Is this the best Thrashers team ever?

Opening disclaimer: With the Atlanta Thrashers only having played 31 of the scheduled 82 games, there is still a lot of hockey season yet to go. With that in mind, no team…the Thrashers or any of the other 29 NHL teams…have punched their tickets to the playoffs this coming spring. Nothing said or implied in today’s blog by the blog host or commenters below should be taken as anything but a reflection of the first two and a half months of the season and the possibilities of what may or may not be yet to come. Any and all projections are to be considered with the understanding that past performance does not always guarantee future results.

OK, with that said and out of the way…

For several years now I have opined that the best team ever iced by the Atlanta Thrashers organ-I-zation has been the one that played in the 2005-06 season…the first one coming out of the lockout. Many point to the one that performed well enough to make the playoffs the next year, but I still believe the one before that was a better unit as a whole.

Secondary disclaimer: Of course, discussing which of the previous ten Thrashers teams was the “best” is much like discussing what was David Caruso’s “best” ever movie performance. There’s just not a lot to choose from there. But I digress.

The Thrashers celebrate Dustin Byfuglien's second period goal in Ottawa Monday night. The defenseman currently is on track to score 85 overall points if he contues on his current pace (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Pawel Dwulit)

The Thrashers celebrate Dustin Byfuglien's second period goal in Ottawa Monday night. The defenseman currently is on track to score 85 overall points if he contues on his current pace (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Pawel Dwulit)

Coming out of the work stoppage that season, Atlanta had on its rosters players like, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marc Savard, Marian Hossa, Scott Mellanby, Bobby Holik, Slava Kozlov, Greg DeVries, Peter Bondra, Nic Havelid, Shane Hnidy and Jaroslav Modry. That squad, as you’ll recall, suffered through an ugly start of the season due to plethora of goalie issues but still managed to work it’s way back into the playoff picture… only to fall just short in the closing weekend of the season.

I also believe it was Bob Hartley’s finest coaching in his career behind the bench.

Kovalchuk finished that season with 52 goals and 98 overall points, Savard dished out 69 assists to go with 28 goals and Hossa finished that year with 39 goals, 53 assists and team-high +17 rating. Five defensemen, Havelid, Hnidy, DeVries, Garnet Exelby and Andy Sutton finished on the plus side of the +/- rating.

Regardless of which team in the past you might argue is the “best Thrashers team ever”…one thing I think we can all agree upon is that the current version of this team has the potential of becoming the undisputed all-time best.

Now, I’m quite sure there are some of you out there who are already mumbling under your collective breaths about me putting the proverbial cart before the horse or that I’m suffering from a case of premature speculation, but… pointing to the opening disclaimer…I am seriously coming to that notion. Of course, watching them rattle off ten wins in the last twelve games will do that to a person.

Currently, this team has 37 points after 31 games played. If they secure two points tomorrow night in Tampa, they’ll have 39 after 32 games, which would put them on pace for right at 100 points for the season…again referring back to the disclaimer.

While it’s true that this time last year, they had the exact same record they have now…17-11-3…there is a bit of a difference. First, we are ascending in the standings instead of descending, as was the case 12 months ago. And now, we aren’t being held hostage with the drama surrounding trying to re-sign the “face of the franchise” to a $10 million per season deal. Thus, among other reasons, I don’t think we’re going to see the kind of slide in the standing that produced last year.

The team that qualified for postseason four years ago did so by scoring 246 goals that year. This year, the 99 goals netted after 31 games put them on pace…again, pointing to the disclaimer…for 262. If anybody would have told you last September the Thrashers would be popping in goals a rate of 3-plus per game at this juncture, would you have looked at them as if they had just stepped off the spaceship from Venus? I know I would have.

They are doing this with a great deal of balanced scoring from all skaters. Last night it was Bryan Little with a pair of goals and a couple from the fourth line. Saturday it was Johnny Oduya potting two in the win over the Islanders. Prior to that, it was Zach Bogosian winning the game in overtime after Andrew Ladd had tied it up. Recently we saw Anthony Stewart win a game in OT out in Colorado. If it’s not one of those players, then it’s Dustin Byfuglien, Rich Peverley, Evander Kane or [fill in name of Thrashers player here]providing the heroics.

Is this year's Thrashers team the best yet?

  • Yes! Definitely (51%, 122 Votes)
  • No! Not even close (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Let's not speculate prematurely (47%, 114 Votes)

Total Voters: 240

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Needless to say, a team simply cannot close one player down and take their chances with the rest of the squad as they’ve been able to in times past.

Byfuglien is currently on pace for 85 points, Ladd is on pace for 61, Toby Enstrom for 59, Peverley for 53…so on and so on. Again… pointing above to the disclaimer… past performance does not always guarantee future results.

Then we come to the play coming from between the pipes…the position that doomed the 2005-06 campaign right out of the gate. What more can be said of Ondrej Pavelec?

But it’s not just his individual performance, which has been nothing short of spectacular. It’s been the incorporation of a team-wide effort on defense that…while not perfect by any stretch of the imagination…has shown improvement as the season has progressed.

Last night, Thrashers color commentator Darrin Eliot… himself a former NHL netminder… pointed out how Opie was being used as an integral part of the overall defensive scheme. When the puck was to his left, Pavelec knew he could square up to the puck, knowing he had two skaters out in front to protect the weak side.

Using the goalie as part of a defensive strategy? What a concept…

All this adds up to a team that finds ways to win games that Thrashers teams of past would not have, should avoid prolonged periods of poor play and come this spring should find itself jockeying for playoff positioning…not just a playoff spot.

Once there, they’ll have a chance to do what no Thrashers team has ever done before, actually win a playoff game. Maybe they’ll even do what no NHL franchise in Atlanta has ever done…advance to the second round. If so, then certain this year’s team would have to be considered the undisputed “best ever”.

Remember…pointing above…the disclaimer atop the post.

Final disclaimer: No cats were left out in the cold, abused or in any other way, shape matter or form harmed in the making of this blog.

166 comments Add your comment

Joe Friday

December 14th, 2010
12:35 pm

Yes, this is the prettiest pig.

It is the best coached team, so it’s the best team, but not the best collection of talent.

I’ll take best coached team over best collection of talent every day, and twice on Sunday.

DWTOO

December 14th, 2010
12:40 pm

No matter what happens thru the remainder of the season this is the best TEAM the franchise has put on the ice. Yes, we’ve had better overall talent on previous teams, but, this group has really performed as a group. And they all seem to support each other. An old friend of ours has posted on C Viv’s blog that Coach Ramsay is the team MVP. Think he may be right.

Like last night – it seemed like we were backing off in protecting the three goal lead and lost focus – and then the light came and the Thrashers started to take the play to the Sens.

DWTOO

December 14th, 2010
12:43 pm

Brendan posted this on C Viv’s blog also. Did you notice the Sens fan and the WTF or something to that effect while the Thrashers celebrated in front of him. I was waiting for him to sit in the aisle and start crying on his journey to Mamby Pamby Land. Jackwagon! Lee E is the best.

Netminder

December 14th, 2010
12:44 pm

I agree about the team from the 2005-06 Season. We would have made it deep in the playoffs if we would have had Pasi Nurminen in net for any length of time that season instead of starting with Kari.

gsukevin

December 14th, 2010
12:50 pm

Coaching makes this the best Thrashers team in history. That’s the difference.

Hoof Arted

December 14th, 2010
12:51 pm

Yea boy. Got to be careful with that premature speculation. It could get messy and always embarrassing. I always find thinking about baseball helps.

World Be Free

December 14th, 2010
12:52 pm

This is the best team ever-IF they get Ladd, Buff and a few other guys signatures on long term deals so we can nail the revolving door shut. My hope is that we can stop watching our former players hoist the Stanley Cup in other team’s uniforms. Nice job by Craig Ramsay too, one of THE most respect people in the entire league.

This team has to be more physical; I will keep beating this subject as long as guys are allowed to free-wheel through the neutral zone. I will also be interested to see how people vote. I voted “let’s not speculate” since there alotta season left.

Darren

December 14th, 2010
12:52 pm

Definitely a stronger, deeper group of defensemen, if nothing else. Scoring-wise, that team had more top-end talent, but this team has a definitive top-to-bottom two-way focus that team definitely didn’t have.

The other team probably had more “talent”, but this team is better built for long-term success.

World Be Free

December 14th, 2010
12:53 pm

Big ups to Pavs, so far. I was totally wrong on his abilities.

