A statistical review of the Thrashers after fourteen games

“Figures often beguile me…especially when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force; ‘There are three kind of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics’” – Mark Twain from “Chapters of my Autobiography” as published in the North American Review, 1906.

Yes… for many, many moons now, people have understood that stats and stats alone cannot be the end all of end alls regarding certain issues…especially in sports. Indeed, they fail to tell the whole story behind how a team or individual player is performing. Worse still, there are times when stats can, whether intentional or not, can even be used to twist or contort the facts.

I know it, you know it…and the Thrasherville people know it.

Case in point. If one simply went with a statistical review of the Thrashers netminders, it could be argued the best goalie they’ve skated out between the pipes this fall is Peter Mannino…statistically speaking, I mean. He’s yet to lose even once, has a team high .938 SV% and his 1.58 GAA is far better than that of either Ondrej Pavelec or Chris Mason.

Peter Mannino allowed only a Steven Stamkos goal last month during his 2 periods of play with the Thrashers. His .938 SV% and 1.58 GAA still leads all Atlanta goalies...statistically speaking, that is (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Peter Mannino allowed only a Steven Stamkos goal last month during his 2 periods of play with the Thrashers. His .938 SV% and 1.58 GAA still leads all Atlanta goalies...statistically speaking, that is (AP Photo/David Goldman)

While true, those numbers don’t reveal the fact that Mannino has played in only two periods, has faced but 16 shots and finds himself back in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves.

But with all that said, let’s take time to review just where the team and the players find themselves in a statistical sense after fourteen games played and as the NHL heads into Monday night’s action.

You, then, may interpret them as you see fit in the comment section below.

First of all, 14 games played equates to roughly17% of the 82-game season. Their 6-5-3 record give Atlanta 15 points in the standings. This total is good enough for third in the Southeast Division, (1 point behind Tampa Bay and 1 point ahead of Carolina). In the conference, they are tied with Boston, NY Rangers, Ottawa and Pittsburgh for spots five through nine at this time.

Last year Atlanta was 7-6-1 for 15 points after 14 games played. Two years ago it was 5-7-2 for 12 points.

The .536 points-winning % is 15th best in NHL, tied with NYR and OTT.

15 points after 14 games played also puts the Thrashers on a course for right at 88 points. For what it’s worth…that was the points total I, along with a few others, predicted they would end up at this April. We’ll see if that holds up as there is much more hockey to play.

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding the Thrashers offense going into the season. But so far they have scored goals at a very respectable 3.07 per game rate. That is sixth best in NHL…0.01 behind Vancouver.

Unfortunately, they have not faired so well on the other end of the ice, allowing 3.50 GA/G… tied with NYI for dead last in the league. St. Louis’ 1.42 GA/G is best and Boston’s 1.73 is second.

Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd lead the Thrashers in overall team points with 13. Buff has 5 goals and 8 assists while Ladd has 4 goals and 9 assists. Evander Kane’s 7 goals is the most on the squad while Ladd’s nine helpers is tied with Toby Enstrom for the most in that statistical column.

On the opposite of the score sheet…Oduya, Hainsey, Sopel, Meyer and Bogosian are still having their mail delivered to Schnide Island.

Atlanta’s power play has been solid over the course of the initial weeks of the season, scoring goals 25.0% of the time they are afforded the man advantage. That is 5th best in NHL. Dustin Byfuglien and Nik Antropov lead the way here with 3 PP goals each. Dustin has also contributed with 5 PP assists.

Evander Kane scores one of his team-leading 7 goals against the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Evander Kane scores one of his team-leading 7 goals against the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The three scored by Antropov account for all of his goal scoring and Enstrom has a team best 7 assists while the Thrashers have had the man advantage.

Conversely, the penalty kill squads have been 78.0% efficient…that’s tied with the Rangers for 25th in the league at this time.

The 28.2 shots per game average is tied with the L.A. Kings and Ottawa Senators for 24th in the NHL. But the 37.8 shot against number is dead last… 0.08 behind Anaheim. The Blues have the league’s lowest SA/G stat, 26.5, while Pittsburgh’s 26.6 SA/G is second best.

5 on 5 GF/GA ratio is 0.70. Only New Jersey’s 0.58 and New York Islanders 0.40 is lower.

Andrew Ladd has scored the only short-handed goal thus far. It came in San Jose during the second period, sparking the come-from-behind 4-2 win against the Sharks. Bryan Little assisted on the shorty that cut San Jose’s lead to 2-1.

As for hat tricks, well there has been one to speak of. Anthony Stewart score thrice out in Anaheim…but really, who didn’t see that coming from him this season?

The Thrashers have, however, allowed three different players to notch hat tricks against them this fall. Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, Washington’s Alexander Semin and St. Louis’ Jay McClement.

The Thrashers are winning 49.3% of their face offs, which 22nd in the NHL.

Byfuglien has dished out the most hits. 34 times Big Buff has forcefully impacted an opposing player in attempt to dislodge the puck. Eager has 26 hits, Kane has 24 and Chris Thorburn has 22.

Nic Bergfors is yet to register a hit.

Ben Eager’s +2 is highest on the team. Brent Sopel, Bryan Little and Eric Boulton are each +1. Eager has played in all 14 games, Sopel in 13, Little in 10 and Bolts has dressed for 8.

Ladd and Bergfors are EVEN.

Nik Antropov’s –10 is the lowest +/- for Atlanta…he was a +13 last year. Kane and Oduya are –8. Fredrik Modin is –7.

Brent Sopel has blocked 32 shots launched toward Atlanta’s goal. Ron Hainsey has 31, Enstrom has 29, Johnny Oduya has 28 and Freddy Meyer has blocked 15 in just 5 games played.

Who is the forward with the most blocked shots? Chris Thorburn with 12.

Anthony Stewart scores the first goal of three in Anaheim last month. His hat trick is the first and only one so far for Atlanta this season (AP Photo/Lori Shepler)

Anthony Stewart scores the first goal of three in Anaheim last month. His hat trick is the first and only one so far for Atlanta this season (AP Photo/Lori Shepler)

Eager has spent the most time in the sin-bin pondering his on-ice transgressions. He’s amassed 34 penalties so far this year. Byfuglien has 25, Thorburn has 13 and rookie Alex Burmistrov has spent 10 minutes in time out.

But Burmistrov has certainly drawn his share of penalties from the opposition as well.

Surprisingly… one of the Thrashers “enforcers”, Eric Boulton, has yet to collect any penalty minutes. The same can be said of Fredrik Modin.

Kane has taken the most shots on goal, 52, and Ladd is not too far behind with 48. Ladd and Rich Peverley are distant third and fourth…28 and 27 SOG respectively.

Toby Enstrom leads the Thrashers in playing time as he’s averaging 25:59 TOI each game. Byfuglien is behind Toby with 22:29. Zach Bogosian and Johnny Oduya both are averaging 22:18 time on ice.

Eric Boulton, however, has seen 8:45 average TOI in his eight games played so far.

And finally in goal…

Chris Mason is 6-4-1 with a 3.45 GAA and .909 SV%. He sees right at 37.8 shots per game on the average. Only Carolina’s Cam Ward and Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller have faced more shots…428 and 411 respectively. However, both have played in one more game and started two more times then Mason has.

Mason faces a shot on the average of every 1 minute and 35 seconds. Hiller sees one every 1: 42 while Ward has to face one every 1:41.

Ondrej Pavelec is 0-1-2 with a 2.83 GAA and .922 SV%. Not counting the 2:25 played on opening night in which he faced no shots, Opie has seen 116 shots during the three games he’s played, two of which went to shootouts. That’s an average of about 38 and a half shots per game.

