Thump! Thrashers fall out of playoff berth

That big thump you heard coming from Raleigh, North Carolina was the Atlanta Thrashers falling out of their playoff berth. We’ve seen it coming for some time now, like a train wreck playing out in slow motion…but the sound of it when it actually happens is still rather sickening.

On December 20, the Thrashers beat the Maple Leafs in Toronto 6-3. The win gave them a 19-11-5 record, which at the time was good enough for first place in the Southeast Division and second seed in the Eastern Conference.

That was the high water mark of the season so far.

After the 4-3 overtime loss in Carolina, the Thrashers have now gone 5-10-5 since that time, with only two of those wins coming in regulation. Seven of the 10 regulation losses have been by 3 or more goals, one was by 5 goals and two were debacles in which Atlanta was outscored by 6. In fact, the Thrashers have not even held a two-goal lead in any game since that win in Toronto.

Saturday night, the fall from the top was completed.

As a result of the disappointing outcome Saturday night, Atlanta finds itself in a position they’ve not been since the beginning of the season…out of a playoff spot. The Thrashers and Canes each have 58 points, but they have two more wins and two games in hand. Thus, Carolina has evicted the Thrashers from the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference and has relegated them to the highest non-playoff spot.

Nic Bergfors scores a first periiod goal to give the Thrashers a 1-0 lead, an advantage they failed to hold. They aslo have failed to hold on to their playoff spot as the 4-3 OT loss to Carolina drops themm to ninth place in the Eatsern Conference (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Nic Bergfors scores a first periiod goal to give the Thrashers a 1-0 lead... an advantage they failed to hold. They aslo failed to hold on to their playoff spot as the 4-3 OT loss in Carolina drops them to ninth place in the Eastern Conference (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Much like Thursday night against the Flames, they played a good game for the most part. They got another strong start from Ondrej Pavelec between the pipes as he stopped 33 of Carolina’s 37 shots. Atlanta also got a pair of very big goals from blueliners in the third period as Brent Sopel and Zach Bogosian each tied the score in that period with blasts from the point. And the penalty kill unit even came up huge in killing of 5 of the 6 Hurricanes power plays, including a two-minute long 5 on 3 that was wrapped around the second intermission.

But once again…the hard work comes up just short.

If you were a neutral-party observer tuning into the game in hopes of watching a very entertaining match, you were not disappointed. It was a close, hard-fought game with the outcome in doubt until the end. But for residents of Thrasherville…this was just the latest in what has been a very frustrating six weeks.

All this underscores the need for the organization to make some sort of move prior to the trade deadline at the end of the month. And the way things are going, it needs to be sooner rather than later. This team needs a strong left wing to take Fredrik Modin’s ice time away from him and add a spark to this offence.

They also, in my opinion, need a veteran defenseman to help this team shut down opponents. But then again…we’ve been saying that every winter for how many years now?

Getting Toby and Slater back onto the ice again will obviously been of benefit. However, this squad is still going to need some help from the front office or this season is in serious danger of going the way every other one has save the spring of 2007.

Trying to close out on a positive note…I was very happy to see Nic Bergfors’ good work of late pay off with a goal. It was only his second goal since the last time the Thrashers played in Carolina a month ago but his play recently has been very encouraging.

Unfortunately for Bergie, the game-winner scored by the flames Thursday came via his miscue in the defensive zone. Too many times in a close game like that, one bad play can mean al the difference and will negate the hard work and effort otherwise put forward.

But in a rare moment of candor in professional sports, he manned up and took full responsibility for it afterwards. “Terrible play by me,” Bergfors said of the play. “I tried to chip it out in the middle because I knew their guy was at the wall. I have to look up there and make sure someone is there if I don’t get it out. It was my point”.

“That was a brutal play by me. I have to look up. If nobody is there, I have to eat that puck”.

I’m always appreciative of a young man understanding the importance of owning up to his mistake and making no bones about where responsibility lays. It’s a sign he understands what he’s supposed to be doing and knows what is expected of him.

It also speaks well of his maturation process.

Also worth noting here is the play by Arturs Kulda. Not surprisingly, he put in a strong game on defense filing in for Freddy Meyer. He seems to always be in good position and provides the coach with quality third line defensive minutes.

By: Bill Tiller – AJC.com Thrashers Fan Blog

143 comments Add your comment

shootoutloss

February 5th, 2011
11:34 pm

No, the thump was the sign of me throwing my remote at the TV

shootoutloss

February 5th, 2011
11:35 pm

Sound. Wtf. Not sign

Sage of Bluesland

February 5th, 2011
11:35 pm

Rawhide: berth…Berth…BERTH!!!

(Sorry, it’s one of those grammar-things for me)

We’re in ninth place! (to mirror someone who was shouting a sheep-rallying-cry about being in eighth place just recently)…

Here we go….Feel it yet, Thrashersland?

B. Thenet

February 5th, 2011
11:41 pm

You give Pavelec too much credit, the last two goals are on him. He needed to be better in a big game, and he was not up to the task.

Rawhide

February 5th, 2011
11:42 pm

Sage – Thanks…facepalm…it’s bErth of course. Like Bergfors’ comment regarding his play on that goal Thursday night, I offer up no excuses. It has been corrected.

And now, I must perform a little bit of blog admin work…

:!: Rawhide Blog Public Service Announcement :!:

This blog is open to all fans looking to discuss the Thrashers and the sport of hockey in general. It sometimes even serves as place to comment/opine/vent about other sports as well. Those who come here are even welcome to share links to other sites that discuss the Thrashers, NHL hockey and/or other sports topics.

If you are one of those who frequent this site and have a blog or message board of your own you’d like to funnel traffic to, you are more than welcome to do so as a part of your comment or you may ask me to add your site to my blogroll found to the right. The blogging platform in Thrasherville is quite vast and there’s room for everyone and I’m all to happy to do so.

If you wish to add your site to my blogroll. Simply link it here with your comment or e-mail me at rawhide528@yahoo.com.

However, simply pimping your blog or message board without at least adding something to the discussion here or asking permission is simply not proper blog etiquette. Those doing so will b shown the cyber door.

Thank you.

Sage of Bluesland

February 5th, 2011
11:43 pm

Out with the Mrs. and DVR’d the game…Watching it now…Not as bad as I thought it would be and only a few minutes left in the 2nd period….Still tied, to my surprise.

Love not having the commercials, etc. DVR is a wonderful invention. Of course, had to ‘ruin’ it by seeing the score. Surprised we got a point.

But, hey, we’re in ninth place! No trade is going to significantly help, folks….WAKE UP!!! Stop with the pipe dreams (hey, no pun intended–but not bad!)….

Rawhide

February 5th, 2011
11:47 pm

B. Thenet – Respecting you observations, but I’ll have to disagree with you. The Canes made some good shots. If anything, the last goal scored in regulation saw Bogosian losing his edge while defending. May have even knicked Zach’s stick on the way by…but I won’t swear to that.

At the beginning of OT, Opie made a great glovesave…then Cole used Oduya as a screen for his goal in overtime expertly.

CatThrashFever

February 5th, 2011
11:56 pm

:*(……oh no Thrashers travel to Toronto for their next game….the beginning and the end to it all! We can only hope it is not the same debacle of our last meeting with the Leafs. I unfortunately had the experience of watching that last game in person….Please… please…. please let’s win one in regulation in Toronto!!!

PS: maybe a new trade or two would spark something in the team! And I really miss Slater and Toby…

(still crying) :*(

LAC

February 6th, 2011
12:03 am

I really don’t know just what to say. Why can WE not whip Carolina ? Tampa owns us, We own D.C.
and Florida. But this team needs a spark and needs it NOW.

Three goals were Weak and should been stopped. Carolina lost their first two out of the ASG break, and instead of making some hey, we have fallen flat on our face and OUT of the playoffs.

rick dudley I believe has NO clue as to what to do, he speaks, but says nothing and does Nothing, so as a GM so I give him a d- at the very best. No playoffs, He should be FIRED.

Craig Ramsey has shown he has no clue as to what to do to correct this issues at hand. Hummmm….

I watched Eager today in SJ game, busting his tail all over the ice and we got ONLY a 5th rounder for him, You can bet he is glad to be off this sinking ship. Just nuts dudley is being so damn LAME and not addressing the problems… For crying out Loud, DO SOMETHING !

B. Thenet

February 6th, 2011
12:09 am

Never liked that Eager trade.

This team had crap depth to begin with, we trade an NHL caliber player for a 5th rounder, Slater gets hurt, Bolts is in the dog house for some reason, and we get Tiny Tim Stapleton in our starting lineup.

Eager was a useful NHL forward, we barely have 12 of those most nights.

