Opening weekend behind them, Thrashers head west as Pavelec heads home from hospital

After rallying to secure a 4-2 win in Friday night’s opener against Washington, the Thrashers found themselves down 4-0 halfway through Saturday’s game in Tampa Saturday. The comeback bid fell short as they went down 5-3. In a way, the game in Tampa resembled so many losses form last season…come out flat, fall behind by a few, fight back only to come up just short.

“Overall our team really showed courage to come back”, coach Craig Ramsay said after the loss. “But you can’t fall behind by that much”.

The fourth line of Chris Thorburn, Alex Burmistrov and Ben Eager have supplied 2 goals and an assist in the Thrashers first two goals. They are also a collective +7 (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The fourth line of Chris Thorburn, Alex Burmistrov and Ben Eager have supplied 2 goals and an assist in the Thrashers first two games. They are also a collective +7 (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

So…looking back on this past weekend, what stood out most for you over the first two games of the season? Outside of the Pavelec situation, I mean.

For me, it was the play of Evander Kane, especially in Friday night’s 4-2 win over the Capitals. His opening goal was as visually stunning as it was timely and the penalty shot goal was a perfectly taken. He’s led the team with 12 shots on goal during the two games. Kane played with a great deal of fire and passion and if early indications are anything, it looks like we won’t have to worry about any sophomore slump from this kid.

Andrew Ladd has also played very well for Atlanta. He’s got a tip-in goal, an assist and is a +1 after two games. He’s looked a lot more like what we expected the two-time Cup winner would than what we saw in preseason. That’s just one reason why I don’t loose too much sleep over preseason performances.

Nic Bergfors also came away from the weekend with two points, an assist in each game, and is a +1 so far in this young season.

The 4th line of Thorburn, Eager, Burmistrov line has looked sharp so far. The trio has accounted for a pair of goals on 10 combined shots and an assist. They are also a +3, +2 and +2 respectively, which leads all Thrashers forwards. Friday night Thorburn went 4 for 4 in the face off circle while Burmistrov was 6 for 10.

Burmistrov has yet to score, but has taken 6 shots so far. He still gets shoved around a bit in the corners, but he has given total effort every shift. Alex is here until Jimmy Slater is ready to go, but he certainly has given Atlanta fans a taste of wht his potential can be.

All this means is that Eric Boulton may be spending more time in the press box while the team makes it’s trek out west.

Over the weekend, Smoothie got into quite a heated debate with a grouper about the Thrashers offensive abilities. No word on whether the grouper had any inside info on what the Thrashers should look for when going up against the Sharks on Saturday night

Over the weekend, Smoothie got into quite a heated debate with a grouper about the Thrashers offensive abilities. However, Atlanta has netted 7 goals in two games. No word on whether the grouper had any inside info on what the Thrashers should look for when going up against the Sharks on Saturday night

The “where is the offense going to come from” worries seem to have subsided around Thrasherville…at least for the time being. After netting only 10 goals in six preseason games, the Thrashers have already dropped the biscuit in the basket 7 times in the opening pair of games. They also got off 61 shots, just a hair over an average of 10 per period. Just one more reason why I don’t get overly concerned with one-goal losses in games that don’t count.

However, on the other end of the ice the stat sheet shows that the defense has allowed 67 shots to be taken on Chris Mason, which is un-good. But it’s worth pointing out that 20 of those came in the first period of Saturday’s loss in Tampa. For a while there I thought we would indeed get our first “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” moment from new coach Craig Ramsay.

Also, 16 shots against came in the last period of the Washington game as they were fighting off a frantic come from behind bid by the Caps. That means 53.7% of the total SA/G were taken in 1/3 of the total time played. Make of that whatever you will.

Again, it’s early on and tough gauge any trends, but for the majority of the two games I think the team has played well, maybe even better than expected. However it will need to avoid the kind of start witness in Tampa Saturday night.

How many points will the Thrashers bring home from the west coast?

