that I took him for.”

Phil Foley - Atlanta Thrashers Examiner

October 6th, 2010
10:49 pm

Brendan – 85 points, 4th in the Southeast, 10th in the East

http://exm.nr/axDAsh

Tom

October 6th, 2010
10:54 pm

Brendan, amen brother. We are the diehard fans. We know the difference. But the casual fan which the Thrasher’s need to lure into the Bulb to make a go of it will be wondering why all this talk about this Mason guy went on when he does not even start the first game? And their next reactions is, guess they did not improve all that much…

Not a brilliant marketing strategy.

Brendan

October 6th, 2010
11:07 pm

Adam: You’re in at 85-points, 4th and 12th in the conference.

Mikey: You’re in at 85-points, 3rd in SE Division, and 10th in the Conference.

Dandylions: No offense was meant! You’re in at 93-points, 2nd and 7th in the Conference. Good luck.

Joe “The Greek” Friday: Your pick of 79-points, 4th in the SE division and 12th in the conference is registered.

Jen (are you also JLH?): You’re in at 86-points, 3rd in SE division, and 10th in the conference, with “over” on “Modin Watch ‘10-11.”

Russ: Your REVISED guess of 84-points, 4th, and 13th in the conference is duly noted.

FIF: You’re in like Flynn at 89-points, 3rd in SE, and 8th in the conference.

goose: You’re in at 89-points, 3rd in SE division, and 9th in the Conference.

rightshot: You’re in at 90-points, 3rd in SE, and 10th in the conference.

Fan from Flames Days: You’re registered at 96-points, 2nd in SE, and 5th in the Conference.

Statebird: You’re in at 86-points, 4th in SE, and 11th in the Conference.

bigharybeast: You’re in at 93-points, 2nd in SE, and 8th in the Conference.

Badger Bob: You’ve got “Under” in Modin Watch ‘10-11.

Chipper’sLoveChild: Your REVISED guess is duly noted at 75-points, 4th in SE, and 14th in the Conference, with a record of 32-39-11.

HockeyMom92: Please post again, as often as you are able. I hope it’ll be a GOOD YEAR for you.

We’re still MISSING some regulars:

Scotty
Sharon
Smitty
Thrasher Jim
Toby
Tony C.
Yung JB from MTL
FrostyTheSnowMan
Get The Puck Out
h
JLH
Mehoff
mutton
R.Stroz
Darren
Denny
Andrew
Buzilla in CT
Ranallo in AT
Sara
Sean Grace
Christy
Thrashdawg74
Nathan
Sage of Bluesland
Stendec
NASCAR Dave
Michael B. Shapiro

In “Modin Watch ‘10-11″ … we’ve had 23 votes cast. 15 for “over” and 8 for “under.” The benchmarks are 14 goals and 56 games played. All goals and games played MUST be done as a Thrasher. Any games in the minors or while playing for another team … do NOT count in the contest. If Modin is moved at the trade deadline, and hits those numbers, they do NOT count. I repeat, they do NOT count.

kracker

October 6th, 2010
11:09 pm

Mason vs Pavs: Has anyone considered that Mason may have tweeked something?? Needs an extra day off? With back-to-back games, who knows. And they are back-to-back games. Assuming Mason tends a win and Pavs either wins or loses his, does it really matter crap which guy went first?

However, what I really think is that Rammer is playing his cards to go for the best chance for a .500 record after two games. Mason vs Caps looks daunting. Mason vs Bolts looks a lot more doable. Clawing at least a 1-1 record from the first two games will look a lot better than 0-2.

Rammer

October 6th, 2010
11:13 pm

Lets set the record straight – I am the brilliant tactician. Donny is the brilliant marketing whatcha ma callit. Pavs is the abonimable snowman and Duds is the Wizard of OZ…..and Boris is Dorothy who’s better known as Doris.

Red Light

October 6th, 2010
11:26 pm

Former Isles Fan: Yes, the Hat Trick contest is still open through tomorrow, 10/7/10.

Brendan

October 6th, 2010
11:28 pm

Phil Foley: You’re in, sir, at 85-points, 4th and 10th.

Tom: Marketing isn’t the Thrashers forte.

Jimbo: Can you please step forward with a SE Division guess for your entry? You have until “puck drop” to do so.

Rawhide: Unless I missed it, you never made a Conference rank pick with your entry of 88-points and 2nd in SE division. You have until, roughly 7:40-ish PM on Friday to make that selection. So, still plenty of time.

