Mason helps Thrashers snatch victory from jaws of Sharks

“Chris Mason is yet to really “steal” a game for us, allowing 13 goals on 142 shots, (.908 SV%). But if coach Craig Ramsay looks to skate the veteran back out there between the pipes, he may need to do just that if the Thrashers are to win their first game against the Sharks since a 3-2 victory eight years ago”

That was from my entry yesterday, opining that if the Atlanta Thrashers were to secure two points from the San Jose Sharks, Chris Mason would need to come up big…stealing one for the team. And indeed that is exactly what he did Saturday night, stopping 37 of 39 shots as the Thrashers hooked the Sharks 4-2.

It was Atlanta’s first ever victory in San Jose and only the second time in their history that they’ve landed the Sharks. The last time was a 3-2 win back on November 13, of 2002 at Philips Arena.

Chris Mason stopped 37 of 39 San Jose shots to earn his third win of the season (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Chris Mason stopped 37 of 39 San Jose shots to earn his third win of the season (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

But it didn’t come easy. After Mason and the Thrashers fell behind 2-0 late in the first period…one of those coming on a 5 on 3 power play…Mason then did to the Sharks what Debbie Hesslefielder did to me all throughout the 11th grade. Completely and totally turned them away…time after time.

San Jose peppered Atlanta’s goalie with 18 shots in the second period, but to no avail. And because Mason built the brick wall in front of his net, he gave his skaters the time needed to get themselves on track. By the time the second intermission rolled around, the score was tied at two.

Andrew Ladd was first to tickle the twine behind Sharks netminder Antti Niemi, his teammate in Chicago last season. Ladd tapped home a rebound from Bryan Little’s spin-around shot for a short-handed goal just 83 seconds into the second period. Twelve and a half minutes later it was Anthony Stewart…yes, him again…blasting home a shot from the right side. Ladd and Little were credited with assisting on Stewey’s game-tying tally.

“He’s one of those guys that if you get him the puck in the right spot, he’s got a real heavy shot and can find the back of the net”, Ladd said of Stewart after the game. “It’s been fun to watch him the last couple games.”

Stewart now leads the team in goals scored with 4. But who among us just didn’t see that coming…right? Ladd’s five points, 2 goals and 3 assists, tops Atlanta’s stat sheet for overall points.

Then in the third period, the Thrashers came out of the locker room with a freshly opened can of “Jump” in their britches. After being outshot 30-13 in the first forty minutes of play, the players in the white jerseys attacked and swarmed the Sharks goal like frat boys to a beer keg.

Atlanta outshot San Jose 15-9 in that final frame, scored twice and blew the Sharks clear out of the water.

And again, it was a former teammate of Niemi’s that got a puck past him. This time it was forwarddefenseman Dustin Byfuglien who snapped home a power play goal from between the circles. It was Buff’s first goal as a Thrasher and it gave his new team a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.

Jim Slater and Johnny Oduya celebrate with Evander Kane after his third period goal (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Jim Slater and Johnny Oduya celebrate with Evander Kane after his third period goal (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Taking the skate of shame just afterwards was former Thrasher Dany Heatley. He had earned a seat of honor in the sin bin with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation for interfering Alex Burmistrov’s progress down the ice.

Byfuglien’s power lay goal was the team’s fourth such man advantage goal in the last two games on seven chances. In the first three games of the season the Thrashers had converted only one power play chance on 14 opportunities.

Evander Kane finished off the scoring at the 15:51 mark of the third when he directed home a pass from Rich Peverley. Kane, like Chris Thorburn, has three goals now on this young season. Evander’s quite a player…but clearly, he’s no Anthony Stewart.

The win caps off a three game west coast swing and a four game road trip. After dropping the first two…then falling behind 4-2 in the third period of Friday night’s game in Anaheim…they found a way to still win the finaly two and come home with four points tucked in their hip pocket.

Waiting for them Wednesday night will be the Buffalo Sabres…and I’m quite sure the normal large contingent of some of the NHL’s most respectful, polite, decent, mature, courteous and well-mannered fans that the league has to offer.

64 comments Add your comment

Wreckin & Thrashin

October 17th, 2010
3:57 am

This is a quality hockey team we have. Playoff quality.

BG33Brown

October 17th, 2010
6:53 am

Great win. Wish I could have kept my eyes open past the 1st period. But my 14 month old doesn’t understand sleeping in.

Spud Webb

October 17th, 2010
7:28 am

Good job thrashers…I’m guessing I won’t hear any doom and gloom for the day about Stewart or about how bad this team is???
Quote of the day for me…“This team here is a pretty resilient group,” Mason said. “We are getting there. The thing is, we can get better but you can’t teach that never-quite attitude.”

