‘Embarrassing’ losses like the one to Islanders could leave Thrashers playoff hopes circling the drain

If the Atlanta Thrashers experience any more on-ice flops like last night’s 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders, any and all hopes for the postseason will go the way of too many other seasons…flushed right down the drain. Simply put, there just isn’t enough time left on the schedule to drop stink bombs like that, especially when conference bottom-feeders are in town.

But don’t just take my word for it. Take into consideration what goalie Ondrej Pavelec said after the latest debacle in Blueland.

“We have to realize a few more games like this and we’re done…we didn’t fight like we wanted to get in the playoffs”.

Yes…very true.

Whenever you find yourselves at this point in the season…clinging to the final playoff spot…with a team like the Islanders in town and the Carolina Hurricanes breathing down your neck…you simply cannot allow the two points to leave town with the visiting team without a fight or a struggle…or, heck, even as much as a sense of passing interest in the outcome.

Pavelec has been doing his best to keep his team in games. And as defenseman Zach Bogosian puts it, “If it wasn’t for Pav, it would probably be a lot worse”.

Spot on, Zach.

But then, who better to speak so glowingly of Opie then the players who has far-too-many times had a view of Opie’s heroics from the best vantage point in the house…about 3 feet away from his goal.

Thrasher goalie Ondrej Pavelec said his team, "we didn’t fight like we wanted to get in the playoffs" (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec voiced his feelings about his team's effort Tuesday night saying, "we didn’t fight like we wanted to get in the playoffs" (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

There are a few who could be called out on this team, but I’m going to use Bogosian here as just one example. To be brutally honest, he’s been nothing short of a disaster on the blueline for much of this season. Simply saying he looks “lost” out there is being kind.

To use New York’s final goal as an example… Michael Grabner simply moved untouched past the third overall pick in the 2008 draft and was allowed to make the type of pass over to Kyle Okposo that you’d expect to see during a practice drill. And it’s the kind of play we’ve seen too many times from #4.

Bogosian was on the ice for two Islanders even-strength goals, is a –9 in his last 11 games played and is a –14 in 42 games played this season.

No, he’s not 100% responsible for the current “Gloom, despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery” atmosphere that permeates through Thrasherville this morning…and I’m not quite ready to jump on the “Zach Bogosian Must Just So Go Soon” bandwagon. But given how lost he is out there, someone simply needs give him some direction.

Some directions, that is, straight to the press box.

Taking his minutes should be Arturs Kulda, IMHO…at least while Toby Enstrom is on the mend. Not that I think he’d be the magic silver bullet to cure this team of his ills, but I can’t imagine he’d be worse.

Speaking of Toby…his name came up in the Islanders locker room after the game. My good friend Red Light tells me that. Zenon Kenopka, their 4th line center, commented that its clear Enstrom is the glue that holds this Thrashers roster together. And having him out of the lineup with the injury just kills Atlanta.

Given the Thrashers have been outscored 11-3 in the three games Toby’s missed, Kenopka’s comments are clearly on the mark.

After the loss…one that was described as “embarrassing” by Nik Antropov…Chris Vivlamore reported a number of players held an impromptu meeting with coach Ramsay. They demanding certain players should be held accountable for their lack of effort. That’s all well and good of course…and there are several who should be called out. But it seems like we’ve been seeing that “A” word tossed about in the Thrashers locker for quite a while now, and with the possible exception of one Mr. Ben Eager, I don’t really recall any big-name player being held accountable for his actions…or in this case, his inactions out there on the ice.

I’ll close with this from head coach Craig Ramsay. “We lost so many battles in the offensive zone, and that allowed them to keep coming back up the ice. Our work ethic, our commitment, is lacking”.

Bingo.

However, coach Ramsay’s lament about his players “work ethic” has been coming about a frequently as former coach John Anderson”, “A bounce here, a bounce there”, excuses. There comes a time when the actions have to follow the words…a time when the “accounting” that is being demanded is followed up with…well…holding players “accountable”.

Unfortunately for Rammer, if everyone on this team that deserved to sit for a few games actually did, there’d be quite the long line at the press box buffet. But you have to start somewhere.

Like Pavelec said, there’s just not a lot of games remaining on the schedule left for this team to get this thing turned around. And if we see even just a few more heaping, steaming pile of FAIL dumped on the ice…then the giant flushing sound you hear coming from Philips Arena will be the playoff hopes circling the drain.

By: Bill Tiller – AJC.com Thrashers Fan Blog

179 comments Add your comment

Tom Lysiak

February 2nd, 2011
10:31 am

Anyone seen any mock drafts yet? What have we got to choose from????

glovesave29

February 2nd, 2011
10:32 am

JF – see? Even the opponents agree…Toby is the key to this team. And to say that his departure from the line up does not negatively affect this teams ability to break out of their own zone is just wrong.

Alan R.

February 2nd, 2011
10:34 am

Actually, that “flushing” sound was all the sand on the southside being washed down the drain with the heavy rain last night. :P

I’m still hopeful for playoffs, but we need to seriously buckle down and let the K.I.S.S. rule apply.

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
10:47 am

Pretty much wasted the bonus two points we got off Washington. Better play better against Calgary or we’re headed for the 9th slot again.

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
10:48 am

It will be interesting to see who Rammer sits Thursday though.

Fan from Carolina

February 2nd, 2011
10:52 am

I’m starting to realize that the ownership situation is causing this funk. I thought it was an excuse when I heard players like Lecavalier not performing well the past few years in Tampa Bay because of the ownership issues there, but now I hear the same thing from the good players in Buffalo after the team was sold yesterday. Maybe there is something to it, especially if Buffalo charges back into the hunt. We all know what happened in Tampa this off-season with ownership, Stevie Y and a new coach. I guess the ownership problems show up on the ice. I always downplayed it and I’m obviously wrong.

waffleboy

February 2nd, 2011
10:54 am

Opponenets have figured out our breakout play and we’re not adapting. Everyone is running Tampa’s 1-3-1 trap against us and it’s effective. Rammer needs to make some adjustments fast or this team is done.

Ugh

February 2nd, 2011
10:54 am

Yea… That game was hard to watch…

Matt from MN

February 2nd, 2011
10:59 am

Thrasher hockey has become an abomination and an unwatchable product. It’s the same thing year after year after year. Decent start to season and then the inevitable Dec/Jan swan-dive off the cliff into Lottery Land.

World Be Free

February 2nd, 2011
11:01 am

The biggest problem with this team right is is its predicatbility on the ice.
We play with the puck in our end the same way (turnovers).
We haplesssly come out of our zone the same way.
We take shots from bad angles the same way.
We toss the puck down the middle of the offensive zone.

You can predict what the Atlanta Thrashers are going to do every game. NOTHING WILL GET BETTER until this changes and this falls on the coaching staff. Several of the players have fallen into the rut created by a bad plan and that’s not necessairly all the players fault. If “it” doesn’t work, the coaching staff has to fix it. Bring in new players to this team and they will start doing the same things over time.

We need a forecheck-opposing teams parade out of their zone unopposed with the exceoption of Thorburn. Thorny never stops working.

Tom

February 2nd, 2011
11:03 am

You know what, if Rammer is not skating these boys into the ground in practice today, then he is responsible.

These guys are acting like primadonnas and it is the coaches that need to wake them up. They are getting the chance to play in the friggin NHL. They have private jets taking them around the country. They make yearly salaries which dwarf the lifetime earnings for many workers.

Yet they can sit around a locker room bitching about accountability.

I steered my boys into hockey because I respect the work ethic of the players at all levels. The example set by professional hockey players dwarfs that of most major sports.

But the attitude we are seeing these days by a team on the cusp of the playoffs is down right NBA-ish! The feeling that all they have to do is show up and that is good enough to earn a paycheck goes against everything I hope to instill in my boys.

I coach youth hockey and I promise you that if my team showed the effort I saw last night I would play with only the players who wanted to work hard. If that meant playing with 3 kids on the ice and the rest watched them as we lost 20-0, so be it.

You win in hockey with 3 things – Teamwork, Hustle, and Fixing Your Mistakes.

The joy of the game is that it is that simple.

The Thrashers have forgotten this lesson…

truehockeyfan

February 2nd, 2011
11:15 am

this team is as soft as they get. I think Antropov has no heart at all in his game, as most russians dont. Bogosian is by far the biggest bust of the year. and big buff, come on now, is he maybe the softest player on the team? again failure is looking this team squarely in the eye. some of these players should be so lucky to be playing in the NHL. NO HONOR LOST is what the NHL stands for with this group. How ptitful. Hey ramsay , how about getting mad sometime and show some emotion!!!!!!

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
11:16 am

@Tom: in cases like this, usually there is a split: people who are busting their hump, and people who are not, and everyone inside the locker room knows it. It’s good for the team to call each other out to a certain degree because that’s how they come together as a team — if Rammer steps into a situation like this, all he does is increase the divide.

The ownership situation has certainly created a funk in some of these players. At the start of the year nobody had their s**t together, which isn’t unusual with 50% roster rollover. After Ladd was named Captain, they went on a tear until they finally started to wear down and get tired before the All-Star break. But now we’re actively seeing the problem with having ownership that clearly doesn’t give a rat’s ass about hockey and is willing to publicize it: the players know that the franchise won’t be competitive until the ownership changes, and nobody wants to play for that franchise _because_ you get stuck burning up your young (or remaining) years with no chance of winning a Cup. And if you’re careless as a player, you become Rick DiPietro, stuck on a team with an indifferent Wang of an owner, with a contract that ensures he can’t be moved.

Joe McGrath

February 2nd, 2011
11:21 am

I’m so tired of the A word. It’s not about individuals’s lack of acountability, Rammer and Torch, but the entire team’s lack of character. Sit all the boys in a room and run video of Shawn Thornton action for a couple of hours, then maybe they’d get it. ZB is a sheep who needs to spend the rest of the year in Wolves clothing. Oh yeah, anybody seen what the Flames are up to? Be afraid…very afraid.

ZAvalanche

February 2nd, 2011
11:22 am

Toby is the glue. He has been missed very much. Had the opportunity to watch the game last night at a bar as my game was “snowed” out. Not a good showing by Thrashy. What the heck happened to this team? Every team in the league goes through injuries but this is a disaster in the making. The captain needs to step it up in the locker room. Pathetic how good this team can be but how poor they are playing. OP is right on with his comments – a few more like this and it is all over but the crying.

simpleminded

February 2nd, 2011
11:22 am

Sorry I didn’t get down to see you and Trixie in your section after the 2nd period, I left before the “official” end of the period. I just couldn’t stomach it anymore after Bergfors made his cross-ice pass to the lounge lizards on the club side.

I’m pointing a finger at Rich “I feel like Sidney tonight” Peverley and his horrible stick handling and passing of pucks to the other team time and again. His stellar minus 16 rating is telling of his lack of drive to play along the boards or anywhere in the defensive zone for that matter.

Earlier in the season, Ramsay had an epiphany and FINALLY separated Ladd and Peverley and it worked. Why in the name of Andy Sutton did he put them back together? Together they are a seive.

Johnny “O-Noes, I lost it again” Oduya should have been sent to Phoenix along with an owner of their choice for Woltek Wolski last month when the Rangers got him for Roszival.

Even when Buff takes it on his shoulders to create puck possession in the offensive end, no one goes to a shooting position in the slot for a pass.

It’s time to play Thorburn as the 2nd line center and Little on the first line for any intensity at all out of this crew. How sad that we have to relive 2005-2010 AGAIN.

LAC

February 2nd, 2011
11:27 am

This team DOES NOT FORECHECK, Period. Every time we had the puck in our zone behind the net TWO NYI players were right there at the front of the net. Several times we could not even get out of the defensive zone.

