Thrashers win streak comes to an end but optimistic outlook remains

Three weeks ago I was making my way down for The Blueland Chronicle Perch after the 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. As I made my across the landing area between escalators, I noticed John Kincade preparing for the post-game show. I stopped by to chat with him about the hard-fought, but still disappointing 4-2 loss to the Pens.

“I’ll tell you something”, John told me. “If I wake up on Christmas morning and this Thrashers team is at or anywhere near .500…they’ll be just fine. Probably make the playoffs”.

Despite the 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh, Thrashers fans have been treated to some great hockey this fall. And there's no reason to think that will end along with the 6 game winning streak (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Despite the 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh, Thrashers fans have been treated to some great hockey this fall. And there's no reason to think that will end along with the 6 game winning streak (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Now at the time, the setback had left Atlanta with a record of 7-7-3 after 13 games played and had gone 1-3-1 in their previous five games played. It was still early November and the new players on the roster were still going through the beginning portions of their “getting to know you” phase of the season.

Given such, I didn’t think the statement made by Kincade was off base at all. However, since that time the Thrashers have played to a 6-3-0 mark, including the recent 6 game winning streak in which some of the best team-oriented hockey seen in these parts since…since…since, well, ever.

Unfortunately it came to a stop last night in, of all places, Pittsburgh as Sidney Crosby caused hats to fly. His trio of goals powered the Pens to a 3-2 win over the Thrashers. The third, and eventual game-winner, was a splendid individual effort as Crosby deflected in a knee-high shot from a very sharp angle. Not much Ondrej Pavelec could do about it.

Defenseman Ron Hainsey probably summed it up best in saying, “There are times where you are going to get beat. You can have everybody in position and have everyone there and get beat”.

For the most part Atlanta played well…but not well enough to overcome a powerful Pittsburgh team. The effort was there, but the opposition proved too much on this night.

However, given they way they have played since my discussion with Kincade as well as there current record of 13-10-3… despite the setback in Steeltown, I would be rather disappointed if this team is merely .500 come the time the good little boys and girls of Thrasherville rip open their gifts on Christmas morn.

The important thing after a loss that snaps a consecutive win streak is that the keep it at just that…one loss. Put it behind them and move on, as the cliché goes, and don’t allow it to become anything more than that. Focus must continue to be directed forward and not allow it to become the beginning of a 2 or 3 game slide or a 1-4-1 type of run. That would negate all that was accomplished over the last couple of weeks.

As Ondrej Pavelec put it, “We have to keep our heads up. They’re on a roll; we were on a roll. We just lost one game”.

Looking forward…it isn’t as though they have a bunch of “softies” on the slate either over the next few weeks. The Thrashers play in Washington tomorrow then welcome the likes of Nashville and Colorado next week. In fact, between now and New years, they not only have to take on those quality teams, but they draw Tampa Bay twice, Boston twice, Pittsburgh again as well as a St. Louis team that…despite their recent troubles…still have a winning record.

But given what the Thrashers have just come through and how they have performed, that schedule doesn’t look as daunting as it might have three weeks ago. And that’s to the their credit.

106 comments Add your comment

Dwayne

December 4th, 2010
9:26 am

Wow, 5 game series with the Pens…..mmmmm 3-1 Pens. Hurts to say that, and I hate Cindy, but she is a difference maker. And you did say “right now”

glovesave29

December 4th, 2010
9:44 am

“we have had several 5 and 6 game win streaks in the past, and where did we end up at the end of the season!?!?!???”

How can you hold a group of players that were not here accountable for what has happened in the past? New players, new coaches, new GM. I have a bit more faith in this current team, and there will be more winning than we are used to around here.

rob

December 4th, 2010
12:20 pm

I say give the Maple Leafs, Flames, and Oilers to Canada! I hear Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton fans want hockey teams!

rob

December 4th, 2010
12:23 pm

And PLEASE keep DUMBWAD away from the media and tape his mouth shut! He has done enough damage to this franchise. He should be happy he is still making money off the Octotards. Dudley and Ramsey are running things here, you moron, so stop bringing up all the feelings of hatred for you which in turn project themselves onto the team, and do us all a favor and STAY IN YOUR OFFICE AND FIND A REAL WAY TO GET THE FANS BACK TO THE ARENA!

