Thrashers get another chance to rise to top of Southeast Division

By leaving Tampa with at least the one consolation point earned by losing in a shootout, the Atlanta Thrashers find themselves currently with 38 points in the standings. That’s tied with the Lightning and just two points behind the slumping Washington Capitals for the division lead.

However, the Thrashers have another chance to rise to the top tonight as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes at Philips Arena. With a win, Atlanta would match the 18-11-4 record of the Caps, who are idle tonight.

First place in mid-December…wouldn’t that be a nice early Christmas present?

Evander Kane reacts to his failed shootout attempt against the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Evander Kane reacts to his failed shootout attempt against the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The Thrashers, as stated above, are coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. They were afforded five power play opportunities but were not able to muster anything with them. The lone goal scored came off Rich Peverley’s stick while Atlanta was successfully killing off a Bolts PP in the first period.

Ondrej Pavelec, who save 30 of Tampa’s 31 shots during 65 minutes, stopped all three of the Lighting initial shootout chances, but Victor Hedman’s tally in the fourth round was enough to win it for Tampa as Bryan Little, Andrew Ladd, Rich Peverley and Evander Kane were unable to score against Mike Smith.

The loss dropped Opie’s all-time shootout record to OH-fer seven.

“When Pavelec stopped the first three shooters on the shootout, our job was to finish it up for him”, coach Craig Ramsay remarked after the game. “He deserved a better fate than one point”.

The loss, disappointing as it may be, still left the Thrashers with a 2-0-1 record on the recent 3-game road trip. 5 points out of a possible 6 on the road is never a bad thing.

Tonight will be the first meeting of the season between the Thrashers and division rival Carolina. Currently the ‘Canes find themselves with a 13-12-4, in fourth place in the SE division and tied with Buffalo for ninth place in the eastern Conference…although the Sabres have played two more games then have Carolina.

Last night they trailed the Panthers 3-0 after one period of play but came back for a 4-3 win in south Florida. Tuomo Ruuto scored the game tying and game winning goals in the third period.

Eric Staal leads the charge for the “canes with12 goals and 29 overall points. Jeff Skinner has 8 goals and 21 overall points while Jussi Jokinen has 21 points, 5 goals and 16 assists.

As for an update on Thrash…he remains in the Gwinnett County lockup as the Thrashers continue their efforts to come up with the 5,000 extra ticket sales to spring him. To help in that cause, they are offering readers of this online forum a chance to score some great deals for upcoming games, including tonight’s matchup against the Hurricanes.

Simply click HERE and enter the promo code RAWHIDE to take advantage of some great holiday ticket prices.

Get your butts to Blueland, see some great hockey…and help Free Thrash!

104 comments Add your comment

KLS1

December 16th, 2010
10:04 pm

This was a bad loss…need no more of this kind of loss.

Thrashy Thrashy

December 16th, 2010
10:17 pm

If we lose another game, I quit as a fan.

(screaming and sobbing uncontrollably)

Cornbread

December 16th, 2010
10:21 pm

Tom I was thinking the same thing not only on the second goal but also on the first when three black men were credited with points – Kane, Stewart, and Oduya. Thanks for the clarification Flagstaff. Tonight’s points from one team all credited to black men have got to be some kind of NHL record. It’s not going to be the last time. We all will be able to say remember when. (The big white guy’s shootout goal doesn’t count. Though he should get the number 2 star of the game.)

Great game.

Flagstaff

December 16th, 2010
10:24 pm

Thrashy Thrashy: I’m guessing that was sarcasm…. LOL. But still, there’s no denying that this was a horrible, heartbreaking loss. They decided that they would win the game… and then they didn’t. They played a great two periods, and then they let it go. Despite Nik’s goal, they are still terrible on the shootout as a team. The team needs to go all in in OT if they can’t get their collective act together in the SO… /rant

Beat NJ this Saturday!

Michael "the abbreviation"

December 16th, 2010
10:29 pm

damnnn stendec youre pissed bro! dont let it ruin youre night man, i know tonight was a tough one to swallow, we did not deserve to lose that game imo.. I loved seing Roddy and BMAC there supporting the team..nice job guys. Also would like to add that Kincaide was super funny tonight, along with the skits with all the ATL mascots..very funny and original.. Alright hope the boys can bounce back Sat and get a win, I will be rooting for Kovy to have a good game, hopefully a goal but ultimately a Thrash win.. God bless everyone, Merry Christmas and go trashers!!