Oh and Boulton had better be in the lineup on Monday. I have no clue what Ramsay sees in Stapleton, but he brings nothing to the table other than it looks like the kid from the pee wee player of the day is taking full shifts on our team.

Smoothie

February 6th, 2011
12:32 am

Put a fork in us cuz we done! The trade that has been mentioned as being “actively pursued” should have happened weeks ago. And yes, considering Eager’s size and speed, he never should have been traded without a backup plan in place. A healthy Modin does not constitute a backup plan. He’s here ostensibly to tutor our youth but all he teaches them is how not to play within yourself, over-extend, get out of position and take bad penalties. And speaking of penalties, how on earth was the “penalty” on Oduya resulting in Staal’s PPG a penalty!? He lifted the stick and rode the body off the puck, textbook. No wonder he got so gunshy later on and just kept back-pedaling. Still, this team has needed another 15-20 goal scorer for months but no one wants to trade unless we give up our 1st rounder. Hopefully another GM will get desperate before Duds does. Of course, they could always call up Postma too and move Buff back to forward till Toby and Slater get healthy.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
12:35 am

5-10-5 for 20 games. That’s fifteen of a possible forty (15/40) points. That’s a (Kansas City Royals-like) .375 clip. Well, I always said points would be harder to come by after New Year’s Day. Of course, that sort of thing is ‘common knowledge,’ but I do repeat it from time to time. Aside from the time we got Kari Lehtonen back from injury in 2006, I’m hard pressed to thing of a stretch run that was memorable by this team.

Don Waddell used to bluster about ‘meaningful games in March.’ At .375 clip, those March games will NOT be meaningful. I hope Sage of Bluesland is wrong, and that trades can happen to result in something meaningful. But, I suspect that the budget was set BELOW the FLOOR of the cap for a reason. So, I suppose it doesn’t matter how much cap room this team has, the ownership would have to ‘greenlight’ more salary. Hmmn, the owners love basketball and are fixated on a deep run by the Hawks. What are the odds that any money will come the way of the Thrashers???

PB

February 6th, 2011
12:37 am

So now it is official. Our team is not as good as the Canes either. We already knew they are not as good as the Lightning or Caps (h2h record notwithstanding, they won’t come close on points) and now they are looking up at the Canes. Fourth out of five in the southeast conference. A couple more bad games and the Panthers pass them up too.

Wayne stuck in AL

February 6th, 2011
12:40 am

After the last game, I wrote on an AJC blog (IceMan’s or Vivlamore’s, I can’t remember) that I washed my hands of the Thrashers. A local Atlanta sportsradio personality wondered why I finally gave up on the team after 11 years. Here is my (cleaned up) response:

What really [irritated me] was:
1. This past summer, the acquisition of the 4 Blackhawks and the hiring of Craig Ramsay was sold to us as we were going to get a Thrasher team 180º apart from what we had been seeing the first 10 years. Instead, we’re getting the same old, same old. This team is not tough enough, nor do they play good enough defense. While I’ve watched hockey off-and-on for about 40 years, and have only put on skates once in my life (February 1977 in Huntsville, AL), I can tell that Zach Bogosian needs to be sent elsewhere. His defense, and most importantly, his puck-handling is KILLING this team (even though he scored the late goal tonight).
2. When the team got off to the fast start, we all thought, “This is not your father’s Thrashers.” After this 20-plus game collapse, yes, they are. This team needed a good season not only to get people to buy advance tickets, but also to build up the season ticket base for next year to sign Byfuglien and others to long term deals and to maybe sign some free agents. (And not incidentally, to get some positive talk on Atlanta sports-talk radio.) Instead, we’ll dredge up the bottom of the attendance figures, Atlanta Spirit will financially starve the team again, and the rumors will continue that the team will be moving. [I also included a link to last week's poll about Atlanta being one of the LEAST desired player destinations.]
3. The press attention (CNN, TSN, AP, Yahoo! Sports) over having 4-5 black players on the team will be irrelevant if the team doesn’t win AND Atlanta Spirit and clueless Thrasher mgmt. doesn’t do a Hockey 101, 201, etc. utilizing current technology (website, OnDemand, etc.)

BMF

February 6th, 2011
12:43 am

Thought tonight’s game was excellent, exciting game, but with an all too familiar result. Good hitting, both teams getting at it, good hitting. I haven’t said this yet after a loss, but I have to point a finger at Pavelec, 3 of the 4 Canes golas were weak, especially the OT goal. The 3rd goal was weak too, and the 2nd goal (the Staal goal I think), he made the first save but gave up a juicy rebound and basically gave away the entire net on a tight angle and Staal buried it, perhaps his momentum gave away the goal after the first save (which was nice). But the 3rd and 4th goals were weak wristers and I think he should have had both of those. Pavelec has been a warrior all season, basically playing every single day of late, and I hate to blame him, but I’m sure he’ll tell you he should have had both of those last 2 goals. Great PK on that 5 on 3, excellent work there. Not impressed with Kulda, he made a few bad turnovers. Bergfors’ goal on that Little pass was a beauty. Somebody explain to me how the high-stick that Stewart took was only a 2 minute penalty but the one that put Kane in the box on thursday was a double minor. Thought we’d have a 4 minute power play there, and holy crap did the refs let Carolina get away with interference basically the whole game. Really surprised we didn’t fight in the 2nd period, the game was getting very heated, especially after Corimer got dudeman to punch him in the face for matching minors. Although Bogosian has been playing slightly better of late, I’m not thrilled to see him out there prominently on the power play, and Rawhide i’m with you on the belief that we can find somebody else better to log Freddy Modin’s minutes. Some other thoughts of mine are that Stapleton played ok but he’s small and gets knocked off the puck a lot, and that Peverley isn’t quite as comfy on the wing as he was at center, but he did some decent work out there. Agree with Ramsey that if we keep playing like that and we’ll win some games, but come on, WHEN? The time needs to be now, yesterday even. We are bleeding.

PB

February 6th, 2011
12:45 am

Also – I am so dam sick of watching these guys miss the net without being tipped or anything. Stapleton and Buff, I am talking to you. Dishonorable mention to Ladd too, for the post at the end.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
12:50 am

Smoothie, remember something important. If we just wait until Game 78, all kinds of a AFFORDABLE possibilities open up, with prorated salaries. (That’s sarcasm, we all know the deadline is Feb. 28th.) Of course, why not wait ’til Game 82? And at that point, we can say the season’s over, so why bother making any moves?? We will have kept that budget just where the uncaring “Heptacluster” (Copryright, 2010-11, poster Brendan) likes it to be. You got it, BELOW that which is required by the league.

B.Thenet, I thought Pavelec was at fault on AT LEAST two (2) of those goals. If he screened, I didn’t see it. If there were deflections by his defensemen, those are tough breaks. But, it seems like he could kept at least one or two of those pucks out, tonight. Now, that doesn’t mean Pavelec sucked tonight. He played pretty well, overall. He robbed Carolina at least TWICE. Maybe that’s a “wash” for the two he let in?? I don’t know.

I know this much. I’m sick of our ’soft’ play in the corners. We cough pucks up with no pressure on us. We don’t win battles along the boards. We rarely generate offensive zone turnovers. Why? We’re soft. Or we’re UNINSPIRED. The first time I saw inspirational play occured right after Bogosian’s game-tying goal. Thennnnn we saw some heart. We gotta play like that all game long. At this time of year, the games can be UGLY, so long as they result in wins. A .375 clip won’t get it done.

Wayne stuck in AL

February 6th, 2011
12:53 am

BTW: the Thrashers will lose by 3 goals in Tronna on Monday night. Book it.

Wayne stuck in AL

February 6th, 2011
12:56 am

To Rawhide:
If you’re going to ask for submissions to your blogroll, shouldn’t you at least clean up the list you already have? Tumbleweeds are growing on some of those blogs, and I don’t get the one for Kristi Dosh…

BMF

February 6th, 2011
1:05 am

Just took another swig of the Thrashers cool-aid. Our schedule coming up is good. We can beat Toronto, and a home rematch agains the Rangers and home against these same Canes, I really think we can win all 3 of those. The effort has been there the past two games. As bad as we’ve been for the past 5 or 6 weeks, we are still in the hunt for playoffs. It needs to start on monday in Toronto. We killed them last time we went there (and Rawhide pointed out, that was the high-water mark of our season), and we need to do it again. A solid 2-goal regulation win is what this team needs to spur a good run. And for one of our guys to plaster Colby Armstrong into the boards. Can we rent Eager back for one game? I know he’d be up for that..

