What…me worry about these Thrashers? Maybe, but only just a little

Just a week ago the Atlanta Thrashers were sitting atop the Southeast Division and held the second spot in the Eastern Conference. They were riding a 12-2-2 hot streak and had just come off impressive victories over the New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs by a combined score of 13-4.

It all started out well enough Tuesday night as Evander Kane put the Thrashers up 1-0 early in the first period (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

It all started out well enough Tuesday night as Evander Kane put the Thrashers up 1-0 early in the first period (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Oh what a difference a week can make.

Since that time, they’ve have gone 0-3-1, been outscored 17-8…two of those losses coming against Tampa Bay and Boston, teams Atlanta has been jockeying for position in the standings with. Their play of late has been, in a word…un-good.

Tuesday night, Pittsburgh was the scene of their latest unsuccessful venture. After coming out strong against the Pens, taking 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the game slowly spiraled out of control…slowly at first, then at a dizzying pace. Once Sidney Crosby leveled the score twice in the first period, he along with his black and gold Penguin pals commenced to out-skate, out-hustle, out-grind and out-work the visiting Thrashers.

There was short-handed goal that resulted from winning the puck away from Atlanta defenders behind Ondrej Pavelec’s net to send Pittsburgh into the second intermission up 3-2. It was the third shorty the Thrashers power play unit has allowed during this four game slide.

“That’s just being lazy”, captain Andrew Ladd said of Pittsburgh’s go-ahead short-handed tally. “There is no way they should get a chance like that on a power play.”

Then there was the ‘ol “Win the face-off to start the third period, scoot it up the right wing, have Crosby flop it in front of the net for an easy tip-in score” play that was executed to perfection is just nine seconds. Just the way it was drawn up on the chalkboard, eh?

Mark Letestu shove Alex Burmistrov out of his way en route to his third period goal (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Mark Letestu shoves Alex Burmistrov out of his way en route to his third period goal (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

And then there was that…that…that “thing” that happened to Alex Burmistrov. First he misplayed…OK, whiffed…the puck in the defensive zone, then he was knocked backwards by Mark Letestu, who then put the Pens up 5-2.

So in summary, Sid’s second score coming in the closing moments of the first, a brain-cramp shorty in the second, Thrashers skaters becoming spectators for the opening nine seconds of the third period, Burmistrov’swhatever that was you want to call it and…bippity-boppity-boo…just like that, a closely fought, tight game turns into a 6-3 cluster-fail and a fourth consecutive loss.

So, if you ask me if I’m concerned with the current state of these Atlanta Thrashers, my answer is…well…yeah. Yeah I am. But only just a little.

Four game losing streaks are not normally the kind of thing that can just be laughed or shrugged off, of course. Especially when in those quartet of games your team has fallen from first place in the division and second overall in the conference all the way down to third and seventh respectively. So there is reason for a certain amount of angst in Thrasherville.

But there’s no need for full-fledged panic either.

One of the reasons the Divine Mrs. R won’t have to pull my head out of the oven anytime soon is this; In the half year or so that Craig Ramsay, John Torchetti, etc. have manned the bench in a coaching capacity with this organization, I’ve grown to trust not only what it is they’re in the process of teaching and preaching…I’ve also grown to trust their ability to nip problems in the bud.

Another is because the oven is electric.

And no, there won’t be any needto pull me back off a high-rise ledge this morning either. Just as I wasn’t quite ready to start penciling-in dates in June that could work for a Stanley Cup victory parade down Peachtree Street last week following the wins against the Devils and Leafs…I’m not ready to start flipping through the possible draft prospects to see who could be had with the number two or three picks this summer after four losses either.

82 games bring with it a lot of ebbs and flows in a season. And as the Thrashers go through some tough spells…and they will…one shouldn’t lose perspective of that.