Thrashy Thrashy

December 16th, 2010
11:00 pm

Ain’t many heartbreaking, horrible losses in mid-December of a hockey season. The stakes just aren’t as high at this point. They all add up, of course. stendec is a cartoon. I’ve never met a fan like him in person before. If I ever do, I will just give up sports fanhood altogether.

World Be Free

December 16th, 2010
11:01 pm

WTF in a major way-I understand these guys have played 3 OT games straight, it showed in the 3rd period. A few observations-

The third line needs a scoring left winger to compliment Antro and Burgie. Eager is a 4th line winger on a good club. Time for Duds to go out and get his winger for this line/Sutrm woulda been nice.
Antropov-scored in the shootout which is great. Had he scored on the dozen sweet chances he had in regulation we would be in first place and had been home alot sooner. WTF!!!!!

The entire team needs to watch the video on Carolina’s second goal, just to see how the game is NOT played. That was horrible, real bad.

Boulton-HIT SOMEBODY! You are not paid to be pretty (sorry lola). Bolts, your role on this team is clearly defined. Slater is outhitting you.

And Ben Eager got a 10 minute misconduct for what?!? Love the phantom Thrahser in the crease-thanks refs I hope they cut your pay for that call. Nice to see Don Rickles and Mr. / Mrs. Biltong tonight.

Good nite

Brendan

December 16th, 2010
11:19 pm

I would have happily traded a win in TB last night for a regulation time loss this evening. In the end, it’s still two-points, in two games, right? Yeah, well … wins is still the first tie-breaker criteria. And a win vs. TB is more valuable than a win over Carolina.

Red Light has piqued my curiosity, with his road and away post. Carolina, Florida, and TB have been banking their points off a tougher scheduled, since they’ve have a preponderance of road games.

Well, folks. This is twice now that the Thrashers failed to show “killer instinct” by burying their opponent, once they got the lead. This is what they did earlier in the season, that once prompted me to say, “Face it, folks, this team can’t play with the lead.” Then, they proved me wrong. Noticeably. But now, this issue is rearing its ugly head again. At least the Lightning game was a road game. But, at home, with a 2-goal lead, headed into the 3rd, the result should be a 4-point swing over the opposition. Instead, it was a 3-1 split, in favor of Carolina. That’s rough. That’s very disappointing. The team played relatively well, I thought. But, let’s not do the ‘moral victory’ thing in a season when the playoffs are honestly a possibility. Atlanta left two-points on the table between the ‘Canes and the Bolts. And there it is. Atlanta had leads going into the 3rd period in both games. Just like the real estate agents, “Ya gotta close” to see the pay day.

R. Stroz

December 16th, 2010
11:43 pm

Is it my imagination or is that the second game in a week, at home nonetheless, where our players came out brain dead to start the third period?

Any guesses as to who was on defense for both goals? Think BO. That’s my name for a specific pair of defensemen.

Anyway, plenty of mental lapses tonight, several by Buff. I’d be willing to bet there will be plenty of video review before the game against Yashin Two and company Saturday evening.

If it was up to me, I would have awarded the first star to Cam Ward.

Cornbread

December 17th, 2010
12:19 am

Stewart’s turnover- first, he played a good hockey game. Second, was it really a turnover? Regardless, that can’t be allowed to happen by a number of players, mainly all the forwards. The puck was called for up the wall which was the safe play because Stall was behind the net and Bogo was getting pressured hard by a forechecker. It’s hard to tell where Stewart was trying to go with the puck, up the wall or over to Peverly? I also thought it may have bounced off him. But what really happened was a great play made by a pinching Pitkanen. It was his stick that got the puck over towards Stall. I think he surprised Stewart with that move but that is a battle he has got to win. Still, though Peverly and Ladd were doing the right thing in being there for support, they got ahead of the play. Peverly can not let that puck squirt out to the high slot so freely. I think he and Ladd saw the D-man going low and cheated a little.

