Thrashers return to winning ways by whipping Wild

Hmmm…apparently, the Thrashers have been lurking this blog.

In my previous online offering, we discussed the Thrashers potent power play as well as their troubles scoring while skating 5 on 5. But Thursday night they went right to work on improving that little problem, scoring four even-strength goals and chipping in a short-handed one as well in the 5-1 whipping of the Minnesota Wild.

Ben Eager celebrates his first period goal that gave Atlanta an early lead. It was a lead that, for the first time this season, they would not lose (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Ben Eager celebrates his first period goal that gave Atlanta an early lead. It was a lead that, for the first time this season, they would not lose (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

The four-goal win marked the highest margin of victory on the season for the Thrashers and was the first time have beaten a team by that much since last March 27 when they blanked Carolina 4-0. It was also the first time this season that Atlanta won a game without having to come from behind after trailing at some point in the game. They came out of the locker room ready to play, took the lead early, made very few mistakes in their end of the ice and never let off the gas.

Now, I’m not an NHL coach or anything like that, but I’d reckon that’s a pretty good game plan.

In goal, Ondrej Pavelec played as solid of a game I have seen out of him in quite some time. He turned aside 32 of the 33 shot Minnesota got off on him to notch his first win of the year. The lone time he was beaten was a deflection off the stick of Antti Miettinen while Zach Bogosian sat in the box for a slashing penalty.

Opie is now 1-1-2 with a 2.34 GAA and very impressive .931 SV%

Scoring for the Thrashers on this winning night were Ben Eager, Jimmy Slater, Andrew Ladd, Fredrik Modin and Nik Antropov.

Ladd’s 6th goal of the season Thursday night is the second most scored by a Thrasher behind Evander Kane’s 7 and his 16 overall points tie him with Dustin Byfuglien for the team lead.

For his part in the win, Byfuglien accounted for 2 assists, 5 shot and +3.

Modin’s was the shorty, coming just under three minutes after Miettinen pulled the Wild to 3-1 of the Thrashers early in the third period. He also assisted on Eager’s goal at the 3:24 mark of the first period, backhanding a nice pass to him from the left circle for a one-timer in the slot. Modin finished with two points on one shot and was a +2.

For the month of November, Fredrik Modin has 3 goals, 5 points and is a +5 in four games played.

Toby Enstrom also had a great game, finishing with a pair of assists and a +4 during 21:06 TOI. His play set up Modin’s goal in the third period, turning Miettinen inside out on the right side and zipping the puck to Freddie in front of the net.

Ondrej Pavelec worked in magic in net for the Thrashers Thursday night. He stopped 32 of the 33 shots that the Wild took on his goal (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Ondrej Pavelec worked in magic in net for the Thrashers Thursday night. He stopped 32 of the 33 shots that the Wild took on his goal (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Enstrom’s 14 overall points trail only Byfuglien and Ladd.

Rich Peverley continued his good work of late. He was all around the net with several good chances, getting off four shots on Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom. Late in the second, with Atlanta up 2-0, he dug the puck out behind the Wild net and brought it back around to set up Ladd’s goal to give the Thrashers a nice pad going into the second break.

Peverley finished with one assist and was a +2.

Zach Bogosian was trying his best to escape Schnide Island as the defenseman launched a game-high 6 SOG. Unfortunately, however, he remains on Isle de Schnide along with Johnny Oduya, Brent Sopel, Ron Hainsey and Freddy Meyer, who was a healthy scratch for the second straight game after returning to active duty with the team.

To be sure, this was the most solid, consistent, complete win of the season thus far. They’ll need another such effort Saturday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins pay a visit to Thrasherville. The Pens are 7-8-1 and will play in Tampa against the Lightning Friday night.

116 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

November 11th, 2010
10:46 pm

Smoothie

November 11th, 2010
10:53 pm

Three things:

1) Thrashers stink at even-strength

2) That Byfuglien kid shouldn’t be wasted on the blueline.

3) Freddy Modin is soooo washed up!

And yes, I’m auditioning to be stendek’s understudy.

Smoothie

November 11th, 2010
10:55 pm

Oh yeah, almost forgot: Ramsay can’t coach for shet and Pavelec is the new Eurotrash sieve!

litz

November 11th, 2010
10:57 pm

Stendec sure is awful quiet when the team comes out and dominates like they did tonight …

LAC

November 11th, 2010
11:00 pm

Finally the type home game we needed. Controled play most of the game…

Quality goaltending, need BIGGER effort Saturday and even BIGGER Sunday in D.C.

Brendan

November 11th, 2010
11:00 pm

Here’s you boxscore, hockey fans: http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2010020221. Notice that Toby Enstrom was a +4. Good to see some balanced scoring. Jim Slater had the least amount of ice time, but he made it count with a goal. I think he got the GWG.

