Mason stops 52 of 55 shots as Thrashers scratch out 4-3 win over Panthers

Last summer the Atlanta Thrashers signed goalie Chris Mason to a 2-year contract that pays an average of $1.85 mil per season. Given the amount of shots he has faced so far this season…a league-high 394 in 11 games played…they certainly are getting a lot of work out of him for their money.

Wednesday night alone in south Florida, Mason was called upon 55 times to stop the puck. He was successful 52 times. That was just enough to allow his skaters the time to get four past Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun to escape with a 4-3 win.

Thrashers goalie Chris Mason petitions the hockey gods for a little relief Wednesday night. He stopped 52 of the 55 shots taken against him in the 4-3 win over the Panthers (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Thrashers goalie Chris Mason seemingly petitions the hockey gods for a little relief Wednesday night. He stopped 52 of the 55 shots taken against him in the 4-3 win over the Panthers (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Yes, you heard me right. I said fifty-five…five-freakin’-five…shots allowed on goal.

That, my friends, is just a pant-load of shots to face in one night, and coach Craig Ramsay was almost apologetic about what Mason was forced to deal with. “Another comeback, but that was just awful”, Ramsay to Chris Vivlamore after the game.

“Mason was magnificent. Our goaltender gave us a chance”, Ramsay continued. “You need your goaltender to steal a game every once in awhile. That was an incredible performance by our goaltender, and we found a way to win, but we can’t keep falling behind. We can’t play as poorly as we did.

Mason improved his season record to 6-4-1 with the win and now has a .909 SV% and 3.45 GAA. As for the extra workload thrust upon him, well he seemed to take it all in stride.

“There were a lot of shots, but the guys did a good job battling,” said the Thrashers overworked netminder. “Right from Game 1 this team has been pretty resilient. We kept shooting the puck and found a way.”

Nic Bergfors broke a 3-3 tie at the 11:10 of the third period with a one-timer off a nice cross-ice pass from Rich Peverley. The goal extends Bergie’s scoring streak to four-straight games…five straight with a goal or assists. Just 1:11 before, Dustin Byfuglien smashed his fifth of the season to tie the game.

Atlanta’s first two goals came off the stick of Fredrik “You Can’t Stop Him, You Can Only Hope To Contain Him” Modin. The first coming just seconds away from the first intermission, knocking home a  Byfuglien pass on the left side of the doorstep. His second period goal put the Thrashers up 2-1 when he took a nice behind-the-goal-line feed Eric Boulton and hs shot somehow squirted through Vokoun.

“That goal was one of those shifts where one of us goes and wins a battle and gets backed up by another guy”, Modin told C-Viv. “Bolts made a good play, and the puck goes in.”

Modin, along with Evander Kane, led the Thrashers with 4 shots on goal The pair accounted for one-third of the 23 SOG Atlanta managed to get off on Florida’s goal.

Ondrej Pavelec, who watched the proceedings from the bench, is scheduled to be in goal Thursday night when the Columbus Blue Jackets come to call. I might suggest to the young goalie have one extra bowl of Wheaties in the morning…just in case there is a repeat performance of the previous night’s activity in front of the Thrashers net.

92 comments Add your comment

Thrashers27

November 4th, 2010
11:43 am

Anybody else see Holik on “On The Fly”? I’m not sure if they’re going for a Halloween/Frankenstien thing, or what.

Is/was Bobby an on-ice talent? Yes! On-camera talent? No!

Good win last night. Say what you will about this team, but they are definitely fun to watch. Keep it up boys!

Wad

November 4th, 2010
11:50 am

Many issues remain despite the recent sucess. Still way too many shot on goal and defensive zone turnovers. Lack of good rebound control on long shots. Lack of physical play on both ends of the rink. We don’t seem to play the puck on defense instead play the passing lanes. On ofense we don’t get the puck deep vary often. Letting Kubina go this past off season is probable the biggest mistake this year. I still would like to see Big Buff on offense and sit Modin. bring up the young defensman from Chicago and sit Hainsey.

Cornbread

November 4th, 2010
12:04 pm

Big Buff = Return of the Rover

TrueBlue

November 4th, 2010
12:06 pm

Smoothie – I don’t know if you were responding to me or not, but I was dead serious. I am a hard core Little fan. Even if he’s not scoring, he is the most exciting and hardest working player on the ice.