  • SIX: That's right, all six BAY-Beeee! (4%, 5 Votes)
  • 4 or 5: A very good road trip (24%, 29 Votes)
  • THREE: It'll be a break-even venture (52%, 63 Votes)
  • 1 or 2: Gonna be a rough roadie (19%, 23 Votes)
  • ZERO: Epic fail (1%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 122

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Now, looking forward… this week the Thrashers are preparing to take their act out west for three games in California. Tuesday night will see them take on the Kings in L.A. They’ll then hang out in SoCal for a Friday night date with the Anaheim Ducks before winging their way up the Pacific coast for a Saturday night match in San Jose.

Obviously the team and fans still have goalie Ondrej Pavelec on their mind. Chris Vivlamore reports he has been able to leave the hospital. He was also able to chat with the 23-year old Czech over the weekend and was told that test results on his heart and brain all came back with good results, though they still are uncertain as to what caused him to loose consciousness Friday night.

More tests are scheduled for Ondrej today, though.

One can only speculate as to when Pavelec will be able to return to action. But honestly that’s secondary right now as his overall health is the main focus. Concussions are tricky and there’s no real timetable for recovery.

Drew MacIntyre…who Friday night had surrendered 6 goals on 31 shots as the Wolves dropped their season opener to the San Antonio Rampage 6-3… was flown to Tampa Saturday prior to the 5-3 loss to the Lightning. However, C-Viv now reports that he has been sent back to the AHL, that Chris Corrozzi practiced with the team Monday morning and that Peter Mannino is expected to join the team in Los Angeles.

104 comments Add your comment

waffleboy

October 11th, 2010
11:19 am

Consistency is the issue as this team finds its identity. Overall, the defensemen need to be more aware in their positioning relative to their partners and the goaltender. Aggressiveness is fine, but it has to be smart and forwards need to cover back. I think the system still needs some tweaking and I’m looking forward to a 1-1-1 road trip.

Joe Friday

October 11th, 2010
11:21 am

I was very pleased with what I saw this weekend. I like Coach’s system, it will work. It also lends itself to lifting up the players skills, meaning I don’t think we’ll be hurt as badly by the lack of offensive scorers. Brendan, I want a do-over (lol), 87 pts but still short of the playoffs . . .

TableHockey

October 11th, 2010
11:21 am

Rumor popped up a little while ago that the Thrasher’s have claimed Thomas Greiss off of waivers. I have not seen it repeated or confirmed by any of the normal trusted sources but just thought I would share.

Red Light

October 11th, 2010
11:24 am

So far, I see no reason to send Burmistrov back to Juniors. He caused the turnover that led to Eager’s goal and looks very capable playing a defensive role at this point, which is tough for a young center used to scoring. We’ll see how the next seven games go, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Stewart is the first to go, not Burmistrov, because the team needs a center and Slater can play wing.

Red Light

October 11th, 2010
11:27 am

Greiss would be a great addition at $550k

TableHockey

October 11th, 2010
11:31 am

Yeah Red Light – if it’s true I guess they are expecting Pavs to be out for a while.

Rawhide

October 11th, 2010
11:44 am

I’ve read the rumors about the Greiss acquisition on twitter as well, but have yet to see any confirmation to the story. And Ben Write is tweeting he find it unlikely given the number of goalies already at the team’s ready.

Regardless, here’s the line on the 23-year old German goalie:

94th overall pick by San Jose in 2004, career NHL record of 7-5-2 with a 2.77 GAA and .906 SV%. Last season he was 7-4-1 with a 2.68 GAA and .912 SV% starting 11 games.

Last spring he played in 1 playoff game in Detroit where he relieved Evgeni Nabokov after the Sharks gave up 5 goals in the first period. He stopped 26 of the 28 shots faced in 40 minutes of work in the 7-1 game-four loss during the second round of the playoffs.

In 2008-09 he played in 57 games for the AHL’s Worchester Sharks and compiled a record of 30-24-2 with a 2.47 GAA and .907 SV% with 1 shutout. In the playoff that season he went 6-6 with a 2.43 GAA and .912 SV% with 2 SO.

Red Light

October 11th, 2010
12:05 pm

Ben said don’t expect a claim on Greiss because of six goalies under a pro contract right now.

