Better effort but same result for Thrashers

I wasn’t able to attend the game against the Calgary Flames Thursday night. There were some pre-planned events that the Divine Mrs. R had asked me to help with and…seeing she is always very understanding with my hockey schedule… when she does ask me to stay back and render assistance, I gladly oblige.

Because of that, I was able to listen a bit to Dan Kamal on my car radio as well as follow some of it on TV with Matt McConnell and Darren Eliot. As I switch from one media outlet to the other throughout the evening, all three were saying much the same thing regarding the Thrashers play…that the effort and work ethic on the ice was far better than what was on display during the 4-1 loss to the Islanders Tuesday.

Freddy Meyer fell to the ice late in the second period of Thursday game against Calgary. He was able to skate off the ice on his own power and is listed with an upper body injury (AP/John Bozeman)

Freddy Meyer fell to the ice late in the second period of Thursday game against Calgary. Team official say he suffered an upper body injury (AP/John Bozeman)

Indeed, they did perform much better than they have of late. They were fighting hard and doing a lot of things right on the ice. But until the NHL starts giving out points in the standing for playing respectably, none of that really matters…does it?

Sure, as Eliot said afterwards, sometimes you have to show yourself you can play well again before the results come. However, the current tailspin the Thrashers are in does not allow much time for that to eventually come around. The points have to start coming with the effort now.

Too many times since New Years, this team has found itself tied or within a goal during the latter stages of the game…only to find themselves on the wrong end of the score after 60 minutes have been played. This was true in the game against Toronto a few weeks back, against Philadelphia and in Dallas just after that and most recently this week against the Islanders when a 1-0 first period lead turned into a 2-1 deficit late in the second.

Those games resulted in 9-3, 5-2, 6-1 and 5-1 losses respectively.

Thursday night, Atlanta held took a 2-1 after Nik Antropov fed a nice pass over Anthony Stewart for his 13th goal of the season. It was a lead they held for all of 55 seconds before Brendan Morrison knocked home a pass from Mark Giordano. But regardless, it was a game they had within their reach going into the third and….and…and…

…sigh…

As has been the case all too many times, confusion in front of the net and the inability to clear the puck lead to what would be the game-losing goal. It came with just under six minutes to play and the Thrashers were unable to recover from it.

About the only thing to get even halfway happy about after this latest disappointment is that Carolina was beaten by Toronto 3-0 while the Flames were winning their first game in Atlanta since they called the city home. What it leaves us with is the Thrashers still up on the Canes by one point in the standings and one huge game in Raleigh on tap for Saturday night.

They’ll need another good effort in Carolina that night. Only this time, the effort better come with points…or this mid-winter tumble will roll them right out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

By: Bill Tiller – AJC.com Thrashers Fan Blog

198 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

February 4th, 2011
3:31 pm

“We also know if we come out to play it and are interfered with, any goal would be waived off even if outside the crease (but not behind the goal line)”

Okay, you got me. All goalies are omniscient and the forwards have no right to the white ice in front of the blue crease. What the hell was I thinking? Nevermind.

Cornbread

February 4th, 2011
3:35 pm

Z S – Hear, Hear!

Red Light

February 4th, 2011
3:35 pm

Trade for Penguins goalie Brent Johnson, who sent DiPietro to the DL again, this time for 4-6 weeks when he dropped him with that punch the other night. If you want to play old-time hockey, you need a goalie that can mix it up!

LOL

ZAvalanche

February 4th, 2011
3:38 pm

Corn, most D have a fairly flat stick that is more square on the end. Not sure what Bogo uses or why he is pulling it.

Smoothie

February 4th, 2011
3:40 pm

According to Mike Davies twitter (he’s a forward on the Wolves), Kulda is getting the call-up. Perhaps Mike can let us know who’s getting dealt by Duds as well! ;-)

glovesave29

February 4th, 2011
3:40 pm

ZA – I got to scrimmage against Brett Hull once. I made a glove save (!) and it about ripped my arm of. It was like the puck weighed 15 lbs.

Smoothie – its the same theory as rookies never getting the call like a vet does. Of course the rule book doesn’t state that as I said it – but I promise you, the refs will give a goalie the benefit of the doubt everyday.

Joe Friday

February 4th, 2011
3:42 pm

Driving time to and from the game > 3 hours 15 minutes
Tickets, parking, beer and food > $219.00
Watching Zack Bogosian sling the puck wildly off net with game on line > Priceless

Atlanta Thrashers, don’t leave home without taking Don Waddell with you . . .