One thing I am seriously concerned about, however, is the status of one Mr. Evander Kane. As he was being helped off the ice after taking a hit to the knee up against the boards, I began to think of this team trying to snap a four game losing skid against the Big Bad Bruins without the assistance of such a key component to this lineup.

…shudders…

86 comments Add your comment

saluda26

December 29th, 2010
7:29 am

Like you said ebbs and flows. Take the bad with good. It’s a long season. They will come out of it, hopefully soon!

Matt

December 29th, 2010
7:51 am

I’m not if full blown panic mode… YET. But I am angry with the sloppy play and the freakin’ short handed goals. That is just plain inexcusable to give up 3 shorties in four games. They need to get this turned around and fast.

Fan from Carolina

December 29th, 2010
7:54 am

Not too worried. The Thrashers ran into two buzz saws on their home ice after two poor losses (Pens to Sens, and B’s to Ducks). Just bad scheduling luck. I believe the Lightning and Caps would have lost both those games as well if in the Thrashers shoes. On the bright side you have a Bruins bunch coming off two very fortunate state of FL wins after a SO and a bad ref call. They are very ripe for plucking, especially with the Thrashers revenge mode in gear. If the Thrashers lose Thursday on home ice with all these factors, THEN I’ll be concerned.

jimbo

December 29th, 2010
8:01 am

The Bruins game is a BIG ONE. Lose this one and we ;may start the same type of slide that we hit last year about the same time. I can’t believe that we didn’t recognize that Sid was on the ice. He gets a free pass from us- TERRIBLE. And, when is Oduya going to sit and ponder his poor play. He was PATHETIC last night. He’s gotten real timid with hits and passes.

Cliff Fletcher

December 29th, 2010
8:04 am

Nice photo of Sage

Red Light

December 29th, 2010
8:06 am

I don’t know what the NHL’s system is for charting giveaways, but it seemed like the Penguins got a lot more than just four from the Thrashers last night. Burmi’s was bad, but it didn’t count as a giveaway? But Matt Cooke was 1-on-3 and comes away with the puck and it winds up on Adams stick who was unmolested in the slot with the Thrashers up a man that led to the tying goal. Then, Bogo’s inaction against Crosby leads to the go-ahead goal early in the third.

The last six losses to the Avs, Blues, Bruins, Penguins, Lightning and Hurricanes are more representative of the type of teams the Thrashers must beat to stay in the playoff race than their four most recent wins over the Isles, Senators, Leafs and Devils. That is a concern!

Atlanta has allowed three shorthanded goals in its past four outings, another major concern!

Opponents who forecheck well are causing problems for this team, yet another concern!

Lastly, when people talk, write or post nicely about this Thrashers team, the team probably thinks they are better than they are. That’s another concern, but with more performances like last night’s second half of the game, we won’t have to worry about many people being too kind about their play.

stendek warning!

Dwayne

December 29th, 2010
8:08 am

Not panic….concern, Rammer??? What are you teaching now? Pathetic 2nd and 3rd periods. I hate cindy crotchby!!! Stendek has reason to bitch about last night.

Stan Drulia

December 29th, 2010
8:32 am

That play with Burmistrov was pretty embarrassing. Poor little guy looked like the playground bully came over and stole his cookie.

Brian

December 29th, 2010
8:37 am

Difference here is Pens coach probably lit his teams butts on fire after the 1st and they responded. He looked like he was about to start smashing their heads into the glass halfway thru the 1st.

Rammer looked more confused than anything. Maybe he is lighting them up and they are justnot responding? Who knows but that 2-3rd periods were awful to watch.

Hope Kane is okay.

R. Stroz

December 29th, 2010
8:40 am

Poor little guy looked like the playground bully came over and stole his cookie.

Would have been nice if Ralphie was there to save the day, instead we had Bogosian and Oduya taking their time getting back to help the kid.

What in the BLEEP has happened to Bogosian over the past two seasons? He’s slower and seems scared to “go after” his man.

