Buffalo enjoys brutally good time in Thrasherville

Wednesday night the Buffalo Sabres provided the opposition for the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena. It’s just too bad that the Thrashers couldn’t return the favor. The beat-down wasn’t even as close as the 4-1 score would indicate as the Sabres simply outplayed the home team all night long.

It was bad…brutally bad.

If you were fortunate enough to miss the Sabre-slapping in Thrasherville, really all you need to know is this: When Cody McCormick scored 2:34 into the second period, the Sabres had more goals scored than the Thrashers had shots on goal. Buffalo led 3-0 and were out-shooting the Thrashers 14-2 at that point.

There was a lot of action going on around Chris Mason's goal Wednesday night. The Thrashers goalie managed to stop 38 of 42 shots faced in the 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

There was a lot of action going on around Chris Mason's goal Wednesday night. The Thrashers goalie managed to stop 38 of 42 shots faced in the 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

On that goal, Chris Mason had bobbled a save, Ron Hainsey tipped the puck back into the crease where McCormick tapped it home.

Overall, the Sabres took 42 shots on goal to the Thrashers 18. Atlanta could muster but 2 SOG on Ryan Miller’s goal in the opening 20 minutes.

“We didn’t do anything to make [Miller] work,” Mason said. “We didn’t test him”.

Looking for excuses for this debacle? Well, don’t look to head coach Craig Ramsay as he’s offering up none. “Attention to detail was almost nonexistent,” he said after the game. “We had a couple of days off, we had two good practices and there’s no reason for them not to come and be able to play”.

During the course of an 82-game season, teams are going to drop a steamer on the ice like this one occasionally. It is what it is. But what’s more alarming to me is this continues a season-long stream of games in which the Thrashers defense allowed an unacceptable amount of shots to get through on goal. Last night it was 41…Saturday it was 39 in San Jose…41 the night before during 65 minutes of play in Anaheim.

In fact, not once in the six games have they allowed below 30 SOG. The 31 allowed to Washington on opening night is the “high mark” of the season so far. And while many questions about this team are still yet to be answered, one thing we all know for sure is that no team is going to play past game number 82 if they allow 37.3 shots per game to be taken on their net.

37.3 SA/G… I don’t care if it’s only six games into the season, that’s shocking even by Thrashers standards.

…sigh…

OK well, it’s over and done with. If you wish to analyze or break down last night’s craptacular extravaganza in any more detail…be my guest. I’d rather just put in behind us and look forward to Friday night’s engagement with the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’ll be the first time in this young season that the Thrashers will have a chance to avenge a previous loss.

The second time will be next Friday when the Buffalo Sabres return to the scene of the crime…the brutally bad beat-down at Blueland.

132 comments Add your comment

Alan R.

October 21st, 2010
12:18 am

This goes back to what I said before the season started: The team is still “getting to know each other,” and I expect October to be a losing month for us.

The number of shots allowed is horrible, and the number we took also falls into that category. The team looked tired and out of place for about 55 of the regulation 60 minutes. It was almost painful to watch.

Hopefully, this stuff is corrected just in time for the back-to-back games on Fri and Sat.

kracker

October 21st, 2010
12:21 am

You captured the essence of the game, RH, in just one word. Brutal.

Oh, wait….isn’t that the Thrashers’ current marketing theme?? Oh, well…we had a bad game, so we move on to the Bolts here on Friday. A bounce-back game is rather essential, don’t you think?

kracker

October 21st, 2010
12:23 am

Alan, I was there and I can assure you it was very painful to watch….ugh

stendek

October 21st, 2010
12:33 am

Is there some clause in contracts that Thrashers MUST perform like shet on home ice? Just saying. Man this sucks big time! Horrible display from team I want so damn much to embrace. Will maintain distance now. Total crap! STENDEK

Thrashy Thrashy

October 21st, 2010
12:40 am

Craig Ramsay’s post-gamer should be mandatory viewing for all Thrashers fans.

