29 saves by Pavelec and 60 minutes of solid play help Thrashers blank Caps

There are a lot of numbers and stats that one can choose to highlight from the Thrashers shutout of the Washington Capitals.

You could begin with the 5 goals scored by the Atlanta Thrashers Friday night, and the zero scored by the Caps…There’s also the 36 shots Atlanta took on the Capital’s goal while they in return launched 29 on us… Five different players scored for the Thrashers, nine players recorded at least a point while three had multi-point efforts…Three Thrashers finished a +3 for the game, Nik Antropov, Ben Eager and Alex Burmistrov… And seven finished with a +2 rating, Zach Bogosian, Dustin Byfuglien, Ron Hainsey, Evander Kane, Bryan Little, Johnny Oduya and Anthony Stewart.

It goes on and on…

Ondrej Pavelec stops one of the 29 shots he faced versus the Washington Capitals Friday night (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Ondrej Pavelec stops one of the 29 shots he faced versus the Washington Capitals Friday night. The shutout was his first of the season and third of his career (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

But the number that stands out most for me following the 5-0 whacking of Washington is 60…as in 60 complete, solid, consistent minutes of tough, aggressive, hard-nosed, battle-‘til-the-end type of hockey put in by the home team. It was indeed their most complete game of the 2010-11 season.

I guess all it took was the head coach calling them out for “quitting” and naming Andrew Ladd team captain, eh?

Pavelec was very sharp between the pipes on this winning night, but much credit for this shutout must also be given to the skaters in front of him. Most of the shots Pavelec faced were not from close in, and when Pavs kicked one out into play there was a defender in great position to sweep the puck away from danger. Opie stopped all 29 Capitals shot he faced for his first shutout of the season and third in his NHL career and the defenders blocked another 18 shots fired by the Caps.

“The guys did a good job in front of me”, Pavelec told John Kincade after the game. “I always saw the first shot then they got it after that”.

Since coming on in relief for Chris Mason last Sunday, Pavelec has turned aside 76 of the 79 shots he’s faced in just under eight periods of play. That equates to a .962 SV% and 1.22 GAA during that stretch of time. And with the win Friday, his record improves to 2-4-2 with a shining 2.05 GAA and impressive .936 SV%.

Oh yeah…and one shutout now too.

Washington Capitals goals were not the only thing missing from this game. Also not to be seen were any of the e-GREEE-gious defensive zone mistakes that have plagued this Thrashers team for much of the season. From the drop of the puck to the final horn, attention to detail was given on each shift.

Ben Eager and Nik Antropov danced all night long through the Capitals defense. Each had a goal, an assists and finished +3 in the 5-0 win (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Ben Eager and Nik Antropov danced all night long through the Capitals defense. Each had a goal, an assists and finished +3 in the 5-0 win (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

On the offensive side of the ice…the tone was set early on by a beardless Ben Eager. After executing a solid check along the offensive boards, Eager slid his way along the goal line to a position in front of Washington’s goal. Nik Antropov found his linemate there for the games first goal just 2:42 into the game.

It appears as though Eager and Antropov got the message coach Ramsay sent when their ice time was cut drastically last Wednesday during the 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers.

Later in the opening period, Antropov capitalized on a bobbled rebound by rookie Caps keeper Braden Holtby. Just 15 seconds later Evander Kane moved the puck around the back of the net, turned and snapped it through the goalie for his eighth goal of the season.

That was the fifth shot Holtby saw in the game…and it was also his last.

Dustin Byfuglien and Alex Burmistrov then dazzled the crowd with a pair of highlight reel goals to provide Atlanta’s fourth and fifth goals. Buff came with under a minute remaining in the second while Burmey’s zig-zag move capped the scoring at the 17:17 mark of the third.

Preceding Burmistrov’s nifty score was a full game’s worth of hard-working effort on both ends of the ice. There were numerous occasions where he hustled his butt through center ice to participate in defending would-be fast breaks and odd-man rushes.

I know, I know…the young 19-year old rookie simply hasn’t been around these parts long enough to know that this is not the kind of performance we’re accustomed to seeing from a Russian goal scoring forward wearing a Thrashers jersey. But like the rest of what I saw for 60 minutes on both ends of the ice Friday night … I could get used to it.