JohnD

February 6th, 2011
2:30 am

There is no paypack to being a Thrashers fan… Considering the emotional investment I’ve put into this team over the last decade, I never get anything back from them. The most frustrating part is that after all these years, and many different players, the team continues to do the same dumb things, making the same lazy mistakes. Every night, I expect them to lose even before the first puck is dropped. But I’ve continued to watch them, night after night.
Tonight was a little different, though. After the game, I realized that I dont know or care when the next game is. Sadly and suprisingly, I think I really am losing my interest in them.

Cornbread

February 6th, 2011
3:48 am

1. Zach Bogosian played a great hockey game.
2. Ondrej Pavelec did not play a great hockey game.

I’m not saying Pav’s had a bad game, he did not, and the Cane’s had some great shots, but great saves are made off of great shots. Zach played a complete game and looked very solid on the PP. There were questions the other day about him missing the net, including from me. I think we saw tonight with his late game tying goal why he was out there. Great coaching by Coach Ramsay to change the look up. If the Thrashers get Zach and Ondrej playing great on the same night, look out.

Not Blind

February 6th, 2011
7:18 am

Modin made a great play in the neutral zone on Cole’s game winning rush ! Got right out of his way .

kovyoverrated

February 6th, 2011
7:44 am

Time to start thinking about where to shift the alliance. Do I go with Nashville? Very physical, Cool uni’s and 5 hours away. Or Carolina? They have a star(Staal), very young, and 6 hours away. We have about 7 months to make a decision….

Rob

February 6th, 2011
7:54 am

The team needs that top 6 forward now – I want to throw something at my Television every time I watch Tim Stapleton have a nearly open net and either miss the net or fan on the puck. I don’t understand why they’re playing him: He gets knocked off the puck, 17 games with no goals, no prospect upside (28), and he doesn’t/can’t really hit or fight. The only reason I can tell is he is more responsible with the puck than Bolton.

Sage of Bluesland

February 6th, 2011
8:05 am

“… If the Thrashers get Zach and Ondrej playing great on the same night, look out.”

Ugh–just lost a post in purgatory on Cornbread’s (i.e. Don Waddell) ridiculous statement here….Really?….Really?!

Who would have thought this was the entire key to the Thrashers…

How utterly embarrassing.

The humor value is worth it, though…

Always Hoping

February 6th, 2011
8:12 am

BMF….agree with you on Kulda as he got his pocket picked a few times and took a bad penalty. Not a total disaster but nothing impressive. Pevs hitting the post on the short handed opportunity was crucial in my eyes. He has a wide open net and clangs it off the post.

Do we know why Buff was sitting late? Was it injury or punishment?

Rawhide

February 6th, 2011
8:15 am

WSIA – Thanks for the heads up on the Kristi Dosh link. I took it down and will find the new to her site later today. Maybe while I’m lounging on the couch this afternoon checking out the Super Bowl festivities I’ll take a quick look-see at the others.

However, truth be told…that PSA was geared more twards people trolling to simply post up pleas to check out their message boards. Again, I don’t take issue with them coming here to look for web traffic, but doing it like that just isn’t cool.

Kovy's Agent

February 6th, 2011
8:19 am

Given the current roster I think last night’s game is about as good as this collection can produce. I mean, when you get goals from Bogo and Sopes and it still isn’t enough, well that says something. Let’s face it, they won’t give the effort they gave last night in every game, just won’t happen. And I’m not holding my breath that a 20 -30 goal scorer will be showing up by the trade deadline. The owners have probably told Duds “see what you can get for a bag of pucks and some sticks otherwise we’re not interested.” So, we’ll move a mediocre player for another mediocre player, put them on a line above where they belong and hope for a miracle. Lottery draft here we come, yet again.

thrash head

February 6th, 2011
8:20 am

I’m actually working in Greensboro and went to the game last night. Sorry to those guys that disagree, but three of the four goals were weak. AND all three were high to the blocker side. I hope that is not a weakness the league has picked up on.
The flip side is we could have been down 3 or 4 goals after the first period if Pavs had not made some huge saves.
I thought Sopel looked horrible, despite having a goal. I’ve never seen a defenseman that absolutely refuses to play the body in the low slot. Jeez, at least let the guy know you are there. I’m not sure why we had him killing penalties.
Kulda looked completely lost the first two periods. Played a little better in the third.
Somebody tell Bogo you don’t take slap shot after slap shot from the blue line when you have a two man advantage.
Buff did NOT have a good game.
Burmistrov played a solid game. His speed really gave the Canes problems.
In summary, I’ve never seen a team so hesitant to take the body. One of the basics for hockey is “finish you check”. The Thrashers let a guy make a pass and then just skate right by him.

Fan from Carolina

February 6th, 2011
8:26 am

I also watched Eager yesterday afternoon and he looked like a player I would want on my team. I wonder what really happened here (behind the scenes) with the Thrashers? I also watched the Montreal game still waiting for them to fade. Completely wrong in my assessment mainly due to overlooking the playoff studs in Gionta and Gomez who have carried them to many wins down the stretch. How did NJ let these two guys go?

Brian west palm beach

February 6th, 2011
8:27 am

Pull the f-ing trigger duds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thrash head

February 6th, 2011
8:35 am

And I forgot to say “Stapleton is a JOKE”. He skates around like a 12 year kid at “public session”.

Fan from Carolina

February 6th, 2011
8:39 am

If you don’t feel like watching all the Super Bowl nonsense leading up to the game tonight and really like hockey in general, there is a Caps/Pens game on NBC at 12:30 today followed by Lightning/Blues at 3:00 if you have NHL Center Ice featuring one of the best announcers in hockey (IMO) in John Kelly. Sounds just like his dad Dan Kelly who broadcast for years and years back in the 60’s and 70’s. Yeah, I’m getting old. The hockey version of the Carays (Harry and Skip). Well, I just looked at the Center Ice lineup and only one broadcast is being shown. Hoping it is the St Louis feed and not the Lightning one with the stammering ‘Chief’. Have a good Sunday everyone!!

Buff-n-stuff

February 6th, 2011
8:51 am

Of course, after llast night’s loss, the “Winnepeg Rumors” started again on the ESPN Rumor Mill…..says, “Looks like Winnepeg Finally Gets Their Team”…..GREAT !!!!

Marcus Valdes

February 6th, 2011
8:56 am

I hate to see everybody giving up on the team. We’ve had a great run, followed by a mediocre run. If we start playing 30 percent better, we are in the playoffs in my mind. At that point, as everyone knows, anything can happen. Agree we need a trade, but let’s not give up on our team so easily. I think that is one problem with Atlanta fans in general. Too fair weather. LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!!

Cup Guy

February 6th, 2011
9:09 am

Hey rawhide and fellow readers. I was personally at the game last night. I want to get a few things straight about the goaltending.

Pavs was game on! He played one hell of a game. He only gave up one bad goal. That was the stall goal. He made the initial save but gave a big rebound up and while trying to straighten up gave up a 5 hole goal. Goal number 2 was absolutely beautiful for the canes. As a hockey fan you have to say it was sick. He used our defenseman as a screen and shot high blocker side. It was a perfect shot! Goal 3 was awful defense on our end. Pavs got hung out to dry on that one. And goal 4 was a deflection off of a sliding bogo. It was a little weak but when you talk about deflections it is what if is.
The effort was truly there tonight. It was the first game since the break where I saw real effort. Thursday was a garbage game and we don’t need to mention Tuesday. Here is the problem with our effort. It was good. The coach and players are happy with good. But this is the fracking NHL. Good gets you a lose or if you are lucky 1 lousy point. Everyone always days well at least we got one point. Frack that point! You learn more from a loss bc you don’t have that attitude “well at least we got a point. ”
All you bandwagoneers this is your exit. Please get off and never get back on. Atlanta has other teams that like you type of people. Hockey is for real fans that bleed with the team and heal with the
team. I read all your comments about how we will never amount to anything or telling me to quit bringing the cup. You guys are just as bad as saber fans if not worse. What this team needs is real fans that will come into the building and cheer the whole game. At the top of your lungs. Who have to call out of work the next day bc they can’t talk. We need “Thrashvillians” to show up. Those are people who attend these road games. Who recruit friends from work. Who buy tickets just go give away to people they don’t know. I commend everyone that came last night. I even commend the caniacs who were very hospitable. It was a good game with the team that gave the great effort winning.
The Cup will always be there regardless of what you think or request bc he is a true fan. Cup Guy Jr will always be there bc he is a true fan that understands the game. Rabid fan will be there bc he gets the ups and the downs. Rawhide will be there (unless his bride says otherwise) bc he makes up part of the team. All the true fans of Thrasherville make up a part of Atlanta Thrashers!