Puckhead

December 29th, 2010
8:54 am

What’s our record since Thrash’s arrest? Point being which one puts sells tickets long-term? MORE COWBELL Thursday night

lemon drop the gloves

December 29th, 2010
8:54 am

how did cormier play? was he a factor? lots of buzz yesterday upon his arrival-but he gets no mention after first game.

Rawhide

December 29th, 2010
9:07 am

What’s our record since Thrash’s arrest?

PuckHead – That whole deal went down on Wednesday morning Dec. 15. The Thrashers are 2-3-3 in the nine games since then, including the shootout loss in Tampa that night.

how did cormier play? was he a factor? lots of buzz yesterday upon his arrival-but he gets no mention after first game.

LDtG – The line on PC was 12:14 TOI with 1 SOG and a -1. As for how he did…well, it’s just one game, but he didn’t look lost out there. Nothing over-the-top spectacular mide you, but he certainly didn’t embarrass himself that’s for sure. I want to see how he looks a week or so from now after he has a few games under his belt.

razorneck13

December 29th, 2010
9:16 am

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that Pavs has softened a good bit and even a little before this past losing streak. Another thing I’ve noticed is that he doesn’t take well to one on one’s…not even talking about furious breakaways, but pretty mild one’s devoid of any head spinning dangling. Yet still I hear Eliot and McConnel referring to him as being as hot as any goaltender over and over again. Sorry guys, that’s so 2-3 weeks ago. Letting in 4-5 goals in games that aren’t exactly shooting galleries, NOT hot.

Next…

The shorthanded goals ARE KILLING ME!!! Freakin’ embarrassing, I don’t see how anyone could disagree with that either.

Still some positives in my book though, but they’ve gotta get that confidence back and keep on grinding, for starters that much I know. We can not endure this kinda play, cuz 3-4 game losing streaks every couple weeks will probably kill a playoff run.

ThrashDawg

December 29th, 2010
9:21 am

Ungood game last night, but it started good! I am a little concerned about Big Buff. His inability to keep the puck in the zone during PP cost us one shorty and nearly another last night. His play lately seems a little sloppy. I hope his success is not going to his head. Also, I do believe we need a veteran winger to come in here and give us some scoring stability. We need to make a trade to shake somethings up and spur the team on to further heights. How about a player from the Flames?

razorneck13

December 29th, 2010
9:23 am

Oh yeah, the NHL community needs to wake up to Tobey Enstrom. His puck movement is second to none on the blueline. That dude keeps us in games with puck collecting, advancing and distributing alone…regardless if he scores. He’s what you call a keeper.

hockeymom92

December 29th, 2010
9:25 am

I FINALLY get to go to a game this season and all I can say is they better win tomorrow night or else you will see one angry southern hockey mom. Trust me, it ain’t a pretty sight. I definitely need some relief from this week’s major meltdowns (Tech, Falcons, Thrashers).

SomaAtl95

December 29th, 2010
9:33 am

It amazes me that the Pens were so fast to scream “Too many men on the ice!” when they ended up winning the cup a few years ago with 6 men on ice for almost a minute. The Thrashers did not play good last night but I can not help but think that the refs aren’t exactly impartial either. I’m pretty sure that Kane had a target on his back, I hope he is ok.Time to sit Burmi and let him watch NHL hockey for a game or three, he isn’t playing NHL hockey, thats for sure.
Hopefully Ladd, Buff and Toby all start to light fires for everyone as they are the “leaders” of the team.
A four game slide concerns me, greatly, but in the first episode of 24/7 I seem to remember Bruce Boudreau telling his Caps that “Chicago lost 9 in a row last season and they won the cup” so anything is possible.
Finally – Dear Cindy Crotchby, The next time you are hanging out with your “Team Canada” Buddies, rubbing out to your “Lion Roar” victory over Team USA in the Olympics, do us all a favor and let Danny Heatley drive you around. Love, Every Hockey Fan that isn’t from Canada, Pittsburgh, or from whatever level of H-E-double hockey sticks you went to when you sold your soul for your ability.