Mason is 1-0 in shootouts this season, stopping both tries by the Anaheim Ducks. Opie is 0-2, stopping 3 of 7 shootout attempts between the Blues and Blackhawks.

And of course, there’s the aforementioned Peter Mannino who is 0-0-0 and a .938 SV% and 1.58 GAA. He played in the second and third period on last month’s 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay stopping 15 of the 16 shots he faced in 38:26 TOI. He faced one Tampa Bay shot every 2:24 during those two periods.

Hmmmmmm…imagine what Mason and Pavelec’s numbers would look like if they only faced a shots every two minutes or so. Of course, many would say think about what Mannino’s stats would look like if he played up here more and saw as many shots as the other two.

But that’s stats for ya…and you know what some people say about ‘em.

127 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

November 8th, 2010
4:43 pm

I like me some cal-koolus kemo!!

Zoomo

November 8th, 2010
5:07 pm

Numbers..numbers…numbers…my head hurts

Joe Friday

November 8th, 2010
5:21 pm

So defense is once again the problem. I’ll say it again, we’ll continue to struggle on D as long as Toby Enstrom is our #1 dman logging all those minutes. We need a true #1 shut down dman.

dwayne

November 8th, 2010
5:49 pm

Joe,where can we get one from?

Hoof Arted

November 8th, 2010
5:53 pm

The most disturbing stat in that whole list is, once again the SA/G number. It’s alarmingly high.

I’m impressed with offense so far but one can only hope and pray it can hold out scoring 3+ goals a game.

ThrashFan80

November 8th, 2010
5:59 pm

Hey Joe, easier said than done buddy! Everyone wants a shutdown defenseman!

Brendan

November 8th, 2010
6:03 pm

Joe Friday, if Braydon Coburn were still here, would he be that man, to be our true # 1 shutdown blueliner?

People just love to hate Chris Pronger. And a lot of people thought, at the onset, that the Ducks got fleeced in that deal with the Flyers, but hasn’t it worked out pretty well for the Flyers? Stanley Cup Finalists, last year. Pronger, even at his advancing age, is logging good minutes. He’s still big. He’s still fierce. He still hits hard, and is “edgy.” Without looking, I think his cap hit is in the $7.5 million range. That’s a hefty sum, one might say.

But isn’t it true, that “you get what you pay for?” By and large. The Thrashers … need two Tier I defensemen to be a Stanley Cup contender. They have zero Tier I defenders. Therefore, it would actually make some sense … to have acquired a player like Pronger … for example, from the Ducks, to help fill our vacancies. But what about the cap room? At $17 million under the ceiling, I think we can swing a $6-8 million defender, if we were ever actually SERIOUS about winning that Cup, that Rutherford Seydell spoke about, during “banner raising ceremonies” back in 2007. Seydell never read the Chapter called, “Words Mean Things.”

dwayne

November 8th, 2010
6:11 pm

Yep, we laughed at Pronger when Evander Kane blew by him early last season.

dwayne

November 8th, 2010
6:49 pm

Mr. Bill, get out the Magic 8 ball and see if we are going to get a shutout this year? Does not look good does it?

Flagstaff

November 8th, 2010
7:15 pm

But, don’t forget… Pronger “IS GAY”.

glovesave29

November 8th, 2010
7:29 pm

Joe – agree we need a shut down D-man…and badly. But Enstrom has never claimed to be as such. He is an offensive defenseman – and one of the better ones in the league. Without him, we’d never be able to gain the zone or move through neutral ice with any speed at all. Our biggest faults are 1. lack of an aggressive forecheck and 2. weak side defensive help from the wingers in our end.

Brendan – our ROI is actually pretty good. By all measures a team that is second to last in spending has no business being where we are. I hope we stay in the playoff picture come the trade deadline…so Duds can walk in to any one of the ASG ‘tards and say “this is what we’ve done on a shoestring budget, now give me some cash to spend and let’s make the damn playoffs”.

dwayne

November 8th, 2010
7:42 pm

Then the Octotards say: We spent all the money we had on the Hawks. Is next year to late to make a deadline deal?

Nate

November 8th, 2010
9:49 pm

I think Joe is indirectly criticizing the draft selection of one Mr. Zach Bogosian. As a #3 pick in the draft, he should be that shut-down defenseman. But he’s not. Thus this team lacks a top D pairing so the other teams top players do whatever they like when they get on the ice. Which is why St. Louis and Levacalier (and now Stamkos) kill us and why Kane and Toews killed us Saturday. Just to give a couple examples as we all know there are many more.

Tony C.

November 8th, 2010
10:42 pm

I’d still take Bogosian over Schenn (IMHO the best “shutdown/stay-at-home” D-man in that draft) every time-Schenn’s not going to get much better, while Bogosian clearly has oodles of untapped potential (even if he doesn’t achieve but a third of it), that can be directed towards a stay-at-home game should he not be able realize the 3/4 ice potential he has.

Brendan

November 8th, 2010
11:07 pm

I’ve never had a love for Pierre McGuire. In fact, if Pierre McGuire wound up wounded in the hospital from a possible assassination, and his would-be assassin CONFESSED to the crime on Canadian National television, he’d probably get off with probation and a writ of ‘Boys will be boys,’ provided that the confession expressed some remorse. Since all the Defense really has to do … at trial … is lean into the jury box and ask, “How many of you … are thinking about killing Pierre McGuire, right now. Put your hand up. (Dramatic pause.) Beeee honest.” All the hands of the members of the jury box go up. And seated on the front row, is Pierre’s mother, also with her hand raised, high in the air.

When Zach Bogosian was drafted … Pierre McGuire got very animated, proclaiming, at the top of lungs, “This move is a COVER UP!!!” As if, we’d just witnessed a WATERGATE-like scandal. “Donnie Waddell is making up for the loss of Braydon Coburn with this pick.” Okay, Pierre. Fine. But any way you slice it, Zach Bogosian was ranked 3rd on the NHL Central Scouting list. Therefore, at pick # 3, he is a “consensus” pick. And not a ‘cover up.’ There was nothing ’sinister’ about the selection of Zach Bogosian. Has Bogey completely lived up to his hype? Well, not exactly. Not when we see what some other 18-19 year old defensemen managed to do in this league. But what do I always say? “Defensemen take more time to develop.” A fast developing blueliner is ready in 3-years. A slower one, 4-5 years. As per team tradition, Zach was immediately rushed into the lineup, the year of his Draft.

By the way, Chris Pronger has over 150 goals in his career, reaches double-digits goal scoring in most years, along with 35-40 assists, while playing an average of 27-28 minutes-a-game during the regular season. Pronger plays more like 30 minutes, in the playoffs. And Evander Kane is half his age. Who should be faster?

Midfield

November 8th, 2010
11:27 pm

There’s no reason to be worked up about Bogosian. He’s not the sharpest tool in the box, but he has a lot of upside and now we have much better coaches to work with him. I’m more unhappy with – you guessed it – Ron bay-watch-hair Hainsey. It looks like Ramsey and Co keep him awake in the defensive zone as of late and apparently it makes him too exhausted to demonstrate his supposed offensive prowess. I think it’s save to say that Ron is not worth the money with his skills as a stay home defensman.

R. Stroz

November 8th, 2010
11:43 pm

Bogosian reminds me of Brad Marsh. Highly touted, big, and a lukewarm temperature hockey IQ.