Little zach has resorted to the same old crap of playing LOST. He is TOAST as far as I am concerned, another WASTED draft pick. I wish we drafted Cam Fowler last year at the draft, where has #8 gone ? Cormier is looking more and more to be another bust. He does NOTHING on the ice, Nothing. He Never shoots the puck and seldom if at all is involved in one serious rush up ice the entire game.

But do the NYI announcers know something we DON’T ? Is the team sold behind our backs and moving after the Pittsburgh game ? If Gary Bettman giving up here, while he fights to keep Phoenix,
Dallas, Buffalo ???????????????? Why does the NHL step in NOW ??? It is very very clear this team is failing because of the OWNERS, Wnot so much the team. But…. This same type play happens EVERY Single season, barnone, after the first of the year we go BUST !

Last Night was a complete DISGRACE, absolute, dudley does nothing except play the same players, when it is so crystal clear several people need to GO !

Good-Bye zach, don’t let the door hit you on the way out ! You should use that pea size brain, but you don’t.

Hoof Arted

February 2nd, 2011
11:29 am

The only good thing about last night’s game is swinging down to meet Trixie in between periods. Oh my!

As for the game, a total stink-burger with cheese.

The coach can skate these guys hard all day long but in the end it comes down to “want to”. And too many of the players just don’t have it. The blogMaster calls out Bogosain as he should but I would add Modin to that list too.

Is it just me or should Bermie have a seat as well? Not because he’s not hustling but it seems the 82 game NHL grind seems to be catching up with him.

Sage of Bluesland

February 2nd, 2011
11:35 am

Don’t worry, folks—we’re still early into that third “Five Year Plan” (initially espoused by the still-employed Don Waddell).

Little Toby the “glue”?!…Well, if he is the “glue”, then no-one should wonder at all why we are what we are….

It’s too bad the season consists of more than a couple of early months in the season…If it were, this abomination of a franchise would have made the playoffs more than once….and maybe even won a playoff game during that time?

It’s too bad some sheep still keep repeating the same mistake over and over again…and over…and over…and over….Will you ever learn?

Stop the embarrassment, please. Stop the funds entirely to the ownership. It IS what they deserve.

Smoothie

February 2nd, 2011
11:43 am

How in the world are you supposed to come back from 2 goals down if you don’t ramp up the pressure in the 3rd?? Very seldom did anyone, I mean anyone on the ice not named Kane or Thorburn, commit to getting the puck deep and keeping it there. And as soon as we lose possession, we have a third forward who is floating backwards towards the blueline and no D-man pinching to keep pressure on the Isles’ D coming out of their zone. How is that supposed to produce a comeback??

And when will the coaching staff tell these damn D-men to get their asses back inside the def zone so that they don’t get exploited by standing still at the blueline? If you’re not going to step up and hit someone or attempt to stop the puck, what is the point of getting anywhere near the defensive blueline as the puck comes back through the neutral zone? I really don’t understand what we’re doing 3/4 of the time anymore.

And yes, twas very nice meeting “Trixie” last nite. Did you notice Bill, you and your secretary were on the TV during the 2nd intermission last nite?

jwizzle

February 2nd, 2011
11:50 am

Where the hell were the Thrashers’ heads at last night? I was just sitting there in section 117 wondering if any one was going to take advantage of their shots…ever. Why weren’t they shooting or even making solid passes? SO MANY turn-overs. Zero energy for the team as a whole. I don’t think even Boultsy could have woken them from their comas with one of his fights.

Though I would like to say I did see some zip out of Kane. He and Opie were the ones worth watching last night.

On a different note…I think management should try the last month (or two month) push in the media like they did last year. Get the players back out in public, on the radio and create some buzz again. That whole gas station, radio plug thing really did work and got people talking. Let’s fill some more seats!

Opie continues to pull his weight and create great saves when he’s got little to work with. It really could have been worse than four goals.

Rawhide, nice to see you last night and hope to bump into you on the 13th w/the tix and jersey promo (thanks for that)!

drajax

February 2nd, 2011
11:50 am

How many times have we sat thru games like this when everyone in the joint knows it’s a half hearted effort? How could this team be so flat anytime there is a lesser opponent we must beat? At some point I expect and want the coaching (and owners) to get in the players faces and speak for us and tell them they are playing their way out of here. I don’t get any uncomfortableness coming from behind the Thrashers bench or from on the bench for that matter. It’s been obvious for the last month other teams have figured out how to play us, and the past week should have been used to counter this. It either didn’t take or maybe there was no game planning. Either way I’m disgusted and don’t have any problem blaming the coaching.

Mooseberg

February 2nd, 2011
11:54 am

Words are words and they are not helping on ice. This team has forgotten how to pass a puck, all they do is chip it forward, no attempt to even pass to a teammate. The style of play is AHL at best, I don’t think I top 6 forward fixes the issue. You get what you pay for and we are one of the lowest payrolls in the league which equates to one of the poorest skilled teams. Thrash are playing dump and chase but get beaten to the puck every time, they are so scared in the defensive zone they try to dump and chase from there….3 strait icing calls last night show a team with no skill or confidence in one another.

Dwayne

February 2nd, 2011
11:56 am

Georgia Bulldogs are signing a top class.

Eileen

February 2nd, 2011
12:10 pm

I soon as I saw the size of the crowd, I predicted what was going to happen on the ice. Yeah it is not easy to be motivated by so few in the stands, but how sad that a playoff spot isn’t motivation enough. Bryan Little needs to be added to the “few” who work hard all night. Toby is the glue that helped put Buff in the all star game. He said as much on the red carpet. Kudos to the Islanders. They played hard the most of the game. Perhaps the Thrashers could take a lesson from them. It is a sad state of affairs when you have players running to the coach calling out others who aren’t working hard.
Rawhide, I saw you at the game sitting next to a very attractive lady. Glad to know it was Trixie!

World Be Free

February 2nd, 2011
12:14 pm

Looks like everyone in the room is in a good mood today.

LAC-there hasn’t bee a forecheck for the last 6 weeks. It started in the St. Louis game and hasn’t been fixed ever since.

HIT SOMEBODY!

Short Timer

February 2nd, 2011
12:14 pm

Watching a game like last night is going to make it really easy to trade in the blue and yellow for the black and red of Carolina. Onward to Raleigh baby, this is the one Atlanta franchise that I won’t be missing.

Joe Friday

February 2nd, 2011
12:28 pm

“JF – see? Even the opponents agree…Toby is the key to this team. And to say that his departure from the line up does not negatively affect this teams ability to break out of their own zone is just wrong.”

You got to be kidding me. Okay, Einstein, riddle me this: Was Enstrom out for the past 11 games that Tampa Bay has beat us in a row?

Of course not, he did miss the last one they had their way with us, but he’s been there for all of the 10 previous games they had their way with us when we couldn’t break out against their trap.

It’s the system. Every single team that plays that system against us, dominates us. And until coach figures out how to break it, they’ll continue to dominate us as that system has for years, even when the glue comes back.

ASG

February 2nd, 2011
12:29 pm

We make so much money off of all the events we hold at Philips Arena that we don’t care about the Thrashers or Hawks too much. Especially not the Thrashers – we got them basically for free when we bought in. Philips was the 4th busiest venue in the US last year and the 13th busiest in the world. $$$$ that we keep to ourselves and do not spend on the Thrashers.

ATLSportsNation!!!

February 2nd, 2011
12:30 pm

If you’re an Atlanta/Georgia Sports fan and want to talk with other fans, check out our NEW message board.

http://www.atlsportsnation.com/forum

We have team forums for the Falcons, Bulldogs, Hawks, Braves, Yellow Jackets, Thrashers, etc. Please register and post! Be apart of a huge site in the early days of existence. See ya there!!!

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
12:30 pm

JF: Tampa has twice the talent we do, which is a large reason why they have beaten us 10 games in a row.

Joe Friday

February 2nd, 2011
12:43 pm

“Tampa has twice the talent we do, which is a large reason why they have beaten us 10 games in a row.”

It’s 11 games in a row and Tampa finished below us last year and turned over their roster this past summer. We always get dominated by forechecking teams who rely on the neutral zone trap to create offense going the other way (remember that Boston game that was 4-0 in our house when we thought we were getting back into the playoff hunt last spring?).

Remember not being able to get the puck out against Florida earlier this year? They’ve given us fits as well except for that miraculous last minute comeback against them with 2 goals potted with our goalie pulled.

There’s a common theme here and it’s not spelled T.O.B.Y, it’s spelled S.Y.S.T.E.M.

World Be Free

February 2nd, 2011
12:43 pm

We all need to ignore The Weasel. Don’t feed The Weasel.

Joe Friday

February 2nd, 2011
12:44 pm

Trixie, clean up in aisle 69 . . .

Stan Drulia

February 2nd, 2011
12:48 pm

I was at the game last night. I have seen the Thrashers play a great deal of bad games over the last 10 years…. for some reason this one was really hard to swallow. There seems to be an impending sense of doom not just in the stands but on the ice. The ownership has proven so bad that now it is just impossible to ignore them. I love the Thrashers and will support them til the bitter end… but right now I am totally afraid that it may closer than we think. If Duds doesn’t move a couple of players and get some talent here NOW… like in the NEXT TWO WEEKS… our playoff hopes are all over.

I vote that if anything happens to our team and for some reason we no longer have them… Sage is held responsible by all on this blog. You are the biggest downer – every day without fail – unless we win a game that is… and I am totally tired of your repeating the same thing over and over again. F you Sage. Go crawl back under the rock you came out from under.

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
12:49 pm

He’s an auditor. It’s his job to try to make people miserable.

R. Stroz

February 2nd, 2011
12:59 pm

For those of you who wondered why Lehtonen had a drinking issue while he played for the Thrashers, you need look no further than Pavelec’s comments after the game.

Lets hope Pavelec can handle the situation better than Kari did.

One-time Auditor

February 2nd, 2011
12:59 pm

Auditors generally offer up viable solutions after assessing the issues of an operation. At least the internal kind. Then again, outside auditors are generally just looking for anything they can find and excuses to jack up their fees for the time it takes to find them.

Sage of Bluesland

February 2nd, 2011
1:06 pm

…A wise fraud-auditor once told me long ago: We’re not happy until you’re not happy.

Stan’s reaction is hilarious, really. If anything, I’ve TRIED to save yourselves from embarrassment–countless times, too. I see that I’ve failed–in that regard. Rather, you have failed to see the obvious. Don’t blame the messenger….even if it interferes with your dweams.

But, it DOES make me laugh….(i.e. I’m ‘happy’ in that)…It also makes me laugh to see that some blunt tools believe I am somehow ‘responsible’ for pitiful ownership and countless unwise decisions made by pathetic management since day-one of this abomination of a franchise.

OK. That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Don’t worry, though, the Crusade will continue…

Hockey Biltong

February 2nd, 2011
1:08 pm

Stuart Smalley

February 2nd, 2011
1:08 pm

Now now, you swell fellas need to stop letting one person effect your outlook so much. Man up, Sallys, and get some conviction in your beliefs, how can you let one person you don’t even know effect you so deeply? Now look in your mirror and repeat after me:

I deserve good things. I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with. My hockey team isn’t moving. Things will be swell again when Toby gets back.

BG33Brown

February 2nd, 2011
1:09 pm

If we are talking about accountability where is the captain? Where are his quotes?

Since before the season I thought Ladd should be the captain of this team HOWEVER, I think he has become part of the problem. I know he has been fighting some injuries BUT he is one of those guys not doing the right thing. He fails to get pucks deep, he “eager’s” the puck out of our end.

Overall, if we are going to get out of this. He is the one who has to pull us out.

Hockey Biltong

February 2nd, 2011
1:09 pm

Cliff Fletcher

February 2nd, 2011
1:10 pm

Sage only comes out after a loss, any loss, he never responds after a win. So I guess we really don’t have to go too much farther in defining his character or lack thereof. HE’s a friggin’ bean counter probably never played a DAY of sports in his life.

