Thrashers have their fans expecting good things

I missed the first part of the game night game due to an NJROTC booster club meeting. However, I was receiving text updates from our good friend FormerIslesFan…as I sat in the back of the classroom…behind a rather large fellow…out of sight from the person speaking up front.

Some lessons learned in school always stay with ya, eh?

Anyway…as I was sitting there glancing down at my cellular communication device, I saw his messages flashing the un-good news of how the first period had progressed. First came the text that the Thrashers had fallen behind 1-0… then 2-0. However, I have to admit that this news wasn’t met with the normal reaction I’ve had in the past after learning this team had fallen behind early.

You know…that “Oh my good lord these guys have taken the night off and they are just gonna drop a giant steamer on the ice tonight” kinda feeling.

Yeah…that one.

Zach Bogosian acknowledges the crown Monday night after his game-winning goal in overtime. It was his second goal of the season (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Zach Bogosian acknowledges the crown Monday night after his game-winning goal in overtime. It was his second goal of the season (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Instead, the initial thought that entered my head was, “Hmmm, been quite a while since they had been in that predicament. Let’s see who they can battle back to make a game of it”.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I was necessarily thrilled that they had dug themselves an early hole. But I figured there was plenty of time to get things going…just had to shake that first-game-back-from-a-road-trip funk. And after all, the way these Thrashers have been playing lately, there really isn’t a sense of certain pending doom when they do actually fall behind. There’s absolutely no quit in these boys.

It was as if I was expecting good things to happen. Yes…expecting. And I just know I’m not the only one who felt that way.

When I made it to the car for the drive home…listening on the clear signal provided by 93.7 FM…Jimmy Slater had pulled them back to within one and the always welcome voice of Dan Kamal was describing a game that seemingly was turning in the favor of Atlanta. It sounded more like the Thrashers we’ve come to know and love recently.

I got home in time to see the third period in its entirety. What I witnessed was a Thrashers team continuing to do the things it has done lately to put themselves in a position to win. They were putting a great deal of pressure on the Preds in their end of the ice and attacking Anders Lindback’s goal furiously. They were banging Nashville players against the boards and winning battles all over the ice. They were controlling the puck in the offensive zone and limiting their opponent’s time in the defensive zone. Nice, clean passes were well received and mistakes were cut back to a minimum.

The hard work paid off when Nik Bergfors drew a boarding call that sent Shea Weber to the sin bin at the 6:44 mark of the third. Five ticks of the clock later, Andrew Ladd swatted home a rebound to tie the score at 2-2. It was goal number 10 for the Thrashers captain and his fourth tally while on the man advantage. The third one came just last Saturday in Washington.

Both Ladd’s and Slater’s goals came as a direct result of faceoff wins. On the night, Atlanta won 36 puck-drops to Nashville’s 15. This is part of the little things done that add up to big wins.

“The second period set us up for the third period”, captain Ladd said afterwards. “We were playing with confidence. We were playing smarter. We were winning battles we didn’t win in the first period”.

Ondrej Pavelec covers up the puck with a 'snow angel' save against Nashville. Pavelec stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faved to improve his record to 9-5-2 (Michelle Rivers)

Ondrej Pavelec covers up the puck with a 'snow angel' save against Nashville. Pavelec stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faved to improve his record to 9-5-2 (Michelle Rivers)

The comeback was then completed in overtime when Zach Bogosian blasted a shot past Lindback after Ben Eager fed him the puck from the left boards. Eager had won the puck from between the skates of a Preds player who had lost his stick.

As for Bogey’s clumsy celebration…well, I think he summed it up best by saying, “It’s only my second goal of the season, so I need to work on that a bit”.

The Thrasher are now enjoying an 8 wins in 9 games run…including six consecutive at home. The last time the fans of Thrasherville were sent home disappointed was back on November 17 when they fell 2-1 to the Florida Panthers.