I look forward to when he gets back out there. Won’t mind if Boulton get’s benched again though.

rob

November 4th, 2010
12:20 pm

Thought…..
I know Modin got 2 goals, but with his 2 goals being what had the team there, he sure as heck watched the Fla d man walk to the top of the circle and blast the go ahead goal past Mason. I think Boulton, as someone said previously, was a catalyst. He played hard, and more importantly, smart hockey. He was in the correct places and had several quality chances and set up Modin’s 2nd. I think he may have made a case for him to not be sat as much….. Too bad he couldn’t shoot better or he could have had 2 last night!

Red Light

November 4th, 2010
12:28 pm

He was jabbing me True Blue!

OK, folks enlighten me. Hainsey and Sopel have been paired together for several of the first 12 games, are a combined -2, and have blocked 28 and 29 shots respectively. Enstrom is 3rd with 27 and Oduya is 4th with 22. While neither Sopel nor Hainsey has contributed much offensively (1 assist apiece and only 17 shots on goal combined), Sopel leads the team in shorthanded time on ice (3:50/game) while Hainsey chips in with 1:28. He also plays on the PP (:58/game).

I know you want might want more production offensively, but Hainsey has only been on the ice for 12 of the opposition’s 42 goals in 12 games, and three of them while the Thrashers were shorthanded. That’s just one per contest. In contrast, Oduya has been on the ice for 19 opposition goals, four while shorthanded, and only 10 for the Thrashers.

Of all Thrashers, Andrew Ladd has the best mark: 19 goals for, just 8 against, and Modin the worst 3 for, 14 against.

Hockey Biltong

November 4th, 2010
12:55 pm

Great game, with heart stopping moment on defense. Just gota clear it sometimes, guys. Quit screwing around with the puck and get the other team out of your zone…

Smoothie

November 4th, 2010
12:57 pm

“Smoothie – I don’t know if you were responding to me or not, but I was dead serious. I am a hard core Little fan. Even if he’s not scoring, he is the most exciting and hardest working player on the ice”

True – I am in full agreement with you. My smart-aleck comments were supposed to be directed at R/L. He being the “needler” he is; I am the protagonist to his antagonist! :cool:

We are a much better team with Little on the ice, no doubt about it. Hopefully he is back by Sat nite at the latest and we don’t have to worry about playing Modin more than 3 games in a row. Modin is trying hard, but he’s been on the ice for 11 ES goals in 10 games. There has only been 2 games in which he hasn’t been on the ice for an ESGA. As a team, we are a -7 at ES. Guess who is a -8?? But in his defense, I don’t know if we ever get going if he doesn’t drive the net aggressively at the end of the 1st. Veteran savvy there.

Red Light

November 4th, 2010
1:30 pm

Pro- and anti- make the world go round, particularly on blogs. Sara vs. Sage, for instance.

Brendan

November 4th, 2010
1:30 pm

Sorry I’m late. Haven’t read any poster comments, but I just wanted to add … that it’s the NY Islanders that usually way overinflates the shots on goal stats. I don’t know why. But they do.

Carry on, and Go Thrashers!

Brendan

November 4th, 2010
1:32 pm

Has Sage of Bluesland made an appearance lately?

Dwayne

November 4th, 2010
1:39 pm

Nope, Thrash are winning. The SOB can not bring himself to coming on here and saying anything positive. Hell, a backhanded compliment from The SOB would be welcomed.

Smoothie

November 4th, 2010
1:45 pm

Nope, haven’t seen that SOB in quite awhile.

R/L – indeed, gotta keep things lively eh?

Rawhide

November 4th, 2010
1:47 pm

Brent Sopel tweets that he will be sitting this game out…which means, I presume, that Welch will play.

Oh, and I wouldn’t count on Little suiting up either. My guess is that the forward lines wouild remain the same, but I’ve not heard one way or the other.

Mathieu Garon will be in net for the CBJ’s. He’s 3-0-0 with 1.15 GAA and .957 SV%. Career versus the Thrashers…4-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .965 SV% w/ 2 shoutouts.

I say we put an end to that nonesense to-freakin’-night!

Diego from Lilburn

November 4th, 2010
2:37 pm

Time to break Garon’s streak!

(Rawhide – and it is “bowl” of wheaties. :D )

Putting On The Foil

November 4th, 2010
2:51 pm

First off, regardless of the shot count, 30+ is too dang many. Secondly, to whomever suggested Bolts sitting, he may not have first or second line skills, but at least he is a catalyst brings an A+ effort each and every time he hits the ice. Never seen him mail it in.

Putting On The Foil

November 4th, 2010
2:52 pm

catalyst AND brings

Thrashers27

November 4th, 2010
2:58 pm

Diego,

I noticed that too, but thought I’d leave it alone as my very own wife once tried to serve a “bowel” of Wheaties to clients. (Luckily, I caught that one before it got out.)

