Kings rally in third period to beat Thrashers

Just a real quick entry here to recap the 3-1 loss in L.A.… then it’s off to bed as it’s already well past one o’clock am hear on the east coast. Bottom line here is that the Thrashers dropped one of those games that we’ve discussed they need to find ways to win if they’re to be successful this season…low scoring and physical.

Thrashers defenseman Ron Hainsey skates to the bench as the Los Angeles Kings celebrate center Jarret Stoll's goal during the third period of a NHL hockey game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010. The Kings won 3-1.  (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Thrashers defenseman Ron Hainsey skates to the bench as the Los Angeles Kings celebrate Jarret Stoll's goal during the third period. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

According to the King’s TV play-by-play guy, (sorry, didn’t catch the name), the Atlanta Thrashers were 19-0-4 last season when leading after two periods of play. However, they weren’t able to convert a 1-0 lead going into the third Tuesday night as L.A. dominated play in the first several minutes of that final frame.

Ryan Smyth tied the score at the 3:53 mark by whacking home the puck in the middle of heavy traffic in front of Atlanta’s net. Two minutes and seventeen seconds later it was Jarret Stoll giving the Kings the lead as his shot from the right circle came off Ron Hainsey stick as the defenseman was reaching in to try and poke away the puck. His efforts served only to redirect the puck past Chris mason glove-side.

Smyth added an empty netter with 30 seconds remaining to finish out the scoring.

Chris Thorburn had given Atlanta the lead early in the middle frame when he collected the puck following a center-ice face off, split two Kings defensemen at the blueline then, after Jonathan Quick kick out his first shot, Thorns knocked home his own rebound. The unassisted tally was his second of the season and he needs but two more to equal last years total.

Thorburn and his linemates Burmistrov and Eager were once again the line that played with the most chemistry.

Mason came into the matchup with a career record of 8-3-1 with 1.95 GAA, .933 SV% and 4 shutouts against the Kings. He played a solid game between the pipes, stopping 32 of the 34 shots he faced. Quick was outstanding on the opposite end of the ice saving 31 of the 32 shots he faced.

The Thrashers’ power play was as bad as the 0 for 5 stat would indicate. The had issues keeping the zone and the Kings never really allowed the Thrashers to get comfortable in their zone while killing off all five penalties. I’d expect some changes here when they play the Ducks and Sharks.

In allowing 35 shots against, Atlanta has surrendered 102 so far after three games, an average of 34 per game.

And finally, for what it’s worth, the Thrasher that was on the ice when all three Kings goals were scored…Anthony Stewart.

68 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

October 13th, 2010
2:01 am

OmniFan

October 13th, 2010
6:23 am

Weak 3rd periods have been noticeable in all of the viewable games thusfar this season. Is there a fitness problem, or are they going out too hard in the first 2 periods? I seem to remember some concerns in that direction when Ray Bear left to join the military.
Lack of movement on the PP will be a “deprogramming” job for Ramsay-looks like an ingrained habit of the Bad Old Thrashers.

Nate

October 13th, 2010
6:28 am

Yeah the power play looks anemic right now. The team is having a hard time just setting things up right now, much less getting quality chances or scoring. And 35 shots on goal yet again. It’d be nice if I could watch a game and actually see some defensive improvement, especially shot blocking.

Russ

October 13th, 2010
6:55 am

LA basically sleepwalked through the first two periods, then flipped the switch in the third to take the win. Probably not a good sign that good teams only have to play one period right now to beat the Thrashers. The goal that gave the Kings the lead was very weak. I know it deflected off Hainsey’s stick, but still very stoppable. Oh well, hopefully they can pick up 4 points this weekend.

JLH

October 13th, 2010
7:57 am

Looking for improvement on the PP, with 3 days of practice on the west coast we should see some changes on Friday night ….. How is a deflection off a defensemen’s stick a “very stoppable” goal?…. I guess Thorburn is taking Ramsay’s confidence in him and running with it ….. great to see the faceoff advantage ….. I’m still not sure if we are loosing too much by playing Antropov with Modin and Dawes…..

hip czech

October 13th, 2010
8:05 am

Time to show Hainsey the all you can eat buffet and let Meyer play.

Little and Bergfors need to find the back of the net. Burmistrov continues to impress. I thought he would be weak in the faceoff circle but so far he is above average. Still some good things are being shown, hopefully they will continue to improve.