Get a life and real job Sage cuz you are a loser.

LAC

February 2nd, 2011
1:13 pm

I agree 110% WBF, it ALL started with the St.Louis home game. The team has sputtered ever since. It seems, we play a standard type game and never deviates from it and the other teams know how to play against it. But last night was AWFUL !

LAC

February 2nd, 2011
1:15 pm

Stupid comments by cliff fletcher, NOT THE REAL ONE for sure, he would see the problem and fix it
and NOT by petty little name calling, The Real Cliff is a WINNER, the blogger cliff is a STUPID IDIOT !!!

Black Kettle

February 2nd, 2011
1:50 pm

Did the pot just call me??

Kovy's Agent

February 2nd, 2011
1:54 pm

Country Club. That’s what this franchise is, a country club. It’s where washed-up vets go to collect an NHL paycheck for another year or two without having any real expectations placed on them nor any need to try too hard. It’s where young, talented draft picks bide their time until they can get the hell out and it’s were the unlucky vet, in the prime of his career, gets traded and quickly realizes he can go through the motions without any real accountability until he too can get the hell out. It’s what long-suffering fans have watched year-after-year-after-year. Nothing ever much changes on the ice except for the names and the numbers.

Red Light

February 2nd, 2011
1:54 pm

Kudos to Joe McGrath for this comment…

“ZB is a sheep who needs to spend the rest of the year in Wolves clothing.”

Red Light

February 2nd, 2011
1:56 pm

And yet, Kovy’s agent, you correctly described last night’s opponent as well.

Cornbread

February 2nd, 2011
2:05 pm

That’s what bad hockey looks like folks. The January SO losses and even games against Philly and Dallas – Hell even the 9-3 TOR loss – were not bad hockey. Last night was unacceptable.

There are far too many to blame than singling out any one player. But, Bogosian’s mistake was horrible and he telegraphed what he was wrongly going to do as soon as he crossed the blue-line. Young D-men learn 2 on 1’s early on and why the number 3 draft pick in his 3rd NHL season made such a rookie mistake is mind boggling. Still, that there was not a forward in position to cover for a flailing Hainsey is just as egregious. But, at that point it hardly mattered.

Kane Little Stewart were the only line to show any life. Even still, Kane turned it over in his own end more than anyone – rust. That they, the one line to rarely create a cycle, were the only line to regularly do so is telling. Peverly has been a big question mark since mid-December. 1 goal, -5, and 6 shots in his last 5. He and Ladd need to be split. Bergfors was held accountable like he should have been but has once again reverted back to the soft Sweede. Ladd, where are you? Cormier and Burmistrov – invisible. Big Buff thought he was still at the All-Star game and was going to be allowed to waltz in all by himself uncontested.

The forwards that actually played decent in their limited roles were Stapleton, Thorburn, and yes, Modin. The only D-man – Meyer, who at least tried to implement the Thrashers’ system of engagement.

Tobias Enstrom is one of the best D-men in the game. He’s out for only a couple of more weeks. You have a light schedule. Suck it up and play harder than those below you.

I’m still optimistic about this team because I’ve seen how well they can play even in losing. It is February though. They can not afford to have bad games against teams like the Islanders. The bright spot is that they have 10 more chances this month to make up for it. Another game or two like that this month and you’ll see the SOB in me.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

February 2nd, 2011
2:06 pm

Mr. Joe Friday – Your 12:43 pm post has been freed from Blog Purgatory.

It was nice to meet so many of you all last night…especially that hunky Mr. Smoothie :wink: . Thrash was a perfect little birdie, too. I hope to get back to another game soon, but Mr. Rawhide says I can’t go again because of how the game turn out with me in attendance. :cry:

He thinks I distracted the players

BMF

February 2nd, 2011
2:07 pm

We could not even bring the puck up the ice last night. We have the whole team circling around our own net, trying to set up some cute passes just to bring the puck out of our zone and into the neutral zone, the Isles wingers basically just stood there and stick-checked us. Like they were toying with us. We couldn’t even skate out of our own zone. Pathetic. We couldn’t even change lines very well, seems like every time we did were were all the sudden on the wrong end of an odd-man rush. And did we hit anybody, I mean, anybody at all? This team is so soft. Guys I think are playing ok: Kane/Little/Pavs/Thorburn. Guys who are just going through the motions: Peverley/Ladd/Antropov/Oduya/Modin/Bergfors/Stewart/Cormier. Guys who are flat out killing the team with their play lately: Bogosian/Buff/Sopel/Burmy. Last night’s game was atrocious. Why was Boulton scratched again? Can Boulton play defense? At least he might scare some other people off the puck as a D-man, because the likes of Sopel and Hainsey and Meyer don’t scare anybody. We’re not going to out-skill anybody on the ice, so we need to start out-working and out-hitting every team we play.

Matt

February 2nd, 2011
2:17 pm

Bogosian… dude came into the league at 18. I think he should have spent a few years in the AHL honing his skills and getting lots of ice time. Of course, our team lacks any kind of veteran depth…

Kane… I like his game, but he also came into the league as a teen, as well as Burmistrov.

We’ve got three key players on this team that aren’t old enough to buy a beer (or at least, in the vicinity).

Not every 18 year is Sid Crosby… these kids need time to develop their game and take on responsibility.

This team needs to veterans. It’s too young. We made the playoffs with one of the oldest rosters in the league a few years back. Fortunately as a team, we got much younger, but now I look through the program and can’t help but think we’re TOO young now.

We’ve got a large stockpile of young talent in our organization. I think it’s time we stated looking into deals for proven veterans with something left in the tank (think Slava Kozlov when he first got here). We need to balance out all these young guys on the teams with some deep leadership.

When your best forwards are Andrew Ladd, a couple teens and a waiver claim (Rich Peverley), your offense needs help. Look, I think Pevereley and Ladd are terrific additions to this team and I want them to continue playing in Blueland most definitely, but they’re hardly the type of offensive talents that opponents spend a little extra time planning for.

As always (it seems), this team has no identity.

World Be Free

February 2nd, 2011
2:22 pm

So I am throwing the responsbility back on the coaching staff to fix this mess. That’s their job-this group has already proven it can win, somehow just gotta get back to where they were. If that is possible.

No rumors out there on a possible Trhashers’ deal, so for now we go with what we have. If we can stomach that.

Smoothie

February 2nd, 2011
2:27 pm

Perhaps a couple of our hard-working lads such as Kane, Lits, Stewy, Thorbs etc went to Ramsay to complain about Ladd? He’s certainly not playing well, but he’s hardly demonstrating any leadership on the ice. Does he ever talk to somebody else about what they did wrong? Hell, he has about half a dozen chances every game to advise Peverley to stop floating stupid lazy cross-ice passes or deferring looks from the slot in favor of taking it wide.

Our alternates are both from Chicago now with Toby on the shelf and none of them are leading by example nor chirping it up on the ice. Buff looks completely demoralized as soon as his first shot is stopped and he and Oduya don’t seem to have a lot of comfort with one another. Are the youngest players now looking to Ramsay to call out the leadership core that is not leading nor producing?

Why are Peverley, Bergy and now Ladd exempt from forechecking? At least Stapleton, Cormier and Thorburn try to cycle the puck, they’re just not extremely efficient yet, but they generated chances early in the first period. The effort is there on the bottom lines where the talent is minimal and the talented players are stuck in ruts or the supposed leaders aren’t really doing anything to rally the troops.

Antropov is working harder and trying his best but his lumbering frame can only do so much without any talented / experienced linemates. You can’t have Modin on the same line with Nik nor can he be saddled with two grinders like Thorbs and Boults or Cormer. Good to see Rammer move Antro to C on the 2nd line to actually play with some skilled players.

Eventually, Pevs will get his act together and go back to the 2nd line. I think it might be a good idea to let him play RW and tell him to shoot the puck and drive the net rather than try to create like a 1st line C which he certainly isn’t. I think eventually a 2nd line of Kaner-Antro-Pevs might be pretty good if Kaner doesn’t fall prey to thinking he’s good at anything besides shooting, chasing, cycling and battling along the boards.

VOLinATL

February 2nd, 2011
2:29 pm

Was working late, so didn’t see it, but Dan Kamal was pretty hard on the team when I was listening to the game in the 3rd period while driving home. Will be there tomorrow night, but if they put on another lousy no-effort game, that will likley be it for me for the season. Life is too short to keep banging your head against the same was season after season. I would rather them move than stink year after year.

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
2:29 pm

Tampa has a GM and ownership who are willing to spend the bucks to turn over the roster and get: you guessed it, TALENT on the roster. And Tampa had more talent than we do even last year. Let me recite some names:

Lecavalier
St. Louis
Stamkos

Those three alone mean we’re outskilled by Tampa every night we play them. Go down the roster and tell me you wouldn’t rather have half of Tampa’s guys than our dead slots we’re trying to make work. So go ahead and whine about the system, you fair-weather fan, you, but the reality is that we don’t have the personnel to win even half the time against a team of that caliber. Unless you think Byfuglien is as good as any of those three, that is — and he’s our best player.

Matt

February 2nd, 2011
2:31 pm

I hate to say it, but we could really use an Ilya Kovalchuk right about now…

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
2:34 pm

Someone with his level of skill who isn’t him? Yes, that would be quite helpful at the moment… but if you’re thinking Kovalchuk himself, I am still inclined to say that we’re much better off having made that trade and got rid of him.

Sage of Bluesland

February 2nd, 2011
2:35 pm

“…We’ve got a large stockpile of young talent in our organization….”

We do?! Stop me where we’ve heard this tripe before….You know, the “Five-Year Plan” and the “Legends of Blueland” and all…

It’s funny–but after 10 years of “stockpiling” talent, the draft has generally produced squat for this franchise. The feeder-system is a joke–and always has been (the ’sharing’ of Chicago AHL).

The scouting/drafting has been a joke–always has been.

The talent “development” has been a joke–always has been.

The point of our franchise ‘rushing’ a teen into the lineup when they are completely not ready–but just for “other” reasons (which vary)–is a wonderful point not to be underestimated.

We truly are what we are–the worst-run professional organization I’ve ever seen. What a sad joke. What an abomination.

Blame what you will–and likely everything deserves scrutiny: coaches, players, owners, management…Unfortunately, there are NO easy fixes. No coach in the world could make this talent-barren squad above mere mediocrity.

Of course, it ALL starts at the top. This is why we fail. This is why we have always failed.

This is precisely why you should stop putting your money in their undeserving pocket. This is the ONLY answer to get the league to step in and put a stop to this utter embarrassment.

Matt

February 2nd, 2011
2:36 pm

my in-laws live in south Florida… driving down 75S there are plenty of TB Lightning billboards… their catchphrase is “All In” (you know, like in poker) for this season with images of the likes of Stamkos, St. Louis, Lecavalier on different billboards…

our slogan? “a brutally good time”

while talking about team slogans seems silly, to me it shows a large difference between the two franchises.

One is saying, “we’re doing everything we can to bring you guys a(nother) winner.”

The other says, “come to a hockey game, you might get to see a fight, doesn’t that sound like fun?”

Matt

February 2nd, 2011
2:40 pm

@Sage

I’m saying it’s time to part with that “stockpile of talent” (I agree with your draft comments wholeheartedly) and deal them for veterans with experience. I’d rather have a very talented player in the twilight of his career for a few years that can really contribute consistently before he retires than a bunch of career third line forwards.

Some of our recent first round (usually high) picks… Little, Bogosian, Kane, Burmistrov

All of those guys could be decent pieces, but not a gamebreaker in the bunch. And the guys waiting in the wings in Chicago? They’re all expendable to me. I think it’s time to start packaging these young guys and draft picks because nothing has panned out all that impressively to me at all.

