Thrashers 3-4-1 so far…eh, it could be worse

If someone had told you just last month that the Thrashers would be at 3-4-1 after the first two weeks or so of the season, I’m sure quite a number of you would have been OK with that. Two games against the three-time defending SE division champ Washington Capitals, a four game road trip just after the home opener…including three out on the west coast against teams like the Kings and Sharks…and even a couple against the much-improved Tampa Bay Lightning.

Not exactly the easiest way to kick off the new season. So being right around break-even can be placed in a positive light I suppose.

As coach Ramsay told Chris Vivlamore, “It’s scary sometimes if you look ahead [at the schedule] and I, honestly, try not to. But you couldn’t help but look at some of that and go ‘Uh-Oh, this is not good.’ When we initially looked at it and saw four in a row on the road to start, I thought we are playing good teams, it’s not good”.

Fredrik Modin, seen here being squeezed out of the play by former Thrasher Pavel Kubina, has not scored since opening night and is a -7 (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Fredrik Modin, seen here being squeezed out of the play by former Thrasher Pavel Kubina, has not scored since opening night and is a -7 (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Ramsay did go on to say that he was “pleased” at what his team has accomplished thus far, but not “thrilled”…which is a pretty fair explanation of how things have panned out, I believe.

To bring the coach’s thoughts into perspective, also take into account the following. What if…again, just prior to the season…you would have not only looked at the schedule, but were also told that the following would be the case after eight games.

Bryan Little would have zero goals and but three assists.

Rich Peverley would have zero goals to go with his four assists.

Fredrik Modin would have 1 goal, zero assists and would be a –7.

Nic Bergfors would have zero goals, three assists and will have missed three games.

Nik Antropov would have zero goals, 1 assist and a –3 rating while playing limited minutes due to not being 100% following his hip surgery last summer.

Chris Mason, the netminder brought in to be a stabilizing force between the pipes, would have a 3.54 GAA.

Zach Bogosian would have played in just three games, missing the last five due to a shoulder injury.

And only five players…Chris Thorburn, Brent Sopel, Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager and the aforementioned Bergfors…would be on the plus side of the +/- rating.

While celebrating Andrew Ladd's power play goal in Washington Saturday night, Bryan Little took time to remind himself just where they place the goal in a hockey rink. He's yet to find it with the puck after eight games played (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

While celebrating Andrew Ladd's power play goal in Washington Saturday night, Bryan Little took time to remind himself just where the goal is actually located at. He's scoreless after eight games (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Uh-huh…now toss into the equation the fact that the Thrashers not only have allowed 37.6 SA/G at this point, but the shots for/shots against deficit is –8.4. That’s more than the -8.1 SF/SA the 2007-08 version of the Thrashers put up…and we all remember what a success that season was, don’t we?

So you’ve got major players who’ve missed games, a lack of scoring from a number of top-six type, Mason giving up three and a half goals per game, numerous gaffs in the defensive zone which have led to goals and a defense that makes fans reminisce fondly of the good ‘ol days when they only gave up 33 SA/G.

Now if you take all of that into consideration, I’d be willing to bet that there are several who would have predicted the Thrashers would be lucky to have anything north of 2 or 3 points going into game nine in New York City. But instead, we’re looking at a 3-4-1. It’s not a winning record mind you, but given the circumstances…shrugs… I guess it could be worse.

Now, this isn’t to say that there haven’t been some good things to talk about. Certainly the 4 goals and 5 overall points from Anthony Stewart is noteworthy…as is the 3 goals, 4 points and +4 showing from Chris Thorburn. Taking three of a possible four points from the Caps early on is a bonus as is the fact that the much-worried-about offense has so far produced goals at a 2.75 per game rate, roughly the same as last year.

What concerns you most about the Thrashers?

  • Lack of scoring from certain top-line players (33%, 58 Votes)
  • Too many Shot Against (30%, 53 Votes)
  • The SF/SA deficit (11%, 20 Votes)
  • Goalkeeping (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Health issues of key players (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Too many mistakes in the D-zone (23%, 40 Votes)

Total Voters: 176

Loading ... Loading ...