Ondrej Pavelec was again solid between the pipes for Atlanta, just as we are now coming to expect from him. He flashed the leather…he kicked out shots…he even managed a snow angel to keep the puck out of the net in the third. Opie stopped 27 of 29 for the win to improve his record to 9-5-2 with a .1.71 GAA and .947 SV%.

Yes, this is a different kind of Thrashers team…one we’ve waited for over a decade to witness. They are playing the type of hockey right now that has fans expecting…not simply hoping, but expecting… that good things will come from them. They fight, they work, they hustle, they grind, they skate, they battle, they hit, they endure, they attack, they defend, they support one another… and most importantly, they win.

One thing else these Thrashers do…they do deserve our support. So get you butts to Blueland and expect to see some good hockey.

See you Friday.

180 comments Add your comment

Riceowls

December 7th, 2010
3:14 pm

Its always good to see a team win a game they should have lost. The Preds missed three wide open nets that would have sealed the game. But every team needs a little lick now and again. I hope they play tighter friday against Colorado.

DCBrave33

December 7th, 2010
3:26 pm

It is painful to me that this talk about the team moving is coinciding with our rise in the standings.

One thing that I will say is that you will NEVER see really good crowds on weeknights. Atlanta simply isnt a city that generates good weekday crowds. It is a weekend sports town. Even if we win the Presidents Cup, we would be a team drawing 13-14 K during the week with packed houses on Fri and Sat. Look at the past with ALL Atlanta franchises. Even in September of 1991 the Braves had low attendence. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1991/B09110ATL1991.htm. Here is a Braves No-hitter in 1991 in September that brought only 20 k. It is just the nature of the sports fan in the city. It doesn’t mean we can’t have a successful franchise both financially and on the ice. Average crowds during the week coupled with packed houses on the weekends should be at least a moderately successful business model.

As long as the crowds during the week to grown to levels where you do not have to cringe when you see all the empty seats, then it will be a success.

Everyone that can, let’s get out and support our team! Go Thrashers!!!

Nate

December 7th, 2010
3:32 pm

“Attendance” – It will pick up. Anybody remember that 8 point division lead we had over Tampa back in January of 2006? Tampa came to town and promptly kicked us in the rear, but the Arena was PACKED! Standing room only. I couldn’t get a ticket for less than $125. What was attendance like in November and December of that season? I could walk up to the ticket window 30 minutes before puck drop and get a $10 ticket or $15 student ticket no problem. It’s the same now. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been to 3 games already and will be at my fourth Friday night. Those same tickets will be gone after the New Year.

ThrashDawg

December 7th, 2010
3:41 pm

I try and be even handed when it comes to DW and I have read the Burnside article and basically I read it as, we have put a winning product on the ice, now come support it. There is no sense rehashing all the crap of the past and DWs role in the crap. He is responsible for fixing the product on the ice and there should be some credit given to bringing Dudley in here. I guess after 10+ years a blind squirrel will find a nut! The team is currently 5 games over .500 and is looking like it has turned the corner. I believe DW and the Thrashers need to be patient with the fans considering what we have been through. Keep up the good play and we will respond with our money. Times are hard and nobody wants to throw hard earned money away on a poor product, so we are a little gun shy. I for one am still a little burnt by the last game I went to againt the Columbus Bluejackets. It takes a little time to get over a performance like that!

Paminski

December 7th, 2010
3:41 pm

DCBrave33 – You’re right. Weekend sports town for sure. This year I understand the pain of that even more. I used to be able to make a weeknight game now and then, but work moved and it’s just too difficult now. One of the worst commuter cities creates quite an obstacle for weeknight games.

Red Light

December 7th, 2010
4:04 pm

I hear ya Thrasher Tim. Colby and Army are the next best duo in Toronto since Wilf Paiement and Darryl Sittler.

da' boomer

December 7th, 2010
4:06 pm

From Darren Eliot’s article in CNNSI this afternoon:

Thrasher’s Christmas Wish List –

Atlanta Thrashers. Now that they’re playing solid, consistent and exciting team hockey for the first time in franchise history, they would surely like the locals to enjoy a bout of amnesia, forget most of the sorry seasons that preceded the 2010-11 campaign, and return to cheer on the current edition. The players deserve it and the fans deserve this team.