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
2:41 pm

“This is precisely why you should stop putting your money in their undeserving pocket. This is the ONLY answer to get the league to step in and put a stop to this utter embarrassment.”

Wrong. That action is precisely how to get the Thrashers to be sold to someone who will move them to Winnipeg.

Stop pushing your petty revenge fantasies; you act like the owners came and pissed in your cornflakes one morning, when the truth is that they don’t even know you exist. Start working towards how to get new owners who’ll keep the team here — otherwise you’re a second-rate hockey fan who should just relocate yourself.

Joe Friday

February 2nd, 2011
2:41 pm

Pray tell, moriler, what names on the Isles roster are the ones that are more skilled than our guys? What names on the Panthers’ roster are more skilled than our guys?

S.Y.S.T.E.M.

Matt

February 2nd, 2011
2:41 pm

@Sage (one more thing) I 100% agree with you.

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
2:41 pm

Matt: Propose a trade that other teams won’t laugh at, then?

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
2:42 pm

JF: Was I talking about the Islanders or Panthers? No. Of course, we haven’t lost 11 in a row to them either — probably because we’ve got enough talent to beat them. Know your role and shut your hole.

Matt

February 2nd, 2011
2:48 pm

@Moriler, that’s the idea… I guess.

Since we can’t draft for spit anyway, I see no real reason to keep our first round pick this year.

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
2:52 pm

@Matt: Well? Name names. Who’s available for who we’re willing to give up?

I personally think including the first round pick is a rotten idea, because the odds of someone panning out from any later-round picks are so low — and we took Burmistrov last year, don’t forget, and that looks like a pretty solid choice. He’s having some rookie moments, but he’s certainly got the skills and confidence as long as we don’t screw up his mind.

See, here’s the thing though, all those second-raters in Chicago? Other teams know they’re second rate too — you don’t think scouts only come to the NHL games, do you? So what can we get for the second-raters?

Matt

February 2nd, 2011
2:56 pm

Moriler… yes AN Ilya Kovalchuk (i.e. explosive forward), not THE Ilya Kovalchuk (the one that already had one foot out the door for the last three years.)

Matt

February 2nd, 2011
3:01 pm

obviously, we’re not getting a player of Kovy’s skill level with our dregs in Chicago.

Bryan Little and Niclas Bergfors both come to mind as guys that we could part with. I wouldn’t mind parting with Bogosian either (and I think he could fetch a decent ransom). We’ve got four “offensive” defensemen in Enstrom, Byfuglien, Hainsey and Bogosian. I think Hainsey brings effort and a veteran presence. Obviously, Toby and Buff are off the table.

The whole roster is a mess and I’m not an NHL GM. However, I think that SOMETHING needs to be shaken up on this roster significantly. My biggest thing is that we’re too darn young and we need to do something with these players.

What about landing a guy like Jason Arnott? Think that’s a possibility? Eh, probably not…

jimbo

February 2nd, 2011
3:03 pm

ramsey is the problem. He has no motivational ability. Watch him at the games- zero emotion. Listen to his words and comments- He sounds like a clinical psychologist. How in the world can a team needing a win come out of a long break and be completely listless. BECAUSE RAMROD AIN’T A RAMROD.

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
3:07 pm

Bergfors and Bogosian make appealing targets for trades — Little will prove valuable in the future, so I’d prefer to keep him. The problem is, now what can you get for Bergie/Bogo, since teams know what they’re getting out of those two (a malcontent and a messed-up kid who needs time to rework his mind)?

Which is really the whole point of challenging people to name names rather than just say “Something needs to be done”. Too many teams are still in playoff contention right now so there aren’t any bones to vulture over — and getting a rental is a really bad idea. So that means we need to look for a team who’s out of the playoffs, with a solid veteran who won’t be a UFA ’til at least the end of next season, who can help our young guys learn, AND who’s willing to move that veteran for a couple questionable kids.

My list of “available” names looks really short about now, but I’m open to suggestions. Someone else mentioned above, however, that there isn’t _any_ movement going on right now, and that’s almost certainly for the same reasons — too many teams still in contention, and the teams out of contention don’t have anyone anybody wants that they’re willing to get rid of.

Red Light

February 2nd, 2011
3:18 pm

If there is indeed a stockpile of talent in the organization, then why in heaven’s name would you rely upon under 21 players? If Cormier, Burmistrov, Kane and Bogosian are getting key minutes at the NHL level, then that should signify to all that the organization has diddley-squat in Chicago. If Stapleton, Modin and Meyer are on the extended 23-man roster, that also is a tell-tale sign of just exactly what you’re dealing with. The mid-November to mid-December stretch proved this team could play for a 16-game stretch, but it also has proven that it cannot play for an 82-game season.

The system isn’t broken but seriously challenged by the following…simple rhetorical questions:

On how many rosters would both of your top pair of defensemen be leading their team in points?
On how many NHL rosters would Bogosian be getting No. 4 minutes?
On how many NHL rosters would Stewart be a No. 2 winger?
On how many NHL rosters would Peverley be the No. 1 center?
On how many NHL rosters would Ladd be a No. 1 winger?

There are bonafide NHL players here, playing in the correct role:
Hainsey and Sopel (No. 5 and No. 6 d-men)
Oduya as a No. 3.
Buff and Enstrom as the top pair
Thorburn as a checking line winger
Boulton as a fourth line winger
Pavelec as a No. 1 goalie
Little as a second line winger or center
Kane as a second line winger (when healthy)
Mason as a No. 2 goalie (when healthy)

Outside of those 11 players, all others are playing an unfamiliar role in relation to either their talent and/or experience.

In my opinion, and I am guessing a few others here (Sage leaps to mind), this team is three or four NHL players short of a full load.

Joe Friday

February 2nd, 2011
3:22 pm

“Was I talking about the Islanders or Panthers?”

No, but I was and that’s my point, I’m not talking about a team, I’m talking about the S.Y.S.T.E.M. that confounds us. Try to keep up, it’s not that hard.

Coach’s inexperience as a head coach is beginning to show. When’s the last time you saw him make an in game change of the system we’re playing (something commonly done in the NHL, including by the Isle as soon as they got the lead last night).

Pot

February 2nd, 2011
3:25 pm

Yeah, Kettle, that was me.

World Be Free

February 2nd, 2011
3:32 pm

Red Light-comes from years of poor drafting, no development in Chicago and the inability to attract quality UFA on July 1. I swore I won’t talk about Stewart anymore so I have to bite my tongue and not talk about “Tony”.

alex

February 2nd, 2011
3:35 pm

we going nowhere with this owners. i stated this from 2005 up and will continue until they gone with poor Mr don. ladd and buff. looking dis-interesting now because of ownership situation, i am sure positive they they going to sign long lucrative contracts but not in Atlanta bog. is a bust and he is also can’t wait until get ufa status to be free from exile in the “capital of the south”. ram. is brilliant man but what he can do with 41 mil. cap hit talent, and i am afraid he finally given up. so again where the end of tunnel. why every NHL city have no problem to sell team, only Atlanta has. nobody stepping up to buy from this terrible owners. with them in power not make any sense even to analyse the team performance.

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
3:36 pm

JF: It must be heavy to keep moving those goalposts. Your 12:28, which I responded to, mentioned Tampa, and not the Isles or Panthers. Which is why I responded talking about Tampa, and not the Isles or Panthers.

If you think any “system” was behind last night’s loss, you need to learn about E.F.F.O.R.T and what happens when half a team doesn’t put any out.

Matt

February 2nd, 2011
3:37 pm

@Red Light… spot on.

How many NHL roster have three starters in key positions under the age of 21?!?!!

It’s just so depressing… there was a time we had Marc Savard (without post-concussive syndrome), Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk on this team. The future looked so bright.

But hey, we got Angelo Esposito (6 pts -6 in 32 games in the AHL)! *maximum intended sarcasm*

moriler

February 2nd, 2011
3:41 pm

Red Light: That looks about right, honestly. There are other players who would be functional if we had more talent to step up, pick up, and carry the load at the top, but as it stands we’re just outclassed by too many teams. And unfortunately, it’s going to be hard to find someone to trade with — who picks up Stapleton, Modin, and Meyer for anyone who can fill those slots?

World Be Free

February 2nd, 2011
3:44 pm

The total irony about last night?
Last night, we watched an arguably lesser team push us all over the rink for 40 minutes. We can talk all we want about talent, but at the end of the day a good potion of this sport is about effort and desire. Somebody earlier today gave kudos to the Islanders for a game well-played, I totally agree. Throw the Rangers in there too.

Something is missing here, like the players’ pride.

Joe Friday

February 2nd, 2011
3:46 pm

“It must be heavy to keep moving those goalposts”

It’s the S.Y.S.T.E.M. that confounds us, a S.Y.S.T.E.M. that Tampa has played against us to perfection for quite some time, and the other clubs who play it also stymie us with. Why do you think we have success against the Caps? Is it their lesser talent?

Mabye if you’d stop tilting at windmills you might just figure it out . . .

Joe Friday

February 2nd, 2011
3:51 pm

“we watched an arguably lesser team push us all over the rink for 40 minutes.”

No no no, it’s their superior talent that outclassed us, right moriler? No no no, wait, it was our lack of effort, right?

Or mabye we just can’t figure out how to break a freakin 2 man forecheck and neutral zone trap (why do you think the reports yesterday had them working in practice on new methods to pass the puck up ice, I know, to overcome the Isle’s superior talent, right?).

Cornbread

February 2nd, 2011
3:54 pm

There have been a lot of comments on the Thrashers system today and I’d like to offer a few observations.

The Thrashers’ breakout all year has been the best it ever has. The D support and communicate well with each other when they have possesion. A reverse is often called, they D to D it till they get a good look, and they all can wheel it – including Sopel. They have options up the strong side and most times a good first pass is made from the D to one of the two forwards. If a forward gets pinched on the half wall, a linemate is there to cover and support. They also do a good job with cross ice feeds to break the trap. This usually occurs as soon as they get in the neutral zone. I have no problems with any of that and it has been a thing of beauty to watch most of the year.

Where they have at times gotten in trouble – like last night – is when teams heavily forecheck them and pinch a D-man down the wall. The Isles did not play a Tampa-like 1-3-1 last night. They had 2 and 3 forecheckers attacking the whole game. That is Atlanta’s game and they beat them at it with speed and commitment. The Thrashers failed in their own end last night because they did not support each other or have the options on the break-out. The whole game I was looking for the two wingers on the strong side but it wasn’t there. They were running around. This was a complete breakdown of their game. The system was not at fault, the players were for failing to implement it.

Tobias Enstrom was missing here last night like he was in Tampa. He has skill, composure, smarts, and vision. He is the Thrashers’ Quarterback. Against a team like the Caps that are much more wide open he is not missed as much in that area.

When they do get the puck out they must gain the red line and dump it deep if they don’t have a skating lane or open pass. This is how you break a Tampa-like trap. But, it takes commitment and patience. That 1 guy back is there to retrieve the puck while the other 3-4 guys slow the attackers down in the neutral zone or try to force a turnover. The Thrashers did a good job in the 3 OT losses against Tampa this year but unfortunately could not score on their chances that they did create. Most teams will do this. The difference with the Thrashers is that they are not afraid to send a D-man in as a forechecker. It works with overwhelming numbers but if all 5 guys are not committed they get caught or, more likely, just turn the puck back over for an easy break-out the other way.

When it does work is when the Thrashers use their youth, skill, and speed to battle slower D-men they force to turn around. They win the puck, establish a cycle, and maintain possession. They dictate the play in the other team’s end which tires them out and creates great scoring chances. The best line to do this all year has been the Greek Gods – missing Slater hurts. Very little of this occurred last night. What did was usually one shot and done and a quick exit out of the attacking zone like Thrashers of old. What’s that mean? More time in your own end. Not good.