Chris

December 14th, 2010
12:59 pm

Here’s the “Time’s Arrow” angle.

Coaching is cumulative. The team managed to play .500 hockey during the early weeks when not all of the coach’s wisdom had been imparted. The team isn’t going to forget what they’re learning. The coaching suggests the future will be more like the recent 12 game stretch and less like the October record. AND – the schedule is going to get a bit easier in the future. The team has excelled during a tough stretch of games.

Of course, injuries can change everything, and the risk with a young team is that they will play to an opponents level and dial-back against the easier teams.

But the bottom line is the past few weeks have seen the best hockey in this franchise’ history.

Party Pooper

December 14th, 2010
1:03 pm

When Darren Eliot loses his job with the Thrashers, he’ll be great doing infomercials.

Just sayin’!

Russian

December 14th, 2010
1:03 pm

Good post! Like it.
Yes. We have a best team since 1999. Also we have good and smart COACH. Hartly was good but he used to work with veterans (Sakic, Foot, Roy). That’s a reason we lost Corbun. But it is past.
Ramsey is different coach. He worked with anybody, veteran or rokie or two Stanley Cup champion. I hope team will continue to work hard and bring some good memories for this season. :-)

Cliff Fletcher

December 14th, 2010
1:04 pm

Holding for Sage’s post, it should be priceless.
Unless he has moved to Winnipeg to start his “Five Year Plan”

Stuck in NJ

December 14th, 2010
1:04 pm

I think that this is the “best” team ever because I EXPECT them to win every night, as opposed to 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 when it was “cross your fingers and hope they can crawl across the play-off finish line” every night.
I’m actually aggravated that we didn’t CRUSH ottawa last night. After the 3-0 lead, I expected another 5-0 win. Now, don’t get me wrong, you can’t argue with the 2-points, but the expectations for this year’s team are higher than I can ever remember.

TableHocey

December 14th, 2010
1:05 pm

It’s a different team for sure – I love that I no longer feel a sense of panic when the team falls behind – well not until the last 3-4 minutes of the game as our record with an empty net is close to being on par with our shoot out record. Regardless – I am in full agreement that this is both the best team and best coached team in the franchise history.

I really like the sense I get from Rammer at the post-game scrum. You can tells the wheels are moving in his head about what went well and what needs to be done to address issues. I also like that he often chooses to stay close tot he chest with those thoughts.

Far cry from the “Team is fragile” or “need a lucky bounce” crap we’ve heard at the PG scrums in previous seasons.

But why you hating on David Caruso? LOL.

Stuck in NJ

December 14th, 2010
1:07 pm

Maybe I missed the post on another blog, but did anybody notice that Dallas is having their “Kari Down 2010″ event?

AtlFlamesFan

December 14th, 2010
1:08 pm

I love what is going on here, but if we had last year’s version of Opie, we would not be in the position that we are today.

ben

December 14th, 2010
1:14 pm

best results. If Kari had never showed up. we would have gone deep into the playoffs. looking back pasi was amazing because he did it all with a crappy d-corps. perhaps all that talk of kovy’s exit making the team better was genuine. in the next year or two the fans will show up if this trend holds then those grizzly members of the TO media will try insulting another us area team into moving north.

Dwayne

December 14th, 2010
1:15 pm

Chris, I think you hit the “young” statement on the head. Maybe that is why slowdeen is on this team. Antro too. Ladd is the Captain, but still young. Never mention injuries again. A veteren team gets ottawa down by 3 and steps on said teams neck, Thrash ran off to lala land for a minute and its 3-3. But as stated many times before, in years past, Thrashers lose game like last night. Not any more. Go Thrash!!!!

Stuck in NJ

December 14th, 2010
1:18 pm

Shouldn’t it actually be “Slodine”?

Stuck in NJ

December 14th, 2010
1:22 pm

Ooops, I mean “Slodin”…wow..that was fail

Alan R.

December 14th, 2010
1:39 pm

but if we had last year’s version of Opie

For that, we’d also need last years “goaltending coach.” Screw that. It’s obvious the entire coaching staff is imparting their wisdom on this team. Clint has worked miracles with Pavs. He still scares me a little, but after seeing how he played the penalty shot last night (despite the fact he got scored on), I’m more comfortable with him in net.

cousin Eddie

December 14th, 2010
1:52 pm

I love how our coach can immediately pinpoint what went wrong. He is detail oriented, unlike 60% of the coaches in the league. Look at the post game press conference for Bruce Boudreu. He had no clue what went wrong or how to fix what happened in New York. Karma is finally changing in the ATL and glad I waited since 2000 to see it.

By the way, I stand my initial guess of point total for the Thrashers–102!!!!!!!!

Gotta have faith!

KLS1

December 14th, 2010
1:52 pm

First of all Rawhide…Caruso’s role in “Jade” never got its due.

Secondly, this team is going to be real or good and possibly great by the time the season is over. We are not getting blown out of any game and have had solid wins against the best teams in the league.

The trajectory is good, especially with the Caps stumbling…its gonna be a street fight between us, Tampa, and Washington the rest of the way.

And think about this, put us in a 7 game series against any of the playoff contenders and I am not at all scared, Pittsburgh would be tough but we would be the odds on favorite to win against the rest.

Hip Czech

December 14th, 2010
1:54 pm

How much has having a goalie coach helped Opie? I gotta think Malarchuk has had some quality input.

Agreed with this ‘team’ being better than ‘05-’06, though that ‘05-’06 team sure was fun to watch.

Speaking of getting ahead of ourselves…at this point in time all 4 ATL teams would make the playoffs in the same year.

Maybe hell is freezing over.

Unreal

December 14th, 2010
2:03 pm

We should feel fortunate that we have Darren Eliot as our analyst. He is fantastic and knows his stuff.

Russ

December 14th, 2010
2:08 pm

I’m going to try to avoid the jinx and not claim they are the best just yet, although they are playing very well. As soon as I see a win in the playoffs, just one little win, then they will be the best.

kracker

December 14th, 2010
2:13 pm

WBF – “…I was totally wrong…”

You would never make it as a politician. That’s why we like you.

jimbo

December 14th, 2010
2:16 pm

While the 05-06 team had some goal scorers and big names, if they were shut down, we lost. And, the defense and goal tending weren’t that good. This team is better overall, has more speed, better D and better goaltending. And, they play as a TEAM. Eliot described basic defensive play not something unique to us. But, the guys back one another up and work as a unit on D. REFRESHING (to put it mildly). I’m also getting the feeling that they are not intimidated by anyone nor do they seem alarmed by being a couple of goals down. Fun to watch games. Speed, hustle, teamwork.

Rawhide

December 14th, 2010
2:17 pm

First of all Rawhide…Caruso’s role in “Jade” never got its due.

KLS1 – So noted and logged. But still…just not a fan.

We should feel fortunate that we have Darren Eliot as our analyst. He is fantastic and knows his stuff.

Unreal – I’m gonna agree with you 100% about that. DE’s one of the smartest hockey guys I know.

By the way, I stand my initial guess of point total for the Thrashers–102!!!!!!!!

cousin Eddie – Here’s to hoping you’re right. Oh, and you need to get your camper out of my driveway soon. The HOA board sent a letter of complaint.

Cornbread

December 14th, 2010
2:23 pm

cousin Eddie

December 14th, 2010
2:30 pm

Sorry chief, money gave out in Gerny!

Joe McGrath

December 14th, 2010
2:31 pm

I won’t use the “I” word, but that’s my fear, so that’s why I voted LNSP, because if Pavs gets wrecked, and we have to count on Mason while we shop for G, we’re done. However, I will continue speculating about a trade. I just don’t see Bergfors staying here. I am a firm believer in Cormier coming up post holidays, doesn’t that mean somebody has to go?

English Teacher

December 14th, 2010
2:40 pm

I think there is plenty of talent on this team. How many regular players have we that were drafted in the first round? I can rattle off nine of them. I would argue that talent gets you drafted and development gets you on the ice in NHL.

When I was in the restaurant business, we had a saying: a fish rots from the head down. Conversely, it swims head first. I think the problems this organization has had over the years has not been talent as much as it has been leadership. I’m not a D-Wad basher but we must look at the evidence; since Dudley has been made the head of this fish, it has been swimming in the right direction. His leadership led to Rammer led to Torchetti and Malarchuk. And then there’s Ladd (Right-on, Ladd!). This kind of leadership has been able to quickly salvage the talent on this team and indeed, make it the best Thrashers team ever.