SCPensfan

December 29th, 2010
9:38 am

Don’t worry guys. You’ll be fine. That is one hell of a disciplined team you have and they are a lot of fun to watch. You just need to be in a top 8 spot in April, and then the real tests begin. Getting your team ready for the playoffs is the goal of every regular season game. You can lose a couple as long as there is a lesson learned from each game.

The learning happens on the bench too. Ramsay is no doubt learning which players he can count on for a good penalty kill when the game needs it most. Don’t get too critical of a small streak in December not going your way. Your team is good, and it’s coached well.

You hit a hot (hot hot hot) team in their own turf. Atlanta put good pressure on Pittsburgh in the first, and there was something to show for it. Pittsburgh adjusted, and Atlanta didn’t counter. Your team will learn from that.

Can’t wait to see how this all shakes out. I see ATL as a #5 or #6 seed for the playoffs… and I think you win a couple playoff games this year for sure.

LETS GO PENS!!! =)

Smoothie

December 29th, 2010
9:44 am

“Oh yeah, the NHL community needs to wake up to Tobey Enstrom. His puck movement is second to none on the blueline”

THIS. Big Buff isn’t half as successful as he’s been this year without Enstrom getting him the puck on offense and covering for his sometimes lazy butt on defense. Tobey is as consistent as they come and he deserves a lot more credit. However, he still needs to shoot more even if it means flipping a wrister towards the net for a deflection. We have become way too reliant on the big wind-up slapper and defenses have been bum-rushing the points increasingly so as of late. We must learn to adjust.

As for Patrice Cormier, he will help us. He is very good with the puck and doesn’t hold it too long. He uses his big frame extremely well along the boards and knows how to leverage it to win puck battles. He finishes his checks and he’s not afraid to mix it up on the F/C. He basically plays the game according to Rammer Hockey 101. So all of the haters who keep insisting that everyone here is so delusional as to think he is the next coming of Hank Zetterberg need to check their agendas at the door. Cormier is more likely to evolve into a Dave Bolland type with the potential to be as good as a Claude Lemieux in his prime or perhaps a larger version of Mike Peca. In. My. Opinion.

Which happens to be right! ;-)

Joe Friday

December 29th, 2010
9:55 am

Other clubs have adjusted to attack our style of play, and Ramsay has not changed up his attack and yes, does look confused. that is not good. Red Light is spot on up above. Tomorrow will be interesting to see if Ramsay can change up his scheme against the Bruins, another club who frustrates us with their style.

Steve

December 29th, 2010
10:02 am

The entire defense looked scared last night, including the proclaimed greats Enstrom and Buff. They both looked tired and scared at times in the 2nd and 3rd periods.

I’ll pile on Bogosian too, he has looked miserable since (i’m assuming) he has been told to not freelance offensively as much. It all starts with defense and they stunk it up last night.

Not Blind

December 29th, 2010
10:10 am

I have been saying this for the whole year: This team does not have a breakout plan.

Now I am revising my statement: This team’s breakout plan does not take into account the skill of the players implementing the plan.

These guys need to start getting the puck out of the zone the instant they get control of the puck instead of working it back into their zone as they often do now. Every game in the losing streak there has been at least one goal given up on a play that the Thrashers have taken the puck back into their own end to set up their breakout. Through basic ineptitude they cough up the puck and it ends up in the net. The ineptitude I am talking about is things like:

Two Thrashers getting tied up with one another behind the net and 1 opposing player swoops in, steals the puck and puts it in the slot.

The Thrasher with the puck behind the net gets a little pressure and passes the puck to his own guy in the slot. The breakdown occurs when the guy receiving the puck isn’t expecting to receive the pass or the pass is in his skates or ???? The result is a give away in the prime scoring area.