Russ

October 13th, 2010
8:12 am

It looked like a very stoppable goal to me because it fluttered in at about 20 mph to Mason’s right after he over-committed trying to stop anything to the short side.

Rhythmpenguin

October 13th, 2010
8:15 am

Ondre has the 3rd best GAA in the league according to NHL.com =)

Buzzeng

October 13th, 2010
8:19 am

Very disappointed in the power play… never seemed to put any solid offensive pressure even with the man advantage. If we had held on to the 1-0 lead, the #1 star would have been the goal post – I counted three quality stops! Also, was it just me, or did there seem to be an unusaul number of open ice slip/falls (on both sides) and the pucks seemed to bounce like tennis balls. Maybe the ice wasn’t in great shape? Even in a losing efffort, I liked what I saw compared to last year’s Thrashers…still room for improvement, though.

Sara

October 13th, 2010
8:21 am

I thought the whole game was horrible, not just the 3rd. They only survived the first two periods because LA couldn’t seem to stay out of the box or convert on their chances when they weren’t. Aside from the attrocious PP, they couldn’t clear the defensive zone worth a crap, turned it over multiple times in the neutral zone, and got very little sustained pressure in the offensive zone. I saw whack-a-mole defense, missed/sloppy passes, and lots of shots not on net that ricocheted right back out – blech.

The individual effort is there for a lot of our players but they are lacking chemistry and cohesion. They do not work as five-man units and that’s hurting us at regular strength and on the PP. Hopefully that’s something that will correct itself to a certain extent as the season moves on but Ramsay may also need to start tinkering with lines 1 through 3.

Rhythmpenguin

October 13th, 2010
8:21 am

If you watch the player interviews on the Thrashers website Mason and Ramsey talk about the 2nd goal. Mason was moving to his left, anticipating a hard shot and it “fluttered” to the right. According to Ramsey, and I agree, the first goal should not have gone in.

Joe Friday

October 13th, 2010
8:48 am

I had a dream last night. There was this team wearing a big Indian head on their sweater who moved this big imposing dman with soft hands up to the forward position. And he created space for the smaller skilled forwards they allowed them to get loose. And get this, they also moved him right in front of the goalie on the PP and you know what, it worked and they wound up skating with a Cup over their heads.

Man, what a dream . . .

Get Buff up to forward and watrch the space he’ll create for LIttle and Bergfors (who are getting swallowed up right now by opposing D). Get him in front of the goalie on the PP and watch our PP take off. You’ve got Meyer ready to step in on D. Good golly, this ain’t rocket science, coach!

alex

October 13th, 2010
9:02 am

this is scott burnside ancwer on question about goalee greeis “Thought Atlanta might be interested but apparently no dice there.” what also you need to now about. i remember levenson answer ‘if we not able to build winning team we going to sell the team” four year gone losing, team still no sale sign. they extremely cheap and this is thrasher cancer. i see no light at the end. lier levenson please do what you promised.

GaVaHokie

October 13th, 2010
9:35 am

Dish Network blackout, argh! I probably need to switch, but I’m really on Dish’s side on this. Hate for FOX to win.

Smoothie

October 13th, 2010
9:44 am

Hainsey and/or Mason weren’t the problem last night. Byfuglien was. And a general lack of chemistry among our forwards. I thought Buff would demonstrate a better capacity for handling the blueline duties, but he was waaay too sloppy with the puck last nite and if not for Enstrom saving his butt a lot of the time, we’d be in real deep doo.

If Buff can’t stand out enough to be a difference-maker from the blueline, then there is really very little justification for keeping him from playing forward, where he has proven to be a difference-maker. Freddy Meyer is more than capable so I think it’s time to shake things up. Put Tobes with Bogey, Oduya back with Hainsey and Meyer with Sopes.

Big Buff could be the key to unlocking our offense as his big body (and skill) could really draw some attention away from Kane & Pevs who are getting little space with only Anthony Stewart to worry about on the opposite wing…not much of a threat. Perhaps we can try these lines:

Kaner – Pevs – Buff

Modin – Lits – Antro

Ladd – Burmy – Thorbs

Eager – Slater – Dawes (if Slater is ready which he may be)

That leaves out Bergfors, which is unfair since I thought he played fairly well last nite. Problem is that putting him out there with Burmy might be too much to ask for a 3rd line in the physical Western Conf. If Slater isn’t ready, keep the Eager Thor-Burm line intact and use Laddy with Slates & Bergie for an aggressive checking line with hands to score (Ladd & Bergie of course).

