Should Nic Bergfors be checking his head for goat horns?

Last night, Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski posted up his list of “goats” for all 30 teams. These, of course, are the players that most should wear the blame for whatever failures have fallen upon their respective teams. Now, all 30 teams were listed here…even teams like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Vancouver…so Wysh feels even teams enjoying highly successful seasons have a goat somewhere on their roster chewing up stats sheets.

Do you see any horns on nic Bergfors? No? I don't either (AP Photo/John Amis)

Do you see any horns on nic Bergfors? No? I don't either (AP Photo/John Amis)

For the Atlanta Thrashers, the “honor” goes to forward Nic Bergfors, the first round pick by the New Jersey Devils in the 2005 draft. The goat horns were strapped on him despite the fact he’s currently on a four-game points streak, is on pace for right at the same points production as last season and is an EVEN player after 34 games. Last year he was a -10.

Here’s what Wyshynski says about Bergfors:

“There are signs of life thanks to a 4-game point streak in 2011, but the last three months of 2010 were the nadir of his young pro career. He scored two goals from Nov. 14 through New Year’s Eve, suffering through the indignity of several healthy scratches in November.”

While I can see where Wysh is coming from, I personally would have a tough time naming Bergfors has the Thrashers’ goat so far this season. Honestly, I would be hard pressed to use the term “goat” for anyone on this team thus far… save maybe two players.

Ben Eager would be someone who might just deserves the goat title before Bergfors does. Like Nic, Eager has also had to deal with “the indignity of several healthy scratches” in the first half of the season. However, the last time we saw him in a Thrashers uniform, he was skating off the ice of Philips Arena after taking a match penalty for sucker-punching Toronto’s Colby Armstrong. The Maple Leafs proceeded to drop four goals on us during the ensuing five-minute power play. In all, they scored five goals on the Thrashers stemming from Eager’s penalties.

Which Thrasher is most deserving of the "goat" label?

  • Nic Bergfors (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Ben Eager (50%, 102 Votes)
  • Chris Mason (28%, 56 Votes)
  • Someone else (11%, 23 Votes)
  • No goats on this Thrashers team (9%, 17 Votes)

Total Voters: 203

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Some would make the point Ben Eager all but single-handedly cost the Thrashers that game. I don’t know if that is entirely true or not…but is there any single game in which it could even logically be argued that Bergfors actions cost the team a game?

I don’t think so.

Ben Eager also has taken far too many penalties this season. He leads the team with 77 PIM though he’s played in but 34 games. Dustin Byfuglien is second in that stat column with 45, but Big Buff has suited up for all 45 games so far.

Another Thrasher that could possible wear the goat label around his neck is Chris Mason. The free agent signing has been quite the disappointment this season, going 7-7-2 with a 3.81 GAA and .891 SV%. Mason is 1-4-1 in his last six starts. Since the 4-2 win in San Jose last October 16, the only time Mason has allowed fewer than 3 goals in a game was during a 3-2 shootout loss to Carolina last month.

Mason did a good job helping to fill the gap between Ondrej Pavelec’s opening night fainting spell and when he could return to the net, but those overall numbers are clearly indicative of his struggles so far during this 2010-11 season.

Maybe Eager and Mason don’t deserve the “goat” label on this Thrashers roster. However, I certainly don’t think Bergfors does either.

150 comments Add your comment

Zoomo

January 13th, 2011
9:26 am

Bergie seems to be coming around. I don’t think he’ll ever be a guy that is tough in the corners, but he could fit here for some time if he does what Ramsay asks as best he can. His wrister is lethal.

I’ll be surprised if Eager plays another game for us. If the clubhouse rumors are true, I’d suspect he’ll be out of here soon, more for that than his play. Dudley wants character guys that can skate. Sounds like Eager fits neither of those traits.

Mike W

January 13th, 2011
9:29 am

Bogosian has the horns IMO. The guy is a joke.

