Thrashers and Penguins and Caps… Oh my!

Good morning Thrasherville! Here are just a couple quick notes and thoughts regarding the Thrashers, the loss to Pittsburgh and this afternoon’s matchup in Washington D.C.

First off…if you cast your vote for Brent Sopel to be the last Thrasher off of Schnide Island, pick again. His blast at 2:41 of the first period gave Atlanta an early 1-0 over the Penguins, and came just 20 ticks of the clock after Chris Thorburn and Michael Rupp were put in a 2-minute time out for not playing nicely with each other.

Shortly after Sopes slipped off The Schnide, Dustin Byfuglien came painfully close to putting the home team up 2-0, taking a Rich Peverley pass from the left wing and snapping off a shot from close in. But Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made a great play moving to his left to get his skate out to block the shot. It was the first of several very good save he made to keep the Pens within one goal…including one against Andrew Ladd, who was able to find himself alone in front of Fleury after turning Kris Letang inside-out in the left wing face off circle.

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleurymakes a save on Dustin Byfuglien's wrap-around attempt (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on Dustin Byfuglien's during Saturday's 4-2 win over the Thrashers (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

As it turns out, it was just what they needed.

After the Thrashers outshot Pittsburgh 7-1 in the first four minutes of the game, the Penguins slowly began to turn things in their favor and Ondrej Pavelec was then called upon more often to try and continue his work of late.

Then in the mid to late stages of the second period, Pittsburgh turned the physicality knob up to 11 and started hitting anything that moved on the ice. It lead to Evgeni Malkin’s first of three goals, which came with 6:28 left before the second intermission…a quick snapper that went five-hole on Pavelec.

Malkin then scored twice in the third period for the hat trick…the fourth that Atlanta has surrendered to an opposing player so far this season. His second goal came while Pittsburgh was on the power play. He redirected a ricochet off the boards behind the net past Pavelec and then potted an empty netter to provide the 4-2 final score.

Sidney Crosby had deflected in a Deryk Engelland shot to tie the game at 1-1 less then three minutes into the final period.

On both goals in the second period, Malkin’s power play one and Crosby’s game-tying tally, Zach Bogosian was…er, uh, well…let’s just say he was “in the vicinity” of defending against the goal-scorers.

After the game, Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay gave high praise to the Penguins scorers say, “They’re not both just talented they’re strong. Malkin is a monster and Crosby is as strong on the puck as there is”.

Pavelec echoed those thoughts. “Those guys don’t need many chances to score goals,” the young netminder said. “They may be the best players in the NHL”.

Evander Kane knocks Pittsburgh's Deryk Engelland off the puck. The Thrashers will play in Washington Sunday afternoon and Kane has scored 4 goals against the Caps so far this season (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Evander Kane knocks Pittsburgh's Deryk Engelland off the puck. The Thrashers will play in Washington Sunday afternoon and Kane has scored 4 goals against the Caps so far this season (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

“It’s tough to play them for 60 minutes, but if we want to make the playoffs, we need to shut down those guys”.

As for the game itself…I thought it was an overall good effort by the Thrashers, they came out with a great deal of jump and life in their game. But the Penguins simply took this game over halfway through and grinded the win.

Now, the Thrashers wing their way to D.C. for the third matchup this fall against the defending Southeast Division champs. That’s a tough way to rebound against a hard loss, if you ask me. But Atlanta has found a measure of success against the Caps, earning 3 of a possible 4 points against the division foe in the previous two meetings.

Evander Kane has scored four of his seven goals against Washington, 2 in the 4-2 season-opening win and another pair in the 4-3 overtime loss on October 23.

Chris Mason is expected to get today’s start in goal for the Thrashers. He is coming off the 5-2 loss in Ottawa last Tuesday and is 4-0-1 against the Caps in his career with a 2.25 GAA and .924 SV% in six games played against them.

The Capitals find themselves once again atop the division standings. Their 25 points are 8 more than Atlanta and 7 more than second place Tampa Bay.

Alex Ovechkin leads their overall scoring with 23 points…9 goals and 14 points…while Alexander Semin’s12 goals are the most for that team. As with Malkin, Semin is one of four players to get the hats flying against the Thrashers. Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and St. Louis’ Jay McClement are the other two.

