2010 Thrashers review and 2011 predictions

First off, allow me to wish each and every one of you a very happy New Year. It’s my sincere hope that the coming year brings much joy and prosperity and that you are all have a great timing ringing in 2011.

I’m a day or so early with those well-wishes because this will be the last blog entry of 2010 for me.  Later today I’ll be zipping my way down I-75 to the Sunshine State with the Divine Mrs. R and the tax exemptions. It has become something of a tradition now that we spend New Years down in Florida. We’ll be at mom-in-laws house in Jacksonville as we install a wireless internet system…her Christmas present. So, unlike when we stay at the lake house down there, I will at least be able to make contact with the cyber-civilized world.

With that said, let’s take a quick look back on the year that was…then peer into the future for some predictions and prognostications for 2011.

I’ll begin with a quick recap of the action here on this little online Thrashers hockey forum. This will be blog post number 214 I’ve submitted for your approval during CY2010. What you have done, on the other hand, is respond with 28,693 comments in the first 353 days of they year.

So, reach around and give yourselves a nice pat on the back.

2010 saw the Ilya Kovalchuk era in Thrasherville come to an end (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

2010 saw the Ilya Kovalchuk era in Thrasherville come to an end (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

I’m not supposed to report actual web hits per month, but needless to say you guys have hit the AJC Thrashers blogs…both this one and C-Viv’s…with an impressive and ever-increasing frequency. And for that I cannot say thank you enough, Thrasherville.

As for the Thrashers themselves…2010 began with a 4-3 overtime loss in Buffalo, even though they held a 3-0 late in the first period. It was the seventh consecutive defeat for Atlanta during their nine-game holiday slide. They would not win again until January 7 when they knocked of the Rangers 2-1 in a shootout. It would take them another two games before they won a game in regulation. In fact, after the 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers on November 30 the Thrashers would not net a win in regulation time until the 6-1 win over Ottawa on January 12. They had played a total of 20 games, going 5-12-3 in that span, between such wins.

But Atlanta righted themselves enough to play to a 17-17-9 record between the beginning of the calendar year and the end of the season last spring. Combine that with their current 19-14-6 and they have a 36-31-15 record for CY2010 with 2 games remaining. This means depending on how they fair against the Bruins tonight and Devils tomorrow, they’ll wind up with a points-winning percentage anywhere between .518 and .542.

In comparison, they went 40-35-5 in CY2009, (.531 PW%)…27-41-12 in CY2008, (.421 PW%), 39-37-5 in CY2007, (.512 PW%) and 48-27-17 in 2006, (.614 PW%).

Notable stories of this past year include, but are not limited to…former faces of the franchise Ilya Kovalchuk and Kari Lehtonen being traded away last winter…the major shake up in the organization that send Don Waddell upstairs as team president and made Rick Dudley the second ever general manager in team history…the release of John Anderson and the entire coaching staff…the naming of Craig Ramsay as head coach as well as John Torchetti associate coach…Alexander Burmistrov drafted with the 8th overall pick…the major deals with Chicago that brought us the likes of Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Brent Sopel…Ondrej Pavelec’s fainting episode on opening night…and, most recently, the court settlement that finally ended the legal battle of the team’s ownership group.

Now, let’s take a quick look back at some of the predictions we made a year ago. I’ll review mine here, but I also invite you to scroll down the column to see how your prognostications faired as well.

John Anderson's time as Thrashers head coach also came to an end this past year (AP photo)

John Anderson's time as Thrashers head coach also came to an end this past year (AP photo)

Obviously, I was completely incorrect in my prediction that Ilya Kovalchuk’s wife would convince him to re-sign here in Atlanta. In the clarity of hindsight, I can say I’m very happy to have been wrrrrrr….ahem… wrrrrrrr… wrrrrrrrrr….

…sigh…

I am happy to have been less correct than I normally am.