Read more: http://tinyurl.com/2cbckvj

Joe Friday

December 7th, 2010
4:07 pm

“The team is currently 5 games over .500″

Paging Brendan, Brendan to the white phone please!

World Be Free

December 7th, 2010
4:18 pm

This is a fun team, good offensive tempo, excellent defense, lights out goaltending and a great coach. And all some of you want to do is bitch about the past. I have seen alotta fans in other cities (like Red Wing fans) put aside losing seasons for a winning team, instead of sitting home and complaining. I am not happy about portions of the first 10 years, but the past is the past-let it go.

Keep it up folks, all you people that stay home cuz you are mad at Don or whatever; you can help load the moving vans. Get over it.

glovesave29

December 7th, 2010
4:25 pm

I am sure Mr. Daly got a nice talking to by commissioner Bettman after his irresponsible comments on Winipeg radio. The surest way to kill any chance of the resurgence in interest for the team is to start a rumor that it a lame duck one. It is totally pandering to the local media by Mr. Daly – and until such time a deal is TRULY in place to move the team – he should be instructed to keep his fat yap CLOSED! He just wanted the good people of Winnipeg to kiss up to him. They are not getting this team.

I also wish that the people at Fox Sport South and Sportsouth would realize the anger that the fan base has against Don. THey need to stop trotting him out. Put him away, let him do his job behind the scenes – and stop giving us reminders on TV of the man who put us into this position in the first place.

Rant over….

Unreal

December 7th, 2010
4:28 pm

Why attendance sucks
1 – crappy owners
2 – crappy record for the last 11 years
3 – cost (it costs way too much to attend and feed yourself at a game much less pay for a family. It shouldn’t cost $100 for a family of four to attend a fame and sit in the 300 level. I think the food and beverage prices are like taxes in that you can take some from us but at some point you are gouging us – we are well beyond that point)
4 – MARTA sucks
5 – location ( Philips is in the wrong location. Most of the paying fans live outside the perimeter and on the north side. Gwinnett is not an ideal location. An arena near 285 and west of 400 would be perfect.)
6 – start times – With traffic most fans can’t make it to a game on time. Why not start at either 8 or 7:45 all the time.
7 – I can’t remember what number 7 was.

Rawhide

December 7th, 2010
4:35 pm

Unreal – Your #7 was “there is no incentive to purchase season tickets (you don’t get a reduced price at all for being a season ticket holder – so what is the incentive?)”

BTW…did you know that there was a plan to build the arena near the 285-400 area during the planning states of the franchise 12 years or so ago. They would have trained out of The Cooler in Alpharetta and it would have been centraized in the middle of their fan base (most of it at least).

The group making the decision at the time was split between that and downtown. The deciding vote that was cast to build the new arena on top of where the Omni stood…Ted Turner.

SomaAtl95

December 7th, 2010
4:51 pm

And then Ted let AOL/Time Warner screw us over. Imagine if Ted had not merged with them… nothing can change the past – lets build for a LONG FUTURE OF ATLANTA THRASHERS HOCKEY!

Dandylions

December 7th, 2010
4:59 pm

Riceowls – But every team needs a little lick now and again. WOW!

Gabby Johnson

December 7th, 2010
5:02 pm

“Olson Johnson is right about World Be Free being right!”

“Thank you, Van!”

“Rabbidge”

Dung Waddell

December 7th, 2010
5:08 pm

Does anyone know where there is a warm street corner for me to hold my sign up today?

I wonder if there is a better way to sell tickets than to march around town with this piece of paper, maybe I should call Steve Weeks and hire him to hold it with me.

World Be Free

December 7th, 2010
5:23 pm

Gabby-sounds like jibberish to me!

Gabby Johnson

December 7th, 2010
5:24 pm

That’s “authentic frontier gibberish” World Be Free!