Heavy sigh … I really shouldn’t have gotten my expectations up … for a big move with some cap-strapped club. The salary cap circumvention is out of control. Why bother having rules? For “Fairness?” Well, we’ve seen that ship sail. It left port in 2007-08, when the cap exploded, effectively widening the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots.” I suppose, and Ranallo10 would agree with me, without the CBA … the Atlanta Thrashers wouldn’t spend to the FLOOR of the cap. We’d be looking at $22-$28 million budgets, while the big markets spend $75-$88 million. At least this way, Atlanta is FORCED to spend $43.4 million and the most the big markets can have is $59.4 million, in terms of the players that actually take to the ice. And that doesn’t count the Millions of dollars they pay players to be in the AHL or who they “loan” overseas. When the Lockout happened, this was the phrase that pays: “Gone are the days of the $10 million players.” Aren’t we close to 15 players who make that, in terms of ACTUAL SALARY paid out, today? It’s a CBA that seriously needs revision, not just tweaking. And it should revisit contracts “over 40″ again, to get rid of that dollar cost averaging non-sense. If you’re going to allow that, at least cut the age off at 34 or 35, instead of 40. Sheesh! What does that really accomplish? When a star like Tavares hits RFA status, at age 21 or 22, he can get an 18-year deal, with dollar-cost averaging that turns his contract into utter FRAUD.

Red Light

October 6th, 2010
11:47 pm

A Capital’s Contrast – Assuming Valabik and Slater don’t play, the Thrashers will have four (three first rounders) of their own draft picks on the ice Friday night. Caps lead the league with 11.

“We’re in a lot of ways lucky, I guess,” GM George McPhee said. “We came up with this plan years ago, and fortunately ownership stood by it. In a lot of cities, a lot of teams, ownership does not have the patience. We’re starting Friday night with 11 of our own first-round picks in the lineup. The league average is four. The closest team to us has seven.

“We put this plan together and we’re in pretty good shape. It’s a good team, they’re our guys, and hopefully it leads to a Cup one of these days.”

Burmistrov will be the other Russian wearing No. 8 Friday night.

Brendan

October 7th, 2010
12:30 am

McPhee deserves credit for the roster he’s assembled. He took heat for the 1st round exit, last year. But the Capitals were hardly the 1st President’s trophy winner to be bounced in the opening round. I think it happened to San Jose the year before. And it’s bound to have happened to the Red Wings, at some point, since they win the President’s Trophy a lot.

Brendan

October 7th, 2010
12:31 am

Red Light, are you going to post your #1 to #15 in each conference, this year?

Brendan

October 7th, 2010
12:50 am

Here’s my East, for spits and grins.

1. Pittsburgh (Atlantic Champs)
2. Washington (Southeast Champs)
3. Buffalo (Northeast Champs)
4. New Jersey (Still good enough to be here)
5. Philadelphia (Why not? This is as good a place as any for the Flyers.)
6. Carolina (Healthy Cam Ward would have made a big difference last year. After Staal was made Captain, the ‘Canes ripped it up.)
7. Boston (could also win the NE Division. Savard gonna play???)
8. Tampa Bay (Stamkos, Hedman, Lecavalier, St. Louis, Simon Gagne, that’s enough to get in, and possibly overcome their goaltending tandem.)
9. Ottawa (Don’t hate me, Sens fans. I like the Senators. I just don’t get a warm, fuzzy feeling about a return to the playoffs.)
10. Montreal (Halak should have been paid and kept, while trading Price away.)
11. Atlanta (Bias, showing now.)
12. NY Rangers (Two words: Glen Sather.)
13. Toronto (Gotta think the buds will climb somewhat this year.)
14. NY Islanders (Maybe I have ranked them too low. Josh Bailey, John Tavares, Mark Streit … this team could surprise people by playing meaningful games in early March.)
15. Florida (In a nutshell, who wants to be here? The GM asked if anyone wanted to be released or traded. Nathan Horton didn’t waste time stepping forward. I can only hope David Booth makes a successful return, this season, for the sake of the Panthers.)

Red Light, how’d I do, compared to your list?

Brendan

October 7th, 2010
1:08 am

I couldn’t make sense of the West this year. I’m going on hunches, mostly.

1. Vancouver (Northwest Champs)
2. San Jose (Pacific Champs)
3. Detroit (Central Champs)
4. Chicago (loss of players must be felt somehow this season)
5. Los Angeles (up, slightly, from last year.)
6. Phoenix (who knows???)
7. Colorado (Craig Anderson has to deliver, and high-end draft pick must shine.)
8. Nashville (flipped a coin over Minnesota)
9. Minnesota (could be a playoff team)
10. Anaheim (better than people think.)
11. Calgary
12. St. Louis (maybe too low??)
13. Columbus (Sigh. They need to win.)
14. Edmonton (Another long year.)

Brendan

October 7th, 2010
1:12 am

I forgot Dallas. Put ‘em at #13, push Columbus & Edmonton down.

Tony C

October 7th, 2010
3:17 am

I have been avoiding putting in my prediction because…well, I was hoping the whole appeasement of fat@ss thing would be done by now. But it looks like it’s not… and wow! Things have gone soswimmingly for this club and the whole appeasement of star players tactic… Tell ya what, Brendan-howabout I give you two predictions; one with fat@ss on the blueline, and one where he is the guy we traded for.

Seriously, how many 6′4″ 250+ forwards with nice hands are there in the league? How many big punishing D-men with hard shots?