However this team has some issues to hammer out, and hammer out soon, if it’s to remain competitive much beyond the time we send the tax exemptions out to extort sugary treats from the neighbors.

And primary among those issues is…just as it’s been for some time now…the infamous Shots Against bug-a-boo.

What’s the root cause of this problem? Well, it could be that the “up tempo” style of play can sometimes leave a team exposed in back. Also don’t discount the Antropov situation. Last season he was a +13 player, so not having him on the ice as much this fall plays into the equation.

And then there’s the absence of one Mr. Pavel Kubina. Remember, he was a “plus” defenseman for the Thrashers last season into late March. Ultimately he finished EVEN before sitting out the last few games with an injury. I have no idea what Rick Dudley offered him last summer, but I’m sure there are many in Thrasherville who wish it were just a few dollars more.

But moreover, I think this SA/G issue is indicative of how much work Ramsay and Co. have to do to “un-teach” certain bad habits…specifically in regards to overall team defense. Taking a team that was constructed for a decade in the mold of “score a lot and defend when you can” and turning it into a defensively-sound unit takes more than just eight regular season games.

But here’s to hoping they un-learn those bad tendencies soon.

If not…well, their position in the standings certain could be worse in coming days.

156 comments Add your comment

Waffleboy

October 26th, 2010
9:17 am

Let’s not forget that this team is also dealing with losing Opie in the opening minutes of the opening game of the season. Mason has had to work much harder than I would have liked in the early part of the season. Hopefully we can get Opie healthy have some competition for the job between the pipes.

sisu

October 26th, 2010
9:18 am

Early in the season and the team is still trying to jell together, it should get better?

TableHockey

October 26th, 2010
9:19 am

Up early this morning huh Bill?

Wish you had given an ‘A and B’ option on the survey – those are the two items I’m most concerned about.

Andrew

October 26th, 2010
9:19 am

Ok, goaltending MIGHT be a tad forgivable, but i was still having higher expectations of Mason. Good to see Pavy back though. We have got to get more scoring and fast if we even want to be in the running for the playoffs. Kane is looking very strong, taking hits, dishing them out and still driving to the net. QUESTION FOR FANS: Are you pleased with the way our Chicago pickups have been playing so far? Me: yes and no. While i like that they are scoring, well at least 1 goal each (i think buff has 2 and ladd has 3?) i was expecting much more energy from everyone because of this pickup. ENERGY is a big problem as Buffalo showed us we are simply going thru the motions and i think the game @. Washington was the start of something new as they seemed to be moving faster. Hopefully it picks up soon and we will start winning more!

Mike

October 26th, 2010
9:21 am

They need to stop taking so many unneeded penalties. They need to stop playing like a bunch of kids while they’re at home, because aside from the home opener, I’m really not sure what I was watching out there. As long as they keep that style of careless play up, the fans will continue to be careless. Look at friday nights attendance. What was it, 8k or something like that? The same night, there were more than 10k at the Gwinnett game. That’s embarrassing. But on the other hand it shows that there are people in Atlanta who actually will come watch the Thrashers play if they pick their game up. This should be used as motivation to them that people are more interested in a minor league game than a NHL game.

mikey da mug

October 26th, 2010
9:24 am

Nice read, and way to put things in perspective, given the limited sample of games – here’s hoping to better days ahead

backcheck

October 26th, 2010
9:26 am

Great read Iceman. I go back to Stewart’s comment after your Thrashers came back to earn 2 points in the shootout against my Ducks, “Never say die. We have a lot of young guys who don’t know.”

Right there I think Anthony Stewart captured what might be your guys, as yet, undetermined identity. Never say die. They’re young. They don’t know when they’re supposed to lose. So they work hard, won’t quit and good things happen.

Stats are great but stats don’t measure heart. Your Thrashers have heart to spare.