R. Stroz

November 8th, 2010
11:49 pm

If the Thrashers played football, this is what their defense would look like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UIdI8khMkw&feature=player_embedded

Dwayne

November 9th, 2010
7:29 am

And Evander Kane is half his age. Who should be faster?
I agree, what i was trying to point out is, when crunch time came, Pronger was on his game and the Flyers made the Cup finals.

LAC

November 9th, 2010
8:39 am

Not to mention we are just behind Washington for most goals in the East.

Only Colorado and Washington have scored more than Atlanta, a good sign.

But the defense needs to settle down and FAST !

J-man

November 9th, 2010
9:21 am

Joe Friday – How nice to display your ignorance for all to see here. Corsi and other statistical measures show Toby more than holding his own defensively. Of course I suppose you’re one of those “my eyes are the only tool I need” kind of guys and that’s why you make the big bucks as an NHL scout, right? Oh wait. You don’t.

kracker

November 9th, 2010
9:26 am

Interesting run-down on the numbers, Bill. I want to touch on the defense, or the lack of it, based on a blog post (I forget by who) that was posted this weekend about what Darren Eliot said during the telecast of the ‘Hawks game. I was at the game so I did not hear it. The poster said Darren was saying that Ramsay and Torch have been concentrating on installing their offensive systems so far since they, like everybody on these blogs, were worried about scoring enough goals.

The offense seems to be going pretty well so I assume they will begin using their practice and film sessions to really start working on tightening up our porous defensive. Mason and Pavs will probably applaud the change of coaching emphasis.

I did not read much of your after-Hawks blog so I am wondering who heard what Darren said and how people feel about Ramsay’s offense first coaching so far. I probably agree with emphasizing the offense first, as it’s easier to get the scorers scoring than to get everybody playing your defensive schemes.

Joe Friday

November 9th, 2010
9:32 am

“they have not faired so well on the other end of the ice, allowing 3.50 GA/G… tied with NYI for dead last in the league.”

“Toby Enstrom leads the Thrashers in playing time as he’s averaging 25:59 TOI each game.”

Yes, I can see your point J-man, clearly we’re getting the job done defensively playing Toby Enstrom top line minutes.

lol.

Enstrom is a fine #3 dman, moves the puck up very much. But we need a top line dman who we can trot out against the other club’s top lines, and when Enstrom is your guy, I repeat, we’ll continue to suck on d.

Bogosian is our hope to be that guy, anyone see him becoming that?

Flames

November 9th, 2010
9:44 am

If Bogosian was in the Red Wing organization would he even be in the NHL yet. He just turned 20 years old. Bogie, Kane and Burma all would still be down getting coaching and learning their system. In the Thrashers organization it’s on the job training. You are a first round pick, that means you are on the third or fourth line come game one. I think it is unfair to the younger players to expect them to be shut down D-man or elite goal scorers when most of them are just out of High School. Was Pronger a shut down D-man in 1993 when he was drafted by the Hartford Whalers? No. he was traded two years later to the Blues. It wasn’t until 1999 that Pronger won the Hart trophy and was named to his first All-Star team, Pronger was 29 years old. I think that we expect way to much from some of our younger talent. I truly believe that if we stay patient with our younger players and are able to keep them around our Organization. We will eventually have that great goal scorer and shut down D-man that everybody wants.

Flames

November 9th, 2010
9:57 am

It’s not the kids fault that they are not to the level that everyone expects them to be after they are drafted. I blame the ownership for being so damn cheap that they have to rely our younger talent to gets us to the next level. Then when they become a top six player and have gotten all of the OJT they need to become a good. Then the ownership is to damn cheap to resign them to long term contract. Damn I sounded just Sage! Sorry I just had to vent.

Alan R.

November 9th, 2010
10:30 am

I think that we expect way to much from some of our younger talent.

I agree that we should stay patient with the kids.

However, I also think we should get the kids who have slipped (ie. Bogosian) some help. Whether it be extra time at practice, a trip to Chicago, or what have you. Bogosian’s play has slipped big time since year one. He started out last season on fire, but was doused with that wrist injury he chose to play all year with.

Right now, Bogosian looks like a small child whose parents abandoned him at the nearest Wal-Mart out there. He can carry the puck like a mutha through the neutral zone, but once he’s in the offensive zone, he doesn’t seem to know what to do with it. Furthermore, Bogosian looks quite suspect as a defenseman. Byfuglien plays better D than Bogosian. For someone who played forward for much of his time with the Blackhawks organization, that’s saying something, as Byfuglien has had to (and still is) re-learn the D position.

Our kids will be our key to success, but could also be our downfall if we aren’t proactive in getting them the help they require to succeed in the NHL.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
10:34 am

Enstrom is a very good offensive defenseman and he has always been a fairly sound presence in the D-zone. However, his size has always been a bit of a drawback against team’s stronger, more physical top lines. And top skill guys like Stamkos, Getzlaf, Semin, Crosby are going to get their points no matter who is playing top pair minutes. However, Toby is an ideal #3 just as Joe say. He is a very serviceable #2 when paired with the right player. Right now, Big Buff just isn’t there yet defensively, but he can only get better playing with the savvy Swede.

Again, the Thrashers defense boils down to the progression and development of one Zach Bogosian. He was drafted to be the #1 guy, but he’s still only 20 y/o…as Red Light loves to remind me! ;-) He’s had injuries in both of his first two years and the wrist deal really slowed him down as an offensive D-man. However, having said that, you would hope that he’d be a better player in the D-zone after having to dial it back offensively. I’m still scratching my head wondering why he didn’t play more with Chelios last year. Look what it did for Kulda at the AHL level.

Lastly, the biggest problem with Toby E is relying on him for big PK minutes…that is just asking for trouble. And the stats back it up. He’s been on the ice for 5 of the 11 PPG against. Of course, Sopel has been on the ice for 7 in a row. But 5 of those 7 he was paired with the smaller Enstrom or Oduya. We need Bogey to step up in this area and become a stopper on the PK especially. If Enstrom is going to play PK mins, then I would hope he’s out there with either Big Buff or Bogey for chemistry reasons.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
10:41 am

But one last thing. Give Toby his due where it is due. He has been on the ice for all but one of the 16 PPG the Thrashers have scored. JO and Bogey were on the ice for Kane’s first ever PPG, go figure. And Kaner shot the puck from Bogey’s traditional point position on the PP. So far, Z-Bo has looked a bit lost on the PP, but you can see he’s starting to get more comfortable as he gets games under his feet.

Nate

November 9th, 2010
11:03 am

Sorry Smoothie, but I’m not going to give Toby his due. He’s a DEFENSEMAN so his primary job should be DEFENSE. Offense is not the team’s problem. Keeping the puck out of the team’s own net is the issue. Based on our team history, the roster we have now, and the goals we’ve scored, I’m now thinking that anybody could score in a Thrashers uni. It’s what the team is good at for whatever reason. Stopping the puck is a problem for whoever plays in a Thrashers uni. I honestly think if the entire Thrashers roster was exchanged for the entired Bruins roster, the Thrashers would still be the worst in the league for goals allowed and shots allowed. LOL

Red Light

November 9th, 2010
11:08 am

I think Joe Friday has watched enough hockey in his time to know what Enstrom’s capabilities are!

In my mind Enstrom is the best overall defenseman on the team have because of puck control, passing and skating ability and his overall on-ice presence. Clearly, he is the best offensive defenseman on the club and probably among the Top 15-20 in the league. As we all know, he is not a shutdown defenseman because of his lack of strength and size comparatively speaking.

However, a wise man once said that the other team can’t score against you if the puck is at the other end of the ice. Enstrom deserves 20-plus minutes per game but while he is a capable defender, he does not play in a shutdown role.

