Archive for October, 2010

Hats off to Stewart – Thrashers set for swim in Shark tank

OK…when Red Light offered up his contest to guess which Thrasher would notch the team’s next hat trick, how many of you even thought about offering up the name Anthony Stewart?

…looking around the blogosphere…

Uh-huh, I didn’t think so.

Anthony Stewart scores the first of three goals in Anaheim Friday night. It came just 17 seconds into the game (AP Photo/Lori Shepler)

Anthony Stewart scores the first of three goals in Anaheim Friday night. It came just 17 seconds into the game (AP Photo/Lori Shepler)

But that’s exactly what happened Friday night in the Thrashers’ 5-4 shootout win in Anaheim. Anthony Stewart…in the Duck pond…with a hockey stick. We certainly had no Clue that was going to be the result, huh?

By potting three tallies, Stewey now finds himself tied for the goal-lead with that superhuman scoring machine…Chris Thorburn. Yes, that’s right, Thorburn and Stewart are atop the team’s goal chart with three each and have netted half of Atlanta’s season total of 12 scored during actual play. (They have 13 counting the shootout gimmick goal).

Andrew Ladd and Toby Enstrom each have 3 …

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Thrashers waive bye-bye to Boris – prepare for Duck and Sharks

When you are the Atlanta Thrashers, there is no such thing as a “cream puff” on the schedule. There really has never been a time in their previous ten seasons when they could look at the schedule and say to themselves, “Well, we can go into this team’s building…get our two points, and then see what we can do against this other better team the next night”.

In fact…for most of the past decade, the Thrashers have been that first team.

But tonight might…might…be the exception to the rule as the Thrashers go up against an Anaheim Ducks team that has, shall we say, struggled to take flight so far in this still-young NHL season. In their first four games, the Duck have given up 16 goals while netting but six of their own. In doing so, their defense have given up an average of…are you sitting down for this…an average of 46 shots on goal per game.

That is shocking…even by Thrashers standards.

The area around Jonas Hiller's goal has been the gathering place for several celebrations so far this season (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The area around Jonas Hiller's goal has been the gathering place for …

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Ramsay experiments with lines in search of right chemisty

Bob Hartley…you remember him don’t you? He used to coach this Thrashers team of ours back in the middle part of this past decade. I know, I know…the mere mention of his name is sometimes enough to send some of the Thrasherville townspeople into a near-riot. But I still like the guy.

I once heard Hartley talk about how he would break seasons up… dissect them, if you will…into segments of seven games. He came up with that number because that’s how many games are in a Stanley Cup playoff series if it were to go the distance.

Not that we here in Thrasherville have any idea what that might be like.

Coach Craig Ramsay appears to be putting on his lab smock and experimenting with his lines (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Coach Craig Ramsay appears to be putting on his lab smock and experimenting with his lines (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Anyway…Hartley figured that if you condensed your focus down into each passing seven games or so and played well in them, after ten or eleven such “series” went by you would be in position to nab a playoff birth in the last few games.

He also used this …

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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 …

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

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

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

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

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

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

For me, it was the play of Evander Kane, especially in Friday night’s 4-2 win over the Capitals. His opening goal was as …

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Thrashers pass early ‘gut check’ test in win over Caps

In any sports season, a team is going to be faced with adversity and must find a way to deal with it…to overcome it…if it is to succeed. These are known as “gut check” times because it is how the players and coaches deal with these situations that tell you a lot about what these guys are made of…find out who is there to play and who is there just to get paid.

For this edition of the Atlanta Thrashers, that time came shortly after 8:00 pm Friday night. Brooks Laich had just taken a pass from Tomas Fleischmann and deposited the puck into Atlanta’s goal. It came at the 3:18 mark of the opening period. Laich had slipped in behind Toby Enstrom and was left all alone to make the play.