Poor Ol' Family Man

October 26th, 2010
9:33 am

The Atlanta Spirit Group needs to get its collective head out of the sand and drastically CUT single game ticket prices to what they consider ridiculously low, and then cut them in half again in order to have north of 10k fans attend home games. This team is a disappointment when compared to the pumped-up hopes and dreams of the off-season dismantling and reconstruction. (You’ve sufficiently covered the specific disappointing stats quite clearly above.)

When the on-ice product is dull, uninspiring and even embarrassing (as the previous 2 home games obviously were), then casual fans DON’T jump through the hoops required to go downtown and pay exorbitant prices to watch failure live instead on their flat screens. Will it really take a sub-5k game before someone in the Thrashers office wakes up and realizes the ship isn’t just taking on water, but it’s already half-way sunk?

DROP TICKET PRICES NOW!!!!! Make them ludicrously low priced and maybe casual fans will start showing up again to watch this team……Maybe. Keep them priced at a king’s ransom and you can be sure they won’t be back. Of course the team could also just start winning with impressive and exciting play to bring fans to Philips. But which of these options is easier and produces instant results?? That’s what I thought….

Alan R.

October 26th, 2010
9:54 am

Posting before the crowd who believes the sky is falling.

ChippersLoveChild

October 26th, 2010
9:54 am

It would pain me to see them leave, but maybe they just move the team? This team will never win with these owners, I truly believe that… the attendance is getting worse every year. I will always come out and support the Thrashers because I have blind loyalty to them, but it’s sad to watch this team year after year.. Hopefully we can improve, but I just don’t see this team going anywhere.

4-Step Plan to Saving NHL Hockey in Georgia

October 26th, 2010
10:11 am

STEP 1: Send ATLANTA SPIRIT GROUP to Ottawa.

STEP 2: Send Jeff Schultz to Ottawa.

STEP 3: Teach Herschel Walker to Skate, Forecheck and Shoot a Puck.

STEP 4: Vote Republican Next Tuesday.

Thanks.

-

d

October 26th, 2010
10:14 am

Bill, this morning our 7 pts from 8 games places us 24th in the league standings. If I’m not mistaken, the Thrash payroll is the 29th smallest in the league. Therefore, are we not “over achieving” as measured by points or league standing per payroll dollar???

Adam

October 26th, 2010
10:14 am

I’d be happy with the record if the Buffalo game wasn’t the worst hockey I’ve ever watched. If the Gwinnett Gladiators are drawing 10K fans the same night as the Thrashers are drawing 8K fans, then I think it’s time to move the Gladiators out of the metro area. Why is the NHL club competing against it’s farm team? That’s crazy. Same can be said for the Braves.

Rawhide

October 26th, 2010
10:20 am

Waffleboy – Good point regarding Opie and Mason.

mikey da mug - Yes, it’s a “limited sampling of games”. Only 8 so far. But it was just 5 not too long ago and will be 11 not too long from now. I still consider myself “glass half full” with this team, but pretty soon the “it’s only been [insert number of games played here] so far…” line goes away.

backcheck – Again, greetings from the opposite coast. In general I agree with your observation about this team’s “never say die” attitude. Unfortunately it’s the same thing we were saying a year agoi when they would come out flat, get behind early and then battle back. You can only do that for so long before it catches up with ya.

d - Overachieving given their payrol status? You may have a point…especially given that gapgeek has us dead last in that department.

Adam – keep in mind what it cost to buy a ticket to see the Glads…and parking. Yeah, it’s the ECHL and not the NHL, but the costs to see a game factor in HUGE when people are deciding where and how to spend their hard-earned money.

POFM – See above reply to Adam.

j nes

October 26th, 2010
10:31 am

The idea that the team will improve or jell as the season progresses is moot, ALL TEAMS WILL IMPROVE AS THE SEASON PROGRESSES! So well the Thrashers may get better, so will the teams that are currently beating them. I was impressed on opening night but haven’t been since.

J-man

October 26th, 2010
10:33 am

Adam – I’m not disputing that NHL ticket prices are too high everywhere as it’s not just an Atlanta problem, but you do get what you pay for. If you watch the Glads, you go with the understanding that maybe 1 skater on each team will someday play in the NHL. Most of their players will never even play in the AHL. You pay less for the Glads, but you get less for your money too.

