Coach Ramsay drops F-Bomb on Thrashers

Atlanta Thrashers head coach Craig Ramsay dropped the dreaded F-Bomb on his team after losing in Dallas. It was their fourth straight defeat and eleventh in the last sixteen. In fact since the 5-4 win on Long Island last December 11, the Thrashers have netted but three regulation wins. And in that span of time they have seen a slim lead in the Southeastern Division and second overall in the Eastern Conference evaporate to the point where they are now clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the east.

Certainly that would cause the good coach to curse, right?

Well, that or may not be so…but this F-Bomb wasn’t the one you might be thinking of. It’s not the kind that was affiliated with former coach John Anderson’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moments, as seen so many times during TV close-ups in the previous two seasons.

No, the F-Bomb Ramsay chose hang on his squad was a word Anderson would also use frequently when discussing Thrashers teams under his direction…“fragile”.

“We are a fragile team at this moment”, he told Chris Vivlamore after Saturday night’s 6-1 defeat to the Stars. “We expected a bit of a roller coaster this year. We’ve grown as a team. I thought the response from the team, for 45 minutes, was excellent. As soon as something went against us, we didn’t have the right response”.

As much as I hate to say it, “fragile” is indeed a very adequate word to use to describe this current crop of Thrashers. They are easily broken when certain things don’t go their way and once in that state, it’s difficult to put them back together.

Anthony Stewart seemingly checks to see if he stepped in something on the ice in dallas. turns out what he was smelling was the most recent stink bomb dropped on the ice by the Thrashers (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Anthony Stewart seemingly checks to see if he stepped in something during the game in Dallas. Turns out what he was smelling was the most recent stink bomb dropped on the ice by the Thrashers (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Take the latest string of losses strung together by this team. The four game losing streak began just over a week ago against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was a one-goal game more than halfway through the second period, but a string of mishaps and Ben Eager lapse of reason turned it into a 9-3 route.

Last Friday, the Thrashers fought hard against the conference leading Flyers…a scoreless game deep into the second period. They even managed to take a 1-0 lead thanks to captain Andrew Ladd, but they could not handle the success. 36 seconds after Ladd’s goal, a block shot at the blueline turned into a breakaway tying goal…21 ticks of the clock later, Atlanta was down 2-1.

After Philly untied the score once more in the third, they went on to a 5-2 win.

Once again out in Dallas, they found themselves in a one-all game in the latter stages of the second period. They had even recovered well from a Stars power play goal in the first period that was set up by an unfortunate…no, wait…make that, a most egregious…no, actually that should read… a power play goal that was set up by an absolutely bogus goalie interference call.

But much like the games illustrated above, the tight game turned quickly into another lopsided loss.

Just last fall, this same team had a swagger to them that exuded nothing but confidence. Get down by an early goal or two…no problem. Have a bad call or unfortunate play go against them…bah. Brush it off. One just knew they’d come back and make a game of it. But lately, if anything happens that puts them back on their heals even slightly, it seems like they fall apart quicker than a middle school girl if she sees her boyfriend talking to another girl.

But now, the question is…what can be done to turn this thing around soon before the Thrashers find themselves back in their old familiar place in the standings, below the postseason playoff line of eighth place.

I don’t think there is one single elixir that’ll cure what ails this team since there isn’t one single issue that is single-handedly hurting them. But here’s a couple quick thought on what certainly couldn’t hurt the cause.

First of all, the penalty kill play right now is certainly…well…killing us. During the recent four-game skid, they’ve allowed 4 power play goals on 5 opportunities to the Stars, 2 on 4 tries to the Hurricanes and 5 such goals on only 3 man advantage situations to the Leafs.

Getting Jim Slater back into the lineup once his concussion has healed would surely help, but not standing around like statues would go a long way in correcting the problem too.

Secondly, Zach Bogosian should not be playing top-four defensive minutes for quite some time. To put this as politely as I can, the kid simply looks lost out there too often. And if I’m not mistaken, Zach was on the ice for five of the six Dallas goals Saturday night.

Is Bogosian solely to blame here? Nope…of course not. But he’s hurting, not helping this team by having so many minutes logged, especially at even strength. That, plus his play is also bringing down linemate Johnny Oduya, in my most humble of opinion.

For those who are calling for Bogosian to be traded or sent to the AHL Wolves, I can’t say I agree with that position. It’s still way too early to give up on this kid. Besides, he would never clear waivers on the way down anyway.