Go Thrashers!

litz

November 4th, 2010
3:13 pm

Has Little cleared medical for his concussion yet?

R. Stroz

November 4th, 2010
3:41 pm

FIF – Modin Still Sucks!

Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn every now and then. Even the wife was ribbing me over Modin’s two goals.

Zoomo

November 4th, 2010
4:12 pm

Nice numeric analysis as usual Red Light.

Garon, the successsor to Nittymaki?

EA

November 4th, 2010
4:14 pm

J-Man, I made the comment about Bergfors in jest. I was wondering what was wrong with him as well. Just glad he has found his game.

Darkhorse

November 4th, 2010
4:28 pm

The Jackets always seem to be able to control the game when they play us. The obvious key is to set the tempo early, and actually score first, and try to hold on by the time legs get tired in the third tonight. Just stick to the game plan, paying no attention to the fact there’s only 7k in the building I bet.

Red Light

November 4th, 2010
5:08 pm

So, who’s is attending tonight?

HookyBob

November 4th, 2010
5:16 pm

Hard to believe that with a record of 6-4-2 all wins are “come from behind.” Have we ever led a game we one? The NHL has a stat on %age of wins when leading after the 1st period. The Thrashers are 30th in the league at 0%.

I’m not sure how you define stole,…maybe “being outshot by more than 10 shots,”.. or a “save %age of > 95%”,…however,..but Mason is definitely lengthening his rap sheet as a Thrasher.

Glad to hear there is a stat for drawing penalties. Not surprised that Burmie leads the league either. I’m seeing a little bit of Dan Snyder in Burmie. Love it.

Around the league:…So, if Broduer is out with injury, is Moose the new starter for the Devils?

Bucky Gleason must be reading WBF’s blogs. To paraphrase Gleason,… “the roster was built by a general manager who has been here too long and consists of players who have been here too long who are underachieving for a coach who has been here too long.”

Also,…”Connolly has more turnovers than Pepperidge Farms.”

http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/columns/bucky-gleason/article241352.ece

Go Blue,..beat the Jackets.

SomaAtl95

November 4th, 2010
5:30 pm

Open Question to Everyone: We absolutely detest when fans of the other 29 teams slam us about attendance at the games – when do you all think that we will stop doing it to ourselves? There are many valid points ( 7PM is a crappy start time when you hafta deal with Atlanta Traffic, Some people don’t feel safe, expenses, etc.) The team has assembled a good squad, we finally have “NHL Caliber” coaching, Dudley replaced D-Wad and the team is 6-4-2 after the first 12 games. There are reports that the Thrashers are going to try to attract more black fans – having roughly a quarter of black players in the league didn’t seem like a marketing strategy but this being Atlanta it definitely wouldn’t hurt to show that Hockey doesn’t care about skin color and it can be fun to watch.
It looks as if everything we have complained about (for the most part so everyone don’t nit pick me on this) has been done. We know there is an attendance problem. Is there anything we can do as dedicated fans to increase attendance rather than slam the fact that attendance is low?

lola

November 4th, 2010
6:07 pm

TrueBlue: This season I’ve seen at least three guys back down from Boulton when he was clearly ready to rumble!

litz

November 4th, 2010
7:41 pm

Everyone cross your fingers … 1st period over, 0-all tie … but check out the shots!

11-8 (’course, us w/the 8 … but … only 11 for the other guys? Excellent compared to previous contests)

Putting On The Foil

November 4th, 2010
7:49 pm

Hainsey just said he would like to hang out with Obama at intermission. I guess misery loves company.

litz

November 4th, 2010
8:11 pm

Ouch … Jackets score to make it 1-0 …

that’s what happens when they shoot and we don’t.

(where have we heard that before?)

stendek

November 4th, 2010
9:35 pm

I strongly encourage all true hockey fans to boycott Philips Arena until the Thrashers decide to exhibit heart on their home ice. That heart was once again absent during an indefensible choke loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus for the love of God! Chris Mason would have managed at least one point for the Thrashers. More home points lost which will result in another season outside looking in during playoffs. Craig Petrino was neligent in his effort to get these quitters ready to compete. Pavs was not quite a sieve but was not sharp as he should have been. Mason has greatly outperformed Pavs this season. Thrashers simply gave up! Did not give a damn about winning. Pity guys decided to go into tank so soon. Nice had they put off that annual rite until at least December. Nothing more to say. Other than these bums are no better than all other gutless quitters who have gone before! So very disappointed and disillusioned. I bought into hype. Shame on me! STENDEK

Alan R.

