Pavelec shutout helps Thrashers win one just in the Nik of time

Things haven’t exactly been hunky-dory in Thrasherville during the month of January.

A 3-4-3 record and winners of just one regular season game since New Years had the team clinging desperately to their eighth place position in the Eastern Conference. Key players have been bitten by the injury bug to the point that a M.A.S.H. unit could have been stationed outside of the practice facility at the Duluth Ice Forum.

Not Slater, No Kane, No Mason and most recently, No Toby. All tending to various ailments.

Players like Dustin Byfuglien and Alex Burmistrov have been mired in scoring slumps…Big Buff being held goalless since his overtime game winner in Montreal on the second of January while the rookie hasn’t dented the score sheet since assisting on Byfuglien’s goal during a 3-1 loss in New Jersey on New Years Eve.

And then there’s Ondrej Pavelec…who at times could have sued his teammates for non-support…finally fell to “human” status in the past few weeks, going 3-4-3 with a .898 SV% going into Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals.

There were multiple third period leads lost as well a couple blowout defeats that had many fans faces displaying that all-too familiar “Gloom, despair and agony on me…deep dark depression, excessive misery” look.

Rich Peverley congratulates Ondrej Pavelec after the 1-0 win over the Washington Capitals Wednesday night. The victory was only the second in regulation time for the Thrashers and came just when they really needed one (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Rich Peverley congratulates Ondrej Pavelec after the 1-0 win over the Washington Capitals Wednesday night. The victory was only the second in regulation time for the Thrashers since New Years and came just when they really needed one (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Adding to the dark clouds hovering around Philips Arena was this whole mess surrounding the owner’s admission of having lied to us for six years about looking to sell the team. This last little revelation coming via “A.S., LLC Lawsuit 2011”…the latest in a string of seemingly endless legal battles The Great Octocluster has sought to venture into.

Nope…it was not a good month at all.

So, with all this swirling about, the All Star break staring us in the face and the Carolina Hurricanes ridding up our butts, if there was ever a time that the Thrashers really, really…I mean REALLY needed a regulation win, this was it my friends.

Thankfully, they got just that.

Atlanta limps into All Star weekend still sitting in a playoff position thanks to 36 save shutout by Pavelec and one, single, solitary goal by Nik Antropov. For Opie, it was the third goose egg he’s laid upon the scoreboard and the fifth of his NHL career. Antropov’s goal, which came just in the …ahem…”Nik” of time, was scored halfway through the second period and was set up by Fredrik Modin. The secondary assist went to defenseman Ron Hainsey.

That’s right, Antropov, Modin and Hainsey…three of the fastest skaters on the roster teaming up for the only score of the game.

The win gives Atlanta a record of 24-19-9 heading into the break and the 57 points keeps them one point ahead of the Canes, who were in the process of knocking off the New York Islanders 4-2. Seventh place Montreal is two ahead of the Thrashers with 59 points.

Both the Hurricanes and the Habs have played two fewer games, however.

Atlanta also concluded their six game series with division foes Washington with the 1-0 win. They’ll finish with a 4-1-1 record against the three-time Southeast Division champs, including a 3-0-0 record at Philips Arena. The last two home games were shutouts victories by the Thrashers.

One last bit of good news coming from this win…Atlanta’s penalty kill unit continued to shows some signs of improvement. In killing off three Caps’ power plays, Atlanta has successfully worked their way though 12 of the last 14 PK situation over the course of the last five games since allowing 4 power play goals to the Dallas Stars.

There is a lot of work this team has facing it after they return to action next week…and there’s a lot of work the front office needs to do to help them as they continue to battle for a playoffs birth this spring. But these two points earned tonight not only go long way towards that goal, it also ends a very rough month of January on a winning note.

The team needed that…and so did we.

By: Bill Tiller – AJC.com Thrashers Fan Blog

185 comments Add your comment

Brendan

January 26th, 2011
11:04 pm

Pavelec to the rescue. All he had to do … was stop ALLLL the shots he faced. Atlanta’s problem really hasn’t been scoring. But it would have been nice to give O.P. some breathing room, with the likes of Green, Backstrom, and Ovechkin lurking.

Great 4-point swing vs. the Capitals. Finally, a regulation-time win.

Brendan

January 26th, 2011
11:06 pm

Oh wait, was I supposed to write, “first” in the most exceptional use of bandwith ever?

Brendan

January 26th, 2011
11:11 pm

Rawhide, props to the PK unit, that did an excellent job tonight.