I was also less than correct in regards to John Anderson’s return for a third season as head coach of the Thrashers. Anderson departed Thrasherville after two seasons and a record of 70-75-19 behind the bench.

I had forecasted a final record for Atlanta of 39-33-10 for 88 points and that they would end up in third place in the division and tenth in the conference. I went on to add that they would flirt with a playoff spot, but ultimately fall just short.

Indeed they did do just that, staying in the hunt for the postseason up until the last week or so of the season, that is. They wound up in tenth in the Eastern Conference as predicted, but second place instead of third…doing so with a lesser record than predicted, 35-34-13 for 83 points.

As we now know, of course, had they actually gotten to the record and points total I projected, they would have actually had the exact same record as the Montreal Canadiens did…and they ended up sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot.

What I did nail square on the head, though, is that Rick Dudley would become the new general manager for the Thrashers organization. Oh, and I did accurately state that Todd White would indeed score at least one goal in CY2010. It only took him twelve days and six games to do so, notching a second period goal during a 6-1 Atlanta win against the Ottawa Senators.

Now, as for 2011…

I’ll get the big one out of the way right off the bat. Despite the recent four-game slide and 2-3-3 record in the last eight games, I do believe the Thrashers will wind up playing beyond 82 games this season. In fact, I’ll even go out on a limb here and say they’ll play more than 86 games by winning at least one postseason game…unlike what they did in 2007.

With Anderson's departure came Craig Ramsay and en entirely new coaching staff (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

With Anderson's departure came Craig Ramsay and en entirely new coaching staff (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Will they make it out of the first round? Well, that I don’t know. It depends on whom they match up against. See, even though I predicted 88 points last October, I’m revising that number up now to 91…say 40-31-11. That would land them as the seventh seed in the east, I think. So let’s see who procures the second seed.

Washington, Boston, Montreal…maybe they stand a chance to move on to the second round. Maybe.

Philly or Pittsburgh…eh, maybe not.

Pending the following players remain healthy…knocking on wood…I see Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd and Toby Enstrom continuing to lead the team in scoring.

The Buffinator leads the way with 70 points…22 goals and 48 assists.

Then Ladd with 64…22 goals and 42 assists.

Toby Enstrom finishes up with 60 points…10 goals and 50 assists.

Evander Kane, Bryan Little and Rich Peverley continue to provide the Thrashers with balanced scoring…each finishing in the neighborhood of 55-60 overall points.

Ondrej Pavelec has spent much of the season with a goals-against average below two. That’s crept up to 2.13 in the past week or so, and won’t head south of 2 again. His save percentage is now at .934 However, I don’t see his overall game slumping dramatically over the second half of the season. If the GAA rises dramatically, I think it will be due more to the play in front of him than anything else.

Ondrej Pavelec has played a major role in the Thrashers success of late. They'll need more of the same from him in 2011 if they are to make the playoffs this spring (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Ondrej Pavelec has played a major role in the Thrashers success this fall. They'll need more of the same from him in 2011 if they are to make the playoffs this spring (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

That said, Opie ends up with a record of 28-20-7 with a GAA near two and a half and a .925 SV%. He will also gain the distinction of being the first Thrashers’ goalie to win a playoff game.

Chris Mason finishes 12-11-4 with a .907 SV% and 3.20 GAA.

Unless someone else does so in the next two games, Anthony Stewart and Eric Boulton stand as the two Thrashers who pulled off hat tricks this year. I want to predict that neither will do so again in 2011…but honestly, who would have guessed they would have done so in the first place?

In leading the Thrashers back to the playoffs for just the second time in their history, Craig Ramsay wins the Jack Adams award for coach of the year. However, I will place the disclaimer here that if Tampa Bay wins the Southeast Division, that prize just may go to Guy Boucher. If so, that would mean Boucher will have won coach of the year honors two years in a row. Last season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, he took home the AHL’s Louis A. R. Piere Memorial Award.