Smoothie

October 13th, 2010
9:56 am

Sara – great post…pretty much agree on all counts!! I think the Thrashers were a bit surprised by just how physical LA was…especially the guys who played in last year’s 7 – 0 blowout against a fatigued Kings team. Kane especially let the physical play get to him with his dumb penalty on Doughty when he RKO’ed him to the ice. I admit I thought it was interference that time as DD was late and the puck was well behind him at that point. But at home, LA plays a very aggressive and almost old school style with some extra-curricular activities in the corners and such. Had the team that played Friday vs WSH showed up in LA, it could have been a different story.

Dwayne

October 13th, 2010
10:34 am

i got to watch the game last night…channelsurfing.net….thanks to the person who gave me the web sight.

Lew 39

October 13th, 2010
10:37 am

Same result different year!! This has the making of a long season; I hope I am wrong. Mediocre team and a Management with little commitment: I am already questioning whether I will purchase season tickets next year.

What will it take for this franchise to build a winner; we have never been the same since the Ranger debacle.

Napoleon Dynamite

October 13th, 2010
11:10 am

we’re only 3 games into the season, Gosh

kracker

October 13th, 2010
11:12 am

tweet – DownGoesBrown What’s the difference between the New Jersey Devils and the Chilean government? The Chileans can afford to bring someone up from the miners.

Russian

October 13th, 2010
11:47 am

Does anybody know that Stuart and Dawes have two way contract? I know Modin is one way contract. If we can send Stuart and Dawes to Wolves, we can bring up Rismiller, Expo, Machacek, Petterson and etc.
I did not see any good game from Stuart or Dawes.

Smoothie

October 13th, 2010
11:55 am

Russian – both Stewart and Dawes have 2-way contracts, but I believe both would have to clear waivers to get sent down. Dawes for sure, but I’m not sure if Stewart has 80+ games. Wait, nevermind, Stewart was drafted before Valabik so therefore he is not free of waivers.

Pettersson is still within 6 years of his draft date so he can get moved up and down waiver-worry free.

litz

October 13th, 2010
12:06 pm

I think the most baffling thing on the blackout was – Dish completely blacked out … DirecTV blacked out after the first period … and cable showed the whole game.

Russian

October 13th, 2010
12:16 pm

*to Smoothie*
That is a good point. Send Stuart to Chicago. He could not take pressure on second line. First goal from Kings was Stuart mistake. He was very close to Smith and he did not cover him. Also we have to change PP units. Buff MUST BE stayed on front of the net. His shot from Blue line is not accurate.

J-man

October 13th, 2010
12:33 pm

Russian – Rissmiller is NOT the answer. Esposito has yet to play for the Wolves, but you are right that Machacek would be better than Stewart. I’m not very excited about Dawes, but he should eventually be OK. Not great, but average.

Smoothie – I wouldn’t worry about somebody taking Stewart on a waiver claim. There are reasons why he has failed in every previous attempt to stick in the NHL.

Joe Friday

October 13th, 2010
12:43 pm

“thought Buff would demonstrate a better capacity for handling the blueline duties, but he was waaay too sloppy with the puck last nite”

Gee, who told you that you guys would hate Buf on d? I watching him on the ‘Hawks, he is not a good dman and tended to get real lazy back there. They moved him to forward and you all saw what happened. This is what our lines should be:

Bergfors – Little – Buf
Kane -Antropov – Ladd
Modin – Peverley – Dawes
Eager – Slater – Thorburn

Cormier gets worked in the 3 or 4th line mix as soon as he’s healthy

This club will continue to give up 30+ shots on goal and suck out loud on defense as long as Toby Enstrom is your #1 dman eating 25+ minutes per night . . . I still haven’t watched a game all the way through, does anyone see improved play from Bogosian?

Zombie Steve

October 13th, 2010
12:44 pm

Bring back “The Fly”

Smoothie

October 13th, 2010
12:45 pm

I’m not worried at all…was just pointing it out. I’m a Super Fly Freddy advocate and would rather have him than Stewart, Macho or Rissmiller. I bet Freddy could do some damage with Little & Ladd.

Smoothie

October 13th, 2010
12:46 pm

Joe F – interesting but how in the world do you leave out Burma!?