60 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

November 20th, 2010
12:05 am

Smoothie

November 20th, 2010
12:08 am

Will you write a new blog once in awhile? Ha! Talk about a proliferation of Tillerosity! Looks like the trip to the tropics really sparked some creative juices. Nice work Billy! 3 blogs in what? 36 hours? Don’t wear yourself out! ;-)

Oh yeah, that game wasn’t too shabby was it? Bur-maestro!!

michael

November 20th, 2010
12:10 am

few minor things that stood out to me tonight was ladd saying something to burmy when he passed him the puck for his goal, bogo’s speed and stick work, he cleared a few pucks when it mattered the most, and unfortunately i think we had a 5-3 pp?and didnt score. incredible game, huge win.

michael

November 20th, 2010
12:11 am

btw best mustaches in the league.

lola

November 20th, 2010
12:12 am

Great game! Yep, I can get used to that — How ’bout it Thrashers?

Michael B. Shapiro

November 20th, 2010
12:27 am

Very good game. Lots of blocked shots and great back-checking. Only a few times early on when we struggled to clear. Heard the pipes clunked twice, but otherwise Opie was very sharp limiting rebounds and hustling back to the crease when he had gone behind the net. Lots of sticks in lanes and as Bill said, the first 60 full minutes I’ve seen all year. Burmy’s goal after being hooked was phenomenal. Refs, as usual, favored the opposition. Saw two flagrant fouls right in front of zebras that weren’t called, but oh so nice to have lots of plus marks for us and a big goose-egg on Alexander you weren’t oh so great tonight Ov. Go Thrash!

Alan R.

November 20th, 2010
12:33 am

Burmistrov idolizes Datsyuk. Tonight, he executed Datsyukian moves. I think the man himself would be impressed.

I loved every second of it. This is one goal I’ll never get tired of seeing.

R. Stroz

November 20th, 2010
12:34 am

Burmistrov looks like a hybrid of the best traits of Hossa and Kovalchuk. that young man has GAME.

Neuvirth (The Caps Goalie)

November 20th, 2010
12:37 am

Has anyone seen my junk?

Did that Burmistrov guy have a job as a TSA agent?

Alan R.

November 20th, 2010
12:55 am

Neuvirth – He might. He completely, swiftly, and expertly undressed you, after all.

hoosier_hoser

November 20th, 2010
1:02 am

I watched Burmistrov at the prospects camp. I thought he had potential.

I watched Burmistrov in training camp and pre-season matches. I thought he was overmatched and easily separated from the puck.

From where did this superstar in waiting come?

Jcwhitingjr

November 20th, 2010
1:06 am

Phenominal game. If you told me prior that we’d win I’d have said “ok”. If you’d told me we’d shut them out, I’d have thought you one fry short of a Happy Meal. The effort put forth tonight was something not really seen in Blueland for some time. As for 60 minutes, there was a time there in the 2nd period where it looked like they were being visited by the ghost of the last game’s 2nd period but to their credit, they got rid of that unwanted visitor fairly quickly and back on track.

hoosier_hoser

November 20th, 2010
1:06 am

Would someone be good enough to inform me when coincidental minors result in 5 on 5 and when they result in 4 on 4.

Thanks …

Jcwhitingjr

November 20th, 2010
1:07 am

Burmi didn’t only get Neuvirth, he got Schultz on that play as well.

Alan R.

November 20th, 2010
1:32 am

I watched Burmistrov in training camp and pre-season matches. I thought he was overmatched and easily separated from the puck.

I watched the first few games of the season, and with each passing game I watched, I saw Burmistrov improve. Exponentially. He grew accustomed to what the coaches wanted out of him, and did his level best to do exactly as he was told. As a result, he earned his stay, and is now making highlight reel goals.

Man, do I love what this kid brings to the game.

Cornbread

November 20th, 2010
3:34 am

The Atlanta Thrashers are a good team.

Congrats Burmi for making NHL on the Fly’s top highlight goal of the night.

Brian P

November 20th, 2010
3:50 am

I was glad to be at this game… If they continue to give effort like they did tonight, I can easily see myself springing for season tickets instead of just a few games on occasions. And this is coming from a poor college student with limited resources…

The Real Thrash

November 20th, 2010
7:43 am

I guess Eager got the message.

FormerIslesFan

November 20th, 2010
7:47 am

Wow. Just simply wow. I don’t know that you can say anything more about the effort because it ws an amazing night to be a Thrashers’ fan. I agree entirely with the comments above about the backchecking and Bogosian and Burmistrov specifically. I saw two different 2 on 1s last night where the lone defenseman saw that he was getting help from a pursuing player and then shifted over to take the shooter while allowing the backchecker to stifle the pass. That is clearly a designed defensive play and was executed (at least) twice to perfection to take away what was otherwise a great Caps’ scoring chance.