Mediacal staff call for the stretcher as Ondrej Pavelec lat on the ice. His Thrashers teammates would then rally for a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Mediacal staff and officials call for the stretcher as Ondrej Pavelec lay on the ice. His Thrashers teammates would then rally for a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

If Enstrom and the rest of Thrashers looked a little lost when Washington scored that goal, its …

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Thrasherville troops preparing for another NHL campaign

In a hangar at Dobbins ARB the Thrasherville masses are assembled. Gen. Rawhide takes to the stage, moves to center-front and addresses the troops

At ease, men…ahem…and ladies.

For decades now, Stanley Cup winners returning from the playoffs enjoyed the honor of a triumph – a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians, together with carts laden with awarded treasure and captured hockey equipment. The head coach rode in a triumphal convertible, the dazed members of the press who wrote it would never happen walked before him. The players, robed in white jerseys, rode behind him in their convertibles, or rode in backs of flatbed trucks. The general manager stood behind the coach, holding the silver Cup, and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.

Well, fleeting or not…I want to experience that glory!

Today, as we have at this time since 1999, we stand at the precipice of another Thrashers campaign. And tonight we’ll gather once …

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Time again to consult with Magic-8 Ball for Thrashers season predictions

It’s that time again folks. Another summer has come and gone, taking with it the NHL offseason months. And now, finally, we are on the doorstep of another NHL campaign. As such, it’s time once again to weigh in with the official Rawhide’s Thrashers Fan Blog predictions for the 2010-11 season.

As was the case last year, I had hoped to be able to gaze into a crystal ball to see if I could properly prognosticate what the coming months will hold for the residents of Thrasherville. But just like last time, my procurement request was flatly denied by the AJC.

Tightwads.

But let your hearts not be troubled…they are once again allowing me to use the old Magic-8 Ball that has sat in the back of a storage closet since the late 1970s. I think it use to belong to Furman Bisher who then gave it to Jeff Schultz. Shultzie’s then used it to help him predict the outcome of Falcons, Georgia Tech and Georgia Bulldog football games.

Anyway, I’ll first review the Thrashers as they …

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Which Thrashers will make the final cut this week?

Preseason is done and the regular season begins Friday. The only thing really left to happen between now and then is for the Thrashers coaching staff to make it’s final roster decisions…something C-Viv reports has not been done as of today.

See here in action against the Blue Jackets last Saturday, Alex Burmistrov may find himself on the Thrashers opening night roster (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

See here in action against the Blue Jackets last Saturday, Alex Burmistrov may find himself on the Thrashers opening night roster (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

The way I see things, given that Jimmy Slater is still nursing a wrist ailment and Andrew Kozak is coming off surgery, there’s only one forward and three defensemen left to trim off the roster to get the squad down to regular season levels.

The team is set between the pipes with Chris Mason and Ondrej Pavelec.

On the blueline, I think it’s safe to say Bogosian, Enstrom, Oduya, Byfuglien, Hainsey and Sopel are in, meaning one of the following four players are left to pick from to round out the defensive seven…Boris Valabik, Arturs Kulda, Andrei Zubarev and Freddy Meyer.

Personally, …

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Thrashers on-air personalities discuss upcoming season

New players, new coaching staff, new GM… the changes that went on around Thrasherville this summer have certainly created quite a buzz among the Atlanta hockey fan base. And who better to discuss this buzz in the air than the on-air personalities of the team…TV play-by-play man Matt McConnell, analyst Darren Eliot, radio voice of the Thrashers Dan Kamal and John Kincade who will join the TV team to provide reports from rink-side and the locker room.

The four are excited to get this season underway and they’re eager to see how the offseason modifications will play out over the course of the coming months.

Dan Kamal calls head coach Craig Ramsay "One of the best teachers in the NHL" (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Dan Kamal calls head coach Craig Ramsay "One of the best teachers in the NHL" (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

“I just think there’s a real hockey feel around the organization these days and that’s been brought about through the changes we have seen in the off-season”, McConnell told me. “I’m interested in seeing how all of the new pieces fit together as we open up the …

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