Chris16

October 13th, 2010
12:59 pm

Man we looked like the old thrashers last night, this is our second lost to a teams home opener.Speaking of home openers what happen to the team that beat the caps and played a complete 60 minutes of hockey.If that team come back and stays we will be fine if not it is going to be a long hockey season. Go Blue Crew!!

Dr. Feelgood

October 13th, 2010
1:07 pm

Chris, Opie can only pass out once a year, The 60 minutes you got for the Thrashers/Caps game wont happen again. Unless the Thrashers have one player “pass out” per game. Rotate it in alphabetical order.
SLASH played the National Anthem before puck drop last night…awesome.

Joe Friday

October 13th, 2010
1:19 pm

Yep, apparently the first game was a win one for the Gipper moment . . .

Burmistrov can play 4th line center and Slater and Thorburn can rotate on the wing . . .Modin or Dawes can also be rotated out if they’re not going well . . .

Smoothie

October 13th, 2010
1:51 pm

Burmy is going to get PP time and may even get a look in the top 6 against ANH’s weakened / depleted D. Speaking of which, think they might be interested in Valabik? I’d love to have Saku Koivu on this team so Antro can play RW where he belongs.

Valabik and Cormier for Koivu!?

R. Stroz

October 13th, 2010
2:13 pm

does anyone see improved play from Bogosian?

Joe Bob Friday – Bogosian doesn’t read the game quickly enough.

LAC

October 13th, 2010
2:32 pm

Brian Little looks lost out there, Peverley not a whole lot better, poor passing and very very few SOG to show from either, They really need to start playing a lot better, real real soon.

LAC

October 13th, 2010
2:35 pm

Smoothie, Why would you trade two young players for a guy, Kouiv who is in his mid 30’s with less than half a tank left ???? Ungood trade…

Hockey Biltong

October 13th, 2010
2:44 pm

Bogo was slow to respond in the net area. There was chaos in the crease often, where a log jam would occur and LA would shoot from the point and then pick up all the deflections. “Ring around the rosie” was played alot last night.
Kudos to Brown for giving the Kings a lot of energy in the first and second periods.It wasn’t until Thorbs scored that LA slowed a bit.
Our passes were not quick ennough, nor accurate enough. Too many times I’d see a pass off the mark requiring forward progress to stop. Just not sharp.

The Hainsey redirected goal was sad because it arced just past Masons’ shoulder. No way he could anticipate that.{Mason}.

The power play was dominated by LA who were mind readers when it came to stopping the Thrash from crossing into LA territory. We have to get better here quickly….
So the players are still learning the system, the mistakes are obvious, and I am trying to be patient as the team goes through this learning curve…The Ducks are sucking bad, so I’m hoping for a win, and maybe that win could keep us competitive with the Sharks.

Smoothie

October 13th, 2010
3:06 pm

LAC – Valabik will never play a meaningful role here with Postma and Kulda in the system and almost ready to come up. Not to mention Zubarev. As for Cormier, I’m not sure I see the difference between him and say Jimmy Slater, who’s locked up for 2 years. AHM will want something for Koivu and a raw D-man who can be Andy Sutton’s understudy is not enough payment. I know Duds is in love with Cormier, but Burmy is showing we have plenty of depth at C now. I would certainly want a prospect or draft pick (most likely) in return, but I really could care less about Cormier. He underwhelms me although he is solid, but we have plenty of “solid” forwards who can’t score enough or set up goals.

Koivu playing with Antro and Little and/or Ladd could be very, very good indeed.

Joe Friday

October 13th, 2010
3:58 pm

I would guess that Cormier is probably the most untouchable player in our system. He has the “it” factor, there’s a reason he was team captain for Canadian Junior club. From everything I’ve seen, he’s the type of balls to the wall hockey player we so desperately need and I look forward to him skating for us.

Valabik? Sure, send him on his way. I still haven’t noticed Burmistrov and he has no pts and is a minus, not sure what I’m missing there with him but I haven’t watched any complete games and I’ll keep trying to keep an eye on him.

Joe Friday

October 13th, 2010
4:02 pm

“Bogosian doesn’t read the game quickly enough”

Not good. I was really hoping for a big step up from him this year. Until we get a true #1 dman, we’re going to continue sucking on d and Mason is going to look like Moose who battled last year to the best of his ability.

