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

Russian

November 12th, 2010
11:27 am

**to Smoothie**
I was thinking a same line, but Ladd-Pever-Berg palyed very well together lately. Modin needs to rest, but I think Antro will sit at Saturday.
Look it my line:
Ladd-Pever-Berg
Kane-Little-Stew
Modin-Sasha(Burmy)-Eager
Greek Line

P.S. Sasha is Russian short of Aleksandr :-)

Smoothie

November 12th, 2010
11:35 am

I like it Russian! But I think Rammer said he’d prolly reunite Laddy and Lits when Bryan’s ready. And I think he will be: no headaches in a week and three practices to get his skating legs back. Kane NEEDS Little or Pevs. He has zero chemistry w/ Kane.

Bill – good observations w/r/t Modin. He also was the one who broke up the play behind the net to support the D on the PK and sparked the breakout for the shorty. He made me out to be a fool for saying he sux on the PK! Perhaps he is finally getting his old legs under him?

Russian

November 12th, 2010
11:37 am

**to Rawhide**
I am agree with your comments also. Keep Little on press box little bit more. He will recover completely.

Smoothie

November 12th, 2010
11:44 am

Yes, Kane has no chemistry with himself! Ha, I meant Antro.

How bout that Sasha B? Sounds like an 80’s singing group. Swedee Modinee, Sasha B and the Eager Boys! LOL

A good nickname for the line might be Old Man Swede and the Eager Russian.

jimbo

November 12th, 2010
11:44 am

Good win. Any win is obviously good. Great passes by Pevs and Enstrom on the Modin goal. Ramsey says the system of “rapid line changes”worked. So it’s not aggressive forechecking, defending the blue line, moving the puck rapidly out of your own end, but “smooth transition in line changes”. Yeah right Rammer.

Zombie Steve

November 12th, 2010
11:55 am

Smoothie – Sasha B is too close to Sasha Baron Cohen – a.k.a Borat. =)

Joe Friday

November 12th, 2010
11:58 am

“So it’s not aggressive forechecking, defending the blue line, moving the puck rapidly out of your own end, but “smooth transition in line changes”. Yeah right Rammer.”

jimbo, I think he’s spot on and all of the above is correct. What I mean, and what I think Ramsay is teaching, is that if you make rapid line changes, then the guys on ice will always have fresh legs and thus the energy to forecheck aggressively, defend the blue line, and move the puck rapidly up ice. It’s his “go go go” philosophy, and you have to have fresh legs on the ice to do all of it, key here is rapid line changes and they really did do that last night, it was very noticeable how often they changed.

stendek

November 12th, 2010
12:05 pm

Remember the good old days Bill. Flames did not win em all but they would scrap at drop of puck. Sigh…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f46J22PkMK4

Dwayne

November 12th, 2010
12:06 pm

Time to shake up Kaner, drop him to the 3rd line or sit him.
I have sports envy for those of you in Atl. Would have loved to been there last night, Always Hoping had the right idea. Thrashers at the Bulb then head to the Dome.

World Be Free

November 12th, 2010
12:07 pm

Antro-Bergfors-Max had great chemistry last season, they knew where each other was at all times. Kane is still playing the individual game. If that line gets going…..

Freddie Mo was better last night, but he is still too slow. I have seen Levy concession stand workers at the Dome move faster than Modin.

Another observation from last night-NO HITTING! I have seen no-check league games with more hitting. Only Clutterbuck was active and all his hits were clean. I dislike Clutterbuck’s need for the shield, but I like his hitting.

Smoothie

November 12th, 2010
12:18 pm

World – we need more hitting for sure! Ladd was good at using his body effectively all nite. He could teach a clinic. Kane needs to find that edge again, he’s floating too much looking for that loose puck and timely snipe. Play your game son! As for Antro, he had ridiculous chemistry with Little and Bergie after the trade. That’s the next line to get a reunion if Antro/Kane can’t get going in the same direction.

Zombie – good point. High five!

Alan R.

November 12th, 2010
2:02 pm

What player with a small name will be returning on Saturday night?

This guy, right here:

ajcthrashers

Look for #Thrashers center Bryan Little to return Saturday vs. Penguins.

Smoothie

November 12th, 2010
2:05 pm

Woohoo! Go B-Lits!

Red Light

November 12th, 2010
2:13 pm

It’s like our namesake here, World Be Free, who as a basketball player, thought to pass the ball was a slap in his face. In pick-up games, we used to pass the ball to guys who would then dribble and shoot, and nicknamed them the “Black Hole” (RE: Abyss).

I mean no racial disrespect when I say that Kane is the black hole on this team. The puck goes on his stick and the rest of the guys never see it again. Now, with some guys I like the shoot-first, pass-second mentality (Stamkos leaps to mind), but Kane was brilliant last year letting others do the puck carrying and going hard to the net. I’d liked to see more of that, and an occasional pass.