The biggest area of concern I have seen all year is when the other team gains possession and breaks out into the neutral zone. I thought Ramsay and Torchetti would have them playing better here by this point of the season. There is supposed to be a third man high to not only get rebounds but to be able to quickly transition to the backcheck. Far too often – all season – 3 forwards are way too low. This causes the D-men to leave the zone early and not engage the attackers until the forwards catch up which is usually in their own end.

The best teams do not trap or clog the neutral zone like Tampa. Instead, they pressure the breakout with the third man and engage or hold their strong-side D while in the other team’s end. The other two forwards must get back and support at that point while the weak-side D skates out towards center ice. When they are too deep or fail to do so – Peverly, Bergfors – teams can freely skate out of their end with space and speed and face only two or three guys deep in the neutral zone. This has been the biggest reason why the Thrashers give up so many shots. It has very little to do with the quality of their defenceman. You want less pressure on Bogosian? Support him better with your forwards.

The Thrashers have repeatedly played their system well for most of the year. In many of the January losses they may not have gotten the better results they deserved because they just could not score. In losing they still looked good. That has got to be frustrating but at the same time you can’t get down on yourself or question what you have done to get in contention and must instead build off the positive. The last Tampa loss was understandable and forgivable that they failed to play their game. Last night’s loss against the Islanders was not.

World Be Free

February 2nd, 2011
4:03 pm

J/F- no doubt that a lack of a breakout strategy AND lack of a forecheck are the 2 major issues facing this team right now. Toss in just an overall lack of hardwork and you have a team that looks real bad.

Smoothie

February 2nd, 2011
4:06 pm

“Where they have at times gotten in trouble – like last night – is when teams heavily forecheck them and pinch a D-man down the wall. The Isles did not play a Tampa-like 1-3-1 last night. They had 2 and 3 forecheckers attacking the whole game. That is Atlanta’s game and they beat them at it with speed and commitment. The Thrashers failed in their own end last night because they did not support each other or have the options on the break-out”

I’d say this is spot-on. Especially the part about speed and commitment. Throw in a lack of physicality along the boards and some brutal attempts to lamely clear the puck along the wall and there you have it. Gaps b/w forwards and D has got to be better. Too bad this team seems to get away from its system when it gets the lead. It’s almost as though they relax and forget what got them the lead; too much freelancing and concern about scoring. Of course, if Litte’s shot last nite, which came off a beautiful transition feed by Kane, doesn’t ring off the post twice, perhaps we’re not even having this conversation.

Dwayne

February 2nd, 2011
4:19 pm

Would someone please give Ramsey a bottle of water to drink while he is being interviewed??????

Hockey Biltong

February 2nd, 2011
4:21 pm

A brutally good time, was had by all.And I stayed to the bitter end!!!!

Iron League 13

February 2nd, 2011
4:22 pm

Let’s face it…fluuushhhh. I’m not going to tease myself anymore, this team showed a bit of playoff potential over the course of about a month all season and every once in a while they show some of the same (ONCE IN A BLUE MOON). Unless a miracle happens at the trade deadline it’s not going to be pretty.

Here, I’ll give the team the benefit of the doubt and entertain the nearly impossible possibility that THIS ROSTER squeaks into the post-season. What I will not entertain is the possibility that they’d do well unless they were fortunate enough to play against Wash. Put a fork in this one and just enjoy what’s left of the their season. I know you’ll want to tell me I’m wrong about this and I’m being a pisser (fair enough), but I heard that when I called this in the PRESEASON!!! Regardless…

LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!

Always Hoping

February 2nd, 2011
4:28 pm

WBF…….I think it started in the third period at Toronto the night before the St. Louis game. We had the leafs down by 5-1 or something like that. In the third we had to hold on as we were forced to chase the Leafs up and down the ice to hold them off. Ramsay chose not to put some fresh legs in against St. Louis the next night and we’ve been suffering since.

Tom

February 2nd, 2011
4:28 pm

Red Light, great analysis on players playing in the right position.

What really got me thinking is that this would be fixed if the Thrashers used about 2/3 rds of their unused cap allotment.

That is, if the team engaged in the league and had the payroll that is expected of a contending team of 52-54 million, the team would have fixed their holes in the line up.

Fan from Carolina

February 2nd, 2011
4:59 pm

Hey Matt, I hate to say this but Tampa has 3 starters 21 and under. Stamkos, Hedman, and Tyrell. Hard to believe Downie is only 23. Seems like he has been around for awhile. Also Carolina has 3 starters 21 and under in Skinner, Boychuk and B. Sutter. Age isn’t the problem with the proper mix of veterans like Staal and Cole. Yeah. Bogo was rushed too fast but Kane was not. I still think Bogo can be a good NHL defenseman if allowed to ’start over’ in a new system with fewer minutes.

Fan from Carolina

February 2nd, 2011
5:01 pm

Tom, exactly as many have said before. Just think of the quality players that could be wearing Thrashers uniforms right now if the cap space was utilized. It boggles the mind.

Tom

February 2nd, 2011
5:13 pm

Okay kids, I just saw this on the Thrashers Facebook Page:

We are proud to announce our partnership with Huggies and the Every Little Bottom Campaign!

After last nights performance they may need to form a partnership with Depends for those in the stands.

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Red Light

February 2nd, 2011
5:55 pm

So, according to C-Viv’s latest post, Peverley skated on the 4th line today in practice.

glovesave29

February 2nd, 2011
5:55 pm

JF – The Lighting play a system that eats ours alive…well, that and having much more talent than us. There are teams that play a certain style of game that overcome an opponent when it makes no sense that it should happen. Last year we dominated Philly – a SC finalist. The Oilers back in the Gretzky / Messier heyday struggled against Winnipeg while hammering the rest of the league. Things like that just happen.

If we don’t start forechecking and make teams work the entire 200 feet, these next 30 games are going to be pretty damn painful. You cannot expect to stop a team that was given from their goal line to center ice a free reign to pick up momentum.

We also get suckered into protecting the weak side and leave the near side and slot wide open. If the puck is in the corner, the strong side D should attack (without crossing the goal line) and the other D play the near post – NOT THE FAR POST! Make it harder to thread a pass into the middle, and let the trailing center cover the slot / far post.

As much as I hate it, a dump and chase will help now and again and take away this teams predictability. Right now we are like the freshman quarterback who stares at his intended receiver for the entire play.

Sage of Bluesland

February 2nd, 2011
6:15 pm

“…I know you’ll want to tell me I’m wrong about this and I’m being a pisser (fair enough), but I heard that when I called this in the PRESEASON!!!…”

No–I would say you were sage-like with that prediction…Even I thought the pretend-new GM and new coaches would bring us to consistent mediocrity….I know, I know–I was being a hopeless dweamer on that one….

(I’ll trust my instinct from now on…and expect nothing but the worst as long as this ownership and Don Waddell have anything to do with this abomination of a franchise…)

thrasherdawg

February 2nd, 2011
6:15 pm

It’s simple, we need more talent and ownership that cares. Don’t see why we couldn’t get 13,000 fans to spend 10 k each and let’s buy the frik’n team.

Cornbread

February 2nd, 2011
6:17 pm

RL I get your point. I really do. But, scoring on this Thrasher team has always been by committee. That 7 forwards are in the top 135 in the NHL in scoring is proof of that. Only elite teams like Philadelphia can claim better. Throw in two high scoring D-men and a goalie and half your team is putting up top of the NHL numbers. How many teams can lay claim to that?

Buff and Enstrom are more a product of the Thrashers’ system – especially Buff. You put them on any team together and their still going to rack up huge numbers. They just might be reigned in more and as a result not lead their teams as a duo. Individually they would still be team leaders given their same roles.

As far as Ladd goes, 38th in points as a forward and 8th as a left wing proves he can play on a top line. Stewart’s numbers are a great surprise and is filling out the second line role nicely. On an elite roster yeah he may be moved down to a third line but then again, maybe not. He is afterall ranked 37th out of all NHL right wings in both goals and points. Those would be good numbers for a number two on most teams.

Where I agree with you is up the middle. It has been the Thrashers weakest position for years. Peverly is playing a bigger role than he should and would be a number two on most good teams. On elite teams he is not responsible enough defensively to make their team. Lately I think he should be moved down to third because he is hurting this team as much as anyone but who do you move up? A less than 100% Antropov? Certainly not one of the rookies. Moving Little splits up one of the best and most consistant lines all year. Is Bergfors a top-line wing? I think he can be when matched up with the right center but likely is a number two on elite teams.

The Thrashers are missing two proven veterans up front. A big or set-up centerman and a right wing. I don’t think they need to be snipers; they just need to make the players around them better. And that includes Bogosian who would also benefit and then his number 4 minutes may be justified.

Stapleton, Modin, and Meyer are good role players to fill in when someone gets hurt, needs a rest, or when a little more speed and skill is needed over Boulton’s toughness. None of them are likely going to hurt you when they don’t have the puck. But, playing all three along with Cormier and Burmistrov and the current state of things is not a good recipe. Again, two top 6 vets would help in this area. So would a healthy Slater and Enstrom.

So, I don’t believe the Thrashers are that far off from being one of those top teams, an elite team yes. They are young and their current woes have a lot to do with that. Lack of skill or key role players however is not what they are lacking.

simpleminded

February 2nd, 2011
6:17 pm

We might as well start trading the stockpile of youth in the system because our cheapass owners can’t afford a minor league team to allow them to develop. Chicago Wolves are totally useless for our needs as illustrated by having to move Akim Aliu to the ECHL just to get ice time.

Red Light

February 2nd, 2011
6:59 pm

Well then Cornbread, we agree this team was never capable of battling for anything but the 7th or 8th spot in the conference, and that’s not how you run an operation.

You can’t shoot for 50 percent and expect to get 100 percent. I think this franchise is doing nothing more than holding out hope they can stay in the 8th spot, glean two or three more home games out of the frenzied 13,000 who will be asked to pony up more than a regular season game, call it a season, and then tell us how the team can build off this successful playoff run and carry it into next next year.

Meanwhile, the gap is beginning to widen between 8th place and 7th place, there are no four-point games left with Washington or Tampa Bay (the two division teams above), which means forget about a division title. Again, they will try to become the best (the 8th spot) out of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. Goal and point statistics about particular players don’t mean a thing as to where they should be slotted. The reason they are slotted where they are here is out of necessity.

This is all about wins and losses and the players simply aren’t generating the wins. They won for the 20th time on Dec. 30. It’s 35 days later and they have four wins since. I refuse to believe Ramsay and Torchetti aren’t capable of winning at the NHL level, but I do have doubts about some of the players’ capabilities, and you mentioned several.

Cliff Fletcher

February 2nd, 2011
7:08 pm

Sage, just hoping someday you will post something that doesn’t look and smell like the other 500 posts you have polluted this blog with over the years. Show up after a victory and maybe I’ll give you some respect. Maybe-NOT!

Mr. Five Year Plan

LAC

February 2nd, 2011
7:09 pm

cliff, you get NO respect from my point of view.

Cliff Fletcher

February 2nd, 2011
7:26 pm

LAC-
Why defend him?

Mr. Heat Miser

February 2nd, 2011
8:01 pm

Oh noooooooo, your team is all flat and junk. Did I do that? Let me get my cellular out and call up some Chicago Wolves…..

jimbo

February 2nd, 2011
8:07 pm

I’m watching the Versus game tonight and the studio crew just gave their reasons for the Thrash collapse, outscored 43-19 in the last 10 games. Apparently Ladd and D-buff went to Ramsey today and said that he has to “put the fist”down. The announcers, Keith Jones and others said that they had never heard of the Captain and Asst. Captain having to go to the coach to suggest that they needed his “fire”. According to them, it should have started in Sept. They pointed out that Ramsey was a good asst. coach and a teacher but a question mark as a coach. They then showed footage of Kane being hit with no retaliation from any Thrash. Nic Antro. just skated by. RAMSEY IS THE PROBLEM. HE HAS NO MOTIVATIONAL ABILITY.

