Thrashers fall to 3-5-1 at home with 2-1 loss to Panthers

Before we get into discussing Wednesday night’s game, allow me to apologize for seemingly shirking my blogging responsibilities of late. As many of you know, I’ve been away on a business trip to Miami and just got home tonight in time to watch the action at Philips Arena from the comfort of my couch. I’ve made several such trips during my 3+ years of hosting this online forum, but never before has one been so busy that it prevented me from getting some sort of blogs posted.

This trip, though…well, let’s just say I’m lad to finally be home.

Tomas Vokoun turns aside a shot from Evander Kane. It was one of the 38 saves he made in the 2-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Tomas Vokoun turns aside a shot from Evander Kane. It was one of the 38 saves he made in the 2-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Speaking of being home…that’s exactly where the Thrashers will be for the next couple of weeks. Beginning with tonight’s 2-1 loss, they’ll play six straight in Thrasherville. For the month of November 10 of 14 will be played in the friendly confines of Philips, and not until they travel to Denver on the 30th will they again don the white away jerseys.

And getting the homestand kicked off with a win would have been nice, however…

For the third time in a row, and second time in as many home dates, the Thrashers dropped a closely contested game…this time by the score of 2-1. The Panthers got a great game from goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who stopped 38 of the 39 shots Atlanta took on him.

Florida erased a 1-0 Thrashers lead in the second period with goals from Stephen Weiss and Radek Dvorak. This was after Zach Bogosian spotted the Thrashers to an early lead. Bogey got his ticket punched to leave Schnide Island at the 7:18 mark of the first opened the night’s scoring and was the first goal scored by the 2008 first round draft pick since March 25.

But the Thrashers certainly had their chances to level the score in the third period. Unfortunately, Vokoun robbed them at every turn, kicking out all 18 shots he was called upon to save.

Gotta give big kudos to Chris Thorburn how gutted a great performance during his last shift of the first period. He had just blocked a shot with his left leg and had lost his stick falling to the ice. But the Panthers kept the puck in the zone for about a minute after the play…probably on of the longest minutes of Thorburn’s life. He was visibly hobbled by the shot taken, but he stayed with the play, even with no stick, and even moved into position to block a shot if he needed to once Florida got the puck back out to the point.

That, my friends, showed a great deal of grit and determination from the Thrashers forward and is the kind of inspired play that will pump teammates up to match that level of performance and desire to do whatever it takes to win.

Prior to Thorburn’s painful shift, defenseman Dustin Byfuglien had also taken one for the team as he took a shot high on the leg close to the blueline. It was the last play of the night for Buff as he was unable to return to play due to the “lower body” injury.

Ondrej Pavelec was the tough-luck loser of the game, allowing but 2 goals on 34 Panther SOG. Despite his 1-4-2 record, Opie has a very solid 2.33 GAA and .928 SV%. Given the lack of back-to-back games until the second weekend of December, Chris Mason may not see a lot of ice time for quite a while.

Dispite hurting from a recently blocked shot, Chris Thorburn continued to play defense and even went down to block this Bryan McCabe shot (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Despite hurting from a recently blocked shot, Chris Thorburn found a way to finish out the shift and even went down attempting to block this Bryan McCabe shot (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

In the latter half of the game, coach Graig Ramsay shortened his bench to get Kane, Burmistrov and other on the ice for longer periods of time. Ben Eager only saw 8:58 TOI, Eric Boulton had 8:15 of ice time while Jimmy Slater skated for just 6 minutes and three seconds.

During the post-game presser, Ramsay lamented the play of his team in the second period. He was especially displeased with the way Florida netted their game-winner late in that period as the Thrashers again fell victim to sloppy play in their defensive zone. Ramsay looks to the leaders in the locker room to help address this problem. He believes that coaches can go over these breakdowns with the players over and over, but until the guys in the locker room decide to hold each other accountable for these plays, there’s only so much the coaching staff can do.

“We go over it all the time”, Ramsay told Chris Vivlamore. ”We talk about it. We show the video. Until the team takes charge of their dressing room, it’s not going to change.”

I guess this would be the perfect thing for the Thrashers team captain to discuss with the rest of the team as they…oh, wait…sorry. Never mind.

Things don’t get a heckuva lot easier for Atlanta. Friday night the Washington Capitals pay Thrasherville a visit, then after the Islander come in Sunday it’ll be Detroit, Montreal and Boston heading to town. That will bring to a close the 10 home games month of November.

So far, they are 1-3-1 in the first five of those 10 games at Philips and 3-5-1 overall at home for the season.