214 comments Add your comment

Dandylions

November 14th, 2010
9:23 am

Really stendec – untalented Pittsburgh Tuxedobirds of Cynthia Crossdresser. Unbelievable!

Rightshot

November 14th, 2010
9:24 am

Apparently Malkin found one of the
old thrashers travel brochures that says”top scorer in a slump, come play the thrashers” we really Need to destroy all those.
Good game otherwise. Here’s hopping for abetted result today.

Rightshot

November 14th, 2010
9:25 am

Oh yea FIRST!

R. Stroz

November 14th, 2010
9:30 am

Bogosian is quickly becoming the new Jon Koncak. The guy is BAD (Big And Dumb).

Russian

November 14th, 2010
9:36 am

**to R.Stroz**
Yep. We got problem with Bogus. I hope Meyer will play today and Bogus will sit.

English Teacher

November 14th, 2010
9:50 am

I don’t like that the Thrashers were out muscled by the physical play of the Pens. That led to a brutally bad time.

jimbo

November 14th, 2010
10:13 am

ENCOURAGING! A bounce here or there and it could have been 4-2 us. We skated, back checked, moved the puck with them. Pavs played well. Little has great “jump” all night. If we get this type of an effort every game, we can play with anyone. Thorburn- stick it to the Big O today.

Joe Friday

November 14th, 2010
11:10 am

The boys played very well. Has the goalie consultant been working with Pavs? I think so, he’s much better positionally. Little was flying, that’s good to see. I concur with jimbo, keep that effort up each game and they’ll be in good shape. Sopel’s said in his interview at the end of the first that the team was starting to come together in Ramsay’s system “we’re just now getting it and it shows” or something to that effect.

Smoothie

November 14th, 2010
11:36 am

Joe – if they are just now starting to get it, then I hope it translates into a 3 or 4 game winning streak before we end up 5 or 6 points out of 8th place.

Really is a shame Big buff couldn’t convert on that perfect feed from Pevs, a two goal lead might have been very demoralizing to a team that’s been very erratic all year. And Ladd nearly flipped the puck high enough but just didn’t catch it solid, damn!

DWTOO

November 14th, 2010
11:40 am

This was a well played game by both teams – each had momentum and chances and it could’ve gone the Thrashers way with a few more bounces. Too many Pens fans tho’ – espeecially the one in the bird costume. That was ridiculous.

AtlFlamesFan

November 14th, 2010
1:06 pm

Overall, great effort, and very entertaining game. But we gotta have points. Hate to be appearing to jump on the anti-Bogo bandwagon, but besides the 2 goals mentioned above, he seems to be making some bad decisions. I especially did not like in the 2nd period, when he had the puck behind our net; could have skated up the ice with the puck, but instead, rifled the puck around the boards, feeding the Penguins’ left D. They didn’t score on that play, but it did result in a dangerous shot from the point.

Cornbread

November 14th, 2010
1:52 pm

That was a good game. I watched it twice and I can not say that the Penguins outplayed the Thrashers. They just beat them. It happens. I’ll take a loss like that. Keep playing like that and they will win more often than not.

HonkyTonkHero

November 14th, 2010
2:25 pm

Fun game to be at. My father-in-law is in town and has been to a few games with me in which the team was horrible. He watched a bit of the game against the Wild the other night and then went to the Pens game with me last night. He was super impressed and made the comment that this was a completly different team. I told him I think we have a great team, just not a consistent one yet. As soon as they get to where they play this way every night we will have great success.

I can stomach a loss like that any day. Their super stars came through for them….Crosby, Malkin and Fleury did what they are paid the big bucks to do. Our big guys took alot of great shots too and for once I didnt feel like we were over passing (maybe a few times). I do think big Nik needs to shoot more and keep his damn stick on the ice when he is in front of the net.

Anyways….better luck against Washington today!