He was on the ice for only one power play goal by opponents last season, but only played 34 minutes on that unit the entire season. He’s just six minutes short of that already this season. On the other hand, Hainsey was on the ice a total of 302:04 shorthanded minutes last season, but since Oduya’s arrival, those minutes have been cut way back. Hainsey’s averaging 2 minutes less on the PK this year than last.

And BTW, Byfuglien is averageing just 9 seconds of PK time so far this year.

Red Light

November 9th, 2010
11:11 am

When the Thrashers hold a lead in the 3rd period, just watch who Rammer sends out on the ice. That will give you an inkling of who he trusts most in those tense situations.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
11:24 am

“Enstrom is the best overall defenseman on the team have because of puck control, passing and skating ability and his overall on-ice presence”

Nate – this. There’s more to D than just playing defense. Other guys must step up and play their roles more effectively. Just what exactly do you want from Enstrom? 70 points and a plus-25 rating? We’re gonna need a better team before that can happen. A LOT of the goals scored on us this year are the result of breakdowns in transition (break-outs) BY OUR FORWARDS. Yeah, there have been plenty of defensive gaffes too, but Enstrom hasn’t been any worse than any other D-man we have. Sopes and Hainsey have played relatively well, but you have to discount their performance due to the strength of competition they go against.

kracker

November 9th, 2010
11:53 am

Well, as stated above, Ram and Torch are probably going to be giving the defensive instruction more of the available practice and film time so let’s see if the defense improves. They certainly have the offense working beyond minimum standards.

Red Light

November 9th, 2010
11:58 am

Defense is a position, but more specifically, it also is a product of the entire six-man unit (or four- or five if shorthanded). Sure, there are plenty of individual breakdowns and mistakes on the ice and good defensive players can sometimes help a team overcome them. It’s easy to blame an individual, but most opposing goals are the product of the entire unit’s failure, not an individual’s.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
12:33 pm

Defense is definitely a TEAM concept. The forwards must support the D-men, no doubt about it. The other key I think to consistently solid D is chemsitry among the pairings. So far, Oduya has had a hard time since he’s had to deal with 6 different partners at one time or another. He’s the only one in this category. Oduya’s plus/minus will improve I think once he and Bogey get on the same page.

Here is a rundown of the ES goals scored on our 3 normal starting pairs:

Sopel & Hainsey – 5 GA (J. Stoll, T. Ennis, S. Avery, J. McClement, Garrison)…4 of 5 scored in road games where match-ups dictated

Bogey & Oduya – 7 GA (Knuble, Stamkos, R.Smyth, McClement, B. Allen, Brassard, Voracek)…4 out of 7 on road. Top lines at home.

Buff & Enstrom – 11 GA; last 3 ES goals allowed (Laich, D. Moore, Stamkos, R. Clowe, Vanek, Stamkos(EN), McClement, Umberger(EN), Toews, Kane from Pavelec)…6 of 11 have come at home where we dictate m/ups.

Other Combo – 15 GA; Sopes & Oduya (3); Welch & Oduya (3); roughly 10 of those 15 came against a Top 6 line combination so other team’s coaches are preying on these non-top pairings when given the chance.

Draw your own conclusions, but it’s pretty obvious Enstrom & Buff are playing the best competition night in, night out. Sopel & Hainsey generally are not. It’s the 2nd pairing that must be much better. And the plus/minus of Oduya(-8), Bogey(-4), Meyer & Welch (-3) pretty much tell the story. Enstrom & Big Buff have been on the ice for their fair share of ES goals against quality competition so you must factor that into any analysis.

jerry

November 9th, 2010
12:49 pm

With the Falcons playing at the same time Thursday night, will anyone show up at Blueland?

NHL Ready

November 9th, 2010
1:07 pm

Toby is a weak D-man. I do not see why in the world this guy gets so much playing time. Because of the playing time his Stats show good. But judge for yourself next time just watch Toby on the ice. He is extremely weak on trying to stop anyone coming in the O-zone. He skates away from any forward, out of position, can’t take the Body. Thus here you go more shots on goal plus more goals allowed. The only thing he is good for is moving the puck up ice (when someone else gives it to him!) but last game he turned it over alot. Wake up this guy as our D-man is weak. Iron man my a** anyone of us can be a Iron man the way Toby plays. If the Uniform has pockets that is where his hands would be. Bring up a Wolf who wants to play D and see if we have a Diamond in the rough in Chicago. In regards to Bogie I think he is hanging around Ron to much. But he will be a good one someday soon.

Thrashers27

November 9th, 2010
1:56 pm

Doesn’t look too good up in Chicago right now. Postma and Machacek are the only players that appear to deserve a look here in Atlanta at this point.

Mike

November 9th, 2010
2:49 pm

Honestly I really don’t like any of our d men expect for Sopes. He’s the only one who knows how to block a shot. Move Buff up to F, ship out Modin, Bogy, Hainsey, Oduya, Enstrom, and bring in a few d men that have both skill and size. Hell, even move Toby up to F, who the hell knows. All I know is this damn team needs some defense

Nate

November 9th, 2010
3:07 pm

“Just what exactly do you want from Enstrom?”

Smoothie – I want less ice time for him. I want to see if that will equate to fewer shots on goal for the opponent. Because I don’t see him taking the bodies of any forward or blocking a whole lot of shots.

“but Enstrom hasn’t been any worse than any other D-man we have.”

-Smoothie

And therein lies the problem. We’re comparing Enstrom to the rest of the Thrashers defenseman. That’s like winning a fugly contest. Not too much to be proud of there.

“Enstrom & Big Buff have been on the ice for their fair share of ES goals against quality competition so you must factor that into any analysis.”

Exactly. Which this confirms what Joe Friday has already stated. He’s not a shutdown defenseman. A shutdown defenseman stops the other teams top player(s). Enstrom is not capable of that. It’s not his fault, but the coaching staff should realize he’s too small to go up against those guys and not put him in those situations.

NHL Ready

November 9th, 2010
3:39 pm

Toby to Forward now thats a thought. He can skate and handle the puck and can pass. Also has a great shot when he shoots. Sounds more like a forward than a D-man. Good one Mike

mike

November 9th, 2010
3:57 pm

defensemen mature slow. check out buff how long has he been playing d and how good was he at it? played it for a long time and is just now actually being pretty good at it. Bogosian is by far the best skater on the team and just recently had an injury hes gotten 2 assists since returning to the line up and gotten much better and has played in alittle over half the games the rest of the guys have been in not only does he have to be 100% but hes gotta catch up with everyone whos been ahead of him. with 82 games in a season it’ll be a few before he gets to where he needs to be. I’m actually more questioning of oduya, I really liked him in the trade and last year looked good paired with hainsey but hes a -8 with 4 assists and played in all the games and im often seeing him slammed into the boards. he’s 29 where as zach is 20. bogo has alot more room to improve but hes hardly the one shouldering the blame

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
4:15 pm

http://thrashingbirds.blogspot.com/2010/11/thrashers-take-flight-to-ottawa-battle.html

I doubt our esteemed Billy T has much time to write a Sens preview let alone tweet my game preview, but for those of you who like to argue about the efficacy of Sun-Belt hockey (and use historical facts to taunt Canadians when they give you a hard time about hockey in Atlanta), here’s a little game preview I conjured up.

