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

Tom

December 13th, 2010
9:31 pm

We fell asleep in the locker room after the second period. What a terrible penalty by Bogo
and now a tied game.

iamtheratio

December 13th, 2010
9:32 pm

WHAT THE H…..

kracker

December 13th, 2010
9:32 pm

This game will be lost unless they stiffen. Sens can smell & taste a win!

AngryRedMarsWoman

December 13th, 2010
9:36 pm

What The F…….arghhhhhhhhh……..

iamtheratio

December 13th, 2010
9:39 pm

We need to definitely sit Bogey, he’s been terrible for long enough now. I get it that the puck is bouncing, but you shouldn’t try to play a puck when you have a 2 on 1.

We need to play OUR game, we haven’t had a solid 30 seconds or more of possession in the O-zone.

R. Stroz

December 13th, 2010
9:44 pm

Bogosian can’t “read the game” at NHL speed, plain and simple.

SomaAtl95

December 13th, 2010
9:44 pm

One thought – WTF?

iamtheratio

December 13th, 2010
9:51 pm

There is absolutely no reason necessary for this game to be going to OT. Work smarter, not harder.

SomaAtl95

December 13th, 2010
9:52 pm

Overtime – time for another hero to get us out of this fine mess we have created…

SomaAtl95

December 13th, 2010
9:55 pm

… and its LITTLE!!

AngryRedMarsWoman

December 13th, 2010
9:55 pm

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY thud

iamtheratio

December 13th, 2010
9:55 pm

OH THANK YOU LITTLE! What a shot!

We squeaked a win out of this one!

kracker

December 13th, 2010
9:57 pm

Bryan is back! Give him the bit and let that colt run!

Hanson Brothers

December 13th, 2010
10:03 pm

Way to go Byron Young!!!

Gwinnett Fred

December 13th, 2010
10:04 pm

YES, YES, YES.

Another character win for the Thrash. They just keep doing things they have not done in seasons past.

Yes, they blew a 3-0 lead, but kept their composure and pulled it out.

Got my tickets for the Canes earlier today, and now pumped up more than ever for Thursday’s game.

ON TO TAMPA!!!

AtlFlamesFan

December 13th, 2010
10:04 pm

Whew. I still cannot believe Hainsey put the puck back in the middle. Not just a dumb play, but bad instincts. But we got the 2 points! Hopefully that one point to the Sens will not come back to haunt us.

kracker

December 13th, 2010
10:05 pm

Alright….we had a couple of turnovers and a penalty shot against. It happens in hockey, or if you prefer, **it happens. How can the ice be so crappy in the great, white, frozen north?? In a so-called hockey city?

What I will remember is fighting through the bad play for the two points. The coaches, though, have some coaching to do. I expect they will do it. They have several choices for the press box next game. Who will it be? Burma is my guess, for one.

SomaAtl95

December 13th, 2010
10:05 pm

B-Litts = Scoring on the Blitz! This was our game to lose and still we find a way to get the W. A little uncomfortable though!

R. Stroz

December 13th, 2010
10:05 pm

And that’s why Spezza isn’t exactly a fan favorite in Ottawa.

Great read by Little.

kracker

December 13th, 2010
10:06 pm

Hanson…hehehe

Rawhide

December 13th, 2010
10:06 pm

WOW! I’m so happy we won that game that I think I’ll let the cats come inside tonight!

World Be Free

December 13th, 2010
10:09 pm

The second period slumber strikes again. If I see one more group of 5 STANDING THERE watching the other team pass the puck like a power play, I swear I will put my foot through the TV set! At least Stapleton had jump towards the opposng player.

Another game where we were out hit, again. Modin needs to take the barbells out of his pockets, he moving with the speed of growing moss.

Thanks to Jason Spezza for his insane drop pass in OT and Bryan Little hitting the top shelf. Litts is back for sure.

Hokie P. Clisters

December 13th, 2010
10:15 pm

Per Dan Kamal….”the Sens are just outworking us on every puck”. I wonder who Coach will “scratch” after this debacle. My early guess is that Bryan won’t be one of them. I doubt we will see any new “scratches” until we lose. We’re gonna have to play alot better to beat TB or pray that their pylons in goal give up 5 softies.

Hanson Brothers

December 13th, 2010
10:17 pm

kracker….glad someone got it. :)

Don’t look now, but we could be tied for first in the SE by this time Wednesday.

Tom Lysiak

December 13th, 2010
10:18 pm

WBF – Showdown match race….Modin vs. Antro. Get out your hourglasses.

Gwinnett Fred

December 13th, 2010
10:19 pm

A little credit to Modin – everybody’s favorite punching bag.

He did well with 45 seconds on the PK early in the game and had a real good aggressive shift in the 3rd to help stem the tide when all seemed to have gone poof.

Nobody worse than a -1 tonight, which is good.

I do wish we could find something out about Bergfors. There has to be more to his benching than the coaching staff wants to shake things up.
I smell a trade potentially for #18.

