Thrasherville troops preparing for another NHL campaign

In a hangar at Dobbins ARB the Thrasherville masses are assembled. Gen. Rawhide takes to the stage, moves to center-front and addresses the troops

At ease, men…ahem…and ladies.

For decades now, Stanley Cup winners returning from the playoffs enjoyed the honor of a triumph – a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians, together with carts laden with awarded treasure and captured hockey equipment. The head coach rode in a triumphal convertible, the dazed members of the press who wrote it would never happen walked before him. The players, robed in white jerseys, rode behind him in their convertibles, or rode in backs of flatbed trucks. The general manager stood behind the coach, holding the silver Cup, and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.

Well, fleeting or not…I want to experience that glory!

Today, as we have at this time since 1999, we stand at the precipice of another Thrashers campaign. And tonight we’ll gather once more in the theater of operations known as Philips Arena to begin the eleventh season of battle for our home, Thrasherville.

Unfortunately, all previous endeavors have seen the fight come up short of total victory…only once advancing far enough as to claim a playoff birth. In the past, we have seen our troops go into battle with a porous defense, questionable goaltending and certain forwards that thought only of self-first, not team.

Thrashers defending their zone were attacked by legions of enemy skaters. The Thrashers were proud and brave but they couldn’t hold. They were massacred. Opposing forwards stripped them of their pucks and sticks…as well as various other athletic protective and supportive gear. The goalies lay naked, alone to face the assault. This has happened for the past ten seasons.  No glory…fleeting or otherwise.

I was there…as were many of you too.

But if there is one thing we’ve learned, it’s that no poor, dumb team has ever won a championship by constantly defending their goal. You win by making the other poor, dumb players defend theirs. Tonight, the Capitals are the enemy. Wade into them, pour into their end of the ice. Attack their zone. Shoot at their goal.

Now there’s one other thing I want you to remember. I don’t want any messages posted here this season saying that we are doing fine despite losses…that we are, in essence, “holding our positions” until wins finally come.

We’re not holding anything! Let the other team do that!

We are taking the puck and advancing constantly…we’re not interested in holding anything except the enemy. We are going to hold on to him by the nose and we’re going to kick him in the butt. We’re going to kick the snot out of him all the time and we’re going to go through him like a Varsity chilidog.

Remember, all real hockey players and fans love the sting of on-ice battle. When you were kids, you all admired the Stanley Cup Champion team, the fastest skater, the best NHL players, and the toughest enforcer. Hockey fans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. You must play to win all the time. Losses are not acceptable…not even overtime losses that come with the consolation “loser” point.

It’s time for the Big, Bad, Blue Brigade to show up in force

With the beginning of another Thrashers season, it’s time for the Big, Bad, Blue Brigade to show up in force

Why, I wouldn’t give a bag of used, chipped pucks for a player or fan that lost and laughed.

As for those pundits up north whose preseason predictions have the Thrashers finishing low, even last, in the standings…why, the blow-hards who wrote that stuff in the on-line hockey blogosphere don’t know anything more about that than they do about forechecking. This week everyone started out 0-0-0 again, and anything…yes, anything…can happen.

Anything, that is, if this Thrashers’ squad play as a team. It must live, eat, sleep, skate, play and fight as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of male bovine excretion!

Some of you who are stationed in the stands, rooting for our on-ice combatants, are concerned that when the time comes you won’t know what to do. Well, let me tell you something. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that just moments before was the clean, unsoiled crest of your brand new Thrashers jersey…and that goo is the remains of a hotdog smothered in ketchup, mustard and relish, spilled on you my some obnoxious, uncouth fan of the visiting team…well by God, you’ll know what to do.

Now, there’s one thing that you men…and ladies… will be able to say when this campaign is over, and you may thank the hockey gods for it. Thirty years from now when you’re sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you, “What did you do in the great Thrashers hockey campaign of 2010-11”, you won’t have to say, “Well, son… I shoveled snow in Buffalo”.

Alright now, you know how I feel. I will be proud to lead you wonderful men and women into battle anytime, anywhere. Or at least at Philips Arena…and TJ’s tomorrow night.

That is all.

166 comments Add your comment

Michigan

October 8th, 2010
2:02 pm

It’s about time we kicked his rear end out of here and back to Michigan where he belongs

What? We don’t want him! Send him to Mexico!!

Joe General Patton Friday

October 8th, 2010
2:04 pm

“I hope Burmistrov is just here for the 9-game audition.”

Cormier is going to push someone out when he’s ready to go, may be Burmistrov if he falters.

