Archive for January, 2011

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 …

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A year later, Lehtonen deal seems to have benefited both Thrashers and Stars

Whenever a big trade goes down in professional sports, one of the things that fans and pundits alike engage in is the discussion of which of the two sides got the better of the deal. To some, there always has to be a “winner” or a “loser” in the transaction. But the fact is a lot of times it benefited both organizations.

This is true, I believe, of the trade that went down last winter that sent goalie Kari Lehtonen to the Dallas Stars, whom the Thrashers will be facing tonight out in Texas. It’ll be the first time the two parties will face each other after parting ways almost a year ago.

Taken by the Thrashers with the second overall pick in the 2002 draft, Kari played in 204 games while with Atlanta, 196 of which were starts, and he compiled a record of 94-83-17 with a 2.87 GAA, .912 SV% and 14 shutouts. However, only one season passed with Lehtonen not suffering some sort of ailment…normally groin or back related…that kept him out for extended periods.

Prior …

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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 …

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Could it be the Mayflower trucks aren’t coming after all?

Are you sitting down?

No, I mean it. I want you to be sitting, reclining or in any other way positioned so that, were you to lose conscience or simply become a little woozy, you won’t fall and hurt yourself. Same concern goes for those of you who may be tossing back a glass of orange juice or sipping a warm cup of coffee. I’d just hate for you to ruin a good keyboard or laptop because you spewed your morning beverage all over it and/or yourself after I drop this little info-bomb on you, the good citizens of Thrasherville.

Alrighty-then. Now that you’ve been properly warned and you’re prepared for this… here goes.

…ahem…

It has come to my attention that the Atlanta Thrashers will not…repeat…will NOT be relocating to Winnipeg, Manitoba. They will not be moving there before Friday’s game against the Flyers…not just after the All-Star game…not just after this season is over…not over the summer…not before next season…and not by next New Year’s …

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A few quick shots from snowbound Thrasherville

So what have you been up to during Thrasherville’s Snow Jam 2011 so far? Last night the Divine Mrs. R and I engaged in about 3-1/2 hours of Wii Sports activities with the two tax exemptions. The one game I’m any good at…100-pin bowling. I scored a 1,888 leaving only two frames open.

The one game I completely send the Suckometer spinning off the carts is the archery competition. After the first round where you’re right up on the target, I could barely even hit the dang thing.

Tonight, it’s Raving Rabbits. I’m pretty good at that one!

Anyway…ere are a couple of quick news stories to discuss and debate while we wait for the snow and ice to clear out.

Thrashers Practice Cancelled

The Atlanta Thrashers have joined local school kids in getting another day off. As Phil Foley reported last night, the team originally pushed back this morning’s practice until noon. But upon further review today, they simply scrapped the practice all together.

Thrash has some experience  maneuvering the Zamboni around the steets in Duluth. I wonder if he could...nahhhhhhh (Thrashers.NHL.com)

Thrash has some experience …

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This week’s winter break comes at right time for Thrashers

If there was ever a good time for the Atlanta Thrashers to have a few days off between games, this week is really it. Coming off Sunday afternoon’s 4-3 overtime loss in Raleigh, North Carolina to the Hurricanes, they will not have to face action again until welcoming in the Philadelphia Flyers Friday night.

The last time they’ve had any more that two days rest between games was back in early December when they had three days between the overtime win against Nashville on the 6th of that month and a loss to Colorado on the 10th. Since then, they have played sixteen games in thirty days, going 7-5-4 in that time. However, they are 3-5-2 in the last ten.

The Thrashers can use this winter break to rest some weary bones and give time for players like Evander Kane, Jim Slater and Fredrik Modin to heal. Kane is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury, Slater is dealing with a concussion and Fredrik Modin did not make the trip to Carolina due to a mid-body ailment.