I love it, this is all we can ask for!!!! WOoooooooooooooooooooo…see you guys Wednesday night!

ThrasherNY

October 17th, 2010
7:52 am

Great win last night!

Mason did in fact steal the game for us. Some of the Sharks would argue more he literally stole it with some fancy footwork “scooping” a puck that could have been across the line. Call that the cherry on top of a stellar performance and throw in the mix he was on a back to back…..that is character.

Down two goals, on West coast time, in back to back games to come back with four straight for the win……that is character.

Getting wins against quality teams while not playing our best is encouraging.

Sluggish starts, leading to penalties, leading to fatigued defensemen and resulting in lots of pucks hitting our goalies is a not encouraging.

We are not going to make the playoff if we keep allowing 40 shots on goal a night. No matter how good our goalies are the math just doesn’t support that as a winning model. Time for Rammer to up the conditioning and emphasize our backchecking. Also wish a leader would step up to be Captain to help rally the troops.

While I dont pretend to know the answer to the Buff mystery, that effortless wrister last night sure made me wish he was still on O gloggig up the front of the net. I was already leaning toward making him forward as I was worried about our scoring potential and now after 5 games of seeing him on D and seeing that shot last night I have clearly moved to the ‘move him back’ party.

Go Thrashers!

World Be Free

October 17th, 2010
8:30 am

The character of the coach is already showing on the players.

BlueSpark

October 17th, 2010
8:37 am

Any UB Alumni attending Wednesday’s game?

Debbie Hesslefielder

October 17th, 2010
9:09 am

English Teacher

October 17th, 2010
9:13 am

Heard said by Todd McLellan in the third period: “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”

Rightshot

October 17th, 2010
9:23 am

I am really confused this morning, and not from the lack of sleep. The Thrashers played below average and yes, even bad, hockey for almost five out of six periods over the last two games and still won!? I’m so used to them rolling over in those type games, this is really throwing me for a loop.

As for Buff moving to forward. Keep in mind he scored 17 goals and 17 assist (34pts) all of the last regular season. With his scoring touch, I suspect he will still score as many goals from the back end, and we need the D scoring. Keep him on defense. ( here’s two cents)

BTW, loved the link to the definition of sarcasm.

five_hole

October 17th, 2010
9:58 am

Evander’s quite a player…but clearly, he’s no Anthony Stewart.;-)

So, we got us a Masonry wall in goal, huh?

And are they gonna start selling Stewart jerseys at Philips next week? The kid sounds like a steal.

Mikey

October 17th, 2010
10:07 am

Dang it! I fell asleep in the second period when it was 2-0. But I wake up to find out they won! Checking out replays now.

Great job coming back, guys!

Spud Webb

October 17th, 2010
10:17 am

Five_hole, last week folks on here were done with Stewart…I suspect that won’t be the case for a few days now!!
RedLight, I also suspect no one had Stewart and that game as our hattrick game??? hahahaha

Spud Webb

October 17th, 2010
10:20 am

Sabres are scuffling, no reason the thrashers shouldn’t win Wednesday.

Budder

October 17th, 2010
10:23 am

I passed out at 12:30 AM from too much CFB, and woke up to read the totally unexpected news. Just dayum…

***WARNING – POLITICAL COMMENT***

Write-in Mason for Governor!

Curly

October 17th, 2010
10:33 am

It’s a revelation how we are are winning games without goal scoring from the expected players of Antropov, Little, Peverly, and Bergfors. Just think how good we can be once they get going.

I agree on Mason. He Earned the First Star honors last night.

Curly

October 17th, 2010
10:37 am

For those of you outside the Atlanta “Blackout” area and couldn’t stay awake long enough to watch the game last night; The game replay just started on Comcast channel 783.

3stripes

October 17th, 2010
10:57 am

Can someone explain why these games (L.A., Anaheim, and San Jose) were blacked out on Center Ice (DirecTv) when they weren’t carried by FSN South or SportSouth? I don’t get it.

Curly

October 17th, 2010
10:57 am

Speaking of Goalies; I bet McLellan is kicking himself right about now for not starting Niittymaki (17-0 against the Thrashers).

Mr. Heat Miser

October 17th, 2010
11:04 am

Cheese. Day old cheap beer. Bad breath. BO. The Slugs are coming. I can smell ‘em already.

Rawhide

October 17th, 2010
11:09 am

Can someone explain why these games (L.A., Anaheim, and San Jose) were blacked out on Center Ice (DirecTv) when they weren’t carried by FSN South or SportSouth? I don’t get it.