ZAvalanche

February 4th, 2011
3:50 pm

Glovesave – yeah, he was a BRUTE! That is so way flipping (would usually use a different word but Trixie would ban me) cool! Closest I ever came to playing with pros is in an A league against CHL players = I got worked, but it was fun.

Kulda is going to be good I think, just needs a lot of ice time. So thanks for the update Smoothie.

Smoothie

February 4th, 2011
3:53 pm

http://video.thrashers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20102011,2,681&event=FLA691&fr=false

Little wrister, traffic, Vokoun at top of paint…SCORE.

You were saying glovesave??

ZAvalanche

February 4th, 2011
3:54 pm

@ Smoothie – You got my back!

Smoothie

February 4th, 2011
3:55 pm

Z – actually, it was a guy on twitter who supposedly knows Mike Davies, but I don’t have any reason not to believe him at this point. Either that or Davies deleted the tweet soon after posting it.

Red Light

February 4th, 2011
3:57 pm

585 out of the 887 blocked shots recorded by the Thrashers this season have been by the eight defensemen (Meyer and Welch added) who have appeared in a game. Not so surprisingly, among the forwards Chris Thorburn (48, which is more than Byfuglien’s 44), Ladd and Peverley are the only forwards with more than 30 for the season.

However, you might be surprised to know that at this point in the season, there are only two teams that have four forwards with 30 or more blocked shots — the Flyers and the Rangers.

ZAvalanche

February 4th, 2011
3:58 pm

I just have to say; even though Thrashy is my 2nd favorite team, this forum is way better than the Avs forums, which is odd as we are an established hockey market. What the heck? Keep on keeping on Thrasher nation.

Smoothie

February 4th, 2011
3:59 pm

Sorry, forgot that was Clemmensen. The point is the screener at the top of the paint if not in the crease has every right to that space as the goalie and he got there first. I’d have to watch the replay of the Bogey gaffe but I can’t imagine we didn’t have at least 2 guys parked somewhat close to the top of the paint.

Smoothie

February 4th, 2011
4:02 pm

“585 out of the 887 blocked shots recorded by the Thrashers this season have been by the eight defensemen”

And 444 of those 585 BS have been by Oduya, Hainsey, Sopel and Enstrom. Buff and Bogey avg just 52 as a tandem as Bogey only has 60. Probably because he likes the old “flamingo” leg block and the half-committed one-knee slide that screens the goalie.

Joe Friday

February 4th, 2011
4:03 pm

Knock Knock.
Who’s there?
Zack Bogosian?
Zack Bogosian, who?
Exactly.

Cliff Fletcher

February 4th, 2011
4:04 pm

hope Kulda gets a long look and alot of ice time here. he deserves it.

Hoof Arted

February 4th, 2011
4:36 pm

Sorry it took a bump on the noggin by Meyer to get Kulda up here, but I like it.

Now if only Toby can get that finger healed and return so that Zach “Wide Right” Bogosian can get his butt back up in the press box.

Joe McGrath

February 4th, 2011
4:39 pm

Smoothie, you just made me choke on my Coke. Oh, and when he goes on the one knee, he’s sliding away from the path of the shot.

Tom Lysiak

February 4th, 2011
4:39 pm

Glad to hear they are supposedly bringing up Kulda. This team needs a spark (defibrillator). It isn’t too late, but it will be soon. I wish they would also bring up Postma. Move Buff to forward. Sit Modin down. Use Buff and ice-time incentive for others to generate some much needed goals.

All the while Duds is working the phone for his wish list. Fill in those gaps and get that swagger back. We were playing over our heads for a while, but damn it was fun.

Smoothie

February 4th, 2011
4:47 pm

“I wish they would also bring up Postma. Move Buff to forward. Sit Modin down. Use Buff and ice-time incentive for others to generate some much needed goals.”

TL – for realz yo, as if it could get much worse than the following:

6-10-4 over the last 20 games with a -29 goal differential, a SOG disparity of nearly -6 per game, a shot % of 7.4% and only 44 goals scored in 20 games. Yeah, a temporary move of Big Buff to forward might not be a bad thing at all. We need to get him on the scoresheet as he is now scoreless in the last 12!! Whaaat?

Smoothie

February 4th, 2011
4:48 pm

JoeM – I do what I can. :)

Tom Lysiak

February 4th, 2011
5:01 pm

Smoothie – Gotta try something. Waiting on that elusive deal that may or may not materialize is “death”, sorry Rammer. I know Buff may want to play defense, but I’ll bet he wants to score goals and win a little more right now.

Hockey Biltong

February 4th, 2011
5:22 pm

Hang in there folks. Plenty of good hockey left, plus an awesome trade.