Joe McGrath

December 4th, 2010
12:49 pm

I think we are doing great and I like our current roster, D pairings and lines, but I still think we are one Dman away from solid because I think about where we would be if we still had Kubina. Because of these thoughts, I’m starting to jump on the Bogo The Clown bandwagon too and here’s why: I know he’s young, and I know he’s had a couple big injuries, but I’m really starting to think his problem isn’t physical, but mental. He may be simply “slow.” His thought processing just doesn’t seem to compute very fast. That’s why he’s making bumbling, simple mistakes like forgetting to mark a man or dumping the puck around the boards instead of looking for something a little more creative. I hope I’m wrong–I hope he’s just off, but it may be a matter of intelligence. If I was in RD’s position and the Maple Loafs offered a straight up for Kaberle, I think I’d have to take it.

glovesave29

December 4th, 2010
3:12 pm

Bogo at 20 for a Kaberle 12 years his senior and on the last year of his contract? Not only no way, but no %&^(#ing way.

Dung Waddell

December 4th, 2010
7:58 pm

I was out by the street corner with my sign and a police officer came up and gave me a ticket for jaywalking.

I told the officer my name isn’t Jay and I already have too many tickets.

Tony C.

December 4th, 2010
9:02 pm

Tobi better not be hurt.

Zoomo

December 4th, 2010
9:10 pm

Refs are in love with the Caps tonight.

Tony C.

December 4th, 2010
9:20 pm

yeah-it’s gotten bad-although we just had a couple non-calls go our way (finally).

P.S. Somebody better be buying O-P a steak or something

Zoomo

December 4th, 2010
9:32 pm

Really! Pavs was outstanding again. That pad stack save and that one glove steal….magnificent

HookyBob

December 4th, 2010
9:34 pm

So, when the opposition scores at the Verizon Center the crowd responds with “Who cares.”

So when our #8, a Russian named Alexander scores the game winning goal, the crowd responded “Who cares.”

Thrashers,… you have come so far in the last 2 months.

Someday, when hockey talks about a # 8 Alexander from Russia, folks will think of Burmy, not Ovie.

Tonight, Pavs solid play was key.

Great game Thrashers.

EA

December 4th, 2010
9:34 pm

Way to go Thrashers!!!! Pavs is the best. I am looking forward to seeing you at home. I hope the big crowd you deserve shows up at the next few games.

EA

December 4th, 2010
9:39 pm

Also, Burmie is the bomb. I continue to appreciate him more with each game he plays. Our #8 Russian player is a star for now and in the future

R. Stroz

December 4th, 2010
9:40 pm

Auger was one of the refs, that explains alot.

The Crapitals have turned into the Flopping Crapitals. As soon as their careers as NHL players is over, they should all consider being actors for B movies or audition for their countries olympic diving teams. What a pathetic excuse for NHL players.

I wish Ramsey would have climbed up on the glass and offered kick Boudreau’s butt for fielding a hockey team that flops more than the Boston Celtics.

Russian

December 4th, 2010
9:46 pm

Burmie had great Goal. Varlamov sucked 3 goales (Соси, Сема!) :-)

Alan R.

December 4th, 2010
9:54 pm

Green: “This PP isn’t going so well, I think I’m going to do …THIS!” *DIVE*
Refs: (No call)
Caps announcers: “Green obviously gets tripped, but the refs have put away the whistles for this one.”

What a bunch of morons.

Get The Puck Out

December 4th, 2010
9:59 pm

Hey Stendic….Did they play good enough? Pavs is on his game and Burmi is gonna be something. No more injuries pleasssssse!