His Tampa Bay Lightning has now won nine straight from our Thrashers. The last time we saw our team beat the Bolts was opening night 2009 by the score of 6-3.

Hmmmmmmm…you know, come to think of it, maybe the Lightning are a team we don’t want to face in the first round of the playoffs this spring.

97 comments Add your comment

The Real Thrash

December 30th, 2010
8:25 am

It’s just a bump in the road. But we are on the right road.
Finally!

SomaAtl95

December 30th, 2010
8:27 am

Good writeup! Have a safe and Happy New Year with the family and let us all hope we are still seeing Thrashers Hockey in six months :)

Riceowls

December 30th, 2010
8:34 am

Happy New Year, Bill!
I like your optimism, but I’m not convinced this team can play sound enough defense to make the playoffs. Even when winnning, they made too many bad decisions with the puck.
Unlesss they tighten up their play, I don’t see it.
I hope they prove me wrong.

LAC

December 30th, 2010
8:35 am

Bill, Wish I felt the same about playoffs. After this past week, we look like Atlanta of old…
Lack of effort, that we displayed earlier, poor defense, and teams playing harder against us.
These last four games have proven we cannot keep up the pace.

I have to predict no playoffs, eleventh in the confrence and fourth in SE.

This could ALL change if we make a big trade and bring in some rought defenseman and a couple PROVEN scorers. But in my book little old zach is done here, I am sick of his lack of desire, lack of toughness and TOTAL lack of how to play proper defense. Watch tonight and see how he peels off plays and is OUT OF POSITION on a regular basis, sick of him, like others have said he is costing Atlanta… NOT helping us !

Happy New Year !

Mike W

December 30th, 2010
8:38 am

I’d like to see Montreal, Washington, or NY Rangers in the postseason. In that order. Then followed up by a final series with hmm. Chicago?
Or how about Toronto, Isles, NJ, then Edmonton? Nobody would see that one coming

World Be Free

December 30th, 2010
8:40 am

My take on Bogosian-

Zach was selected in the same draft as Tyler Myers, Alex Pietrangelo, Luke Schenn and Drew Doughty. Let’s compare these 18 year old defensive selections, knowing their talent levels were not equal.

Myers and Pietrangelo were left in the minors, allowed to grow and learn their trade at their own level. The results? Myers is the reigning rookie of the year, Pietrangelo is evolving into a sound defenseman, good enough to score the GWG against the Thrashers last week. Both players have sound NHL futures.

Bogosian and Schenn were thrust into NHL play at 18, whether they were ready for it or not. These decisions were made by 2 NHL organizations that have many things in common, 2 of them being- 1) A history of making bad decisions 2) Desperation for wins and recognition. Bogo and Schenn started strong, then became victims of their own inexperiences and under development. It was clear back then as it is today that neither player was ready to play in the NHL at 18. Add to this the decision to pair Bogo with that defensive stalward Ron Hainsey, a player that has earned the distinction of being the most overpaid 6th defenseman in the NHL. FYI-Leafs are doing it again with Nazem Kadri-rush the kid to the NHL before his time.

Drew Doughty is a rarity in any team sport-an 18 year old that stepped in and made a difference from day one. How many 18 year old NHL defensemen have been able to accomplish this? How many 18 year olds in any team sport? Doughty, Kobe Bryant, Al Kaline-not too many.

I had Sabres’ season tickets in the early 80’s and watched the painful development of Phil Housley. Howie was so bad as a defenseman, that coach Scotty Bowman put him at center to utilize his offensive talents and hide his defensive shortcomings. Unable to live up to expectations, Housley was later traded away only to develop into a better NHL defenseman in his late 20’s. The kid should have attended the Univ. of Minnesota as originally planned instead of rushed to the NHL.

It is clear that this is not all Bogosian’s fault. He should have been placed in juniors and allowed to represent his country in under age tournaments. So where do we go from here? Trade him-and get what? Not the pick used to select him or for value of what he could potentially develop into if properly trained. Get him a defensive defenseman or coach to teach the kid the game; it is too late to send him to juniors or the minors.