Ah yes…there is nothing like home, sweet home.

99 comments Add your comment

Alan R.

November 18th, 2010
12:56 pm

Pavs did have a super game last night, but on the first goal, he cannot leave the post open. He’s also go to stay off of his stomach. Someone PLEASE work on his weight transfers and footwork!

I heard somewhere that the consultant is in town, and has been working with both goalies. I’m pretty surprised that, despite everything Pavelec has done good, that he still goes down like… well, I won’t say it, but everyone here knows what I mean ;)

glovesave29

November 18th, 2010
1:04 pm

Stroz…than just sit him. He’s hurting the team and himself by playing. I give him credit for gutting it out.

Alan – Malarchuk is our goalie coach. Ya just wonder if Clint has Ondrej’s attention. The physical tools and athleticism is certainly there. Right now he’s like Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh…he needs to listen to his Crash Davis…aka his goalie coach.

Smoothie

November 18th, 2010
1:17 pm

Stroz – he doesn’t have to be on IR to sit. We can carry 14 forwards.

glove – I do believe Malrchuk has had some positive impact on the young Pav. Also, to your point about Bogey, you’re being too easy on him. He had every chance to use his stick to take away Weiss’ fore-hand on the play…he was well within reach of him if he moved his feet. But instead he just coasted and watched as Johhny flailed helplessly to get the puck. Like you said, he could’ve at least tried to ride him off the play with his body. Oh wait, Zach only hits people when they are facing the glass or sitting ducks in the corner.

Bill – at least Rammer is finally wising up and putting a big, fast body (Eager) and Burma in the middle with Antro on the RW. If he’s gonna play, I think that’s the best case scenario since Burma is our best pass-first center.

World Be Free

November 18th, 2010
1:34 pm

Willie B-good for you and your service, but remember I am not one of the owners.

You don’t want to spend your money there, that’s your call. Right now the issue is on the ice and the guys not playing up to their expectations.

joedaiceman

November 18th, 2010
1:54 pm

I’m pretty sure putting Thrash out there to skate with the boys will not be a downgrade. Duds undoubtedly smoking the funny cigs in his Ivory Tower that convinces him all is well. Hey Duds – Thrash won’t cost you a penny against that salary cap that you refuse to utilize to build a real hockey team here in Atlanta.

Flames

November 18th, 2010
1:54 pm

I’m Just so frustrated! We need someone to step up and be a leader. That second period last night was just embarrassing. I truly enjoy watching Burmistrov play. He is an exciting player to watch. I think we should appoint Buff Captain. Then my second vote would be Ladd. Any news on Cormier?

Cornbread

November 18th, 2010
2:27 pm

Lots of blame being thrown around and placed on Bogosian for the first goal. Typical that the D-men are usually the goats when a team gets beat. BUT, the blame for the first goal can clearly be placed on Bergfors. The coach even alluded to it in his presser without calling him out by name.

The puck was dumped in hard from Bogo’s side. The puck made it all the way to the opposite half-wall where it was easily recovered by FL. It happens. Unfortunately, both ATL and FL were going opposite directions at that point. And per Ramsay’s system, Oduya, the now strong side D-man, was pinching in to the point. Bergfors was now the weak side high forward and instead of backchecking and covering for his pinching man – who had his man covered – changed his momentum and went for the same guy. This left basically a 2 on 1 that Oduya never recovered from and allowed Weiss to split between him and Bogo. Bogo, the far side D-man, had his man. Allow an NHLer speed through the neutral zone and not too many guys are going to stop him. Weiss was Bergfors’ man. He blew it.

The dump-in did not go as planned. That wasn’t the problem nor was the execution of 4 of the skaters on the ice at the time. The breakdown on the play that led to the goal clearly came from Bergfors. Good things usually don’t happen when you get three forwards – and a D-man – along the same wall. Play the system boys. It’s easy and a beautiful thing when everyone is playing the same game.

Smoothie

November 18th, 2010
2:31 pm

“Bogo, the far side D-man, had his man”

Hate to argue such nitpicky points, but that man was hardly a threat as Weiss was driving hard with no intent to pass. Plus, a pass would’ve been pretty tough considering the angle and Bogey’s placement on the ice. But he was still within reach of Weiss and could have done something. Then again, some would argue that Pavs must take away the fore-hand, but I thought it was the D’s responsiblity to give weak-side help when the goalie has the puck possessor.

glovesave29

November 18th, 2010
2:42 pm

That deep in the slot, the proper play by Bogo would have been to lay out on the ice and cut off Weiss’ ability to cross across the face of the goal, thus giving Pavs the upper hand by taking away half of the net.