Great to see the Thrashers play with the lead. We haven’t seen too much of that, this season. Great win, at home. This game might increase ticket sales at the Bulb for the Penguins game. Then again, the draw of Malkin, Crosby, Staal, etc., was pretty good, in and of itself.

Brendan

November 11th, 2010
11:09 pm

Please join me in welcoming the new Atlanta Thrashers +/- leader, Ben Eager: http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20112ATLAASAll&sort=plusMinus&viewName=summary. Did y’all notice Evander Kane, was a -10?

Smoothie

November 11th, 2010
11:13 pm

Falcons D is doing their level best to make up for the Thrashers winning tonite. Van Gorder is a freakin’ moron!

Alan R.

November 11th, 2010
11:21 pm

Dear Falcons fans,

You should have watched the Thrashers instead. Hockey > Football

Respectfully yours,
Alan

litz

November 11th, 2010
11:52 pm

Apparently the Falcons *have* been watching the Thrashers …. specifically the “blow lead, have miraculous recovery to win game at last second” part we’ve seen several times …

SomaAtl95

November 12th, 2010
12:35 am

Watched both games. Gotta love DVR’s. It was nice to see the Thrash bring “their” game tonight. What a great night of Sports in the ATL! Nice to see the Thrash kick someones @$$ for once!

Wayne stuck in AL

November 12th, 2010
12:47 am

Some of us had no choice but to watch the NHL game if we wanted sports; Charter Cable STILL won’t offer the NFL Network…

Cornbread

November 12th, 2010
1:06 am

Now can they play this way consistently against the best teams in the league? That is the way Ramsay wants them to play in the opposing team’s end and they did it against a defensive oriented team. Keep playing this way with the puck and the D system can be built upon it.

I am really liking this style of hockey. It is smart, simple, and hardworking that demands commitment from everyone and not just a few individuals.

stendek

November 12th, 2010
1:16 am

Nice win!!!! STENDEK

stendek

November 12th, 2010
1:18 am

Way to defend home ice Thrashers! Thanks. Congratulations. Even I cannot argue with five goals! Nice work between pipes Pavs. Was pulling for you to get a shutout. If only Zach had not been so busy about attendance to take that ridiculous penalty. The one which led to the goal which cost you your shutout. Thanks Zach. Overall an uplifting performance. Maintain this intensity during the vital upcoming home battles. Every point is supremely important. Kudos again. Nice effort! Loved shorthanded tally guys. STENDEK

stendek

November 12th, 2010
1:18 am

Reason longer posts not appearing Bill? STENDEK

R. Stroz

November 12th, 2010
1:35 am

Minnesota Sucks!

Thrashers27

November 12th, 2010
1:51 am

Great game, boys! Do not let up!

Thrashers27

November 12th, 2010
1:54 am

I was at my first ever Falcons’ game tonight. Hell of a game to pick for my first. Don’t know why it took me eleven years, hey what a game. Glad to see my boys in blue took care of biz on the ice while I was enjoying some good ole, American football on Veteran’s day. Thanks to all who have served!

litz

November 12th, 2010
2:50 am

For those who don’t get NFL Network, it was carried on WATL …

Nate

November 12th, 2010
6:40 am

Rawhide – Doesn’t Kane have 7 goals to lead the team?

The Real Thrash

November 12th, 2010
6:56 am

Don’t know who Alan R is but he know as much about Southern sports as a rock!

World Be Free

November 12th, 2010
7:34 am

Burmistrov is now officially my fave Thrasher. The kid just never stops working-make HIM captain! Buff and Toby are in the top 5 scoring for defenseman, I guess putting the big man on the blue line was a good idea.

The key to last night’s win-players driving the net in the offensive zone. Even Freddy Modin, the Blind Squirrel found a nut when crashing the net. Good things happen when you go to the net-that was like a team of Rick Dudleys out there last night. And a very good game from Opie, especially since I said he had to go earlier this year. If the kid plays like that, he can stay a long time.

On the bad side-defensive zone turnovers, so many hand outs to the opposing forwards. We are lucky Minny doesn’t have alotta skill players or the game would have been different. Stop trying to be cute in your zone, get the put out. Come on Rammer, get these guys to play like you did when they have a lead!

