As Atlanta freezes the Thrashers remain hot

OK, whoever left the door open up there in Canada…would you please mind shutting it? And while you’re at it, how about a new round of weather-stripping around the border, eh?

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……

Temperatures here in Atlanta area dropped into the single digits last night and early this morning with the wind chill factored in. The thermometer reported the frosty conditions as snow flurries flew about throughout Sunday afternoon and evening.

Last night it was so cold…how cold was it?… it was so cold, I actually considered letting the cats come back inside.

Almost.

But this is nothing compared to what’s going on up in the Upper midwest…I mean, did you see what happened to the Metrodome in Minn-EEE-So-TAH? Yikes.

Anyway, while we were bundled up in front of a cracking fireplaces, struggling for throw-blanket supremacy with our significant-others on the couch while watching TV last night, there was something going on in Manhattan that effects the residence of Thrasherville. The Rangers basically kicked the Washington Capitals square in their icicles, beating them 7-0. The loss extends the Caps losing streak to 6 and it keeps them only four points in front of the Thrashers.

What this means is that our Thrashers have the opportunity to climb back to within a pair of points of the Southeast Division leaders if they can effort out a win in Ottawa tonight. That’s big news, especially seeing that the Thrashers would have a game in hand with the Caps. It would also mean they would catapult over Boston and Tampa Bay in the standings, both of whom are idle tonight, and it would tie them with the Rangers at 37 points.

If I’m not mistaken, the last time this team found themselves within sniffing distance of the top spot in the division this far into a season was back in the winter of ’08 after 10-round shootout victory in New Jersey. They then went on to drop a steaming pile of fail against the Islanders the next night and…well, that’s old history now.

Atlanta’s 16-11-3 record is exactly the same as it was last December. But unlike that version of the Thrashers, this one is ascending in the standings. This time last year, they were dropping as fast as the mercury in our back porch thermometers over the weekend. Then, they were in the midst of a winter freeze that saw them play to an 8-14-5 record between Thanksgiving and late January, including a nine-game losing streak. Between the beginning of December and January 12 of last year, they went 20 consecutive games without mustering a single regulation win.

But now, these Thrashers join their neighbors in the Dome as just about the hottest thing in Atlanta. The Thrashers have won three of the last four and nine of the last eleven.

As for some cold hard stats…

Ondrej Pavelec, who should be back between the pipes tonight, is now 9-6-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .944 SV%. In is career versus the Senators, he’s 3-3-1 with a 2.35 GAA and .929 SV%. The last time he started a game in Ottawa, he kicked out 50 of 51 shots as the Thrashers won 3-1 back on Halloween of 2009. Last month he come on in relief of Chris Mason in the 5-2 loss in Ottawa and saved 10 of 11.

Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd continue to lead the Thrashers in goals scored, both have 10. Buff has 20 assists to go with it while Ladd has 19.

Bryan Little has taken over as the team’s +/- leader as he is now +8. Brent Sopel is close behind with a +7 while Eric Boulton and Ben Eager are each a +6 for the season.

Since November 19, Anthony Stewart is a +5 and has contributed with 3 goals and 2 assists during in that time frame which spans 11 games.

The engine that runs the team’s offense hasn’t been affected at all by the colder weather. After potting five against the Islanders Saturday night, the Thrashers now have a goals per game average of 3.09, the seventh best in the NHL just behind Tampa Bay’s 3.10. The 1035 total shots taken on opposing goalies is the second most in the league, behind Anaheim’s 1135. The Ducks have played three more games than have the Thrashers, though.

Going oh-fer five on the power play, though, on Long Island has dropped them to fourth in the NHL in that statistical column. They are still converting 23.1% of their man-advantages though.

188 comments Add your comment

World Be Free

December 13th, 2010
10:13 am

We have to get back to a good forecheck!

Matt

December 13th, 2010
10:18 am

Bill-it’s actually “Minn-NEE-soh-tah” as the old cheer at Mariucci Arena used to go. This, of course, lead to the dreaded chant of “Ni..Ni..Ni”. (Why? I suppose we were all Monty Python fans at the time)

Thomas Magnum

December 13th, 2010
10:19 am

Let’s get another win tonight boys! It would be great if we could pass the Caps in the standings by the end of the week!

Monkey

December 13th, 2010
10:33 am

Alan R.

December 13th, 2010
10:40 am

Well, it’s gonna get colder tonight, Bill. Might wanna let the furballs hang out in the basement tonight. :P

Also, is that a typo I spy? A .29% save percentage against the Sens? ;)

JB

December 13th, 2010
10:43 am

Kamal & Kane both made mention of extremely difficult travel to Ottawa on twitter. Anyone know what happened?