Russian

January 13th, 2011
9:48 am

I hope we will keep Berg for long contract. Yes, he is not a phisical player. He did not go to corner and check, but he has good shot and hands. We have to keep him. He is First line player.

Russian

January 13th, 2011
9:50 am

I just read interesting rumor from 4-th Period.

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/chi110112.html

I like to get him. He will expencive, but we can have very solid D-men to go to Play Off.

Matt

January 13th, 2011
10:02 am

My vote is for Mason, as he has clearly not been the answer we thought we were getting for a back up goaltender. He’s not looked sharp at all.

Second place vote goes to Eager just for his mind boggling stupid penalties in the Toronto game. Play tough, but play smart and that appears to be to much for him to comprehend.

Joe Friday

January 13th, 2011
10:09 am

I think the goat is SOB who continues to obstinately denigrate the team, even though a new day has dawned in Blueland.

Do goats go baaaa?

Alan R.

January 13th, 2011
10:13 am

Bergfors doesn’t have the horns. I gave those to Eager. He’s been completely lacking all season long. We play better when he’s not in the lineup.

ZAvalanche

January 13th, 2011
10:15 am

Gotta be Bogo. His +/- is really bad, has only 8 pts and has one of the lowest percentage of goals per shots.

ThrasherTim

January 13th, 2011
10:20 am

I voted for Mason. Solid 1st 10 games or so, but since then, easily has been one of the worst goaltenders in the league. He’s so bad, that we can’t give Pavlec a night off to re-charge his batteries. Here’s hoping he can turn it around in the 2nd half.

Bogo

January 13th, 2011
10:27 am

In a few years, we might look at Bogosian and see similarities with Exelby.

No matter how much we like him, how good he is in the dressing room, and how promising he was 2 years ago, he is average at best right now.

ZAvalanche

January 13th, 2011
10:29 am

Also check the +/- of our forwards. Tells the true story that a lot of our forwards play horrible defense = poor back checking = Ramsey needs to light a fire under their bums.

Thrashers27

January 13th, 2011
10:55 am

Yeah, gotta go with Bogo on that one. I see SJ is shopping “The Gooch”. That might be a good swap. Two struggling players with great potential and may just need a change in scenery. Bogosian for Setoguchi is an interesting prospect to me. Following Russian’s thoughts on Seabrook. We could offer up Eager and a second round pick in exchange.

GaVaHokie

January 13th, 2011
10:57 am

I think Bogosian wears the goat horns… but I think his best days are ahead of him… he’s just not there yet… clearly.

Red Light

January 13th, 2011
11:05 am

Personally, the whole goat concept is a ridiculous notion in hockey, as it is in many sports. There are so many factors that lead to errors in judgment and overall performance. Singling out one guy on the extended 23-man roster in ludicrous, and the only things that should be questioned about any individual player is effort and perhaps accountability.

A wise coach once said, “Don’t confuse activity with effectiveness.” That simply means that while guys might be running around the ice with their hair on fire, looking like they are contributing, that doesn’t mean they are doing much to help their team win.

I’ll let you folks decide about the players who possibly don’t fit the effort, accountability or effectiveness mantra on this team. But, in the past few weeks, it sure as heck hasn’t Bergfors. I think Ramsay’s message has been received but don’t expect him to look like a pinball out on the ice.

Red Light

January 13th, 2011
11:07 am

“We could offer up Eager and a second round pick in exchange.”

Sorry, that won’t even come close to prying Seabrook away from the Hawks.

Red Light

January 13th, 2011
11:08 am

Oh, Trixie, there’s a longer post out there somewhere!

goose

January 13th, 2011
11:15 am

I would love us to get Seabrook but the price would be way to high if he was even available. This guy is like there version of Toby.

Moth Balled Jersey

January 13th, 2011
11:30 am

Spencer Machacek is the gritty young 4th liner they could use. He’s not much for us other than a call up right now. And next year, Klingberg will get a look.

Send them Oduya and Machacek for Seabrook.

Moth Balled Jersey

January 13th, 2011
11:31 am

Garnet Bogosian wears the goat horns.