Tony C.

December 4th, 2010
10:07 pm

Yeah they did get away with a lot of non-called fouls, but hey, Pavelec pulled our fat out of the fire and we get the two points-but I had to laugh when Peverly flopped himself after A-O’s slash didn’t get called.

R. Stroztradamus

December 4th, 2010
10:15 pm

I predict the Thrashers will win two out of three games on the current road trip.

Don Waddell

December 4th, 2010
10:25 pm

Buy More Tickets……. Please?

Hoof Arted

December 4th, 2010
10:44 pm

Great game by the Thrashers. Great game by Pavs!!! I love it when Ladd scores a goal just seconds into the PP after the cheap shot on Enstrom. Good for Slater for going over to knock the %&@$! out of the goon for the knee shot.

Brendan

December 4th, 2010
10:48 pm

How many saves did Pavelec make? Was it over 40? He was in the zone. No one should fault Pavelec for the Ovechkin goal. The guy was open, and DUE, big-time, for a goal. But our guys didn’t fold their tents. They stuck to the game plan. The PP unit delivered a clutch goal, after the cheap hit/injury to Tobias Enstrom. Immediate justice came in the form of that PPG.

So, TB won. And Florida just won the shootout over Phoenix. Carolina lost to Nashville by a goal. This Southeast Division is getting interesting. Folks, gotta say it, this team is 7-1-0, for 14 of a possible 16-points, and we’re in December now. During the streak, we beat good teams, including Washington twice, Boston, Detroit, Montreal. Can’t fake results, as they say. The results are what they are.

I tells ya, I’m feeling good, now, about our ability to (1) get the lead (we’ve done that a lot, lately,), (2) build the lead, and (3) protect the lead. Our goaltending has been good. We just need a healthy Enstrom, a healthy Kane, a healthy Antropov, etc. I’m liking the character and work ethic of this team. I am becoming impressed with our Thrashers. We’re among the playoff field. If we keep playing like this, we’ll stay there. Ramsay is a very good coach.

Tom

December 4th, 2010
10:50 pm

As opposed to years past, I think this locker room really likes each other. They are standing up for their teammates at the right times and not letting other teams get away with too much. With size on the ice at all times you know the smaller skill guys have the room to move.

Now the Caps fans must be getting very nervous about the Thrashers. If you have a memory, we are ramping up just like they did a few years ago. The speed of our team beats the skill of their team right now.

On another note, watching the Avs play against Carolina and TB the past couple nights has been instructive. Remember the Avs are very much like we are with the speed. Carolina looked slow compared to them and only great goaltending kept them in the game. Tampa Bay on the other hand has enough speed and a great deal more skill than the Avs and the Thrashers. If their goalies play well against us, we lose. If there goalies play like they have recently, the games will be very competitive.

Very proud of to be a Thrasher fan these days.

Tom

December 4th, 2010
10:58 pm

Hey, another quick point, Your Atlanta Thrasheeerrrrrs have the 10th best record in the NHL right now. We are 8th in the east by 6 pts over Carolina and Buffalo. If we were in the west we would be tied with Vancouver for 3rd overall.

Who would have bet this would be the case a month ago. Not me…

LAC

December 4th, 2010
11:03 pm

I am willing to bet if we had Craig Ramsey & Dudley from the start, instead of you know who…
We may have won the Stanley Cup a couple times.

We are playing like CHAMPIONS, just watch how we play now, and remember how it was the past two or three seasons.

We are organized, we cover all area’s of the rink and I bet we have not been pinned up in our own end but a FEW times since this streak started.

BOO HOO to crybaby brue b. Whining for more penalities against us, Shame on you that your team got BEAT !

If Ramsey does not win coach of the year, I’d be amazed, the job he is doing is OUTSTANDING !!!