He doesn’t sound like a man who’s going to put up with this s***.

stendek

October 21st, 2010
12:50 am

To all the smarties who complain that I throw Thrashers under bus after every loss. Wrong! I drive zamboni over them. There is a difference! STENDEK

Wayne stuck in AL

October 21st, 2010
12:58 am

Thrashers got the crowd they deserved for this one (8,820 announced).

stendek

October 21st, 2010
1:09 am

Hey Thrashers! Want home ice advantage? Want an arena filled with screaming fans? Very simple. Go all out every shift like that shift will be the last one. Ever! Play like studs. Not like the pu$$ies that showed up tonight at Philips Arena. True fans KNOW when you guys are trying. None of you were tonight! You know it as well as we do. Make foes hate coming to Atlanta. Most teams find visits therapeutic! That CANNOT be allowed. Unless all of you enjoy studio hockey! STENDEK

Derrick

October 21st, 2010
1:20 am

Being a Thrashers fan, we’ve all seen plenty of bad games but this is one of the worst I can remember them playing a long time. They were dominated in virtually every facet of the game. They looked like they had no idea what they were doing, especially in the first period where they only had 2 shots on goal. I mean seriously, 2 shots in a whole period? That’s gotta be close to a record. This team has consistently fallen behind early in games and the guys have gotta do a better job of coming out ready to play from the opening whistle. Also, I think it’s time to give Nigel Dawes a taste of the press box and put Bergfors in there. He was -2 in the game and had the least TOI of anyone the team so obviously Coach Ramsay must have thought he was playing pretty badly to give him less than 10 minutes of ice time.

Baldheaded Thrasher

October 21st, 2010
5:09 am

I’m wondering where the Thrasher’s partied at Tuesday night. It appeared to me they all had tremendous hangovers except for Mason. Chris should have cussed them all out after the game for the nonsupport and lack of effort. I wonder if any player stepped up and told them all this kind of play is totally unacceptable?

I can’t recall seeing a worse game than this. The start of the second period we get a too many men on ice penality when no one was close to the bench exiting the ice and now were down by three, any pep talk after the 1st period was just flushed down the toilet.

hockeymom92

October 21st, 2010
6:20 am

That was one of the hardest games I have ever forced myself to watch. I kept thinking that surely they would get it together at some point. My son’s team could have played the Sabers better than the Thrashers did last night. It will be very interesting to see what the “Ram”ifications of last night’s game are at the next practice.

Alan R.

October 21st, 2010
7:10 am

It will be very interesting to see what the “Ram”ifications of last night’s game are at the next practice.

Judging on the post game from Ramsay, today’s practice ought to be very, very interesting. His post game was a thing of beauty. No “bad puck bounces” or any of those other bull excuses like Anderson used to throw around.

EA

October 21st, 2010
7:11 am

I am so glad I did not have to sit through that game. If the Thrashers want a full arena, they are going to have to play through some small crowds until consistency returns. What a bomb! I hope the team that showed up out west is the one that shows up Friday night.

jerry

October 21st, 2010
7:34 am

It has been said that the Thrashers have the 2nd lowest payroll in the league. I will do my part to make them the 2nd lowest in the league in attendance.

LAC

October 21st, 2010
8:09 am

This game was a disgrace to all Atlanta fans. No attendence, maybe that was it ?

No drive, Desire, No Nothing, Gee… Who is the Number #1 pick this year ? Many more like this and it will be ours.

Simply put, this team has no leader on the ice, and little scoring. How can you play so well in California and then get completely outplayed by a BAD Buffalo club… Sick !

It is time to get rid of Brian Little, the kid has nothing and same flr slater, get something for them while they still have “some” value, but they are BAD.

DWTOO

October 21st, 2010
8:10 am

And to think I could have stayed home and finished a good book. It’s by Justice Breyer on the workings of democracy per the Courts. Very interesting and non-partisan.

But instead I witnessed one of the top ten disasters in Thrasher history. That had to be one of the worst efforts I’ve ever seen. They sould be ashamed for stealing our money. Realize that it’s going to take time to get every facet of the game in sync, but, the lack of effort is inexcusable. I was ready to leave when Buffalo scored their third goal.

The names may change, but, the results remain the same. If this garbage continues I may join Sage in the boycott. The only good thing last night is that so few fans had to witness it.

Mike

October 21st, 2010
8:12 am

I think they need that early morning skate that the coach up in Minnesota had his team do. They came back and slaughtered Vancouver after that. But honestly, its sad that us fans PAY to watch crappy like last night. These guys need to get their heads in the game, no excuse whatsoever on their poor performance. Except for Antropov, he’s about the only damn one.

Prince

October 21st, 2010
8:14 am

Last night, the Thrashers PLAYED like it was 1999!

(It wasn’t a party, unless you are a sadist.)

Jeff

October 21st, 2010
8:15 am

Bill, was you in the third row in section 316-317?

Horrible game….and to even think of using the excuse of coming off a road trip is garbage. They flew home on SUNDAY! They go on a road trip and play pretty well (though few would know back here as none of the games were televised locally), and then to come home and stink the joint out is inexcusable. Bad attendance? Keep doing this and it will stay bad even after college football season is over.