Smitty

December 30th, 2010
8:55 am

Heading up to BUF to catch the Sabres and Bruins game on New Years and hopefully a couple of the junior games. Tough stretch of games ending the year for the Thrashers. I was hoping they could overcome the schedule but I think our weaknesses are beginning to be exposed. They obviously look tired and weaknesses are more easily exposed when a team is tired.

Happy New Year to all!!!!

R. Stroztradamus

December 30th, 2010
8:58 am

Predictions, my specialty.

World Be Free

December 30th, 2010
9:10 am

Stroz, do you have a crystal cowbell to look into!?

World Be Free

December 30th, 2010
9:10 am

Smitty, have some real wings and Canadian beer for me.

Mr. Willson

December 30th, 2010
9:12 am

I predict Bill will have another year of awesome blogs. And I predict I will read them all. Thanks Bill!

Red Light

December 30th, 2010
9:19 am

Happy 2011 to the best blog host and to some of the most knowledgeable posters in the NHL blog-o-sphere! Trade winds are blowing and not just with Bergfors.

My prediction is that 2-3 players from the current roster will be residing elsewhere March 1, but remember, I also thought Tortorella would be fired by Jan. 1 and that the Rangers would struggle mightily in the 1st half of the season. However, I still like my Bruins vs. Kings Stanley Cup Finals prediction.

All the best. Hope to see you tonight at the game!

Monkey

December 30th, 2010
9:26 am

Old Time Hockey

December 30th, 2010
9:33 am

Thought it was interesting against Pittsburgh that Little, Kane and Burmistrov were on a line together. A line with three 1st round picks should have some kind of catchy nickname.

Hockey Biltong

December 30th, 2010
9:45 am

Bra Cup,,,
But really, Happy New Year, to you, Bill, and all of your followers!!!
This blog has helped me from losing most of my mind….and provided a platform for supporting the most exciting professional sport in Atlanta!,,,

Hockey Biltong

December 30th, 2010
9:47 am

That’s the line of the future!
TRON,

Rawhide

December 30th, 2010
9:53 am

Before I head outa Dodge…just wanted to remind you all that you can still take advantage of our special ticket deals for tonight’s game.

Just click –>HERE<-- and use promo code RAWHIDE.

As I announced a few days ago, the good people in the Thrashers ticket and marketing department have been so pleased with the response to this promotion that they will be providing me with a new link and offer for games in January. I'll have that linkage and info in the next couple of days.

Have a happy and safe New Year gang!

Smoothie

December 30th, 2010
10:03 am

How about Stubborn Little Russian?

SCPensfan

December 30th, 2010
10:14 am

This is a real sign you are on the right path. Take your lumps and have faith that the GM and other managing partners wont let things get out of hand. Their expectations are way lower than ours (most times) and on rare occasions you will see GM (good ones anyways) deviate from the goal.

Yes, sometimes you will see them shift things on the fly near the deadline because they have a chance at winning a few games in the playoffs… but the ones that falter are the ones that overextend to gain next to nothing from it. Waddell did this back in 06/07, and it’s been tough for ATL since then. I’ll bet the world that ATL would love to still have Coburn, as he is an elite defensive defensman, and definitely not worth an old Zhitnik.