Now if there is one area in this organization that could deliver a good kick in the pants to get this team back on track, it’s the front office. The trade deadline is still several weeks away, but I say, “Why wait”. I’d love to see Rick Dudley push the buttons on some deals that would bring another top-six forward this way to take the place of Fredrik Modin in the everyday lineup and a gritty, scrappy lower line winger that would take the place of Ben Eager’s spot on the roster.

Yes, Modin has been out due to injury lately, but when he returns, it should be primarily to the press box during games. Spencer Machacek has played OK during his time here in place of Modin, but let’s be honest…he’s not going to be the magic bullet needed for a serious playoff drive.

I’m not too worried with the situation between the pipes. Despite his recent struggles, Pavelec should do just fine getting the bulk of starts down the line. And if Chris Mason’s injury sustained in Dallas does keep him sidelined for any period of time, I’ve no problem at all with Peter Mannino filling that gap.

But in reality, the biggest stride this team can make right now is for everyone on this roster to re-evaluate his own self and what it is he is bringing to the ice each and every game. Coaches can coach, captains can lead…but this slump is team-wide right now. And it’ll take a team-wide effort to pull them out of it.

One thing is for sure, though. Whatever remedies the Thrashers front office and coaching staff may have for what ails this team needs to be administered quickly. Otherwise the F-Bomb may be flying from them and the fans more frequently as we watch the playoffs slide away once again like front wheel drive compact cars on Atlanta roads this past week.

And this time, the F-Bomb i’m referring to is not “fragile”.

102 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

January 17th, 2011
2:56 pm

Joe Bob Friday – Postma is doing extremely well in Chicago.

The “depth” amounts to three d-man in Chicago: Postma, Kulda, and Zubarev.

And then, there’s always Boris.

Rawhide

January 17th, 2011
2:56 pm

EA – You are correct, no Bogo in SoFLA tonight. Per C-Viv tweets: “Looks like Zach Bogosian will be scratched in favor of Freddy Meyer for #Thrashers”…and…”Chris Mason has MCL sprain of right knee’.

Also, looks like Scott Celemmensen will be in goal tonight for the Panthers.

Cornbread

January 17th, 2011
3:02 pm

Trade Bogosian? No way. Every time I watch Coburn I think what could have been for the Thrashers. And I’m a Flyers fan too. Bogosian still has more offensive potential than Coburn and is 5 years younger.

Ramsay tried to simplify his game this year. Concentrate on D first and O second. I believe he is playing better positionally than he did last year. Per Ramsay’s system, he has quit running around and hitting guys just to hit them. To label him as soft is unfair or unaware of his and the team’s play. Bogo led the team last year in hits. He is fourth this year.

Sit Bogosian? I have no problem with that or reducing his time to Hainsey like minutes. Double shift Hainsey with Oduya a couple of times a period. As a D-man, you never want to be on the ice when the other team scores. To do that 5 times in one game is unacceptable. To be fair, I can only fault Bogo for the first tip-in goal that he scored and maybe the last Dallas goal but at that point the whole team was done. The others were not even close to his fault or of his own making.

The time off will help him see the game develop from high, learn something and get some confidence back. The next one that could benefit from this perspective is Burmistrov. First they need to get some healthy bodies back.

goose

January 17th, 2011
3:49 pm

You know I never thought that TSN would be so favorable of us they have us at 10! in there power rankings. That’s ahead of the Caps(14), The Rangers(16) and Lighting(18)

Red Light

January 17th, 2011
4:49 pm

Goose: When did TSN become the gospel according to hockey? To even have power rankings is a slap in the face to anyone who follows the sport on a regular basis and it’s composed by one person, Scott Cullen. This isn’t a 12- or 16-game season, it’s 82 games. He’s got the LA Kings ranked No. 8 and they aren’t even in the top 8 of the Western Conference right now, and the Avs at No. 17 even though they are 3 points ahead of the Kings. Lebrun of ESPN has the Thrashers at No. 18 and the Kings at No. 20. These aren’t scientific, they are one-man’s opinion. They’re no more qualified to rank teams than you or me are!

World Be Free

January 17th, 2011
5:03 pm

Looks like Moulson is on the move out of Long Island

Cornbread

January 17th, 2011
5:08 pm

Early good news for the Thrashers, Boston kills Carolina 7-0. I guess that’s it for the Canes. They’re finished after a drubbing like that. Can you feel the tension? They face each other again tomorrow night and then again the following Tuesday. In between the Canes play NYR and PIT. Not an easy weak for them.

Now in addition to a Thrashers win tonight, a Calgary win over the Habs in regulation would be nice. But, I’ll just settle for a convincing Thrasher win in regulation. This is one of those have to win games.