Ladd-Little-Bergfors
Kane-Peverley-Stewart
Modin-Antropov-Dawes
Eager-Burmistrov-Thorburn

I like Ladd on the line with Bergfors and Little, he can be the defensively responsible one and I expect Coach to match this line up with Ovechkin’s line tonight so Ladd can be checking Ovechkin, which is his strength and what he did so well for the Hawks, and he’ll get loose and get his shots.

I expect a win tonight? Why, no reason, I just expect them to win and seeing how the games went last night (Leafs win, Hawks lose, Pens lose new arena opener), it seems that the team you’d expect to win is losing the opener, so 2 pts for us and let Mason get us #3 and 4 tomorrow night, no more of this let’s lose tonight so we can try to get 2 tomorrow dribble, ok?!

Darth Hater

October 8th, 2010
2:16 pm

I’d like to see Rick Dudley “engage in a pugilistic endeavor” with Jeff Schultz at center ice…

…or in the locker room…

…or in a bar…

…or on the street…

Go get ‘em tonight, Thrashers!

Alan R.

October 8th, 2010
2:29 pm

The team is going to give Burmistrov his nine games. After that, they’ll evaluate where he is. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he stayed or went back to Barrie.

Really happy to have him here. Just hope, if he sticks, that he’ll be a productive member of this team.

Cornbread

October 8th, 2010
2:39 pm

Good stuff Rawhide.

I like the lines on this squad. It’s fun to speculate in pre-season mock battles what they will be. But, when the s#*! starts to fly for real, like all battles, even the best laid plans are always the first thing to change.

It looks like the O lines are assembled just like Commander Ramsay said they would be: a top line that is primarily attackers, a second line of attackers and hard checkers both for and aft, a third line of secondary attackers who can check, a fourth line of checkers who can attack and put the enemy in its place when things get ugly, and defenders who can go on the attack.

The LLB line has huge things to prove this season. Can Ladd be a top line guy and put up the numbers when he gets ice and PP time? Will Bergy build on last season or will he be in a self imposed disgruntled sophomore slump? No Soldier on the Thrashers was more snake-bit than Little last season. He will be the Thrashers’ number one center that once again gets the recognition and respect he deserves. KPS, watch out! They are coming for you! Can Stewart build on his brother’s fame and success in CO? He has his chance. Kane will be as feared as another Kane – only more so. Pevs will be there to feed them the ammo. The MAD line is just that, wily Vets who will take advantage of the enemy’s mistakes while not giving up many, driving the enemy mad with their psychological warfare. Burmistrov will be protected by some big guns who are mobile and can go on the offence. Who predicted pre-season he’d be on the fourth line? Will this be the best final wave in all the NHL?

On D, Buff and Toby will see lots of action. Who would have thought of that combo? But I like it. Expect big numbers from these two this season. Buff can distract and terrorize while Toby sneaks under the wire. Oduya and Bogo are another interesting combo. Bogo can go with the puck while the more stay at home Johnny O has got his back. Hainsey and Sopel, the two oldest Vets on the D and the two called out by their commander while in training. Does Hainsey’s role transition to more of a shot blocker and shut-down guy like Sopel did when he went to Chicago? Are both going to stay home or will one give the other the green light to go on the attack? I think these old Vets will communicate well with each other and eventually figure it out if they have not already done so.

The last line of defence will be the young netminder with lots to prove. Will he hold up with the improved and bolstered team D in front of him or will he cower under the enemy onslaught? There is in reserve a Vet who has seen it all just in case he goes down. And, there are other battle proven reserves in waiting should another comrade fall. Never have the Thrashers had this much depth top to bottom and in reserve. They are well supplied.

It’s all part of Commander Ramsay’s and General Dudley’s different strategies and tactics. Build your Army with quality pieces up and down the ranks, keep it simple, keep the enemy guessing, and attack, attack, attack! I like it.

The Thrashers will battle their way into post-season this year. Once that fight begins, anything can happen. Bring ‘Em On!!!

One final note of pride. Like the Soldiers in the United States Army of the 1950’s and today, it’s nice to see this unit well integrated. Change has come to Atlanta in many ways. This may be the best change of them all.

R. Stroztradamus

October 8th, 2010
2:45 pm

After peering into my capgeek.com crystal ball, I will predict the Thrasher opening night payroll to be…are you sitting down?

$42,014,167

That’s right, you saw the prediction here first. I know you are all stunned by my prognostication skills. Don’t question my guess…since….as you already know…it to be correct.

However, if you must, go ahead and check capgeek.com

R. Stroz

October 8th, 2010
2:53 pm

After consulting with R. Stroztradamus, who by the way will not make his point prediction until the final roster is set for the season, I will hazard a point and standings guess.