Great game, boys. Can’t wait to see you put it to (my former) Isles tomorrow night. You want to talk about a “must-win” game for the Thrashers? Points against a reeling team like the Isles are the ones you have to have when the final playoff spots are what you are fighting for at the end of the season…

Matt

November 20th, 2010
8:03 am

Glorious win…simply glorious. I’ve been critical of this team for the failure to play a full 60 minutes and have to give credit for a solid complete game last night. Great to finally see and Burmy’s goal was just sick.

Marcus Valdes

November 20th, 2010
8:05 am

I can’t believe my son got sick and we missed that game. And we were going to go too. It would have been fun! The only thing that still worries me is that we lose to teams like the Panthers. When we have some game to game consistency, I will be truly happy. In the mean time, Burmy’s goal was simply a work of art. I have watched it over and over and over. I need to get his rookie card signed QUICK! I only wish we had signed him for more than three years.

Also, congrats to Ladd on the “C”! I think Big Buff is a solid “A” who I could also see wearing the “C”. For some reason he seems to help gel the team as we saw in the second period against the Panthers when he wasn’t there and we fell apart!

Zoomo

November 20th, 2010
8:38 am

Watched the game and watched the highlight on On the Fly this morning. Burmy’s goal was spectacular, but I found myself rewinding Buff’s goal several times. That wrister was executed so quickly you can bearly see the stick move, and he got so much jucie on the puck. Buff has some tools! Love that he gets so many shots on net from the point.

The team has to build from this game forward. It’d be nice to run off 4 in a row or so,

Hockey Steve

November 20th, 2010
8:56 am

I had a feeling the team would come out on fire last night after Rammers comments on Wed and the new leadership in Ladd.

Burmie threw down the sickest goal of the season and Buff showed us some of his power forward moves!

A special thanks to all my butthead friends for being too busy to go to the game last night. I had no one to go with so I stayed home and watched on the tube =(

LAC

November 20th, 2010
9:39 am

No doubt here, a Perfect game. The guys from D.C. were Totally Out Played from the start and for once one of their young goalies did not beat us, he was not too good.

The Last Atlanta goal was GREAT, made D.C. look like a bottomfeeder and their faces told the story. However, after the game they seemed indifferent, saying it was only one game, but Friday night… They were WHIPPED !

Look for a solid effort Sunday as a BAD NYI team makes an appearance…

jen

November 20th, 2010
10:15 am

Heck of a game last night. Good to be a Thrashers fan this morning. Out of curiousity, Ovechkin’s been awful quiet by his usual standards against us this year….wonder if Kovy;s departure has taken some of the edge out of his play vs. us this year…just a theory.

Burmistrov’s goal was sick. Puck Daddy has linkage and I too was a Burmy dourbter, thinking he needed another year in Juniors, and that he was getting beat too much on the board to hang with full time NHL’ers. Thanks for proving me wrong! He’s one of the best to watch out there, and uncannily Datsuyk like.

lola

November 20th, 2010
10:16 am

Hockey Steve: No one to go with???? That is NO excuse! Remember you can always make new hockey friends!

alex

November 20th, 2010
10:21 am

in time of celebration and joy suddenly something cross my crazy mind or maybe no so crazy, folks forgive me but it could happen. we get 2 super star on the rise kane and burma, we get star in playing – buff., we get strong captain – leader lang and we get asg not able to keep anyone except cheap 4 liners. i am going for shot of vodka, need relaxation.

Midfield

November 20th, 2010
10:53 am

Burmistrov wears his number after Igor Larionov, arguably the best center I’ve ever seen play the game. That would be very nice to emulate.

moriler

November 20th, 2010
11:26 am

There are worse people for Burmonster to emulate than former Red Army skaters — certainly than the well-known #8 (while he may idolize Datsyuk, he’s said before his source of inspiration is Larionov). The Red Army was also known for 100% effort — though it was coerced out of fear, rather than desire, it’s still worth watching.

So: Now we know how good the Thrashers _can_ be when they show up to play. The next step is to show up to play every night, not just when you’re going against the top-flight teams. Can Ladd and Byfuglien teach them that? Booger was still slack a few times, but he made some smart moves as well (faking the cross-pass before shooting from the point to get the defender out of the way), so it looks like he may just have a lack of confidence.

