Blackhawks down Thrashers in 5-4 shootout win

I have to be honest with you up front here. Saturday night’s Blackhawks-Thrashers game is exactly the kind of game I hate seeing settled by way of a shootout. The way these two went at each other for 65 minutes, launching a total of 77 shots on goal between them…I simply would have loved to have seen at least five more minutes on overtime to see if the eventual winner could be settled during actual team-vs-team play.

I bet it would have at least been as entertaining as the rest of the game.

The Thrashers played very well for the most part, coming out with a heckuva lot more jump and passion than they did last Thursday against the Blue Jackets. But in this reunion of Blackhawks playing at Philips Arena, it was the defending Stanley Cup champions that skated away with the second point in the 5-4 shootout victory…leaving the Thrashers having to settle for the one consolation point for their efforts.

As for the former-Blackhawks that now reside in Thrasherville…Ben Eager had one assists and was a +1… Dustin Byfuglien had an assists, was a –2, took 6 shots on goal and led Atlanta with 24:41 TOI… Brent Sopel had no points and was a +1…Andrew Ladd earned an assist, was a –1 and tallied the Thrashers lone shootout goal.

Jeremey Morin…the prospect traded to Chicago along with Marty Reasoner for Byfuglien and Eager, Sopel…played just under ten minutes in his NHL debute. He was helped off the ice early in the third after blockin a Johnny Oduya shot.

Ondrej Pavelec was given the start for the second consecutive game and turned aside 36 of 40 shots the Hawks got off on him.

It was the 12th time in 14 games that an Atlanta goalkeeper has had to face at least 30 SOG and it was the 6th time that total has gotten to or above. 40. The last three games has seen the opposition get off 137 shots during 185 minutes of play.

Ondrej Pavelec stops one of the 40 shots he faced against the Chicago Blackhawks (AP Photo)

Ondrej Pavelec stops one of the 40 shots he faced against the Chicago Blackhawks (AP Photo)

The first two Blackhawks goals came while Chicago was on the power play, then there was a breakaway in the second period as Pavs was beaten by a Jonathan Toews wrister. Later in the second period, with the Thrashers up 4-3,  Toews was able to win the puck from Pavelec behind the net and feed it to Patrick Kane who snapped it into an empty net.

But Opie held fast the rest of the way, stopping all 13 shots he faced in the third and three the Blackhawks got off on him in OT.

Oddly enough, as the horn sounded to end the extra period of play, I found myself looking over at the Thrashers’ bench…specifically at coach Graig Ramsay and goalie Chris Mason. I was wondering if Rammer had any thoughts of possibly pulling a “Bob Hartley” and swap the netminders before the skills contest known as a shootout.

As you’ll remember, the former coach did just that four years back in Philadelphia with Johan Hedberg and Kari Lehtonen. It was the first time anything like that had been tried since the tie-breaking measure was implemented following the locket, but it failed to produced the desired effect as the Thrashers fell to the Flyers.

Pavelec has had zero success in shootouts. Coming into this game he was 0-5, including the loss in St. Louis a week ago in which he failed to save either attempt taken on him.

Toews successful shot on the Blackhawks first try in exhibit A of what Opie’s main issue is here. There was a move to the right, a move to the left…then the puck was lifted over Pavelec as he was leaning forward and falling on his chest to the ice.

Staying vertical is key to his success in this aspect of the game.

“The guys deserved better help from me”, Pavelec said after the game. “We deserved to win this game”.

Of his troubles in the shootout, the young netminder remarked, “It is what it is…I know I’ve got to be better there and help the team get the extra point”.

Returning to the main portion of the night’s festivities… trailing 2-1 at the first break, Atlanta bounced back to tie the game, then take the lead. And by “ounce back”, I mean exactly that…bounce back.

Evander Kane’s shot shortly after the 3-minute mark struck iron…then struck the backside of Marty Turco. The puck then bounced back over the goal line. Kane’s tally came just seconds before Patrick Sharp’s tripping minor expired.

Less than a minute later, Alex Burmistrov pinged a shot off the crossbar and bounced back in front where rookie slammed it over and past a sprawling Turco. Burmistrov’s goal was the only one for Atlanta in which the two sides were skating 5 on 5.