Chris16

December 14th, 2010
2:42 pm

This team is fun to watch we are finding different ways to win that is what great coaching does. It looks like the kovy crap was a big problem in the locker room. The interview with Little he was asked how the lockerroom feel was like he said it was fun like it was two years ago. So this team is having alot of fun winning with little problems in the locker room.Go Thrashers

Smoothie

December 14th, 2010
2:42 pm

A little premature for such a declaration because the Hoslov-led Thrashers in 2006 were looking even better than this team. They weren’t as deep a team, but they were getting solid contributions from the 3rd line with Holik (15 goals I believe) and Slater had 10 goals as well. When at their best, the 3rd line of Larsen/Vigier-Holik-Dupuis was pretty tough to handle. And when Kovy is on your 2nd line doing his thing, then you know you’re pretty talented in the top 6. The defense probably is better this year, but we still have many lapses to put doubts into your mind about how good they really are. But no question we’re deeper 1 thru 6 on the blueline, and Pavelec is showing just how good he can be. However, don’t forget his collapse at the end of last December with a GAA of 4.5 and a SV% of .865…a little premature to be making comparisons to Roy (see Coach Hartley per Allan Walsh).

Just not ready to say they’re better yet. And before saying they are better coached, let’s not forget Hartley had Kovy playing as an even to + player most of the year till the customary February swoon.

LAC

December 14th, 2010
2:46 pm

I kept looking for quebec fans, Gee Whiz that close and they could NOT make the trip to see Atlanta WIN AGAIN !!!!! How Shameful !!!!! They show us NO respect !!! So We Showed Them !!!

Wish we played better with the lead the past two games… Won thankfully, but two bad goals against nearly killed us.

I noticed, Yet again, the LACK of respect given us by any canada announcers…Both Potvin & Brown were taking little jabs at Atlanta most of the night. But when WE WON, they folded like a house of cards ! Just like they should have.

Great game for Little, maybe he is understanding his roll a lot better on the team, NICE to see
him get the chance and end the game !!!!!

I credit ALL THE SUCESS on Mr.Craig Ramsey, He is The Perfect coach for us. Real simple too…
He knows the game of hockey, see what CAN happen when REAL NHL People are running the
team rather than a two faced nitwit, who is not worth naming. This has been EXCELLENT.

Last two points… While watching “On The Fly” highlights, of Detroit and L.A., There were entire SECTIONS that were EMPTY !!!!! That’s right EMPTY seats in Detroit. Why were the quebec fans there ? They should be a good team to move to quebec or winnipeg and a lot closer too! NO
reason to have a team in Detroit, with ALL those empty seats !!!!!!

Wednesday night… If We WIN in Tampa and Washington LOSES to Ducks at home for loss number 7… When we wake up Thursday monrning and real the local paper and see the standings…
The Atlanta THRASHERS will be LEADING the Southeast Division !!!!!! Not Washington, ATLANTA !!

Guess that would throw a LOT of COLD WATER on this so-called “winter classic”
I say have the game at The Georgia Dome next season, What FUN !!!!!

LAC

December 14th, 2010
2:51 pm

Right cousin eddie, old Bruce had the. “deer in the headlights” look for sure and the man has ZERO clue and THEY are in the “winter classic ” Shameful ! Wonder how they will explain
Pittsburgh going against the number 8 or 9 seed… Hummm

Who’ In First ??? Wonder if they would even mention it !

World Be Free

December 14th, 2010
2:57 pm

kracker-gotta tell it like it is…..

My thoughts on the game and attendence issues-had this on my mind//
Lotta folks have been talking about empty seats these days, no-shows in rinks that are accustom to being full with fans. You can blame the economy in cities like Detroit and even Atlanta to a certain degree. But frankly, I see another issue-boring hockey throughout the league (except the Thrashers, of course).

The NHL brought out new rules after the lockout, to open up the games allowing the skilled players to use their skills. This has worked to an extent, but I am concerned about the lack of legitimate hitting in this league. To a greater extent, I am concerned with the lack of fighting.

Fighting is part of the game; we rarely had issues with guys hitting from behind in the old days (like the 80’s). Cheap shots artists were too afraid of getting their heads beat in. Big mouth clowns like Carcillo and Lapierre (who both wear visors) would keep their mouths shut or they were dealt with “the hockey way”. The games are getting boring, lack of hitting and lack of fighting. You want to fill the rinks? Bring back old time hockey, deal with the instigator rule and hire referees that let the players deal with the big mouths and cowards. You want to talk a lot on the ice? Get ready to back it up. The biggest fear a player has when he drops his gloves, is when the ref says to the linesman “let ‘em go, let them settle this right now”.

kracker

December 14th, 2010
2:58 pm

I am really in the wait and see camp but I voted ‘Yes difinitely’ – just hoping somebody will tell Kovalchuk the fans think the team is better off w/o him. I am still worried our payroll will catch up to us but so far, so good. Anyway, since we are loaded w/ young talent our payroll is artificially low. Getting them all signed or extended might be difficult….but I am getting ahead of things.

Let’s go kick some bolt butt tomorrow. I can’t see how the team can’t be up for this game.

Mr. Willson

December 14th, 2010
3:01 pm

Finding a best ever Thrashers team is like finding the best smelling pile. That being said, out of the aforementioned pile is a team who’s rubbing our opponents nose in it, like a bad puppy. Tie us up in the 3rd? No, no! Bad Puppy! Ahead by 2 in the 3rd? No, No! bad Puppy!

I love this year’s team! It doesn’t smell too bad anymore. And I don’t notice the stain of Waddell in the carpet anymore.

Mr. Willson

December 14th, 2010
3:04 pm

Also, Todd White’s faceoff goal from Saturday is one of the coolest goals I’ve ever seen.

Smoothie

December 14th, 2010
3:05 pm

Correction and apologies for confusing my years: Holik scored 15 and Slater 10 goals in the 2005-’06 season and not the playoff year. That being said, the playoff year Thrashers only gave up 241 goals after giving up 270 the year before. Not great, but still the best ever for this franchise. I’d say that has it slightly ahead of this group…FOR NOW! Get thru this month 6 or 7 games over .500 and all best are off!

Rawhide

December 14th, 2010
3:08 pm

Mr. Willson – Do you possibly mean “Bryan Little’s” faceoff goal on Saturday/ Or did I miss a joke in there somewhere?

Mr. Willson

December 14th, 2010
3:12 pm

Sorry, you’re right Bill…WTH? How’d that happen? I need a doctor.

kracker

December 14th, 2010
3:13 pm

I am pretty sure Mr. Willson meant Byron Young’s faceoff goal.

Rawhide

December 14th, 2010
3:14 pm

Mr. Willson – Maybe you had cereal for breakfast this morning, saw the milk carton, the image stuck in your subconscious….it was all subliminal from there :cool:

kracker – yes…good ‘ol Byron Young. :lol:

Joe McGrath

December 14th, 2010
3:18 pm

I couldn’t agree more with you WBF. My 15 year old boy recently decided to live w me after 10 years with his mom, so now he’s become a hockey fan and I’m teaching him the game. I also keep explaining to him that when I was coming along (I’m 45), “it just wasn’t done” regarding the cheap shots, etc. I explained that enforcers are no long a big part of the game and that 15-20 years ago, everybody had a Probert or a Twist or two (he loves looking that stuff up on the Youtube) and 30 years ago everybody filled half their rosters with WIlli Pletts and Tiger Williams and so on. I think it has to do with the league going corporate” under Bettman. And I’m not bashing Bettmen, I like expansion (der). However, it sure has toned down since the Nords v. Habs pre-game playoff brawl(a la Slapshot) in 85. I think the last blood rivalry, when all heck broke loose and you never knew what the next game would bring, was Wings v Lanche and that was 15 years ago. Now the LEAGUE is pushing its big rivalry as Sid v Ovechkin–players, not teams.

iamtheratio

December 14th, 2010
3:21 pm

I want a Byron Young jersey, #100 haha

JB

December 14th, 2010
3:22 pm

Rawhide, don’t get too attached to cousin eddie’s RV. He’s takin it with him when he leaves next month.