Due to the number of ifs and buts which must play out for a really successful season, I guess is as follows:

84 points, 3rd in the division, 11th in the conference.

Joe Friday

October 8th, 2010
2:54 pm

Cornbread, Ramsay is saying Modin-Antropov-Dawes is our #1 line. Doesn’t make much sense to me either, but that’s what he’s saying . . . Little’s line is the 2nd line, Peverley’s is 3rd.

I see him matching Little’s line against Ovechkin’s line though, which would by default make Little’s line tops in ice time tonight as Ovy’s line will see the most ice. There’s no way he’s matching up Antropov’s line against Ovy, Ovy would skate circles around them

Which d pair does he trot out against Ovy tonight? Buff and Enstrom? You may see Buff exposed for his weak skating (backwards) as a dman tonight if that’s true . . .

sisu

October 8th, 2010
2:57 pm

Carolina starts the season with two wins in a row = 4 points, UGH!

Tony C

October 8th, 2010
2:59 pm

Don’t think I’m crazy but….
I’m not so worried about Pavs tonight. If for no other reason than the fact that it’s A-O&Co. Seriously. Every netminder in The Known Universe knows about that team, and has dreams/nightmares about facing them and shutting them out/getting lit the $@!k up.

I think the kid has oodles of potential and really needs to work on one or two things to become a “first tier” goalie in this league. Namely, rebound control and squaring to the second shot. This is the best league in the world and Ondrej must realize that unless he catches it cleanly, there will be a second shot. Everytime. Now rebound control also plays into that, as we’ve all seen Pavelec make a save only to leave the puck right there in the goal mouth where enterprising fellers from the other bench have a point-blank opportunity. He gets those two issues under tighter control, and physically, he’s ready for the close-up. Mentally, it’s tough to stay engaged on every play every time. Which is why so few people make it to the highest levels of professional sports. We’ve all seen the desire in this kid-I think it’s now just a question of maintaining his focus and attention to detail. Mental focus leads to proper physical execution(which would address the points above), O-P gets this tightened up-watch out, we may have a Vezina candidate.

Anyway, point I’m makin about tonight is this:dude will will be ready to play-big question is: can he bring it day in day out?

Matt

October 8th, 2010
3:00 pm

Rawhide-I’m sorry, but I just can’t shake this extremely pessimistic feeling about this season. It may be due to the poor preseason record, or it could just be my depression in watching the Braves choke away the division. That said, I’m just as concerned as most fans about where the goals on this team are going to come from. Pavs and the D-Corps do not inspire belief in me in our ability to win 2-1 type games on a consistent basis. I hope to God, that I’m wrong.

Alan R.

October 8th, 2010
3:05 pm

I would like to nominate Jethro’s 10:48am comment for Blog comment of the year.

Hockey Biltong

October 8th, 2010
3:08 pm

“Don’t Tread On Me”……………is what the Thrash will be saying….

R. Stroz

October 8th, 2010
3:22 pm

On the Thrasher’s banner page, this is being called the “Season of Change.”

We’re screwed.

Red Light

October 8th, 2010
3:23 pm

You’re on Spud!

Red Light

October 8th, 2010
3:27 pm

Cam Ward is my fantasy hockey team’s No. 1 goalie. Nice to start the season with two wins and a save percentage of .944.

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
3:48 pm

Late contest entries, which are still permitted, all the way until “puck drop” tonight, include:

BlueHard: 93, 2nd and 5th. Good luck, BlueHard.

J(Z): 84, 2nd, and 10th, (38-36-8)

R.Stroz: 84, 3rd, and 11th

“Tick, tock. On the clock. ‘Cuz the pahtee don’t stop ….”

Still time. “Juuuuust barely,” to get that vote in. Right, Tony C.? Youy’re not entered yet.

Diego from Lilburn

October 8th, 2010
4:15 pm

WooHoo! Less than 3 hours ’til Atlanta Thrashers HOCKEY!!!!

I will try to find you guys in front of Gorin’s.

My seats are waaaaaaay up high tonight. Sec. 316. Anybody know a good sherpa???

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
4:20 pm

R.Stroztradamus, this isn’t possible. http://www.capgeek.com/charts.php?Team=7.

How can the Thrashers be legally permitted to be BELOW the FLOOR of the cap, on “Opening Night?” Per CapGeek.com, our cap is $42,014.167. The FLOOR is $43.4 million. How can this be???