Great game and Great road trip… Glad we are not Tampa, letting in 13 goals in TWO games…

Tom

December 4th, 2010
11:18 pm

Thanks Lou, by the way!

Oh, and the Devils after 26 games last year had 65 goals. This year, with Ilya and his 5 goals they have 49.

After 27 games last year we had 88 goals ,this year we have 85 goals. So we have seen essentially no drop off in our offensive performance.

After 27 games last year we had given up 81 goals, this year we have reduced that to 78. We are a plus 7 for both seasons.

I should feel bad for the feelings that I am having.

Tom

December 4th, 2010
11:30 pm

Best thing I have seen in a long time, from the Washington Post’s live blog after tonights game:

god i do not want to play atl in the playoffs…..

Posted by: rachel216 | December 4, 2010 9:21 PM

Brendan

December 4th, 2010
11:32 pm

Tom, and NJ lost, AGAIN, today, 5-3 … to the Flyers. Ilya has to be wondering … what the freak?!

Brendan

December 4th, 2010
11:35 pm

Is there a Ranallo warning, forthcoming? I smell a new blog!!

Hockey Biltong

December 4th, 2010
11:45 pm

Smells like…victory!!!!!

Thrashers27

December 4th, 2010
11:58 pm

Good game boys!!! Love seeing the consistency.

Alan R.

December 5th, 2010
12:35 am

Glad we are not Tampa, letting in 13 goals in TWO games…

And yet, their fans say their defense is just fine.

13 goals in two games sounds like more than just a goalie issue (which is clearly evident). Indeed, there’s a defense issue somewhere in there.

kovyoverrated

December 5th, 2010
12:52 am

Precious, Franchise-player, Pre-madonna, vastly overpaid KOVY is now minus -15! Buff is the best HOCKEY PLAYER to don the Thrasher uniform. We now have a TEAM that plays hard every shift and young scrappers and back checkers that can push this team into April. We were told that we traded away our “star” last February. How’s that working out for you Jersey? Enjoy!

DWTOO

December 5th, 2010
7:51 am

Know you dominate when you win all three stars in the opponents home!

OmniFan

December 5th, 2010
8:55 am

Didja catch #17’s line for the Devils yesterday?
1G 0A -3; team loses by 2
Ain’t schadenfreude grand?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XmZIcmRKkc

World Be Free

December 5th, 2010
10:01 am

Is this enough to finally get all the fans to come back to Thrasher games? I bought ten packs the first 2 seasons with the Thrashers and had to sit in the nose bleeds. Time for all of you to come back cuz Rammer and Duds are for real, so is this team.

Mr. First Class Organization (Kovy) will not be down forever, but it is fun watching him wallow in the mud, isn’t it?

Spud Webb

December 5th, 2010
10:31 am

RL…to add to your earlier comments, “The best sign is that after a loss you can point out things that could have turned the loss into a win. Other than the fact that I have never seen anyone re-direct a puck seven feet behind him (like Crosby did last night), there should be no finger pointing today”
Dude (crosby) said, he didn’t have anything up the middle so I knew orpik would through it to the side! WHAT!!!!!!!! Simply amazed how he can slow a play/game down in his mind, this game is soooooooo fast, yet crospy knew what orpik was going to do in a split second, then to actually get a stick on it to direct it into the goal………AMAZING!!!
And yes RL, doooooooooooom and gloooooooooooom after winning 6 out of 7 for some!!
GREAT win last night!! WOOOOOOOOO

Alan R.

December 5th, 2010
10:50 am

Simply amazed how he can slow a play/game down in his mind, this game is soooooooo fast, yet crospy knew what orpik was going to do in a split second, then to actually get a stick on it to direct it into the goal………AMAZING!!!

Gretzky once said “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

As much as I hate Crosby, I have to admit that he’s truly a great player.