Smoothie

December 14th, 2010
3:23 pm

WBF – agreed on the instigator rule. It should be modified as to only penalize someone who takes an unnecessary cheap-shot in the effort to defend a teammate against a Sean Avery-like pest. Also, it is way too common nowadays for someone to jump a guy after hitting a top 6 player with a LEGAL HIT (see Sopel on Tavares)! There is an instance in which the instigator (the guy who jumped Sopel) deserved an extra two minutes for policing a crime that did not occur. It’s a fine line, but seems like the NHL should be able to manage if they are using discretion and judgment to determine, in a split of an instant, whether a hit was from the blindside or not. BTW, is it just me, or does it seem like refs are less reluctant to call obstruction, interference and hooking this year?

World Be Free

December 14th, 2010
3:29 pm

Joe Mc-Saw Willi Plett at a game recently, can’t imaging anyone being dumb enough to want to go at it with him. Old school Willi.

I hate those stupid visors.

World Be Free

December 14th, 2010
3:31 pm

Smoothie-this jumping in after a clean, honest hit garbage has to stop too. A clean hit should be applauded, it is part of the game.

Rawhide

December 14th, 2010
3:33 pm

Rawhide, don’t get too attached to cousin eddie’s RV. He’s takin it with him when he leaves next month.

JB - Next month??? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??

Ya know, I have a Christmas Carol for when family comes to visit during the holidays.

…sung to Santa Claus is Coming to Town…

Oh, you’d better watch out at Christmas this year
You haven’t got a chance with relatives here
Sam and Rose are coming to town

They’re bringin’ their kids to add to the fun
They’re stayin’ ten days; you only thought one
Sam and Rose are coming to town

They’ll monopolize your bathroom
They’ll destroy your sanitude
They’ll eat you out of house and home
Then complain about the food

So there’s only one way to save your Noel
Give ‘em your house and take a motel
Sam and Rose are coming to town!

Stuck in NJ

December 14th, 2010
3:40 pm

LOL Rawhide…I hope you “sanitized” the names

alex

December 14th, 2010
3:42 pm

yes i have to repeat what been said on this blog early, we have to pray for pav to stay healthy or it’s over, with mason as #1 we done, also can’t believe in chicago kulda or zubarev playing worse than bogo and oduya, still we winning, still a lot of room for improving i understand this you understand and of course dud. understand, but asg looking only to save, so ram. doing heroic job with this roster.

World Be Free

December 14th, 2010
3:45 pm

alex – alotta teams are in the same boat as we are with their number one goalies, especially with the salary cap restrictions.

Red Light

December 14th, 2010
3:51 pm

Mind if I ask this? Through 31 games, this year and last, the Thrashers have the exact same record. So, my question is simply: Which coach did a better job through the first 31 games of the last two seasons, given the circumstances he had to work with: Anderson or Ramsay? Then, add Hartley into the equation from early in 2003-04 season? That should make for a lively discussion!

2003-04 16-11-3-1 36 points
2005-06 11-16-4 26 points
2006-07 18-8-5 41 points
2007-08 14-16-1 29 points
2008-09 10-17-4 24 points
2009-10 17-11-3 37 points
2010-11 17-11-3 37 points

cousin Eddie

December 14th, 2010
3:52 pm

If you don’t mind, I’d like to fix up that chair you got out at the curb Rawhide.

cousin Eddie

December 14th, 2010
3:56 pm

From what I gather Anderson didn’t teach too much, just promoted fun atmosphere at practice. Ramsay’s strategy of teaching everyone for the long haul, to me is a much better approach. I see Ramsay making in-game adjustments and holding players accountable. I didn’t see that from Anderson. I just saw a run and gun offense with no back check.

Matt

December 14th, 2010
3:57 pm

Man, I am depressed. How long do we have to wait for “widdle” old “Sheeple Boy” to lecture us all again? Seems like you can’t count on anything these days EXCEPT the Thrashers winning!!!

BTW, I made my toy donation to Operation Homefront and will be taking my 11 year old daughter to her first Thrasher game. I think Santa might be bringing her a jersey, as well, for Christmas.

Tim

December 14th, 2010
4:00 pm

Hi Rawhide! Put it this way, is there, at anytime in Thrashers history, where after a third of the season, we have not one but two defenceman who can be nominated for the Norris award, that we have a legitimite nomination for the Vezina as well? Hey, in the 10 years of Thrashers existance, we getting scored more then we score. This team is currently +8. Has that happen before?

Granted, it’s only a third of the season. But hocky is a team sport and Thrashers currently display Team Spirit. No player is more important than the next one (maybe beside Pavalec). We show balance scoring. We winning game that we’re not suppose to win. We don’t follow a winning steak with a losing steak, but start a new new winning streak. Well, if the answers to above questions are no, we can certainly assume that the current Thrashers is the best one/third of a season team in the whole Thrashers history! ;)

Hoof Arted

December 14th, 2010
4:08 pm

Great question Red Light. Just one more example of why our beloved BlogMaster runs the single best Thrashers blog in town. Hands down.

It would be tough for me to say Hartley in 06-07, simply given the talent level and the expectaions they had going into that year. I would go with the 05-06. Even though the record is worse, remember he was dealing with all those goaltender injuries and by this time in the season they were turning it around.

I could be swayed into thinking Ramsay’s job this year though.

Joe McGrath

December 14th, 2010
4:09 pm

On Thrashers Live interview, Little said “We’re all getting along great in the locker room” (or something like it) and a bigger smile came across his face. I’m really beginning to think Kovy was a cancer. Therefore, this year might be the best ever because as said before, it is a “team” and really until this year, there was a Kovy involved. Rawhide, can I change my vote?

Rawhide

December 14th, 2010
4:21 pm

Red Light – I would answer your question this way…given the fact that there was an entirely new coaching system brought in and so many new faces on the roster, Craig Ramsay get’s my nod for best coaching job through the first 31 games. And everyone here knows I was a huge Bob Hartley fan.

BTW, I made my toy donation to Operation Homefront and will be taking my 11 year old daughter to her first Thrasher game. I think Santa might be bringing her a jersey, as well, for Christmas.

Matt – That’s awesome…on all accounts.

Tim – Excellent points.

Joe McGrath – Sorry dude….but your edit has been so noted and logged.

Hip Czech

December 14th, 2010
4:27 pm

The thing about this team is (at least so far) you EXPECT them to play a solid game. Yeah, over the course of the 82 game grind you’re going to have a couple duds, but this team has been in virtually every game. The last game I can remember thinking the Thrashers had no chance of winning was the LA game…could be wrong on that one.

If it weren’t for Sopel coughing the puck the up (which is forgiven, Sopel has been solid all year) and then Hainsey making things even worse (which is almost forgiven, Hainsey has actually been kind of solid recently); and then Bogosian’s lapse (which is very hard to forgive) Scotia Bank would have remained a tomb and the Thrashers get out of there with a solid 3-1 or 4-1 regulation road win.

I forgot who mentioned it…but I agree – when does Ramsay apply the ‘you don’t play hard then you sit’ rule to Bogosian? Stick Freddy Meyer in there.

Hockey Biltong

December 14th, 2010
4:30 pm

The team responds to the coaching admirably. The continue to improve. What would we all like for Christmas?
A new forward, or a new defenseman or a new back up goalie????

Hockey Biltong

December 14th, 2010
4:30 pm

litz

December 14th, 2010
4:31 pm

One big difference nobody’s brought up : consistency.

The previous teams, you never knew what was going to show up on the ice.

Since Ladd gained the “C”, the Thrashers have been the model of consistency – even when they lose, they never give up.

Recently, after getting scored on the empty net and going down by 2 goals, they LEFT THE GOALIE PULLED, and still fought for one more goal.

Previous years, the goalie would be back out there, the puck would drop, and someone would ice it down the rink to let time expire.

There is no “give-up” in this year’s team.

Mr. Willson

December 14th, 2010
4:32 pm

You know we have a good thing going when LeBrun at the “FourLetterNetwork” is mentioning Craig Ramsey as the “odds-on favorite for the Jack Adams Award.” AND he felt he put the Thrashers too low in his rankings. Surprised they knew we had a team down here.

Stuck in NJ

December 14th, 2010
4:44 pm

Hockey Biltong:
All I want for Christmas is another top centerman. I keep thinking that when we get to that playoff grind period early next year, we’ll need him. One injury to our exisitng centermen and we’ll be in trouble.

ThrasherTim

December 14th, 2010
4:56 pm

I’d like to see the staff work on Pav’s handling of the puck behind his net more. He’s made so many poor passes that have turned into turnovers and offensive chances that he’s actually letting a lot more pucks go around the boards…instead of freezing the puck a la some other goaltenders.