Matt

December 13th, 2010
11:04 am

Come on, let the cats in… it’s freezing out there. Have a heart.

SomaAtl95

December 13th, 2010
11:06 am

Makes me wonder if fans of the original Senators (that disbanded in 1934) will be showing up at tonights game demanding that a professional and championship caliber team come back to Ottawa. Surely any team that lost a franchise (and it doesn’t matter when) doesn’t **deserve** to have another franchise to replace missing teams like Atlanta (Flames), Colorado(Rockies) Montreal (Wanderers and Maroons) New York (Americans) Philly (Quakers) Pittsburgh (Pirates) and St Louis (Eagles) None of these markets could support a second hockey team and if they are given a second chance then the riots in Canada will begin because Hockey is their **birthright**… /sarcasm
Lets keep winning! With a December to Remember our boys will be sitting pretty this post season – GO THRASHERS!!

Joe Friday

December 13th, 2010
11:11 am

Send the cats to Quebec . . . ya know, Mother Nature’s kitty litter box

Thank goodness we get Pavs back in tonight, Mason was scaring the crap out of me all night, he looked pretty bad on the island.

I would assume Modin is back on the bench. Stapelton looked alright though, but need Bergfors back in there, unless he’s still in the doghouse.

Rawhide

December 13th, 2010
11:12 am

JB – I could only assume that it has to do with the same storm system that went through the Great Lakes region over the weekend.

Matt – In all seriousness, all 3 of our cats are of the indoor variety. So no need to worry about them.

Alan R. – yeah…that’s a .929 SV% career stat against the Sens for Opie.

SomaAtl95:lol: LOL! … Oh, and don’t call me Shirley.

Putting On The Foil

December 13th, 2010
11:19 am

These next two could really set the tone for the Thrash. Hopefully they will get their wheels they didn’t seem to have the other night against the Isles.

R. Stroz

December 13th, 2010
11:24 am

If the Divine Mrs. Rawhide had to decide whether the cats or Rawhide stayed in the house, Rawhide would be very, very cold.

Red Light

December 13th, 2010
11:28 am

Sound the alarm Rawhide!

Since March 7, 2010, Nik Antropov has a plus/minus rating of -17, a span of 46 games. He has had more than one shot in just 10 of 29 games this season.

Johnny Oduya, who was -11 through Nov. 13, is +6 in his last 13 games. Since that game, he also has taken 17 shots, four more than Antropov’s 13.

What’s up with Nik, besides the hip?

SomaAtl95

December 13th, 2010
11:31 am

And a quick thought for people comparing the ASG to the owner of the Indians in “Major League” I imagine they have a picture of the ASG in their skivvies and for every WIN they notch, more of the ownership picture gets covered up with pictures of the Blue Crew. Proper motivation and in context of the movie as well.
And is it just me or does Sage remind you guys of Randy Quaid’s naysayer/tormentor from that very same movie?

Dwayne

December 13th, 2010
11:34 am

I could not figure out why Antro was on the same line as Slowdeen, even the real great 8’s speed could not make up for 2.

Rawhide

December 13th, 2010
11:38 am

Per C-Viv tweet: “Some changes to #Thrashers lines: 16-47-80, 9-10-22, 14-8-19, 36-23-27″.

Looks like eager and Bergie are out again tonight.

kracker

December 13th, 2010
11:39 am

I got Ranallo’ed again, so I am re-posting, whether you want to read them or not ;)

#1 – This week is an important week. (as most are) We play Ott (away) and Canes (home), who are tied in the 9 spot and will certainly will be busting a gut to gain 2 points (and not lose 2) on the #8 team. Wednesday, we play at TBL and we should be busting a gut to gain 2 points on them and finally beat them. Saturday, we host the NJ Devils and everybody will want to kick them to the curb.

#2 – Oh, for those that think losing to the Avs at home was so terrible, the Avs are not a bad team. They finished 09-10 in the 8 spot of the Western Conf. with 95 points and a +11 goal differential. The Avs currently are in the 8 spot, the same as the Thrashers, with 34 points (Atl has 35) and again they have a +11 goal differential. A series between these teams could easily go 7 games.

Red Light

December 13th, 2010
11:41 am

Wind chill in Ottawa: -18 °C
Wind chill in Atlanta: -12 °C

Number of cats outside in Ottawa: 0
Number of cats outside in NW Atlanta: 3

Yuk, yuk, yuk

Rawhide

December 13th, 2010
11:42 am

kracker – Looks like I may have to reinstate the Emercency Ranallo Alert Broadcasting System prior to the posting of each new blog.

Joe Friday

December 13th, 2010
11:48 am

“Looks like eager and Bergie are out again tonight.”