Mr. Willson

October 11th, 2010
12:07 pm

I, too, was pleased with what I’ve seen so far. As waffleboy said, they need consistency. I wouldn’t expect ANY goalie to come out unscathed from 20 shots a period, so they definitely need to work on that. Burmy was certainly getting pushed around along the boards but I was impressed overall with his play. Overall, I’m happy….but it’s early.

GaVaHokie

October 11th, 2010
12:11 pm

There’s always the possibility of claiming Greiss and then trading him to a team that didn’t have cap room to claim him or a team that didn’t have first “dibs” in waiver priority.

Smoothie

October 11th, 2010
12:27 pm

Rawhide – I told you that was a very private, intimate moment for me at the Aquarium!! LOL j/k Well played sir, well played! I really got the best of that grouper in our little debate after I finished staring him down…he blinked first I swear!!

As for the Thrashers, they had their share of “grouper bloopers” of their own on Tampa ice Sat nite. But most of the stuff is very correctable. Deflections and re-directs will happen but the D-men need to do a better job of finding the man and not the puck in those situations, especially on the rebound situation in which the puck went directly to Moore (I think) for the backhand stuff. Bogosian should’ve planted him right on his keester and at least made the try much harder. And Buff’s positioning off that face-off before the 2nd goal was atrocious, but the forwards were absent because they thought we had won the F/O, which technically we did, but Buff’s non-chalant-ness and lack of alertness really cost them on that play.

But I was very heartened by the comeback. Instead of “WTF?” from Rammer, we got a time-out and a calm, but direct directive of “play our game boys, that is all” to paraphrase. The boys responded by ramping up their energy and Tampa of course relaxed too much, made some sloppy plays and took some bad penalties. Had the PP been in better working order, that game was very “have-able”, but too many wide slappers, slow decisions and over-passing cost them. And what was Toby thinking on that missed net?? Keep your head down and stuff it young man!!

Lastly, on Johnny Burma, I was duly impressed. Throughout a lot of the game I thought he was the best player on the ice not named Stamkos. Not only is he a great skater, but his hustle and stick-to-it-iveness is quite exemplary. He may get pushed around a bit, but he’s giving almost as much as he’s getting. He needs to make the simpler play rather than try to skate through everyone but you can tell he has the skill and talent to evolve into that dominant puck possessing center we’ve yearned for since Savard left. And even Savard isn’t the skater that Burma already is. It’s too bad he hasn’t been credited with any assists because his play in the corner that lead to Eager’s goal was priceless. He read the play perfectly and capitalized on Tampa’s proclivity for bringing a second D-man into the corner. Well if the one playing the puck gets plastered against the boards thus affecting his outlet, then the center of the ice is wide-open. Eager took full advantage with a slick wrister.

The future is very bright for Burmistrov and I fully expect him to not only stick after 9 games, but eventually be on a top 6 line. I’m calling it right now. But then again, we don’t really have a true top 6, but that makes it easier for him to blend in and take advantage of favorable match-ups.

Look out skeptical groupers, the Thrash got da flash and they’re gonna go far! And they can certainly do it without that selfish Russian hockey czar!!

Joe Friday

October 11th, 2010
12:33 pm

Hokie, isn’t there a rule that when you grab a guy off waivers, you have to keep him on your roster or waive him (you can’t trade him) for the balance of the year?

five_hole

October 11th, 2010
12:35 pm

I’m not overly worried at this point in the season. Half the team is new, and need to get the ‘feel’ of playing with each other. I am a little worried about Buf’s defense. I like his shot, I like him in front of our goal (or in front of the opposing goalie) but don’t think he plays well positionally.

Cornbread

October 11th, 2010
12:38 pm

I don’t think the Thrashers came out flat Saturday. They established their forcheck early that led to a wide-open high slot shot from Nigel Dawes. That goes in, just like the other missed opportunities, and it’s a different game. Instead, they got a bench minor 5 minutes in that changed the tempo in TB’s favor. I don’t think the Thrashers were firing on all cylanders Saturday. They were just off a little-bit with their passing, defensive zone coverage, and establishing the attack. The time-out by Ramsay where he calmed them down and said, “play our game” and leaving Mason in were the right calls. Good coaching.