Buff-n-stuff

January 26th, 2011
11:15 pm

Dud’s better have a trade for us by the time we start back up after the allstar break

Iron League 13

January 26th, 2011
11:19 pm

That was impressive…dare I say beautiful? Yes, yes, I do dare. That was TEAM play. Watching the guys rush back and protect the net together and form inpenetrable 4 men bluelines to take on rushes coming out of the neutral zone, just rad. How many times did I see guys drop on the ice be it on a knee or two or splaying out to block shots? I lost count. Seriously it was pretty, very pretty.

Brendan

January 26th, 2011
11:20 pm

By the way, Pizza Hut (TM) was unavailable for comment, after coming under suit by Bruce Levenson this week. Per the excerpt from the complaint, the affiant writes, “You call that EXTRA Cheese? I can see the sauce. I repeat, I can see the sauce.” When asked if Bruce realized that his legal fees would far exceed any damages collected from the Pizza chain, Bruce responded thusly, “It’s the principle of the thing.” When asked if Bruce supports Tort Reform, he said, “Heck no! I plan to clog the docket for YEARS. YEARS and YEARS and YEARS. Just try to stop me.” Earlier in the week, Mr. Levenson tried, unsuccessfully, to extricate a toy prize from the bubblegum machines located inside the lobby of a Supermarket chain. Even though the loss of money was just four (4) quarters, Mr. Levenson put the manufacturer under suit. He seeks “mental anguish and suffering,” along with his $1.00, citing the promise, “Every capsule is GUARANTEED to contain a PRIZE within.” He was denied that prize. He seeks justice. Godspeed, counselor.

Brendan

January 26th, 2011
11:23 pm

Buff-n-Stuff, the ownership’s ‘commitment level’ will be on full display, after the All-Star break. You can be sure of that.

Iron League 13

January 26th, 2011
11:26 pm

Who would have guessed that we’d have pretty much had the Caps number all season.

Iron League 13

January 26th, 2011
11:26 pm

Iron League 13

January 26th, 2011
11:32 pm

Brendan are you a lawyer? Law school? A Few Good Men? 12 Angry Men? Either way I’m kinda impressed, then again I’m a lamen.

CatThrashFever

January 26th, 2011
11:35 pm

WHEW! I’m soooo glad we got these 2 points IN REGULATION! Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Brendan

January 26th, 2011
11:38 pm

Iron League13, “What do you call 15 lawyers chained to the bottom of the sea?” Oh hush, to those who yelled, “A good start!” The correct answer is, “The AS, LLC’s henchmen, guarding their secret underground lair.”

SomaAtl95

January 26th, 2011
11:40 pm

Brendan, I absolutely love your sarcasm! I just hope there isn’t a lawsuit against “Rawhides Rowdies, LLC” for any assorted reasons….
Great game and glad that we came out with the W. Hoping this home victory against the Caps starts a streak like the last home victory against the caps.
I can hope, right?
Can I be sued for Hope, professor?

Brendan

January 26th, 2011
11:43 pm

Iron League 13, people sometimes inquire, “But your ad says, “Works on contingency. No money down.” I’m always frustrated with advertising. So, I correct them. Here’s what it’s supposed to say. “Works on contingency?? No!!, money down!!” And that Bar Association logo really shouldn’t be there, either.

Brendan

January 26th, 2011
11:49 pm

SomaAtl95, I refer you to the case of “Finders vs. Keepers.” If you find hope, it’s yours. No attorney can take that from you. :) But in the case of Bruce Levenson, “it’s worth trying to take it from you.”

If you find “Edith,” tell her I want my cake, too. If you find “Joy,” tell her I’m sorry for jumping for her. If you find, “Faith,” tell her she left her contact lenses in the bathroom. If you find “Hope,” tell her, she springs internal. Yes, I said “internal,” not eternal. It’s an inside joke about IUD’s. I’m trying to distance myself from it.

Rawhide

January 26th, 2011
11:53 pm

Brendan, I absolutely love your sarcasm! I just hope there isn’t a lawsuit against “Rawhides Rowdies, LLC” for any assorted reasons….

SomaAtl95 - Let not your heart be troubled. Rawhide’s Rowdies, LLC is sufficiently “lawyered up” and prepared for that possibility. :cool:

michael

January 26th, 2011
11:56 pm

Thought the whole team was solid tonight. maybe a few more shots on goal than id like but solid. Btw I thought bogy looked good tonight think this may be a good foundation to build him up on.

Brendan

January 26th, 2011
11:56 pm

See, SomaAtla95. “Asked and answered.”