Stuart from Ottawa (if you’re out there!) – here’s to you and your kindness for helping me and a friend in a bad snow storm find our way to, well, Waffle House. You’re a class act and so are most of the good folk of Ontario…just lay off our hockey team!! ;-)

glovesave29

November 9th, 2010
4:23 pm

Because Toby has offensive skills is no reason to move him to forward. It is a much different game. As a forward the defense you are trying to beat is all around you, and as a defenseman, you have the play unfolding in front of you. Forwards operate in space (both giving and taking) – Dmen operate on the periphery and look for the weaknesses.

Moving Valabik forward makes sense…Toby, nah.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
4:23 pm

“Which this confirms what Joe Friday has already stated. He’s not a shutdown defenseman”

Nate – you’re missing MY point that we DON’T HAVE A SHUTDOWN D-MAN so you’re better off with a guy who can adroitly move the puck up the ice in tight quarters. He’s better than you guys are giving him credit for battling in corners and thwarting oncoming rushes with good stick-work. Do you really think we’d be as effective as a team (scoring and otherwise) if Bogey and Oduya were getting 25-28 mins / game? Hainsey? Wooo weee…that might be too frightening to even imagine. Funny how I’ve qualified my statements about Enstrom by saying he’s not your ideal #1 shut-down D-man, yet y’all are out to diminish the guy who is not only our best puck-mover, but also the best passer from the back-end. Starting the offense is almost as important as keeping pucks out of your own net. We just need to figure out a way to limit the damage to 2 goals as opposed to 3 goals on most nites. That CAN happen with this group if you give it time. Look at the progress we made defensively under JA at the end of last season. Have faith in Rammer.

Red Light

November 9th, 2010
4:31 pm

Here is your Fantasy Hockey head-scratcher for the week. If your team needs goals, and any of these guys are available, add them now. The first percentage is this year’s shooting percentage versus their career percentage to the right. Tough to keep a shooter down for long.

Knuble 2.4 percent 14.2
Boyes 2.9 percent 12.8
Backes 3.1 percent 11.6
Setoguchi 3.3 percent 11.5
Havlat 3.8 percent 12.3
Iginla 4.4 percent 13.0

Alan R.

November 9th, 2010
4:35 pm

Did a couple people here mis-read “statistical” as “satirical”? because there are a few posters here who I think have done just that.

stendek

November 9th, 2010
4:44 pm

Sad news Bill. Military son was supposed to have been home for Christmas. Will not. STENDEK

Red Light

November 9th, 2010
4:44 pm

BTW, did you know that Antropov’s career shooting percentage is 14.0, and that last year he converted on 19 percent of his shots? The message to Nic: SHOOT MORE!

Red Light

November 9th, 2010
4:47 pm

Sorry to hear that stendek. My best wishes to you, your family and the service your son provides our country. If a Marine like my second oldest, allow me to say Semper Fi and God Bless.

Rawhide

November 9th, 2010
4:52 pm

stendek – I’m really sorry to hear of your news. You know I may be facing the same type of situations with my youngest in the years to come. Give him my best and thank him for his service to our country.

glovesave29

November 9th, 2010
5:14 pm

Stendek – I know I am always busting on you, and rarely give any credibility to what you say. But I do have a great deal of respect for those in service to our country (one of the reasons I get pissed at those who yell “Knights” at games, but I digress…) and I thank him for his sacrifices so that we get to live in this great nation. I travel the world for business, and even though we have our share of problems, this is still the greatest nation on earth. I am always glad to hear the border agents welcome me home.

JT from Columbus

November 9th, 2010
5:55 pm

Does anyone have a link to watch tonights game on the internet?

Red Light

November 9th, 2010
5:57 pm

Ottawa has won three straight and the Thrashers have gained a point in six straight on the road. Easy answer = Ottawa 4, Atlanta 3 in OT or the dreaded shoot-out.

glovesave29

November 9th, 2010
6:12 pm

NHL has changed the format for the All Star game – and it sounds interesting….

Fans will chose the pool of players. There will be two captains, and they will “draft” their teams from that pool of players. Conferences, even teams, will be split between the two sides.

Midfield

November 9th, 2010
6:48 pm

This is a pretty depressing read. The bright side is that even with all these knuckleheads and midgits in uniform, the team is hanging on to a midle of the pack in the Conference. It means that we at least have quality coaching.

Thrashers27

November 9th, 2010
7:08 pm

Don’t know why, but I have a feeling our boys are gonna put a whoopin’ on those boys from Kanata. I’m calling it Thrashers, 4-1.

Rightshot

November 9th, 2010
7:29 pm

STENDEK – Sorry to her about your son. Thank him for serving our country from all of us and I’ll say a little prayer for him. Hope you can have a nice Christmas anyway.

Rawhide

November 9th, 2010
7:31 pm

JT from Columbus – Try —>THIS <—

Anybody else watching the Edmonton vs. Carolina game? It’s 4-0 Canes with 11:00+ minutes left in the first period.

Just Dah-YUM!

When do we get a crack at these Oilers?

Curly

November 9th, 2010
7:31 pm

Rawhide

November 9th, 2010
7:35 pm

Curly – Looks like our links lead to a TV color screen. Anybody else have something?

Now that the whole Dish Network vs. Fox Sports has been worked out, I went on and ordered the NHL Center Ice.

JT from Columbus

November 9th, 2010
7:37 pm

Thanks for the links, but I am also getting the color bars. I’ll keep checking back for more ideas,

Curly

November 9th, 2010
7:45 pm

It may be we can not get the feed because it is from Canada?

Rawhide

November 9th, 2010
7:46 pm

Thrashers up 1-0 on Ladd PP goal about 4 minutes into game.

Lee

November 9th, 2010
7:49 pm

Haha. I love Kamal’s “Are we disconnected?”

1-0 Thrashers! Whoo hoo!

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
7:50 pm

GameCenter Live baby!! Glorious high definition!!

JT from Columbus

November 9th, 2010
7:54 pm

Game is on now on the web site mentioned earlier!

JT from Columbus

November 9th, 2010
7:59 pm

Spezza goal 1-1

kracker

November 9th, 2010
8:06 pm

That “slashing” call on Pevs was total homer Canadian refereeing BS.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
8:16 pm

Will someone please get it thru Ramsay’s head that Modin should never play on the PK unit! All he does is kill your chances of stopping the other team from scoring! Enough!

Nate

November 9th, 2010
8:17 pm

Rawhide – Thanks for the link. I have DirecTV and the game is blacked out right now on my Center Ice package. #$#@!!!!!!! Gotta call and cancel.

Rawhide

November 9th, 2010
8:26 pm

Nate – No prob…glad everyone can watch now.

Ya know, one suggestion I would make to the Thrashers is to insist the TV network covering their games televise ALL 41 away games. If they are going to chose to not air a dozen or so games a year, those should be home game that we can get down to see anyway.

What is SPSO airing right now?…Women’s volleyball.

What is FSSO airing right now?…UEFA Champions League soccer, AC Milan vs. Real Madrid.

:roll:

kracker

November 9th, 2010
8:37 pm

Smoothie, why are you on Modin’s case? Did he take the faceoff? Surely not…I hope not. It took all of 3 seconds for the Gonchar one-timer to score.

kracker

November 9th, 2010
8:40 pm

Oops, sorry, Smoothie. I was fighting PC problems and lost track of the time. I see it is now 1-3. Ugh.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
8:45 pm

He’s slow in general. You’re right, he wasn’t really culpable on that PPGA, but he just doesn’t move well laterally enough to be out there a man-down so much of the time.

kracker

November 9th, 2010
8:49 pm

Looks like physically shoving the goaltender (with the puck) into the goal is legal now. Mason didn’t move 15 inches backwards on purpose, folks.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
8:51 pm

Well, there you go. Modin gets schooled by Foligno. This Sens team has too much depth for our Thrashers. Of course, it doesn’t help that we’re not really skating out there with much effort. They seem demoralized after the 3rd goal and Mason’s been pretty pathetic. That third goal was all on him…teams should not score from the half-wall when there’s no traffic in front. WTF? Why is Mason not ready to play tonite?

michael

November 9th, 2010
8:54 pm

well games kinda meh..although while watching the link..id really like to order from boston pizza. freakin canadian commercials

Thrashers27

November 9th, 2010
9:12 pm

Ugghhh…That’s the last time I make a prediction like that.