Jake

February 6th, 2011
9:22 am

Still looking for insight from someone — Rawhide? VIvlamore — about why Thrashers are consistently outshot. And what, exactly, is Ramsey’s defensive philosophy? The only thing I’ve seen are his comments about wanting defensemen to join the rush. Whether Pavelec was off or on last night is beside the point; the truth is, the guy’s got to be shell-shocked by now. He’s faced so many shots he should be treated for post traumatic stress disorder. I agree with comments above about the Thrashers failure to hit anyone. There is no pride at the defensive end and, generally speaking, no “attitude.” I hope I’m wrong, but while Ramsey is a slight improvement over Anderson in terms of teaching, he appears to lack the aptitude and the attitude to lead a first-rate program. In other words, he’s better off as what he was before he got here — an assistant.

Hockeynut

February 6th, 2011
9:29 am

Move the team to Winnipeg and get it over because Atlanta does not supports this team anyway, last night was not what we expect to see so say hello to the cellar which is just around the corner and get rid of that GM we have what a waste………….

Joe Friday

February 6th, 2011
9:31 am

Anyone hear why Coach benched Buf late with a must win game on the line?

Anyone have an insight into why coach keeps playing Modin and Stapelton and has Boulton riding the pine?

Anyone have an insight into why Dudley has made no move when it’s been apparent we needed one for over a month?

Bueller? Bueller?

Rawhide

February 6th, 2011
9:32 am

Cup Guy – You all came through loud and clear last night. A very good showing by Thrasherville in Hurricane Alley.

Jake – I think you answered your own question by saying, “I agree with comments above about the Thrashers failure to hit anyone. There is no pride at the defensive end and, generally speaking, no “attitude.””

Fan from Carolina – I’ll be checking out the Bolts-Blues matchup. At least I’ll know who to root for/against in that game.

Joe Friday

February 6th, 2011
9:40 am

“Pavs was game on! He played one hell of a game. He only gave up one bad goal. That was the stall goal. He made the initial save but gave a big rebound up and while trying to straighten up gave up a 5 hole goal. Goal number 2 was absolutely beautiful for the canes. As a hockey fan you have to say it was sick. He used our defenseman as a screen and shot high blocker side. It was a perfect shot! Goal 3 was awful defense on our end. Pavs got hung out to dry on that one. And goal 4 was a deflection off of a sliding bogo.”

I agree with you, Pavs played fine, our d was woeful again defending the rush. But Staal’s first goal went top shelf where Cup Guy Jr. hides the Playboys from momma. Goal 3 was the deflection off of Bogo’s stick, Pavs had no chance on it. I think Goal 2 was and I know Goal 4 was where Oduya was backpedaling out of the way letting them rush right into our zone and get a shot off from the scoring zone.

Someone needs to teach Oduya and Bogosian to quit backpedaling their way into no man’s land . . . get in his grill and stand the guy up!

Red Light

February 6th, 2011
9:40 am

It’s a meaningless stat, sort of, but since Jan. 2 the Thrashers have had the lead in 12 of the 14 games they have played but managed to lose 10 of them in the process.

Also of interest, is the fact that the Thrashers have had just four wins (Wash.-Dec 4, Toronto-Dec. 20, NJ-Dec. 18 and Wash-Jan. 26) since Dec. 1 where they scored first, held the lead throughout and won the game. They have won 11 games since the six-game winning streak ended on Dec. 2.

Thrashers were 13-9-3 on Nov. 30, while the Canes were 10-11-3, or six points behind. The Canes earned 11 points in the next 7 games, but by the first game after Christmas, they were still just 15-15-4, while the Thrashers were 19-13-5 and held a nine-point lead on the Canes.

Tampa Bay was just 2 points ahead of the Thrashers prior to the Dec. 26 game with 2 games in hand, and Washington also had 45 points. Florida had 32 points going into their game vs Boston Dec. 27.

Look at the standings today and you’ll see Tampa with 24 points since Dec. 26, Washington with 21, Carolina with 26 points, the Panthers with 20 and the Thrashers with 15. That is a ton of lost points within your own division.

Thump or Thud?

Red Light

February 6th, 2011
9:43 am

Joe Friday:

Take a look at the replay of Sutter’s goal and that might be the reason Buff was “admonished.” He was statuesque at center ice.

Thrasher

February 6th, 2011
9:44 am

Who are you fooling? They are not making the playoffs because those are the thrashers and this is Atlanta. We are losers, just ask the hawks, braves and recently falcons. We know constructions and building houses for nobody to live in, that is all.

jimbo

February 6th, 2011
9:46 am

5-10-5 says it all. This was not simply a collapse after the All Star break but a train wreck a long time in motion. And, what do Duds and Mr Peepers Ramsey do about it? Tiny Time and Freddy. We stink like day old sushi and there is no light at the end of the tunnel only another oncoming seat on the sideline at playoff time. Say goodnight guys.

alex

February 6th, 2011
9:51 am

agree this cheap roster played as good as there’s skill level permit. on Friday saw very emotional gearon on hawks basketball, but they not coming closely 10 miles to Philips when thrashers playing. i think they hate hockey surely understand nothing in this great simple game. it’s above there’s brains. what i anxious to know is officially this team for sale like sabres or they looking only for investors. but this is minor asg bunch of fat losers. 2 years from they also going to at least 10year recession with lively basketball. they operate both team with same cheap brainless method.

moriler

February 6th, 2011
10:01 am

Same old folks whining about how a trade should’ve been done by now, and same old folks never naming any names they’d go for or give up. Put up or shut up, children. (And don’t include that first-rounder, that and second-rounders are the only picks that are really reliable in the NHL draft) Yep, I think we need a trade too — but I don’t see anyone we can get that won’t cost us an arm and a leg. Dudley’s gonna have to fleece someone to make it work.

Hate to say it, but Pavs should’ve stopped that third goal. Bad time for him to have a bad night, especially when the team was out there pickin’ him up. Not much more to say, really; you can’t bust on Pavs because he’s been the only guy out there a lot of nights. Just plain old bad timing.

World Be Free

February 6th, 2011
10:14 am

Not much fun on the blog again today. The enthusiasm of December is gone in both the team and the fans. I would be upset had they lost by 3-4 goals in Carolina, but lose in OT and say the world is over is a bit of a stretch. Good fans seem to maintain some type of optimism, or why waste your time watch the game or taking time to post your thoughts on a blog?

Trades-so few teams selling and so many teams buying is going to push the price of quality players up beyond their actual value. That’s why Dudley has not made a deal yet folks, not because he does not know what he is doing. If we want Hemsky, we will need to give up and #1 and Kulda for a player making $4M who is only signed through next season. Anyone on this blog willing to pay that price?

Ironically, we have a parallel team in the West in the Columbus Blue Jackets. Like the Thrashers, they have only been to the playoffs once losing to the Red Wings in a short series. The once-high enthusiasm that existes in Columbus is gone too. The Avalache, Stanley Cup winners in the 90’s are having a tough time getting people into the arean in Denver, a real good sports city.

And so it goes…..

World Be Free

February 6th, 2011
10:19 am

I am not saying anyone is wrong for being pissed. You all have a right to be. I am pretty uphappy right now too. I am not being Mr. Pollyanna

Not Blind

February 6th, 2011
10:37 am

Jake, shots allowed means just that. Shots the D ‘allow’ as opposed to shots the D keep from occurring by taking the body of the puck carrier. Hate to say it, but this team is made up of a bunch of sissies. The talent level is also very low and the committment level is lower than that.

I also think that Dudley has messed up big time. He has too much emotional investment in too many of his hiring choices which makes it difficult to pull the trigger. It has become obvious that changes need to be made but the almost ‘family’ aspect of Ramsey will make it hard for Dudley to make the needed change.

And I would waive Modin right now. The guy is a joke.

moriler

February 6th, 2011
10:37 am

Be pissed, sure. Be pissed at the owners who have screwed this team over up to the point that Winnpiglets are slobbering over the thought that they may get a team back. It’ll be another hard disappointment for them, I fear; it’ll take a bigger bulldozer to move the Thrashers over Bettman than it would the Coyotes, and we see how it’s happening for _them_. In some ways it’s good to be a huge TV market… we represent the future of the sport, and it’s in cities like Atlanta that it will be made to grow… not in frozen cities north of the Arctic Circle where hockey is the only game in town, so it’s “show up or go snowmobiling.”

Bettman’s a turd about a lot of things, but you can’t deny one: he has an aggressive vision for the NHL’s growth. There’s gonna be some stumbles, sure, but when we get some decent owners and hockey finally succeeds in Atlanta, it (like Carolina and Tampa) will be part of the blueprint for other “non-traditional hockey markets”. After all, the NFL, NBA, and MLB all had to expand the same way once…

So be pissed. But also be realistic — paying inflated prices for low-grade players (cough Zhitnik cough) is how we got into this mess. Oh, and for the fools who are saying “why won’t Bettman do something” — No chance of the NHL directly getting involved for at least another couple years, at a minimum. After all, one premise of the ASG suit is true — the Belkin legal fight _did_, in fact, help prevent them from selling the team. I’m sure Bettman will wait and see what happens now that the title is clear, so to speak.