I’m definitely a lot more confident that ATL will be okay than I was in January, Kane and Bogosian play the game the right way. Ramsay seems like a very level headed coach, and you guys heard yesterday how I feel about Dudley. I know he screwed up Florida pretty bad as GM there, but he watched and learned (and had a hand in, also) the construction of that great team in Chicago. Right now I see him trying to identify the “core” of the team to build around, and who will be the interchangeable parts. I’m betting that Kane and Bogosian are 2 of them, not sure about Pavelec… so this next free-agency (July 2011) will be a really interesting one for ATL. He’s going to be looking for a core FA player for a long time – like Hossa was for Chicago, then nail down the core (Toews, Kane, Keith). Brad Richards is an interesting name out there, at 30 years old, he’s the perfect guy to throw a 10 year front loaded contract to, and sell him on the accomplishments that the Thrashers have made and the youth movement that is taking place. He played in the SE division and knows how much better playing in the east is than the west… and he’s really good. Look what Jamie Benn and James Neal are doing around him, a former Conn Smyth winner.

I’m genuinely excited for my fellow Thrashers fans. My old boss told me that if you set the bar low, then everything else is a pleasant surprise. You want to be good for a long time, like an LED light bulb, not a match. Management and scouting is the way the new NHL is played, and ATL has both.

Relax and just enjoy the ride! It will get better

Trhashers Rule

December 30th, 2010
10:16 am

Send Bergfor to the minors, move bogosion to the a winger or center, and call up a minor defense men, or if not find one that weighs over 200 pounds.

Buflygien is the only one that weighs the correct amount.

Hoof Arted

December 30th, 2010
11:43 am

I predict the BlogMaster will post 300+ blogs in 2011.

But don’t feel like there’s any pressure there, Bill :grin:

Happy New Year to all in Thrasherville and beyond!

Tom

December 30th, 2010
11:47 am

We took advantage of the RAWHIDE special and got 2 excellent seats for the game tonight.

Let’s get loud and crush the Bruins, both on the scoreboard and in the trenches!

razorneck13

December 30th, 2010
11:49 am

Those are some reasonable predictions I can agree with.

Disclaimer: What I’m about to predict is simpleton science and pretty much arbitrary in every way.

1.) If Buff gets listens to Screaming for Vengeance enough on 11 he can get psyched up to hit 30 goals and 56 assists hitting 86 points. That’s the power of the Priest, just sayin’, it’s a fact.

2.) There’s gonna be a fight tonight…make that plural, fights.

3.) In fact if Rammer blares Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power on 11 pre-game tonight the Bruins aren’t gonna look pretty in the post game. Ever hear about growth studies on plants in greenhouses being subjected to metal vs. ones that were played symphonic stuff? No, well google that or something, it’s interesting and I’m nonsensically hypothesizing the same principles apply here.

VENGEANCE THRASHERS, VENGEANCE!!!

LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!

Alan R.

December 30th, 2010
11:50 am

Nice writeup, Bill. As always, providing a morning of reading pleasure.

I’m not sure I understand the negativity from a few of the Thrashers faithful. Yeah, the losing skid looks bad, but we also hit a spot in the schedule where we were faced with a lot of games in a short period of time. The kids need to get their feet under ‘em. Like all ships, it will be righted. It’s not like we’re dead in the water or anything.

razorneck13

December 30th, 2010
11:51 am

Oh where’s my manners? Happy New Year Rawhide!!! Thanks for everything.

Putting On The Foil

December 30th, 2010
11:53 am

Happy New Year and I predict that Matt McConnell will continue to drive me and other fellow bloggers nuts during the TV broadcasts.

razorneck13

December 30th, 2010
11:54 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM9UyPvUiKg

12/23/2010 – NEVER FORGET

LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!

Dwayne

December 30th, 2010
11:56 am

I predict that JA, in the picture above, is about to say “WTF”???

razorneck13

December 30th, 2010
12:00 pm

Ha ha ha…Foil, solid prediction, agreed.

razorneck13

December 30th, 2010
12:15 pm

Sacrificing a teddy bear (makeshift Bruin) at the altar of the hockey gods (i.e., in this case a Slapshot DVD will suffice) in hopes that Kane is healthy and the Thrashers annihilate tonight.

I’M CALLING FOR AN ABUNDANCE OF HEADLESS TEDDY BEARS AT THE BULB TONIGHT!!!

LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!

Alan R.