JT

January 17th, 2011
5:31 pm

The stat that sticks out is goals against. Even before this recent run downwards, we were in the bottom 5 in the league. The first areas to place blame is the goaltending and defensive corps. Opie has earned his position, and is not to blame. The D-corps, not great, has done well, considering they are always spending so much time in their own end. The biggest issue, to me, is puck possession. We don’t seem to ever have possession. That lies in the forward position. We have to do better in this area, or the downward spiral will continue.

JT from Columbus

January 17th, 2011
5:45 pm

Hope the team gets on roll starting tonight. We need the points, plus the wife and I are coming up for the Caps game next week.

DWTOO

January 17th, 2011
5:51 pm

Spent the afternoon at the Glads game. 65 minutes of end to end hockey, 85 shots, plus a shootout. Beats doing something constructive. As for Thrasher prospects Forney scored on a wicked wrister, and Paqutte is pretty fast. Carozzi has a lot of work – he made some nice stops, particularly on a breakaway, but, probably let in a couple that should been stopped and was bad in the shootout.

Iron League 13 (razorneck13 no more)

January 17th, 2011
5:55 pm

Bogosian’s still iffy for a trade IMO, he’s not the only problem. We all know he’s young, very young and it’s truly bad habit of the franchise’s to rely on 1st and 2nd round picks out of the draft. This is a major organizational issue that must end as soon as possible. Burmi’s not ready, Cormier’s debateable too, Kaner is the first one in quite a while that has been.

Let’s not forget what Rammer’s is working with in total, it’s amazing what he’s managed to do (See breakouts of Stewie, Thorbs, Boults, Slates) Hopefully ASG let’s Dud’s shore up the major players contracts, spends some dough by the trade deadline on TWO GOOD SOLID FORWARDS and MAKES SOLID FREE AGENT SIGNINGS (not another Modin crapshoot) in the offseason.

Thrashers27

January 17th, 2011
6:00 pm

We need a dominating performance from our boys tonight.

glovesave29

January 17th, 2011
6:04 pm

So what are we to do people? There are many here who are fearful of trade because we’ve been bested in the past. This makes as much sense as people blaming the current roster for losses incurred 5 years ago.

Think Calgary wouldn’t like Marc Savard or Martin St. Louis back – both of which left for little to no return. How about Kiprusoff for a second rounder? Bryzgalov was waived by Anaheim.

I busted the management chops for years for lack of a goalie coach. This year we get one, and look at OP. Perhaps we give Bogo a mentor to see what can be done to get his career back on track. I am fine with either route – give him the tools to succeed, or trade him to fill another need.

Acer

January 17th, 2011
6:14 pm

WBF: Are the Thrashers in the mix for Moulson? IIRC Bergfors is still on the market.

Smoothie

January 17th, 2011
6:19 pm

Folks, no doubt that Bogosian still has upside, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that his ceiling is much lower than we thought. Unless paired with an extremely sound pairing-mate (e.g. Toby Enstrom) or a lockdown stay-at-home man that we don’t really have, his best talents are going to go underutilized. Unless there are plans to move Buff back to the front line (doubtful at best), what is the point of playing Bogosian so much? It’s only hurting his confidence as he is getting exploited playing against some of the league’s best offensive talent.

A youngster like Boychuk improved last year in Boston under Ramsay and Julien, but that’s because he wasn’t asked to play top 4 minutes. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of regression in Zach’s game and I’m losing confidence that he’ll ever attain the level expected of a top 5 pick. Perhaps in another 3 years, but can we really wait that long? If we are going to get a legit top 6 scorer who can be resigned (such as a Moulson who is still a RFA I believe), how do you think we’re going to pull that off? We can’t get top tier talent without giving something up of value.

Of all the young players we have, with whom are you most comfortable giving up in a trade?? Kane? Little? Burmy? Cormier? Perhaps Cormier, but you know Duds ain’t gonna do that unless the deal is unbelievably good. Bergfors? Bogosian? You got to ask yourself at what position do we have the most organizational depth? Forward, goalie or defense? It would appear to be defense, wouldn’t it?

Postma, Kulda, Zubarev, and hopefully Melchiori, Redmond or Chiarot. It doesn’t appear to be at forward as the Wolves are still relying on AHL retreads for the bulk of their scoring (Krog, Haydar, Ross, Stapleton etc). Other than Machacek, Holzapfel (’cha right), Esposito, Aliu and Kozek, who do we have? Klingberg hopefully. If some of your top talent like Antropov and Bergfors are going to struggle or play erratically, how do you expect your young players like Kane, Burmy and Cormier to get better? Playing too many minutes that they can’t handle too soon and too much (hurting their confidence and stunting their growth) like what happens in Long Island, Edmonton and Toronto to some degree. You’ve got to give to get and I’m not sure I’m more comfortable giving up on Bergie or Little before Bogosian. You feel me now?