Keep in mind that even the NFL is feeling the pinch from the economy and it’s the most popular professional sport in the country.

Hokie P. Clisters

October 26th, 2010
10:35 am

Mr. Rawhides, I have a solution for fan support. I call it the 3-4-1. You get tickets for 3 games at the price of 1.

j nes

October 26th, 2010
10:35 am

Adam, what about moving the Thrashers to Gwinnett instead? Maybe the team would actually have a home ice advantage if the arena looked sold out–even if it is a smaller venue. Sorry south Atlanta fans.

Red Light

October 26th, 2010
10:41 am

Carolina has been to Russia (exhibition game), Finland, Ottawa, Vancouver, San Jose, LA and Phoenix to start the season and came away with four wins and eight points in seven games.

Florida went to Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary, took two of three upon returning, and now heads to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. They have six points in six games so far.

Tampa Bay has 10 points in 8 games with two wins over Atlanta, but now must endure nine road games in their next 12, including a trip to Pitt and Wash, after a four-game West Coaster (SJ, Pho, LA and Ana).

Washington has five wins but its longest road trip so far was to Nashville. They play Carolina, Minn and Calgary during a three-game trip starting tomorrow but the tough part of their travel schedule doesn’t begin until Feb.

Atlanta won two games in thrilling come-from-behind fashion out West but the latest two home games are cause for some alarm because 10 home games are on the docket for November. Considering everything that Bill laid out above, seven points in eight games isn’t disastrous, but I don’t see the division rivals as throwing in the towel anytime soon either. This team had better find a fondness for home ice in November, even with the expected parity from top to bottom in the conference, the Thrashers must play .500 hockey or better for the next month and avoid more three game losing streaks. This is a vital stretch of games for confidence and cohesion.

Sadly, I think we had better get used to a half-empty building except for the Blackhawks, Penguins, Caps and Red Wings games.

JB

October 26th, 2010
10:42 am

they haven’t played since, what, Saturday? Here’s hoping the thrashers knock the rust off in practice BEFORE the game tomorrow night.

Nate

October 26th, 2010
10:52 am

You get what you pay for. Right now the owners are paying a coach to play guys out of position. It’s not hard to figure out why the SA/G have gone up in spite of a “defensive” coach being brought into the mix. Unless Ramsay changes his pairings and positionings to a bit of normalcy, Chris Mason is gonna take the first ticket he can get outta here between now and the end of next season.

rob

October 26th, 2010
11:07 am

Attendance here has to be the most pressing problem with zilch nada nothing being done to combat it. You lost your star power for those casual fans who didn’t know what Kovy was doing for the team, attendance and the ecomony are still spiraling, you completely dismantled the staff and most players, and are essentially a rebuild in dreadful need of a miracle season to save the franchise, and how do you try to draw a crowd????????? No one in the club can answer that.
HEY PRESIDENT WADDELL!!!!!! Do something PRODUCTIVE for this club!!!! One time in over a decade of futility, do something to fill the stands. General admission tickets with just upper and lower prices, ex-season ticket holder discounts, ticket giveaways……something.
I hope the effort this Friday against the Sabres is a 180 from the last one and they come out to get some payback for the humiliation they suffered. I think the team should give ticket holders from games like that a free or reduced ticket to a future game.

rob

October 26th, 2010
11:12 am

Here’s an idea to appease the angry STH who will yell what about us?! Give them a free pair of tix to half of the remaining games. FANS in the stands will spend $$$, make noise and help the players, and importantly from a standpoint of owners and the league, not be such an embarrasment on TV when you see way more empty seats than full ones.

World Be Free

October 26th, 2010
11:28 am

As usual, another great read Mr. Rawhide.

Not losing sleep after 8 games, especially if you consider all the changes this team made in the off-season. However, I am disappointed by the Thrashers’ defensive zone play. I expected a better defensive plan, more hitting by the defenseman and better coverage by the forwards. Oduya has been a disappointment so far.

I also expected more hitting from our forwards in the offensive zone. We need the bangers to go out there and bang so the opposition spends more time looking over their shoulders, especially at home.