Brendan

November 20th, 2010
11:32 am

Brendan

November 20th, 2010
11:33 am

Trixie, please amend the earlier mistake. :)

Brendan

November 20th, 2010
11:41 am

One thing I can add to last night’s post … is that it was good to see this team play with the lead! Admit it, folks. The Atlanta Thrashers do not play well with a lead. Last night, the team got the lead, played with the lead, and never looked back, en route to a shutout.

To quote R.Stroz, “The aliens are back.”

Hoof Arted

November 20th, 2010
11:54 am

Great effort last night. Reminded me of the 7-0 win against the Kings last year. Unfortunately, that was the high water mark for the Thrashers in regards to a 60 minutes effort. I hope last night’s win isn’t the same. But if they play with the same level of drive and desire, they’ll be OK in the long run.

Must come out tomorrow and dominate a struggling Islander team tomorrow.

@not_CThorbun

November 20th, 2010
12:21 pm

Sweet game last night.
Ovi was scoreless,
someone besides me decided to give it all,
Burmistrov made their whole squad look bad,
my hair made me look good. Just like always.

Chris

Engelbert Humperdinck

November 20th, 2010
12:32 pm

Thrashers looked great, Burmistrov’s goal was awesome and there was a hot chick bartending at the Hotel. Fun weekend hockey run to Atlanta for a change.

Thrashers27

November 20th, 2010
12:33 pm

Sorry, Thorby, but your hair is ridiculous. You tryin’ to be the next Scotty Hartnell, or what?

Thrashers27

November 20th, 2010
12:35 pm

“Humpahdink, Humpahdink, Humpahdink!!!”

Red Light

November 20th, 2010
12:51 pm

Great performance for 50 minutes, as affirmed by Ramsay after the game, and I can’t help but wondering what the zenith is for certain players. Buff has looked incredible at times this season, such as last night, but how much better can he play? I think that’s a key question. Burmy will continue to improve as he adds strength. Ladd is simply a solid performer but how much better can he truly be? I think we have already seen the best from Pevs and Antro, and I hope that’s not the case from Little and Bergy. So, that leads me to provide the following, not about their performance this year, but forecasting their individual future…

Improvement Likely: • Kane • Burmistrov • Bergfors • Pavelec • Cormier

Improvement Unlikely: • Eager • Antropov • Boulton • Sopel • Slater • Hainsey • Mason • Modin

Uncertain: • Stewart • Bogosian • Little • Peverley • Oduya • Enstrom • Ladd • Thorburn • Byfuglien

Agree? Disagree? Comments?

Engelbert Humperdinck

November 20th, 2010
12:55 pm

Almost forgot ! Congrats to Ladd and also to someone up top actually thnking to introduce him to the crowd as the new Captain unlike with when #17 was named it. I would almost say they’re finally starting to listen and learn at ASG but then I hear that stupid OLE’ chant.

Rawhide

November 20th, 2010
1:08 pm

Red Light – Well done with your “Likey/Unlikely/Uncertain” list in regards to player improvement potential. In general, I agree with the way you separated the players out into each of the three catigories.

One or two points I would make, however would be…

1). I think one player capable of moving from Uncertain to Likely may by Eager. His hard work and toughness leads to good things on the ice, see also last night’s first goal.

2). Bogosian could move from the Uncertain ledger to likely if he gets the right mentoring. Case in point, see how well he did when Schnieder was around in his initial days as a rookie. Maybe Ramsay or Torch can provide such…but I don’t really see any of our defenders being that type of role model and mentor for him at this time.

3). While I agree Peverley should be classified as “uncertain”…his play, generally speaking, is fine as-is. He has 3 goals and 9 asssist after 20 games played, which would put him on pace for a 50-point season. I’d take that from him right now. The main concern for me about Pevs is the -4. His strength for us is the solid, responsible play on the defensive side of the ice. While not abysmal this fall, it seems to have slipped a bit from his first days with us two years ago.

4). One player I would definately move into the Likely column is Byfuglien as I think this kid is actually gonna get better. He is really enjoying himself, having fun, performing well and is rapidly becoming the “personality” of this team.

Alan R.

November 20th, 2010
1:15 pm

The Burmistrov goal made it on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top Plays as #1. The only other hockey highlight was a goal by some guy named Sidney Crosby.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDDFbSMW8Ho

LAC

November 20th, 2010
1:22 pm

Burmistrov’s goal was also PLAY OF THE NIGHT on NHL on The Fly. They even had nice things to say about Atlanta. One thing that gets me though. When they show the scores below, they show the scorers and assist people, and on ALL othern NHL teams at least ONE player’s Time On Ice and Shots. They had 3 Washington players, but NEVER has there an Atlanta player been shown…
I guess we have no Superstar players, The thre noted for their ice time last night were the LOSERS !