Restless Native

January 17th, 2011
6:20 pm

What if the Thrashers lose tonight at Florida and then again to Tampa Bay on Thursday? Then, what do we do?

Pack up and move to Florida!

LAC

January 17th, 2011
7:16 pm

Finally, bogosian NOT in the lineup, This will result in better play I believe.

Smoothie

January 17th, 2011
7:21 pm

I’d be very surprised if they don’t keep it close tonite at the very least. FLA rarely scores a ton of goals, but I’m hoping the distribution of experience throughout the pairings will help keep the shots down. Keep the SOG under 32 and keep them off the board on the PP, and we’ve got a good shot at getting back in the win column.

World Be Free

January 17th, 2011
8:25 pm

acer-I would still like to see Bergfors make it here. Let’s hope he can get moving tonight.
LAC-maybe a couple of games for Bogo in the cat-bird seat. It has helped players in the past, hopefully Rammer was able to put a positive slant on the move to help Bogosian, not hurt him. I am still against any move to trade Bogo at this point. Smoothie noted how Boychuk came together in Boston under Rammer. His development started in the minors, something we don’t control in Chicago.

Smoothie-won’t trade any of the players you listed, especially Cormier. We are already missing Marty Reasoner on the pentaly kill.

Glovesave-thanks for bring to light other organizations that have made trades they would like to take back. I am sure the Canucks wish they have never traded Cam Neely, the Rangers – Rick Middleton, Tronna – Tuuka Rask and so on. If Dudley sees a deal that will help without hurting his team, he will make it.

Joe Friday

January 17th, 2011
9:43 pm

Boneheaded plays by Oduya cost the first one, can’t make those plays down a man. Then Enstrom breaks our back taking a cheap one.

Machacek and burmistrov are useless. We need slater back and stapelton back up

Tom

January 17th, 2011
9:49 pm

It does seem like we are playing out the string right now. Even when the score was 0-0 there was no sense of urgency tonight.

Something has happened to the team psychologically and it is getting very hard to be enthused about this team right now.

Adam

January 17th, 2011
9:50 pm

I’m really getting tied of watching 2-1/4 periods of good hockey.

You guys get the felling Ramsey is losing the team? Or at least half of it?

Sage of Bluesland

January 17th, 2011
9:52 pm

…and so there it goes, folks….Do you feel it NOW?

This is Florida, too. I’m sure some (you know who you are) “knew it all along”…Uh-huh…

Just an expanded version of Don Waddell behind the bench (the old guy currently behind the bench and the pretend GM, the guy who has the muskrat on his head)…These short-term ‘bounces’ aren’t long-term fixes….

Despite the blather, some of you just cannot see the obvious….It’s really embarrassing, too, to read some of the hopeful dweaming…

Adam

January 17th, 2011
9:57 pm

Wow what a come back!!!

Joe Friday

January 17th, 2011
10:00 pm

Woot, win it for good ol Sage!

Tom

January 17th, 2011
10:11 pm

Was that the spark?

Tom

January 17th, 2011
10:15 pm

Got the 2…

Jason

January 17th, 2011
10:16 pm

Hey Sage: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Hoof Arted

January 17th, 2011
10:18 pm

HAHAHAHAHHAAHA!!!!! Look like SOB suffers from premature gloating!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

EA

January 17th, 2011
10:20 pm

Way to go boys! What an exciting finish. Keep it up!

Twisted Wrister

January 17th, 2011
10:25 pm

What a stupid SOB! He should have waited for the fat lady to sing first.

glovesave29

January 17th, 2011
10:27 pm

THAT was big. Time to get the swagger back.

Alan R.

January 17th, 2011
10:33 pm

sage [seyj]
–noun
1. a profoundly wise person; a person famed for wisdom.
2. someone venerated for the possession of wisdom, judgment, and experience.

sage of bluesland [seyj ov bloosland]
-noun
1. a profoundly unwise person; a person famed for an inability to exhibit wisdom
2. someone ridiculed for his self-proclamation of wisdom, judgment, and experience.

Tom

January 17th, 2011
10:37 pm

What really is amazing is that we are only 4 points out of 1st place even though we have played so poorly lately.

This is going to make Thursday nights tilt against the Lightning interesting.