Red Light

October 13th, 2010
4:17 pm

Joe: Mason is Moose!

In my opinion, the key to any good power play is side-to-side puck movement. Without that, offensive players become too stationary and without going back and forth with the puck, the goalie sees the puck better and can react. With many teams playing a relatively passive box, you need to employ more of a 1-2-2 or 1-3-1 setup. I know this ain’t hoops, but you have to create space and puck movement.

Look at the shot chart here from last night. http://www.nhl.com/ice/icetracker.htm?id=2010020035

Tough to score from along the boards. I count four Thrashers shots from “scoring territory” and the rest from the hinterlands. The shot location on the power play is not good. The power play could use an injection of Kozlov and Frankie Kaberle right now (they knew how to move the puck on the PP).

On the flip side, the Thrashers allowed just one shot on goal on the penalty kill.

BTW, it has been just three games of guys playing with new teammates. Chill and wait a week before you begin gnashing your teeth about lines, pairings, etc. It’s way too early to judge. But, if you want to moan about Kane getting caught up ice twice resulting in a minus-2 last night, and that the Anthony Stewart experiment is coming to an end, then I’m all ears.

Red Light

October 13th, 2010
4:27 pm

Concerning the shot chart link. Apparently you have to select exactly what you’re looking for each time. You can select PP, shorthanded, even strength etc. Sorry about that!

Adam

October 13th, 2010
4:30 pm

JBF – The fact Burma is a minus right now is not because of lack of effort. He plays a Hossa type 2way game. He had 2 very nice steals last night, one at the end of the 2nd that saved a break away. He does get pushed around in the corners a bit but he is not afraid to be there. He also checks very well for his size.

Burma’s main problem right now is he tries to do to much and holds on to the puck to long. Maturity/Rammer will correct this. This kid HAS the IT FACTOR for sure.

Joe Friday

October 13th, 2010
4:32 pm

“Chill and wait a week before you begin gnashing your teeth about lines, pairings, etc. It’s way too early to judge.”

I know, I usually figure that you need 20 games in before you can truly see the trends and where the club is at. Hi-evah, counselor, I am so completely biased against Buf on d and wasting what he can bring on offense, and so flummoxed by these goofy line combinations that I want Coach to make some changes before we’re out of it by the end of November . . .

Red Light

October 13th, 2010
4:33 pm

Oh and what’s with a 19-year-old calling his 60-year old coach, “Rammer.” To me, that is a huge WTF!

Hope you’re well World Be Free and at the very least on vacation. You are missed!

Red Light

October 13th, 2010
4:34 pm

JF: No argument at all about Paul Bunyan!

Tom

October 13th, 2010
4:53 pm

So Bogo is hurt – Bogosian day to day with upper body injury. via CViv

Red Light

October 13th, 2010
5:02 pm

Enter Meyer or Boris Aintbadenov?

Smoothie

October 13th, 2010
5:18 pm

“The fact Burma is a minus right now is not because of lack of effort”

Adam is absolutely right about Burma save for the fact he is a PLUS-2 thanks to his hard-work on that 4th line. He’s not afraid to give up the body, wins puck battles, keeps the puck on his stick in the O-zone, draws penalties and makes Chris Thorburn look like Brian Rolston in his hey-day…is that enough for you Joe F? Sheesh. You’re all up on Cormier’s jock without having seen him play much but blow all this garbage about Burmy not being much to get excited about. Reality check!

Smoothie

October 13th, 2010
5:19 pm

Oh yeah, one more thing about Johnny Burma: he’s hell on wheels getting back in transition and back-checks like a Russian chess superstar!

Sara

October 13th, 2010
6:13 pm

Kane – Pevs – Antro
Dawes – Slater – Modin
Ladd – Little – Stewart

The new #1-#3 lines – line 4 stays intact and Boults and Bergie were paired out separately per Ben Wright’s Twitter.

Atlanta Spirit, please reference my 8:12am post and contact Rawhide to pass along my consulting fee. ;)

Thrashpuppy

October 13th, 2010
6:20 pm

Hate to hear that Bogo is hurt. That isn’t going to help matters at all.

I expected a rough start with all the new’s we have right now. Looks like we are seeing that now. But I too want to give the team more time before I start getting too worried.