SomaAtl95

January 26th, 2011
11:57 pm

Ahhh yes, Finders V Keepers – Where the legal defense of “Neener, neener, neener” and “Because I said so” were used by keepers. Classic case.
I believe Hope also sued the sponge company and the sponge company used the “Barrier” defense.

Anyone wonder if the ASG gets counter-sued from King & Spalding that the ASG’s lawyers would try busting out the fabled “Wookie Defense”?

And on topic – Poor Ovechkin. High sticked from his own player. My wife asked “Why does he look like he is crying like a baby?”

Brendan

January 26th, 2011
11:59 pm

Wait, Rawhide. “Did you give Bonnie Raitt a royalty for the use of ‘Nick of Time,?’”

SomaAtl95

January 27th, 2011
12:03 am

Rawhide – Phew :D Good to know! Would hate to have to deal with Slibel or Lander suits. (yes I know I spelled them wrong, whatcha gonna do, sue me??? ***nervously looks to see if any ASG members are around…no… thank god!***) I’m under the legal protection umbrella of RR LLC and their excellent law firm of Dewey, Screwem & Howe.

Brendan

January 27th, 2011
12:04 am

Wait, I caught. Nik, not Nick. You’re golden, Rawhide. No copyright infringement.

Rawhide

January 27th, 2011
12:05 am

Wait, Rawhide. “Did you give Bonnie Raitt a royalty for the use of ‘Nick of Time,?’”

Brendan – Come to think of it, no…no I didn’t. But it’s late and her lawyer’s office is close. First thing in the morning I’ll have my people call her people. She and I are cool with these things…should not be a problem.

Now, the producers of the movie Top Secret….that’s another story. I was expressly forbidden by them to use the joke about the name “Nik” being given to our goal scorer tonight because his father thought of it while shaving. :grin:

I’m under the legal protection umbrella of RR LLC and their excellent law firm of Dewey, Screwem & Howe.

SomaAtl95:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Brendan

January 27th, 2011
12:07 am

We’re a part of their sister company, SomaAtl95. “Dewey, Cheetum & Howe.”

Brendan

January 27th, 2011
12:09 am

Not to be confused with, “Maikum, Paye & Howe.”

Rawhide

January 27th, 2011
12:19 am

Actually fellas, I used to be lawyered up with “Bill, Padding & Schiester”, but they really didn’t do too well by me. So now I’m with “Skinam, Alive & Runn”.

Okayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy….and that’s a wrap for me tonight. You’ve been great…really, I mean that. The veal is great and be good to the waitress.

LAC

January 27th, 2011
12:21 am

Super WIN, I even thought Zach played one of his Best games in a LONG time tonight, as he started hitting people. Great collaspe on goal to stop them.

Great way to head into the break, lets hope for a BIG wins against NYI and The Flames next week.

Of note… The LAST time the Flames won in Atlanta… They were The Atlanta Flames !!!!

4/4/80, Atlanta 3 NYR 1.

Furious George

January 27th, 2011
12:27 am

Great win, Pavs was simply awesome!! Looks like Antropov is finally starting to feel more back to normal, great to see him producing. Also from what I saw Bogo played a solid game tonight, good for him – he needs it confidence wise. Hopefully we can ride this momentum into the break and beyond and hold off the Canes. The February schedule looks pretty favorable so our boys must capitalize, no excuses. Go Thrashers!

Furious George

January 27th, 2011
12:34 am

Also the break could not come at a better time. Hopefully The likes of Kane and Slater will be good to go by Tuesday. I never thought I’d see the day when I realize how important Slater is to this team. I think it’s no coincedence that the team’s slide started not long after he went down. The PK and 4th line’s overall effectiveness and production went south too. Getting him back will be a much welcome sight. I’m looking forward to seeing an exciting playoff push with a hopefully full deck roster wise. Like Bart Scott said, ‘Can’t Wait!’

R. Stroz

January 27th, 2011
3:25 am

I’ve developed a strategy to assist Mr. Dudley in persuading the remaining ASG owners to act in the best interest of the Thrashers franchise.

Mr Dudley needs to call a meeting between himself and the owners. At this meeting, he needs to introduce the remaining owners to a gentleman named Mr. Plett. With the assistance of numerous physical exercises implemented by Mr. Dudley and Mr. Plett from the educational manuals provided by the law firms of “Letum, Feele, Payne” as well as “Dewey, Poundum & Howe”, hopefully the owners will be reinvigorated to improve the franchise prior to their forthcoming visit to the dentist and orthopaedic surgeon.

R. Stroz

January 27th, 2011
3:42 am

On a different note, Washington had significantly more than 36 shots on goal. I watched seven shots reach Pavelec in the third period alone after the shot count had reached 35.