Thrashers27

November 14th, 2010
2:34 pm

Take it for what it’s worth, but Ecklund says Thrash are interested in Setoguchi. I’d be okay with that at a reasonable price.

alex

November 14th, 2010
3:27 pm

good game but, and this is not the problem for thrashers but fatal disease, see differences most of the team in this league able to keep star players within (wash., chigago, phil., tampa, sj, deit., etc., etc.) small minority atlanta, florida not. where norton, joikinen, boum., heatley, hossa, kovy, savard. the all gone, so no result for this team. i hate asg gutts, feel sorry for ram and dud, both did outstanding job. still puzzled what come first end of the world or court decision and new owners.

LAC

November 14th, 2010
3:32 pm

Stroz is 110% correct, “zach” needs to GO !

I am sorry, but he stands around, never hits anyone and is almost always out of position.

One play, he got the puck behing the net and then BLINDLY rimmed the puck “thinking” it would go out. It went right to their D-Man who passed it and it was almost a goal. Then he stood around more and more.

What is this guys problem ????? He has ZERO offense and his positional play is just AWFUL.

I know there are a lot of people who say, He’s too young etc… But he is regressing
not progressing and I, for one, have seen enough. Need to ship him and Little away,
they have proven they cannot play in the NHL at a high consistant level. Sorry the truth hurts !!!

stendek

November 14th, 2010
3:51 pm

So proud to see Craig Petrino is a member of the I Love Cynthia Crossdresser Fan Club. Cheez! No wonder the Thrashers were in awe of the mighty ones. Hey coach. We were supposed to beat the bestards not kiss their candy a$$es! What a putz you have turned out to be. Hope you can put your hero worship aside this afternoon. This is a damn critical game for losers! Fans will stay away as long as home ineptitude continues. Sorry Zachster! Just a fact of life in professional sports. GO FALCONS! STENDEK

stendek

November 14th, 2010
4:00 pm

So glad to read these comments from braindead Thrasher apologists. I was under impression the Pittsburgh Penguins won at Philips Arena in regulation. Blocking home team from any points. See it was another victory. Wow. Thanks for setting me straight intelligent ones. Most of you will wonder why Thrashers come up just short of playoffs. Few will truly realize it is from choke jobs like that one. Thanks again for filling me in on how wonderful guys in blue performed. Such wise fan base. Glad both Thrasher fans were in attendance! So proud to see Craig Petrino is a member of the I Love Cynthia Crossdresser Fan Club. Cheez! No wonder the Thrashers were in awe of the mighty ones. Hey coach. We were supposed to beat the bestards not kiss their candy a$$es! What a putz you have turned out to be. Hope you can put your hero worship aside this afternoon. This is a damn critical game for losers! Fans will stay away as long as home ineptitude continues. Sorry Zachster! Just a fact of life in professional sports. GO FALCONS! STENDEK

stendek

November 14th, 2010
4:24 pm

Hi Bill. Hope all is well with you and yours pal. Hope Thrashers bring their A game today. Need success to entice fans to Philips Arena. Also need points just for sake of points. Points lost at home particularly distress me. As you have guessed. Oh well. Drop the puck already! Talk with you soon Rawhide. STENDEK

Brendan

November 14th, 2010
4:44 pm

Minutes from puckdrop. Last night, the Capitals played an OT game vs. Buffalo. That game was 1:00 from a shootout, when Vanek scored the “highlight of the night” for the Sabres. I don’t think Ovechkin even had a point. Which means, what? That’s right. He’s due, today!!

Let’s go Thrashers!! And yes, this game is being carried by Fox SportSouth (SPSO), so you won’t have to watch it on the Center Ice “mosaic” channel, like the Penguins game, if you didn’t attend, in person.

HookyBob

November 14th, 2010
5:12 pm

Well, for what it is worth,…. I believe our record is better when the other team scores first.

Brendan

November 14th, 2010
5:16 pm

Well, sure enough!! Ovechkin scores about a minute in. I tells ya, I didn’t want to be right about that earlier blog comment.

litz

November 14th, 2010
5:21 pm

Man, you look at the replay, and I swear that puck was going to go wide, and the stick deflection was what sent it in …

Now we have a PK against these guys … *sigh*.

litz

November 14th, 2010
5:25 pm

And predictable result … (I will grant ‘em that they took it to 1:59 before giving up the goal)

litz

November 14th, 2010
5:33 pm

Now … *that* is how to run a PP … just keep peppering shots ’til one goes in!