Also the game last night did nothing to dispel my belief that Peverly is the new Kozlov. On one of the goals his defensive play looked just as bad as Burmie’s but Peverly ain’t no rookie.

This team also has to start taking the body.

Smoothie

December 29th, 2010
10:13 am

Joe & R/L – while I agree that our “style” of play has become stale and somewhat predictable, I don’t totally agree that Ramsay needs to change the scheme that dramatically. What he needs to do is remind these players that they are NOT good enough to deviate from his system. Can you honestly tell me that they played “Ramsay style” hockey in the last 40 mins of that game?

Certainly the PP needs to be revamped, but the PK has been much, much better since mid-December so hat-tip to Rammer for making that “adjustment”. But the bigger problem to me is a lack of commitment to what they were doing well earlier this year. Even in October when things weren’t going well on the road, they stuck with the system and kept working and grinding until something good happened. Now many of them seem to think they are good enough to freelance and make the “special” play rather than the smart, high-percentage play.

Perhaps this is the result of fatigue, perhaps it’s trying to do too much to get out of a scoring slump. But prior to this 4-game slide, goal-scoring wasn’t the problem, but rather execution of the “little” things that win hockey games. However, I do agree that the methods by which we attempt to breakout of our zone need to be modified. This team’s D has become way too enamored of the automatic puck reversal behind our net. Too often D-men are reluctant to carry the puck out of the corner when only one guy is there to beat. Carry it a couple of steps further and get the puck to the high wall near the blueline or to the middle if there is an open, streaking winger. Instead, they reverse it right into the teeth of a double forecheck and an oncoming winger who disrupts the play behind the net. It’s one thing to be patient, it’s quite another to be scared and afraid to turn it over.

SCPensfan – classy post and we appreciate the sentiments. Unfortunately this fanbase has been through way too much adversity to not get completely demoralized should this slide continue a couple more games. It’s the total regression from what they were doing well just a couple of weeks ago that makes this so frustrating. The work ethic hasn’t been the same recently and they are often playing one good period and that’s it. The rest of the time they look uncertain, panicked or hesitant. I just wish there were a lot more of you when it comes to Pens fans. Then again, it’s not the real Pens fans that suck, just the thousands of Crotchby sniffers and bandwagoners who don’t know icing from their arse. Thanks for posting and don’t be a stranger!

Smoothie

December 29th, 2010
10:18 am

Not Blind – JINX! :-) Shall we get crackin’ on our revised breakout strategies and forechecking scheme?? Time to commit fully to a 2 – 1 – 2 when we have the lead and not a passive 1 – 2 – 2 that relies to heavily on backchecks through the first half of the neutral zone. I want to see more commitment to attacking the other team’s breakout much like other team’s are doing to us when they get the lead.

Rawhide

December 29th, 2010
10:19 am

SCPensfan – I’ll echo what Smoothie said above…very classy post indeed. That type of dialogue is very much appreciated around here.

razorneck13

December 29th, 2010
10:21 am

Well, maybe Cormier couldn’t have come at a better time. We definitely need more toughness. I’m not one that believes size determines ability to play per se, I think toughness comes in many packages. There’s weak playing big guys and some hardcore little guys in the NHL, that said I see lot’s of lacking toughness in Burmi and Little especially. Little seems to have potential to be grittier than he is IMO, Burmi on the other hand is likely gonna have to figure out how to adapt (I can’t imagine that kid getting much bigger) as a finesse player. BTW, I’m not suggesting we lose either of em, but consider counter acting that.

I think we may need some one or two additions at forward. Cormier is probably a good start, but I think there’s a certain Swedish vet being dressed that could use a solid replacement too (I don’t think we have one in the system either…gonna have to trade). We know Bergfors isn’t gonna get the chance either( love his skill, but he’s not the missing link in this system), so might as well start looking for a solid performing power / grinding kinda forward and get him on the ice.