Tom

January 13th, 2011
11:49 am

Stolen from another post but now one of my favorite lines:

“Theories are like $8.25 beers,” Purdy writes. ”Every hockey arena has them.”

Found originally here – http://nhl-red-light.si.com/2011/01/12/sharks-swimming-against-the-playoff-tide/?utm_source=bleacherreport.com

Tom

January 13th, 2011
11:52 am

Does anyone really think that Chicago or New Jersey will do another deal with us? The whole league knows Dudley got some great talent from both the clubs.
Do you really think Sweet Lou or Baby Bowman want to take the risk of getting fleeced again and have to hear going into the playoffs how the Thrashers improved so much off their backs.
I don’t thinks so either.

BlueSpark

January 13th, 2011
11:54 am

Bogosian. The biggest disappoint so far this year.

Joe McGrath

January 13th, 2011
12:01 pm

It’s Bogo, and he has to go. He’s making $850K this year and that jumps to $3+ million in 2011-12. Is he worth that? I just don’t see it. Package him up with Eager and a draft pick and shop him. I like the Russian rumor about Seabrooke: Seabrooke and Oduya would make a nice pairing. Oh yeah, Mason is #2 goat. Send him to ChiWolves (trust me, he’d clear waivers)and bring up Pete Mannino. Mason needs some time in net and he can get it in AHL, and Mannino has to be hungry, so why not provide him with an opportunity to show what he’s got?

Red Light

January 13th, 2011
12:03 pm

Tom:

GMs have others that they are comfortable dealing with, and I seriously doubt Lou or Bowman feels like they got fleeced. Dudley didn’t exactly point a gun at their heads, they did what they felt like they had to do. In Lou’s case, it was likely an owner mandate, and in Bowman’s case, he simply had to dump a ton of salary and probably got a better offer from Duds than he did from anyone else, and that’s why the deals were done. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the teams engaged in future deals.

injunjoe

January 13th, 2011
12:05 pm

On the surface, I would say Mason. Overall numbers scream! But then again overall numbers dont always give the full explanation. I remember a game in New York early in the season where he got schlacked with, I think, 55 shots. 55! REALLY! Is that the goalies fault or does the blame lie on the (lack of) defensemen around him. We won that game though. The defense has improved since then. Mason, unfortunately, has not. When we lose, we’ve done so as a team. Same with wins too. Is Mason the fault? I dont think so. But you cant deny the disappointment factor either.

Tom

January 13th, 2011
12:12 pm

Good points Red Light. It would be nice if a deal for Seabrooke was done.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

January 13th, 2011
12:15 pm

Mr. Red Light – Your 11:05 am post has been freed from Blog Purgatory.

Sara

January 13th, 2011
12:22 pm

If there was any further proof after this week’s weather that hell indeed had frozen over, here it is: Joe Friday and I both had the same thought. As soon as I saw the headline, I thought of SOB and lo and behold there was JF’s post. “Do goats go baa?” I’m going to be chuckling all day.

Eager is the goat though I do not object to Bergfors. 4 game point streak notwithstanding, that kid did something (or didn’t as the case may be) to earn himself all those healthy scratches in favor of guys like Modin or Stapleton.

Bogosian is a problem but I’m goating the schedule makers and coaching staff for that one. There hasn’t been nearly as much practice time as this team needed through the first half of the season but a big reason why Anderson got kicked to the curb and Ramsey brought in was the regression of Little and Bogosian. BLits seems to have hit his stride again but Bogo is still struggling and that needs to be addressed specifically by the coaching staff. This kid has the goods because we all saw them clearly the first season – he was much better with his positioning and plays and had a deft scoring touch. Wherever the hell all that went, Rammer and Co. better be finding it and soon.