Buff-n-stuff

February 6th, 2011
10:37 am

Cup Guy – Sorry, but Pavs what NOT “Game On”……he gave up 3 questionable high wrist shots and that was the difference. Yeah Yeah, he made his usual flopping, crawling, scrathcing saves, but so did cam Ward. Goalies are supposed to do that when they are “Game On”….they are however not to give up “3″ relatively weak goals, one maybe, but not 3, all coming down the ice on the same side, with speed…its the same problem Pavs has with shootouts…..he needs to work way harder on that part of his game….Now, that being said, he is the glue that often times keeps us in the game. The busted play by Modin put Pavs in a tough situation, Modin “HAS TO GO”….I’d rather see Spencer M out there than that slug. Modin is another one of those “cheap, past his prime” examples of how the ASG chooses to spend their NHL food stamps.

Marcus – Most of us here on the blog and in Blueland “Have not given up” on the boys, what we have given up on is the “Spirit-less” ASG, and Don the Wad….we have faith in Ramsay and Dudley….only question is, have the ASG and Don tied their hands so much that they cannot really do anything to resurrect what we once had in Nov and Dec.

If a trade is to be made, it will likely come between now, and Monday, after the Toronto game. The boys do not play agin until Friday, which gives ample time for “anyone new” to get a few practices under the belt, to get ramped up quickly to Torch and Rammer’s systems, and develop at least a little chemistry with who “remains” after said trades.

I pray that the boys “Rise UP’ (like the Falcons motto) and finish out the string on a roll. Remember, the teams that are “Hot” and “Rolling” the last few weeks of the season, generally do far better than the teams that were great all year, but coasted down the stretch (ala Caps and Sharks of the past few seasons and Philly coming out of nowhere last year)

Go Thrashers !!

Rightshot

February 6th, 2011
10:39 am

Someone, anyone, please explain to my things suddenly changed for the team. Why are we suddenly looking like the black hole of the NHL, again!

Mooseberg

February 6th, 2011
10:47 am

Welcome to the 9th place Atlanta Candy@sses

moriler

February 6th, 2011
10:56 am

ok, who let the Ottawa fan in?

Cliff Fletcher

February 6th, 2011
11:03 am

buff-n-stuff//

I agree that if a trade is going to be made it will come after the toronot game. not optimistic that dudley will be able to swing a deal for a top 6 forward unless someone from the current roster of value goes the other way, someone making less money than the player we are taking on. dudley also has the financial restrictions placed on him by ownership and that’s not his fault. if rick dudley is at fault for anything right now it was taking this job knowing he would have such deep financial restrictions. being so close the bottom of the salary cap is the biggest reason he has not been able to improve the thrashers.

John

February 6th, 2011
11:05 am

And even after obtaining star players from the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Thrashers still choke. Just another season in Atlanta sports…

So, I heard the Hawks are doing well and the Braves are set to play in two months

thrashersaddict

February 6th, 2011
11:07 am

I say again….watching a losing Thrashers team in Atlanta beats watching a winning NBA, NFL, team ANYWHERE!!! I will be there win or lose because hockey is the greatest sport on earth and I want it to stay in Atlanta. It is great to back a winning team but I would prefer to back a losing hockey team than back the teams in the Superbowl tonight. This is a hockey town! See you guys at Phillips on Friday night!

Iron League 13

February 6th, 2011
11:13 am

Let’s face it guys and gals nothing spectacluar is gonna happen by the deadline, NO-THING. As Smoothie said,”put a fork in it”. No point in hoping a trade will save us, at this point it’s NOT one or two solid guys needed, but four or five (IMPOSSIBLE). Remember we don’t have a month for Toby and Slates to get healthy and we’re brimming with inexperience and lack off manly testosterone producing gear, so it’s done. The best thing that can happen is that we get new owner before next year or you might as well expect the same old craptastic mediocrity.

Anyways, the credits are about to role on this tragic tale…

Fin

Smoothie

February 6th, 2011
11:27 am

The losing and consolation-point OT losses must stop. A win is what this team needs and the longer it takes, the steeper the hill becomes to climb. In your heart of hearts, do you really think the team,as currently constructed, can go 16-8-3 or even 15-8-4?? Had they beaten the Isles or CGY, perhaps I’d feel a little better. Will I stop watching? No. But I reserve the right to piss and moan all I want about a team I’ve supported whoeheartedly for the last 6 years. So suck an egg Cup Guy.

Buff-n-stuff

February 6th, 2011
11:27 am

Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions, I do subscribe to the theory that thsi week will see a “major shake up” in terms of personel….I am willing to go on a limb and say that a minimum of 3 current starters on our team from last night, will “NOT” be on the team after the trade deadline, if not even this week. The money paid to these “players-to-be-gone” will be matched, and exceeded by what is brought in….the incoming players will be younger (that is the movement) and they will have a mix of “years left” on their contracts, some will be locked in for 2 years + RFA (if apllicable), some will simply expire at the end of the season.

Even the ASG knows that if they spend a little more $$$, and make it to the playoffs, a couple of home playoff games, and even a series win that produces a couple of more playoff games at home, will at least break them even. And we all know what happens in Atlanta when “ANY” of our teams that haven’t been to the playoffs in a long time finally make it back….the FAIR WEATHER FANS come out….and we sell out stadiums…..even if they don’t know BOO about hockey.

Here’s to hoping that the above comes to fruition.

Buff-n-stuff

February 6th, 2011
11:28 am

Agreed Smoothie – But we need to string together some wins, and starting with “1″ Win, in regulation would point us in the right direction !!!

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
11:34 am

Red Light, your 9:40 AM post (http://blogs.ajc.com/iceman-thrashers-blog/2011/02/05/thump-hurricanes-knock-thrashers-out-of-their-playoff-birth/?cp=1#comment-49712) was fantastic. That’s the kind of depth and research we’ve been spoiled by, on your part. I’ve been wanting to say, for a while now, that I think Florida is banking points at a great clip than we have since New Year’s Day. Now I see … that it’s true!!

I do wonder what is happening with the Washington Capitals, last year’s President’s Trophy winner. Remember? They finished with 54 wins and 121-points, both franchise records for the Washington Capitals. What kind of point total are they on pace for this year?? They may not even win the Southeast Division. I’m starting to seriously think that Tampa Bay will win it. I remember, back in preseason, the prevailing mood of this blog was that the Bolts lack of goaltending would sink them into 9th or 10th place. TB is lookin’ like a playoff team, to me.

Back in preseason, I thought Montreal (currently 6th in the East) had a longshot of making the playoffs. Carey Price is doing better than I thought. He was voted into the All-Star Game. I know. I know. That’s based off “stuffed ballot boxes” by Montreal fans. But honestly, I think he came to earn that honor. Where are the Blues, and Jaroslav Halak? (13th place, Western Conference.) I guess we just never know what will happen. That’s why the play the games.

Sage of Bluesland … well … I can’t say that each win is putting us farther and farther away from a better draft pick. Not yet, anyway. We’re still too close to 8th spot to commence “Operation Tank It.” When there’s 20 games left, instead of 27, we’ll revisit the topic.

World Be Free

February 6th, 2011
11:36 am

Buff-I too agree with what you have stated here.

The best crowd in terms of numbers and enthusiasm from last season was the one I witnessed after the Kovy trade. It was a late win over MIami on a goal by the newly-acquired Bergfors-like a weight was removed from the fanbase and the team. The current weight is the free-fall the team has experienced over the past 6 weeeks.

This regression has rekindled past failues (so many to count) to the surface. The curious Atlantan that was starting to buy hockey tickets no longer has interest. The type of deal you have described is the one that is needed to shake this team up and hope the enthusiasm lasts long enough for Mr. Bettman to see what he has here. Again, I am not being Mr. Pollyanna here.

moriler

February 6th, 2011
11:36 am

Buff: Who do you think is even available to be brought in? I don’t see anyone I particularly like out there that isn’t overpriced as all hell right now. Rumor has it that Edmonton wants someone’s left nut for Penner and Hemsky, Versteeg has his own issues (big minus player right now), and Ottawa only has a center realistically available, I think?

Too many teams are too close — we need things to break up a bit in the next couple weeks so sellers finally realize they’re actually sellers. And we need someone to be willing to take mediocre prospects, third- and fourth-liners, and late-round picks in exchange for whoever they’re selling.