My vote for sitting is Stewart — it seems like every time I think he’s on the verge of sitting, he make something happen. Last night’s effort in our own zone where he slapped at the puck with his stick along the boards instead of barreling into the opposing player like he should have led directly to one of the goals. I feel like he has some upside still and I think coach likes him on the line with Kane and Little but he still slacks off an occassional shift in my opinion.

In no way should we give up on Zach yet. He is only 20 and has played better of late with Oduya’s solid play. I think he still is suffering from a lack of confidence.

Joe McGrath

December 14th, 2010
5:16 pm

I want a steady, slick, responsible, puck-moving veteran D man (a Kaberle model would be great) under the Thrasher Tree. I already know I’m getting a Cormier, but he won’t be ready until January…

World Be Free

December 14th, 2010
5:19 pm

Red Light-I voted on the cautiously optimistic side for this blog. It’s a long season, we must be prepared for the highs and lows. I give Rammer a little more credit because of his experiences and how they have rubbed off on this team. This squad looks better coached, they make in-game adjustments. Seems like folks outside Atlanta are taking notice of the team as well. How this translates overall to who is doing a better job? It doesn’t, but we don’t have the specter of the Kovalchuk courtship dance or Kari’s wonky hamstring to deal with this season. Those 2 players were dispatched, replaced by players who have brought a different attitude to the team. Someone pointed out earlier today that games like last night’s were historically lost by the Thrashers. This new team seems to have the ability to overcome their little catnaps and opposing team’s surges. We will see.
I still think they lean on Pavs too much, he is clearly the MVP so far.

Litz made the key point today-giving Ladd the “C”. This team has taken off nicely since that day, resembling a team that has it together for the most part.
Thrasher Tim-that makes 2 of us on Stewart going to the press box. Get Bergie down here!

Flames

December 14th, 2010
5:47 pm

What I want for Christmas is another 20-30 + Scorer. I think that there will be a trade for another winger… Not a Center, we have four of them when Cormier is healthy. I’m thinking somebody like a Dustin Penner from the Oilers or Jeff Carter from the Flyers. The Oilers are going with a youth movement. Bergfors will be involved in that trade. Is it me or the Greek God line is exciting as hell to watch…

Brendan

December 14th, 2010
6:42 pm

On paper, the 2006 team was the most talent laden. But it was entirely “too old.” This team is younger. Maybe, much younger. And it plays as a team, rather than as two star-laden lines. Come playoff time, those glitzy schemes don’t work. You either have a solid team, whose players have all bought in to the system, or you don’t. And if you don’t, you don’t stay around all that long in the playoffs.

So, with that in mind, I’d say that this team represents the best change Atlanta has had … to be a sustained threat in the playoffs. If the team’s strategy were, “Kovalchuk, Hossa, take the puck and score.” Well, that’s not going to work in the playoffs. Yes, it’ll work during the regular season, to varying degrees, but a team has to have depth to survive … 4 rounds of playoffs.

While there’s no one blueprint for a Stanley Cup Champion, it takes a stud goalie, not one, but two (2) Tier I blueliners, with two (2) Tier II bluliners, plus two (2) Tier I centers, sprinkled with a lot of Tier II wingers, to make it all come together. Brian Burke’s model is Top Six uber skilled forwards, with top 4 uber skilled defensemen, and a solid goalie. That works, too.

I plan on injuries during the playoffs. So, if your top six guys are all you’ve got, you might be in trouble, in terms of your forward lines. You’ve got to have talent capable of making the leap from bottom six to top six … and KNOW THE SYSTEM … to be able to overcome the injury bug. I feel like that could happen. Guys like Thorburn, even Slater, have shown that they can, however temporarily, play more minutes, without being an utter liability to the team. Boulton came into the Ottawa game as one of very few forwards who has never had a minus game in the 2010-11 season.

Barry

December 14th, 2010
6:42 pm

I definately agree that this team is the best we’ve ever had. Ramsay has alot to do with it but with players like Byfuglien, Ladd, Kane, Enstrom, Pavelec, etc we can be a very strong team. Just image what the team with Hossa, Kovy, Savard, Kozlov would be if we had Ramsay as a coach!

kracker

December 14th, 2010
7:02 pm

Stuck in NJ – Your new centerman is rehabbing in Chicago. Cormier.

Wayne stuck in AL

December 14th, 2010
7:54 pm

Way too early for such a topic (come back to me in April).

That being said, this team is still horrible at establishing a forecheck, and is lousy in the backcheck. (You can hear the agony in Kamal’s voice when the opposition is in the Thrashers’ end for over a minute.)

World Be Free

December 14th, 2010
8:19 pm

I am convinced the Penguins bring their own refs to each game. The PPG they just scored was on a B.S. call against Briere. Not the first time.

Duds

December 14th, 2010
8:19 pm

Eger, berforgs, modine, plus quality prospect for big name who needs a new home.

Zoomo

December 14th, 2010
8:55 pm

Somewhat off topic…a very strange sight on the ride home from work. I live near the Thrashers practice rink and as I rounded the corner onto Satellite Blvd, there were two cop cars with flashing lights and a gaggle of people standing round. There, nestled betweenthe two cop cars was a Zamboni! Upon further inspection, Thrash was in the rear seat of one of the cop cars!! Upon even futher inspection, it was pretty obvious that they were fliming a video for the web site or a commerical – complete with one of the Ice Girls as a news reporter. There was a sign on the Zamboni that said something like “Buy Tickets, Atlanta”.

I’m sure we’ll see the results on the team website soon.

JT from Columbus

December 14th, 2010
8:57 pm

Albert

December 14th, 2010
10:06 pm

Best team but worst fan base of any season. Hopefully that will change quickly.

Hockey Biltong

December 14th, 2010
10:33 pm

JT – good post. I saw that too, and wasn’t sure how much weight to give it…
On the Fly was ragging us fans for not voting enough for Byfuglien for All Star.. I know I will at some point[vote], however I’m not all that excited by the all star game… kind of boring…

Hockey Biltong

December 14th, 2010
10:35 pm

Can’t wait for Thursday, to see them live!!!!!

Midfield

December 14th, 2010
11:20 pm

The best coaching staff this far. Big improvement over Johhnny Anderson’s sophisticated “don’t fall asleep and remember to move your feet, boys” system that they never mustered their wits to get down completely. Just what the doctor Dudley ordered when he demanded that his coaches are happy to work with the roster they’re dealt. Period.

HookyBob

December 14th, 2010
11:38 pm

This is the best Thrashers “team”,…..IMHO.

In the past we had a potent offense, and overlaid, at times, with great goaltending. However, the D was always an Achilles tendon. Today, we have balance,… and great coaching. That said, my heart would skip a beat, or two, if Pavs or Buf were to get injured.

Can’t say enough about what Duds and Rammer (and other coaches/consultants) have done with/for this team.

Ross

December 15th, 2010
1:24 am

Let’s have a big welcome for – me :) I was a big Flames fan as a kid in the 70s, and then the Blues while in St. Louis in the 90s and early 2000s. Well, I’m converted!

Now, will my heart be broken again if the Thrashers move to Canada? Let me tell you, that is hard to take. When the Flames left for Calgary I was ruined for hockey for 15 years. I missed the entire Gretzky era, mainly because there was more coverage of volleyball than of hockey in Atlanta once the Flames were gone. What is the realistic probability of the Thrashers staying here? And if Canada wants teams, why not take the Florida teams, which have absolutely no support? Or grow a couple of new ones? I’m much in favor of teams in Winnipeg and Quebec City – just not the Thrashers!

Michael "the abbreviation"

December 15th, 2010
4:08 am

I wish we had Kovy back, these games are just not as fun to watch.. Im pulling for the thrash as much as anyone else here, but I wish we could pull some strings and bring Kovy back with our current lineup.. Thats my Christmas wish, for this year and the next but it will not happen.. sad face…

Michael "the abbreviation"

December 15th, 2010
4:10 am

Kovalchuk – Peverley – Bergfors
Kane – Little – Ladd

Michael "the abbreviation"

December 15th, 2010
4:13 am

I equate this current thrash team to the Atlanta Braves of this season… both good enough to make the playoffs, only with consistent over achieving work ethic and fortunate bounces… Both lack superstar players, but with Kovy we could go real far… just like Uggla I think will do us a ton of good next year.. go falcons, braves and trashers

Duds

December 15th, 2010
7:21 am

Kovy and his -18 along with his 100 mil?
Ouch!!