How did we get so lucky to be the opening night opponent for 3 teams this year? TB, LA and now San Jose. Since their first two games were in Europe, we’ll be their home opener too. Hope they don’t have the momentum that the other two have had so far. I also hope we can beat Anaheim in the meantime.

Adam

October 13th, 2010
6:30 pm

Smoothinator – I was just referencing Joe “Buff on the Brain” Friday stating Burmy as being -2. He must have that number stuck in his head from Buff’s stats. I didn’t look it up.

I must say I completely agree with him on the topic though. I watched a lot of the Chicago games last year too and Buff is much more affective as a forward. I still don’t under stand why we haven’t seen him move to the crease on the PP yet. Also you would think that if he wanted to be moved back to D he would show more effort playing there.

Smooth Grouper

October 13th, 2010
6:42 pm

Adam – duly noted sir, but I’m not sure who is arguing with Joe about Buff. Most folks here expressed their concern about the Buff on D experiment. Who in their right mind wouldn’t PREFER him as a forward considering what he did in the playoffs? I think most here wanted to give Duds & Rammer the benefit of the doubt as the ultimate judge. They seem to be right about Burmy, Thorbs stepping up, Hainsey not earning his contract and so on and so forth. The jury is still out on Buff on D and playing with Enstrom, playing Toby 24+ minutes a game and the overall line combos in which an AHL tweener is playing alongside two players who represented their country in the World Championships. I know Joe F would like to take the credit for being right on everything, but I was arguing with him about Alex Burmistrov vis a vis Patrice Cormier (whom I’m not sold on).

alex

October 13th, 2010
6:48 pm

guys why you are re-arranging chairs on titanic. doesn’t metter who playing on 1, 2 or 3 line. captain asg has to be replaced. untill that same result. we are cheap team on the floor of cap room. need to donate mr. levenson approx. 7, 8 mil. to buy 2 top six forwards. parol going to be 53, 54 mill. still plenty cap room. than we can argue about lines, but with ram as coach we in elite. thank god we also got blank and braves owners.

Adam

October 13th, 2010
7:23 pm

Smooth Grouper – Didn’t mean to imply an argument…

Before he got Cormier got hurt I wanted to see these lines.

Bergfors – Peverley – Buf
Kane – Comier – Antropov
Modin – Little – Ladd
Eager – Bruma – Thorburn

The way I see it now is:

Bergfors – Peverley – Buf
Kane – Little – Antropov
Modin – Bruma – Ladd
Pettersson – Eager – Thorburn

You can swap the wings on the 1st two line to fine better chemistry. Thoughts?

Adam

October 13th, 2010
7:26 pm

Wow typos, those 1st two beers got to my head a litter quicker than I thought. ;)

R. Stroz

October 13th, 2010
7:33 pm

Joe Bob Friday – Your “school of groupers” continues to grow.

World Be Free

October 13th, 2010
10:11 pm

Vacation in NYC was great – ate my way through the city. Haven’t seen a minute of Thrasher hockey yet. One thing I can tell you from what I have seen-NHL hockey has been pretty boring so far this season. Has alone else noticed how defensive teams are playing? Buffalo/NJ was a horrible game tonight, Kovy got a gift and buried it. Typical Buffalo, lifeless team.

Power play = Buff in front of the net. Plain and simple

Phil Foley - Atlanta Thrashers Examiner

October 13th, 2010
10:40 pm

What does it say about a team when your fourth line is +8 and the rest of the team is -18?

Why does up is down and down is up practically the Thrashers’ mantra for these past 11 years? Something’s rotten in Atlanta if your best power play effort comes when you have the guys that don’t practice it get on the ice and do it way better than your regular folks.

http://bit.ly/byuyvq

Brendan

October 13th, 2010
10:51 pm

Well, New Jersey managed one (1) goal tonight. One measely goal. Luckily for Lou Lamoriello, that lone goal was scored by Kovalchuk, and was scored in overtime, resulting in 2-points, and a win the standings. But still, this can’t be how Lou drew it up, during the offseason.