Smoothie

January 13th, 2011
12:24 pm

I’m really surprised by the amount of ire being directed at Eager for one incident in which he demonstrated poor discretion and selfishness. But c’mon, the game was over already at 5 to 1. And his dbl minor was BS! Hell, it was not even worthy of one minor! TOR was playing dirty all nite and it seemed to me Eager was the only one willing to do anything besides Boulton. Eager hasn’t been great but he’s still a plus player on the year. He seemed to do a very good job of protecting Burmi earlier and the Eager-Burma-Thorbs line was very good in the first 10-15 games. Since being benched and taken off Burma’s line, Eager hasn’t been near as physical and I wonder if he’s been playing hurt more than we realize. If we can get something in a trade for him fine, but he’s hardly our biggest problem (see Zach, Mason and Antro’s hip).

Red Light

January 13th, 2011
12:32 pm

Muchas gracias, seniorita u seniora?

Red Light

January 13th, 2011
12:42 pm

Salmela just placed on waivers by the Devils, probably trying to take someone’s pulse on a potential deal.

Russian

January 13th, 2011
12:52 pm

No way. We do need Salmanela again. Pass.
I am agree about Eager. He is not super star, but he is very strong 3- or 4-th line forward. I like to keep him. Also lot of rumors about Calgary and Buffalo on 4-th Period.

Russian

January 13th, 2011
12:53 pm

We do NOT need Salmanela again. :-)

GaVaHokie

January 13th, 2011
12:56 pm

I would think Sopel would go in a trade for Seabrook… gotta think he’d jump at the chance to be back with his family.

But… Oduya, Eager, Bergfors is probably what would get the deal done.

GaVaHokie

January 13th, 2011
1:00 pm

Actually… Oduya, Eager, Bergfors doesn’t free up any cash for Chicago.

I’m thinking Sopel, Eager, Bergfors

World Be Free

January 13th, 2011
1:20 pm

Calgary and Buffalo are falling out of the playoff picture, they also have some over the him UFAs on their rosters. We need a finisher on the left wing for the 3rd line. I would focus on Penner, he can finish and he has the size to function in the playoffs. Matt <oulson would cost too much.

No goats on this team yet.

Not Blind

January 13th, 2011
1:22 pm

What ZAvalanche said – look at the plus minus. I have been harping about Perverly all season and his minus 11 speaks volumes.

Truthfully, ain’t none of these forwards going to strike fear in any real Stanley Cup contender. The Thrashers might steal a game or 2 but in a 7 game series there can’t be much doubt on the outcome.

I do have a question. Is Antropov the worst skater on this team???

Dwayne

January 13th, 2011
1:23 pm

salmenilla made me sick.

Cliff Fletcher

January 13th, 2011
1:34 pm

Is SOB a goat or a sheep? some type of farm animal

Hoof Arted

January 13th, 2011
1:36 pm

I would not consider any player on this team a goat. But if pressed to say which one is the closest to that title I’d have to say Eager. And not just for what went down against the Leafs but he’s been in Ramsay’s doghouse for quite a while.

His effort just hasn’t been there too many nights. If they can get as much as a 3rd or 4th rounder for this guy, I say do it.

SCHUBERT

January 13th, 2011
1:37 pm

Bring back Schubert.

Hoof Arted

January 13th, 2011
1:39 pm

Oh and I agree somewhat with those who say Bogosian has been a goat so far, but I’m not quite ready to give up on that kid. Eager is not a face of the future and it is clear by his play he’s not thrilled to be here.

ZAvalanche

January 13th, 2011
2:30 pm

Just an interesting stat here, which Thrashy should smile about. Looking at the +/- for the league, guess who is at, or near, bottom; Kovalchoke. LOL!

ZAvalanche

January 13th, 2011
2:35 pm

Ha! -29. Guess he doesn’t play defense anymore than he did in Atl. Plus – minus is a huge deal and Thrashy has a lot of guys in the double digit minus. Cause for concern = yes.

ThrasherTim

January 13th, 2011
2:35 pm

WBF – Buffalo just went 4-0-1 on their West Coast trip before losing to Philly. They have games in hand on us…so they aren’t out of it just yet. I am sure management is giving them to the All-Star Game break at least to see if they can make up ground on the 8th spot before throwing in the towel.