With those …

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An embarrassing night in Thrasherville

I understand the weathermen in Atlanta are predicting some snow to come through these parts later this weekend. But even before the residents of north Georgia swarmed the local Publix and Kroger stores to strip the bread and milk shelves bare, the Toronto Maple Leafs came to town and built a snowman in Philips Arena. A snowman, that’s 8 on the scoreboard… in the first two periods alone!

That’s right, by the time the teams retired to their respective locker rooms for the second intermission, the Leafs had dropped an eight-spot on the Thrashers on their way to a 9-3 thrashing of our hometown ice birds.

After Friday night’s craptacular effort, it’s hard to remember that it was a one-goal game halfway though the second period. Yes…it was 2-1 Leafs at the midpoint of the game, but that’s when everything seemed to go to Hell in a hand basket.

In a seven minute and forty-three minute span, Toronto dropped six goals in on Thrashers netminders…two on starting goalie …

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Did the Thrashers catch a break in Florida last night?

So did the Atlanta Thrashers catch a major break in Sunrise, Florida Wednesday night? Certainly the Panthers think so.

The controversy happened with 6:22 remaining in the third period and Atlanta up 3-2 on a pair of Rich Peverley goals and one from Nic Bergfors. Bryan McCabe shot from the left circle got through Ondrej Pavelec’s right side onto the line…maybe past the line.

A quick look at the play can be found towards the end of this highlight clip.

The referee behind the goal waived it of, blowing the whistle to stop the play. McCabe and the Florida bench waited for a video review from the NHL official’s in Toronto. However…and admittedly, surprisingly…no such review would be forthcoming.

Wednesday night's big players for the Thrashers Ondrej Pavelec and Rich Peveley congratulate each other after the 3-2 win in Florida. Peverley scored 2 goals on 8 shots while Pavelec stopped 33 of 35 Panthers shots. Or was it only 32? (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Wednesday night's big players for the Thrashers Ondrej Pavelec and Rich Peveley congratulate each other after the 3-2 win in Florida. Peverley scored 2 goals on 8 shots while Pavelec stopped 33 of 35 Panthers shots. Or was it only 32? (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Instead, play …

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Thrashers head to south Florida for a catfight

When the Atlanta Thrashers take to the ice tonight in Sunrise, Florida to play one of their division rivals, it will mark the seventh time in the last eight games that they’ve faced off against a team with a winning record…and ninth time in the last twelve.

Yes…we are talking about the Florida Panthers here.

The Panthers have begun 2011 by scratching out a pair of wins against the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes. They have won 2 straight, are 5-1-2 in their last 8 games and 8-3-2 in their last 13 games.

In doing so, they’ve moved their record to 18-17-2… which in the wide-wide wacky world of NHL hockey counts as a winning record since 38 overall points after 37 games played amounts to a .514 points winning percentage.

Seeing the Florida Panthers above .500 in the standings happens just about as often as a hard freeze in South Beach. It’s the first time all season that the Panthers, who are last in the Southeast Division and tenth in the Eastern Conference, …

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OT win in Montreal helps to highlight online MVP debate

Saturday morning I asked you to tell us who you thought the Thrashers MVP was for the first part of the season. After offering up Dustin Byfuglien as my choice, the debate was on. Some agreed with me…however, most opined that it was goalie Ondrej Pavelec who was the team’s top performer over the first 41 games.

The discussion so far has been lively, to say the least…both in the blogosphere and in the twitterverse. Shortly after posting the piece, Thrasher TV contributor and 680 The Fan’s John Kincade tweeted to me his feelings on the matter.

“Is that REALLY a question? Buff is great but OP is the MVP, without him they are not in a playoff position!”

Evander Kane manages to get the puck past Montreal goaltender Carey Price despite being knocked to the ice by Candiens defensemen (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

Evander Kane manages to get the puck past Montreal goaltender Carey Price despite being knocked to the ice by Candiens defensemen (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

As I stated earlier, there were many like Kincade who cast their vote for Opie. And those who posted comments in support of the netminder did so …

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