Alan R.

January 27th, 2011
6:12 am

I was extremely happy to see this win. We really and truly needed this before the break. I mean, hell, I had almost forgotten what a regulation win felt like.

Kane said on the radio last night that he’ll be back for Tuesday vs. NYI. I’m not a doctor, but I wouldn’t expect Slater back anytime soon. If he is back for Tuesday, that’s exceptional, but I’m not holding my breath. Enstrom will be at least another two weeks, unless miracles really do happen.

Dwayne

January 27th, 2011
6:13 am

Thanks for the lawyer laffs this morning….A Thrasher win followed by this….

Alan R.

January 27th, 2011
6:14 am

Oh, and lastly, it looked like only one person understood the source of my archaic post yesterday, but no one responded in kind. I’m be disappointed, if I weren’t too busy laughing ;)

hockeyguru

January 27th, 2011
6:41 am

Was watching games and saw Byfuglien get a leg injury, and then a wrist injury. I don’t know that you’d call it a slump in the traditional sense–I think he’s playing injured.

Alan R.

January 27th, 2011
7:27 am

I think Byfuglien is a little banged up, too. But, he is a warrior out there. I think he felt he needed to be in there, injury or not.

Hopefully, the break will see him return to form.

Rawhide

January 27th, 2011
7:32 am

Hockeyguru – I think your observation about Buff is spot on. He has been playing a bit banged up and hopefully this time off will do him some good.

Zoomo

January 27th, 2011
7:49 am

It was nice to see Antro chase a loose puck or two in the neutral zone. He looks to be slowly regaining form.

Love Rawhide’s little sarcasm about the speedy skaters. There was an offensive posession or two where Burmy was skating around like a bug with the puck and looking for his linemates…..Modin and Antro slowly crossing the blueline. The Turtle line? Modin and Antro did do a great job on the goal, tho’. A veteran goal.

Red Light

January 27th, 2011
8:05 am

After 50-plus games, what player isn’t a little banged up?

Apparently, Brendan watched a lot of the Three Stooges growing up…

My Three Stars: Pavelec, Ladd and Bogosian

moriler

January 27th, 2011
8:24 am

Handy, that. 2 more points banked out of the “stronger opponent” category: 24 games left in the “equal or lesser opponent” category, and a bunch of those coming up right after the break. :D

On a more serious note, two of the six games before Valentine’s Day are against Carolina. These are the ones that will go a long way towards deciding who gets into the playoffs between the two teams. I hope Rammer and the crew emphasize the importance of those as necessary.

Stan Drulia

January 27th, 2011
8:28 am

That was a serious nail-biter at the end. I thought Bogo looked pretty good also. Good effort overall by the entire team. Just got tix to Tuesday game against the Isles… can’t wait!

moriler

January 27th, 2011
8:29 am

Oh, almost forgot: at 57 points now, we’re 36 away from my “magic number” of 93 — only 18 wins necessary out of those 24 games (and still six free games we “should lose” we can possibly overachieve and get points from). Winning 75% of the games we ’should win’ isn’t really that much, and of course there’s the possibility that it won’t take a full 93 to make it in. I still like our chances as long as we play to our level.

Cliff Fletcher

January 27th, 2011
8:50 am

More good news-a win means we won’t be hearing from Sage the turtle this morning, since he never comes out after a victory. Never…..

Zoomo

January 27th, 2011
8:58 am

I know Burmy wasn’t on the line with Antro and Modin….just a possession or two…. was Boulton the third guy on the actual line?

Bruce Levenson

January 27th, 2011
9:03 am

Brendan,
Cease and desist with the slander or I shall file suit.
Yours truly,
Bruce

moriler

January 27th, 2011
9:08 am

Bruce,
Your momma.
With all due respect,
moriler

Hockey Biltong

January 27th, 2011
9:24 am

And the vuvuzela shall herald the announcement of…………………to the team!

Fan from Carolina

January 27th, 2011
9:24 am

Pavelec has single handedly kept the Thrashers in the playoff chase and I mistakenly did not vote for him as MVP in the column a few weeks ago. I voted for Buff (which wasn’t a bad choice) but I had my blinders on to reality. No Pavelec, no playoffs.

Hockey Biltong

January 27th, 2011
9:30 am

Per Darren Dreager; Antropov,Modin and Hainsey on the trading menu…

Tom

January 27th, 2011
9:33 am

Hockey Biltong, I would not mind seeing any of those guys go, but if we did not bring in equal or higher salaries that would put us under the salary cap. We will need to bring in some salaries to negate those losses. That could mean an Iginla.