Cornbread

November 18th, 2010
2:50 pm

And let me add that FL’s first goal was a beautifully executed break-out goal. Pretty all around on their part. It looked like a tic-tac-toe back and forth down the ice passing drill that all teams from pee-wees up practice.

JB

November 18th, 2010
2:56 pm

Andrew Ladd named Captain. Buff & Toby get the As

lola

November 18th, 2010
3:08 pm

Our team did not play to their potential and that was not fun to watch, but my friends and I had lots of fun screaming at them and telling them what they should do. We also had the bonus of watching one of the Panthers getting his tooth pulled {Give Bood – Play Hockey!} And I watched my man #36 giving pointers to Burmistrov who seemed to be paying attention! Let’s get a win on Friday!!!

Red Light

November 18th, 2010
3:10 pm

From my post on August 24.

“Unless I miss my guess, Antropov will be your captain…I’m no fan of Euro captains, but if Ladd had been inked to more than a one year deal, he would have been an excellent choice in my opinion, even though he hasn’t played one game yet. He learned from great leaders in his past: Brind’amour, Francis, Wesley, Toews, etc.”

Just saying…

Rawhide

November 18th, 2010
3:13 pm

:!: ANDREW LADD NAMED THRASHERS CAPTAIN!! :!:

JB – As you correctly posted…C-Viv writes that Andrew Ladd will wear the C for the Thrashers.

Byfuglien and Enstrom will be alternates.

JB

November 18th, 2010
3:16 pm

wanted to see if i could get the news up here first :-)

World Be Free

November 18th, 2010
3:35 pm

Was Rammer reading the blog?

Cornbread

November 18th, 2010
3:41 pm

Watch the tape Smoothie. It’s not nitpicky. It is the reason the goal was scored. Weiss was Bergfors’ man not Bogos. Bergfors had Weiss and let him go. Weiss was inside Oduya essentailly creating a 2 on 1 against Bogo. If Bogo goes for Weiss at that point it leaves Stillman wide open on the back door.

Bogo had his man covered and Bergfors left him out to dry and take the fall as evident with all the criticism. He was put in a bad spot that should not have occured had a team mate done their job. I’ve been critical of Bogosian’s play myself, particularly last year. This goal, however, was not against him.

As an old D-man, it drives me crazy when forwards blow their coverage and the blame is always placed on the D or the goalie. Playing D as a wing is the easiest job on the ice. Bergfors was irresponsible and pulled a Kovalchuck by going after the puck instead of going where the puck was going next.

Cornbread

November 18th, 2010
3:44 pm

Well that is good news. Maybe the Captaincy will thwart the mutiny that is going on here and elsewhere. Great Alternate selections as well.

Hokie P. Clisters

November 18th, 2010
3:44 pm

I don’t know if naming Ladd captain is going to change anything. I hope it does, the Thrashers make the playoffs, and Ramsey is coach of the year. However, it appears to be a last grasp effort to salvage a season. I really like Rammer but maybe there’s a reason he has never been a head coach too long…….no doubt that the Florida game was a must win in the minds of Ramsey and Duds. Coach pretty much laid it out after the game….we either improve or nosedive from here. I wonder how long Ramsey will last if we nosedive?

Rawhide

November 18th, 2010
4:00 pm

Was Rammer reading the blog?

WBF – Why yes…I’m sure he was. :cool:

Actually, you’d be surprised who inside the organ-I-zation has been trolling this little blog thing.

Everyone – Per C-Viv tweet, “Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal for Thrashers vs. Caps Friday”.

Smoothie

November 18th, 2010
4:05 pm

“Watch the tape Smoothie. It’s not nitpicky. It is the reason the goal was scored”

I wasn’t saying you were nit-picking…it was more a self-scolding for continuing to pick nits because I realize there are a lot of things that go into a hockey play and goals can result from team breakdowns such as the one you are explaining. And you’re right, I’m not disputing that. My point is that the lack of effort (and it’s clear as day on the tape replay from all three angles) by Zach right were the goals are being scored. The 2nd man in (Frolik?) drifts wide and pretty much takes himself out of the play because he knows Weiss is driving hard. Zach is STILL close enough to make a play on the puck IF HE TRIES! He’s already turned towards Weiss and away from the other forward. That’s the point: one mistake (turning the wrong way) could’ve been corrected with some desperation and effort on Zach’s part (see glovesave’s comment on diving to break it up). As Bergie’s TEAMmate, it’s Zach’s job to pick him up and make a goal-saving play. This instance is emblematic of a greater problem with Zach giving up on plays or not working hard enough. That’s the bigger issue. At least Johnny O was trying to stop Weiss.