WBF agrees, anyone else?

SomaAtl95

November 12th, 2010
2:17 pm

Looking forward to Evander reminding a certain glass-jawed Penguin that he is Kaners beyatch and not to disrespect “our house”. Hopefully there are many pictures of last years K.O. that Cooke sees every shift he is on the ice. Only thing that would make it sweeter is if Cindy tries to block a shot and somehow gets hit in the taint with the puck. That would make up for his “cheap shots” on Doris a while back… its time we show the doubters that, when properly motivated, we can handily win games! GO THRASHERS!!

Flames

November 12th, 2010
2:21 pm

Stendek- Thanks for the trip down memory lane…I remember that fight against Toronto. The Flames would drop gloves with the best of them…

World Be Free

November 12th, 2010
2:33 pm

Red Light-I still have to remind myself that Kane is only 19 years old. A co-worker of mine, who had never been to a hockey game until last night, was first to note how young our team is. Kane shows flashes of moving forward, then takes a few steps sideways. He needs a strong-willed veteran to take him under his wing and teach him the on ice requirements to become a star. Who will that be?

Here is another case for having a team captain, an authority. Coaches can coach all they want, but the real influences are the players. As Smoothie noted, Ladd was a consistent hitter last night-he shows flashes of being a leader. we need a captain, you cannot win in the playoffs without an on-ice leader. Kane could use him right now.

DWTOO

November 12th, 2010
3:40 pm

Kane is becoming a puck hog. Weren’t there some rumblings about his attitude earlier? If so he need to have a little heart to heart with a seasoned vet. Show him the right way. Kid’s a tremendous talent – just needs some guidance.

Dwayne

November 12th, 2010
3:46 pm

Only thing that would make it sweeter is if Cindy tries to block a shot and somehow gets hit in the taint with the puck.
NOW THAT THERE IS SOME FUNNY SHET!!!!!!!

SomaAtl95

November 12th, 2010
3:53 pm

A taint shot would really puck cindy up and give him an excuse for that constant whiny scowl on his face, would also teach him about Karma. Hit one of our guys in the nuts, it’’s coming back to you threefold!
Anyone want to remind me what the “Cindy Crosby Hat Trick” is?

Red Light

November 12th, 2010
4:00 pm

Frankly, I would have thought Sopel would have talked individually to everyone by now, but maybe he feels he needs more time before he begins criticizing/helping his younger teammates. Of course, the conversations simply may have fallen on deaf ears, as they do when I first talk to my kids around Kane’s age. It sinks in, usually about two or three of the same mistakes later.

World Be Free

November 12th, 2010
4:16 pm

If Kane were a normal kid he’d be a sophomore in college. I think he was accused of challenging his teammates. He had a great attitute in Canadian juniors, when he didn’t make the national team, he just worked harder.

razorneck13

November 12th, 2010
5:29 pm

Goodie goodie gumdrops.

razorneck13

November 12th, 2010
5:32 pm

Sorry, I’ve an ailment that makes me sound sarcastic and juvenile. I’m actually overwhelmed with joy from this victory. :) <- See, I'm all smiling and stuff.

stendek

November 12th, 2010
5:45 pm

For my Southern Thrasher fans. Break from hockey for now. Please enjoy. Note exchange between Fletcher and Yankee senator. Been excised from all broadcast versions. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcB_O4C40q0

Eugene

November 12th, 2010
6:46 pm

The Thrashers like to tease you, just when you think they’ve got it together they go in and lose a stinker the next day. Pittsburgh is struggling right now so it will be interesting to watch how the Thrashers perform tomorrow. The play of Burmistrov has really impressed me, I think when he adds a few more pounds of muscle, he’s going to be come a real star in this league. He’s got good speed, great hands, and he’s not afraid to get in the corners.

Tony C.

November 12th, 2010
7:06 pm

My thoughts on the game: #8 is going to be a real good player for a real long time…motor is always running, and the kid just knows the game-also plays with a lot of heart-saw him come flying in on the forecheck and his man had to have a full head and an easy 50lbs on him and this kid bounced off him and then stayed all over him-won the puck and got it out to the point for a nice shot-no rebound but Eager was right there if there had been one. That line works. I hope Coach keeps them together for at least the next couple of games-you can see Modin and Eager talking with the kid-great resource for a rookie, and I’m sure one of the reasons we signed Freddie…they consistently had significant zone time and a goal as well as some other very near misses-great game from that whole line.

Peverly’s line looked good as well, mostly because Pevs was the best Atlanta forward on the ice last night IMHO-he was hustling, and seemed to be everywhere, got denied on that wraparound, but he keeps playing at that level and he will no doubt be rewarded (and soon)!