On another note I really do hope that Kane’s gonna be alright, another keeper we need.

SomaAtl95

December 29th, 2010
10:23 am

Yes SCPensfan – Thanks for being classy, even if my post was less than classy – There are a lot of transplants in Atlanta who either root for their home teams or whomever is exciting at that moment. I refuse to go to a Pens game in Atlanta because the legions of FairWeather fans that crawl out to come to the game. Its a shame when the visiting team has more fans than the home team (and its that way with EVERY sport in Atlanta – rest assured whatever team won in their respective sport, all their “fans” start to appear – Anyone who watched the Falcons/Aints game on MNF could see the sheer amount of Aints fans that were at the dome. This year I’ve counted Saints Jerseys, Yankees Caps and Lakers Jerseys till I couldn’t count anymore. And being a fan of my hometown teams its frustrating to see how fickle most sports fans in Atlanta are)
Thanks again for being cool – most Pens fans that show up here are usually trolls who go out of their way to tell us we suck. Please feel free to come back and comment anytime – :)

Midfield

December 29th, 2010
10:44 am

In defense of Burmistrov: the give away was the fourth case of a similar let-down he was subjected to by his teammates that I picked up on. The first three were on the offense, Stewart being the culprit by not ready to receive a pass. The fourth one, when Burmistrov fanned in front of Pavelec, I don’t remember who it was but he was not looking. Ramsey repeatedly said that the system depends on everybody on the ice to make themselves available. A few guys were coasting, and you can’t do that against the Pens.

ThrasherTim

December 29th, 2010
10:48 am

Red Light – Spot on with the last few W’s. I had been thinking too that our wins were against pretty sad teams…and the Ottawa win was after we coughed up a 3-0 lead and the turnover brigade began again (remember early in the season?).

Truly though, the biggest difference in this team is the lack of power play production…3 goals in 37 or something. Oh yea. And we gave up 3 shorties during the same time too. So…basically 0% production versus the 20%+ we had during the winning streak with no shorties. That is huge.

I also think it’s time that Burmi sat a game or two. It seems he has hit a brick wall and has lost confidence with his puck decisions. Giving up the goal last night might actually be a good thing. He has had numerous turnovers lately and one finally turned into a goal. Maybe he’ll make the safer play next time.

Anthony Stewart frustrates me in our own end too. He never seems to win a board battle, take charge and get the puck out of our zone. Maybe Cormier can help here and rub off on the team.

Kary Sebring

December 29th, 2010
10:48 am

What happened to the team a couple of weeks ago? They all look confused and not ready to play? Bad passes and bad decissions. What about the forechecking??? Where is the passion? We havent seen the Buff pumping up his team like we saw in the early part of the season. Rammer needs to step up and open a can on his team. I see no signs of leadership from the coach or the captain.

Come on Thrashers… we have waited a long time for a team. I feel that finally have a team this year. Its not focussed on one player anymore. You have proven that you can play as a team, just go out and perform like you know you can. I believe in you guys.. I have supported you from day one and will continue. Good luck…

Kovyoverrated

December 29th, 2010
10:56 am

Watching 24/7 last night, it occurred to me that just a few years ago Pitt came within a phone call of moving and Wash couldn’t get a custodian crew to stay and watch their games. Now they are 2 of the NHL’s gems. With the right ownership, leadership, and a few stars, the Thrashers can do the same.
Kovy is now a -26. It just keeps getting funnier.

swede

December 29th, 2010
10:59 am

I dont know what´s wrong with bogo, he seems to be getting slower for every season that pass. Detroits Gm Holland said yesterday in an interview with a swedish channel that you only should gain max 5 lbs each year. Bogosian has gotten like 15 lbs over a summer, things like that can get you slower because training right is such a important thing. Weigh doesn´t mean much at all, lokk at all great defenders, lidstrom, keith they weigh just around 200. This is just my opinion, but it feels like he´s getting slower for every year.
Looking at older games, he feels smoother and not so rigid. His mobility isnt good either.
i really hope things will turn around and that he´ll become a great D.
PS Sorry for my english

Not Blind

December 29th, 2010
11:09 am

Smoothie :)

I like Tampa’s system – Get the puck and everybody is GO GO GO GO. At the redline the trailing Dman waits to make sure the puck has gone deep before taking his point position.