Get The Puck Out

November 9th, 2010
9:30 pm

adthe.net is the pc link.

Get The Puck Out

November 9th, 2010
9:32 pm

But ottawa is the only team playing.

Thrashers27

November 9th, 2010
9:41 pm

Awful! Just awful!…Stewart scores, but pffft.

michael

November 9th, 2010
10:00 pm

pretty lazy game. positive ramsay will rip them a new one next practise. no system is easily installed on a group of players especially one with almost ta whole new group of people. I have faith in the team.

Cornbread

November 9th, 2010
10:28 pm

They’ve got swagger even going down in defeat. They were not happy with the loss. You can tell by the looks in their eyes and their actions on the ice in the end. They kept bringing it and Buff and Boults were willing to go in the end.

I’ve been hearing good words from the out of town broadcasters all year about this team. Lots of good stuff was said about Ramsay tonight and how he and Dudley are going to change the culture in Atlanta. I think I saw that tonight when they were not playing their best.

It’s getting to that point in the season when the good teams are not going to lose as easily as they may have in the beginning. The Thrashers must begin to take it to that next step by playing and winning more consistently and making the bad games less of an occurence. I think they know they are capable of that when they didn’t back down late in the third tonight.

R. Stroz

November 9th, 2010
11:02 pm

Modin Sucks!

He’s TOO DARN SLOW, especially for the penalty kill.

Oh well, another week night heaping pile of FAIL.

Brendan

November 10th, 2010
12:01 am

I missed this game entirely. Long day. Long, long day. I’m watching the replay on Center Ice. Andrew Ladd just scored on the PP. Here’s the boxscore to tonight’s game: http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2010020207.

Couple of things jump out. Atlanta OUTSHOT their opponent, 37-29. The PP Unit notched two tallies, one from Ladd and one from Anthony Stewart. For both Thrashers, their 5th of the year. But here’s something that grabbed my attention, Pavelec stopped 10 of 11. I remember Pavs last game in Ottawa was a 40-something save beauty, if I’m recalling correctly. Mason, on the other hand, stopped 14 of 18. Maybe Mason has been slightly overused this season?? I don’t know. Enstrom, once again, led all Thrashers in ice time.

I notice two goals from Jason Spezza, whom this blog talked about earlier in trade rumors. Ottawa had two PPG’s, as well. Brian Elliot did get the start for the Sens. I’m not sure there’s anything else left to say about tonight’s game. The NHL Network is reporting changes to the All-Star Game, as follows. Gone is the East/West format, in favor of naming two Captains, and 2 assistant Captain, who then hold a DRAFT to field their roster, based upon whom THE FANS have voted there. Hmmn, interesting concept. Hope it works. It’s better than home ice in the Cup Finals being determined by the All-Star Game winner, like in baseball.

So, we’re back to .500, for Veteran’s Day, vs. the Minnesota Wild, at the Bulb. During the Summer, I posted that the very earliest we should make any observations about our team … would be Veteran’s Day. I pressed for ThanksGiving as a 1st point of evaluation for the season. That Atlanta, with a budget BELOW the FLOOR of the cap, could be .500 … represent tremendous return on the investment dollar.

Stop clapping. You’re only encouraging more of that kind of thinking. Did Chicago win the Stanley Cup last year … by fielding the best “league minimum” salaried players in the league? Or did they go out, pushing the salary cap to its very limits, securing the necessary pieces via player renewals and free agency? The answer is the latter, not the former. And who cares that they then had to jettison players. The end result was … their first Cup in 49 years. Bottom line, Chicago won. Their strategy produced the desired result. Returning to our Thrashers, I think we know what the strengths and weaknesses of our team are. The sky HASN’T fallen. There is life, in Thrasherville, AFTER Kovalchuk. The coaching staff is doing the best job they can, but still … there are nights when the team is still not ready to play. Or not until the 3rd period. That’s got to be addressed, if .500 is going to be something Atlanta continues to enjoy.

Brendan

November 10th, 2010
12:12 am

Are we about to be Ranallo’d?

R.Stroz, I can literally hear your voice saying, “Cut Modin! Cut him, now!!”

Brendan

November 10th, 2010
12:17 am

R.Stroz, if you had to pick between Modin and Todd White, and you were FORCED to keep one over the other, who is your pick, sir?

stendek

November 10th, 2010
4:53 am

First I want to thank Bill plus all others for kind words. As for Thrashers. Total shet! From top to bottom. Blown lead. Lack of heart. No fire whatsoever. More of same bullshet from Checkenhawk debacle. Coach is damn idiot. Players are lazy uncaring a$$holes. Send em packing. Otherwise. Nice night all around. STENDEK

stendek

November 10th, 2010
5:12 am

There is a hockey myth that no game can be played without a goaltender. Thrashers explode that myth every night. Marshmallow Mason? Uh, no. Pathetic Pavs? Uh, no. Perhaps someone from stands should be selected to fill role prior to every contest. Home ice or not! Results would not be any worse. STENDEK

LAC

November 10th, 2010
6:09 am

I now have some serious concerns about the goaltending. The team defense is terrible, why can we NOT cut down on the SOG ?

We beat these clowns three times last year and looked like chump change last night, sorry, sorry.

It better pick up and soon, This is NOT a very good team…

TrueBlue

November 10th, 2010
7:31 am

Did C-Viv write that article about Thrashers losing last night? If so, he is 100 percent wrong….It says Thrashers went up 2-0 and gave up 5 straight goals……They went up 1-0….then gave up 5 goals but then scored again.

R. Stroz

November 10th, 2010
8:18 am

R.Stroz, if you had to pick between Modin and Todd White, and you were FORCED to keep one over the other, who is your pick, sir?

The one that could do the best job of washing my car.

World Be Free

November 10th, 2010
8:25 am

Stroz, the one that knew the fastest route to the airport to use their one-way ticket out of town. Modin has to go and get The Fly up here.

Please play team defense, it has to start sometime. I want to see Buff lay someone out and set the tone to one of these games. I am not looking for a stretcher-bearing hit, just one that puts the otgher team on notice that the big man is in the house. A Pronger-type hit would be nice.

Headed to The Bulb (as Brenden puts it) Thursday night, missing Saturday night’s game again Cyndy.

R. Stroz

November 10th, 2010
8:33 am

WBF – Have fun Thursday and remember there’s a Falcons game at the Dome.

TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE

Alan R.

November 10th, 2010
9:25 am

one suggestion I would make to the Thrashers is to insist the TV network covering their games televise ALL 41 away games.

[snip]

What is SPSO airing right now?…Women’s volleyball.

What is FSSO airing right now?…UEFA Champions League soccer, AC Milan vs. Real Madrid.

One step further: Air ALL 82 games. It seems to me the networks refuse to carry X number of Thrashers games, but will put in their place content that people are even less interested in.

Red Light

November 10th, 2010
9:41 am

You want to see some banging on Thursday night, just watch Minnesota’s Bruise Brothers.