In the first, Nik Antropov snapped over Turco’s glove while Jack Skille sat in the sin bin pondering his tripping penalty. Then in the second, Rich Peverley capitalized on a very well executed three-way passing play between he, Antropov and Andrew Ladd. At the time, Patrick Kane was being given a time out for high-sticking.

In closing… it’s hard for me to decide whether or not this was a “point lost” via the shootout defeat, or a “point gained” in the standings by taking last spring’s Cup champs past 60 minutes. The Thrashers held leads of 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3 in this game…but also trailed 2-1. The two sides held the other scoreless in the third period as the Hawks took 13 of the 21 shots taken in the final 20 minutes of regulation.

In the end, I guess a point is a point and we move on.

As Opie said, ”It is what it is”.

97 comments Add your comment

stendek

November 7th, 2010
5:23 pm

Forgive my rudeness Thrashers27 for not responding to your attack until now. Just got online after watching Falcons defend their turf. Too bad YOUR Thrashers have no comprehension of what that means. Oh well. So you want me to keep quiet unless I kiss Thrasher a$$. Not gonna happen. I have followed professional sports in Georgia since 1960s. Seen plenty of bad mixed with very little good. I worked as sports reporter for four plus decades. Have several rules I follow then and now. Never criticize high school athletes. These young boys are young boys doing their best to represent school. Bad or good. Save most college criticism for coaches. Although I have called out college players on occasion. Especially Bulldogs. Professional athletes are fair game. These men are paid outlandish sums of money not to show up, not to compete but to WIN! Sorry that simple concept is beyond someone like you. Would say more but deriding mentally challenged is something I would never do. Thanks for kind words LAC. Like your posts too. Sincerely. STENDEK

stendek

November 7th, 2010
5:31 pm

…to do it on the internet is cowardly…Really Thrasher27? After that love letter you sent me ON INTERNET! What a hypocrite. Maybe it is you who should keep your pie hole shut! Ignore the jerk LAC. I would express my feeling to Kari, Marian and Illya in person then let chips fall where they may. STENDEK

Thrashers27

November 7th, 2010
5:48 pm

Stendek, again, I’m not saying you don’t have a right to express your opinion. It’s the name calling and such. Why is that needed? Okay, so you were a sports reporter. I’m a journalist myself. I don’t really see what that has to do with anything, but okay. Again, I agreed with you that that loss is primarily on Pavs’ shoulders because of the mishandled puck. Not disagreeing with you there, but I just plain don’t think it’s necessary, or mature to call the guy names because of his poor play. Call him out, sure. Call him a worthless piece of “shet” as you put it is just not called for.

I would love to rant and rave and call you and LAC out for calling me names, but I have several rules that I follow as well. One of which is that I don’t get into a name calling competition on the internet. It’s just dumb. As ridiculous as your name calling and insults can be I am not going to sit here and call you names, etc in retaliation, because you’re probably the kind of person who will mouth off all day long when on the internet, but if you found yourself face to face with me you’d be polite and might even be a decent guy in person.

With that in mind, if you, or LAC were ever to attend a Thrashers home game and come across me, I’d invite you to introduce yourself. I’m easy to spot. Large man, shaved head, goatee wearing #…you guessed it 27. Come say “hi” and talk “shet” to me in person.

Thrashers27

November 7th, 2010
5:50 pm

Stendek, did I call you names on the internet? No, I did not. That is what is cowardly.

Thrashers27

November 7th, 2010
5:57 pm

My point is that you would never call Pavs, or Kari, or anyone those names to their face, so why would you do it on the internet. That’s what makes it cowardly. Tell you what, next time you plan on calling Pavs, or Buff, or Kari names to their face let me know and I’ll come along. I’d like to see it and I’ll never call you a coward again. I may even respect you if you were to do that, but calling people names on the internet is not respectable….and I’m done with you.

stendek

November 7th, 2010
5:58 pm

Thrashers27. Your tone was insulting and your perchant toward censorship was offensive. Expect response when you call someone out. LAC is just as entitled to his opinion as you, Bill and I are to ours. STENDEK

glovesave29

November 7th, 2010
6:13 pm

Well then here is a chance Stendec…post under you real name and put in your email address. If you truly believe that you would say your comments to the players faces, here is a chance to move towards that.

Thrashers27

November 7th, 2010
6:27 pm

Bill,

I apologize for allowing myself to disrupt your blog. (Boring workday for me.) Brilliant as always. Keep up the good work!