Kane was the best guy on the ice Friday night. I think Tampa saw that too. He got shut down Saturday. That’s when ATL’s better depth showed with the fourth line scoring 2 goals. Burmistrov seemed to have a little more space in his match-ups, at least he did not get knocked around as much as he did against the Caps. He’s got puck handling skills, I’ll be looking to see what else he has.

The thing I’ve liked most, even before training camp started, is the confidence this team has expressed. They know they are a good team and are going to surprise many that have written them off before the season began. They are playing some really good teams on this road trip. Seven of the new guys and a coach all know what to expect from the Western Conference teams they will face. I think the Thrashers match-up well to them and their style of play. They should be good games to listen to.

R. Stroz

October 11th, 2010
12:59 pm

Thats a great picture of Sparky talking to Joe The Grouper Friday.

GaVaHokie

October 11th, 2010
1:05 pm

Joe Friday… here is what the CBA says.

A Player who has been acquired by Waiver claim shall not be Traded to another Club until the termination of Playoffs of the season in which he was acquired unless he is first offered on the same terms to the Club(s) that entered a claim when Waivers were requested originally and the offer has been refused.

GaVaHokie

October 11th, 2010
1:09 pm

From TSNBobMcKenzie… Greiss can’t be claimed or cleared until tomorrow at noon.

R. Stroz

October 11th, 2010
1:10 pm

According to the Thrashers, Pavelec fainted.

http://thrashers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=540224&navid=DL|ATL|home

jen

October 11th, 2010
1:45 pm

I liked they play of Burmy – but I just don’t think his frame is going to hold up for 82 games (and more hopefully). Definitely think TB was a deflate game, coming off a lot of high emotion the night before, it was going to be difficult to replicate that. This week should tell the tale of what we’re most likely to see on a regular basis. Hard to remember after the fri night high that Tampa had completely retooled as well, and has the reigning Rocket Richard trophy (and yes, i should be more aware of that, darn anti-SE media bias). Definitely feeling better about the offense though. Smith looked insane for the first half of the game and definitely stole a few. Anyone else notice the growing trend of fast whistles for Thrasher opposition and really bad whistles for us? Had one on Fri, that should have been a goal (Pevs), another one on Sat as well that was blown down when the puck was in the blue paint and nowhere near Smith. Happened in preseason too….Just seems like its happening way more than normal. Or could just be my indignant side coming out

Joe Friday

October 11th, 2010
2:18 pm

“According to the Thrashers, Pavelec fainted.”

That was pretty clear to me immediately because they weren’t working on his heart and didn’t administer CPR, and they didn’t rush him off the ice. I know some thought I was being insensitive, but come on, the poor guy just fainted, that’s why I thought it was pretty silly when people were all aghast and saying it was the scariest thing ever.

I wish they’d have said he was dehydrated though, as now I worry that the poor guy’s nerves just got to him, and that’s not a good problem to have when you’re a professionally hockey goalie. But whatever, good to hear he’s just fine and we can go back about our business.

I tell you, this club and goalies, between groins, blown knees, monkey pucks, and now our new supposed future star having a fainting spell, this club is cursed at that position. At least there’s plenty of goalie prospects in the pipeline, good foresight by Dudley there.

“Thats a great picture of Sparky talking to Joe The Grouper Friday.”

The resemblance is striking, I have a bigger mouth though . . .

Brendan

October 11th, 2010
2:50 pm

Joe Friday, I wish I could give you that ‘do-over.’ But the other 80 posters who made guesses would jull a John Anderson ‘WTF.’ Tony C. wanted to make two entries, (1) for Byfuglien on defense and (2) another for when the team realizes the guy is a forward, who opens up space for Little, Kane, and Peverley.

Center Ice, in the middle of a weekday? Yes!!

Joe Friday

October 11th, 2010
2:59 pm

I know, I was just kidding. Thanks for reminding me though that most are at home on this holiday, at least traffic will be light on the way home, who’s on today?

litz

October 11th, 2010
3:07 pm

If you were there last Friday night, it was scary as hell.