It happens. Great play by the Canes. They got the Thrashers running around a little and picked the right time to pinch. They capitalized on a couple of little mistakes. Too bad the Thrashers didn’t more often. They had more chances.

Cornbread

December 17th, 2010
12:27 am

Three Stars- 3rd Ruttu, 2nd Kane, 1st Samsinov… What!?

Cam Ward won that hockey game. Does the Atlanta media know hockey?

R. Stroz

December 17th, 2010
12:40 am

Cornbread – To answer your question… No

World Be Free

December 17th, 2010
5:55 am

Cornbread-right on with Ward, I failed to mention that earlier. 1st star Samsinov? Because he scored in the shootout? We are the kings of running around in our own end.
Brendan-can’t put away teams because we just don’t have the scoring which needs to be addressed. I think we have gone as far as our current talent will take us.

Flagstaff

December 17th, 2010
6:44 am

Thrashy Thrashy– no, you’re right, it isn’t March yet… but if they’re struggling to make the playoffs, or even win the SE Division, then they’ll wish they had that one point.

Yeah, on second reading of my post, it was a little pessimistic-looking; while the game was upsetting, this was not my intention. I meant to put more emphasis on the “Beat NJ” part of it! They still have a chance to get to the top of the division and, more importantly, put this mess behind them!

Zoomo

December 17th, 2010
7:24 am

47 shots on goal. We should have won that game 7-2. Antro had about 17 good looks and potted zip. Aggghhh!

Red Light

December 17th, 2010
7:37 am

No question that were it not for Ward’s terrific play in the 2nd period, this game could have gotten out of hand. Oduya is playing fantastic hockey right now. Keep an eye on the little things he does on the ice. Excellent again last night.

World Be Free

December 17th, 2010
8:09 am

Red Light-I think Johnny is playing very well, but I am concerned with his puck pursuit in the defensive zone. He is gliding to the puck, allowing the forward to arrive in the corner at the same time he does. A little more hustle on his part would enable him to avoid the wrestling in the corner. The good news is he is winning most of the battles.

Smoothie

December 17th, 2010
8:18 am

R/L – too bad JO has to work so hard to overcome his defense partner. He really needs some pressbox time to see the game from a different angle. He’s guilty of too much standing around (hit a guy in the crease for once!) or rushing a pass without surveying the ice first. Or he forgets he’s capable of stick-handling in his own end.

Wow, what a frustrating loss! Hopefully that fires them up to take out their troubles on the New Jersey Dev-eeeels!

World Be Free

December 17th, 2010
8:30 am

Smoothie-I was remiss for not slamming Johnny’s partner. I have given him a pass most of the season. But last night was another example of Zach’s “looking lost” again. The talent is there, he’s just not getting it. Trading huim is not the answer, getting a strong personality to look him in the eye and get his stuff in one boot is the answer. Do to him as we are doing to Bergfors.

AtlFlamesFan

December 17th, 2010
8:47 am

I thought we played very well. The biggest problem was our shooters missing the net. Oh, did we have chances.
Glad to see a fantastic effort from Mason. He cannot be faulted on either goal.

Thrashersfan

December 17th, 2010
8:53 am

Pissed off with the AJC! All during the team’s winning streak there may have been “one” story, if at all, on the front page of the sports section. It was always the little blurb at the top right corner directing you to the story. Yesterday, after the Tampa OTL, they put a more prominant statement and direction to the story near the bottom of the front page. What do they do today after another OTL? Full story, front page! It’s as if they exentuate the losses and bury the wins. Do they have something against the Thrashers? This is BS and we should all make our opinions known.

Thrashersfan

December 17th, 2010
8:54 am

Antropov was pathetic last night. Missed two open nets and just doesn’t hussle enough. You have to give Ward credit, and Mason for that matter. Both played exceptional.

R. Stroz

December 17th, 2010
8:57 am

So, how many of you are aware that this is a “next contract” year for Bogosian?

His price isn’t going up like Buff’s is, is it?

KLS1

December 17th, 2010
8:59 am

After sleeping on it, some of my furstration has ebbed. Now we need to make a statement against NJ!