And management wonders why a guy like me, who had full season tickets since Day One, is now down to a Flex Pack. 11 seasons is a lot of bad hockey…

Red Light

October 21st, 2010
8:21 am

Mike:

Not sure what game you were watching but Antropov is playing like he is injured. He did nothing except for two shots on the same shift in the 1st period and a few half-hearted efforts throwing a check. He needs to sit until completely healthy. The game could easily have been 8-1 if not for a few kind bounces and a few nice saves by Mason in the first. But, it’s only one of 82 games and they should bounce back with a good effort tomorrow night.

Mass Dawg

October 21st, 2010
8:23 am

Let’s face it, the ATL is not a real hockey town. I know you have all of these transplants from the North that claim they love hockey, but still root for their old teams. You can’t blame the Thrashers Management, why would you dump a lot of money on players, when you can’t get anyone to show up to watch your product. This team doesn’t even get on anybodys radar screen until January, when football is finally coming to a conclusion.

EA

October 21st, 2010
8:28 am

Mass Dawg, you are just one of a chorus that continues to feel the need to give us your opinion about hockey in Atlanta. FYI, no one cares what you think.

mikey da mug

October 21st, 2010
8:28 am

So discouraging to see in person. The arena was like a morgue, and rightfully so.

DWTOO

October 21st, 2010
8:34 am

Mass Dawg – that’s why the Thrashers set attendance records for first year teams, sold out their playoff games, etc. Give the fans a good product and they will return. Saturday night games were regular SRO and it the ASG put a good team on the ice it will be filled.

Fed Up In Blueland

October 21st, 2010
8:36 am

Bad, bad bad…

Darkhorse

October 21st, 2010
8:41 am

From sec 115 last night I saw a lot of eye rolling and blank stares from our guys. Agree with many of you above, if this team wants bigger crowds, they better play with intensity and win. That’s the only way. I can accept they lost the game, but not the way they did it. My buddy’s rec team looks better than the Thrashers did last night.

Darkhorse

October 21st, 2010
8:43 am

Oh, and if our future captain was on the ice last night, I didn’t see him at least try to light a fire under the troops.

Russ

October 21st, 2010
8:43 am

I would like to build on Red Light’s comments on Antropov. The other day Ramsay talked about limiting his minutes because he is not 100%. I don’t know the exact nature of his recovery, but it would seem to me playing at all can’t be helping it. I would think the team would be better off letting him sit out a couple of weeks and hopefully getting back the player from last season for around 18 min. per game than letting him fight through the injury at an ineffective 13 min. Just my opinion.

The number of shots this team is giving up is alarming. They are .500 right now, but if the S/A doesn’t get drastically reduced they will be lucky to reach 60 points this season. You just can’t be consistently competitive giving up 35+ shots every game.

Marsha

October 21st, 2010
8:43 am

What is the deal with those losers in Section 109 at Philips Arena with the irritating cow bells and the blowhorns last night?

Those sad excuses for “hockey fans” made the incredibly obnoxious and smug Buffalo fans look around my girlfriends and me look classy, respectful and intelligent by comparison.

madahliaa

October 21st, 2010
8:45 am

Why is Antropov even playing if he’s not 100% and why would the team announce that ?

EA

October 21st, 2010
8:46 am

I don’t know if anyone heard Colby Armstrong on T.V. yesterday. When asked about the Atlanta fan base, he said that while it is small, they are GREAT fans.

ThrashDawg

October 21st, 2010
8:50 am

Terrible game to watch last night, turned the channel to Ghost Hunters after the 2nd period. I cannot get excited about this team this year inspite of their recent good play out west. I was excited about the trades, the new coach and the new GM but was expecting a major trade before the start of the season to bring in a big time scorer from a cap stapped team and it just did not happen! Why did it not happen? Maybe we just did not want to spend the money to bring our payroll off the basement floor! I believe we have a good coach, a good GM and good young talent and if given the resources we would have a vert good team. How many of us thought that Bergfors was going to really have to step up this year to help with the shortage of scoring? How is that working for us with him in the buffet line? If the kid is not buying in we need to package him with someone else and go after a scorer and somebody that will be a leader on this team.

Alan R.

October 21st, 2010
8:54 am

The problem, Mass, is the simple fact our team isn’t winning on a consistant basis. The more we win, the more people show up. Fans stay away and watch from afar because of past performance. Why bother showing up when your team doesn’t, right?