Stuck in NJ

December 15th, 2010
7:37 am

Kovy’s not the answer. I doubt he would ever play in Rammer’s system. As everyone has clearly picked up on, the Thrash is successful because they ARE a team. Having Kovy back would destroy that.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Duds and Rammer told the Wad last year not to try too hard to sign him. “Just try hard enough to keep the fans from totally revolting – but we don’t really want him”

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
7:51 am

Hey Biltong, you in your normal seats on Thursday?
Ross-let’s hope we are not going anywhere.
duds-we are all liking what is happening in NJ. 14th place in the East, only the Islanders are worse and a -18. Lou Lam deserves everything he gets. Is this the eyar NJ hhas not first round pick because of the Kovy deal?

NHL Network has to get off this Crosby love-the Pens have become one of the dirtiest teams in the league. Matt Cooke always comes in and pushes players from behind, what a coward. Time for someone knock Cyndy on his back.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
7:52 am

Let me redo that-
Is this the year NJ has no first round pick becuase of the Kovy deal?

Smoothie

December 15th, 2010
7:53 am

Anyone think we might be looking hard at Tomas Kaberle since Duds was seen scouting in TOR quite a bit recently? Can you imagine Kaberle rounding out our Top 4 with Oduya or Bogosian?

I would think Burkie would really like a Ben Eager type on his roster along with the potential of a Bergfors. I wonder if we could pry loose a guy like Kulemin as well to play with Burmy and Antro? Then again, prolly more likely Antro would stay on the top line with Pevs and Laddy. Hmmm…

Ladd — Pevs — Antro

Kane — Litts — Stewie

Kulemin — Burmy — Thor / Cormier

Boults/Modin — Slates/Corms — Thor/Slates

Just don’t know desperate Burke may be at this point, but I can definitely see us going after Kaberle at the trade deadline if we are in playoff position.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
8:07 am

Smoothie-how about Brian Rolston? He will be coming back through re-entry waivers soon at half his current price. Rolston at $2.5M would be an upgrade, even though he is a short term solution at best.

Dump Modin and bring in Rolston?

Red Light

December 15th, 2010
8:12 am

Again, I have to disagree with Kaberle speculation. Each pair of d-men has a guy that can move the puck, and the top pair has two. Oduya is playing much better as ThrasherTim pointed out and Hainsey is a serviceable puck mover. Kaberle is a top-two guy and while he’d look great playing with Oduya, I don’t think they’re giving up on a 20-year-old Bogo yet, regardless of how we feel about his progress, unless they get incredible value in return. Remember, Kaberle’s brother played here during the Dark Ages, and given the fact he’s a UFA this summer, the likelihood of re-signing him is sketchy at best, right?

Each one of the coaches I listed had a six- or seven-game win streak, but two did it early in the season. Both Hartley’s club and Ramsay’s club did/does have a measure of consistency that litz mentioned above. The difference is that for Hartley, it was more about what he did, while Rammer is the quintessential team guy and players can relate to him because he played the game and doesn’t blow his top every time something doesn’t go his way. For 31 games, however, given the circumstances, Anderson deserves some credit – although he couldn’t maintain it after Dec. 15.

With 17 games in the next 32 days, we’re going to see just exactly how good this team is, and just how well Ramsay can guide it with that many games in 10 different cities.

But, I really like what I am seeing from this group, although a dynamic forward wouldn’t hurt.

georg

December 15th, 2010
8:17 am

Yes this team is not only better but must have more consistency in their players still to many mistakes by some but overall the best Coach we have ever had. What this town needs is more media coverage from every TV Station but it seems we only get maybe 2 minutes of news on hockey ……..

Fan from Carolina

December 15th, 2010
8:19 am

I think it is still too soon to speculate but with Mike Smith in net tonight I don’t see any reason why the winning will stop. The Thrashers should score at least 4 goals and that should be enough with Lecavalier and Downie still out of action.

Smoothie

December 15th, 2010
8:33 am

R/L – if Kaberle tells Burke he’s not signing long-term, why not try to get him? It doesn’t mean Burke will want Bogosian nor does it mean Duds will give up on him. In fact, we might have to give up Oduya to get him. But if you recall, Bogey played his best when paired with Enstrom and it may make more sense to reunite those two as the 2nd pairing. I’m a little worried about Tobes wearing down playing 25 mins a night at his stature. Protecting Buff defensively may take its toll.

I don’t know and I’m just brainstorming, but I do feel in my gut that our blueline is not as strong as it will need to be for the long haul. Bogey needs to turn a corner soon! His inability to read the play and make the right percentage play is really making Oduya work extra hard. We take for granted just how skilled and talented Oduya is. If we could get Kaberle (yes a rental) and a scoring winger under contract (Kulemin?) For Bogosian, I might just do it. The time is now and I’m not sure how much longer I’m willing to wait on Zach to take the next step forward.

WBF – think I’d pass on Rolston but I haven’t seen him play at all this season so I have no idea what he might have left in the tank. Apparently we were interested in Sturm so we’re interested in adding more speed even if its reclamated speed project.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
8:35 am

Red Light-totally agree on Kaberle, this team needs another forward not a defenseman. Kabs is a good D-man, but the price is too high for a short term player.

Give Anderson credit? Yeah I will give him some credit, but he is still a minor league coach that did not have the ability to take us to the next level. Rammer has Dudley to work with too, which I will be an advantage in the long run.

Cautiously optimistic; we have won nothing yet.

hoosier_hoser

December 15th, 2010
9:12 am

Rawhide!

Are you and your fellow travelers sure that the 2005-2006 crew could handle the Buchberger, Garpenlov, Stefan and Svartvadet crew?

My problem with the 2005-2006 is that if you ranked all the goalies that could have played before the season, Garnett would be #6 and Berkhoel would be #7. In the history of the NHL, there is no good team that has played their 6th and 7th goalies in key matches.

Current observation confirms that good goaltending rules. By this criterion I choose the playoff team and Lehtonen.

Perhaps after this season I’ll say Pav’s team.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
9:19 am

Smoothie-seems like alotta teams are interested in Rolston, so there may be something there for the short term, price would be workable too. I am sure we had interest in Sturm, Broones wanted him out West.

Ward

December 15th, 2010
9:26 am

This could be the best ever because the blue collar work ethic flows through the whole team, there is clear evidence of coaching to get into attack quickly and effectively,goal tenders are not prone to mistakes displayed by other previous goalies, there seems to be a fierce, competitive edge whether ahead or behind and Waddell is no longer pulling key strings!!!!!!!!

razorneck13

December 15th, 2010
9:31 am

Yes, this is the best Thrashers roster IMO. More consistent heart from these guys in a quarter season than all other Thrashers previous rosters combined. Breakout year for a our team collectively and even for a bunch of the individuals…very interesting to watch them. We’ve got a mostly working class team working hard and it’s as entertaining as anything. Oh yeah, Ramsay’s a savant or something, ditto that for Dudley.

razorneck13

December 15th, 2010
9:34 am

Well savant sounds a bit bad…they’re really smart guys.

BobinBuford

December 15th, 2010
9:54 am

The main thing to me is that we are discussing the ONE or TWO players that would make this team complete, as opposed to shipping everyone out and starting over again.

Saw the Bolts play the Caps the day after Thanksgiving. Considering this was when the Caps were still playing decent hockey, the Bolts looked terrible. Most satisfying thing that game? When one of the Caps players said on the pregame interview on the big board how they were having problems playing some Eastern Conference teams, like the Thrashers!!

The one problem I see in the scheduling is that TB has played 7 less games at home this year than on the road. That means they will have a lot of home ice advantage games coming up.

I will be at the Bulb the day after Xmas for the Bolts-Thrash game. We need to start filling Philips so that those little jerks from Quebec City will find another team to go after.

puckhead

December 15th, 2010
9:55 am

Alan R.

December 15th, 2010
10:09 am

I want a steady, slick, responsible, puck-moving veteran D man (a Kaberle model would be great) under the Thrasher Tree.

I want to know why. :P We really don’t need any more PMD. At this point, I’d rather see Eager or Bergfors (or both) back in the lineup.

Joe Friday

December 15th, 2010
10:37 am

I think it’s clear that Bergfors and Eager were to be part of the Sturm trade that Dudley was trying to line up, but we lost out on. At this point, I’m fine with the lineup we have (had) and would prefer to just see Bergfors and Eager back in, why mess with what ain’t broken?