Always Hoping

November 12th, 2010
7:36 am

I went to Philips and stayed for the entire game before moving to the Dome to catch the 2nd half of the Falcons. Great night to live in Atlanta ad be a sports fan. Although he didn’t score, Bergfors played very well. He was very active on the backcheck. As a whole the eam seemed to win most of battles along the boards.

stendek

November 12th, 2010
7:38 am

Morning Bill. Long post assessing victory never appeared. Oh well. Have a great one pal. Falcons 26-21. Thrashers 5-1. Love crunching those winning numbers! Thanks again Alan R. You are a nice guy. STENDEK

stendek

November 12th, 2010
7:54 am

Smoothie

November 12th, 2010
8:06 am

Secondary scoring, absent of late in the recent slide, was a big key tonite. Great to dee Eager get rewarded for his relentless work on the forecheck. Bottom two lines (Greek gods return!) Sparked us and Pavs was very sharp for the most part. As WBF said, still too sloppy in their zone with the breakouts. I think they are over-thinking sometimes and making one too many passes (see Johnny Oduya). I see Zach is starting to use his speed to be more aggressive moving the puck out. If Oduya and Bogey can get on same page, watch out!

Chop

November 12th, 2010
8:12 am

I thought there was a lot of good to be taken from this game. The goals followed. The best part was the effective cycling. If the Thrashers were not creating good space in the offensive zone, then they were winning the “battles” that Ramsey often mentions, and positioning effectively at the net. The transition through the neutral zone was better, and puck movement in the offensive zone was great. Thrashers controlled the puck as well as I have seen all year. I agree the defensive zone play looked ineffective at times. As with other games, many of the shots against were just unnecessary. My 2 cents.

LAC

November 12th, 2010
8:19 am

It really seems this “paper” could care less about the Thrashers. Nothing about the game in the subtitles, NOTHING.

You have to go to the Thrashers section, which is near the end to see anything.
Really disgusts me how all the other teams here get most, if not all, the coverage, but not hockey.

I could give a crap about the dream, what is that, the peachtree road race, is nothing but a once a year thing which makes NO sense, but no… The Atlanta Constipation could care less about NHL hockey. I really wonder if the Thrashers ever won in the playoffs, if the would even write about it ???
I relly don’t think so.

More and more empty seats, Bill, how much longer can any team continue without support here ?
If we could just get rid of these Idiot owners… What a God Send that would be !

Zoomo

November 12th, 2010
8:19 am

Nice one to build on.

Burmy really is fun to watch. Just great with the puck. Ramsay had nice comments for him after the game.

The Peverely>Ladd goal was a beauty.

Agree with Smoothie, Zach’s got great speed and needs to use it if he wants to get back in the offense.

Smoothie

November 12th, 2010
8:37 am

Zoomo – that reminds me. Zach played a much smarter and simpler game in the offensive zone. He had several good keep-ins and put pucks on net with simple wristers to keep plays going and puck possession in the Wild end. Pressure, pressure, pressure! However and whatever it takes, just keep pressing the other team!

DWTOO

November 12th, 2010
8:46 am

Interesting stats on Modin. When he signed it was a WTF moment and his slow start was another WTF moment, but, he seems to have turned it around. His shorty was real nice and the result of hustle by him and Enstrom.

BTW Stozer – what about P-Burg?

Mike

November 12th, 2010
8:47 am

What in the hell is LAC talking about?

Alan R.

November 12th, 2010
8:57 am

Did my remark hurt your feelings, Real Thrash? So sorry that I don’t really give a damn about football. It has nothing to do with so-called “southern sports” and everything to do with the excitement factor of games. Me? I find hockey is far more exciting.

Feel free to disagree, but flinging insults because you do is childish.

World Be Free

November 12th, 2010
9:18 am

LAC-the paper is a rag anyhow, so the fact that they ignore the Thrash is pretty much in line with the rest of the toilet paper. I wouldn’t touch the paper at all if it were not for Rawhide and C-Viv.

Smoothie-this all leave Hainsey as the forgotten defenseman, doesn’t it? I have nothing against Ron, really but our d-squad is much deeper and sounder this season, aside from the turnovers.

Rawhide

November 12th, 2010
9:41 am

Nate – Yes…Kane’s 7 leads the team. Thanks.

Post has been corrected and updated.

stendek & litz – I just freed your posts from Blog Purgatory.

Red Light

November 12th, 2010
9:45 am

During the early stages of the game, I communicated to Bill that the attendance would set a new low standard, but I woke this morning to see the tickets distributed number at 10,055. Yeah, sure!

Nothing to complain about this morning, except as predicted, the Wild’s four-day off stupor lasted into the third period. They were brutal – Havlat was a missing person – but I sure would like to watch more of Brent Burns. Tough game last night stats wise, but he’s a stud!

Thrashers d-men got off 16 shots last night. All in all this was a complete effort and the Thrashers were in control for about 55 minutes of the 60. That’s a great sign.

Joe Friday got his wish! Enstrom played fewer minutes than he has all season and had his best game. Go figure.