The losing streak to Tampa is the one we need to break…

Flagstaff

January 17th, 2011
10:52 pm

Excellent comeback! So, this leaves just one question… how the Hell did Burmistrov beat Little for 1st Star of the Game?!

Joe Friday

January 17th, 2011
11:02 pm

What, you don’t see the value in Burmistrov’s 0 for 4 on faceoffs and no pts in 11 minutes on the ice?

I think the Florida writer (that’s press row down there) was so disgusted at the loss, he just threw it at the last shooter for us.

I like the comeback, but Machachek-Burmistrov-Cormier are brutal. We need Slater back big time and they need to bring Stapelton back up and Machachek down. Skate Cormier with Antropov and Stapelton and put the Greek Gods back together. Or better yet, make us a trade, Duds

BMF

January 17th, 2011
11:05 pm

Wow, just wow. What a game, total theft of 2 points but damn we needed that in the worst possible way. Hopefully this is just the kind of win that will start a long points streak, continuing thursday against Tampa and NYR. Maybe the SO goal for Burmistrov will inspire some better play out of him. So happy we pulled this game out, the Panthers must be speechless. This makes me happy.

R. Stroz

January 17th, 2011
11:07 pm

Has anyone else noticed that two defensemen lead the Thrashers in scoring? I’d be willing to bet the Thrashers are the only team in the league with two defensemen as the top point scorers for the team.

Joe Bob Friday – I never thought I’d read you looking forward to Slater being back in the lineup.

Hoof Arted

January 17th, 2011
11:15 pm

Poor wittle SOB. He twide and twide to get in his usuwal wrant in before is wittle beddy-bye time. But he should have waited a wittle bit longwer. Oh well, maybe the wittle cweep is sweeping well after counting some sheep. Maybe he’s dweaming of actually getting a rweply frwom Don Waddell after oh so many years now.

baaaahhhhhh….bahhhhhhh…..bahhhhhhhh…

BMF

January 17th, 2011
11:15 pm

agreed Joe, I like Stapleton a lot and think he is of more value up here than down in Chicago, and yes we do miss Slater, that line of Slater-Thorburn-Boulton was the rock of the Thrashers team early in the year and we need to re-establish that quickly, then the rest of the pieces will fall back into place. Not missing Bogosian right now either, and Bergfors is coming around again (not that he really went anywhere) and I think he will be key down the stretch.

I know Sage probably rolls his eyes at posts like mine and I probably drink a little too much of the cool-aid, but if we can rip off a 10-12 game stretch of great hockey with lots of wins and points, we will position ourselves nicely for the playoffs, perhaps even win the SE division, I see no reason to think that that is not possible.

Like Lou Brown said in “Major League”, “you guys won last night, we win one tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak, it’s happened before…”

ZAvalanche

January 17th, 2011
11:18 pm

Nice comeback Thrashy. I am proud. 2 pts is 2 pts and it feels good.

R. Stroztradamus

January 17th, 2011
11:21 pm

The replay is on.

I predict no one will score during the first two periods and the refs will suck the entire game.

Never question a damus.

BMF

January 17th, 2011
11:28 pm

and yeah no kidding, what is it now, 8 straight L’s against Tampa? F that. They are going DOWN on thursday. That streak is ridiculous, almost as ridiculous as our losing streak against Antero Nittymaki (is that still a running streak?, I thought we might have finally beat that guy…)

Hockey Biltong

January 17th, 2011
11:37 pm

I need a defibrilator and a hair club membership…

SOB's Mom

January 17th, 2011
11:49 pm

Why is my little boy up under his bed, in his Little Bo-Peep sheep PJs, curled up sucking his thumb crying, “Why did they have to win? Why did they have to win? Why, why why did they have to win?”

ZAvalanche

January 17th, 2011
11:50 pm

Damn I love this blog!

Tom Lysiak

January 17th, 2011
11:56 pm

Sure wish the SOB would email that “pretend GM” and request an appointment. I’m sure he’d appreciate a face-to-face critique of his hair, rather than hiding behind a keyboard. Maybe they could talk at center ice after the game Thursday. Talk about a sure sellout…

Smoothie

January 17th, 2011
11:57 pm

Alan and Hoof Arted – well played, well played.

SOB – premature jocularity is really unbecoming on someone as “wise” as you. Perhaps you should see a shrink or even one of those doctors for man parts.

Brendan

January 17th, 2011
11:57 pm

Of all the things I know, I know R.Stroztradamus’ 11:21 PM post will be accurate. :)

Rawhide

January 18th, 2011
12:05 am

OK kids, here’s a new blog for you to yammer about tonight’s big win in Florida. or would that better be said as…a Little big win?