Cornbread

February 2nd, 2011
8:17 pm

RL I always slated this team for 7th and still do. 6th or better was doable if they got lucky and things went their way. Top 4 no way.

But, the numbers that the 10 have put up are pretty impressive without a top line center. That does not mean the other 8 guys are weak sauce. The Greek Gods as a unit could play for and contribute quality minutes for any team. Every team needs a line like that – including the elites – and the Thrashers have one of the best. The third line has been in flux all year. A line that could cycle yet skate and shoot a little better than the GGs would go a long way. And, when Bogosian is your weakest link on D I’d say that is pretty solid.

Lots of teams compete in the playoffs regularly without the best in the world. Even some who have the very best don’t get very far come playoff time because their second half of the team is so much weaker. The Capitals are of course case in point but it would not surprise me one bit if the Bolts are this year’s Caps even with Stamkos and St. Louis.

Tom Lysiak

February 2nd, 2011
8:22 pm

jimbo – I caught the tail-end of that discussion on Versus. They showed Kane getting rocked twice and mentioned no retaliation. They said it was then they realized the lack of team chemistry. No kidding??

Cornbread

February 2nd, 2011
8:24 pm

One more thing RL. I think skating Peverly on the fourth line today is the best thing I’ve heard in a while. I was disapointed when Ramsay did not skate them the day after the Tampa loss. It’s time some more messages are sent.

That’s it, I’m out. Time to go lace ‘em up. Daddy has a brand new Combat 52 Cal stick and is going to put it top shelf where Momma keeps the peanut butter!

Brendan

February 2nd, 2011
8:58 pm

There’s something I’ve got to say, and it’ll bother me if I don’t. If we lost, 4-1, to the Flyers, or the Bruins … or the Red Wings or even the Blackhawks … I chalk it up to one (1) game out of 82, where we lost to a BETTER team. One (1) loss out of the 30 games that were left. But when the effort isn’t there. After a long rest. And the quality of the opposition is clearly beneath us … that’s what makes these kinds of losses so very painful. Look no further than the title of this blog: ‘ Embarrassing’ losses like the one to Islanders could leave Thrashers playoff hopes circling the drain.”

If you think 11,000 fans, as a turn-out for a an important game like this was bad, wait until there’s only 20 games left … and we’re in 10th place, or worse. Getting people to part with their money, with this ownership group … without getting GOOD RESULTS … is a task for Anne Sullivan, “The Miracle Worker.”

R. Stroz

February 2nd, 2011
11:12 pm

Put me a few rows behind the bench and they’ll learn what motivation is: loud and clear.

Put me in the locker room before the game and they’ll hear the unfiltered version.

As many on this blog can attest, I can yell for 60 minutes straight and my vocal cords are fine the next day. I’d get 60 minutes out of these guys, if for nothing else, to get me to be quite for five seconds.

kovyoverrated

February 2nd, 2011
11:27 pm

Let’s all show up for work at our respective places of employment and half-ass it for a month. How long would we keep our jobs?

Joe McGrath

February 2nd, 2011
11:41 pm

Jimbo-thanks for the update from the Vs,. boys. I missed it, but I agree with Jonsey et al, and that’s what I mean by “THESE BOYS LACK CHARACTER.” They rarely stick up for each other. I think Rammer (quietly) tells them “no rough stuff ’cause we don’t want the penalty.” I disagree when it comes to establishing team character. You can talk about systems, and moving the puck out of the defensive zone and cycling–but if they don’t trust each other and if they don’t play for each other, then it’s dysfunctional. I’m old school–grew up watching NHL in the 70s and 80s. I really think we need character players more than anything. Not goons, but a Theo Fluery, a Bobby Smith, Cam Neely, or a….dare I say it…Jerome Iginla? Cornbread has it pinned–we need two forwards, big gnarly sweaty mooses who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. I don’t know what the deal was with Eager–but he seems to be fitting in nicely with SJ. Y’all see his goal tonight? I’m kind of missing him now.

Furious George

February 3rd, 2011
1:19 am

I just wanted to point out in some non-Thrasher related news that Johan Franzen scored 5 goals tonight. 5 goals! Do you know what this means? He was only a mere 4 goals away from the coveted ‘Ovechtrick.’ Awesome performance by the mule. I’d really love to see someone come close to scoring an Ovechtrick in my lifetime, that would be pretty cool to see.

LAC

February 3rd, 2011
4:46 am

Some great prospecyive on the team’s lack of effort & desire here on the blog. Most folks have nailed it head on. I am starting to have some real concerns about the coaching staff at this point. How can we go from being so good to being so bad and nothing has changed to stop the bleeding ?

cliff…. In response, Sage is correct 98% of the time, no need to defend, he speaks the truth , which is not like the petty name calling you do.

Always Hoping

February 3rd, 2011
6:39 am

I would have liked to have heard the interview process when Torchetti was brought on board. Many of us thought he was pegged as being the head coach. I know I was caught a little off guard when Ramsay was selected. I wonder if Torch was promised the top spot within a few years?

If we do fall to 10th spot or worse would it be a step back to dismiss Ramsay and promote Torch?

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2011
7:52 am

Always-I appreciate what you are saying, but I believe it would be a major step back to dismiss Ramsay. Craig Ramsay has universal respect across the league, I do not think he is the problem here. If players need to be “yelled at” at this level, under the current circumstances then they don’t belong in the NHL. I do guestion some of the on-ice tactics of the team over the past 6 weeks, but I am confident Rammer can fix these issues. What concerns me about Torch is the fact that no team was going after him other than Atlanta at the end of last season when it was evident that he was available. I think the long range plan for Torch is to take over from Rammer in 3 seasons, but we will see if this is the case.

Side note-not to make excuses, but you wonder if the schedule of December really put the wammy on this team. Just wondering.

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2011
8:05 am

Furious-guess Franzen does not lack mental toughness! He and Datsyk are 2 players I would draft to start a team-like The Mule for sure.

Spud Webb

February 3rd, 2011
9:29 am

I’m not jumping off. It’s gut check time for this team and franchise. I do smell something bad though….not sure who smells, but that locker room is frozen & someone needs to thaw it out, either the players (i’d prefer) or the coaches. Someone in there is a bad apple and causing some issues. That alone isn’t why we’re losing, it’s a combination of things. I have faith (one of the only) that yes, we ARE limited on talent, but the Thrashers can overcome. Put together a few good games of SOLID effort. We looked GREAT in the 1st two periods of the Isles game, we just couldn’t finish, FRUSTRATING for sure. I don’t think we went out there and laid an egg or mailed it in. We had tons of scoring chances & as an NHL franchise we need players to put the g0d&mn puck in the net…my guess is we will and we will turn this around. Fingers crossed!!!
Hat the pens, but I gotta say, Dipietro coming out smiling and then getting dropped was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Glass Joe in the house!

Joe Friday

February 3rd, 2011
10:00 am

“They pointed out that Ramsey was a good asst. coach and a teacher but a question mark as a coach”

His inexperience as a head coach is definitely showing and now we’re seeing why he went so many years without a head coaching gig, except for a couple fill ins after his head coach got fired. I’ve had my eyebrows raised all year first about line combos, then befuddled as I’d watch him do stuff like fail to make his line change to take advantage of a tired opponent who had just iced a puck, to no switching of his system during games (and especially after the other teams have figured us out).

I think the reason we’ve been shut down offensively lately is that early on, Ramsay’s system was working once he got the guys to learn it, but now other clubs have scouted us and implement a system to counter us. It’s why Buf has been held scoreless, other clubs are keying on him and denying him the puck. Our breakouts don’t look as good because other clubs have figured out how to defend our breakout.

Good coaching always always always can overcome deficiencies in your players, and should be able to change things up when opponents figure out how to defend your system (including making in game changes). What we’re seeing now is an inability to switch things up and a coach that is losing his room. The VS guys are right, I’ve never heard of a captain and asst. going to a coach to tell him what to do . . . I have heard of captains telling coach to get out of the room so he can open a can o whoop ass on the boys, but not going to the coach to tell him how to do his job.

I wish they would have made Ramsay asst. and Torch the head, I think Ramsay is a great teacher, but a head coach has to have the respect of his players and an ability to motivate them to lift their games higher.

Tonight’s another chance. Sometimes you hit bottom before you go up, does Ramsay have the ability to refocus the boys the way they refocused after that Florida debacle when Ladd was given the C the next morning? Inquiring minds want to know . . .

Fan from Carolina

February 3rd, 2011
10:21 am

Interesting comments about the the head coach. I think back to his Cup win in ‘04 when Torterella was the head coach (the bad guy) and Ramsey the assistant (the good guy). I liked Torterella for the vacancy in Atlanta when Anderson was named head coach but the posters here were adamant about no Torterella. His mean temper was needed and is really needed now. He hasn’t done too bad with the Rangers since then either. Oh well, too late now.

Red Light

February 3rd, 2011
10:29 am

Yup, those VERSUS guys know everything. They been to how many games in Atlanta and discussed the situation here with how many players, coaches and the management? Uh, none! And with Kane’s “prowess” from beating up those two renowned heavyweights, Cooke and Hunwick, why would he need someone to step in for him? Answer: He wouldn’t.

Ramsay has been a fresh breath of air here. Every season when things go wrong, coaches are at fault, the goalies suck, injuries sidelined key players, and my favorite: it was the referees! It couldn’t possibly be the personnel, could it? What they don’t have is top-line NHL talent, and if they really do/did, it hasn’t been evident for quite some time now (Dec. 21?).

It’s easy to sit in a studio and find video examples to back up any point during a 60-minute game. Bad rebounds, poor execution, inability to exit your own zone, turnovers, missed opportunities, etc. etc.

Stan Drulia

February 3rd, 2011
10:39 am

C’mon Cliff! If you kept up this blog at all you would have seen why LAC is a real fan and a much better all around person than you!!! He owns a railroad, is apparently VERY VERY wealthy and has been going to games since before you and I were born. This clearly makes us newbie rubes who shouldn’t even be allowed to post to this board!!! Get with it Cliff! If you are under 50 and haven’t followed a team that left our city decades ago then you clearly don’t know anything about hockey or life in general. Leave it to the pro’s man!

Smoothie

February 3rd, 2011
10:40 am

I still like Boston as a trade partner, now especially that they’ve traded Sturm and Savard may be out for the rest of the year for his head issues. They will want center depth for their playoff run and I could see them showing interest in Rich Peverley as their 3rd C. I would like to see them figure out a way to get a hold of Boston’s 1st round pick — not the one they have from TOR — and bring us back Blake Wheeler, whom I think is a perfect fit for Ramsay’s system.

Without Slater though, not sure we have enough depth at C, but Burmistrov is obviously our top C of the future. If flanked by Antro and Wheeler, I think he could hold his own. Cormier is our checking line C of the future so let him play his natural position with Modin on the LW and Stewart on the RW. Chances are we would have to give up Bergfors as well to BOS to get that #1 pick. But then we could work a deal with VAN to bring in Samuelsson whom they won’t be able to keep next year. Plus he’s 34 and may only have another year or two left. Second option might be to work a deal with Minny to bring in Andrew Brunette to round out the top 6 for the stretch run. I think either VAN or Minny would be interested in having Oduya to bolster their top 4. In Duds We Trust.

ZAvalanche

February 3rd, 2011
10:43 am

RL – nice post and I couldn’t agree more. The players are paid to perform and we are simply outmatched most of the time.

Red Light

February 3rd, 2011
10:53 am

TY ZAv

If you go back to many posts at the beginning of the season posted here that said: “I don’t know where the goals are going to come from.” Those have become prophetic.