HookyBob

December 13th, 2010
10:20 pm

Coach Rammer’s system seems to work “lights out” when it is played 4 on 4. How many games have we won in the 5 minute OT?

Rawhide

December 13th, 2010
10:23 pm

Hanson Brothers – Yes…Byron Young. One of my favorite Thrashers.

I wonder if EJ knows is name now?

Gwinnett Fred – You aren’t the only one sniffing that auroma of a possible trade in the cold air of Thrasherville tonight.

The Divine Mrs. R

December 13th, 2010
10:23 pm

I’m so happy I’ll let Rawhide take a blanket outside tonight.

Hokie P. Clisters

December 13th, 2010
10:23 pm

Honestly, I’m happy we won. I just wanted to say “scratch” a few times in honor of Mr. Rawhide’s cats…………..

Flames

December 13th, 2010
10:26 pm

Last years team would Have put their heads down and lost it in OT. A good them finds a way to fight through adversity. A win is a win!!!! Little is back and Buff is a stud. He just became the Thrashers all time goal scorer for a defensive player with his 11th goal. Congratulations #33

Hockey Biltong

December 13th, 2010
10:30 pm

holy sheeite…we tried to give that one away…..

Rawhide

December 13th, 2010
10:31 pm

Coach Rammer’s system seems to work “lights out” when it is played 4 on 4. How many games have we won in the 5 minute OT?

Hookey Bob – Counting tonight…five.

Anticipating your followup question…we’ve only lost one game in the 5-minute OT period.

Tom

December 13th, 2010
10:33 pm

Believe it or not:

Atlanta Thrashers 5th in the East

Atlanta Thrashers 2nd in the Southeast

Atlanta Thrashers 2 pts out of 1st in the Southeast

A win in Tampa and another Washington loss and we are 1st in the division and 3rd in the conference.

SomaAtl95

December 13th, 2010
10:34 pm

Interesting bits from TSN’s review of tonight’s game…
Tobias Enstrom played his 277th consecutive game Monday, a Thrashers’ record…Eric Boulton is the only player in the NHL with a plus or even rating in every game he has appeared in this season among players who have played a minimum of 24 games.

Gwinnett Fred

December 13th, 2010
10:36 pm

@Hooky Bob

We are now 6-3 in OT games.

And thank goodness, the only thing Pavs has never gotten the hang of is penalty shots. If we don’t win those 6 in the five minute period, we probably go 2-4 in a shootout at best.

I hate to admit it, but Bogo has regressed it seems. Concentration maybe? I think he has the tools, just can’t put a consistent game together.

What do you think we could get for Bergfors & Bogo in a deal? They only make $1.75 mil between them which would be attractive to another team, so maybe the ASG could stick a crowbar in their wallets and take on an expiring salary that’s not too huge (can you say veteran presence at the blue line?) that another team is looking to dump.

Smitty

December 13th, 2010
10:37 pm

Outshot Outhit Out-faceoffed Out-chanced and we still won. As someone mentioned earlier; maybe Les Quebecois should go after the Senators. They would save on moving expenses.

Smoothie

December 13th, 2010
10:44 pm

Gwinnett – I was going to mention the same thing about Modin. He certainly seemed to find another gear in the 3rd period. Not to say I want him playing all that often, but if he can contribute every few games with a very workman-like effort providing leadership along the way, then I’m fine with that.

WBF – I don’t know how we managed to win that game. We really didn’t look like a top-caliber team most of the nite. Too many pinches at the red line when the puck was bouncing, poorly timed pinches at the blueline leading to odd-man rushes, nonchalance with the puck in front of our own net skating backwards by our D-men and poor commitment to getting the puck deep and cycling it outside of the Greek gods. I don’t know why we’ve gotten away from “our game” but if we don’t tidy up this sloppiness, then we’re going to set ourselves up for an untimely losing streak. We’re like the Metrodome roof with snow piling up. Time to start shoveling it off with much alacrity!! Don’t think we can come close to beating Tampa with this same kind of effort Wed nite. And Pavs deserved better than to have his GAA dented needlessly in the 3rd.

goose

December 13th, 2010
10:48 pm

Side note Buff’s plus minus is 14 points better than Duncan Keith he is a Minus -9.

R. Stroz

December 13th, 2010
10:50 pm

Where were the “Shriveling Diques” fans tonight?

Flames

December 13th, 2010
10:53 pm

We have won 10 out of our last 12 games… Lets go Thrashers!!!!

AtlFlamesFan

December 13th, 2010
10:58 pm

Buff on D. Buff on O. Did you see him hustle to break up the scoring chance before turning around to score a goal?

Time to Buff the Norris! They could have JR present the trophy!

Stephen

December 13th, 2010
11:00 pm

As a frequent reader but rare poster to this blog, I am sorry to read your comments about letting the cats in from the cold. All domesticated animals can freeze in this weather and they need shelter. Please keep your comments to hockey and your dislike of cats out of your blog.