November 4th, 2010
9:38 pm

*YAAAAWN* …So sleepy. I turned on the game at 7:15, and somehow fell asleep. Who won again?

litz

November 4th, 2010
9:41 pm

Yeah, once again 42 shots. We had a respectable 25 … but, jeez – this hemorrhaging has to cease.

stendek

November 4th, 2010
9:42 pm

Hi Alan R. Take a guess pal. First guess does not even count. Only one team showed up. Other took an extra night off. Home means rest and recreation not hustling and, Heaven forbid, collecting much needed points! STENDEK

stendek

November 4th, 2010
9:43 pm

Pavs knew if he allowed first goal that quitters would lose. Guess what? STENDEK

MrBill4260

November 4th, 2010
10:12 pm

Where are the Atlanta Fans, there was 8200 tonight against Columbus, the team has 14 pts and this is the best start ever. We won a tough game last night against Florida and may have been alittle tired tonight. But the lack of attendance is going to kill this team. On weeknight games we should have 14-16000 atleast. I hope the fans will wake up and start showing up. We have a playoff team.

Alan R.

November 4th, 2010
10:19 pm

MrBill – We’ve been down this road before, with friend and foe alike, on this blog. People are sick of incompetence, and they want to see meaningful change. They’re not going to accept “best start ever” or “we have AWESOME players!” People want to see results before they show up.

It’s what happened in Chicago. Blackhawks do awesome, and fans slowly start to show back up.

Games like this one, though, where we get lost in a freakin’ trap for sixty minutes, aren’t going to bring anyone out to the bulb.

R. Stroz

November 4th, 2010
10:22 pm

One word describes the Thrashers tonight:

SUCKFEST

R. Stroz

November 4th, 2010
10:50 pm

The Blue Jackets Had A Brutally Good Time

Thrashy Thrashy

November 4th, 2010
11:07 pm

To be fair, I don’t give a s*** whether anyone’s showing up to these games right now. It would be great if we had a solid core of 12,000 who would cheer their butts off, but that just isn’t the way it is now. Our players are pros. Their job is to go out and win hockey games. If they do that, the seats will slowly fill. Until it happens on a regular basis, we’re going to see crowds like this against teams like this.

Brendan

November 4th, 2010
11:21 pm

To quote R.Stroz, it was like watching the paint dry. For me, it was like watching a pot full of spaghetti that never boils.

Aside from the company of R.Stroz and his lovely better half, I could have had a better evening reorganizing my closet. Oh wait, it was also wonderful to make the acquaintance of the lovely PJ.

I do, also, want to give some well-deserved credit to the Columbus Blue Jackets for playing a HOME game at Philips Arena. And no, I don’t mean that the house was packed with every able-bodied Ohioan in the metropolitan Atlanta-area. Truthfully, I don’t recall seeing a CBJ jersey in the house. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the Jackets had the benefit of the final line change. Derrick Brassard and Rick Nash had a great game. I haven’t seen a boxscore yet, but I’d guess both were at least +2. Matthieu Garon made the saves he needed to make, but he was never severely tested. Maybe the best Thrasher chance of the whole game, was Andrew Ladd’s in the 3rd period.

The Thrashers were lulled to sleep, and so were the 7,372 fans in attendance. (Note: Not an announced attendance figure.) As I drove home, this thought haunted me. “I’ve always said that we must compare ourselves against teams in similar situations.” Back in 2007, I cited the Blue Jackets as such a team. They fired their “Village Idiot” Doug MacLean in 2007. In mid-June of 2007, they hired Scott Howson, a previous Assistant GM of the Edmonton Oilers. The CBJ’s did make the playoffs in 2009, just two years later. But the Jackets were outscored 18-7 in a sweep … at the hands of the mighty Red Wings. So, bottom-line it for me, Brendan, it’s late and I’m sleepy. Well, the point is … both these teams still sorta find themselves in the same situation. Four years removed from 2007, both Columbus and Atlanta struggle to find consistency, and long odds at making the playoffs. And yet, tonight, at Blueland, I’d have to say … that Columbus has made the most progress of the two. At least, based on the head-to-head competition. Don Waddell likes to rejoice in saying things like, “We were the 1st expansion team to win our division.” Minnesota would do it, the following year. But really, Waddell’s consolation is that the Columbus Blue Jackets have been just as unsuccessful as the Thrashers.

Rawhide

November 5th, 2010
12:08 am

I really only have one question. What is it about Atlanta that brings out the best in Mathieu Garon?