The Thrashers have scored just 26 goals in their last 12 games, or 2.16 goals per contest, during which they have yielded 35-plus shots per game to their opponents. That’s not a formula that is going to work for any team over the long haul. The only game in which the Thrashers have scored more than 3 goals since Dec. 21 was the 4-3 OT win at Montreal with the winner courtesy of Byfuglien, not so coincidentally he hasn’t scored since. JF is right about that: overplaying or keying on Buff has taken away the key element of the offense, which underscores the point: the Thrashers don’t have enough offensive firepower to complement the big man.

The Thrashers have scored more four or more goals in regulation 14 times this season and their record is 12-2 in those games. They haven’t scored four in regulation during any game since Dec. 20 against the Leafs, or 18 straight games. Their record in those 18 games: 5-10-3. That means their record when scoring three goals or fewer this season is 12-18-9, or 33 points out of a possible 78! As Rawhide so aptly puts it: Un-Good.

Their record in the past dozen home games: 3-5-4

Alan R.

February 3rd, 2011
11:02 am

I’m with Red Light, here. Enough of the HURR DURR horsecrap from a bunch of morons in the studio. They based their entire Thrashers discussion on the assumption that Ladd and Byfuglien went to Ramsay to discuss the lack of players sticking up for each other.

Newsflash, guys: They didn’t. I’ll take the word of C-Viv and Ramsay over the word of a couple guys who haven’t attended a Thrashers game all year.

ATLSportsNation!!!

February 3rd, 2011
11:29 am

If you’re an Atlanta/Georgia Sports fan and want to talk with other fans, check out our NEW message board.

http://www.atlsportsnation.com/forum

We have team forums for the Falcons, Bulldogs, Hawks, Braves, Yellow Jackets, Thrashers, etc. Please register and post! Be apart of a huge site in the early days of existence. See ya there!

Joe Friday

February 3rd, 2011
11:50 am

“Yup, those VERSUS guys know everything.”

You know I love ya, man, but don’t you think there’s a reason that they’re getting paid to be analysts on the highest profile NHL network. But one of ‘em is Milbury, so mabye never mind? But seriously, except for Milbury, the other guys know their stuff and are well connected in the league.

“And with Kane’s “prowess” from beating up those two renowned heavyweights, Cooke and Hunwick, why would he need someone to step in for him? Answer: He wouldn’t.”

As I recall, he was on his back and was knocked out of the game for a time in at least one of them. I think what the analysts mean (and what I see other clubs with tight locker rooms do) is that one of our players should have immediately come to his defense, as in immediately skate over and take on the opponent that just knocked our young guy silly. But no one did.

I think whoever opined that it’s Ramsay telling the guys to not take penalties is onto the key there.

“What they don’t have is top-line NHL talent”

Do you mean top line as in top 3 forwards? I agree with you there. But if you mean our lineup doesn’t have NHL talent, I think we do. Little is a player. Kane is a player. Antropov had a great year last year and is clearly been hampered by his surgery recovery, but he seems to be rounding into form. Peverley can play, he’s just not playing the system. Bergfors can play, he’s just not playing the system. We also have 4 guys and an asst starting our year all wearing some nice shiny new Stanley Cup rings, our captain has 2 of them now. Our D can play, Bogosian just gets too many minutes.

A club doesn’t go on a 20 game streak like we did out of shear luck, and many of those games against the best in the NHL. We have the talent, that was proven. And we had a schemed that worked (key here, worked, not works).

What’s going on here is pretty simple to me: we had a scheme that worked and the players to play it But now other clubs scouted us and have installed an opposing scheme that shuts us down, when employed, and our coach hasn’t been able to counter.

Joe Friday

February 3rd, 2011
11:54 am

“Newsflash, guys: They didn’t. I’ll take the word of C-Viv and Ramsay over the word of a couple guys who haven’t attended a Thrashers game all year.”

Thanks for the newsflash, but tes they did, Alan. Ramsay himself confirmed it. Which also raises my eyebrows . . . the coach admits publicly that he had players come to him to ask him to put the hammer down on some of their teammates?

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2011
12:18 pm

Red Light, a double here-here in your post concerning Craig Ramsay. This is not a preferred destination for players or coaches, so we should feel somewhat fortunate to have him and Torch here on our coaching staff. There are style issues that I hope are being addressed in practice. Alot has gone wrong here the past 6 weeks, I just hope some of the recent events, negative as they may seem will turn the club in the right direction. The continual losing seems to have really gotten to alotta fans, I know it has to me.

One question for Dudley-why wasn’t Kulda brought up after the injury to Toby? Just asking

ZAvalanche

February 3rd, 2011
12:23 pm

Something to chew on: 29th in the league for PK% and last in the league for shots against. Defense is clearly not working well at all. Either they stink (which they do) or we take too many penalties or a combination of both. OP should be ticked.

Cliff Fletcher

February 3rd, 2011
12:41 pm

Stan, get with it. LAC and I disagreed on something when I called out another blogger. at no point did I question any of his qualifications as hockey expert or anything else for that matter. it is over-let it rest and move on.

jimbo

February 3rd, 2011
1:18 pm

Alan R. and Red Light- Ramsey confirmed that Ladd and D-Buff did in fact come to him and that he was going to make some changes. Maybe a couple of electrodes on either side of his head.

Joe Friday

February 3rd, 2011
1:25 pm

“Ramsey confirmed that Ladd and D-Buff did in fact come to him and that he was going to make some changes.”

Yep, and Viv just confirmed it again in his blog he just put up. Speaking of that, he reports that coaches changes are putting Modin and Pevs on the 4th line, obviously they are the ones that are in the doghouse. But I don’t understand Boults. I’ve read where the players said they love Boults (could be Players player award this year, sounds like). The other guys said Boults is always in the room and on the bench urging the other guys on to try their best.

I again have my eyebrows raised at Ramsay today with his reasoning to leave Modin and Pevs in and say “we need to give them a chance to respond” but he puts them on the 4th line? WTF, we need work ethic and we need some banging, what’s Modin going to do on the 4th line, get Boults back in there and send Modin up to the buffet. That just makes no sense to me.

glovesave29

February 3rd, 2011
1:26 pm

I am not surprised the coaches needed to be brought in to the situation. After the game, we used to get a recap / critique of the game from the coaching staff that lasted MAYBE 5 minutes…then they left us alone to undress, shower and change. It was just the team for 30-45 minutes, so there were often comments and situations that were left unawares to the coaches. The Ladd and Buff felt the need to bring him up to speed to me is a good sign.

I think the team likes and respects the coaches. They are not stupid, they know the problem with this franchise is the owners. I just hope the strength of hockey ops keeps players here while the morons at ASG figure out a way to get out of the picture.

Joe Friday

February 3rd, 2011
1:27 pm

Alright, it’s time to bring back the tried and true methods . . . we are going to get blow out tonight. Calgary has got their act together and they’re playing great lately. Coaches lines won’t work tonight. I see a 5-2 Calgary win. Go Flames.

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2011
1:38 pm

Joe Friday-I may just leave my TV off tonight. Calgary has been playing well since late December, they are back in the playoff hunt in the West so they have something to play for. Nice recovery for a team loaded with NTC/NMC players.

glovesave29

February 3rd, 2011
1:57 pm

Tonight’s game is the one I always struggle with. I grew up a Flames fans, and after they left, I went to St. Louis, Washington, Chicago and even Calgary to cheer them on. Their coaches also worked with us on the Junior Flames travel team. I punched a hole in my ceiling when Lanny roofed the shot over Roys shoulder to earn the Cup. I had a lump in my throat when Cliff dedicated it to the fans in Atlanta who stuck by them.

Flames play a rough and tumble style. After that shinny game against the Isles, I am not sure the Thrashers are read for Calgary. If they don’t throw some weight around, the streak of Flames losses here in Atlanta will come to an end.

Tom Lysiak

February 3rd, 2011
2:04 pm

glovesave29 – Hear, hear!!!

I want my Thrash to win tonight, but there’ll always be a soft spot for the old team.

ZAvalanche

February 3rd, 2011
2:11 pm

In general the western conference team style is based on speed and you can only beat that two ways – equal or more speed or heavy physicality and really good goal tending (I still hate you, NJ Devils, for what you did to the game). Thrashy doesn’t seem to have a clear idea of what they want their style or identity to be like. And while I think Ramsey is a fine coach, it is his job to set that style and stick with it and build his team to fit that style of play.

This is going to be a rough game for Thrashy and I am sure Pavs is dreading it.

Totally off-hand question; does anybody know why the AJC has the Greek letter “mu” as it’s symbol in my tabbed browser?

Alan R.

February 3rd, 2011
2:12 pm

Jimbo and JF, did you read what I said at all? Derp much?

They based their entire Thrashers discussion on the assumption that Ladd and Byfuglien went to Ramsay to discuss the lack of players sticking up for each other.

There it is, again, in case you missed it. Read the last part slowly.

The Versus guys said the players went to Ramsay to talk about the lack of sticking up for each other. NO. They did not. They went to Ramsay to discuss accountability. They talked about on-ice performance. C-Viv confirms that in his blog. VERSUS morons who haven’t seen the Thrashers play this year say something completely different.

Don’t buy their garbage. C-Viv is far closer to the team than VERSUS talking heads are. Like I said, I’m taking C-Viv’s and Ramsay’s words over theirs.

I know, you honed in on the part where I said “They didn’t.” That’s my lack of coffee talking, and my bad. Being that I can admit to being less than correct, it will be interesting to see if you can as well.

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2011
2:59 pm

Eklund has us in the rumor mix. Not that I trust much of what he sez, but at least we can hope Duds is working the phone trying to get some help. If it’s Hemsky, we will have to pony up for $4M next season.

Diego from Lilburn

February 3rd, 2011
3:04 pm

Tonight decides the season. Either they roll over and play dead or they decide to be men and earn the extraordinary pay they receive. I don’t think we need a win as bad as we need the team to act like a team and show their mettle.

I believe we’ve seen enough comments from both coaches and players to determine that the part of the team that wants to win is sick of the part that is phoning it in.

My major concern (assuming they’ve finally extracted their craniums from their rectums) is the S.Y.S.T.E.M. (to borrow some punctuation from my esteemed fellow poster). The team has got to ADAPT when it is obvious that everyone has discovered the key to shutting them down.

Sage of Bluesland

February 3rd, 2011
3:14 pm

Nice post, Diego…My fear is that they simply don’t have the horses to compete…It’s all percentages and ‘numbers’ after awhile–and ours just don’t add up to something above mediocrity.

Factor the emotion in of being on a laughingstock with inept and uncaring ownership (and incompetent senior management), and the numbers go further closer to players just going through the motions…

Oh well, it is what it is. I may watch some of it if it’s even on TV. Not another dollar of mine will be used to support embarrassing incompetence.

LAC

February 3rd, 2011
3:24 pm

Have to agree glovesleeve29, we don’t often enough, but when Bill Clement interviewed Cliff, first thing in the lockeroon that night in Montreal, I will ALWAYS remember his comments:
“I hope our FANS in Atlanta are enjoying it as much as we are here.” Then later Jiggs had some GREAT Atlanta words as well. I was always disappointed Clement had nothing to say about Atlanta, because he spent more time here than in Philly, Washington, or Calgary.

We MUST have a win tonight, NO excuses by anyone, and let’s remember to FORECHECK for a change !!!!!!!!!!!

Spud Webb

February 3rd, 2011
3:28 pm

I’ll say it…Thrashers win tonight, guaranteed. lol…won’t hurt anything!

Nate

February 3rd, 2011
3:29 pm

Yes, Rawhide, the fat lady is warming up…

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2011
3:35 pm

MODIN SUCKS and plays like a WUSS.

Boults plays like a man.

Ramsay needs to “man up.”