As a former player, I can tell you that extended time together does not contribute to a team “jelling”. What you need to do is change the chemistry of the team, either by moving players or naming a captain. I believe the latter is necessary before this team really comes together for an extended period. My vote for captain is Jimmy, which means he will probably start playing poorly.

Alan R.

October 26th, 2010
11:46 am

what about moving the Thrashers to Gwinnett instead?

Because the Gwinnett arena doesn’t meet the NHL standards.

Sorry, people who don’t want to drive downtown.

EA

October 26th, 2010
11:57 am

The record is very acceptable at this point. None of the teams the Thrashers have played could be considered an easy win. My complaint is too many horrible penalties. You can’t severely cut the ticket price because it would not be fair to the season ticket holders who commited their money. Also, to those who have purchased single tickets to upcoming games. This is the NHL. These guys earn big bucks. It has to be paid through ticket prices. We are fortunate to be able to see some of hockey’s best in November with Chicago, Detroit and Pittsburgh visiting. If we don’t support our own team, this wonderful sport will not be ours to see locally.

Poop Head

October 26th, 2010
12:05 pm

3-4-1, 3 tickets for the price of 4 to see 1 Thrasher goal. Octotards new plan!!! Mr.Bill, please count my vote for the above poll to G: All of the above.

Wad

October 26th, 2010
12:05 pm

I see nuetral Zone turnovers and lack of getting the puck deep in the offensive zone as being the biggest problem on a consistant basis. Also, Buff on D has been a waste of talent in my opinion. Many times he looks hesitant to join the rush when he should and overly aggressive when he shouldn’t. I would recall Kulda move Buff to the wing and wave Modin. Modin and Andro have to be the 2 lowest skaters in the league.

Rawhide

October 26th, 2010
12:28 pm

Some interesting news being tweeted outa the Thrashers camp today…

C-Viv is tweeting that Bogosian and Meyer will sit out against the Rangers tomorrow. Someone will need to be recalled from Chicago.

Ben Wright tweets that person will be Noah Welch.

Rawhide shakes head, wonders why it’s not Arturs Kulda

C-Viv tweets that Pavelec will get start Saturday in St. Louis…but not before he heads to Chicago for a conditioning start this week. Mannino will back out Mason tomorrow.

five_hole

October 26th, 2010
12:30 pm

The team is buying into a new system. As Bill pointed out, not everyone is firing on all cylinders. And they’ve only played 8 games. I’m willing to give it time.

BTW, I think Del Zotto could be a candidate to win the shootout contest at the next all star game:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Video-Watch-Rangers-Del-Zotto-smash-camera-len?urn=nhl-279447

Finally, 4-Step Plan to Saving NHL Hockey in Georgia don’t be a di*k jerk. Please keep your political opinions to yourself.

Smoothie

October 26th, 2010
12:31 pm

Goodness gracious! Noah Welch!! Where’s Arturs?? Unreal.

I’m starting to worry about some of the decision-making. But I’m more worried about Bogosian’s shoulder. Damn, damn, damn.

R. Stroz

October 26th, 2010
12:38 pm

Noah Welch? Is there a flood coming?

Rawhide

October 26th, 2010
12:42 pm

R. Stroz – Noah Welch. There was supposed to be a flood based on a lost bet…but the commitment was reneged upon :lol:

Welch vs. Kulda after 7 games in Chicago this fall:

Kulda: 7 games played, 1 assists, -1, 17 PIM & 13 SOG

Welch: 7 games played 2, assists, -1, 4 PIM & 12 SOG

Diego from Lilburn

October 26th, 2010
12:42 pm

I also want to vote “All of the above” to the poll. I voted for lack of scoring from top-liners just because if we are going to give up 3.5 goals per game that would be okay as long as we are scoring 4+ goals per game. Not exactly the proper solution but…

The team, most of the time, still looks like a group of talented individuals and doesn’t look like a talented team. Too many issues to list and I think everyone who posted before me already did a good job alongside the many deficiencies that Rawhide mentioned.