Cal Clutterbuck already has 62 hits in 13 games and former Islander Bobby Nystrom’s son, Eric, has 41.

But, just how challenged is the Wild offensively?

Defenseman Brent Burns leads the team in goals, newly-signed Matt Cullen is leading all forwards in ice time, and leads all players in PP time on ice with 4:48 per game. Cullen led the Sens in PP ice time too last season in his 21 games after being acquired from the Canes, he only ranked third among forwards when with the Canes last year and was 8th in 2008-09.

I’ve always been a fan of Cullen’s, but that seems like an awful lot of ice time for him so far. He’s also seeing PK time at 2:16 per game. John Madden is playing 16:08 per game and Andrew Brunette is at 16:16.

World Be Free

November 10th, 2010
9:49 am

Stroz-heading to the game very early to deal with the nightmare.

Red Light-I hope the Wild’s bruisers wake up our slumbering hitmen. I expected this team to be more physical, not just Buff. We simply do not hit enough, thus allowing ALL opposing offenses to roam freer than they should.

Knock someone down and maybe sit on them! It does not matter what level of hockey you play on-the team IS influenced when one of your teammates come to the bench woozy. As a player you think-”that could be me”. Klutterbuck needs to ditch the shield, then I can respect him.

Red Light

November 10th, 2010
10:04 am

WBF:

It’s interesting that Clutterbuck has gone from six majors and 76 PIMs during his first full season, to two majors and 52 PIMs last year and no majors so far this season. BTW, he’s only 5-11, 213 pounds and turns 23 years old next week. Brad Staubitz is the guy who drops them for the Wild these days. Maybe he’d like to take on Kane or Eager?

BTW, Eager had 21 majors during the last two seasons in Chicago, and this year he’s only dropped them once?

Red Light

November 10th, 2010
10:08 am

Sorry, actually Eager has gone twice but neither lasted 20 seconds.

Joe Friday

November 10th, 2010
10:09 am

Guys, the lack of defense is really catching up to us. We’ve been very fortunate coming from behind in some early games this year, but there’s way too much room in our zone for opposing forwards to wheel freely into, I though Ramsay was the defensive guy? This resembles John Anderson’s “system” and it’s perplexing to me. That’s all Anderson did was have the dmen jump into the play but left our backside completely exposed, am I wrong or is this very similar to our play from last year? Lots of offense, but not enough to cover up our woeful d.

World Be Free

November 10th, 2010
10:14 am

Red Light, seems to be fewer players willing to drop the gloves on a regular basis. It’s not that I am pushing fighting or anything like that, I just know the value of a good fight in rallying your team. It just does not seem like there is alotta guys willing to do the team thing these days.

I think back to the Oiler and Islander teams of the 80’s. I was not a “fan” of either team, but I was a fan of how these teams played. The Oil was tough and they did not need Gretzky to be a champion.

Scott Stevens and Denis Potvin, 2 guys that could play the position, hit with authority and drop the gloves. Potvin was an animal, nobody wanted to fight him. The anilmal element is missing today, too many tough guys with visors and big mouths. Take off the visor, then I will celebrate the player as a tough guy.

Red Light

November 10th, 2010
10:48 am

Not sure if you saw this last night, but Derek Boogaard scored his first goal in 234 games to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead on the Caps. I thought I was looking at the reincarnation of Sergio Momesso for a moment, a big slow dude with a big shot whose primary role was to protect his teammates. Of course, the Rangers lost so the goal was all for naught.

I don’t like the visor and like good tough hits. But, it seems like these days are reserved to the pushes and shoves from behind and a clean open-ice hit seems to be a thing of the past.

Stevens was great to watch because he was a guy who could turn a game around with a punishing check. Didn’t like Potvin because he played for the Islanders.

Little old Ryan Callahan is third in the league with hits. Have to respect him, not only for his hits, but because he plays the game as it was intended. We need more like him.

Smoothie

November 10th, 2010
11:27 am

“I though Ramsay was the defensive guy? This resembles John Anderson’s “system” and it’s perplexing to me. That’s all Anderson did was have the dmen jump into the play but left our backside completely exposed, am I wrong or is this very similar to our play from last year?”

Hey Joe, glad you brought this up because I wasn’t feeling depressed enough this morning! ;-) But you’re right, we are way too easy to play against in our own zone again. If anything, I think we were better in our own zone in the 2nd half of last season under JA. The biggest issue with JA’s system was the poor rotation when a D-man did jump up into the play.

We now have fewer floaters (at the blueline) than last year when it comes to playing D, but the forwards seem afraid to hit and / or play the man aggressively to separate the puck from said man. Seems like they are more concerned with anticipating passes and clogging up passing and shooting lanes than play the man (see Modin on Foligno on GA #4 last nite).

The other major issue is the inability to safely control the puck in our own end when trying to get the puck out into transition. Seems like they are too concerned with making the perfect, “correct” pass when either simply chipping it out or skating it further up the ice would be better. They are hesitating too much or waiting for the perfect opportunity…just get the freakin’ thing up the ice!!

Of course, not winning F/O in the offensive zone at 5 on 5 in any consistent fashion is killing this team since they are lousy on transition rushes without Bryan Little. Sure would be nice to have ol’ Crazy Legs to pick up the puck from a D-man deep in the zone, zig-zag up the ice through the neutral zone and get the D-men retreating on their heels…oh for crap’s sake, we’re screwed! ;-)

World Be Free

November 10th, 2010
12:03 pm

J-F, I still believe the overall team defense will not get better until we get more physical. We also need better defense from our centerman as well. And you are right, it is killing us and will keep the Thrashers at the .500 mark for the balance of the season at best; .500 is not good enough to make playoffs.

R/L-not an Islander fan either, but from a pure hockey perspective, Potvin was a game changer with his physical play, as was Stevens. I know the rules are tighter today, but a great hit is still a great hit. What is sadder to me in today’s game is to see a guy get jumped for throwing a good, clean, honest body check. If a guy gets tattooed at center ice for taking a pass, the team should jump the guy who gave him the pass not the player finishing his check.

Ryan Callahan-another good Upstate New York kid, like Marty Reasoner.

litz

November 10th, 2010
12:33 pm

Media coverage of the NHL in this town just frustrates me to no end. It’s a catch-22 … can’t generate interest w/out the media, and the media isn’t gonna touch you w/out some kind of interest.

We have a newspaper with one beat writer, 2 blogs, and two “sports writers” who write at most one or two articles A YEAR. One of whom has only written one positive article in the last 10 years.

We have no local TV coverage, and cable TV coverage on (it seems) only local games.

We have radio coverage that can’t be heard north of I-285 … where probably 95% of the people who WANT to listen … can’t.

I get better coverage on my *phone* (and can audio stream the games off nhl.com, to boot).

Sad.

Joe Friday

November 10th, 2010
12:47 pm

Guys, re. the hitting, do you think the dropoff this year is in reaction to the new head hunting rule? Guys may be running scared of taking a 5 minute major . . . sometimes this league overreacts to it’s detriment, can’t take hitting out of the game.

Diego from Lilburn

November 10th, 2010
12:57 pm

Smoothie, I’m with you. I don’t see the difference between this system and Anderson’s last year. Anytime the D-Men are expected to jump up you are gonna have your butt hanging in the wind if the Forwards don’t want to come back and play defense.

I don’t see the difference and our Shots Against number says the rest of the NHL doesn’t see the difference either.

Also, anybody want to bet that the scouting report on Mason says, “To score on Mason just skate up to the left side post (glove-side) and jam it in. Works every time.”?

Diego from Lilburn

November 10th, 2010
12:59 pm

And, Joe, yes, I think the new head-hunting rules are causing total hits to come down.

My other peeve is that I still see lots of hits across the numbers that don’t get called for boarding. You can see the same play twice in the same game and one gets called and the other doesn’t. Too inconsistent.

Alan R.

November 10th, 2010
1:13 pm

You might be on to something, JF. Remember when Byfuglien received the penalty and game misconduct for “charging” the goalie (I think it was in Washington)?

Smoothie

November 10th, 2010
1:17 pm

Diego et al – indeed, shots against are almost 3 per game higher so far this season under Rammer (37.0) vs JA (34.5). That may not seem like much when you’re already giving up well in excess of 31-32 shots per game, but our overall Corsi (all shots combined) rating really sucks to the tune of a -15 per game adjusted for special teams. We’ve attempted a total of 665 shots where as our opponents have attempted 891!! That is an average of 5 fewer shots per period!!

As for the hitting, I think players are in fact looking for the open ice hit less, but I’m not sure how that should really affect our aggressiveness in our own end along the wall. Ladd’s boarding call was unfortunate as he was trying to time it so the defender would be turning towards the blueline coming from the wall and you could tell it surprised Ladd that he didn’t and he tried to lay off on the hit. I don’t think the players are totally committing to the system or they just aren’t comfortable yet. But Rammer’s system is useless if a) you keep turning it over with “soft” plays on the break-out and b) you hardly ever enter the off zone with speed; you can’t win a battle at the end line if you aren’t flying at a high rate of speed.

Rawhide

November 10th, 2010
1:30 pm

Hi everyone…

Sorry for my absence lately and lack of a new blog after last night’s loos. Lots going on in both home life and office life right now that is keeping 100% of my attention. Nothing bad or anything, but I wanted to drop in this comment to let you know.

Look for a new post tonight or in the AM. Until then, continue the conversation…

Larry E

November 10th, 2010
1:44 pm

Please!!!! someone please buy the Thrashers away from these idiot owners, spend some money, get rid of Donnie Wadell out of the front office and far away.Please keep the team in Atlanta. Thankyou.

World Be Free

November 10th, 2010
1:54 pm

J-F – guys may be worried about getting hurt too, especially with most teams not handing out long term contracts. More players are playing on one year deals, season to season with the primary measurement for new deals being goals and assists, not hits and fights.

New rules may come into play as well, but most players know the difference between dirty and clean hits. You wanna get rid of dirty hits? Take out the instigator rule so teams can get even with a cheap shooter the hockey way.

Tom Lysiak

November 10th, 2010
2:10 pm

This lack of improvement in team defense is hard to understand. I made the (incorrect) assumption when Ramsay was brought in that he would emphasize defense and get that part of the game nailed down. I also assumed they would just accept whatever scoring we got, knowing that part could be improved once defense was a given. Scorers could be added at the deadline or maybe even next season, but the defense would carry the day. Wrong. It just makes no sense to me to have a coach who is known for his defensive responsibility as a player and his good work with the Boston defense in the last few years, running a team that has these defensive lapses. Is it the people he has to work with? Is it reluctance or refusal to practice what Ramsay teaches? Have they tuned him out already? Or, will the light bulb come on one day and the defense just gel? I expected way better defensive play, even at this point in the process.

World Be Free

November 10th, 2010
3:07 pm

Tom-tough to figure it all out up to this point.

Nate

November 10th, 2010
3:14 pm

Joe F. and Smoothie – Nail on head. This team looks the same as it has the last two years under Anderson. I don’t seen any improvement or change in philosophy defensively. Which is probably why the team continues to get torched by G/A like it has pretty much every year.

Red Light

November 10th, 2010
3:24 pm

Tom Lysiak: Personally, I do feel Ramsay’s system will be a good one when it is completely installed. But, for all the pie-in-the-sky posturing about this team and the personnel guru leading it up to the start of the season, this team’s current roster isn’t capable of anything but winding up in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference. And, as has been pointed out, there’s not a $42 million roster in this league that can compete on a nightly basis with the top clubs.

Yes, they can compete and look good doing it from time to time — and even make the playoffs – but I still believe the Thrashers are at least $10 million short of a full load. When other teams have three to five guys on their roster better than anyone on the Thrashers roster, the illustration is crystal clear. As I said in the summer, this team is a work in progress and we won’t really know what they have until December. We’re 20 days and 10 games away from that point and while it doesn’t look real appealing right now, a lot can change over a couple of weeks in the NHL.

I think if you look roster to roster and pick who you think a particular team’s best defenseman, best forward and best goalie are, I’m pretty sure the Thrashers best compared to many of the others are way down the list. Heck, in the Southeast Division the Thrashers top goalie is third or fourth of the five, and we probably don’t even want to try when it comes to forwards or defensemen. But, I can name at least nine forwards and seven defensemen in the division that I’d take over any of the Thrashers.

Joe Friday

November 10th, 2010
3:36 pm

“Is it the people he has to work with?”

I think this is it, you can only coach up so much . . .

Cornbread

November 10th, 2010
3:56 pm

According to Ramsay, the team has not worked much on their defensive system. This is not that unusual early in the season when most teams have yet to tighten up defensively. I think he’s still working on puck possesion and establishing the forecheck in the attacking zone. The best cycling game so far was against CHI. Last night they did not establish the cycle or much of a fore-check but the real problem was breakdowns in their own end. I also don’t think the gaps are tight enough nor do I believe the forwards are getting out to their point coverage quick enough which all lead to shots against. These things will be easy for Ramsay to tighten-up.

mike

November 10th, 2010
3:59 pm

also at the begining of the season ramsay said hed leave most of the def up to torch or (well hes our real assistant coach but i forgot his name)…anyways one of those two is supposed to be the main d guy

World Be Free

November 10th, 2010
4:50 pm

We all sound pretty negative today-I think all 11.10.10 posters need a brew.

stendek

November 10th, 2010
5:39 pm

Thrashers were sold to Hamilton, Ontario ownership group for 60 used practice pucks, 100 cracked practice sticks, a retooled zamboni and 30 cases of Molson. Sale was immediate. Team given first ever schedule interruption approval by NHL. Games scheduled within three week absentia period will be tacked on at conclusion of regular season to allow move, arena venue change and other necessary switchover modifications. Team will be renamed Hamilton Hens. Life is good. Then I woke up! Sigh. STENDEK

jimbo

November 10th, 2010
8:20 pm

Smoothie- Right on man! Defense is a TEAM RESPONSIBILITY. All we heard from Rammer early on was that our forwards would be back on D. helping out and that we would have strategies for handling “The Trap”, “Fly Wings” etc. Well, we’ve shown no ability to adjust to those teams that throw the clamp down on neutral ice and let other teams freely dump, chase and cycle in our end. Unless our goalies are able to post .975 save ratios, the shots on goal will eventually find their way into the net and we’ll continue to scramble. So far Rammer has shown me no adaptability or changing strategies or system. Wanna get folks back in the building? Show us a run of ugly 2-1, 3-2, 1-0 WINS. Who care if SOG is 18-14 or some other low number. This fan base doesn’t want free wheeling 6-4 loses. Rammer- Recognize and deal with Reality.

Rawhide

November 10th, 2010
8:29 pm

The Thrashers have the 4th-best power play in the NHL, converting 26.1% of the time.

That’s really very good, however

R. Stroz

November 11th, 2010
2:01 pm

Rawhide

November 14th, 2010
1:26 pm

R. Stroz – Nope.