SomaAtl95

February 3rd, 2011
3:38 pm

Stan and Cliff – I feel your pain. The great thing about this blog (or any other) is that you just scroll past posts from people that you know aren’t adding to the conversation. After sage insinuated that I was from an “institution” and LAC kindly told me to STFU I decided to just skip past them. I’m pretty sure they don’t care about being civil and that is fine. Opinions are like A-holes. Everyone has them. It is just a shame that some folks resort to name calling and beating a dead horse. You can choose to stay here and ignore them or let them get your goat and insult you – rest assured that they aren’t going away. Don’t let their agenda mess with you. Life is toooooo short.

As far as the game tonight I agree that this will sum our season up. If we let the Flames win in our house than its obvious Coach being pissed doesn’t motivate this years squad, which is unfortunate. I really want this year to be different than years past. Ownership, Coach, Players, etc do not matter to me. I just want a winning Thrashers squad.

Flames

February 3rd, 2011
3:54 pm

Don’t give up! Don’t ever give up!

Broken Record

February 3rd, 2011
3:55 pm

A chicken or the egg question – do I sound like Sage or does Sage sound like me?

kracker

February 3rd, 2011
3:59 pm

Hey…I went to the Caps game expecting to lose 1-5 or so and the team played quite well for the win. My expectations for tonight are about the same as they were last Wednesday. Perhaps the results will be similar as well.

Badger Bob

February 3rd, 2011
4:03 pm

Here’s hope for tonight (perhaps posted earlier, but who could find it among 150+ comments!):
The only building in the NHL that the Flames have not won in is Phillips Arena (0-5-1 all time)

RL, I love your insights, and especially your steady outlook. I’m pretty sure in December you were trying to point out that past Thrasher teams have had hot streaks like our 12-2-2 stretch, so we shouldn’t all get too giddy. Now count on you to calm the Ramsey-is-worthless storm.

Lack of scoring depth accounts for better than 50% of our problems, and that is caused by simple refusal to pay.

ThrasherTim

February 3rd, 2011
5:00 pm

We need 2 points badly. When are we playing the Caps again?
:)

ThrasherTim

February 3rd, 2011
5:04 pm

I want to thank all the stat gurus who let Calgary know they have never won in ATL. Kind of like the Islanders hadn’t won a game all year when outshooting an opponent. Or how they were 4-25-4 (or something similar) when getting scored upon first. Oops.

ThrasherTim

February 3rd, 2011
5:08 pm

By the way Red Light – solid posts today.

Tom Lysiak

February 3rd, 2011
5:10 pm

Reading the story on TSN about Golisano passing on $70 million additional to keep the team in Buffalo. He is selling for $189 million and assuring the team stays put. He could have pocketed that extra $70 million by looking the other way and not caring about the fans. Gotta appreciate that.

I’m sure we can expect the same integrity and commitment to this city from the ASG when buyers come calling……

glovesave29

February 3rd, 2011
6:12 pm

I can’t agree that if we lose this game the season is over, or that they have tuned out Rammer. What’s to say both teams don’t come out and play great and we are on the short end of a 4-3 score? What if we out play them and a weird bounce dooms us to a loss? I guess I live in a world with more shades of gray, and not one that is black & white.

Soma – totally agree! I tuned him out when he admitted to not knowing much about the game. I’ve been on the ice for 36 of my 44 years. I’d like to think i’m pretty up on this game. Love to play and talk hockey – with those who are knowledgeable, or those who are new and genuinely want to learn more. I also like those who disagree, as it makes for a more interesting discourse. Name calling is what one does when they have been out smarted.

LAC – I worked for Bill Clement back in HS. His is really one heckuva nice guy. Ran into him at the ASG and he remembered me. He loves it here, and always has nice things to say about Atlanta. He knew it was Cousins who failed us, not the fans. Unfortunately, we now have a similar lousy ownership situation.

Brendan

February 3rd, 2011
6:26 pm

Red Light always has solid posts. If I asked him to, I could list all 29 teams in the NHL to make a ‘mock trade’ with Atlanta … and he’d be able to come up with a plausible trade scenario for every single team. And it’d be fun to read and comment on. That’s the purpose of a blog. But, unfortunately, none of the blogger suggestion matter a bit to the people who run the Thrashers, who have the POWER and CONTROL to make those hypothetical trades a reality. WaDudley will do … WTF they want to do … the moment that it suits them. Including inaction. That’s just the reality of things. And they’d be the first ones to say, “Look people, if we took blogger suggestions seriously we’d be in LAST place FOREVER.” At least, that’s my opinion about how they view these message boards. Harry Neale used to say, “If the GM took the advice of the newspaper beatwriter, he’d soon be up in the pressbox with ‘im.” It’s both the arrogance and wisdom of the GM “mindset.”

I’ve always said that we don’t really know what happens behind the scenes. We see maybe 10-percent. If that. Only the FBI has the power to tap the phones at the Atlanta Spirit, LLC. And last time I checked with them, the receptionist said, “I’m sorry, but we need probable cause to believe a CRIME has been committed first.” And no amount of “But hasn’t the way the Thrashers been run … ‘CRIMINAL enough’ for you?” would suffice. They shook their heads and said, “Come back when you’ve got hard evidence of ‘Muder One,’ drug trafficking, gun-smuggling, fraud, weapons-brokering, money laundering, extortion … or at least some kind of tangible gang activity.” So, as you can see, it’s hopeless on that front.

My sarcasm detector machine is going haywire! This baby’s off the chart!

LAC

February 3rd, 2011
7:24 pm

Glovesleve29, I remember stopping at his doughnut shop in Sandy Springs in the early 1990’s, Good doughnuts and was great talking to him.

I am in FULL agreement with the ownership crap, same thing now or worse. Fans would be back in droves if we had a NEW OWNER, no group an owner. As long as these liars own the team, it will fail.

I feel yet another LOSS tonight, Stupid highstick, goal and I am glad Family Feud reruns are on.
This is going to be BAD and I hate to say it, tonight IS the night we fall out of 8th, on our way to the bottom of the NHL. I also have a bad feeling we will not have the Thrashers after this season, Where in the HELL is Gary Bettman ??????????????????

Brendan

February 3rd, 2011
9:14 pm

Flames score, lead 3-2, with 5 mins left in regulation.

Flagstaff

February 3rd, 2011
9:23 pm

They fought hard. Exciting game.

LAC

February 3rd, 2011
9:27 pm

Well how many of us think NOW this team will make playoff’s ? Let’s have a poll…

This was terrible tonight, letting them win, Awful, lame goal, terrible offense, spotty defense.

Just adding up to another disaster in Atlanta as USUAL. Every season this crap happens,
Heck, let’s bring back Bobby Holik we need SCORING !!!!!

If Anyone believes we will win in Raleigh and Toronto… FORGET IT. This team is 100% offically done for the season, We will be damn lucky not to finish in 30th place or close, Total Collapse,
TOTAL !

Tom

February 3rd, 2011
9:28 pm

Now I know why Berfors is in the dog house. The team is fighting hard, Buff is blowing up Inginlia, and forces the puck to the far boards. Berfors does not look, he has all the friggin space in the world, and turns the puck over at the Blue Line.

They score, we lose.

Guys, I have to say, this is getting painful to watch. I may have to give up the Thrashers…

Flagstaff

February 3rd, 2011
9:30 pm

BTW, Buff and Ladd have no cause to be telling the coach, their superior, to do his job. I don’t care how hard they claim to be working, they have both sucked for a long time. Perhaps it’s just a strain of bad luck for the both of them, but they need to get back to the way they were playing– as does the rest of this team.

Sage of Bluesland

February 3rd, 2011
9:41 pm

I’m actually not even angry anymore…I’m more sad and resigned to the malaise which permeates this abominable and sad franchise.

The league needs to step in and do something; anything.

I feel sorry for the coach, as he’s playing with a woefully short deck. Uncaring ownership insults the fans time and again—and what do the fans do? They keep subsidizing the egregious incompetence shoveled down their throat.

“Deal with it.”

I wish some of you would respond to this type of treatment with the appropriate response. It is the ONLY way to change things for the better.

Have some self-respect.

Brendan

February 3rd, 2011
9:56 pm

Okay, it’s 16-9-3 from here on out. Right??

Flagstaff

February 3rd, 2011
10:02 pm

Sage: Good post. My sentiments exactly, minus the last part. Terrible hockey is better than no hockey (I think), and I do love the sport, and want this team to be successful. Whether or not that will happen, only time will tell.

Brendan: You know the saying, “If you’re running from a bear, you don’t have to be fast, you just can’t be slower than everyone else you’re with.” The Eastern conference is weak. They could have a middle-of-the-pack rest of the season and still nab a playoff berth… so long as every other team we’re fighting does the same.

Brendan

February 3rd, 2011
10:06 pm

Tom, we don’t quit on the Thrashers. We just realize that our team situation is lacking. They’re still our team. They just need new owners. I honestly thought, back in 2007, that the team would get sold to a local interest in 2011. Well, it’s 2011. It’s time. But no sale yet. Don’t say relocation. That’s not going to happen. I don’t care how much money someone might have. No one loses tens of millions of dollars to break a lease. It’s just BAD business to do so. Plus, the league would have to agree to move the franchise. None of that will happen. So, let’s just root for a sale and acquisition by someone who will properly care for the team.

At least tonight’s effort was BETTER than the Islander game. They were 5 minutes from atleast a “pity point.”

Flagstaff

February 3rd, 2011
10:08 pm

So… when does Duds pull the trigger?

glovesave29

February 3rd, 2011
10:12 pm

Ha! LAC – I worked at that shop you stopped into…Grandma Lee’s. When I interviewed, I cut him off mid-sentence when I noticed his Stanley Cup ring.

I thought tonight the team showed some heart. We keep playing with some grit and determination, the wins will come. Probably not enough to keep the playoff spot, but when you spend like #29, you shouldn’t really be in the top 16.

Flagstaff

February 3rd, 2011
10:15 pm

Well, that loss hurt. Big time. But, on the (tiny) bright side, at least Carolina lost too– to Toronto. They haven’t been too hot the last couple of games. There’s still no breathing room, but there’s a chance we could beat them this weekend, especially if we make a trade!

Cornbread

February 3rd, 2011
10:17 pm

Some people just love it when the Thrasers lose – LAC SOB.

“Total Collapse, TOTAL!” Really? Tonight’s game, the season, or both? Come on. Did you watch the game or family feud?

The total collapse was Tuesday not tonight. You really think the Thrashers are going to finish close to 30th? If so you know nothing of the game just like SOB admitted.

It was a good game. The Thrashers played well. Should they have won that game at home? Yes. It sucks but sometimes you are going to lose games like that. There was far more about that game to take away that was good to great than what went wrong or was bad. They keep playing like they did tonight and building off of it and they are quite capable of going on a 5-6 game win streak this month.

It starts Sunday in Carolina. Who, by the way, have also lost two in a row after getting shut out 3-0 to Toronto tonight. But folks who don’t know much about the game wouldn’t know that.

Sage of Bluesland

February 3rd, 2011
10:57 pm

I don’t “love it” when the Thrashers lose–far from it. I “hate it” when folks continue subsidizing the offensive and uncaring ownership.

I also hate it when folks (like yourself) try to blow sunshine up my backside.

Please join planet Earth when it comes to this abomination of an organization which is destined to do nothing but fail. Maybe you’re not a person who understands history?

Stop the peeing in my pocket and telling me it’s raining….You sound like the ownership and Don Waddell–and, frankly, it’s pretty embarrassing…

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2011
11:03 pm

If this team wants a chance to win, put Bogosian, the Pink Flamingo, and Sweedee Modinee in the press box.

This team has too many ponies and not enough horses to win consistently.

Rawhide

February 3rd, 2011
11:05 pm

Here a quick blog post for you all to discuss tonight’s loss…and a real tough one it was at that.