December 30th, 2010
12:17 pm

Oh, and Bill… based on the predictions for Jack Adams, I think Ramsay comes in first if both teams make the playoffs. After all, Ramsay will have done more with less [salary].

Brendan

December 30th, 2010
12:51 pm

Here’s a link to the Preview of tonight’s game at the Bulb. http://www.nhl.com/ice/preview.htm?id=2010020552&navid=sb:preview

Brendan

December 30th, 2010
12:52 pm

Quck programming note, all predictions in the AJC fan poster contest closed at “puck drop” of Opening Night, back in October. No revised guesses are permitted. Well, maybe Rawhide’s new pick of 91-points.

Just kidding. He can’t change it. He’s locked in, like we all are.

Brendan

December 30th, 2010
1:24 pm

Back in 2007, I posted that the lawsuit probably wouldn’t get settled until 2011, and that’s when we could expect to possibly see a Regime Change. Now, that was cheating, of course, as Kristi Swartz’s articles had consistently stated that the lawsuit process might get drawn out all the way until 2011. Turns out, she was right. And I merely parroted her words.

Well, we ENDURED it. The lawsuit is over. But the part about the team being sold to local ownership who’ll care for it and keep it here … is still missing. That’s what I want. Now that Dudley and Ramsay are here, I’d want them to stay, even if new ownership could be installed. That’s my feeling, on December 30, 2010, anyway. Ask me again in the middle of April how I feel about it.

As for the trade deadline, call me crazy, but I think we’ll be BUYERS. I just hope we don’t go nuts, coughing up coveted draft picks, in hot pursuit of playoff win # 1 in the franchise history. I don’t know if Nic Bergfors will still be with the team at the trade deadline, but if he still is, I suspect he’ll be part of a package of players that get dealt. I never really had a problem with Nic Bergfors. I see him as an asset. But I have nothing to do with running the team, so … if they don’t like him … it stands to reason that he will not stay.

It’ll be interesting to see what roster players, aside from Bergfors, actually get dealt. Could Anthony Stewart be put in play? Thorburn? Peverley or Modin? I definitely Modin could be moved. Would you say that Ben Eager is strictly off limits? Didn’t seem like he wanted to go long, with the Thrashers, contractually. Some people are screaming for Hainsey’s departure, but at $4.5 million, until 2013, some GM’s will pass on that move. May I ask what Thrashers prospects are strictly off limits?

Would you trade Holzapfel? How about Kulda? What about Machacek? Akim Aliu, who was part of the trade with Chicago for Byfuglien, Eager, Sopel, for Reasoner, Joey Crabb, Jeremi Morin, and two draft picks? Angelo Esposito?, remember he was part of the Hossa trade back in 2008. Would any of you be willing to part with Carl Klingberg? Or Nicklas Lasu, from Sweden? Seen enough of Daultan Leveille, also part of the Hossa trade to Pittsburgh, to move him? Are we crazy enough to put Eric O’Dell in play, for the right price, at the trade deadline? Would someone want Vinny Saponari? What would your reaction to a defensemen, like Noah Welch, Paul Postma, or Zach Redmond, getting trade be? Would you be mortified? Do we even still own Boris Valabik? Maybe he could be packaged. I think we might even still possess the rights to Patrick Rissmiller. What if a goalie like Mannino or MacIntyre or Pasquale were moved?

It’ll be an interesting situation to watch, at the trade deadline. Honestly, I can’t see us being out of the playoff hunt at that time.

iamtheratio

December 30th, 2010
1:25 pm

You can get Thrasher tickets for 53% off, for a few games coming up on Groupon.com today.

Link:
http://www.groupon.com/atlanta/

I hope the Thrash rebound tonight and destroy the B’s!!