Go Thrashers!

Nikita (in PA)

November 8th, 2010
9:04 am

Er, hey. I prefer we win, but honestly was pretty thrilled that we got the point.

Honestly, I was more disappointed that we lost to CBJ. They’re not the same caliber, and yet we have a hell of a time competing with them. What’s our weakness that allows them to beat us like a rented mule every damn time we play?

Odd Man Rush

November 8th, 2010
9:09 am

Stendek is an institution. You can rest assured that he will always be critical until perfection is achieved. Although Stendek would consider me a Kool Aide drinker, I still enjoy reading his point of view and find his predictable opinions entertaining. He has become a caricature.

“Sorry for gettin’ into a fight at your Black Panther party.” — F. Gump

Dwayne

November 8th, 2010
9:09 am

garon, nittymaki, and who else, all went to the same “Goaltending 101: How to beat the Thrashers” class. Find out who that instructer is and hire him.

Smoothie

November 8th, 2010
9:50 am

Okay, this blog topic has died a quiet death. Moving on?

How many would be open to trading for some RW scoring depth if that RW was named Michael Ryder (from Boston)?

Savard and Sturm are close to returning and Chiarelli will need to make a move and considering Ramsay’s ties to Boston, perhaps we might be a player in a deal that moves salary our way. Then again, we’re talkin’ ’bout the ASG. $4M is a hefty price to pay for Ryder. I could see us making a deadline deal for him if we’re still in the hunt.

Flames

November 8th, 2010
10:06 am

Saturday nights game at the Bulb was electric! The crowd was into the game and you could feel the excitement. I took my entire family to the game and we had a blast. I agree with a lot of the post on this blog, but there is some people that will never be happy. This team has a winning record and isn’t in the cellar. I was at the CBJ game and I wasn’t happy about how they played. I still think this team is exciting to watch. I just wish we would be a more physical team. I hope to see you all Thursday at the Bulb @ Minnesota…

Red Light

November 8th, 2010
10:31 am

Dwayne…the tops of Eastern Conference teams against the Thrashers!

Pittsburgh goalies Fleury and Johnson are 17-7-0-2 lifetime against Atlanta
Washington goalies Neuvirth and Varlymov are 8-1-0-0 lifetime against Atlanta
Boston goalies Thomas and Rask are 8-3-0-1 lifetime against Atlanta
Cam Ward is 15-8-0-2 lifetime against Atlanta

Smoothie…
• Ryder is a power-play scorer. In fact, 132 of his 302 lifetime points have been scored on the power play.
• He is a consistent scorer month-to-month during his career
• My concern: what’s his upside? He is what he is and his production has fallen off in two of his last three years, not including this year.
• Decent player, but maybe not at $4 million, and he’s a rental player at best because he is unrestricted after this year.

Flames
6-8 is not a winning record!

Spud Webb

November 8th, 2010
10:41 am

I have to wonder if Savard is going to be the same in Boston or he’ll be Tim Connelly (RL, you like that!!)???
I’m glad to get a point out of the game saturday night, great game from entertainment views.
As far as shootouts, in my small mind it’s like flipping a coin, take the good with the bad, no matter the goalie. Pavs played a great game. Goaltending isn’t our issue this season…we have others!!!

Red Light

November 8th, 2010
10:43 am

In fact, only five teams in the Eastern Conference and seven teams in the Western Conference have a “winning” record at this point in the season! And, 23 of 30 teams have benefited from what Rawhide calls “the loser’s point.”

Smoothie

November 8th, 2010
10:44 am

R/L – yeah, I wasn’t thinking of him as a LT solution. We’re not going to get that type of asset during the season. But if RW depth is a problem, then when do you make a move like Ryder, if at all? Deadline probably considering the cheap-a$$ ownership group. I like the fact that he is consistent month-to-month, but don’t know if he is as physical as I would like to see. Then again, Modin, Bergy, Pevs & Antro are never going to be confused with the word “physical”.

Dwayne

November 8th, 2010
11:15 am

I just dont understand, I thought this team would have problems scoring, like most everyone else on these blogs. I thought we had some defensive forwards in the right spot. What happened?Does it take longer to teach defense in hockey more so than other sports?

Red Light

November 8th, 2010
11:18 am

Well, they could use another shooter and he’s a big body, and Boston is going to have to create some cap space. Krejci is going to miss the next week, so they get a little more time to make a decision.