3stripes – Yes…it’s because the people who run NHL Center Ice seem to have their heads shoved firmly and totally up their…ahem…in the sand.

It’s not just DTV, but Comcast too had the games blacked out. I intend to contact my cable provider Monday morning and let them know what I think about this asinine decision to blackout a game played in California back here in Atlanta. I will also let them know they can kiss my $180 dollars goodbye unless they can work with whomever in in charge of the NHL Center Ice programming problem this week and resolve the problem this week.

Blackout a game in Atlanta that is played in Atlanta…I got that.

But one that’s played 3,000 miles away? That simply reeks of a problem too many people in the Cable/Dish service seem to suffer from…dumbassinitis.

R. Stroz

October 17th, 2010
11:16 am

the Thrashers came out of the locker room with a freshly opened can of “Jump” in their britches.

Good thing they didn’t have a “Dump” in their britches.

Tincup9

October 17th, 2010
11:25 am

loved your sabre “fan” observation. It is hard to be more obnoxious than New York or Philly fans, but they manage to do it.

R. Stroz

October 17th, 2010
11:26 am

and I’m quite sure the normal large contingent of some of the NHL’s most respectful, polite, decent, mature, courteous and well-mannered fans that the league has to offer.

I was sure that link was going to show a picture of a sphincter.

five_hole

October 17th, 2010
11:32 am

Spud Webb Most people are fickle and have short term memories.

Mikey

October 17th, 2010
11:59 am

Just saw the “sarcasm” link. Now I’m off to Best Buy to get a new computer monitor as I spewed coffee all over this one. :lol:

Well played, BlogMaster.

Brendan

October 17th, 2010
12:20 pm

COMCAST got an earful from me. If everyone on these boards calls their Center Ice provider, the message will be felt.

Hockey Biltong

October 17th, 2010
12:44 pm

Stewart showed his moxie all through training camp and pre season…..

Chris16

October 17th, 2010
12:54 pm

Great win to listen too on the Radio with Dan. Thanks to Comcast for Blacking out the two great west coast wins. Free NHL package what a joke.

Church Lady

October 17th, 2010
12:57 pm

“Stewart showed his moxie all through training camp and pre season”

Well, I certainly hope the good coach Craig Ramsay has seen to it that he ends this disgusting and shameful display of indecency!

Chief of Smoke

October 17th, 2010
1:17 pm

Excellent road trip and great start to the season

I would also like to understand center Ice blackout Policy

I would think the NHL would want the Atlanta market seeing as many away games as possible.

nick

October 17th, 2010
1:57 pm

i am totally upset about the blackout. I would never buy the center ice package just because of this. The only reason that i can come up with is that the center ice would compete with sports south so they had it blocked. the problem was that sports south wasn’t broadcasting the game. If you don’t broadcast the game then why can you block it?

3stripes

October 17th, 2010
2:31 pm

For the record, I did call DirecTv Friday night for the Anaheim game. They were, of course, no help, and placed the blame firmly on the NHL. I actually watched the San Jose pre-game Saturday night, and then all went black. Given my frustration level, I figured another call would be pointless.

Cornbread

October 17th, 2010
3:15 pm

Keep Big Buff on D. He is providing something from the blue line that very few players can, a mobile scoring threat. God God that guy has got moves! And what a shot! In the coming weeks he is going to get better and more responsible. He and Bogosian are playing a very similar style. Most teams would love to have one guy on the team jump into the play; two guys that are capable and another who can feed anyone the puck from anywhere can get pretty hard to cover. The problem, of course, is odd-man rushes the other way. That’s why jumping in at the right time and accuracy are important. Hit The NET!!!

This too will come. I like how this team is shaping up and where they are headed. A very different and much better Atlanta Thrashers hockey team.

World Be Free

October 17th, 2010
3:39 pm

Blue Spark-is there a UB club in ATL? My parents were UB alums.

World Be Free

October 17th, 2010
3:46 pm

I am waiting for Mason to get knocked down, so somebody on this blog can say Mason was “jarred” from the crease. But it won’t be me that’s for sure.

Budder-he get’s my vote

Spud-don’t you just wonder how long it will be before Lindy’s collar gets a little tight? Sabres are off till Wednesday too, plenty of time to think of our heartless they are-should be interesting.

BG33Brown

October 17th, 2010
3:48 pm

Everyone, per Ben’s Twitter page. Is seems like Fox and Dish Networks Squabble is effecting us all. Fox has created a webpage to tell Dish what you think about whats going on. I suggest you do what i did and tell them that you don’t appreciate their squabble effecting everyones hockey.