Wonder what’s up? They must really be in the doghouse as we played like crap on Saturday night, very lucky to come away with 2 pts in that game. I trust Ramsay as obviously what he’s doing is working, but I wonder what the real story is with the Eager and Bergfors situations. To my eye, neither one had that bad of a game Friday night, locker room problem?

Antroprov would be the one to sit, methinks.

jimbo

December 13th, 2010
11:51 am

Happy to hear that the cats are warm and cuddled up inside. Couldn’t think about anything but the poor little critters shivering in this frigid weather. Am also shivering thinking about Freddy Slo-Mo out there instead of Eager who hits and hustles, most of the time.

Monkey

December 13th, 2010
11:54 am

Big Nick has sucked this year. Looks like he has having big issues with the hip…like trying to skate in wet concrete.

World Be Free

December 13th, 2010
11:55 am

Yeah you gotta wonder why Bergie and Eager are in time out. Berfors’ goal was pretty nice Friday, I guess they expect more. Saw a graphic this weekend, compared Bergfors and Kovalchuk since the trade, their numbers are almost exactly alike.

Sit the slug Stewart instead

Cornbread

December 13th, 2010
12:12 pm

I think I heard some cats, or coons, under the house last night. Smart critters. They know where to go when it’s cold.

Putting On The Foil

December 13th, 2010
12:16 pm

Let’s call out a couple of players on the blog today and rough ‘em up. If my memory serves me correctly, we have called out a few at different times this year and they responded with good or big games.

glovesave29

December 13th, 2010
12:17 pm

Look at Niks shot – it’ll tell ya all you need to know. He’s keeping his elbows tucked in and not following thru after the shot. Tells me something is still hurting. Be interested to know if he’s using a longer stick too, so that he can remain more upright.

Any cat outside today should be referred to in the PAST and not the PRESENT tense (cue Monty Python parrot sketch…)

I am not a conspiracy theorist – but I am beginning to get annoyed by the total lack of effort to market the team from the ASG. Don’t think they are setting us up for a move, but with those morons, I cannot put it past them. There are pockets of hockey fans in Birmingham, Chattanooga, Huntsville, Knoxville and Macon – a total population of just under 3 million. Get just ONE out of a THOUSAND to come to the game – theres 3,000 people. The players want to play for a full house. I am sure they are ok to spend a summer day there talking hockey with the people…making friends and fans. Send preseason games. How about a scrimmage between fans and the team. That’d be GREAT! Hockey players are the most approachable and down to earth of all the pro athletes. Use that to our advantage!

DAMN. I wish the ASG cared.

Joe Friday

December 13th, 2010
12:17 pm

Big Buf is in one of his lulls, he needs to pick it up!

@not_CThorburn

December 13th, 2010
12:26 pm

Of course we’re still hot – the McRib is still available!

I will say finding a McRib in Ottawa is very difficult. I guess asking for one at 7:30 am before the morning skate probably complicated matters.

Don

joe kill

December 13th, 2010
12:46 pm

Buff is the man and ondre pavleic is an outstanding goaltender we are playing great hockey right now Go Thrashers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Red Light

December 13th, 2010
12:47 pm

C’mon Joe Friday!

If I told you before the year that Byfuglien would get 4 goals, 9 assists in every 10 games, and be held scoreless in two of those games, would you have taken it? Or, in the 10 prior, when he had 2 goals and six assists and was held scoreless for 4 games? Or the first 10, when he had 4 goals and 5 assists and be held scoreless for 4 games?

Oh, I get it, talk bad about him and he’ll respond!

Not sure what the Eager or Bergey thinking is either. Maybe they’re nursing an “injury” and Ramsay simply wants to get the other two some time. But, if he is operating under no changes because they won the previous game routine, than I would defer to him.

The more I watch Eager, the more I like him. The more I watch Bergfors, the more I think he’s a one-trick pony = shot.

Joe McGrath

December 13th, 2010
12:48 pm

@Glovesave–Eactly (concerning ASG lack of marketing to region.)

Joe McGrath

December 13th, 2010
12:52 pm

@Glove–misposted. EXACTLY with an X. However, Huntsville, Chatttanooga and Knoxville are in Nashville’s market Fox Sports Tennessee. I live in Huntsville and if Thrashers are on at same time as Preds, I only get Preds. That’s why I ponied up for Center Ice.

glovesave29

December 13th, 2010
12:56 pm

Joe – there’s a 30 mile difference. I know Knox is more toward Nashville, but hell – at least make an effort! Try other markets – Augusta, Greenville, Columbus, Savannah, Columbia….