Alan R.

November 20th, 2010
1:32 pm

LAC, others – I don’t have the NHL Network. Can you elaborate as to what’s been said about the team? I’m truly curious.

Thanks in advance!

Smoothie

November 20th, 2010
2:53 pm

For the loser who gets shutout, what other stat besides TOI are they supposed to show??

LAC

November 20th, 2010
2:57 pm

Most night’s, esp when Dave Reid is on, they give the Thrashers little notice, only who they played. If Washington or Chicago or Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, the coverage is there, because of the
“other” team. If it is another SE team or St.Louis or Nashville or Dallas, they will be among the LAST shown. Brenden will also agree Dave Reid is NOT a Thrashers booster in any way…
But it has been coming around a little more this season.

But still remember last year, “chico” resch of NJ TV, blasting #17 about his lackluster play, but when he went there, he was the new golden boy…. Note to chico, WRONG, he has KILLED your team !!!

The “guests” hardly have consistant good comments about Atlanta. Sometimes, like last night, Gary Green was O So Praising of Atlanta. But when we lost to Pittsburgh a week ago, it was ALL about them NOT us.

Interesting… Checked the Washington NHL.com site, and they have pulled everything about last night’s game. You have to go see previous game for any information, guess It REALLY got to them No doubt.

Lastly, on the goal by Burmistrov, watch the replay. The so called “great” Mike Green, he is in front of Ladd, then Ladd drops the puck, Burmistrov gets it and Green stays with Ladd, he could have
caught Burmistrov pretty easy if he TRIED, but his upright position never changed from the blue line in, he held his stick and coasted behind and never engauged the play. The other Washington
player went to the middle of the ice where nobody was, amazing how lackluster their play was, clearly they had given up.

Lastly I am so damn sick of this craig laughlin on their TV, He SUCKS… Period. Terrible, whining all night long, always that twang voice and just the WORST color man of any team, move over tripp tracey, you are now in 2nd place !

Smoothie

November 20th, 2010
3:08 pm

R/L – good question and I agree with your general assessment, but guys like Ladd and Enstrom have earned the right to be exempt from an “uncertain” column.

With them, you know exactly what you are going to get from them every nite. Yes, occasionally they will have an off nite, but who doesn’t? While Enstrom isn’t Lidstrom and Ladd isn’t Brind’ Amour in his prime, but they are very good players who will play at a high level for a very long time.

However, I DO believe Ladd has the talent to score 60-70 points. He simply needs to work on strengthening his shot release. As for Enstrom, he could always shoot more but his pass-first mentality does give him the element of surprise. A goal for TE should be 10 goals. I’d take 10 G and 50 A from him for 10 years every day of the week.

Lastly, for me, the guys who MUST improve are Kane, Bogey, Little and Oduya (still young enough to take another step up). Big Buff IS improving right before our eyes and Eager is a guy who is capable of being a very good 3rd liner, but he got pigeon-holed early on good teams.

If Bogey doesn’t start to realize his potential, we won’t make the playoffs. Little, on the other hand, is playing well enough in all facets to be a valuable contributor, but his potential improvement could be HUGE for this team as currently constructed.

Oh yeah, I’m stil not sure about Bergfors. He may never be quite as good as his skill-set indicates.

Red Light

November 20th, 2010
3:17 pm

Smoothie: Currently, Bergfors’ only skill set is his shot. Other than that, he brings very little at this point, which is why I pegged him likely.

waffleboy

November 20th, 2010
3:21 pm

Was gonna post a comment, but decided to go watch the Burmy goal again.

waffleboy

November 20th, 2010
3:33 pm

BTW, sad news about the passing of Pat Burns. Never was the NHL graced by a better man than Pat Burns. Unfortunately, it comes before he was inducted into the HHOF. Would’ve been nice for him to have been able to enjoy that with his family. Instead he’ll get in next year like they did with Herb Brooks. Godspeed, Pat Burns.

Thrashpuppy

November 20th, 2010
4:57 pm

Wow, what a game! Great effort is great to see. I think we will be seeing more of that more often as the season continues and Rammer continues to teach and call the boys out when they aren’t responding as well.

Congrats to Capt. Ladd! Great choice!

Burmi’s goal was fantastic! No wonder it made not only the top 10 but #1 on the highlights. Such control! Outstanding!