Burmistrov with a bit more strength has he matures — IS GOING TO BE A STUD!

Alan R.

November 12th, 2010
10:02 am

Anytime, Stendek. Glad I could help yesterday!

Alan R.

November 12th, 2010
10:08 am

but I woke this morning to see the tickets distributed number at 10,055. Yeah, sure!

In that number, I’m sure is included the number of freebies distributed to military personnel. Tickets distributed very well could have been that number, but as Mike Russo (MNWild’s beat writer) said last night, “Attendance announced at 10,055 tonight at Philips. They clearly multiplied by two”

World Be Free

November 12th, 2010
10:17 am

Need more people in the seats-plain adn simple. All those people that come out for their hometown team need to show up more often.

Rawhide

November 12th, 2010
10:18 am

Red Light – I’ve used this line many times before, but…if there were 10,055 in the building, 5,000 came disguised as empty seats.

I was…ahem…a “partial” sellout.

Smoothie

November 12th, 2010
10:30 am

World – the less we talk about Ron the better but he has been pretty solid this year after a BRUTAL preseason. Of course, as former Bills fans, we should know a thing or two about meaningless pre-season. I think I’d even like to see Ron get a look on the 2nd pair with Zach if Bogey can continue to progress with puck movement. Ron has been much more aggressive around his own net and has used his stick well. Oduya seems to watch the puck too much at times. But Oduya and Sopel has been awful at times this year!

World Be Free

November 12th, 2010
10:58 am

Smoothie-I think Ronny is enjoying being anonymous. He was unsuccessful in Monreal, rebounded in Columbus and got a nice contract from the Thrashers. Paul Brown, the old Cleveland Browns head football coach (Bengals too) will tell you preseason means almost nothing. Brownie won his fair share of championships, he knows that the only games that count are regular season. Boris’ goose was cooked before his preseason game debacle this year.

R. Stroz

November 12th, 2010
11:02 am

Pittsburgh REALLY SUCKS!

ESPECIALLY CINDY CROTCHBY!

R. Stroz

November 12th, 2010
11:02 am

Steve Avery said so….

Joe Friday

November 12th, 2010
11:06 am

Coach talked about this and I noticed it as well watching the game. The difference last night was they made quick line changes, time after time. I kept watching rushes up ice and they’d gain the red line, dump and change and the new guys would come out flying.

I think that’s integral to coach’s “go go go” system and they have to keep doing it to outwork the other clubs. If they can get that one thing down, change early and often, it’ll help tremendously.

So my key to last night’s game was simple, change early and often and it worked against a Wild club who were sleepwalking last night. It’ll work against clubs that are ready to play as well and keep us in games.

“Joe Friday got his wish! Enstrom played fewer minutes than he has all season and had his best game. Go figure”

He’s fine going up ice, it’s when he’s out there defending our end that we get in trouble. Wild couldn’t sustain an attack and we changed early and often and Toby can shine in on the offensive end. If we have down nights where we’re stuck in our zone alot, you’ll see him struggle.

Russian

November 12th, 2010
11:09 am

I have intersting question. I try to figure it out. If Little will be ready to play at Saturday or Sunday. Who will sit in press box???
My first person was Bolt. But it means we have to break Greek Line again.
If Little moves to Top lines, that means Antro or Stuart sghoud move to 3-4 line.
What do you think?
Or may be we have to hold Little to back to game??? :-)

Smoothie

November 12th, 2010
11:17 am

Russian – how about this for Pitt?

Ladd-Lits-Antro

Kane-Pevs-Bergie

Eager-Burma-Stew

Greek Gods

Let Modin rest up for Sunday’s game and keep Bolts to patrol Cooke and Goddard. Move Stew down to 4th line in lieu of Boults on Sunday or rest Antro on Sun for a maintenance day and put Stew at RW with Little Ladd.

Swedee Modinee

November 12th, 2010
11:19 am

Sit me.

If Toby hadn’t banked that acorn off my stick, I’d still be hungry.

Rawhide

November 12th, 2010
11:24 am

I thought Modin had his best game as a Thrasher so far…save, maybe his 2 goal performance last week. He made a great play to get the puck over to Eager for the first goal and he made a smart move to the net when he saw Toby scortching the Wild player over on the right side, leading to the shorty.

Good overall play from Freddy-Mo over the past couple of games.

Also, as FormerIsleFan texted to me last night…it seems Modin knows Cormier is skating again and could be a threat to his roster spot in the coming weeks.

Ahhhh….good ‘ol competition. Gotta love it!

What this does is give Ramsay some time to hold off putting Little back in the lineup until he’s 100%…no, make that 115%…fully recovered. If there’s no need to rush him back, why do so at this juncture of the season.