Chicago had attendance issues (The Wolves would out-draw them) before they started winning. Detroit had attendance problems before they started winning. Washington had attendance problems before they started winning. It should be so simple, even the stupidest trolls would get it. If you build it, they will come. Its only game six, so the jury is still out on whether anything has been built at all, or if its just the status quo.

HP Drifter

October 21st, 2010
9:02 am

A new coaching staff, many new players, and it will take some time for the chemistry to eveolve. Let’s not forget teh 5 year plan. Hey, at least we don’t have Kovalchuk skating around on th eice looking to score goals.

MashaPlayer7

October 21st, 2010
9:03 am

I only watched the last half of the game, but it reminded me of the 9-0 blowout to the NJ Devils in our first season. It was eery and made my skin crawl in terms of how similar the feeling was (cue favorite Halloween theme).

I heard alot of the PowerPlay segment on XM radio yesterday afternoon. Colby’s response was professional and positive given that Don Maloney asked a very bias question “Let’s talk about Atlanta. Can hockey really work down there?”.

And earlier, cement-head Matthew Barnaby was on the show talking about engagement with fans and he mentioned having to go to Atlanta which “was a terrible place to play”.

This should all be bulletin board materials for this season’s high character Thrashers. Don’t just play for your teammates, play for the fans and their ability to see hockey for the next generation.

I am optimist and certainly believe Atlanta is a hockey town, but we all have to admit that if we continue to put a poor product on the ice and we only get 9-10K fans a game, we won’t be talking about this team in 2020.

Thrashers Rule-Fans are losers

October 21st, 2010
9:15 am

I read these blogs everyday, and most of you are either to stupid and expect a great game every night like they are going to go undefeated, or just to stupid to understand sports altogether. I have been watching hockey and a fan now for over 40 years now, and I have watched some of the best teams take the ice that possible ever will!!!!! And guess what they did not win every game, and had a game or two or three that they were completely blown out of their own building even lol. I am not saying that this team is going to win the Stanley Cup or even have a winning season, it is too early in the year to say. But if some of you go back and even read your own comments from just yesterday, you might find the same humor as I do in your comments, one day playoffs here we come, today won’t win another game, again I laugh. I would suggest to you all that you on one day off the next wait until about 20 games in and then make a decision on how this team is going to be, as REAL hockey fans that know the game would.

DWTOO

October 21st, 2010
9:19 am

MP7 – Barbaby’s just PO’d because the camera caught singing Feel Like A Women in the penalty box. And the next year his face was photoshopped to look like Flounder in Animal House.

thebigharybeast

October 21st, 2010
9:27 am

Rammer hammered home what needed said after the game. It was defnitely the only hightlight to take from this game. I like when a coach doesnt sugar coat things.

As for the game itself. I get the willies even thinking about it. It was as ugly as a possum family caught on an open highway in the middle of a tractor trailer convoy.

Alan R.

October 21st, 2010
9:40 am

And guess what they did not win every game, and had a game or two or three that they were completely blown out of their own building even lol.

I’ll bet the teams at least showed up those days.

The problem last night isn’t that we lost, it’s that we played like garbage, and the Sabres took full advantage of that. We let them win.

The last game I can remember from the Thrashers that was this bad took place 28 March 2008, when Carolina beat us 7-1 (see: http://espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=280328007 ).

It is unrealistic to expect the team to go 82-0, or anything even remotely close to that. I think that as our players come gel a bit more, we’ll be winning a lot more games with more regularity.

Old Time Hockey

October 21st, 2010
9:44 am

“We…uhhhh…came out flat tonight” WTF?! Not like they need to actually say that…anyone watching knew it. Hopefully the film sessions will help.

I Like Puck!

October 21st, 2010
9:44 am

@ Marsha – 8:43 am

Don’t be so hard on those guys, Marsha.

At least the annoying dweeb in that section with the unoriginal, annoying & uninspiring cow bell is smart enough to cover his shameful face with a mask.

Thrashers Rule-Fans are losers

October 21st, 2010
9:53 am

Alan R.-That is what I am saying it happens, but some people on this blog from game to game sway one way or the other off to the cup or gloom and doom. I am not saying we played well, just the opposite, but Buffalo was a desperate team last night and we came out flat and could not over come it. Everyone needs to calm down, new GM, new Coach, half of a new roster. Like I said I will wait for the first 20 games before I decide what kind of team that we have, and I in no way think this is a Stanly Cup team, and if we make it to the Playoffs we will just sneak in, but I do like the moves made, and equate the New GM and Coach, to what the Falcons did. I think they can turn it around, even if it is not this year.