Speaking of the points. There is no consistently winning system that does not stress the D-men being on the points. Only in specific instances does a D-man leave his point. When that situation has passed he needs to HUSTLE back to the point. On faceoffs in the offensive zone the D-man need to hustle back to their point unless they actually end up with the puck off the faceoff.

Far too often I see the Thrashers lose the faceoff, the puck goes into the corner, an opposing player then rims it around AND during all this time the Thrasher D-man hasn’t gotten back to his position and is not even close to being able to keep the puck in. “Lidstrom Lite” aka Enstrom is just as guilty of this as the other Atlanta D-men.

Playing the points is playing the system. Not being on the point is free lancing and is rarely successful.

Billsen

December 29th, 2010
11:14 am

I think what we’re seeing now is the impact of so many games over a compressed period of time. That leaves little time to practice and to recover from fatigue and injuries. If ever a team needed a four day break from games, it is the Thrashers.

Red Light

December 29th, 2010
11:27 am

Quite frankly, I don’t care whose fans are in the building as long as someone is there making some noise. The other night against the Lightning, a boring game by all accounts, you would have thought we were watching the Nutcracker at the Fox for most of the game.

Keep an eye on something on Thursday night. Several times during the past few games, there have been trailers wide open in the high slot for a drop pass, that for some reason, the Thrashers just don’t see. When you watch the best forwards in the league, they always look for a trailing forward or defenseman coming late.

And, of the six, count ‘em six goals allowed last night, you could fault Pavelec for only one, the one by Kunitz at the corner of the net. Against Tampa, maybe the rebound goal by Stamkos because he wasn’t square to the first shot. Again, he kept them in it through two periods last night.

Barry

December 29th, 2010
11:41 am

I’m actually pretty worried and concerned myself. They knew they had to play tight defensively and knew they had to keep control of the puck but they played like Swiss cheese and played some “I’m scared I’m afraid to hit him” defense. This has been going on for a week or two now. All the things they were doing right to be successful has gone and left this team. NOW they are doing everything wrong. Turnovers. Sloppy passing. Sloppy on the powerplay as they are giving up short handed goals almost once per game. They are getting outworked. Where’s the urgency? Where’s any semblence of physical play? When’s the last time Buff knocked someone down on the ice without taking a penalty? It’s like they ran out of the koolaid they were drinking that helped them play smart aggressive hockey. Now they are playing lazy dumb hockey and embarassing themselves. They are only 2 points ahead of Boston right now for the 8th spot in the conference. They are only 8 points out of being in the 9th spot and if they don’t get their heads out of their collective arses they will be out of the playoff standings.

LAC

December 29th, 2010
11:52 am

Bogosian has to GO and GO now. I am sick and tired of watching play out of position, timid hockey.
He has NO defensive skills and will not touch anyone with more than a “gentile” shove.

I have no clue as to what is happening. Started with losing to a St.L team we were better than, than the rest of this mess. But little old zach, I have seen more than enough of him. He IS the WORST defenseman on the team, but what bothers me the most is his AWFUL postioning, it’s Terrible, Terrible, Terrible !!!!!!!!!!

See who wants him and trade him, he is NOT getting better he is getting far far worse !!!!!

R. Stroz

December 29th, 2010
12:08 pm

Red Light – I wasn’t there Sunday night, what did you expect?