Hockey Biltong

February 4th, 2011
5:26 pm

The team will gut it out! Rammer will prevail!

Cornbread

February 4th, 2011
6:24 pm

Smoothie and JM that is not a fair assessment of Bogosian and his shot blocking. That he is willing to do it, is fifth on the team at it, and has 16 more than Big Buff in 11 fewer games should be enough. He also is only 8th on the team in PK minutes where much of the shot blocking occurs.

Last night his skating out to the face-off dot and dropping to one knee to block a point blank wide open slap shot was nothing less than courageous. He did not slide the wrong way nor did he screen the goalie. He took away the center to far side of the net like he was supposed to do. You don’t slide or lead head first unless you want it taken off.

Like I said earlier, Pavs was out of position. No way can he give up that much net short side. Why Stapleton was down on the ice at the half wall I don’t know unless he thought he could get a bobbled puck. Modin was left to cover one wide open point and Bogosian raced out to try and stop the shot from a point to point pass.

You want to blame someone blame the forwards or Pavs at the end of a 4 minute PK. It was hardly Bogos fault.

Cornbread

February 4th, 2011
7:19 pm

ZA The square toe D-men usually like is for digging pucks out of the corner and off the wall. Forwards prefer round toes for stick handling and toe drags. But, that would not cause him to pull shots. Too stiff of a stick could also cause it but I highly doubt that is the case as he is strong as an ox. The heel curve of course starts at the heel and mid-heel a little further out. I don’t think these are ideal slap shot curves for D-men because, like a toe-in golf club, it causes the puck to go left – or straight for bad slicers. Wristers and snap shots are a different matter as the release is different. I like a mid-curve because it’s straighter from the heel to mid point of the blade which is the contact spot for slap shots. I don’t see many toe-curves out there but I’m sure some D-men have some custom blades like this.

Then again, he may just not be that accurate. Or worse, thought he could hit the upper left corner of the net. I did notice that he recently switched from a Bauer to a Combat stick so maybe that had something to do with it. Either way you’d think the equipment guys would work with him on it.

LAC

February 4th, 2011
7:53 pm

Sage, No truer comment have ever been made here than yours of today. OUTSTANDING, The REAL hockey fans do deserve better than these lying idiots, I am so sick of them. Just like in KC, with Mr.Walmart Cheapo, david glass in control, trying to win in pro sports with a Walmart price, DOES NOT WORK… Period. Heck they had to trade their top pitcher this winter because of their cheapness. Just like here, another example of people who have NO DAMN Business owning a professional sports team and then showing everyone how cheap and STUPID they are, not to mention LIARS, here in town.

Saturday game will offically elimanate the Thrashers from playoff contention once and for all.
They are DONE, Toast or whatever. But my biggest question is this…
Where in the world is Gary Bettman ???? Does he want lying owners to continue to own this team ?
Does the NHL have ANY Standards for owners ??? I kinda believe Bettman does not want the Thrashers to stay here… It is very very ODD to say the least !

Come on Bettman use your POWER to strip these owners of control and save NHL hockey in Atlanta !

Tom Lysiak

February 4th, 2011
9:00 pm

Yep, those were some really OUTSTANDING comments made by your hero “Sage”. Let’s take a look at one particular paragraph.

“Please stop subsidizing this embarrassing incompetence. This is the ONLY way to get the league office involved. Deny all you want–but several games of 1,000 (opponent-team’s fans) people in the stands WILL have the desired effect…of something…of anything…”

Once again trolling for his sheep to join him in boycotting the team. He boldly predicts after several games with nobody attending, the league will get involved. He is begging for the league to get involved. But then, the real beauty of his “plan” is uncovered for all his sheep to foam at the mouth over. The desired effect of the league stepping in will be…..drum roll please……”..something….. anything.”

Now that is a sound plan. “Something, anything” could run the gamut from the league doing nothing since (unfortunately) lying is not a reason to seize a franchise, all the way to even causing a sale which could take the team out of the city.

There was another Mensa candidate who would welcome a sale and move, because “at least Waddell would be out of a job”. Seriously? It should soothe the wounds of no more NHL games here just knowing that Waddell got his?

There is no guarantee that the league will keep the team here since each situation is different. You want to get behind an arrogant ax-grinder whose plan is so cavalier that he is willing to gamble on the team being sold to the highest bidder and moved, go ahead. The ASG will probably appreciate it.

thrasherdawg

February 4th, 2011
9:47 pm

Zombie Steve…13,000 investors at $10,000.00 each and we can just buy the team. Many of which could/would buy season tickets…thus investing in your own investment so that your roi (return on investment) is practically guaranteed. Unlike ASG, the new ownership will move forward by obtaining the 3 or 4 stars that the team needs to be a stanley cup contender. Comments are welcomed.