Kane was playing a lot more selfishly than I’ve seen from him, a lot of times he would try and dangle to create his own shot, ignoring his linemates-certainly not his best outing, but you also have to give credit to Minny-they clearly had that line penciled in for “special attention”…I may be splitting hairs and looking for nits to pick, but I’ve come to expect better from young Kane, guess I’m just spoiled.

Bergfors is pretty darn good-I can’t help but thinking that he’d be better served on Big Nik’s line (btw-how PO’d was Nik in the last 5min? would love to see the big guy with that sort of snarl more often).

That Burns kid for Minnesota is the truth. I would be happy to throw Hainsey money (overpay) at him when/if he goes FA. I thought he was the best player on the ice last night-personally responsible for breaking up at least 3 scoring opportunities, and making himself more than a little useful on our end. Barring injury that guy looks to be an All-Star.

Pavelec still playing a little too far forward, but team did a MUCH better job keeping shooters out of the juicy areas and blocked a ton of shots for him… that deflection goal is going to get past pretty much anybody, so I’m not going to fault him there-there is still a lot of work for him to do as far as preventing/preparing for the 2nd shot, but you can see why they felt OK about letting Lehtonen go (I still think that was a dumb move).

Bogey looked better but I get the feeling the kid either is overthinking or not-so-bright…not really sure which, but I did like the fact that he concentrated on playing a simple “honest” game-bad penalty to give them their PP goal, but I do hope he’s turning things around.

Finally we went up against a team that was markedly slower than us and it showed-I’m sure I wasn’t the only one shocked when Modin(!) hoofed it around his man to set up the Eager goal. But that goes to show that if tis team skates the way it can, then Ramsay’s scheme works. even if the other team shuts down your top line (Kane/Antro), this scheme will put even grinders in position to light the lamp! Line changes were much improved and for the first time in a long time we had sustained (multi-shift) pressure in the other guys zone as a result.

Good win, a lot of positives to build off of and just what the doctor ordered.

Tom

November 12th, 2010
7:17 pm

I think that Kane is getting a bad rap. He has way too much speed to be on the same line as Andro. Kane gets down the rink and he is all alone. Andro has either not healed or has lost a big ol’ step to his game. His game is now setting up in front and ripping a lethal shot. With his size he is hard to move off the puck. But with his wheels he is killing Kane.

Kane is a first line player who needs speed with him. He is responsible enough defensively, -10 notwithstanding. But Andro is in a completely different place than Kane is and it is very evident.

Tony C.

November 12th, 2010
7:47 pm

Tom-I agree that Kane claerly has better wheels than Antro, but Stewart ain’t slow in the least-watch last nights game and you will see more than one instance of #9 taking off with the puck and never showing any sign he was looking for a linemate or anything but a shot-infact there were a couple of shifts in the 2nd where Kane pulled a Kovalchuk (take puck from redline and try and skate through 3 opposition players at their blueline)… not saying that he shouldn’t put his head down and go for it ever, but it’s a team game, and no one in this league can consistently outskate AND out handle AND put the puck in the net…if he has no confidence in his linemates or overconfidence in his abilities it equals to the same turnover and counterattack.

Personally, I’d put Kane with Peverly and keep them together. Ladd or Little would fill in quite nicely on the other wing…Stewart also.

I’m not saying that Kane’s play is anywhere near the level of selfish that we saw from #17-just that he definitely played selfishly last night, had several opportunities to pass to a linemate and instead concentrated on doing it himself. It’s something I do not want to see as the start of a trend.

Alan R.

November 12th, 2010
8:48 pm

Watching the Pittsburgh v Tampa Bay game, and a couple stats regarding the game tomorrow popped up:

a. Bergfors has 4g 4a in six career games vs. Pittsburgh
b. Pittsburgh is 29-9-2 lifetime vs. Atlanta

Ouch.

Curly

November 12th, 2010
9:50 pm

If anyone is intersted….. Kovalchuck scores game winner in overtime with a PP goal from left circle (he drew the tripping penalty penalty from Penner) as NJ wins their first home game of the season against the Oilers.
A big turn of events from the wiff on the shoot-out the other night.

AtlFlamesFan

November 12th, 2010
9:55 pm

Yeah, but did you see what Kovy did 2 nights ago in a shootout against Buffalo? He needed to score to keep the game going.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXh-ZBcCFYo

stendek

November 12th, 2010
10:34 pm

Hi Curly. Still not worth tremendous salary. Sure did enjoy shootout whiff though. Peace. STENDEK

Red Light

November 13th, 2010
12:56 am

Give credit where credit is due. One night he whiffs and the next game he scores the OT game winner. And while we are on the subject, other guys who have signed long-term contracts with other teams as a free agent never got the amount of criticism in the pres that Kovalchuk has. All of a sudden he’s a villain for being able to take advantage of the system that was created, not for him, but for all teams and players. Personally, I think it is embarrassing for the league to allow the antagonists to parade the anti-Kovalchuk sentiment and even give it top billing on the league’s site. Do I like him? No, but he doesn’t deserve vilification either. Here, I know why there is hatred, elsewhere I think it borders on witch hunt. Shame on them.