Looks like Peverely got it.

litz

November 14th, 2010
6:03 pm

Pevs goal was reassigned to Enstrom.

Ladd just scored on a breakaway; 3-2 now

litz

November 14th, 2010
6:06 pm

and there’s the answerback. Mason is getting clobbered.

litz

November 14th, 2010
6:07 pm

Pavelec is now in the game.

litz

November 14th, 2010
6:08 pm

Little just cut it back to 4-3 …

(lotta activity in just a few short minutes in this game)

Nate

November 14th, 2010
6:09 pm

Mason…what a waste of money thus far. Now Pavs is in. As a goalie you have to give your team a chance to win. Clearly he did not tonight. No excuse for Mason’s play tonight. It just sucked.

litz

November 14th, 2010
6:21 pm

SHORTY!

Looks like Ladd bounced one off the goaltender, and Little poke it home!

litz

November 14th, 2010
6:23 pm

Or is it … play under review …

litz

November 14th, 2010
6:23 pm

Nope, good goal! and a tie game!

stendek

November 14th, 2010
6:52 pm

Just tuned back in. Between periods. See Crapitals lost interest after they went up by two goals. From highlights Marshmallow Mason looked abysmal. Again. Ship him. Goalie at farm club can be no worse! Look for Pavs to make several magical saves in third period but allow winner on whiff job. Believe Thrasher offense is through. Fans here will cry moral victory. In reality it will be no points. Again! With losing streak intact. Hope I am wrong. Really do! STENDEK

stendek

November 14th, 2010
7:05 pm

Guess Falcons are NOW top NFC team huh? Thanks Cowboys! STENDEK

Thrashers27

November 14th, 2010
7:25 pm

I’ve never seen a Thrashers team play so well along the boards as they have tonight. Anyone else see Buff trap the puck between stick and wall to push it up off the ice and gain control? That guy is something else.

Wonder what Mason’s deal is. He seems to have lost his mojo.

Brendan

November 14th, 2010
7:33 pm

Hate to pull a Stendec here, but I honestly thought … after that “fluky” Ovechkin goal … that UNLESS Mason got in the zone, … I just felt, in my gut, to put Pavelec in. By the time the 3rd Capitals goal was in, it was second time the Thrash trailed by two. But Mason stayed. And then, the Capital got ANOTHER two-goal lead, at 4-2. Finally, Ramsay says … “Pavs, get up. You’re goin’ in.”

The result? A “no decision” for Mason. This game will either be won or lost by Pavelec. By rule, the winning and losing goalie is the one in net when the winning or losing goal is scored. Crud, the Capitals just scored. Erskine, I think, to make it, 4-3. What I was going to say was … “let’s not give away that ‘pity point’ that we have going. Until this moment, Pavelec had not given up a goal.

Last time around, Kane scored in the final seconds to secure a point. I think Kane has it within him … to do it again!!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers won today, so they are still nippin’ at the Falcons heels, at 6-3. The good news is … the Falcons actually won a two-game lead on the Bucs, given that the Falcons have won a head-to-head game with Tampa Bay. Can you believe the Dallas Cowboys had responded like this?, in their 1st game under their new coach? Well, you would, if you believe the Cowboys have been playing to get Wade Phillips fired. Enough football talk. Go Thrashers!!!

Brendan

November 14th, 2010
7:36 pm

Thrashers are crashin’ and bagin’! The chances have been there. One went just over Kane’s stick in the goal crease. Ladd just had a chance. Two minutes to go!! Time to think about pulling the goalie.