Joe Friday

December 30th, 2010
1:26 pm

“2010 predictions: We’ll fight for the 8 spot all year but fall short. Kovy will be traded. Sara won’t come back and admit she was dead wrong. New ownership will take over the club under the agreement that they stay in Phillips and Waddell will finally be fired, Anderson along with him. Fall 2010 will mark the beginning of the Thrashers finally on the way to building something respectable.”

Who’s that Bob guy? Not bad, except Waddell wasn’t fired, just “promoted” and we still await the new ownership, got the rest right.

This year I’ll go with the Bergfors and Eager being traded. Ladd will sign a 4 year $4.5m contract in January. Buf will go to arbitration and be awarded a one year $6m contract, that the Thrash will pay and keep him for next year. The Thrashers not only make the playoffs but win round one before being ousted in 7 games in round 2 by the Pens. New ownership (or a new majority partner for the Thrash) will buy the Thrashers and keep them in Phillips. Smoothie will use the nicknames “Buffy” and “Laddy” 178 times causing me to roll my eyes 177 times until I give in during my excitement at Buf’s OT goal to win Round 1 . . .

jimbo

December 30th, 2010
1:26 pm

Happy New and enjoy your vacation. Rawhide. 3rd place in SE, 90 pts and a playoof spot.

ZAvalanche

December 30th, 2010
1:31 pm

As of now the Thrash would play the Caps who are a very streaky team. Ovy is a phenomenal talent but can’t do it all. This Thrash team would have a chance in beating them in 7. But the standings will change dramatically as the season is young. Good luck tonight, rock the B’s and cheer for the Avs! -Peace – Z

R. Stroztradamus

December 30th, 2010
2:03 pm

Hockey Biltong – I predict you will receive a late Christmas present this evening at the game.

R. Stroz

December 30th, 2010
2:06 pm

Joe Bob Friday – Drinking early?

Stan Drulia

December 30th, 2010
2:41 pm

Happy New Year Thrasher blog readers and especially Rawhide!!! You blog is great and the only one I keep up with on a daily basis. I just had a very strange start to the new year when I opened up my brand new 2011 Thrasher’s wall calendar to replace my 2010 at the office. I open it up to discover … to my shock and dismay… the January player is none other than…. TODD WHITE???!!!!????? When did they make this thing???? After him, it’s fine.. current active players.. but man, January is going to be rough.

razorneck13

December 30th, 2010
3:05 pm

TAKING MY 4 YR. OLD TO HIS FIRST HOCKEY GAME EVER TONIGHT!!! THANKS RAWHIDE FOR THAT PROMO!!! I betcha I’m gonna be lacing em up with the boy within a year, RAD!!!

LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!

Cornbread

December 30th, 2010
3:37 pm

Thanks for posting Rawhide and thanks for the link back to a year ago. Always fun to read what was said at the time. Here’s my 2010 predictions after, ironically, a 4-0 shellacking at the hands of the Bruins:

“Boston looks like a very good solid hockey team. They are where I expected the Thrashers to be right now. But reality has set in. My predictions, No playoffs, an early draft pick, No Hedberg, No Kubina, No Kozlov, No Kovalchuk, and No fans in the stands.”

Boston still looks like a very good solid hockey team but now so do the Thrashers. None of those players mentioned are Thrashers anymore and thankfully the fans are now coming back. What led me to make such dire predictions was how poorly they played the entire year in their own end. The word I used was “Suck”. And they did. Now, this is the best I’ve seen any Thrasher team in moving the puck out of their zone, through the neutral zone, and controlling it in the other end. I know I won’t be making similar predictions for 2011. We have Boston’s old coach to thank for that.

One final prediction for 2010: two wins to end the year.

My Predictions for 2011: good above .500 play in January, a big move up in the standings in February and March, April will determine who the SE Division Champ is between ATL, TB, and DC, the Thrashers will finish above 7th and 93 points I predicted preseason – they may still finish 2nd in the SE, attendance issues will be forgotten as will talk of moving – until the start of next season, trades will be made – not for superstar scorers but for under the radar Ladd types who can thrive in ATL (many fans will be dismayed), the Thrashers will win at least 3 playoff games, Ladd and Buff will be Thrashers all of 2011, 2011 is going to be a good good year for Atlanta – all teams.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Let’s Go THRASHERS!!!