JLH

December 5th, 2010
10:54 am

I’ve got a couple of extra tickets for Monday’s game if anyone could use them…….. email me at liverpoolnhl@gmail.com

Smoothie

December 5th, 2010
12:43 pm

“As opposed to years past, I think this locker room really likes each other. They are standing up for their teammates at the right times and not letting other teams get away with too much. With size on the ice at all times you know the smaller skill guys have the room to move.”

Tom, spot on! This seems to be very true…you can tell by the way they give each other a hard time on the ice. In fact, I think Anthony Stewart may be one of the most underrated locker room presence guys on the team. He’s certainly earning his keep in both production and intangibles.

As for Tampa, teams are starting to figure them out and exploit their a) slow, plodding D-men and b) Boucher’s propensity for sliding both d-men into the corner on puck battles.

Nate

December 5th, 2010
1:05 pm

I don’t think it can be understated how big this win was for the team. I think it shows the direction where this team is trending. In years past, the loss to the Pens would have lead to a three or four game winless streak which would undo all the good the win streak did. Instead, they stay on the road and beat the team with the most points in the conference. Pretty impressive.

OmniFan

December 5th, 2010
1:22 pm

This may be The Best of Times. Think about it-in this calendar year, we have been blessed by three of the greatest coaches/managers in this city’s professional sports history: Bobby Cox, Mike Smith, and Craig Ramsay. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Joey W.

December 5th, 2010
1:31 pm

This is why you do not overreact to a loss like the one against the Pens as some did in the other Thrashers AJC blog. Pens , without Malkin, destroyed Columbus. Thrashers win convincingly against the Caps. One loss to the super hot Pens is not something to have been worried about especially considering the Thrashers didnt give up and made it closer than it should have been.

Nate

December 5th, 2010
1:33 pm

OmniFan – Gotta disagree about Cox and Smith. Cox is one of the best players managers of all time, but he was awful as a strategist. Always emptying his bench way too early in games and having to result to using pitchers as pinch hitters. Or emptying out his bullpen trying to preserve ties while ultimately losing in extra innings because he runs out of options.

Mike Smith gets by on the arm of Matt Ryan. Too often he lets the team take the foot off the gas pedal and tries to run out the clock in the second quarter of games instead of continue to try to score. He’s been bailed out by Ryan or his defense on multiple occasions over the last three seasons. And he’s also lost games because of this same deficiency of his…

Verdict is still out on Ramsay, but I like what I see so far. Gotta find a way to cut down on the S/A numbers though or Pavelec’s GAA won’t stay as sparkling as it is right now.

A27

December 5th, 2010
1:57 pm

Great work Thrashers!!!!!!!!!! I’m very proud of these guys. Just please,please keep it up.

Archie Bunker

December 5th, 2010
3:16 pm

I’ve posted this same thing several times in the past two months since Alan made that crack about Pavelec and his netminder shrink. Baby Hasek is taking us to the post season boys (and gals) and maybe deep into it. Between us and Tampa, It’s nice to see the Caps won’t be winning the SE by 30 pts again this year. ” Grady you Crazy, I think I’ll call you Crazy Grady” Go Thrashers ! Rammer for Mayor !

Alan R.

December 5th, 2010
4:06 pm

Alan made that crack about Pavelec and his netminder shrink.

If you’re going to play in the dirt, go all out. Remind me what I allegedly said?

waffleboy

December 5th, 2010
4:53 pm

Caps really carried the play in the 1st period, but Pavs was absolutely unbelievable tonight. Boudreau was all over his guys for not going to the net. He’s right, most of their shots, esp on the pp, were from the perimeter. We played well and Pavs was great, but the Capitals need to be embarrassed about their effort last night. To perform that way at home for the best team in the NHL is inexcusable

waffleboy

December 5th, 2010
5:06 pm

ESPN’s coverage of the game was pathetic. Their only story is 95% Boudreau and Ovechkin complaining about a poor team effort and a few blurbs about how well the Thrashers played. The highlights begin with Ovie’s goal and don’t show Burmi’s? WTF!

http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=301204023