Red Light, remember when we were projecting the final standings of 10-11? Well, tonight … we saw a good bit of how those final standings could turn out. I had the Maple Leafs in 13th place, jumping above the Islanders and Panthers. Tonight, the Leafs went into Pittsburgh and came away with a 4-3 win. Toronto, 3-0-0, is off to a 1st place in the Conference start. Good for them. They’ll need to bank points early to stay out of the lottery draft by season’s end. The Islanders were in it with the Capitals, late into the 3rd period, when Washington got the winning goal. Plenty more of that to come, for the NY Islanders. Can’t be good that Gary Bettman was interviewed a few days ago, saying, “Owner Charles Wang has tried for 9 years to get the local government to fund a new arena, frankly, with no success. The Islanders will honor their lease to its conclusion, but won’t stay a minute longer.” But then quickly added, “But we’re not talking about relocation, nor expansion, in the future, for our league.” Bettman also stated, “Well, no. We like the playoff format how it is now. It’s working. There’s great competition. The on ice product is better and faster than ever. There’s no reason to add more playoff teams.” (Well, to be honest, here, there is. It’s called playoff revenue. But I’m delighted that Commissioner Bettman has ostensibly opted for HONOR of the game over the QUEST FOR MORE MONEY in a cash-strapped league. Color me WOWED.”

Red Light, you also talked about how Buffalo was lacking to repeat atop the Northeast Division. We saw that, tonight, in the 1-0 OT loss. It’s too early for me to regret picking the Sabres to win that division, but I’m seeing what you’re talking about now. That game was in Buffalo, too, where the Sabres had the benefit of the final line change. They couldn’t put up a single goal, with Roy, Vanek, Connolly, Pomminville, Myers, Leopold, etc. Can’t blame Ryan Miller, for that. And it was a ‘perfect shot’ by Ilya that beat him.

What ELSE did we see tonight? I talked about how I thought, in my opinion, the Lightning would be 8th, and Montreal, due to the Carey Price/Jaroslav Halak decision, would be 10th, just ahead of the Thrashers. Well, those two clubs squared off. And, just as I thought, Carey Price totally lost sight, and control, of the puck on a harmless play behind his net, resulting is a “freebie” puck in front of his goal crease, where Malone scooped up the winning goal in Overtime. By the way, Montreal led that game with 1:33 left in regulation. A chance, needless to say, for a four-point swing on the Lightning. I cannot fault Carey Price on the Stamkos goal, set up perfectly by Lecavalier, with the Lightning net EMPTY. Perfect execution by Tampa Bay. True or false?: This game pushes Tampa closer to 8th and Montreal closer to 10th, when the season is over? That’s what I’m talkin’ about. These games, here in October, do matter. The whole equals the sum of its parts.

Nashville and Chicago, teams that met last year in the playoffs, are tied at 2-2, late in the 3rd period, on Center Ice, Comcast # 776 and # 777.

B. Thenet

October 13th, 2010
11:53 pm

Oh Brendan, what next….Clark MacArthur for the Rocket Richard….I mean he has 4 goals so far.

PK Subban is the reason the Lightning won. He coughed up the puck for Tampa’s 2nd goal and committed a penalty very late in the 3rd which led to the Tampa game tying PP goal.

Joe Friday

October 14th, 2010
12:02 am

“Joe Bob Friday – Your “school of groupers” continues to grow.”

This blog sure does attract ‘em, eh?

So, uh, coach mixed the lines up, gee who woulda thunk it? He keeps moving them around and he may get it right one of these games (cough, Buf on the right side of Bergfors and Little, cough)

Brendan

October 14th, 2010
12:22 am

I wouldn’t put on a nickel on MacArthur park scoring 25 goals this year. Remember when Jon Sim, was a Thrasher? He had five goals before Kovalchuk got his 1st, one year. What did he finish with that year, 10 goals? 12?? Was it 20??

Joe Friday

October 14th, 2010
9:01 am

I don’t know Brendan, I watched that tilt last night and the Buds are skating pretty darn well. Burke has put together a cohesive lineup there and they are getting the goaltending as well. Phaenuf looks pretty darn good, Kaberle seems rejuvenated. Colton Orr got his snot knockered, though!

Rawhide

October 14th, 2010
9:03 am

G’morning gang…As C-Viv informend us of yeserday evening, coach Ramsay seems to be tinkering with lines. Is he trying to find the right chemistry for this team?

Brendan

October 14th, 2010
1:31 pm

But, it’s early, Joe Friday. Let’s see if it continues. For their sakes, I hope it does. Last year, the hottest team in the NHL out of the gate was the Colorado Avalanche. And they didn’t slip instantly off that perch, either. But by season’s end, they were barely in the playoffs as the # 8 seed.

R. Stroz

October 17th, 2010
8:09 am