Joe Friday

December 7th, 2010
5:31 pm

They should hire those ginormous dorks that the apartment complexes and sandwich shops/pizza places hire to stand on street corners spinning big signs and jamming out to their tunes with signs saying “Your Atlanta Thrashers, hottest team in the coolest game on ice”

If that don’t work, Don could get back into the porta potty biz and slap some signs on every one of them around town.

They also were looking at putting the arena at the corner of North Point Parkway and Kimball Bridge road (just north of the North Point Mall), but 285/400 would have been better for all.

“6 – start times – With traffic most fans can’t make it to a game on time. Why not start at either 8 or 7:45 all the time.”

This. Waddell had to have been the genius that approved this decision and keeps it in place (the 7pm weekday start times). Simply mind boggling how dumb that decision is, it is virtually impossible to work a full day, drive home to get the wife/family, and make a game by 7pm.

A good marketing prof at Ga State should make the Thrashers’ a case study for his kids and let them come up with a plan to fix this, and I guarantee you the kids could fix the issue (hide Waddell/Levenson from the public, sharpen the marketing campaigns, fix the start times). Spirit Squad should sign up for that and it should be right up their alley as it’d be free for them, or mabye they’d have to make a small donation to the business school . . .our marketing profs did this in college for P&G and they actually implemented the winning presentation for a campaign each year, win/win.

Christy

December 7th, 2010
5:36 pm

Funnily enough, what I found the most irritating about the Levenson comment was not the fact that the ownership does not exactly make regular appearances themselves, that there appeared to be a careless disregards for the fact that Atlanta’s unemployment exceeds the national average, that he discounts the impact of a decade of mismanagement or the considerable issue of location – it was the actual football reference. I truly believe that you cannot compare football in Atlanta to football in other sports cities. Or even to the sports landscape of any other city, football and other.

Consider, with 4.5 million residents, we support
A Professional football team that is at the top of the NFC and a Professional Basketball team also doing fairly well.
3 major universities with teams within an hour’s drive (2 IN the city),(UGA, Tech and now GSU) that provide Football and Basketball and Kennesaw is edging in there now, especially with the basketball.

A minor league hockey team

And highschool football which around here is just as important if not more than professional or collegiate. (Would you miss your kids playing football any more than you would miss their playing hockey?)

And that does not take into consideration Baseball that starts at the end of the hockey season and ends after it has started.

Exactly how many other NHL cities have that sort of competition for attention facing it’s team during the months of October through January? Not a single one by my count.

glovesave29

December 7th, 2010
5:41 pm

JF – the Red Cross of California did a similar project with us when I was back in college. We developed a successful ad campaign they used for years.

I’ve wondered about this years ad campaign – “A Brutally Good Time” – yet all the player photos on the jumbo tron have them in dress clothes. Seem a bit contradictory to me. I’d rather see an ad with a destitute tooth fairy who has gone broke giving out $$$ to the Thrashers opponents. Or maybe an equipment manager with a longer checklist for first aid required when playing the Thrashers. Maybe players on the road needing their own hotel rooms because of the moaning and groaning in pain.

LAC

December 7th, 2010
5:42 pm

I am very impressed with the coverage we are getting on NHL network shows, MHL Live
and Power Play, Impressed, with their coverage of The Thrashers !!! Great To See !!!!

I wonder what ilya yhinks NOW !!!!!

LAC

December 7th, 2010
5:44 pm

Sorry, but without MY glasses I can’t type. That’s NHL live and THINKS !

Hockey Biltong

December 7th, 2010
5:44 pm

Keep the Faith , people!!!
Geaux Le Thrash!!!!!!!

Thrashers27

December 7th, 2010
5:47 pm

Hey guys! I was just thinking that Pavs really should be up for consideration in the All Star voting. The guy is playing as well as anybody on the league right now, save for maybe Tim Thomas.

I just wrote him in and voted a bunch of times. We should all start voting for Pavs as a write in.