Guy’s just laying there, totally motionless. Then they go and use SIX PEOPLE to roll him onto a backboard, completely immobilized … and everyone’s thinking “oh no, it’s spinal” … nobody really knew what to think, or what was going on.

cousin Eddie

October 11th, 2010
3:48 pm

Burmi kinda reminds me of Bryan Little when he first made his debut before his rookie season. Little was getting bumped off the puck very easily and loosing the puck as a result. Burmi gets the same kind of bumps but manages to keep his stick on the puck and still makes a play. He is a great skater and has unbelievable vision of the ice and those two attributes help offset the lack of size he has. I hope he sticks around more than 9 but I am affraid Slater comes back and boots him back to juniors.

Tom Lysiak

October 11th, 2010
3:52 pm

Why couldn’t Brooks Conrad have fainted last night???? I know I was about to. Just kidding, kinda……

alex

October 11th, 2010
3:55 pm

i have some suspicious about pav. “dehydration”. now we could be in goalee trouble if god forbid something happened with mason. remember season with goalee curse. now about burma – so far he is OK and should’t be worry about been sent off, specially with buff. playing wrong position. and why some of people still count on slater as a savier. he is not, he has only one advantage to burma – experience but who is better skillwise, who playing smarter? i been first to advocate him to mature on lower level, but on thrasher weak forward line appeared he nessesary to play, but it’s only 2 games. will see after 9

Red Light

October 11th, 2010
4:56 pm

Shots-on-Goal from this afternoon’s Blues win over the Ducks (ouch)

ANA 4-4-6 14
STL 15-22-16 53

Thrashers27

October 11th, 2010
6:24 pm

Wow! Did anyone imagine Jersey would start out 0-3?

ThrasherTim

October 11th, 2010
7:23 pm

VENT TIME: Thrashers v. Kings not available on Center Ice tomorrow night. Unreal.

kracker

October 11th, 2010
7:45 pm

ThrasherTim, That is not good for the fans. For me, though, the 10:37 start time is too late anyway.

Hokie P. Clisters

October 11th, 2010
7:47 pm

Back from a great weekend of camping. Was able to find a spot where I could pick up the Thrashers score on Craps. Great win but this thing on Pavs really floored me (no pun intended). Pavs has a bunch of talent and has been a workhorse in the past. Plus he has shown to be durable with no history of injuries. He just needs consistency. My prayers for a full recovery. Plus I feel bad calling him the abominable snow man before the game. I hope he doesn’t read these blogs! Get well Pavs so I can call you the anti-snowman.

By the way – NJ 0-3 is priceless…….

kracker

October 11th, 2010
7:54 pm

tweet – thrash0 Going to be a long yr RT @EJHradek_ESPN: Devils limited to 15 skaters today because of cap issues. Welcome to the Kovalchuk era!!

Wonder how Lou is feeling about now?? 15 skaters…what does that equal, 5 d-men and 10 forwards? No, it equals one loss.

waffleboy

October 11th, 2010
9:25 pm

Burmistrov needs to make the smart play and realize that as small as he is he can’t go into the corners and win those battles. Push the puck behind the net and force the other team to re-group. It’s okay for him to lose battles, he just needs to lose them the right way.

EA

October 11th, 2010
9:30 pm

For what it is worth, Ekland on Hockey Buzz, comments today on how hard the Thrashers work. He also stated that no one will look forward to playing them. Burmistrov and Kane made the biggest impression on me Friday. The future is looking promising.

Tom

October 12th, 2010
1:01 am

Thrasher27 – I think that if there is a God in heaven, the Thrashers going to the Playoffs and the Devils staying home would be proof.

It reminds me of the trade for Hershel Walker back in 89. Dallas ended up with all the picks and built their dynasty. May the Thrashers be so lucky.

Dwayne

October 12th, 2010
6:36 am

Wonder how Broduer is feeling about Kovy skating those figure 6 and 1/2’s in the neutral zoze????

Old Time Hockey

October 12th, 2010
9:01 am

Burmistrov–he’s going to get bumped and pushed, but those big d-men hate going against those little persistent guys who never lay off…leads to mistakes. Pushed and bumped he can deal with…its the big check he has to avoid. He’s so advanced for a kid that age in his knowledge of the two way game. I think he’s going to be just fine and more so as he gains more experience.