LAC

February 4th, 2011
10:34 pm

Boy smoothie & tom are at the top of their Lame Game for sure. Get you collective heads out of the sand and see what the problems are for once !

Thrashers

February 5th, 2011
8:15 am

We are in 8th dammit!!!!

Cliff Fletcher

February 5th, 2011
9:47 am

great game in Vancouver last night, chicago got robbed on the goal not counted as a goal in the first period. hawks are making a run, strange to see them in the position they are at this stage in the season. Ray Ferrero does a nice job on TSN as color man. TSN’s hockey staff is actually better overall than Hockey Night in Canada, ever since HNIC got into their ra-ra / nationalistic mode a few years back. Foster Hewitt must be spinning in his grave.

Tom//
thanks for pointing out the issues with our rogue blogger. everyone knows where the problems are with this franchise, the issues are so obvious that even an auditor can see them. The name calling and demeaning nature of this blogger is the real issue. sorry that I got into the same mode earlier this week too, should not have let myself fall into the same gutter.

Get The Puck Out

February 5th, 2011
9:48 am

We’ll either be in 8th or 9th after tonight, dammit!!!

Thrashers

February 5th, 2011
10:03 am

We are like the mutants at table 9, we have nothing to offer the opposite sex.

Nate

February 5th, 2011
11:16 am

Tonight is a must-win. There just aren’t many games left on the season. Mark it down if the Thrashers lose tonight they will not sniff a playoff spot the rest of the way.

LAC

February 5th, 2011
11:16 am

No cliff, I am a constant blogger, so get real for a change and explain how this team will make the playoffs ? Give it up !

Red Light

February 5th, 2011
11:20 am

Is it possible to simply discuss hockey?

Few of us like the current ownership and management situation. Some of us like to watch the sport live and don’t care where the money spent winds up. Some don’t want to subsidize the incompetence. OK, we get it.

Some think this team can make the playoffs, while some don’t.

Some offer excellent insight and other ways to think about what we have seen or will see both on and off the ice. Some provide ideas about trades, trade partners etc. At the very least, it’s hockey talk, which makes us all happy. If we stick to that vein, then we don’t have to have the back-and-forth and insults tossed around.

We’re not going to agree on every subject and that what makes it so entertaining, but I think it might be long overdue that we approach this forum as grown men and women.

Thrashers All Time at Carolina…13-14-4
Thrashers 3-1-1 in their last 5 at RBC Center

Falling to 9th with the Canes having two games in hand isn’t devastating because the teams play here next Sunday. But lose today and in Toronto Monday, the Thrashers could be looking at a steep hill in front of them for awhile!

Joe Friday

February 5th, 2011
11:31 am

I’m thinking tonight is the night to get on a roll. I would think the boys look at this as a huge game. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to take Pavs standing on his to steal us a regulation win. I sure would like to see Boulton back in there tonight and Modin sat.

Pens did us a nice favor to comeback against Buffalo after falling back 2-0, good gritty effort after Malkin goes out. Blysma is a heck of a coach.

Red Light

February 5th, 2011
11:41 am

Actually, Thrashers All Time at Carolina is now 13-14-5 after January game.

Penguins have won 5 straight now and are just one point behind the Flyers without Crosby and mostly without Malkin. Imagine calling guys up from the A and having them perform at the NHL level. What a concept?

Dustin Jeffrey: 4 goals, 2 assists and +7 in 10 games.

Smoothie

February 5th, 2011
12:54 pm

Well said Red Light!

Dustin Jeffrey and Mark Letestu have been impressive and Bylsma may be the best coach in the league. Its astounding to me they’ve been this consistent without the guy who scored in 24 straight and seemingly figured in every one of those 24 outcomes. Philly confounds me but they may simply going thru the motions although the do have an aging few D-men who may be showing some wear?

Winning tonite would be huge for obvious reasons, but beyond this game and TOR, in which we really could use 3 of 4 pts, the Thrashers need to figure out a way to win at home. Only 13 home games remain so the pressure to win 9 or 10 is getting high. They’re slightly above .500 on road so let’s figure they go 7-6-2 in the 15 road games for 16 out of 30 potential pts. That would mean they need to procure 20 of 26 points at home to get the requisite 36 for 93 points and the 8th seed. Ouch. We’re in deep, deep twouble.

ex-ex-STH

February 5th, 2011
1:00 pm

I agree RL…lets talk some hockey. So when is Duds going to pull the trigger on a trade??? Is this call-up of Kulda just a showcase for him to seal a deal with some other team? I would love to get Penner (and it is interesting why he is out with an “illness”) or even Arnott from NJ. Just do SOMETHING Duds!!