Do it here: http://vote.nhl.com

Brendan

December 7th, 2010
6:14 pm

Joe Friday, it is very good to see the Thrashers 5 games over .500. Historically, it takes being 12 games over .500, “NHL-style,” to “guarantee” a playoff berth. And that would be 94-points. I’m hesitant to speculate what we’re projected for, after roughly 30 games. That’s why we play those games.

People will figure out … that they shouldn’t play their back up versus the Thrashers anymore, nor take them lightly. The key, from this point on is … don’t fall back to .500. Yes, 89-points, I think, got two teams into the playoffs last year, but I think that’s a bit of an anomaly. The Thrashers must keep banking points at about a .515 clip from this point forward. That would probably get us into the playoffs this season. If the playoffs began today, we’d be # 6, facing # 3 Montreal. Imagine how much HEAT there would be up in Quebec if the Thrashers won that series?? They hate southeast division teams there, having been eliminated by TB and Carolina in the past.

James Brown

December 7th, 2010
6:28 pm

Great game last night…As we were leaving the Bulb I told my friend that this team is really fun to watch…..I`m not worried about the attendance that much right now…..watched a Red Wing game the other night and there were sections of empty seats………It happens all over the league….don`t be fooled by all the Canadian Snow Tossers trying to beat a square peg in a round hole which is exactly what moving a top ten media market team to a one horse cattle town like Winipeg…ain`t gonna happen folks

Tom

December 7th, 2010
8:20 pm

Winnipeg is making it’’s push right now because this will be the best time for them to get a team in the next couple of decades. The oil fields are making some money and the dollar is weak against the Loonie.

———

What concerns me is the Major League or Slapshot scenario. Where management does all it can to sabotage the team to keep it from being successful and staying in town.

Their biggest obstacle to selling the team for the most money they can get is Gary Bettman. The only way that the Spirit will be able to get rid of the Thrashers profitably is to show the market will not sustain the team. This would let a Canadian team pay a premium so they could move the Thrashers to Winnipeg.

So let’s see what they have done so far:

— Given management payroll restrictions that keep us at the bottom of the league.

— They have created the most inane marketing campaign in the league. Seriously, I am a die hard Thrashers fan an I throw up in my mouth every time I see the “A Brutally Good Time” promos.

— The team starts the games before fans can actually get to the game. They have even moved the weekend start time for some games up to 9 pm.

— The management and ownership are spending no money marketing to develop a fan base. Even with the play of the team in the past month all they can do is bad mouth the fans for not showing up. Instead of getting out with a media barrage that would be paid for with 1 playoff game, the former GM/President goes on television with a scrap of paper saying buy more tickets.

—–

Now none of the complaints are against the on ice management of the team. Dudley and his staff have done an amazing job with scarce resources to give us an amazing team. They deserve all the honors they are getting.

Here is a scenario that if it happens at the trade deadline I know the Thrashers are not long for Atlanta. The team is heading to some success, the fans have returned, and the place is rocking.

Then the Thrashers make a mega trade packaging up Ladd and Big Buff to another team for aging star(s). Say, our two guys for Iginla, Jokinen, and Bouwmeester. On paper it would seem to make sense but any true hockey fan would know that the team would be ripped apart by the deal.

Now Dudley would be against it, but we all know he reports to Waddell who blindly does the bidding of the ownership group.

This is my, OMG we are seeing the making of Major League 4 in Atlanta.

DavidR

December 7th, 2010
8:26 pm

i really REALLY wish i was in the atlanta area still. unfortunately im stuck in this city with some team called the flames and another place north of me with a team that has something to do with oil. seriously this sucks.
to be able to actually afford to go to a hockey game and have money left over to buy food and beer with. ahh such a crack smoking pipe dream that is.

my two cents on this mess… octofubars need to get outa hockey but they arent going to be able anytime soon. couple of you guys nailed it pretty good. there are really only 2 ways they are going to get out, 1 winning team sold to person who wants to support and fund team, 2 winning team and someone buys em and gets league permission to move em.
there is a bit of a problem with the 2nd reason which virtually no one is hitting on. they have to redo all the lines. the only sorta simple solution would be to switch the preds from west to east but than you have to move the thrashers out east. not too many places for them to go that direction. which is probably also part of the reason there wont be a team in hamilton regardless of the amount of ppl wanting it. logistically it would be a nightmare and screw the hades outa everything.