Barney Rubble

November 18th, 2010
4:12 pm

Joe Friday

November 18th, 2010
4:27 pm

“I don’t know if naming Ladd captain is going to change anything.”

I think it’ll help. I also think it will help to get Cormier in the lineup.

Looking forward to a lot more fun at Phillips Arena tonight (and a soldout house), anyone else going? “So ya, thought ya, might like to go to the show . . .” and then a lot more fun at the game Friday night, see if Ladd can help tear down some of the walls in between the ears of some our knucklehead players

Smoothie

November 18th, 2010
4:42 pm

Joe – he may need a crowbar to crack open the wall in some of these players’ heads.

@not_CThorburn

November 18th, 2010
4:48 pm

Bill, thanks for the kudos. I almost had to change my shorts after that shift.

I’ve got a serious bruise but don’t worry, my hair was not harmed in any way.

Chris

Alan R.

November 18th, 2010
4:56 pm

Typical that the D-men are usually the goats when a team gets beat.

I honestly can’t remember, but were you here when Lehtonen was the goalie? No matter what he did, he would get crapped on. He made 51 saves in a game against the Capitals in 2008, and was 1:03 from a shutout, and got scored on. And someone complained about it.

@not_CThorburn

November 18th, 2010
4:57 pm

Thanks to R.Stroz, Thrashers27, Cornbread, HonkyTonkHero, Joe Friday, Stephen, and anyone I missed for your support.

Ladd will make a great Captain.

He needs to let his hair grow a bit and use some moisturizer, but other than that he will make a great Captain.

R. Stroz

November 18th, 2010
4:57 pm

Smoothie – How about a Sledge-O-Matic

Spud Webb

November 18th, 2010
5:50 pm

I love the comments about bogo, crap like “he’s not to sharpe” basically calling him dumb. You guys/girls ever hung out with him? Why do you have to question someones intelligence because he had a bad hockey game? Poor taste for sure.

Spud Webb

November 18th, 2010
5:55 pm

RedLight, I vote you as captain, get down there and take care of business. ahhahahah wooooooooooo.

Hokey P. Clisters

November 18th, 2010
6:31 pm

Joe – I will be very happy if it helps. Ladd is already a Thrasher favorite with his play. Cormier could also be tone setter down the line. If Ladd can help turn the team around then we certainly will sign him long term, won’t we? Knowing the AS as were do that could be an issue. It certainly is going to pad his wallet if the team improves from here. The Thrashers are going to have to pay one way or another…plus I hope Ladd has at least 6 crowbars to assist him in the assimilation process.

R. Stroz

November 18th, 2010
6:39 pm

Spud – Bogosian has made plenty of mistakes over the course of this season and last. He seems indecisive at best, when deciding whether to “take the man” or remain “in his zone.” As a result, he does neither well.

Often, his clearing attempts end up being easily intercepted before clearing the defensive zone, resulting in prolonged shifts for the entire team.

Add to that, he has a propensity to rim the puck before he crosses center ice, resulting in unnecessary icing calls.

These mistakes are why I question his “hockey sense.”

cousin Eddie

November 18th, 2010
6:48 pm

great points by cornbread and smoothi- I didn’t have the luxury of seeing the replay so I rescind my earlier comments about Zack being totally at fault. The little breakdowns are what kill ya just like Ramsay says.

Red Light

November 18th, 2010
6:58 pm

Thorburn feature and a couple of choice observations from Ramsay (prior to last night’s game). Hordichuk tomorrow I hope!

http://www.sportssoutheast.com/index.php/red-light-report/59-nhl/226-commitment-is-a-thorburn-trademark

Cornbread

November 18th, 2010
7:02 pm

Alan I’ve been watching the Thrashers since day 1. I’ve been reading the posts here and at the message boards for several years. I got sick of reading the MBs because many posters had no clue what they were talking about when it came to hockey. Here it is better (some days I do wonder though). In this game it’s easy to blame the last guy involved in giving up a goal. It starts with the goalie and works its way out from there. When in many cases – like both of last night’s GAs – fault lies and/or begins with the forwards who typically get off scot-free.

Bogo has deserved a lot of past criticism as have past Thrasher teams. Not this time though. They had a bad period but good has come from it. I am seeing something in this team that I have not seen before in ATL. The key word is team. They are now playing like one instead of freelancing individuals playing shinny hockey. That started with Dudley and Ramsay is now charged with making it work. They may not be as skilled as the elite teams in the league (and they have plenty of skill and depth) but they are getting very close to the point of competing with and beating them every time they step on the ice.