Making a deal right now is tough sailin’, even though we have all the cap space in the world.

R. Stroz

February 6th, 2011
11:37 am

Although I realize this will be a rather unpopular assessment: Here it goes.

1) Unless this team is 100% healthy, which most teams never are, the Thrashers don’t have a playoff worthy roster.

2) So, a pragmatic approach would be go into all out SELL mode while the market is more favorable for the selling teams versus the buying teams.

3) Trade as many older players as possible for draft round picks, think Sopel.

4) Send Stapleton back to Chicago as he has NO upside.

5) Bring up Esposito, Machecek, and Postma to see what they can do at the NHL level.

6) Over the summer, use the accumulated draft picks as RFA offer sheet collateral and make RFA offer sheets pointed at the salary cap troubled teams.

7) Use the rookie call-ups, such as Esposito, Machecek, Kulda, and Postma as low cost trade bait to salary cap troubled teams over the summer.

It’s time to put the screws to the Wolves by pulling out as many possible NHL players as possible. It’s also time to put the screws to the other GMs that have painted themselves into a salary cap corner.

Things may be uglier for a few months, but then again as Thrashers fans, we are used to ugly.

And last, for the love of hockey, get Modin out of the line-up and put Boults back in.

AtlFlamesFan

February 6th, 2011
11:45 am

Gotta agree with thoses posts about Opie. At least 2, maybe 3 softies. Coulda, shoulda won.

Smoothie

February 6th, 2011
11:47 am

And by the way folks, in case you have been living in Dawsonville or in a forest somewhere without the internet, Atlanta is a FAIRWEATHER SPORTS TOWN!! It’s great that we have probably 10 k to 15 k passionate hockey fans who really love the sport and champion its growth. Now half of them have been driven away by a piss–poor ownership group that doesn’t know a hockey puck from a turd in their toilet. But for folks to come on here and lecture fans about being negative when the team has nearly completed yet ANOTHER January & February free-fall into mediocrity, who the hell do you think you are?? You should be happy that there are any fans at all for this sorry sack of crap we call a franchise?? If this were a Bojangles, it would have been boarded up 2 years ago from lack of patronage. I want this team to win with all the fiber of my being so we can stick it to the cretins in Winnpeg, Hamilton and anywhere else that thinks ATL doesn’t deserve hockey. But you know what? This city didn’t deserve Mike Vick, a convicted dog-killer, Bobby Petrino, years of pitiful ownership for the Falcons, Billy Knight as a GM who didn’t think Chris Paul was worthy of the 3rd pick, so on and so forth.

Perhaps the decade of unfulfilled dreams and expectations by the Buffalo Braves, I mean the Atlanta Vikings, has this city completely and utterly gun shy of supporting any team that doesn’t pass the sniff test of being a winner. The Hawks have obvious holes, the Falcons were eeking out wins without a pass rush or a complete secondary and a washed-up coordinator who doesn’t know how to get more out of Matt Ryan and the passing game. The Braves are getting close and we can be thrilled at that prospect, but the sting of losing to the Braves of the West Coast will take a World Series appearance to ease that lingering pain. As for the Thrashers, we’re screwed. Plain and simple and the light at the end of the tunnel may very well be a freight train.

moriler

February 6th, 2011
11:48 am

R. Stroz: I would wait for a week or two to do that (with everyone else charging body parts, the market will stay sellers’ this season) but overall that is a workable plan.

Here’s the only problem I see with it: it’ll throw attendance into the ditch at exactly the wrong time. The fans aren’t going to be willing to be patient with another “rebuilding” year, I’m afraid, and we’ve already seen what happens when you draft someone solid and sling ‘em in too early: Bogosian. I like throwing RFA offer sheets around, for sure, but we have to actually be able to get the players from those sheets — and I suspect other GMs will prefer to re-sign their RFAs and let their free agents go right now.

Buff-n-stuff

February 6th, 2011
11:57 am

Stroz – I said it earlier, I’d prefer to see Spencer M (a responsible, defense minded forward…and we NEED defense more than we need offense), we have Kulda up, so heck, why not bring the likes of Postma and maybe Espo or Holzapfel up….how much “worse could it be” than the likes of Modin, Peverley, Stapleton ???? Really ???

I also agree that we should stick it to the wolves….but until we get new ownership that understands you need your “OWN” farm team, we are screwed there.

World Be – Did you see the shootout highlight from the other night where Koval-choke had the puck on his stick, in the shootout, needing to score in order to continue the shootout (against the Sabres) and he came on net, and the puck went off his stick halfway down the ice and he never even got a shot off? That was how the game ended !!! I am Soooooooooooo glad we do not have him on this team….and yes, to your point about a defining moment and the situation w/ Bergie last year, we need more of that, just like when Keith Tkachuk was brought in a few years back….it gave the fans light, and the team energy, and it worked….

Can you say continued youth movement???

World Be Free

February 6th, 2011
11:57 am

Stroz-you make some strong points, as usual and no attempt at humor in your recent post. This is a position some franchises can take, but not this one. To let go the season right will deteriorate an already small fanbase. Unless you have a strong, verbal GM that go to the puiblic with a master plan for making this team a winner. I know we are envoking the famour “Five Year Plan” as outlines 200 times by a current blogger, but it may be the best position to take. Columbus has already hinted they are going to do the same.

Sopel has had a good year and he plays playoff hockey with his one on one coverage and shot blocking., What would Sopel bring? Can we assume Postma will take his place int he lineup making htis a win-win? Reverse the field-nobody has commented on the prospect of trading our #1 pick this yeaqr for immediate improvement.

Smoothie-by Buffalo Braves, I assume that you are refering to the Atlanta Braves resembling the Buffalo Bills. I was a HUGE Buffalo Braves basketball fan in the 70’s! They too could not get over the top, or to be specific get past the Boston Celtics. Braves’ owner abandoned the team and city as well–ironic. We also need to come to the realiziation that most cities are fair weather sports towns. How many pro sports teams maintain their fan and ticket buying bases regardless of how the team is doing? Think about it-this team, with its history should be lucky to have ANY fans.

R. Stroz

February 6th, 2011
12:08 pm

The Spirit Clowns already threw attendence into the ditch with the contents of the lawsuit.

So since, attendence has already been thrown into the ditch by FUBAS, why not make the best out of a bad situation and implement a “SELL NOW” strategy?

Move Sopel, Antropov, ….add name of veteran player on the downside of his career, for high round draft picks.

I’d drown from tears of joy if some team took Modin for a third rounder.

World Be Free

February 6th, 2011
12:09 pm

Something scary just happened-I read a post by Eklund that I was thinking just yesterday. How scary-to think like Eklund.

Chris Mason-let’s say Mason’s stink in Atlanta has not been a successful one so far, largely because iof the emergence of Pavs. What about trading Mason and his reasonable contract to a contender and maybe signing Ray Emery? Just a thought

World Be Free

February 6th, 2011
12:10 pm

That’s stint not stink

Sage of Bluesland

February 6th, 2011
12:17 pm

“…As for the Thrashers, we’re screwed. Plain and simple and the light at the end of the tunnel may very well be a freight train.”

Heaven be praised! Smoothie finally–finally–gets it.

I hope you have enjoyed your purchase(s), too….Don Waddell thanks you from the bottom of his ‘good’ heart….

(Nice analogy to a ‘real’ business; i.e. boarded-up/condemned Bojangles…Too bad I’ve used that for years, to much derision from the sheep…Oh well, it is what it is…Better late than never and all…)

It’s slow progress I make…I don’t have much to work with here, admittedly…

Get The Puck Out

February 6th, 2011
12:26 pm

Bon Jovi wants to buy a 15% share of the falcons. THE FALCONS. For $150 million. That would buy the Thrashers and we would have a owner that would probably try to make a winner out of this mess. Also heard that Jay-z is opening a sports bar at the airport. Another possibility? Just grabbin at straws, but i can dream dammit!!!

Iron League 13

February 6th, 2011
12:32 pm

WBF – I am 100% in faor of trading our picks away, yes that was plural as in ALL OF THEM for all I care. The way I see it is SCREW OUR PICKS. Picks basicallly translate to, affordable gamble in something like 9/10 of em and we all know the ASG loves that affordable bit, so…they force them to play FAR FAR TOO EARLY. Let’s face it, Burmi’s not ready, Cormier’s not ready, Stapleton’s never going to be ready, Bogo’s not ready, etc., etc., etc. That’s NOT how any team should be built. In summation, BET THE FREAKIN’ FARM NOW!!! Force free agent signings in the offseason. People can look at me sideways all they like for saying that, but out of the playoffs is out of the playoffs in this market whether or not that’s 9th or last.