about the best we can hope for is a winning season and someone to come along and buy out the octofubars and go from there. bad part is that they will have to get involved in the phillips arena lease and all that which could be a nightmare. esp since a few ppl have commented that the arena is rapidly going downhill with quality controll and looking good etc.

which than leaves us with the attendance issue. guess what year had our best attendance…. 06/07. ya know thats also the year they were in the playoffs. the next year we had a respectable 15k avg attendance. and after that its been slumping. so far this year we are supposedly avg aprox 11k per game which all said and done being this early in the season, the rest of the sports going on, and that they havent had a great product for a year or two. well it is reasonable. all said and done its still all completely excuses.

the entire thing ties in toghether unless the fubars are trying to effectively unload a team which they could do that pretty quick i would expect but the team would have to move which wont happen pretty quick. so all they can do is get with it and try and get something going or else its going to be more of the same of winnipeg/saskatoon is getting a team.

anyway ya slice it there aint gonna be nuthin done over it fer at least a couple of years. so who wants to start a co-op owned hockey club?

ps tickets for the flames/oilers typically start at 60$ or so if you can get one.
pps canadian dollar and us dollar are about the same or so close it really doesnt matter.

Grinch

December 7th, 2010
8:57 pm

They’re not folding their tents or looking sad at all……I guess hockey to these Thrashers must mean something more…..and they say that the Thrashers’ heart grew 3 times that day…..to the strength of a flock of Thrashers…….more powerful than before.

Blueland Buddha

December 7th, 2010
9:00 pm

Just did my part- tacked on 3 more games to my 6 game flex plan with the Holiday Flex Plan promotion! Next game for me is next Thursday against the Canes. I figure if I dont do all I can and the team moves due to lack of attendance, then I cant complain. I hope others are doing the same if you can (I understand if you cant, it is the holidays and economic uncertainty still exists.)

Having said all that, I still dont believe the team is going anywhere for several reasons. 1) Gary Bettman- he put the team here so I would find it very difficult to believe he would let it move after the early success. Furthermore, the only times he has advocated for potential relocation has been when there has been an arena issue (such as with Long Island). That is not the case here. 2) The bumbling ASG group is another reason. If they sold the Thrashers to a group that moved them, they would lose all the arena lease revenue. That in turn would make the Philips Arena deal a disaster for them. Their absolute preference would be to divest in the ownership of the Thrashers, shed themselves of the P&L loss and make it a revenue center only in terms the arena lease/parking/concessions.

World Be Free

December 7th, 2010
9:15 pm

I think we have all beat the “what’s wrong with management” drum for a long time. I cannot change the last 10 years, I can’t argue (nor will I) with some of things that have been stated here or in so many previous blogs.

Unreal, whoever your real posting name may be, has provided 6 reasons why people don’t show up.
Braves’ fans in Atlanta (including ME) had similar gripes starting last season. We put up with the absentee owners, an idiot GM and still came back when the team showed up and played good ball. Back at the ranch, some of our Thrasher fans continue to lean on the past (11 bad years of Hockey) as a reason not to support this team-makes little or no sense to NOT support a team as good as this one is. Miss out on a well-coached and well managed team just cuz you are still sore about the past, whether it be Don, MARTA or the location of the Bulb. Pretty silly and pathetic.

AtlFlamesFan

December 7th, 2010
9:45 pm

Earlier this morning, I was convinced that leaving Atlanta was pretty close. The Daly-Winnipeg interview was of primary concern. Since that time, I have heard that he has backed away from these comments (at least it appears to not be as imminent as may have been believed). This makes sense; maybe Daly was dressed down by Bettmen, who I firmly believe, will not let this team leave unless he believes that there is not chance for success.