Brendan

November 14th, 2010
7:39 pm

54.6 seconds left. Thrashers take a timeout to rest the PP unit, effectively. This is the moment … when you really find out what Thrasher management thinks of you. If Ramsay believes you can score and tie this game, you’re who goes out on that ice. If not, you sit.

stendek

November 14th, 2010
7:41 pm

Was I right huh? In my estimation Pathetic Pavs is no better than Marshmallow Mason! Know what apologists? A loss is still a damn loss. Guess that idiotic clueless moron Craig Petrino will cry that Thrashers deserved a better result. QUITTERS DID NOT! Bums are losers and will always be losers. Hope Crapitals put dozen on em at Philips Arena. No guts. No pride. No heart. No toughness. No character. No points. NO CHANCE! To all who wish to defend that two goal loss debacle. Shut the Hell up. No excuse for that shet! PERIOD. STENDEK

Brendan

November 14th, 2010
7:42 pm

Empty-netter ends it, 6-4. The Thrashers are now under .500, and outside of playoff position, on November 14, 2010. If you’ll recall our preseason talk, this blog debated, substantively, about where we’d be on or around this date.

Your thoughts?

stendek

November 14th, 2010
7:52 pm

I am going to print up a tee shirt along with some bumper stickers that say I HATE THE THRASHERS! Quitters really gall my a$$. Apologists line up. What just happened? Thrashers extend losing streak! Thrashers get no points. Six more goals against to maintain that 6.0 GAA. So screw all of you sunshine and lollipops delusionists! Way to go Pathetic Pavs. Who needs Sori Letemin with YOU between pipes? Damn choking bestard! Hope attendance figures pleased Zach. Damn loser! STENDEK

stendek

November 14th, 2010
7:54 pm

Cannot tell you my true thoughts Brendan! Would be deleted immediately. STENDEK

Tom Lysiak

November 14th, 2010
7:57 pm

Man, I hope Boults is OK. That was a rough go with that cement-head Erskine.

LAC

November 14th, 2010
7:59 pm

Just awful… When we play the elite we LOSE, Period. We need to make changes, another bigger name scorer, but we need to RID OURSELVES of zach B. This kid is now playing at ECHL level, I doubt he could play defense in Juniors anymore… He has LOST it, his defense is TERRIBLE.

Just hate losing when we were in a good position, TB lost and we could have moved ahead of them, but after this weekend, a lottery pick is in our future, because the playoffs… ARE NOT !

R. Stroz

November 14th, 2010
8:00 pm

Tonight’s suck player of the game award:

Mason Sucks!

Brendan

November 14th, 2010
8:06 pm

Red Light, can I task you with something, at your convenience, sir? I promise. It’s not grandios, and won’t take an exceptional amount of your time. Is it my opinion, or a demonstrable fact, that the Washington Capitals are a “upper echeleon” team, in the NHL, over the past 3-4 seasons? Can we get a DEFINITIVE answer on that, through research? Follow up research topic, is it my opinion, or a fairly clear-cut FACT, that George McPhee is an “above average” GM in this league? Can we get his CAREER won/loss record? Could I reasonably get away with saying, “George McPhee is an upper echelon GM?” Would calling George McPhee an “elite” GM, be an exaggeration? I look forward to what your research finds, Red Light.

For the sake of argument, let’s just say … that the 3-time defending Southeast Division Champions, and defending President’s Trophy winners … are an ELITE franchise, in today’s NHL. Is it right to throw the Thrashers under the bus, after a loss, on the road, to such a team? Or to do the very same after a Thrasher loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who won the Eastern Conference in 2008 and 2009, including the Stanley Cup, in 2009?

Let the record show … that I don’t come here, after every loss, to dump on the the BELOW THE FLOOR of cap Thrashers, with the arguably the worst ownership in the NHL.

stendek

November 14th, 2010
8:07 pm

Marshmallow Mason may have sucked but he was on sidelines when Pathetic Pavs whiffed in losing goal. Anyone who believes Thrashers tried to win are mentally challenged. No accurate shots on net during final 20 minutes! Craig Petrino refused to push his heroes too far. Brainless bald bestard. May losing streak extend for a long long time! No better than these a$$hole quitters and their few delusional followers deserve. STENDEK

stendek

November 14th, 2010
8:10 pm

Playoffs? Check with Jim Mora Sr on that. What a bad joke! STENDEK

stendek

November 14th, 2010
8:12 pm

Thrashers just alienated their two remaining fans. Hear there is a solid hockey fan base in Hamilton! Listening quitters? STENDEK