Putting On The Foil

November 13th, 2010
8:16 am

WBF- Great assessment of Burmy. I liked this kid from the very first game.
Stendek- Thanks for the fight link. Also like this one with the fan waving the flag over the fight. Ah, the good ole days.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEpY8anSTWQ&feature=related

dwayne

November 13th, 2010
11:24 am

Kaner and Stewie centered by Litt’s on 3rd line, I smell 2 goals from that line. And a Thrasher victory.

LAC

November 13th, 2010
11:25 am

Late in his rookie season, D Zach Bogosian looked like he was going to be the next big thing on the blueline, but it’s really been a struggle since — 25 points, minus-22 in 89 games since the start of 2009-2010.

Found this in the power rankings, Atlanta 14.

But Zach has and is really slipping fast… Should he be moved while he still has “some” value ????

Willie B

November 13th, 2010
2:14 pm

WBF what’s up with you and the “they’re only kids” all the time. I sense a sheltered life. Do people need to keep reminding you of the average age of our fighting “MEN” ?

Kane v Cooke #2 tonight or does Eager step in and waste that dude ? Oh, Kane didn’t look like a little college boy that night WBF.

Willie B

November 13th, 2010
2:17 pm

Rawhide, was that you out on Spring St this morning with all the JROTCs ?

Willie B

November 13th, 2010
2:20 pm

Thursday was a great night in the city. Thrashers won big, Falcons beat a team from the AFC that they very well could see again in the SB and Ray Lewis and his friends did kill anybody while visiting Atlanta this time.

Jameson

November 13th, 2010
2:21 pm

LAC- I’m pretty sure it’s a bit early to be giving up on Bogosian.

Willie B

November 13th, 2010
2:21 pm

” DIDN’T ” sorry

Simon

November 13th, 2010
4:49 pm

The Flyers signed Carter for 11 years, 5.27mil Cap Hit! Thoughts?

Alan R.

November 13th, 2010
7:56 pm

Sopel finally off the Schneid.

Alan R.

November 13th, 2010
9:28 pm

And that’s about the only positive. Bergfors scored, but we gave the game away for those 20 minutes or so we decided to stop playing, between the second and third period.

Curly

November 13th, 2010
9:29 pm

Thrashers had plenty of chances. Fluery STOLE this one for the Guins.

LAC

November 13th, 2010
10:58 pm

Brutial November is correct. Good effort, but we need to show we can be a better match against the
teams like this one… Points we can ill afford to lose…

Brendan

November 13th, 2010
10:58 pm

What a time for FLEURY to turn his season around? Good for Sopel to get his 1st of the year. Back to .500. Still ahead of where I thought they’d be, at Game # 17.

Jeff Carter giving Philly a nice cap hit … is a good sign that the players like Philly. They just went to the Cup Finals. With some breaks, they could get back there again. Must be nice to have a market where players WANT to re-sign, for their UFA years.

Rawhide

November 13th, 2010
10:59 pm

Willie B – Actually, I was out on Main Street in Kennesaw with the JROTC this morning. I headed up a group of ‘em that worked parking detail for the 5K run there. We reported for duty at 0530…so I’ve been up since 0430 this morning.

I’m a tired camper…

So, I will forgo a post-game blog tonight and hit the hay. But, I’ll be back among the living sometime tomorrow.

Two quick things before I turn in, however…first, that was the 4th hat trick the Thrashers have given up this season. Don’t know if they are on track for some sort of record there, but…

Second, nice to see Sopes slide off The Schnide tonight. That leaves, if I’m not mistaken, Hainsey, Bogosian, Oduya and Meyer. Freddy would have the toughest time escaping Schide Island given the limited amount of playing time.

G’Night…

stendek

November 13th, 2010
10:59 pm

Did Thrashers provide Vaseline too? These gutless wonders were reamed once against on home ice. What a damn surprise! By the untalented Pittsburgh Tuxedobirds of Cynthia Crossdresser. Hope all the quitters in blue are damn happy. Any idiot who paid good money to see that shet, not rooting for Penguins, should seek qualified medical help. Total bullshet once more in critical home appearance. So much for building fan base huh Zach? Guess what? Pathetic Pavs is back! Along with no score offense of Craig Petrino. Clueless uncaring scum! Total shets! To Hell with em. STENDEK