World Be Free

February 5th, 2011
1:22 pm

Yeah the blog hasn’t been a happy place the last day or so. Back to hockey. Anyone see the Detroit game last night, I did not. Unusual for them to get shutout especially on Fridays.

Smoothie-I am thinking a little different than you are when it comes to a trade, but we are both in the same direction. Here’s my thoughts-

I am really excited to see Kulda tonight, bet he is happy to finally be back in a Thrasher uniform. If he is the real deal, then we have to wonder which left defenseman may be used as trade bait at the deadline (or before). Johnny? We all know Oduya was not thrilled about coming here to begin with. Could he be moved for help if Kulda shows he can play at this level on a regular basis. I don’t see Hainsey going anywhere with his contract. We also have to view Postma as a player for the future, is he next year’s replacement for Meyer or Sopel? We’d miss Sopel’s shot blocking expertise.

Food for thought.

Smoothie

February 5th, 2011
1:38 pm

WBF – actually, I pretty much agree with your view of our D-corps. If you get a chance, check out my latest Hockey Independent article that I wrote a couple days ago and you’ll see what I mean. Postma is definitely a key piece of the future and I hope he becomes part of our top 4 eventually. But even if Kulda proves that he’s solid enough to stick with the big club playing with Sopel, Hainsey needs to step up and show that he can be more willing to use his skills and speed to carry the puck out of harm’s way or through the NZ to start the forecheck. Otherwise it may be too detrimental in the short term to trade Oduya now, but I think he’ll be shipped out eventually, prolly this summer at or near the draft.

If Duds pulls a trade soon then it will likely involve Bergy, Pevs, Oduya, Modin (we all wish!) or perhaps even Sopel. Should Kulda really impress (and I think he’s very capable of playing in the bottom pair) then Sopel may be better trade bait at the deadline as he has value as a shut-down bottom pair guy AND he likely won’t re-sign with Atlanta next year.

Sage of Bluesland

February 5th, 2011
1:39 pm

Some keep expecting this looming prospect of a “big” trade to be the all-saving salve….It isn’t and it won’t be.

When has it ever?

Well, unless we completely mortgage the future for a few short-term (only) upgrades.

No thanks. Let’s stick with, “This is a NEW day in Thrashersland!” It has gotten many through the proverbial night…

(Thanks, LAC–but don’t worry about imbeciles; they’re simply not worth the time….They weren’t here years ago–and won’t be here years from now…They are what they are–and we ALL know what that is…)

Sage of Bluesland

February 5th, 2011
1:41 pm

…What do we have that anyone would pay a very high price for???

(I know, I know, there is someone around here who thinks lil’ Toby is on his way to the Hall of Fame…That one still makes me laugh…)

No kings-ransoms’ here folks…unless its our future 1st round picks….which should be lottery-selections for the foreseeable future (as they have been for what, seven/eight of the past ten years….Brendan had a sad stat on that…but then I think of whose hands they were in and I completely understand, spweadsheet notwithstanding…)

Cliff Fletcher

February 5th, 2011
1:44 pm

buffalo blew a 2 goal lead in pittsburgh last night, you have to wonder if they will be buyers or sellers at the deadline. they have little chance of making an impact in the playoffs even if they make it, sabres need to move the UFA guys for prospects or picks. all the teams chasing us have issues.

Cliff Fletcher

February 5th, 2011
1:48 pm

Hey Sage, didn’t you post the exact same thing 2 years ago? 2 mos ago?
Master of the Obvious/like a toilet flushing.

thrashersaddict

February 5th, 2011
2:16 pm

Go Thrashers!!! PLEASE!!! We need 2 points!!! PLEASE!!!

mike

February 5th, 2011
2:25 pm

hey Tom seriously check the record thrashers with Don 11 for years. are you happy or contend to enjoy that. you just unbelievable. I AM AGREE LET THIS TEAM BE AT LEAST ON EVEN LEVEL WITH OTHER 29 RATHER ON DON WADDELL AND ASG IN ATLANTA. on my last check no Mr Blank no Mark Cuban not interesting, so most richest black populations folks in Atlanta (statistically one is the biggest in USA), some told me they already bought minority share in falcons. TOM, please step up and buy from levensons gang, if not thrashers done in south capital of college and high football in America.