Iron League 13

February 6th, 2011
12:36 pm

Get The Puck Out – You took the words outta my mouth on that one. No kidding, rumor has it I’m somehow related (not a point of pride), but maybe I should find out and give him the “Hey cuz, bit” For my Thrashers…anything.

Smoothie

February 6th, 2011
12:36 pm

WBF – no I think you had it right with “stink”, ha! Freudian slips (or typos) are the best! Not sure Mason has much value right now, but I’d be fine with getting something for him as his best days are past. He’s a great team guy for sure, and should he get traded, I’ll wish him well. It’s too bad really as listening to him talk about his 4,000 mile drive from Red Deer, AB to get to ATL because he was so excited to get here and get working had me pumped for a new direction and a season of hope and promise.

Dudley did some fantastic things, but you can only do so much with miserly owners. We all knew this in the back of our minds, but as fans, you try to focus on the players, their potential and hope for the best. I do think there is a enough talent here to form a very good core for years to come. But mistakes like Modin, trading Eager rather than addressing the true issue that lay at the heart of the matter, not giving a fair shake to Kulda and Machacek, relying too heavily on Byfuglien as your top scorer, and not spending closer to $45-6 M to shore up the top 6, and you’re left with the crushing blow of the falling weight of youthful promise that is often unfulfilled.

Injuries caught up with the boys because they’re just that, boys. Rammer had them playing with zest and vigor early on and they were taking it to good teams, night in and night out, playing the game the RIGHT WAY. But the talent pool was way too shallow, as we know all too well, and now we’re stuck in a massive rut that not even a trade will likely pull us out of at this point. I think Dudley may have no choice but to do what Strozier suggests as the market is terrible with too many teams bumping up against the cap, not enough separation b/w haves and haves not, not to mention several GM’s who are twice bitten, now shy from making bad signings and committing to guys who never should have gotten huge deals (think Drury, Gomez and that ilk) to begin with. If the NHL wasn’t such a victim of its own success, I think Dudley would have no problem wheeling and dealing like in years past. However, the prospect of an expiring CBA and the uncertainty that it comes with, has a lot of GM’s standing pat and hoping their team can earn a top-8 spot knowing that it’s not easy to move assets right now. We may be stuck for more reasons than the ones Sage loves to bloviate about.

Iron League 13

February 6th, 2011
12:44 pm

Smoothie – Kudos on the word, blo-vi-ate. That’s gotta be word of the day or the secret word a la Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Now excuse me while I figure out what it means.

Barry

February 6th, 2011
1:01 pm

I think the main reason this team is struggling to score goals is the powerplay is DOA basically. I think it’s scored like what..1 goal in it’s past 20 attempts or something? What carried this team early in the season was it was dangerous on the powerplay. At one point they had the top PP in the entire league. I know Enstrom is out with injury but that should not make or break a powerplay. Thrashers had a 5 on 3 and I didn’t see anyone really take any shots. They were all passing it around being static and trying to find that perfect shot. You gotta make quick passes, shoot the puck asap, and crash the net. I mean you out number their guys 5 to 3 for crying out loud!!!

Rob

February 6th, 2011
1:02 pm

Unfortunantly the roster is playing to its ability right now. When you’re 28th in payroll, it requires either a rookie phenom on an entry level contract or a completely healthy team to perform at the middle of the pack.

I like the RFA offer sheet suggestion. They need to sign Ladd and Buff to extentions sooner rather than later.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
1:02 pm

Ya know, overpriced players are an albatross on most markets trying to win. They’d do just about anything to ditch them. Right now, the Rangers have $6 mllion-a-year Wade Redden in the AHL. Chicago loaned Cristobal Huet, $5 million-a-year, to Europe. I’ve forgotten what’s happened to Brian Campbell, etc. What are Edmonton’s plans with Ethan Moreau and Shawn Horcoff? Every team has bad contracts. You can call up some GM’s to ask them … what would you realistically accept to be FREE of these lemons? What if they said, “future considerations?” What if they said, “A 7th round pick?”

There might be a time … when taking on a BAD contract is the BEST WAY to improve your roster. You have to ask youself, would this “horrible contract” player make our roster BETTER? Yes or no? And are they locked up?? If the truthful answer is … that a bad contract actually makes the roster better … and there’s room on the payroll for the player … doesn’t it make some sense to consider it?

So, Brendan, you’d really take Wade Redden!??? Heck no. The player actually has to IMPROVE the roster. Wade Redden’s game is frightful. Yes or no, would Brian Campbell improve our roster? Honesty counts, now! Take the political spin off your answer. Yes … or no? Are we going to draft a Brian Campbell anytime soon into our lineup? Yes … or no? Here it comes … we could do that, IFFFFFFFFFFFFF we had owners willing to spend above the floor to acquire these BADLY overpaid players. And we don’t. And so goes these arguments. The more years left on these atrocious contracts, the most desperate the GM’s would be to ditch them. In the end, you can probably land a bad contract for a song. You just have to have the cap room and ownership willing to foot that EGREGIOUS bill.

RFA offersheets are intriguing. But by their very essence, they’re designed to make the POACHING team pay dearly for what they are doing to the other club. We can attempt to POACH … because we have the cap room. But, can we afford the cost of that draft pick compensation? At first glance, and knee-jerk reaction is a resounding “No!”

But yet … let’s look our history of lottery draft picks: Stefan, 1st overall. It happens. Move it along, counselor. Heatley, 2nd overall. Swapped for Hossa, who just like Heatley would have, BOLTED at the first chance out of town. Limited return, then. Coburn wasn’t a lottery pick, but he was a high-end 1st rounder … who never was developed by the Atlanta Thrashers into anything. Credit the Flyers for the Coburn ascendency. Bogosian, 3rd overall, is a work in progress. Has he been properly developed by Atlanta?? C’mon now. Beeee honest. And then there’s Kane, 4th overall. Tons of upside. But will he be a 40 goal scorer? A 30-goal scorer? I ask because … if there’s a FANTASTICALLY OVERPRICED 30-40 goal scorer out there … at some point … that SOME GM wants to ditch … don’t we have to think about it? Especially, if we have cap room? I repeat, look … at … our … track … record. As Red Light says, “Nobody develops talent like the Atlanta Thrashers Hockey Club,” with the sarcasm detector going off the chart.

Okay, what’s left of the Thrashers draft history to discuss? Jim Slater? Fine. He’s been here a while. But that was a 30th overall pick. Toby Enstrom? A shot-in-the-dark 7th rounder that hit the mark. Pavelec? Okay, let’s talk Pavelec. That’s a fine pick at # 49, who took the requisite 5 years to develop, and right where a GM should select a prospective goalie of the future. But we gave up pick # 12 to get it. And at # 12, better overall talent was available. (Tuukka Rask was still ont he board, too.) Truthfully, we owned the # 8 pick that year (2005 – Setoguchi selected by San Jose, but we could have taken a Marc Staal or an Anze Kopitar there, etc.). What about Bryan Little, a 12th overall selection? I’ve mostly liked this pick. I felt Little went precisely he should have in his Draft Year. We’ve seen that he CAN score 30 goals. It’s possible, for him.

Okay. Are finally done yet? Oh yes, Alex Bourret. Next. In the aggregate, what are draft picks WORTH in the hands of Head Scout Dan Marr, and the War TEAM of Ric Dudley and Don Waddell? Maybe the most famous RFA offersheet was the Thomas Vanek offer, back in 2006 or so, by Edmonton to Buffalo. Let me ask the Sabre fans of the blog … if they thought Vanek was worth the $7.12 cap hit, lo these many years? It might be a mixed reaction. We’ll see.

I’d like to ask an Oilers fan if Dustin Penner, at $4.25 million, or whatever it was, was worth it, to poach off of Anaheim? I haven’t looked in ages, but the last time I did, any player salaried about $5 million by your offersheet results in the loss of four (4) first round draft picks. As pathetic as the Thrashers are at drafting and developing talent, even I’m a bit hesitant to give up THAT many picks for one player. And what if the player were merely playing a dangerous game of ‘chicken’ with his current team, having exactly ZERO intentions of playing in Atlanta? Well, we’re both STUCK, in that case. The player is trapped here, demoralized that his ex-team didn’t match the offer.