That said, I still think the “Major League” scenario may very well be in place.

One final note on the Philips naming rights agreement. Yes, the agreement requires both an NHL and NBA team, I believe for $5m/year. However, I can easily see Philips allow for the Thrashers leave for a reduced amount of maybe $3m/year.

ThrashDawg

December 7th, 2010
9:51 pm

And I thought JoeFriday was gearing me up for a reaming by Brendan about the fact that the 3 OT losses were technically losses and that the team is really only 2 games over .500. I guess I just like the sound of 5 games over .500 better. Thanks for playing along Brendan.

Hockey Biltong

December 7th, 2010
9:54 pm

+1^
go Thrashers

Hockey Biltong

December 7th, 2010
9:55 pm

jimbo

December 7th, 2010
10:09 pm

Levenson and The Teflon One should have to watch all the tapes of atrocious hockey that they threw at us as a quality product for so many years and then have the nerve to tell us that we should immediately rush back. Instead, they should be carrying each one of us back in comfort whispering “mia culpas” all the way. In spite of all of their rhetoric, we will support this hustling band of good athletes and the Phil will start to fill as we continue to win. Way to go guys keep it up.

Sage of Bluesland

December 7th, 2010
10:27 pm

The fish and others have it absolutely correct. Not a single one of my dollars will go into Don Waddell’s pocket. Period. End-of.

That is MY condition–which is not negotiable. I have frittered away enough of my money to last a lifetime…and to have him sniveling about anything related to fan support is nothing more than an insult to my intelligence; to my very being as a fan.

TV works just fine for me…It’s such a shame, to be saddled with such inept ownership…But, it is what it is…Maybe Don will make another of his playoff “guarantees”?

Tom Lysiak

December 7th, 2010
10:39 pm

Back in the mid 70’s, a friend at work kept talking about the Flames and I decided to catch a game with him. It didn’t take long to catch the bug. I was born here. I had never followed hockey and certainly never played. I learned the rules and nuances of the game and have loved it ever since.

When the Knights started playing at The Omni, I introduced my kids to the sport which they still love today. My son lives in another state now and we took him and his girlfriend opening night this year. It was her first NHL game and she was HOOKED. She went home and ordered some Thrashers gear the next week.

The point is, take your friends and co-workers to a game. Once they see it live and understand the basics, most people love the action. My old friend at work created a hockey nut and I passed it on to my family and some friends. Not growing up with hockey does not mean you can’t cherish it.

I’ve written here before how devastating it was to watch the Flames move to Calgary. The thought of this team leaving, especially now that they are playing as a team, makes me sick. I do not believe Bettman will allow this team to leave a market this size, until he has exhausted every option. He invested a lot of time and effort into Phoenix and Tampa recently and I believe he will continue that precedent here. Still, we need hockey fan’s butts filling seats at Philips. These guys have no control over who owns the team and who used to run the team. This is now, this is them, and this team deserves your support. If you can’t get over the past, we’ll gladly move on without you. Hopefully, just not to another city.

Jason

December 7th, 2010
11:50 pm

At the end of the 2003-04 NFL season, I made a decision to drop my Atlanta Falcons season tickets and buy Atlanta Thrashers season tickets. Financially, this wasn’t a smart move since the hockey tickets were much more expensive. The poor decision was compounded with the fact that the Falcons made the NFC Championship game the next season, and there wasn’t an NHL game played in Atlanta due to the lockout.

So my first season as a Thrashers season ticket holder was 2005-06. During that time, I’ve seen the team do spectacularly, both in a positive and negative manner. I was there when Kovalchuk pointed at Crosby. I was there when we were down big to Brodeur and the Devils and managed to come back. I was there when the crowd during the Jersey Off Our Back promotion kept chanting “Lets Go Thrashers!” to try and urge the team on to the playoffs, even though the Caps would ruin that hope two nights later.

I was there for the birth of the Hossa chant. I was there for the shootout the night after we clinched the playoff berth when we went to a shootout with Tampa Bay – and in hindsight, I wonder if we had lost and ended up with Tampa in the playoffs instead of New York, how different things would be.