Cornbread

December 13th, 2010
1:06 pm

I believe Eager has just been making too many mistakes. It was his continued turnovers that in part led up to the locker room shake-up. They continue especially in his own end. He needs to get the puck out, dump it deep, battle for it down low, and get it to Burmi and Antro. I expected him to play better in his third line role. I think he’s got it in him to be that guy but right now the fourth line of Boulton, Slater, and Thorburn are all playing better hockey individually and as a group. Sit and watch the game up high. There is a lot to learn watching the game up there.

Bergfors is not playing to his potential. Five shots in his last five games playing on the top line with Ladd and Peverly is not going to get it done. He needs to be putting 3 quality shots a game on net. Plus, he needs to get his nose a little dirtier. Are there locker room issues? Sit until you are ready to play the way the coach wants you to and you are capable of.

Modin and Stapleton are quite capable of doing those little things. They’ve sat long enough and are hungry for the chance. Let’s see what happens tonight. One of those guys gets a point if not both.

World Be Free

December 13th, 2010
1:07 pm

Red Light-Big Buff took a catnap through most of the game against the Avs, including the GWG. Joe Friday’s right, Buff needs a talkin’ to.

Red Light

December 13th, 2010
1:19 pm

I noticed the lethargy too, but you also know no one can play well every game for all 82. They’re not machines. He and Pav are the MVPs of the team through 30 games, no question. Therefore, I forgive an off night or two.

Rawhide

December 13th, 2010
1:23 pm

C-Viv has a new blog posted with some quotes from Ramsay and Eager regarding the recent sitting of he and Bergie.

World Be Free

December 13th, 2010
1:35 pm

Off subject-anyone watch the Flyers/Bruins game Saturday night?
Man it was like a playoff game, one of the best games I have seen so far this season. Philly won with a few seconds left in OT. Mike Richards is so clutch it is sick!

ThrasherTim

December 13th, 2010
1:37 pm

If you want an example of Eager’s issues, just watch all the times where Zach gives him an outlet pass from his own zone right on the tape at mid-ice…and watch the puck bounce off his skate right to the D guy on the opposite team. That’s puck possession time going from + 20 seconds to – 20 seconds…multiply that over some games and it doesn’t work out. He just doesn’t bring it every shift.

Bergfors has some skill obviously and this is Ramsay trying to pry more effort and develop a player. To me, Bergfors could be trade bait at the deadline if we need some D help. Cormier might be ready by then to play on a 3rd or 4th line while someone who cycles and works harder moves up with Ladd and Peverly. Just my 2 cents.

Huge games this week to show the league (and the fans) if the Thrashers are contenders or still pretenders. We can really provide some separation from the teams chasing us with a couple of wins here.

Tom

December 13th, 2010
1:43 pm

Here is something that the Thrasher’s marketing department would never do. People might like it…

The Belfast Giants hockey team performing All I want for Christmas is You. via Puckdaddy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl–okKBgSw&feature=player_embedded

glovesave29

December 13th, 2010
2:06 pm

ShowThrashSomeLove

December 13th, 2010
2:12 pm

Where are the fans at? I went to the game the other night and there were 10,000 fans there. Come on people. The Thrashers NEED our support!!!!!! Go Thrashers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Russian

December 13th, 2010
2:13 pm

**glovesave**
Do we have to take him?

Stuck in NJ

December 13th, 2010
2:13 pm

My hunch is that the Duds is working a trade deal that includes Bergfors and Eager. He doesn’t want either of them hurt to wreck the deal. They’ll sit until the deal is announced

Brad Richards maybe?

Matt

December 13th, 2010
2:19 pm

Would someone PLEASE tell me what the problem is that Scott Burnside/Pierre LeBrun have with Atlanta Thrasher fans?? I mean, yeah, I can understand taking shots at the fans if we had failed to support a winning team for several years, but this is just stupid. Do they not realize the incredible damage done to the fan base by ownership/mgmt over the past 4 seasons? If not, they need to get new jobs.Its going to take TIME to get the fans back, and not just a couple of weeks.

Spud Webb

December 13th, 2010
2:20 pm

ahahhahahahah oh god….Number of cats outside in Ottawa: 0
Number of cats outside in NW Atlanta: 3

kracker

December 13th, 2010
2:20 pm

Glove — Nabokov: The former San Jose Sharks netminder was 8-8-5 in 22 games this season, with a save percentage of .888 and a 3.02 GAA.

Whew! I’m really glad we did not spend a bundle on Nabokov. He would have been worse than Mason at more than twice the price.

kracker

December 13th, 2010
2:22 pm

Stuck in NJ – Sitting players because of an impending trade is always a possibility.

Putting On The Foil

December 13th, 2010
2:25 pm

Nabokov- How convenient. For the Caps, maybe?

Red Light

December 13th, 2010
2:35 pm

Nabby to Tampa Bay. Book it!