DWTOO

October 21st, 2010
9:53 am

Thanks Alan R – I don’t expect to win every night. That’s not possible, especially with the roster we have. What I do expect tho’ is a team that at least competes and hustles. If you watched last night the Thrashers did neither and that’s the point we are making.

Rawhide

October 21st, 2010
10:05 am

Bill, was you in the third row in section 316-317?

Jeff – yeah, I was in the second row of 301. Just behind The Blueland Chronicle boys. The older tax exemption was with me.

Alan R.

October 21st, 2010
10:07 am

If you watched last night the Thrashers did neither and that’s the point we are making.

I did, and I made that pretty clear in my post. Not saying you’re insinuating I didn’t watch, just saying that I’m not impressed in the very least with the performance from last night. However, I am happy Ramsay didn’t sugar coat things.

If anyone goes to practice today, I’m really interested to hear what goes on in Duluth today.

Smoothie

October 21st, 2010
10:20 am

“I read these blogs everyday, and most of you are either to stupid and expect a great game every night like they are going to go undefeated, or just to stupid to understand sports altogether”

I’m sorry, but you’re not going to endear your POV to many loyal folks of this blog by calling them stupid. Your reading comprehension must suck too by the way to make a comment like that. Yeah, sure there are folks like stendek and LAC who like to “blow off steam” and express their discontent after a bad loss, but I don’t think there are many people here who are pollyannish in their expectations of this team.

Sure, there are some who are a little more optimistic in their point predictions than others, but I bet if you pulled them aside, they would express a little doubt and would fall into the category of cautiously optimistic. I suggest you change your tune a little bit and allow people to vent over one of the single worst performances (and I am quite serious) ever by a Thrashers team at Philips over the last 5 years.

I can think of one other game when I was this disgusted…okay, two. Feb of ‘09 against NJ when we were outskated and outclassed by Kevin Weekes and his mates and lost by the count of 5 to 1. I actually walked out of the arena after 2 periods I was so pissed with the lackluster effort and constant parade to the penalty box. And of course there was last spring’s debacle against the Boston Bruins when the # 8 seed hung in the balance during the playoff race. The 4 to 0 loss wasn’t as close as the score indicated and the effort against a superior team was laughable. It was complete domination but I managed to sit through that one since the game was so “meaningful”.

But I digress…I’m not sure what you hope to gain by lambasting the faithful of Bill’s blog with your holier than thou attitude. But the folks who post here everyday are some of the most loyal fans in the city when it comes to putting up with this crap year in and year out. Piss off.

DWTOO

October 21st, 2010
10:21 am

Alan R – Not insuating that you didn’t watch, not at all. Was really agreeing with you about last night’s performance. Don’t want to give the wrong impression. Actually, wish I hadn’t watched. It was anything but impressive.

DWTOO

October 21st, 2010
10:31 am

Good points Smoothie – Think everyone is PO’d with the effort last night. Everything we’ve heard since Dudley took over was how this team would skate hard, hustle, play hard, compete. And then they come out with nothing last night. For those of us who’ve followed from the beginning it just looked like what we’ve been putting up with for years.

Blogs are like screaming at the mirror – great venting opportunity and that’s what we’re seeing this AM. And you feel better afterwards.

“Lighten up Francis” (from Stripes)

Alan R.

October 21st, 2010
10:32 am

I wish I hadn’t watched, either. But then, I wouldn’t be here giving my opinions on what I saw ;)

It’s been said that the Atlanta Spirit, and probably the front office of the Thrashers read this blog. I hope many of them come away with our statements and apply pressure on our guys to succeed. We don’t need to see any more losses like this one.

I honestly don’t mind losing if we’re going out with a fight. Last night, there was no fight. There was no punch. There was negative effort. There wasn’t even so much as a whimper. This has got to change, and I’m sure the 8800 fans who were in attendance last night would agree.

Thrashers Rule-Fans are losers

October 21st, 2010
10:33 am

Wow Smoothie, if you were not one of the people I was talking about then so be it and don’t take it so personal. I can think of a few games other than the ones that you have mentioned, but no need to go into that right now. I have watched, been or listened to every game this team has ever played since they got here. This is by far the most hope that I have had in this team since there inception, but I do like your vigor for coming to the rescue of the people I was talk about, good for you. I am as loyal a fan as there is on this blog, and more than most, I hate the Ownership, and hope for better to see an even better product put on the ice, but ion the mean time I will support this team without the name calling. So take it for what it is, a bad team, that is getting better, is much much better than no team at all.