I’ve still got faith. It’s early yet.

It does amuse me how on “NHL On the Fly” every morning the pundits keep talking about who’s in the “playoff hunt”. Very amusing to me only 8 games into a season. It’s not a hunt yet fellas. Doesn’t mean you want to dig yourself into a whole in October, though. But it’s still not a hunt.

R. Stroz

October 26th, 2010
12:42 pm

j nes – Good point about teams gelling.

Diego from Lilburn

October 26th, 2010
12:43 pm

Also Antropov and Peverly are killing my fantasy team. That’s what I get for being loyal.

Yesterday I was 171 out of 174 total players. Ouch!!!

Barry

October 26th, 2010
12:43 pm

I’m more concerned with the first and last part of that poll. The lack of scoring from guys like Little, Peverley, Bergfors is holding this team back. Also WAY too many turnovers especially in the defensive zone. I believe Caps scored all 3 goals from bad turnovers in the defensive zone. When Tampa was in Blueland two of their goals were turnovers RIGHT AROUND OUR OWN CREASE. One of those goals we had like 3 Thrashers players all right there and couldn’t 1) get the puck out of the center of the ice and 2) get the puck to another Thrasher. Pathetic.

R. Stroz

October 26th, 2010
12:45 pm

This team needed Afinogenov re-signed instead of an over the hill, slow, soft, Swede named Modin.

Flagstaff – Instead of calling Modin Angel Soft, what do you think about Swedee? It has a pansy sort of sound, just like Modin plays.

R. Stroz

October 26th, 2010
12:46 pm

Can we leave Pavelec in Chicago? I preferred Mannino.

R. Stroz

October 26th, 2010
12:47 pm

BTW, doesn’t Hainsey do enough hair “gelling” for the entire team?

Adam

October 26th, 2010
12:56 pm

Hmm, you get what you pay for… Pay $10 for a cheap ticket and sit wherever I want while watching Gwinnett hustle, fight and possibly win or spend $60-80 (+$15 for parking) at the bulb to sit where I do up north and watch players that are mostly AHL talent play at ECHL levels knowing I’m not going to see hustle, fight and most likely losing. I’ll take the value thank you.

If the AS wanted to put butts in the seats they would have cut ticket prices while they build the team and raise them once they’d built a contender, a la Chicago. They would have added another 7-10 mil in payroll, temporary or not, to complement the core they’re building. (Hell even adding 9 mil still would put them under Phoenix and they don’t even have an owner) Lastly they would step up the marketing. Look at some of the things Nashville is doing after hiring Jeff Cogen from Dallas. But it looks like DW is doing just as good of a job in his new position as his last.

World Be Free

October 26th, 2010
1:03 pm

I prefer Artus but Welch must simply be playing better than Kulda at this point. Maybe the coaches feel that he has a better mental makeup for the position. Remember, he is coming in a a defenseman that will play the least of all the d-men. Playing the occasion shift, less than a regular shift takes a type of discipline and maybe the coaches feel Artus would be better as a regular d-man. That’s the only explanation I can offer.

drew

October 26th, 2010
1:22 pm

Take it easy on cutting up Little, he has been stuck with 2 grinders, he is a skilled player, he needs skilled players on his line. Hes with 2 checkers that shoot everything, Little has not been set up once, where if he was with Antro, Berg, Pevs he would get those set ups and more chances. Now that it looks like him and Bergy are back together, I expect them to both get back on track once they get going, they had great chemistry last year. Little overall, has been better then Peverley, Modin, Antro. on the pk, in our own end, work ethic, etc. So stop just throwing Little under the bus Rawhide.

World Be Free

October 26th, 2010
1:29 pm

Little was invisible for 1/2 of the Tampa Bay game. I can forgive alotta things but I cannot set aside the lack of hustle.

Rawhide

October 26th, 2010
1:37 pm

drew – While I certainly appreciate your support of Little…and I’m sure he does as well… I don’t think his lack of scoring is limited to just who his linemates are. And I’d hardly call Ladd a ‘grinder’.

Dating back to March 21, 2009, Little has a total of 13 goals in 97 games played.