Smitty

November 8th, 2010
11:21 am

I believe if there were any accidents, they occurred nine months before some of you were born.

Sage of Bluesland

November 8th, 2010
11:27 am

Flames definitely works for the organization…I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s that bumbling little fraud of a GM (now “President”) we’ve had since our inception…

I’m actually surprised it was even a game, so kudos to the team for rallying around the old guy on the bench….All things considered, not a typical shameful embarrasment…

Smoothie

November 8th, 2010
11:29 am

Smitty – how’d you know? I was a “happy accident”…thanks! What were you? I know you’re certainly a wet blanket so remind never to hang out with you if I expect to have any fun!

Dwayne – Rammer said to Eliot the other day that they’ve spend the majority of their time on ingraining into their pysche that all 4 lines are expected to score and therefore improving puck movement and forechecking has been a primary focus. However, I’m not sure why they haven’t been able to shore up the defense when a good offense is contingent upon a good defense, at least int terms of getting the puck out of your zone efficiently and transitioning through the NZ. I just don’t think certain guys are totally comfortable with the system yet but we saw shades of what they can be on Saturday nite when they play with an aggressive mindset.

Smoothie

November 8th, 2010
11:33 am

Actually, I DO know why their defense isn’t better. It’s because we play like wusses too often around our own net. Or someone like Bogey has his thumb up his you know what when he should be cracking his stick across a forward’s back. If nothing else, the D-man must be mindful of the forward near the goal and either lift the stick or tie up the man if the puck isn’t within their reach. Reaction time and awareness must be better. Whether that can be instilled in Bogosian, Oduya and Big Buff remains to be seen.

R. Stroz

November 8th, 2010
11:52 am

And all this time I thought the Thrashers were using the Chinese Fire Drill defense.

Silly me.

Mikey

November 8th, 2010
12:15 pm

All in all I was pleased by the effort Saturday night. Good point to gain from the defending champs. We’ve taken 4 of a possible 6 points from the likes of Washinton and Chicago in the early stages of the year. I would guess that anyone here would have seen that as a good thing when the season began last month.

Speaking of Washington, after next Friday we will only see them 2 more times the rest of the way. December 4th and the January 26. That will help down the stretch as we (cross fingers) make a playoff run.

World Be Free

November 8th, 2010
12:53 pm

Looks like I missed some fireworks this weekend, both on and off the ice. Back in the ATL and listening to plenty of teams looking to make deals that have no cap room, none. Then you have Calgary, who has 11 players with no movement clauses. Thrashers are in a great postion, so to speak, when it comes to maybe making a move to get a player from a team depserate to bump a salary. Then again, I said that in early October.

Nathan Oysterhead made a nice play to influence St. Louis’ winning aol last night in MSG. Haven’t heard Stroz say “Buffalo sucks” at all today, but the day is young.

Dwayne

November 8th, 2010
1:01 pm

No R. Stroz, it’s the whack-a-mole defense

Flames

November 8th, 2010
1:52 pm

Red Light: Your right, I didn’t count the overtime losses….S.O.B: I’m not DW! I’m just a simple man who loves the Thrashers…

Red Light

November 8th, 2010
1:59 pm

World Be Free, the voice of reason, has returned!

Consider that a team averaging just 2.5 goals per game is 9-1-2 through its first 12 games, has four shutouts and in three other games in which they allowed just one goal.

Oh, and while the Thrashers have allowed 35 goals in 14 games in 5-on-5 and 4-on-4 situations, the Blues have allowed just 10 in 12 games! That is a sizable disparity, eh?

And because of injuries, they have used 10 different defensemen in those 12 games…
Alex Pietrangelo, Carlo Colaiacovo, Erik Johnson, Barret Jackman, Nathan Oystrick, Roman Polak, Nikita Nikitin, Eric Brewer, Ian Cole and Tyson Strachan.

Half of the dozen were former No. 1 draft picks and four of the six picked by the Blues themselves. They also have five former first rounders up front, and four of those were drafted by the Blues.

The strange thing is that Halak was a 9th round pick in 2003 by Montreal and Conklin wasn’t drafted at all.

R. Stroz

November 8th, 2010
2:01 pm

Buffalo Sucks!

Chicago Sucks!

and, in preparation for this Saturday

Pittsburgh, REALLY SUCKS!