Brendan

December 13th, 2010
11:05 pm

In “Modin Watch 2010-11″ the votes were 18 for “Over” and 10 for “Under.” Over refers to 56 or more games played by Modin, coupled with 14 or more goals scored by Modin … and this is important, too, that all games played and goals scored by Modin … be done as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers. Meaning? If Modin is traded at the Deadline, only those games played and goals scored by Modin as a Thrasher count in the contest. These posters cast their vote for “over”: Derrick, Diego from Lilburn, Flames, five_hole, Simon, Tony C., Tom Lysiak, Kracker,
Thrashy Thrashy, Rob, FIF, Darkhorse, Rawhide, Jen, Sisu, dwayne, Smoothie, and GaVaHokie. These posters cast the vote for LESS (under) than 56 games played and 14 goals scored, for Modin, as a Thrasher: Jeff97, Spud Webb, Hockey Biltong, Larry, Adam, R.Stroz, Red Light, Curly, Badger Bob, and Brendan. Good luck to all participants.

In tonight’s game, we saw that “safe was death.” During this 9-2-0 stretch, which resulted in 18 of a possible 22-points, we saw our Thrashers score first for most of that stretch. We also saw them build the lead … and protect the lead. Tonight, I’m not sure what happened. I missed the entire 1st period, on the road, listening to the Great Kamalian call the game on 93.7 FM, the AM 680TheFan sister station. I got home mid-way through the 2nd period. It appeared that the game was well in-hand. However, we saw a resilient Senators team, coupled with an error-prone Thrashers squad. Too many give-a-ways in the defensive zone. We need to work on clearing our zone in practice. If we’re in possession of the puck, north of the faceoff circles, they’re no excuse for not clearing the zone, unless there’s a man right on you. But to skate the puck to the blueline, uncontested, but fail to clear the zone, is the sort of thing that gets even a college player sitting on the pine. You simply must clear the zone.

Look, folks. In the end, I don’t even care that we tossed Ottawa a “pity” point. My bottom line is … that we won the game. We came in … with the objective of 2-pts, and we got them. We got them. Sweet goal by Little. I must confess some shadenfreude over Daniel Alfredsson’s gaffe. Even since he deliberately shot that puck at Scott Stevens head, in that playoff game vs. the Devils, I’ve never quite seen him the same way. When he got ‘wheeled’ by Jason Pomminville in sudden-death overtime, in the CSF vs. the Sabres, in the series clinching goal by Buffalo, I still delight in the words of Darren Eliot from that evening, “You tell me, was that a ‘committed effort,’ defensively, on the part of the Captain, in overtime?” I mean … is there a more torturous way to impugn the character of Daniel Alfredsson than that? It’s one of my all-time favorite moments in sports broadcasting. THANK YOU, DARREN ELIOT!!!

Thennnnn came tonight, and Alfie’s “blind pass” that resulted in Little’s second goal of the game. Pure Heaven. It’s such shameful joy on my part, to revel in so much. Truthfully, “shadenfreude” is a character flaw … on the part of anyone who engages in it. Including me. Tonight. Right now. :)

Rawhide

December 13th, 2010
11:05 pm

Stephen – First…thank you for being a reader.

However, I will refer you to my comment to Matt at 11:12 am this morning:

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

See…it was just a joke.

kracker

December 13th, 2010
11:09 pm

Smoothie – We’re like the Metrodome roof with snow piling up.

hahahahah Hope we don’t rupture! As for Pavs GAA, he knows, like we all know, some nights you get the breaks and flawless support and some nights you don’t.

After looking at Sopel’s turnover a few more times, just ewwuh! He could have saved that one until a minute left in the 3rd.

kracker

December 13th, 2010
11:11 pm

Stephan, I think the cats outside references are just jokes.

Brendan

December 13th, 2010
11:12 pm

Steve Martin, in “The Jerk”: “I’ve seen this before. Cat juggling!! Turn it off!!”

Gwinnett Fred

December 13th, 2010
11:16 pm

Yea Stephen,

Even Stevie Wonder could see it was a joke.

When you only read half the posts (despite being a ‘frequent reader’), you should reserve posting something where you are assuming stuff and don’t really know the whole story.

It also shows your dark view on things in general by not giving the benefit of the doubt of it being a joke from the start.

Not to just bash you, but really, know the whole story before jumping up on the stump with your collar on ready to preach.

NOW THEN RAWHIDE – LET THEM DAMN CATS IN – LOL

Hoof Arted

December 13th, 2010
11:18 pm

Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation: “Looks like he used up all his nine lives on THAT one”.

Hey Stephanie, everyone with more than 3 active brain cells knew he was joking about the cats. You need to find a Mamma’s Boy blog to comment on for the love of Pete.

I’m going to admit I was getting a little peeved at the Thrashers tonight. Too many mistakes and not enough effort in that third period. But two points is two points. Playoff teams find a way to get them even when they aren’t at their best.