Calgary has too many teams to jump so agree with you there.

Smoothie

January 13th, 2011
2:36 pm

The Sopel to CHI idea is an interesting one for obvious reasons. I think he likes playing on this team, but it is no secret that he misses his family dearly and would probably jump at the chance to go back and finish his career as a ‘Hawk.

Does anybody recall what CHI got back in the Reasoner deal that sent him to FLA? I would love to get Marty back to shore up our 3rd line and solidify the PK for once and for all — NO MO’ FREDDY MO!! Perhaps we ship Sopes, Bergie and a prospect (Kulda?) off to CHI for Seabrook and the draft pick they got from FLA for Reasoner. Then we turn around and flip the draft pick back to FLA for Reasy and then ship Eager off to CHI in a separate deal for the 4th liner of their choice (think Bickell or Skille since they won’t be able to afford both of them next year), perhaps even Stallberg since he makes close to a million and likely won’t be back next year as a UFA.

Then finally ship out Bogosian to Calgary for Regehr and Tanguay and here’s your playoff caliber line-up:

Ladd — Little — Antro

Kaner — Pevs — Tanguay (skill guys should be allowed to play off-wing as long as there is a banger like Kane or Ladd on the other side)

Modin\Burma — Reasy — Stewy (let Burma and Modin alternate to keep both fresh, one physically and the other mentally)

Boults — Slates\Corms — Thorbs\Macho

Big Buff & Tobes

Seabrook & Oduya

Regehr & Hainsey

Meyer in pressbox

Pavs & Mason

Tell me that D-corps won’t do some damage in the playoffs. Scoring could still be a bit of a bugaboo, but Tanguay really helps you on the PP and Pevs gets to play 2nd line minutes with Kane for better match-ups. Plus, with Reasey taking more of the load off Pevs, Ladd, Kaner etc on the PK, they’ll be fresher for doing their primary job which is scoring 5 on 5.

See you in the playoffs with this line-up!!

TrueBlue

January 13th, 2011
2:47 pm

Smoothie, Reasoner is one of Floridas top point producers this season…Why would they get rid of him? They are using him in the RIGHT situations this year opposed to just sticking him as a 4th line PK’er….Another mistake by Atlanta.

BlueSpark

January 13th, 2011
2:48 pm

@Smoothie: it’s not just the Toronto game where Eager was bad. He’s had a lot of giveaways that lead directly to goals (and his subsequent benching) and hasn’t brought much positive to the team. Add to that the rumors (printed here or by Vivlamore) that he hasn’t won many friends in the locker room, and I think that’s why so many are down on Eager.

That said, I prefer to Buy Low, Sell High. Eager is not “High” right now. Actually, for his sake, I hope he is. He does have a bunch of days off, after all.

Smoothie

January 13th, 2011
2:58 pm

BlueSpark – duly noted, but I find it hard to believe that everyone in the room hates Eager when he’s done nothing but stick up for Burmi and his teammates all year. Yeah, he’s no leader, but I think he’s getting a lot of extra flak for the “shredded cheese” incident. But like I said, I’m fine with him leaving.

Trueblue – no doubt we’d have to wait a bit to get Reasoner closer to the deadline assuming they fall further out of contention. Tallon has made it no secret that they are rebuilding and I doubt they’d bring Marty back unless it was a 1-yr deal. They are determined to get younger and it’s hard to say how much he’ll factor into their future plans. Plus, if you can get a draft pick back for him at the deadline as rental, why wouldn’t you?

World Be Free

January 13th, 2011
3:00 pm

Thrasher Tim-Sabres don”t have the offnse to make a move in the standings. Their defense isn’t what is was last year either after letting Lydman and Tallinder walk. Myers eneds Tallinder, they were pefect together. Their roster needs turnover, they have some youngsters AND their new owner is set to take over in the coming weeks. I see their roster in a big turnover at the deadline, Sabres are toast. Trust me, all my Sabres’ fans at home know the season is done.