Thrashers27

November 8th, 2010
2:06 pm

Wow! If what you say about the Blues’ defensive effort is true, RL, then the Thrashers need to employ whatever defensive scheme the Blue use.

How is it that no matter who the coaches are, no matter who the players are, the Thrashers D is awful? The only constant on the blueline over the last four years has been Toby, Hainsey and Bogosian. None of the other d-men have played here for more than a year. I had hopes with that Ramsay would shore up that problem, but nope. It’s actually gotten worse. Thankfully, our offensive output is better than expected.

Smoothie

November 8th, 2010
2:17 pm

“Oh, and while the Thrashers have allowed 35 goals in 14 games in 5-on-5 and 4-on-4 situations, the Blues have allowed just 10 in 12 games! That is a sizable disparity, eh?”

And we also scored 3 goals on them in their house and let them win a game that we dominated for two periods. If this (ATL) team can learn how to play a more complete 60 mins or finish off a game when leading, then they might actually have a chance to do some damage and make the playoffs.

Spud Webb

November 8th, 2010
2:18 pm

Thrashers can’t draft like the blues did/do!!!
Conklin, good grief, him having a shutout, 27 saves, is SICK.

sisu

November 8th, 2010
2:18 pm

Joe Friday

November 8th, 2010
2:30 pm

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=20868&id=143648252332905#!/photo.php?fbid=144332592264471&set=a.144332458931151.20868.143648252332905

If that’s not a 2 minute minor, I don’t know what is . . .amiritefellas?

Joe Friday

November 8th, 2010
2:32 pm

that would be top row, 2nd from the left, since that linky was too long

Red Light

November 8th, 2010
2:37 pm

КХЛ’s Photos – Болельщицы Photo 37 of 43!

litz

November 8th, 2010
2:40 pm

“Stendek is an institution. You can rest assured that he will always be critical until perfection is achieved.”

To be blunt : the Cup could be in a convertible on its way down Peachtree St and Stendek would still be bitching.

alex

November 8th, 2010
3:20 pm

STENDEK, i am not going to convince you because so naive like a kid, also stubborn beyond imagination, but just don’t dare to compare falcons and thrashers. falcons one off elite team in with one of the biggest payroll, thrashers got worsts ownership with second from the bottom payroll. do you know what you talking about. they don’t have talent to play like NHL team because 1/3 of there roster not NHL class cheap players.. go get your drugs and call mr levinson and demand sale the team, than with the real owners we can talk about how to defend home field advantage.

Alan R.

November 8th, 2010
3:39 pm

If that’s not a 2 minute minor, I don’t know what is

I’m thinking a double minor here… ;)

World Be Free

November 8th, 2010
3:43 pm

A few thoughts-
Red Light, back from my trip to Tunica sitting at Toby Keith’s – had a ball watching Bama fans on one side of the bar and LSU fans on the other. All the breakables were removed from the bar just in case.
Blues are impressive, they play as a team, well drafted and well coached. St. Louis deserves a Stanley Cup more than ANY other team. I hope they get one, I am cheering for them.

Stroz-are you from Philly?

Stendec-good to have you back cuz Sgae is pretty boring all by himself. Gotta have 2 of you on this blog for purer entertainment.

Hoof Arted

November 8th, 2010
3:43 pm

Look you all, you are going to have to learn to just ignore these morons stendek and S.O.B. They are just a couple of fools who need some sort of attention in their pathetic lives. By responding to their mindless, nonsensical, idiotic, childish rants you give them exactly what they seek.

Do like I do. Ignore them. Just skip over their meaningless posts and only read those that are written by the others who have some sort of idea what they are talking about when it comes to hockey.

R. Stroz

November 8th, 2010
4:15 pm

Philly Sucks

R. Stroz

November 8th, 2010
4:29 pm

WBF – I’m a rare Atlanta native. That stated, due to my outspoken nature, I have several friends from north of the Mason-Dixon line that think I’m part yankee.

Rawhide

November 8th, 2010
4:32 pm

The Thrashers are 14 games into the 2011-11 NHL campaign. Let’s take this time in betwen games to review where they stand…statistically speaking.

R. Stroz

November 9th, 2010
10:38 am

Bill Tiller (Rawhide)

November 12th, 2010
11:20 am

R. Stroz – Nope.