Nate

December 30th, 2010
3:40 pm

Sadly, Opie’s hot streak seems to have vanished. Unless he can recapture his form from November and early December, this team will not make the playoffs. The defense just isn’t good enough.

So here’s to hoping he makes a New Year’s resolution to be the second best goalie in the league all the way to game 82 and lives up to it.

FormerIslesFan

December 30th, 2010
3:45 pm

And a very Happy New Year to you (and all my fellow-blog-posters) as well, RH.

I’ll be at the game tonight thanks the the secret RAWHIDE deal. If anyone is looking for me, I’ll be in my vintage, autographed Steve McCarthy practice jersey in the last row of 219! I know…a priceless gem!

Smoothie

December 30th, 2010
3:49 pm

Good one Joe!! But no way that Laddy only gets $1.125 M per year or are you saying he’ll get $4.5 M / year? Bergy & Eags get traded and Macho-check finally gets his chance to check the crap out of something in the NHL. Buffy will finally realize he’s paid to play defense as well and the duo of Tobes & Big Black will become more of a shut-down duo. Hains & SopeStar finally get more ice time and Bogey gets less and the new distribution of ice-time propels the Thrashers into the playoffs, but they lose in 6 games as the # 7 seed to the Boston Bruins (ugggh!!). Torchetti punches Lucic from the bench in game 3 of the series and all hell breaks loose. Ramsay collapses like Burgess Meredith but doesn’t die like in Rocky III (Rammer cheats death again). Big Buff chops his stick over the back of Andrew Ferrence after he tries to come to the aid of his bitch Lucic again. Buffy is suspended for the last 3 games of the series further doing in the Thrashers for the series. But their fire and passion helps them win games 3 & 4 on home ice before losing game 6 valiantly on a stupid re-direct goal that caroms off the side of Toby’s head. And I’m not even drinkin!!! ;-)

Joe Friday

December 30th, 2010
4:11 pm

“But no way that Laddy only gets $1.125 M per year or are you saying he’ll get $4.5 M / year?”

I always type that wrong, I mean $4.5m per of course . . . for Ladd, laddy.

Joe Friday

December 30th, 2010
4:12 pm

“Joe Bob Friday – Drinking early?”

Not yet, even with a house full of inlaws while I’m on vaca . . . what didn’t ya like, the round 1 playoff win prediction?

Brendan

December 30th, 2010
5:55 pm

My eyebrows were raised by the 1st round playoff win, Joe Friday. If we make it in without winning the SE division, we’re probably not looking at home ice. And our opponent would be, could be, and should be a team of a very high caliber. I’m setting my sights on 1 playoff win, and be thrilled if we get more than that.

Regular season success does not necessarily correspond to playoff success, as we’ve seen time and time again. Just look at the 2010 President’s trophy winning Capitals, last year, ousted by # 8 Montreal, while blowing a 3-1 series lead, coming HOME for Game Five. The Habs outscored them 8-3, from that point forward, to close out a major, major upset. During the offseason, hockey pundits speculated whether or not the Capitals had been built for anything more than regular season success, questioning their tenacity and grit for winning puck battles in the corners. Goaltender Jose Theodore was removed, in Game 2, after giving up three (3) goals on three (3) successive shots, if you go back to the OT winner, back in Game One. That was end of Theodore’s tenure as a Capital. I think Jose Theodore is now with the Minnesota Wild.

Joe Friday

December 30th, 2010
6:50 pm

when you have a goalie that can steal you games and play a grinding style, you can steal some playoff wins. Pavs has shown the ability to steal some games. Remember which two clubs made the Conference finals last year? 7 vs. 8 seed.