Last night was not a blowout. And to act like it was is over the top. Should they have won? Yes, but even the elites are going to lose like that. I understand everyone’s frustration and that includes the player’s and coach’s. I believe it stems from their knowing that they can win against the best of them. I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. Lose the next 5 bad, maybe. But, that is not going to happen.

Big game Friday night. I expect big things.

Flames

November 18th, 2010
7:04 pm

We still need another scorer. Who will be on trading block that we could get around the dead line. I hope we are still in the playoff hunt by then. Smoothie who do you think will be available. You are usually looking at these possibilties. We will have plenty of cap room.

World Be Free

November 18th, 2010
7:27 pm

Ladd was the guy mentioned most as captain material on the blog, so I think it is a good choice. Better than having no captain at all, that is for sure. Almost suggested Thorny after his gutsy play last night after taking the shot. More guys need to follow his lead.

Ladd’s time in Carolina and Chicago during their Cup runs will be useful here. Now it’s time to get his name on a 3 year deal to build with your captain.

World Be Free

November 18th, 2010
7:28 pm

Flames-get Sturm from Boston; B’s need to make a deal and Marco would be an upgrade as long as his knee is cool.

Alan R.

November 18th, 2010
7:40 pm

Alan I’ve been watching the Thrashers since day 1. I’ve been reading the posts here and at the message boards for several years.

I meant no offense by my statement. It was only to say that people here haven’t always blamed D-men.

Hello

November 18th, 2010
8:15 pm

Mr. Bill, has a certain blogger been banned?

Rawhide

November 18th, 2010
8:29 pm

Anybody else watching this Lightning-Flyers game? With 30 minutes played and 30 left to go, there have been 13 goals scored.

7-6 Philly halfway through the second period.

rob

November 18th, 2010
9:06 pm

Been awhile since I posted, but enough is enough is enough already! There was a decent crowd there last night, for Atlanta on a Wednesday night. Wife scored some free tickets in 101 on the glass, NICE seats!!! There was ZERO ZIP NADA NO feel from the fans there AT ALL!!! I was at the season opener and 2nd Sabres game and the place was rocking! Could it be because the music guy was getting the fans involved? Dare I say Thrash was running all over the place, banging his drum and getting the fans involved? All those people sitting there uninvolved while a hockey game was going on right there in front of them! I know it’s the south and we have some southern hospitality and all, but DAMN, make some freaking noise people! I tried unsuccessfully to get many chants going, only once did I get any response (Thanks whoever it was who had the smaller drum or whatever behind us some distance I would have continued but my voice finally gave out!)! Talked to Vokoun after he let Zach off the Isle of Zilch, called their defenseman a lumberjack after working over Bergfors, booed the refs after HORRIBLE non-calls (another topic all together that I was LIVID about but whatever)! These games are what will get this team into the playoffs! Inter division rivalries! Where is the EXCITEMENT? Get someone in the music side that can get the place MOTIVATED again. It isn’t rocket science people, the players feed off of the energy in the building! Juggling the Defense hurt and I knew we were in trouble when I saw Sopes and Enstrom paired up as they rotated everyone. Why that whole place didn’t give Thors a standing ovation is beyond me…..he deserves our undying loyalty after that show of guts and I’m not even a big Thors fan. Bolts needs to be sat, he is taking up space in a 4 line team. If he is giving Burmi pointers we are screwed….and on the topic of Burmi, kudos to you for staying out there while the refs allowed the Panthers to take as many runs at you as they wanted without a penalty after the incident in the corner, didn’t see how the guy fell but he got up and skated away from it seemingly just fine after play stopped.

Ramsey is still at the helm, but damn she’s taking on water quick and listing to port!!!!!!

RAWHIDE,
any word on Cormier? If Duds says shakeups a comin’, who’s playing best up in Chi town?

Rawhide

November 18th, 2010
9:31 pm

rob – My understanding is that Cormier is 90% complete with rehab.

Dwayne

November 18th, 2010
9:57 pm

90% of Cormier has got to be better than 100% of ________. (insert name)

Laddy

November 18th, 2010
10:01 pm

After estimating the size of our interal issues………..I’m gonna need a bigger crowbar.

Dwayne

November 18th, 2010
10:08 pm

Laddy, you might want to try a jack hammer

Rawhide

November 18th, 2010
10:13 pm

R. Stroz

November 19th, 2010
2:11 pm

Rawhide

November 21st, 2010
8:17 am

R. Stroz – Nope.