Is Little the only player under-performing in my opinion? Nope…I think I called out several in the post.

Remember, Bryan Little was the only player that Dudley rewarded with a contract above 2 years last summer. He’s looked upon as a lead performer on this team. He needs to start scoring.

Smoothie

October 26th, 2010
1:44 pm

WBF – but I don’t Little coughing up any pucks in his own end. I think Little is the least of our worries. If he’s still goal-less by Vets Day, then we can start piling on the dude. His effort has been pretty consistently solid in every game I’ve seen including TB.

Joe Friday

October 26th, 2010
1:46 pm

“I’m starting to worry about some of the decision-making.”

Starting to? I’m there with ya . . .

“But this kid needs to start scoring.”

Then the club needs to start making better decisions and skate Bergfors on one wing and Buf on the other and let Buf open up space and screen the goalie for them

Athrasherfan13

October 26th, 2010
1:50 pm

Bill, I agree that there should be a selection for all of the above.

As I have said before, October and most of November will suck for us. I still think there are negotiations going on for a trade that will bring us a Forward who brings sticks with points in them. Bergfors and another player I have yet to figure out, will go.

This team still needs time to (1) shake out the bugs left over from the Anderson experiment and (2) the new melting pot needs to learn to play as a team under a new system and under a coaching staff that is new to all of them. Attitudes need to be adjusted and consistency needs to come together.

Player specific:

Antropov needs an IR stint to get healthy…..he can’t and doesn’t move like last year.

Bergfors needs to go.

Opie will draw from his game one incident and we will see him playing at a higher level, similar to his early games in 2009-10

Bogosian just needs to stay healthy….these niggling little injuries are stifling a great player.

Kaner is going to be a big factor this year….he is skating like a madman and shooting all the time.. He will find the back of the net.

Hainsey’s extension was a huge mistake. His contract/ability will make him an albatross around the team’s neck

Buff is not consistent….some nights he mails it in and others, he delivers his own brand of “special delivery”

Slater is back. You can see his intensity and fire to play. He just needs a few more games to get into game shape.

The Thorburn line needs to focus on the net and a little less on protecting the player often referred to as “the little kid”, Burmistrov. The little kid is playing in the NHL. He has to earn his bones and the respect of his opponents…..let him mix it up a little. Thorbs will know when its time to defend his center.

Burmistrov probably needs a return trip to Barrie. He is a good player with some explosiveness and superstar qualities and he will eventually be a big contributor to the team, but right now, he needs a little more size and seasoning so teammates can play the game rather than act as a bodyguard. Actually I have a fear that is a 2 edged sword….I have a feeling that he may break out during the NYR game. Once he scores his first goal, he will go on a tear with more, which is good for us, but may lead to a less than ideal decision on Thursday after game 9 is in the books. I’m also concerned that he will be a target of Avery, adding further distraction to a game we really need to win.

And finally, lets not forget what we DO NOT HAVE any longer…….that ball and chain Ilya Kovalchuck.The fact is, he is a gutless, lying weasel that lied to every fan in this city. He participated in a scheme to circumvent the cap, damaging any credibility he might have had. He is not a team player….it’s all about him and only him. And for those fans who refuse to let go, even when Kovalchuk was here, there were still only 6,000 to 8,000 fans here. He can’t do it by himself, which is what he wants to do and did not have the supporting cast he needs to do it by himself. The loss of Kovalchuk is not the reason for poor fan turnout. Only our fans are the reason for poor turnout. The only bright spot of this entire paragraph is that Kovalchuk is now dragging a once strong and proud franchise with some integrity to the bottom of the league. And because they too, will not be able to afford a supporting cast for Kovalchuk, the Devils have rendered themselves irrelevant for a number of years to come.

R. Stroz

October 26th, 2010
1:51 pm

Yeah, stop just throwing Little under the bus, throw both Little and Modin under the bus.

R. Stroz

October 26th, 2010
1:54 pm

The Thrashers can’t put Antropov on IR because they need his contract dollars to meet the minimum salary requirements.

The ASG is CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP.