Thrashers power play has been good, however…

Tuesday night in Ottawa, the Atlanta Thrashers netted a pair of power play goals…one by Andrew Ladd, the other by Anthony Stewart. They were the only two scored by Atlanta in the 5-2 loss. This follows Saturday night’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in which three of the four goals potted by the Thrashers came while on the man advantage.

Overall the Thrashers have the NHL’s fourth-best power play, as they are successful 26.1% of the time they are afforded a man-advantage. In total, Atlanta has notched 18 power play goals on the season. Stewart, Nik Antropov and Dustin Byfuglien have each scored three while Ladd, Toby Enstrom and Rich Peverley each have two.

What’s to account for these fine numbers? Well, as the Ottawa TV announcers were quick to point out during the game, the Thrashers really don’t do anything fancy with the puck when they go a man up. They get it into the zone and then to the net…normally accompanied by three forwards. You know, pretty basic stuff.

Although Anthoney Stewart didn't score on this play, he did convert on one of the Thrashers power play Tuesday night. He has 3 power play goals so far this season (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)

Although Anthoney Stewart didn't score on this play, he did convert on one of the Thrashers power play Tuesday night. He has 3 power play goals so far this season (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)

Gone, it seems, are the days of the “Kovy strategy”…flipping the puck around the boards looking for an open sniper to one-time it.

All in all, the news here is good. Anytime you can look to the team’s power play unit for much-needed scoring is always a plus.


Looking beyond those fine numbers, I find myself concerned with other aspects of their offensive stats…specifically, their troubles putting the biscuit in the basket while at even strength.

Atlanta has 46 goals on the season…a little better than 3 per game after 15 games played. With 18 being scored on the power play, one shorthanded and one credited by way of the “gimmick” point for winning the shootout in Anaheim…that leaves only 26 goals having been scored while playing at even strength. This gives the Thrashers a 5 on 5 goals for/against ratio of only 0.64. Heading into Wednesday’s games, only the Devils and Islanders are lower.

I know, I know…many would say “But, we’re scoring right at three goals a game. Who cares how they are getting scored?”

True enough, but consider this: Over the past three games, only the Alex Burmistrov goal against the Hawks was tallied while the teams were skating 5 on 5. In fact if you go back to Nic Bergfors goal in Florida, which came at the 11:10 mark of the third period, the Thrashers have only that one even-strength goal in the last 193 minutes and 50 seconds worth of play.

This, my friends, is un-good.

My point here being… a team’s power play production has a tendency to ebb and flow over the course of a season. One simply can’t count on having to score 2 or 3 goals each while a man up in order to get by. There are simply going to be times during the normal course of an NHL campaign in which power play goals come more at a premium. Call it the law of averages or whatnot.

Power play goals should “supplement” a team’s offense, in my opinion…not to be the sole supporter of it. And when you can only muster 1.73 even-handed goals per game on the average, you’re setting yourselves up for trouble down the road.

This is especially true when your defense and goaltending give up goals at a clip of 3.60 per game… 2.73 goals a game while skating 5 on 5.

49 comments Add your comment

Nuts for Boults

November 10th, 2010
8:35 pm

Hoof Arted

November 10th, 2010
8:43 pm

This teams gets shoved around more than the pimply faced short kid on the playground whose mommy dresses him funny while playing even stregnth. There really is no toughness to this Thrashers squad.


November 10th, 2010
9:32 pm

Yup! Un-good to say the least. A -14 when at full-strength, 4 v 4 or with an EN. 38 GA when not a man-down in 15 games. Pretty putrid stuff. We’ve given up 16 ES goals in the last 5 games alone! Eureka!! Bryan Little can’t get back in the line-up fast enough. Perhaps his stitched-up face will scare some toughness into these yella-bellied pansies! Sack up!


November 10th, 2010
9:46 pm

Ramsay mentioned “deprograming” earlier this year. Upon reading that I thought “this transition is going to take awhile.” I remain confident our team will get this corrected soon. Whether it will be in time to allow us to finish in the top 8 in the East is my $64 question.

There are so many things to like about this team.

Alan R.

November 10th, 2010
10:27 pm


November 10th, 2010
10:30 pm

I told ya Thrashers have no heart Bill. None at all! That said…

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. God bless pal. STENDEK


November 10th, 2010
10:32 pm

Thanks Alan R. Will save that clip forever! STENDEK

Thrashy Thrashy

November 10th, 2010
10:40 pm

Shoulda skated a figure eight, right?


November 11th, 2010
1:47 am

The 5 on 5 play is not good. That comes down to establishing puck possession and getting sustained scoring chances. I saw a lot of that Saturday night against CHI. Unfortunately, when ATL does not establish a fore-check or control and cycle the puck, like they did not do in Ottawa, bad things happen when even strength. I think Ramsay and the team are well aware of this and will start getting it together. I do not see a lot of individuals out there doing there own thing like years past. It’s not loosey goosey but it’s not tight yet either.

The Thrashers are not soft nor are they getting pushed around. Anyone who saw the third period of the Sens game when they were cooked saw that they did not quit battling. Ramsay even put little Burmi out on the ice in the final minute, daring the Sens to take a run at him. I will say that they need to make it tougher for teams to play against them, but soft, no way.


November 11th, 2010
3:29 am

Hi Cornbread. Respect ya friend. But…Thrashers are marshmallows! Super soft. Just a fact. Best. STENDEK


November 11th, 2010
3:31 am

Insomnia! Thought you might have been wondering. Sigh. Bill or anyone. Will Falcons be online Thursday (tonight)? Cannot pick up damn NFL Network! Please let me know. Kudos. STENDEK

Tony C.

November 11th, 2010
4:22 am

Sten-Alan usually knows good feeds

Putting On The Foil

November 11th, 2010
7:36 am

Hey Sten. Try

Get The Puck Out

November 11th, 2010
7:54 am

Game will be on WATL, Atlanta at 8:00 PM.

Alan R.

November 11th, 2010
8:10 am is the best place to go for feeds from around the NHL. Some feeds are low qualityh, but you get a good jist of what’s going on. Most are flash-based – no additional software needed. I must say, however, that feeds that require additional software are generally much better in terms of video quality.

Anyone dealing with the software and needs additional help can feel free to contact me via Bill.


November 11th, 2010
8:18 am

Hang on a second here people, lets not throw the towel in this season just yet. Ramsay himself said they forgoed all the Defensive part of his scheme to make sure that they could get scoring going. If this is the rock bottom we could be looking at defensively, its not that bad that we almost averaging a point per game out of it. Granted that won’t make the playoffs now, but once Rammer turns up the coaching on Defense and it starts to show in games we could start reasonably seeing games where the Thrashers played like the did in the home open for stretches of 5 or 6 games straight. Just my $.02 for what its worth.

Alan R.

November 11th, 2010
8:32 am

I should note here that the above site also does other sports. Soccer, football, baseball, etc. Sorry Sten, didn’t read your whole post.

Any feeds that show up for tonight will first appear here:


November 11th, 2010
8:42 am

Thank you dear Thrasher fans. I sincerely appreciate quick response on my Falcon inquiry. I am proud to know all of you. Even ones who think I am bonkers. Oh well. Probably correct. All can agree to disagree. Want to file Makeuillya Kovalchoke shootout choke in NHL Hall Of Fame archives. Know that made all New Jersey fans proud as punch. Worth every penny! Thanks again friends. GO THRASHERS! STENDEK


November 11th, 2010
8:57 am

Thanks so much Alan R. WOW! Never knew sites like this existed. Will probably trip all over myself trying to access. Not really superior with computers. You certainly did your part though. My humble thanks once more. STENDEK

mikey da mug

November 11th, 2010
8:58 am

Ch 36 in ATL will have the Falcons game tonight
Hockey game then football game, glad I’m taking the day off tomorrow
hope both home teams win

World Be Free

November 11th, 2010
9:01 am

I am really get entertained by some of you Chicken Little guys. The PP needs Buff up front to clear the ground.

On another subject, Moose was hit by the Slugs for 4 more goals last night and the $100M man (Kovy) failed in the shootout again. He was so invisible I thought he was another “healthy scratch” – again. Mr. First Class Organization stuck in Jersey with his untradeable contract deep into my retirement years with all those empty seats in NJ.


November 11th, 2010
9:24 am

Schadenfreude is a beautiful thing! Time to thank the hockey gods for kovy wanting to play for a “real” hockey franchise, which is allowing us to build one.

Didn’t expect miracles this year, and of note is that the PK is as atrocious as the PP is good. Hopefully Ramsey can speed up the focus on defense. Think it might be time to bring up Kulda. He played well in his cup of coffee last year, and the defense needs a shakeup. He also has good chemistry with Bogo, as they played together previously and last year seemed to work well together.


November 11th, 2010
9:30 am

Im holding out trusting in Rammer. However I worry. Reading the comment last week where he said they havent put in their defensive system worries me. I guess because it goes against the tradition model of building from your goalie out.

Defense takes longer to learn. Plus I believe its easier to steal wins playing defensively than it is trying to out score your opponent. Especially when your talent depth isnt all that deep.

Well like I said I reckon I trust in Rammer. Though Im a bit perplexed, it isnt the biggest head scratcher Ive ever had with this franchise.


November 11th, 2010
9:40 am

2 things I hope to see tonight: and . I usually try to simulate Thrashers games the day before – enjoyed the game but lost in the 5th round of a shootout.

To everyone about our woes – At least we aren’t the Devils :)


Diego from Lilburn

November 11th, 2010
9:52 am

HooHoo! Thank you Alan R. for the best laugh all week! At least Kovy had the decency to hang his head after that feeble attempt. Heck, I could’ve done THAT and for way less than $100M!

Maybe once our shooters learn to make shootout moves like that then we’ll be a “real hockey franchise”, too.

See y’all tonight in front of Gorin’s!!!

Red Light

November 11th, 2010
9:58 am

Past Cup Winners Goal Differential at Even-Strength during the Regular Season!

2005-06 Carolina +6 • Not in the top five on either special team

2006-07 Anaheim +25 • Third in PP % and Fifth in PK %

2007-08 Detroit +44 • Third in PP % and not in top five in PK %

2008-09 Pittsburgh +26 • Not in the top five on either special team

2009-10 Chicago +40 • Not in top 5 in PP % and fourth in PK %

2010-11 Atlanta -14 • 3rd in PP % and 27th in PK %

The moral of the story: play better at even strength!

Joe Friday

November 11th, 2010
10:04 am

“Reading the comment last week where he said they havent put in their defensive system worries me.”

Does anybody think the Coach was just falling on his sword with this comment? I find it very unlikely that he hasn’t put in a defensive scheme. The more likely explanation is that of course he has, but the players just aren’t A)capable of playing it or B)haven’t gotten the hang of it yet, and Ramsay is just taking the heat for his boys.

Red Light

November 11th, 2010
10:07 am

Top 5 in PP percentage
2005-06 Det., Tor., Buf., Ott., Mtl.
2006-07 Mtl., SJ, Ana., Col., Pit.
2007-08 Mtl., Phl., Det. Pit., T.B.
2008-09 Det., Wsh., SJ, Bos., Ana.
2009-10 Wsh., Mtl., Phl., SJ., Ana.

Top 5 in PK percentage
2005-06 Min., Buf., Det., Ott. Nsh.
2006-07 Van., Min., Nsh., NJ, Ana.
2007-08 SJ, Dal., Nsh., Min., Edm.
2008-09 NYR., Min., Stl., Cgy., SJ
2009-10 Stl., Buf., Bos., Chi., SJ

How many of those teams above made the playoffs?
8 of 10 in 2005-06
8 of 10 in 2006-07
8 of 10 in 2007-08
9 of 10 in 2008-09
8 of 10 in 2009-10

Ga builder

November 11th, 2010
10:10 am

Although Buff has been good on the blue line I think its time to move Buff up front full time and call up Kulda. Need more of a presence in front of the net at 5 on 5 and Kulda can more than hold his own on D.

Joe Friday

November 11th, 2010
10:10 am

“2010-11 Atlanta -14″

Holy crap, that extrapolates out to a -76 even strength goal differential over the course of the season, that’s shockingly bad. As other clubs tighten up their d, I see a big problem coming at us . . . all things considered, we are very fortunate to have banked as many points as we have so far, that D needs to be fixed toot sweet

World Be Free

November 11th, 2010
10:15 am

One another note, the Maple Loafs are hitting the skids, which will prompt EVERY hockey site to dedicate alotta time to Leafs rumors; as if the world evolves around these clowns who have not sniffed a Stanley Cup in 43 years. It is the curse of Punch Imlach, the man who brought “the Buds” 4 Cups then was tossed aside.

Leafs fans are so dillusional they think they can trade all their garbage for 1st round picks or Wayne Gretzky in his prime. HA!

Red Light with Tongue in Cheek!

November 11th, 2010
10:36 am

The Buds’ slide coincides with the absence of Colby Armstrong, who hasn’t played since Oct. 26 due to finger surgery. They were 5-2-1 with the feisty native of Lloydminster, Sask., and 0-5-2 without him. It’s called leadership and intangibles!


November 11th, 2010
11:10 am

Great post Rawhide. I was thinking the same exact thing after the last game. But basically, the big issue to me are the major defensive gaffes coming out of their zone and the really poor play of Mason lately – both are jaw-droppingly bad. I don’t feel like we get stuck for minutes on end in our own zone as in the past but we are turning the puck over way too much as we come out of our zone and in the neutral zone.

If we had anyone ready to play (Little soon), I would bench Slater for tonight’s game after those pathetic clearing attempts. After a solid 2nd half last season, we all hoped Jimmy had taken the next step. Nope. Another slow start – I really haven’t seen anything out of him that would warrant anything but 4th line minutes to-date.

And I wish Zach would use his body more and hit some folks. I really think if he could pick up his game it would pick up the rest of the guys. You can see on the ice that his confidence is low. I saw C-Viv’s article on his increase in playing time but he is not that noticeable on the ice…until the other team scores.

World Be Free

November 11th, 2010
11:54 am

Red Light-so true
The Leafs miss Colby’s scoring

World Be Free

November 11th, 2010
12:03 pm

And also-

Happy Veterans Day -


November 11th, 2010
2:46 pm

We’re not good 5 on 5 and for a big team with so many guys over 220, we get pushed around alot. Somebody needs to spark a physical breakout. Tonite, we’ll see a disciplined team on the road in MN. Min 3 Thrash 1. SOG 22-19 US but we lose.


November 11th, 2010
3:15 pm

That would be something amazing, if we only gave up 19 shots on goal.

Hell, we could lose the game and still consider that feat a win.


November 11th, 2010
3:38 pm

Wild get off 30+ shots

Red Light

November 11th, 2010
4:01 pm

So, Minnesota is 6-1-1-1 against Atlanta in the last nine meetings, but the Thrashers have won two of the last three, one in a shoot-out here in March 2008. That shoot-out loss was the only time Minny lost at Philips Arena,

Like during the lifeless, dispassionate Columbus game, in which the first legitimate body check wasn’t thrown until 15 minutes had already elapsed in the first period, it is difficult for teams to play a game when they are void of contempt and familiarity. Minnesota enters the game off three straight wins and four wins in their last five, while Atlanta is 0-2-1 in its last three and 1-2-2 in its last five. Minnesota hasn’t played in four days, which is rarely a good sign, so expect a slow start for them.

The bad news: Backstrom is in goal for the Wild and they have given up just 17 even-strength goals so far this season.

For the Thrashers to win this one, which they will, they have to allow no more than two goals. So, I’ll say Atlanta 3, Minnesota 2.

Of course, it also could be 6-3 Wild!


November 11th, 2010
4:33 pm

Not much of a stretch there, Dwayne. I don’t think that’ll surprise anyone.


November 11th, 2010
4:40 pm

Thrashers get off less than 20 shots in this game.


November 11th, 2010
5:42 pm

Alan R.

November 11th, 2010
9:40 pm

Thrashers get off less than 20 shots in this game.

I’m laughing really hard at this.


November 11th, 2010
10:01 pm

Toby Enstrom was a +4 in this game. Slater scored. Modin scored. Atlanta outshot their opponent. Pavelec stopped all but one, for his 1st win of the season. Minnesota didn’t seem to be able to get any sustained pressure. I don’t know if it was Atlanta doing everything right, or the Wild not being ready to play, but this was a blowout, for your Atlanta Thrashers.

This was like … watching the Columbus-Atlanta game, only Atlanta was wearing the Columbus uniform and the Wild the Thrasher jerseys.

At the half, it’s Falcons 10, Ravens 0.


November 11th, 2010
10:11 pm

Also wanted to add that Nik Antropov scored. I love to see that. Guys like Antropov and Peverley … have to be there … all year long for the Thrashers. I think we, the Atlanta Thrashers, struggle to find consistency. After some games, it looks like this team is just not capable, like after the 3-0 debacle, at home, vs. Columbus, and the 4-1 loss, to Buffalo, at home, and the 5-2 loss to TB, at home. Other times, this team seems more than capable. Like tonight.

Another great thing about this win … was that the Thrashers actually, successfully, played with a lead. I know. I’ve been waiting for a game like this. At 5-1, there was almost a “killer instinct” about them. But, let’s not go nuts.


November 11th, 2010
10:16 pm

In preseason, I projected 14-pts for Atlanta, throught the 1st seventeen games. Before they play Game # 17, they have 17-pts. That puts us 3-pts ahead of where I thought they’d be. That’s great news.

The next opponent is the Pittsburgh Penguins. Fleury has struggled, noticeably, this young season. We may well see Brent Johnson. If the Penguins are slumping, this is the time to be facing them.


November 11th, 2010
10:31 pm

I hope everyone had a very nice Veteran’s Day. I took the day off to do things.

First, to help the North Cobb/Harrison HS JROTC cadets get to various cerimonies in Kennesaw and Acworth to honor our nation’s finest heros. I had a blast with those wondeful young people and the vets we spent time with.

Second…to celebrate with the Divine Mrs. R our 21st wedding anniversary. Yes, we were wed on November 11, 1989, Vertans Day. This guaranteed us a parade on our anniversary. :cool:

And now…let’s discuss this fine win by the Thrashers as they whipped the Wild 5-1

R. Stroz

November 16th, 2010
5:52 pm


November 18th, 2010
2:05 pm

R. Stroz – Nope.