I think there is some issue with Bogo…not sure what is going on but the reality is that Freddy Meyer is not a threat to push him into the press box. May be time to bring up Kulda and give the boys on the blueline a little competition.

On more note, I am quick to jump on Hainsey but I have to say he has been solid for the last several games. He and Sopel really seem to be in control. This I am happy to report.

Fan from Carolina

December 17th, 2010
9:09 am

Thrashersfan, Now you see why the Toronto media and fans shed no tears when Antropov left. No one should get on Kane though. He is going to be a good one for many years. Don’t forget his age and experience. I actually was pleased to see the Thrashers get a point after such a tough loss in TB and the Canes flying high after that great comeback against the Panthers. This will all be forgotten when they win the next game.

jen

December 17th, 2010
9:10 am

That should have been a regulation win. The winning goal was blown off to pad someone’s holiday bonus check or similar. No idea. Totally bummed, and bummed with Antro….he couldn’t buy a score last night. Ward was insane, credit where credit is due. Mason was decent enough. I wouldn’t put either of those goals on him, but he should have stopped Samsonov’s shootout winner. We are snakebit in the shootout without Slavamatic. (although Pav’s looked better in the last one). I’m all for that 10 minutes of overtime before going to the shootout…..the overtime was really well played last night. Lots of chances, up and down, very entertaining to watch. I would have watched more of that.

Joe Friday

December 17th, 2010
9:16 am

Whoever called out Bogosian before not literally not having hockey smarts is spot on, his toolbox is a little light up top.

Stewarts turnover was awful and cost the game.

Red Light

December 17th, 2010
9:21 am

Not to disagree with Fan from Carolina or Thrashersfan…

Ramsay said that he felt Nik played extremely well last night and the reason he chose him as the first shooter in the SO was to reward him for how hard he worked and the chances he created. I have been critical of his play for much of the season too, but because of his size, while he may not look like he’s working very hard, I do think last night was an exception to that. He was credited with seven shots on goal and three missed shots, 2 blocked shots and 1 hit in 17:47 of ice time. If he buries one or two last night, all would have been forgotten. It may have been his best game of the year.

World Be Free

December 17th, 2010
9:35 am

Antro played pretty well after Kovy was traded. He needed Max last season to open up some space, now he has Burmie but it is not enough to rely on an 18 year-old on a nightly basis. I still say the issue here is not having a left winger with scoring skills.

Duds-prioity number one is a two-way left winger for the Burmie line that can finish.

Thrashersfan

December 17th, 2010
9:37 am

Never worried about Kane. He is a phenominal player who hussles 100% of the time, fights like no one in the corner and makes things happen. And Burmy is following his lead. Bogy has been terrible, Johnny had his best game Tues vs Tampa. Regarding Hainsey, he’s a different player this yr and it must have come from a conversation Ramsey had with him. My guess is he told him he’s got to be more physical, not Scott Stevens physical, just leverage his size more. And of course, jump into the offensive zone as is the style of our team now. His lack of physicality has been one of my frustrations when you have a guy of his size. Bottom line is Hainsey has stepped up and he and the team are better for it.

Everyone can have a bad game and it’s been Sopel lately with several mistakes giving the puck away. Solid overall, however.

canofpeas

December 17th, 2010
9:38 am

interesting choice by buff in the shootout.

thought peverley had a real strong game last night. antropov did seem to have much more jump as well, gleason getting in his face must have fired him up. i like it.

msg

December 17th, 2010
9:51 am

Omg, all your opinions, and non of them matters! Don’t you all have anything else to do?

Joe Friday

December 17th, 2010
9:57 am

“Don’t you all have anything else to do?”

Nope. This is it. Just sitting in my mom’s basement. Out of work. No friends. Penniless. But I have the Thrashers and now you want to take that away from me?!? heartless bastid . . . Merry Christmas to you as well, msg.

R. Stroz

December 17th, 2010
9:58 am

msg SUCKS!

I did something that matters.

R. Stroz

December 17th, 2010
10:05 am

Joe Bob Friday – I’ve been saying for awhile that Bogosian doesn’t “read the game” well and doesn’t seem to be the sharpest knife in the drawer. He reminds me of Brad Marsh back when the Flames were in town, highly touted but never measured up as a top tier defensemen.