If they keep up this play all year, and I fully expect them to over the long haul, will the Waddell apologists finally once and for all admit they were dead wrong about where the blame laid for our years of futility? Dudley is working with less money that Waddell had to work with, and the results speak for themselves. I think Dudley is proving that the Spirit Squad, while inept, were not the root cause of our stinkatude over the years . . . that lays directly at the feet of one Don Waddell.

What I’m hoping for over the next 2 to 3 years is that the scenario that played out in Chicago and Tampa plays out here . . . that Dudley lays a good foundation and then a new owner comes in and lays some more cash out to take the solid foundation Dudley lays up to the next level.

kracker

December 15th, 2010
10:41 am

Smoothie, I think someone (you?) spiked your egg nog w/ 190 moonshine. Bogie is projected as our franchise d-man, he is 20 yrs old and due to injury, has not yet played the equivalent of two full seasons (153 games). He has played about 30 games under our defensive specialist coach, Rammer. Your trade-him-now proposal is definitely an IDWT decision for me. I just think about how long it took Pronger to really develop into a shut-down 30 minute guy. But, hey, very few players are untouchable.

litz

December 15th, 2010
10:47 am

“Is this the year NJ has no first round pick becuase of the Kovy deal?”

Well, they’ll probably pick one up in the draft …

litz

December 15th, 2010
10:47 am

(try2)

“Is this the year NJ has no first round pick becuase of the Kovy deal?”

Well, they”ll probably pick one up in the lottery …

(that’s better)

Red Light

December 15th, 2010
10:56 am

OK. I am going to list my top 5 UFAs that I think could be a great fit for the last 4 months of the season, regardless of position, need, cost, availability or re-signability.

1) Brad Richards
2) Ilya Bryzgalov
3) Trevor Daley
4) Brooks Laich
5) Ville Leino

Red Light

December 15th, 2010
10:57 am

In other words, the UFA crop for July 2011, which includes Semin, isn’t very deep or skilled.

Smoothie

December 15th, 2010
11:04 am

Leino would be a nice pick-up from Philly as they won’t have enough money to sign him I don’t think after this season. Of course, the cap may go up, but then Carter’s new deal goes into effect right?

Laich is also Ramsay’s kind of player, but I see WSH pushing hard to pay him handsomely for the next 4 to 5 years. Then again, what will they end up paying Semin, or will they let him walk?

Bryzgalov & Pavs?? Droooooooool.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
11:06 am

J-F works perfectly if we get the core players under contract long term. I still say that is the key to fans coming back that were in the stands before-commitment long term.

kracker

December 15th, 2010
11:19 am

I like Leino. I had hoped mgm’t could have signed him here instead of him getting signed by the Wings.

Joe Friday

December 15th, 2010
11:33 am

“works perfectly if we get the core players under contract long term. I still say that is the key to fans coming back that were in the stands before-commitment long term.”

totally agree. I hope to see Ladd signed soon after Jan. 1, and he just may want to settle for a long term payday. He has his two rings, why not try to build here for a 3rd one. Buf is also a must, but is going to cost a ton ($6m per long term?).

Hockey Biltong

December 15th, 2010
11:35 am

WBF – yeah baby, come say hi…

Red Light

December 15th, 2010
11:37 am

Semin’s at $6 million right now, and that could creep up slightly for a five-year deal. Laich is the kind of player a lot of coaches like, even though last year’s offensive numbers were probably an anomaly. Leino has played well since coming in from Detroit but don’t think he’ll get more than $2.5 million from anyone. He was to re-sign in Philly, but reports say the new deal may have to wait until after the season, and yes, Carter’s deal and Giroux’s new deal will kick in.

“It’s a good fit,” Leino told the Philly Daily News recently. “I’m enjoying hockey and it’s been good for me. I like it here. In Detroit, I didn’t like living in the suburbs. I like the city life here. I’ve enjoyed my time outside hockey and hockeywise. That makes it a good fit.”

kracker

December 15th, 2010
11:40 am

Eager and Bergy scratched again.

ThrasherTim

December 15th, 2010
11:48 am

No way we trade Bogosian for the reasons stated above…plus, realistically, we all know this isn’t a Cup contending team…so you want Zach in there during the Playoffs learning and grooming him for the future years run (we hope).

HookyBob

December 15th, 2010
11:55 am

BIG game tonight. Dare I say biggest of the season,..so far?

Joe,… are you thinking we were going to trade Bergors and Eager for Sturm?

Hockey Biltong

December 15th, 2010
12:13 pm

HBob- that is a fair assesment.
Prolly someone else in their scope as well…I like suprises!!!

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
12:15 pm

J-F
I sure hope you are right on Ladd. We know people want to see the players and team making a commitment before they do the same.
I still don’t believe Boston wanted to trade Sturm to any team in the East. The Broones like Sturm alot, but they had to make a move for $$$ reasons only. I don’t want Bergfors coming back to bite us either. I think it’s a mistake sitting him for more than one game.

H.B.-see you tomorrow

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
12:18 pm

These Richards to Tronna or the Rangers rumors are idiotic. Neither team has the cap space today. Maybe, just maybe at the deadline though Tronna would only do it to avoid giving Boston another top 5 and top 35 pick draft pick. Think of that-a face-saving trade on a rental player just to cover for your mistakes. Makes me happy we have Duds.

Red Light

December 15th, 2010
12:21 pm

Tough back-to-back mission based upon recent history vs. the next two opponents, Lightning and Hurricanes.

The Lightning have won 7 straight vs. the Thrashers and the home team has won 19 of 28 in the series. The Bolts are 7-2-1 at home this season, 3-0 this year in their 1st home game after returning from a road trip of 3 or more games, and the Thrashers haven’t won 3 straight games on any single road trip since March 10-14, 2009. Plus, Carolina is 21-7-3 in their last 31 games in Atlanta.

Ominous numbers to say the least. Four points would be outstanding, three points would be nice, two would be OK, one not so good and Zero…disastrous against division opponents.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
12:39 pm

Smoothie-The Ottawa Sun mentioned that we were interested in Sturm too. Woulda been cool to get Marco here, he is supposed to be a great teammate.

Nice to hear the team is out looking to add players, to improve for the push.

Red Light

December 15th, 2010
12:44 pm

Oh, and when was the last time the Thrashers swept consecutive games against division opponents? Nov. 9 and Nov. 14, 2008, when they beat Carolina twice in a home-and-home series. They have been 11 other instances since, and they haven’t swept.

Mrs. Zoomo

December 15th, 2010
12:48 pm

being an investment compliance officer in my previous life I appreciate all those disclosures!

Cornbread

December 15th, 2010
12:56 pm

Somebody really wants Kovalchuck back as a Thrasher? Really!?

Trading Bogosian away now would be like trading Coburn away. Just wrong.

Tom

December 15th, 2010
1:09 pm

We MAY have the best Thrasher’s team ever, but we DEFINITELY have the the worst marketed Thrasher’s team ever.

What a cluster this arresting Thrash is… How is this going to sell NHL tickets? I could see it being done for the Gladiators as they are minor league, but for an NHL franchise?

Here is how I would sell tickets.

I would hire 20 new representatives.

I would get them on the phone with anyone who has ever bought season tickets before and offer them a sweetheart deal for the end of the season. Tell them straight up “We Screwed Up” and want you back.

I would then give X number of tickets times their years holding season tickets those that have not left to bring friends to the games. Or give a huge discount on the tickets if there are league mandates that have to be hit. Anything to have your true believers turn into advocates.

I would be absolutely honest and say this year is penance for the past 5 years of treating everyone poorly and having bad teams.

This is the only way to re-energize the non rabid fan base and create some excitement in Phillips.

Not having the FRICKKENN CROW ARRESTED as a publicity stunt…

Christy

December 15th, 2010
1:11 pm

I like the Thrash Arrested skit. it’s fun. it’s clever and different and not shoving the ticket purchase down our throat the same old way.

Are there other ways to market? sure – but an internet video is certainly one – especially with the younger demographic.

Dwayne

December 15th, 2010
1:14 pm

Bergie and Eager out again per Viv.

Mrs. Zoomo

December 15th, 2010
1:14 pm

I think the Thrash arrested skit is hysterical (still think Zoomo should have tried to get in it when he stumbled across the filming yesterday) but they should do more than just have it on the website and Facebook – a much wider distribution – TV commercial? – would get better results.

Dwayne

December 15th, 2010
1:15 pm

Simplton and Slowdeen skating with our great 8.