Big Buff–give him a little time to get re-acclimated to defense. I LOVE watching him carry the puck up, dump it in and chase it himself. Maybe Zach will take notes. Plus, when he winds up from the point you just know the goalie’s sphincter is locked. He’s the big, mobile, mean defenseman we’ve always needed and everyone wants him standing in front of the opposing goalie. He’s way more talented than that.

GaVaHokie

October 12th, 2010
11:20 am

VENT TIME: Thrashers v. Kings not available on Center Ice tomorrow night. Unreal.

Thrasher Tim… it’s showing on the Center Ice schedule, are you sure about that?

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPageIF.jsp?assetId=1800012&_DARGS=/DTVAPP/global/component/cmpt_v.jsp&_requestid=1431445

Dwayne

October 12th, 2010
11:26 am

I live south of Atl., 50 miles from Savannah. Fox is blocking the feed to dish in my area. I can not get it on NHL center ice or any of the Fox affiliates. I am pissed. The Dish CEO says call Fox, you call Fox and they give you a number or a web site that blames Dish. I’m screwed, I only like Thrasher hockey, could not give a fat rats arse to watch anyone else. I WANT MY THRASHER HOCKEY!!!!!

Dwayne

October 12th, 2010
11:27 am

OCTOTARDS ARE IN ON THIS!!!! ITS A CONSPIRACY I SAY!!!!

Thrashers27

October 12th, 2010
12:08 pm

Provided it actually works, I may have found the answer to our Thrashers viewing prayers…

http://www.watch-free.tv/watch-live-tv-sports-online/

Michael B. Shapiro

October 12th, 2010
12:14 pm

Don’t look now but Ron Hainsey is a plus 2 for the season….might be his one and only foray into plus territory as there are eighty games yet to play. Now can we please unload Boris to another team and find a bit more scoring?

alex

October 12th, 2010
12:22 pm

on different note, sorry if it old news for some, kozzy playing for red army and scored 2 goals in 3:2 losing effort and hartley is serious contender for couple khl jobs ( first in the line for st. petersburg).

GaVaHokie

October 12th, 2010
12:32 pm

Dwayne… I have Dish as well, but I’m pretty sure the game is on Center Ice tonight. Are you sure you’re not just looking at the HD channels. The game is not in HD tonight.

Hit the ‘Guide’ button until you see all channels (HD and SD). It’s listed on channel 627.

GaVaHokie

October 12th, 2010
12:37 pm

Thrashers vs Kings is the ONLY game on the Center Ice package tonight… should be good exposure!

The Colorado v Detroit game is on Versus, and who watches that? ;)

Dwayne

October 12th, 2010
1:02 pm

Thanks GaVaHokie, I’ll try it.

Red Light

October 12th, 2010
1:10 pm

So, it’s the Kings first home game and they’re seeking revenge for the a$$ whipping the Thrashers gave them last November at Philips! Should be a spirited game and the perfect close to the first game of the multi-channel doubleheader. Remember when the Avs-Wings series was one of the fiercest rivalries back in the ’90s? Where’s Claude Lemieux when you need him?

kracker

October 12th, 2010
1:49 pm

tweet – TGfireandice Lamoriello said team will dress 16 skaters for Wednesday’s game in Buffalo.

A trend for at-the-cap teams? For cheap teams?

Joe Friday

October 12th, 2010
1:58 pm

“Remember when the Avs-Wings series was one of the fiercest rivalries back in the ’90s? Where’s Claude Lemieux when you need him?”

Yep, when the ‘Hawks sucked I adopted the Avs as they were the hated Wings best rival. Was it Draper that Lemieux tried to decapitate in that playoff game? And McCarty got him back the first game they met the next season. Is that where they started calling him turtle?

Loved that rivalry, we need some good old fashioned hate, we had it going with the Caps there for a couple years, but now who’s our big rival? Tampa mabye?

kracker

October 12th, 2010
2:00 pm

I guess teams would still have to have enough signed players for a 20-man roster. I there is a lot of twitter discussion about whether or not a 20-player roster must suit up for each game.