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
4:22 pm

Red Light, you’re going to destroy your Fantasty League this week. And thank you for your East/West Division predictions. I should have done that. Instead, I went #1 to # 15. Minnesota is a playoff team, eh? I can see that. I had them 9th, just edged out by Nashville. I like the Wild. I like Chuck Fletch, Cliff Fletcher’s son. He was born to be a GM.

DWTOO

October 8th, 2010
5:01 pm

Rawhide as Patton – somewhere George C. Scott is turning in his grave.

Mr. Heat Miser

October 8th, 2010
5:05 pm

Oh we get to see Dwad’s new collection of turtlenecks………….

Larry

October 8th, 2010
5:08 pm

Daily reader but rare poster…. hope to change that.

91 Points, 2nd in SE, 8th in conference.

Under on the Modin contest.

goose

October 8th, 2010
5:09 pm

I’m going to change mine to 91 points, ninth in the east third in the conference

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
5:19 pm

goose, you’re revised guess is duly noted, at 91-points, 3rd in SE Division, and 9th in the Conference.

Larry: Welcome!! You’re entered at 91-points, 2nd in SE division, and 8th in the Conference.

There’s 2.5 hours left to post a guess. After that, the contest is over.

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
5:20 pm

Larry, you’re also registered with “under” in “Modin Watch ‘10-11.”

Dandylions

October 8th, 2010
5:22 pm

goose started drinking early

Tony C

October 8th, 2010
5:23 pm

Brendan-My bad. put it on the other blog. I decided to go with the sunny-day real estate version (the one where fat@ss plays forward like we traded for).

Put me in for 92 pts, 3rd in SE 7th in EC.

Dandylions

October 8th, 2010
5:26 pm

Brendan – you can’t change goose’s guess he’s got third in the conference (drinking)

kracker

October 8th, 2010
5:40 pm

I am stationed in front of gorin’s…

kracker

October 8th, 2010
5:43 pm

Larry, come on in. The water’s..err…frozen.

Tom

October 8th, 2010
6:14 pm

Stroz

We are under the cap and eating Brashear’s salary of 1.4 mm … ugh…

Dwayne

October 8th, 2010
6:37 pm

Gen Rawhide: Cut it out! Cut it out! Cut it out! The hell’s the matter with you? Stupid! We’re all very different people. We’re not Watusi. We’re not Spartans. We’re Thrashers, with a capital ‘T’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts! Here’s proof: his nose is cold! But there’s no animal that’s more faithful, that’s more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. Who saw “Old Yeller?” Who cried when Old Yeller got shot at the end?
[raises his hand]
John Winger: *sarcastically* Nobody cried when Old Yeller got shot? I’m sure.
[hands are reluctantly raised]
Gen Rawhide: I cried my eyes out. So we’re all dogfaces, we’re all very, very different, but there is one thing that we all have in common: we were all stupid enough to play for the Thrashers. We’re mutants. There’s something wrong with us, something very, very wrong with us. Something seriously wrong with us – we’re hockey players. But we’re Thrasher hockey players! We’ve been getting our asses kicked for all 10 years Wadell has been our GM. We’re 1and 10! Now we don’t have to worry about whether or not we practiced. We don’t have to worry about whether Captain Wadell wants to have us hung. All we have to do is to be the great Thrasher fighting soldier that is inside each one of us. Now do what I do, and say what I say. And make me proud.

Tony C

October 8th, 2010
7:07 pm

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
7:09 pm

Tony C., my minutes, ya made it! Actually, I finally did check the other blog to find your point total entry. You’re entered, at 91-pts., 2nd in SE, and 8th in the Conference, with no guess on “Modin Watch ‘10-11.”

There’s about half an hour left in the contest. It’s not too late. We’re not yet at “puck drop,” but the anticipation is building! It’s gonna pop like a Champagne cork!

Tony C

October 8th, 2010
7:19 pm

92 pts, 3rd in SE 7th in EC.

‘cuz you know I’m all retentive

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
7:20 pm

Well, Ilya Kovalchuk has his first point of the season. It’s an assist. Let it go, Brendan. Let it go.

Could the winning guess in the contest come, right here, right now? Well, it’s possible. There’s still time. Barely, time. “Puck drop” is your LAST SHOT at an entry.

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
7:25 pm

Tony C., 92-pts, 3rd, and 7th is now entered. I got it right in my spreadsheet, but I typed here, incorrectly. Tony C., you’re in. 92-points, 3rd, and 7th in the conference. Good luck!

Tony C

October 8th, 2010
7:25 pm

I’ll go with the over…

Tony C

October 8th, 2010
7:33 pm

Also-If DW’s Oberst Klink…. does that make Duddley Schultz?

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
7:43 pm

… ANNNND the contest is over. “Puck Drop” has arrived. Best of luck to all the posters.