I was there for the horrid start the next season. I forced myself to sit through the era of Waddell as head coach. As bad as things were, I was there for the John Anderson days as well.

I was there when the value of my season tickets was undercut greatly. I was there when they had two concession stands in the upper deck open on a night Pittsburgh came into town and 16,000+ were in the stands. I was there the countless nights there wasn’t an usher for my section. I’ve been there for as many games as my job would allow this year.

As a fan, there’s been countless times I’ve felt screwed over by this franchise. But I keep coming back. And I keep having a group night every season where I bring a ton of co-workers. I keep giving away bonus tickets to friends to get as many people there that I know as I can.

I’ll be there Friday, even though the owners won’t be. I’m still foolish enough to give my money to Bruce and the Boys. Because the fact of the matter is, ever since the announcement was made in 1997, I’ve always looked at the Atlanta Thrashers as my team. On top of all that, I’ve got a team I can be proud of again to call my own.

So to heck with the owners. To heck with Waddell. I’m going to be there every night humanly possible because those guys in the blue jerseys with Atlanta down the left sleeve deserve all the support I can give them.

/wandering rant

R. Stroz

December 8th, 2010
12:30 am

As a person who posts on this blog and has been nominated for blog post of the year for a variety of comments, I’d like to nominate Jason’s post for blog comment of the year.

Jason, I was present for ALL of the same moments listed above. Absolutely great post.

Thrashers27

December 8th, 2010
2:05 am

I’ll second that nomination, Stroz. Jason, I’m with you. Fantastic sentiment!!!!

World Be Free

December 8th, 2010
7:40 am

I third the nomination. I never bought a ticket to a sporting event to see the owner or GM, even though Punch Imlach was IN HIS SEAT at every Sabres’ game in full view of every fan.

Today, Dudley is the GM and Craig Ramsay is the head coach. Their work is clear and present at the quarter post, evident by the play of this team. I just hope the good play continues. Sage and the Sagettes can stay home and sulk. “Not one dollar”-please

Zoomo

December 8th, 2010
7:51 am

Nice rant, Jason. Sums it up for a lot of us. I was their for the inaugural game and I’ll be there Friday. Why? Because I love to watch hockey and support the team. Simple really. baaaaah baaaaaah

AtlFlamesFan

December 8th, 2010
7:55 am

My mother always said, “Don’t cut of your nose to spite your face.” It applies here. Boycotting the Thrashers to spite the ASG plays into their evil plans: selling off the asset for Canadian dollars. If you want to really stick it to ASG, then fill up the building!

JT from Columbus

December 8th, 2010
8:08 am

I think the best way to show a potential new owner that is money is well spent is to get as many people as possible to games. I live two hrs away and still try to get to a handful of games per year.

jimbo

December 8th, 2010
8:09 am

Jason- Good post. If anyone can recreate yesterday, let me know I want to block out a few past black days. Since I can’t, I’m movin on and am expectantly looking forward to being there Friday to support MY TEAM -THE ATLANTA THRASHERS. I’ve been through the ups and downs of many teams over the years- Bruins, Sox, Wings, Tigers. Change the characters a bit and the stories are similar. Team to live for today. No more posts from me about the TEFLON ONE. Hit the ice hustling on Friday guys. I’ll be in Sec. 109 to support ya.

World Be Free

December 8th, 2010
8:11 am

If you are a hockey fan you go to the games.

Flames

December 8th, 2010
8:14 am

Jason- That was one hell of a post. I’m couldn’t agree with you more! I will do my part and not miss a game this year. How about the rest of you?

hockeymom92

December 8th, 2010
8:27 am

Would love to have the funds to attend even 1 game this year, but until I find a job (lost mine in October) am going to have to be content watching Thrash on TV. Bummer, especially given how well we are doing and how much fun it is to be there in person. I do get some good live hockey at the son’s games. They actually crushed the 18U Preds last weekend in 2 games – it was great hockey.