Joe McGrath

December 29th, 2010
12:12 pm

If I were Rammer, I would: A. Sit Burmistrov and play Bergfors. The kid’s play was inexcusable…he’s getting too upity. I love the kid, but he needs to come back down to reality and understand even the league scrubs will eat his lunch. B. Sit Bogy and play Meyer (or better yet, call up Kulda). Bogy’s lazy and he needs to up his intensity. C. Get Malarchuk to work on OP’s recovery speed. He’s sloth-like in his recovery after shots and it takes way too much time to get back into position after action around the net. He must work on speed.

Joe McGrath

December 29th, 2010
12:16 pm

Oh yeah, and Buff needs to work on settling the puck when he’s on the point. How many pucks has he had bounce over his stick which led to the opposition’s SH rushes.

Red Light

December 29th, 2010
12:50 pm

EJ Hradek, who probably hasn’t seen an Atlanta game live in person since 2004, writes about Evander Kane.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=5966055

Funny, that there was no mention that Kane rarely passes the puck, and that the majority of his shots on goal come from outside or beneath the face-off dot to the goalie’s right. No question he has skills but I was hoping for more from him this year.

razorneck13

December 29th, 2010
1:18 pm

Definitely sit Burmi more for now. I haven’t seen Bergfors give it up like Burmi did last night…could be wrong, but I just can’t remember him being such a powder puff. There’s a time to recognize that there’s been perhaps too much confidence and opportunity to develop our tiny Russian dancer. Yeah, he’s our little dangling buttercup alright and I’m fond of the little squirt, but he needs to watch a little bit more for now and do everything possible to gain another 10 or more lbs. of lean mass if possible so as to not so effortlessly pushed off the puck like that.

We all know Bergfors is in all likelihood a goner by now though…sad. I’d like to see Cormier and Bergfors more than Burmi and Modin. Now that Stapleton’s gone, good now pretty please try what I said Mr. Rammers Coach Sir.

ukyo(ths)

December 29th, 2010
1:24 pm

The game went south after that shorty went in, no doubt. I have to agree on Bogo. He is nothing like he was a couple of seasons ago. He needs help to get back on track. I don’t know why our guys were so lazy on the PP. They didn’t get out worked by Cooke, they simply were too casual with the man advantage and it cost them. Honestly, that lapse in work effort cost them the momentum and the game. They were not the same after that. Here’s hoping for a better game against the Broons. We need it.

Tom Lysiak

December 29th, 2010
1:33 pm

The one that brought me out of my chair last night was when Crotchby split Sopel and Hainsey and popped it in. Knock the guy down when he has the puck. Go to him, not away from him. They almost treat him with reverence. The guy is a magician with the puck. Knock him on his arse when he has it.

Spud Webb

December 29th, 2010
2:03 pm

Disappointing for sure. Came out and looked as good as I’ve seen a thrashers team look in the first period, but that flipping pens team is good & i hate em. We have to play like the 1st, all 3 periods, stating the obvious.
I loved how Rammer took Burmy on the bench and was teaching the whole time, every mistake, burmy got coached on. To me, that is awesome. 3 minutes left, rammer was trying different lines. I mean, i’ve not seen that here in the ATL, he never stops coaching/teaching and trying new things. Great job in a bad game. Let’s go beat the h&ll out of boston!

Smoothie

December 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

We’re gonna have some different lines perhaps with Antropov likely out and Kaner a game-time decision. Perhaps Bergy will get some action!

16-47-22/18

9/8-8/10-10/18

21-45-?? <– Meyer??

36-23-27

How would y'all shake them up?

Mike W

December 29th, 2010
2:19 pm

I agree with all the comments on Bogo. He is absolutely horrible.

Red Light

December 29th, 2010
2:45 pm

Tom Lysiak: Tell me what the heck Slater was doing on that play. He fell asleep and allowed Crosby to take the pass before the split of Hainsey and Sopel. Complete three-man breakdown.

Hockey Biltong

December 29th, 2010
2:46 pm

No vuvuzela for you!