Dwayne

December 15th, 2010
1:16 pm

Your right Mrs. Z, we the fans will see it, they have to get to the non fans.

timthebrave

December 15th, 2010
1:20 pm

It is the deepest team but I’m not going to say the best yet. We have had better teams but I can’t remember a goalie playing so well and I think that is the difference. That and coaching. Go Thrashers!

timthebrave

December 15th, 2010
1:24 pm

Winning is the best promotion. I remember that the place got buzzing when we made the playoffs. Another promotion they should give away free tickets to any students on honor roll. That will get the young kids to come and bring their parents. I remember them doing that for the Braves back in the day. Go Thrashers!

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
1:27 pm

Red Light, though they are not a division opponent, I liked sweeping Philly late last season, can’t remember the dates. That’s when Carcillo ran away from Bolts and Boulton clucked his arms like a chicken. At least Carcillo doesn’t wear a visor like chicken Cooke.

kracker

December 15th, 2010
1:48 pm

Sturm? So the Sturm to Kings deal is back off? It was on, then off, then back on again 3 or 4 days ago.

Cornbread

December 15th, 2010
2:02 pm

This is the best TEAM the Thrashers have ever had. You’ve been seeing and hearing it all year well before the season started. It began with all the front office moves, the coach hirings, the big trades for Stanley Cup Champions, signing Mason, and the draft. There was something in the air that positive change was coming to Atlanta. The players were getting excited.

Then, well before training camp officially started, 20+ professionals were skating at the Ice Forum. I play Summer hockey with ECHL, AHL, and NHL players. They noticed something was going on as well and were surprised that so many guys were skating together weeks ahead of schedule. I half jokingly told them they needed to quit skating with old beer leaguers and get to Atlanta. The NHLer was still in town a few days before his camp opened. The Thrashers are well ahead of that team in the standings.

The first preseason games – all losses – I could tell this was a very different team playing a very different game than what had been played in ATL previously. This style of hockey was going to surprise many and force people to pay attention to the Thrashers. Gone was the free-wheeling that could be exciting but just as maddening. In place was a system of checking, attack, and support.

Brian Little’s post game interview Monday was just the latest and further proof of how different things are in the locker room this year with the new players and with certain guys gone. A blogger talked with Boulton early on about the differences in this team and teams of old. He said simply, “no more loosey-goosey hockey.” Both of those guys have been around the organization long enough to know that this is the Best Atlanta Thrashers TEAM Ever.

Smoothie

December 15th, 2010
2:06 pm

Tom – amen brotha! Preach it!

It’s not like I’m talking about trading Bogey for peanuts or even a rental player. If you could get a legit, top 6 forward, under contract for 2 or 3 years, who has proven he can score 30+ goals a year as a plus player, you wouldn’t trade Bogey for him?

Don’t forget how much depth we have in the system at defense. Dudley is a crafty son of a gun and he ain’t scared to make a deal! Preferably, we get Richards in a sign and trade deal for Bogey and Bergie. What a PP we could have with Enstrom/Big Buff & Richards at the point with Big Buff roaming around creating traffic in front. Throw in Pevs & Antro or Ladd and that’s one formidable man-advantage!

Spud Webb

December 15th, 2010
2:14 pm

Anybody on this blog who is nuts enough to say trade Bogo, see Coburn! A lot of folks were for that deal also, wham, didn’t turn out so good & now everyone’s pissed, when the fact is there were a LOT of people blogging that the trade was a good deal. There is no way in H7ll that I’m (me personally) giving up on a 20 kid who is still learning. He’s got all the tools. Does he need improvement, yes, sure, 100 percent correct, but that doesn’t mean give up and trade the kid. NO WAY. We need a straight sniper and a legit number 1 center in my mind.

Smoothie

December 15th, 2010
2:19 pm

Does anyone actually read the entire sentence anymore or is it more fun to just jump to conclusions? I did not say we should trade Bogey simply for a rental like we did for Zhitnik. And Coburn was not nearly as gifted physically, but he plays the game with more savvy. 20 y/o or not, the kid needs to start progressing in his game. Duds is not nearly as shy as some of you are when it comes to a trade.

Tim

December 15th, 2010
2:27 pm

Hoosier, I just like to prove you wrong!
“My problem with the 2005-2006 is that if you ranked all the goalies that could have played before the season, Garnett would be #6 and Berkhoel would be #7. In the history of the NHL, there is no good team that has played their 6th and 7th goalies in key matches.”

Philadelphia did just that last season and carry that into the playoff too :)

canofpeas

December 15th, 2010
2:35 pm

Its the best goalie play we’ve gotten over a 20 game stretch ever and that’s got a lot to do with the success. If our version of Dafoe was still back there Buff wouldn’t be taking these chances. He would have early in the year, but would have been reined in by now out of necessity.

Spud Webb

December 15th, 2010
2:49 pm

Smoothie mine wasn’t directed to you alone, believe me. More towards everyone who bashes bogo on here. I understand the kid is having issues, I see them also. I just don’t want to get to down on him.

Cornbread

December 15th, 2010
3:00 pm

The problem with trading Bogosian is that he has the very real potential of becoming a Richards type of player – even better than Coburn. You want a Richards you trade Hainsey or Oduya along with a forward and a pick that will help both teams now. Bogosian has all the tools. It takes most D-men a lot longer to organize them in their tool box. And, I believe Bogey has the tool box. (I am not advocating trading any D-men now due to their play. I like all the Thrashers top 6 blue liners.)

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
3:02 pm

Spud–or any other 20 year old defenseman for that matter. Keep Bogo for sure.
kracker-Sturm was dealt to L.A., we were talking about ATL being a possible destination before he was finally dealt to the Kings.

Dwayne

December 15th, 2010
3:09 pm

Trade Bogo, NOW!!!! We have Doris Valabic waiting in the wings!!!! ***comment dripping with sarcasm***

Hockey Biltong

December 15th, 2010
3:26 pm

What cornbread sed

R. Stroz

December 15th, 2010
3:29 pm

Tom – So you’re proposing a new marketing campaign along these lines:

IT’S TIME TO GET UNSCREWED WHILE HAVING A BRUTUALLY GOOD TIME!

R. Stroz

December 15th, 2010
3:33 pm

If the Thrashers had really wanted to make a funny commercial, when the police caught Thrash, they should have pulled his head off revealing Don Waddell with a “Buy Tickets” sign in his mouth.

Smoothie

December 15th, 2010
3:35 pm

Spud – sorry, no worries. I just feel like my message gets lost some time, but I probably type to much for folks to read the whole thing! I’ll save the diatribes for my blog! But don’t get me wrong, I support and like Bogey (hell, I have his name on my jersey), but I’m not happy with his play so far this year. Just seems overall decisive, but perhaps this is the confusion before Rammer’s teachings take hold?

Rawhide

December 15th, 2010
3:46 pm

BobinBuford

December 15th, 2010
3:51 pm

Anybody else notice that there have been 160 comments on this post, and that most have been about making this team even better?? Compare that to what happened during the Waddell era.

If those idiots from Quebec show up here, they should be hogtied and put on the first plane back to Canada.

Joe Friday

December 15th, 2010
3:55 pm

I know one thing, and that is I want our boys to kick Tampa’s ass tonight. I don’t like them, never did, never will. Kick their ass. Buf is en fuego, I want him loose in the zone, behind their net, in front of their net, in their net. I want a blowout. This is a different Thrasher club, you can take historical stats and take note of them as this current club puts them to the wayside . . . this ain’t your father’s Thrashers . . .

I like the Thrash arrest video, that’s good marketing. They are trying something and it’s creative, good job. Keep it up. But they keep winning and that’s what will fill the Phil up from this point forward. I am telling you, we’re going to be beyeotching about the beer lines and newbies standing up in front of us in the 2nd half. All kinds of closet Wing/Ranger/Pen/Sabre/former Thrash fan are going to come out of the woodwork and jump on the bandwagon . . . plenty of room for ‘em, come on out, folks.

World Be Free

December 15th, 2010
4:11 pm

I think the commercial is pretty darn funny.

jeff97

December 15th, 2010
4:12 pm

Rawhide – Seeing this many posts on this blog must make you (and all of us Thrash fans) very proud. people are starting to talk. now we need all their butts in the seats. Build it, they will come.

Cahos

December 15th, 2010
6:41 pm

Put Bogosion as a wing on the other side of Bergfore and call up defense men to take his spot. Bogosion would be more useful as a wing.

R. Stroz

December 16th, 2010
1:57 pm

Rawhide

December 19th, 2010
4:30 pm

R. Stroz - Nope