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
7:44 pm

Tony C., you did get in your “over” on Modin Watch, in time.

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
7:51 pm

Here’s the official list, folks.

Cousin Eddie 102 2nd 4th
Mr. Willson 100 2nd 4th
Somatl95 99 1st 4th
Tom 97 2nd 5th
Jeff97 97 2nd 4th
Derrick 96 2nd 6th
Spud Webb 96 2nd 6th
Will L. 96 2nd 6th
Fan From Flames Days 96 2nd 5th
Diego from Lilburn 95 2nd 7th
Flames 95 2nd 6th
Litz 94 3rd 7th
BG33Brown 94 2nd 7th
Smitty 94 2nd 7th
ben 94 2nd 10th
thebigharybeast 93 2nd 8th
Cornbread 93 2nd 7th
Dandylions 93 2nd 7th
J.B. 93 2nd 7th
Jack 93 2nd 7th
Glovesave29 92 3rd 9th
five_hole 92 3rd 8th
Simon 92 3rd 8th
Tony C. 92 3rd 7th
Rhythmpenguin 92 2nd 8th
Viking 92 2nd 8th
GaVaHokie 92 2nd 7th
Hockey Biltong 92 2nd 7th
Putting On The Foil 92 2nd 7th
Zombie Steve 92 2nd 7th
HockeyMom92 92 2nd 5th
goose 91 3rd 9th
Jameson 91 3rd 8th
Tom Lysiak 91 3rd 7th
lee 91 2nd 9th
Alan R. 91 2nd 8th
Kracker 91 2nd 8th
Paminski 91 2nd 8th
Thrashy Thrashy 91 2nd 8th
Larry 91 2nd 8th
Mikey 91 2nd 7th
Hokie P. Clisters 90 3rd 7th
rightshot 90 3rd 10th
Rob 90 2nd 8th
Denny 90 2nd 7th
DWTOO 90 2nd 7th
FIF 89 3rd 8th
Puckhead 89 3rd 8th
Thrashers27 89 3rd 8th
BaldheadedThrasher Fan 89 2nd 8th
Hip Czech 89 2nd 8th
Darkhorse 88 3rd 9th
Flagstaff 88 3rd 7th
Tablehockey 88 3rd 11th
Rawhide 88 2nd 8th
HookyBob 87 4th 10th
Thrashdawg 87 3rd 9th
3stripes 87 2nd 9th
Smoothie 87 2nd 9th
StateBird 86 4th 11th
Jen 86 3rd 10th
Adam 85 4th 12th
Mikey 85 3rd 10th
Sisu 85 2nd 10th
Jimbo 85 — 10th
Russ 84 4th 13th
R.Stroz 84 3rd 11th
J(Z) 84 2nd 10th
BuzzEng 83 4th 10th
Brendan 81 4th 11th
polskidawg 81 4th 11th
dwayne 81 3rd 11th
J-Man 80 4th 13th
Ex-STH 80 4th 12th
Red Light 80 4th 11th
WBF 80 4th 11th
Curly 79 4th 13th
Bob/Joe Friday 79 4th 12th
Zoomo 79 4th 12th
Jethro 78 4th 13th
Nate 78 4th 13th
Badger Bob 77 4th 13th
Chipper’s Love Child 75 4th 14th
LAC 71 5th 14th
EastPoint Bob 60 5th 15th

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
7:53 pm

Trixie, if you can fix spacing of that, I’d appreciate it.

So, what the HECK just happened to Ondrej Pavelec? My send my prayers to him for a full recovery. It’s the most bizzare thing.

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
8:02 pm

Announcers are saying that Pavelec has been taken to a nearby hospital, which I’m guessing is Grady, but that play cannot resume until another emergency vehicle arrives at the arena, just in case another player became incapacitated, needing urgent medical assistance. There is no word on what has actually happened to Ondrej Pavelec.

Certainly, many of us wanted to see Chris Mason, tonight. But this is not the way we hoped he’d enter the game.

Well, play just resumed. So, so much for the secondary emergecy vehicle theory, by the announcers.

glovesave29

October 8th, 2010
8:02 pm

damn damn damn

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
8:03 pm

And, on the very first shot against Chris Mason as a Thrasher, the Capitals have scored on a “beautiful” 3-way passing play. Ooops. Can’t fault Mason on it, really. He had no shot.

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
8:05 pm

The Philips Arena crowd is noticeably loud, on the Center Ice feed.

glovesave29

October 8th, 2010
8:09 pm

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
8:13 pm

Laich scored for Washington. Evander Kane answered for Atlanta. It’s 1-1.