Here is the link to their feedback page.

http://getwhatipaidfor.com/home/feedback

Flagstaff

October 17th, 2010
3:59 pm

***WARNING – POLITICAL RESPONSE***

Sounds like a great idea! But if that doesn’t work out, Mason could become mayor of Atlanta. He already has the city seal on the back of his mask. Resurgens.

Dwayne

October 17th, 2010
5:09 pm

I told yall it was fox that was causing this sh!t when they blocked the season opener on Oct 8th. they want more money from the cable providers, i have dish, the prez. of dish comes on and tells you what fox is doing. Gosh! if you call fox, they give you a website to go too.

Brendan

October 17th, 2010
5:25 pm

I’ve heard radio and TV ads that say that if you have Comcast or DirectTv, on November 1, 2010, you will lose Fox5, locally, this means local news and shows like the Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, and Cleveland Show, plus all Fox SportSouth sports programming. I think you all know what that means.

Smoothie

October 17th, 2010
5:42 pm

Brendan – if that is true about losing ALL Fox programming, we need to start a petition on this blog to give to Clark Howard so he can rip Comca$$-holes and D!ch Network a new one. This is absurd. So help me God I will cancel my Comcast at the end of my 12 months and order Direct TV or ATandT internet service.

LAC

October 17th, 2010
5:43 pm

What a game last evening. Craig Ramsey is so IN CONTROL on the bench, Simply GREAT to watch.

He has respect of players and fans alike, aGREAT choice for coach and I hope he is here for a long time to come !!!

Excellent comeback, hated the goal by Killer heatley, but what can we do ?

We kept coming at them and the coverage allover the ice was terrific and the support was like I have NEVER seen, esp not the past two seasons !!!

Should handle Buffalo, as they are LOW right now.

Just a shame we could not have built on the lead in LA… If we had… WE would be the Leaders in the SE Division !

LAC

October 17th, 2010
5:45 pm

Smoothie… AT&T does not offer the Center Ice package… When I changed I asked for it and they do NOT have it. All was fine on Direct TV last night for me.

Curly

October 17th, 2010
5:58 pm

WBF – Mason was “jarred” from the crease and knocked into the net on the Sharks first rush at the start of the first period. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

rob

October 17th, 2010
6:21 pm

Curly,
If that is the case and there was no fight I would be very concerned about the physical aspect of our game. Mason is all that is keeping us from having to trade for another goalie or fall like a rock. We have no backup now, and if other teams are allowed to run our goalie at will I call BS. Of course I didn’t see the game thanks to Center Ice so I don’t know how bad it was but….

Smoothie

October 17th, 2010
6:22 pm

Hey Grand Kamalian, if you’re out there…can we get some of this action? The Thrashers org needs to step up and do something for their fans if this blackout business strips us of our SportSouth TV coverage…like selling the in-stadium camera feed to the local WSB channel or something along those lines…hell, how about Comcast Sports? I don’t care, just give me my Thrashers!

http://stars.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=65217

LAC – I don’t really give a damn about Center Ice as I can get my non-Thrashers hockey fix on NHL.com and GameCenter Live, but you can bet your bottom I will writing a letter to the NHL to lambaste them for not taking control of this situation. Stop letting these cable and satellite compaines dicate to you! Sell your content directly to the consumer!! But I will try to get DirecTV if I lose access to SS on my Comcast cable, which is complete and utter B.S.!

goose

October 17th, 2010
6:28 pm

What a surprise to come back to after be on the Appalachian trail for the weekend. Maybe I should go hiking more often.

Curly

October 17th, 2010
6:30 pm

Rob-

Yes I was surprised myself.
a) No Goaltender Interference call.
b) Not a very physical response from the Thrashers (I think Meyer and Oduya were the D -Men on the ice along with Little, Stewart and Ladd).

Alan R.

October 17th, 2010
6:51 pm

I think you all know what that means.

I think it means it’s time for the Thrashers to get the hell off of SPSO.

rob

October 17th, 2010
7:20 pm

Curly,
I wrote on CVivs that I thought the few games I have actually seen including our home opener, the refs have been so completely biased and idiotic as to be even more horrible than the past. I know the refs don’t see everything that happens, and I am OK with that but DAM, when a star does something completely idiotic in front of you and you turn away it is obvious you are scared to make the RIGHT call. And as for us standing up for our goalie…….we had the same problem last year, but I figured that Duds wanting a more physical game would mean the goalie was included in the team concept we are building.

Curly

October 17th, 2010
8:29 pm

Alan – I fired off an email to my Rep and copied Don Waddell complaining about Fox. I also offered them several options to get us some TV coverage as referred to by Smoothie. I hope they don’t treat me like Sage, and at least respond back!