Bogosian also seems to be responding to the play that just happened instead of the play that is about to happen. I’m not for giving up on him yet, but the coaching staff needs to take this young man out of the weight room and sit him in the video room until he “gets it.”

DWTOO

December 17th, 2010
10:13 am

For those of you who think Antro doesn’t work hard should have noted his sweater was soaked at the end of the night. You don’t get that from gliding all night. R/L put it right – Nik’s a bug guy and they don’t look that fast out there. Nik could use a nastry streak tho’. He would strike fear into 3/4’s of the league.

DWTOO

December 17th, 2010
10:15 am

msg – blogging and expressing worthless opinions still beats working! Still not as much fun as hanging in JF’s mom’s basement though.

World Be Free

December 17th, 2010
10:21 am

Cam Ward was the difference last night, just like Pavs has been the difference for the Thrashers this season, I guess we got a taste of our own medicine. I should have been worried when Mrs. WBF said “oh no, Ward is playing tonight”. Even the Mrs. knows Cam is tough.

Joe Friday

December 17th, 2010
10:24 am

And Antropov was robbed on a couple of those chances, he played great. The replays on TV showed Ward robbed him and then once he had Ward beat and the Canes’ dmen had their sticks in the crease and blocked the sure goal . . . Stewarts’ boneheaded play was the difference maker (besides Wards’ performance) and Stewart owned up to it in the postgame locker room interview)

AtlFlamesFan

December 17th, 2010
10:33 am

Yeah, Stewart’s play did lead to the goal, but there were several other misplays (i.e. Buff giving it away leading to a shorthanded breakaway). The difference is that Stewart’s happen to lead to the goal. Unlucky for him.

MSG: The work we are doing here is very important.

Nate

December 17th, 2010
10:41 am

After the last two games I’m left wondering…where is Slava Kozlov when you need him?

Red Light

December 17th, 2010
10:43 am

It was Pitkannen’s solid pinch, after Bogo threw the puck up the boards to Stewart, that made Stewart turn the puck over that led to the Staal’s tying goal. It wasn’t like Stewart was standing by himself with no one around. Watched the replay four times, and Pitkannen was just waiting on it. A good forecheck by the Canes.

Nate

December 17th, 2010
10:51 am

Also, I think we’re being a little too harsh on the boys. Sure it sucks to blow a 2-0 lead at home, but this team managed 47 shots on the fifth game of 5 in seven nights. 6 out of a possible 10 points. Not great, but not bad either. I think it hurts more that these SO losses came against division foes. But to outplay the Canes during this tough stretch of games, that shows character and determination to me. Ward stole this one. Plain and simple.

KLS1

December 17th, 2010
11:01 am

I agree with Nate and wanted to make one more comment…Peverley was our best player last night.

He has some awesome moves, hustles, and creates space…that pivot next to the net on the pass across the crease to Antro was sick. Watch the replay, the Canes dman on coverage damn near came out of his skates trying to pull up. Pevs is a legit first line center.

jimbo

December 17th, 2010
11:08 am

Who in the world picks the 3 stars? Cam Ward was Star #1. Everyone else was a distant second. Bogosian is starting to resemble Tamer/Devries. He’s got good wheels but he makes too many bonehead plays and passes. Avoid the Shootout at all cost. It’s a guaranteed loss for us.

Schubert

December 17th, 2010
11:12 am

Sign me for shoot out’s only.

Red Light

December 17th, 2010
11:13 am

From the annals of WTF? The Bruins’ David Kreci and the Habs’ Mike Cammalieri dropped the gloves last night in Montreal.

R. Stroz

December 17th, 2010
11:20 am

Red Light – Does that qualify as a cat fight?

Red Light

December 17th, 2010
11:30 am

LOL Kreci actually threw a couple of good ones early!

And, Cammalieri signing might go down as one of the best ever for the Habs. That guy is a stud offensively. In 96 games for the Habs, he’s got 37 goals and 37 assists and is +13, but he makes others around him so much better. Plekanec, for example, has 35 goals and 62 assists in 113 games since Cammalieri arrived.

DWTOO

December 17th, 2010
11:33 am

Hit ‘em with your purse!