So, are the RFA offersheets really the way to go? I suppose it really does come down to what our offer is, how many picks we’ll give up, and the mindset of the player potentially being poached. But in the case of the OVERPAID player that the GM merely wants to ditch, so he can sign his better functioning cylinders … the cost might just be THE MONEY rather than any tangible assets the organization might have.

kovyoverrated

February 6th, 2011
1:03 pm

Based on performance every single season, even when we won the Southeast because everbody else sucked, I fear that this team is in a freefall that it will not be able to recover from. You can come on this blog and make a plea for all ” True Thrasher Fans” to go to Philips and support the team. Well, we have done that for 10 years, only to realize that this franchise has no vision, no “business plan”, no direction. The first 2 years, there were many packed houses in Philips, so that proves that this can be a hockey city. But if we keep getting served chopped liver when we request at least a good hamburger, what are we supposed to do? Keep spending money and putting support behind what we all know is sub-par? My entire family watches every game on tv, we go to practices, we go to Philips. So yes, we would love to see and support a good product. I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
We will finish last in the SE, and only be ahead of Ottowa and the Isles in the EC.

Get The Puck Out

February 6th, 2011
1:19 pm

Iron League 13– CALL HIM NOW.

EA

February 6th, 2011
1:27 pm

If you want a dose of optimism, check on Dan Kamal’s tweet after the game last night. Go Thrash!

kj

February 6th, 2011
1:27 pm

Just want to make three quick points about my “heart-ripping out” Thrashers:

1) The loss of Slater breaking up the Greek Gods line is a bigger blow than most think. The HEART that line shows has been missing in the rest of the team since.
2) Buff is tired. He knows he can’t give te max effort every night, knowing that the team needs that from him. He’s just not a max effort night in and night out guy. He showed that last night standing around and not knocking ANYONE on their ass. BTW, when’s the last time he did knock someone on their ass? I can’t remember either.
3) Bogo’s hockey I.Q. is low and that’s what separates him from some of the other young defensemen in the league that have similar skills but much more “upstairs”. To me, his future in the league may be better off at a power forward position where he doesn’t have to think much.

A couple of trades and Slater’s return can turn things around but let’s face it, some players on this team not willing to sign contracts beyond this year will start thinking about getting out of ATL ASAP and that will sink the morale of this team – and there are too many of those guys to trade.

World Be Free

February 6th, 2011
1:31 pm

Smoothie-looks like you fed the weasel with one of your recent posts. we got yet another taste of what we already know.

Brendan-your broight up a great subject concerning bad contracts. Remember when our number one goal was to get rid of Todd White and his contract? When White was traded it was like winning the Stanley Cup, in a way

Iron League- I am torn between Stroz’s suggestion of tanking the season for prospects and not draft picks and looking towards the future OR the thought of giving our #1 away for an immediate impact palyer. If I am giving it up, it is for Chris Versteeg. I have always liked his game and he is younger than Penner or Hemsky. Not that I am looking to help Tronna but I think we do need to make the deal and bring in yet another Chicago piece.

alex

February 6th, 2011
1:40 pm

“mission accomplished” DON said staying in front off adoring asg and Canadian crowd on aircraft carrier desk.. ours tremendous outstanding 11 years effort to ruin this franchise to the ground finally get through. now blame the red neck Atlanta residents for rejecting this sport, they just don’t get it. by the way, we are still couple levels higher than philly. i said this 3 years ago and nothing changed. see you in Winnipeg with Stanley cup. everybody including Mr. gearon and Mr. levenson in noise round of applaud. and now please be silent for “o Canada”

kj

February 6th, 2011
1:53 pm

Alex, thanks to the good people of the USA, the French word “douche” now is a homograph (you’ll have to look that up I’m sure), the second meaning being people like YOU.

LAC

February 6th, 2011
2:04 pm

Just wonder where dudley is and where is Gary Bettman ????? Both are Mr.Do Nothings concerning this franchise. dudley for his complete failure to make proper moves after the first two weeks of this collaspe and Bettman for simply turning his head and ignoring the Thrashers and the MESS this franchise is in. Just what does it take dudley ???? You have to be taking cues from your longtime buddy, Worthless waddell. Collect a Big Fat Paycheck and not do one damn thing to address the problems.

Modin, get rid of period.
Zach B. Trade ASAP !
Stapleton Back to Chicago.
Find a more suitable backup goalie ASAP.
Lastly, dudley, Quit being a QUITTER. Get rid of these three, they are KILLING US.
Ramsey, Establish a SOLID FORECHECK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Right now we have none.
Watch other teams, they have TWO on either side of the goal waiting to attack the puckcarrier,
the earliest you see an Atlanta player is when he makes a feeble pass at about thier blueline and then the puck is in our zone.

We are playing about 100% like a John Anderson team. I really see little difference that last year.
Can Ramsey get it through his head PLAY DEFENSE FIRST !!!! Look at it. We are 29th in Goals Allowed, We have no real defense. I could care less it we win 2-1/3-2 etc… WE will win with DEFENSE.

SO do something dudley, if you don’t, please don’t waste out time anymore, because you are now proving you CANNOT do the job any better than your Worthless buddy. Eager for a 5th rounder,
that is yet another Terrible trade, 5th rounder, Great dudley, Just great. You need GM 101 book REAL BAD !

Sage of Bluesland

February 6th, 2011
2:25 pm

“…Dudley did some fantastic things, but you can only do so much with miserly owners. We all knew this in the back of our minds, but as fans, you try to focus on the players, their potential and hope for the best….”

I’m finding Smoothie’s blather is becoming comedy-gold lately….My, my, my how the wool has turned for that one! It’s becoming more than humorous to read his recently-discovered ‘doom-and-gloom’, his discovery of what some have known all along….this pesky little thing called ‘reality.’

Soon, he’ll be saying that he “knew it all along”. Uh-huh. That’s the one thing about history–it keeps repeating itself.

Welcome to reality, Smoothie. Unfortunately, it comes with a price. Once you start making sense, I’ll have less to laugh at. Shame, that.

Smoothie

February 6th, 2011
2:31 pm

You’re hilarious Sage….just stop drawing conclusions about people you don’t even know. You’re such a delusional SOB.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
2:39 pm

Re: Eager, I understand the motives behind the move. I’m not saying that I agree with the trade, but I do understand why it was made. Namely, that Ben Eager wasn’t going to re-sign here anyway, plus he became a target on the NHL’s radar, and he broke the team rule about ‘not criticizing the league offices.’ Add it all up, and it translated into “Why wait ’til the deadline?, let’s move him now, for whatever we can get.” I understand that. I see it plain as day. The alternative was to hold on to Eager, hoping he didn’t commit any more infractions, didn’t put the refereees on alert for each and every Thrashers game, and hope he can contribute something for the stretch run, for he surely would be lost in free agency. Eager didn’t want to sign longer than a 1-year deal with Atlanta. So, we saw ‘how he felt’ about the trade and his future in Atlanta.

I hear ya. Some of you would rather keep Eager for all the time that he’s OWED to us, contractually. I see your point. But I see Ramsay’s and Dudley’s, too. I don’t especially think it was some ’secret’ that Ben Eager wanted to leave, and truthfully, never wanted to be here. I cannot rightly tell you what Ben Eager would have fetched at the trade deadline. Maybe a 3rd rounder??? And that’s being optimistic. So what are talking about, in terms of something tangible? I guess 60 picks in the “shot-in-the-dark” portion of the draft?, where you’re just as apt to find someone by throwing darts against the list of undrafted players. Really, the argument is over Eager’s retention value for the rest of the season versus his loss.

Mr. Heat Miser

February 6th, 2011
2:43 pm

Every time I go to RBC Center it reminds me of how good BBQ and non watered down local beer is. Great fans up there too.Not enjoying the ride back with just one point.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
2:53 pm

I’m always amazed at how much Sage of Bluesland posts infuriate this blog. There’s very good reason why Sage says the things he does. Very little has changed, over all these years. So, the tune is the always the same. If the Thrashers actually got sold to someone who CARED about them, I’d wager that Sage’s posts would all be about ‘Aren’t you GLAD the stench of the Waddell Administration has finally be removed from the hallowed halls of Thrasherville?” And then, everyone would get mad at him, for constantly reminding us about how TERRIBLE it was on the Watch of Turner, TIME-WARNER, and FUBAS. But, I do think his posts would be about how REFRESHING the change in Administration has been. To the point where people would say, “Sage, is it really YOU???”

And, you’d see this GEM: “Subsidize the Competence. Get thee out to thy games!” Sage would turn into quite the advocate. But if the Administration falters, post FUBAS, he’ll light them up, too. Really, Sage is just out for accountability. I can see that. What fan doesn’t want the ownership of his team to be accountable over how the team is run? The day we say, “Who CARES who owns the team, or what they TRY, in terms of a strategy, is a sad, sad day.”

Segue, and therein lies the attendance problem. The players of the Atlanta Thrashers are probably confused as to why the stands are so empty, for these ‘playoff’ games. When the Braves used to play Expos in Montreal, and there were … maybe six thousand to eight thousand fans in the stands, I used to watch WTBS thinking, “Does this game count for the standings?” Seems like merely an exhibition. The players must feel some sense of frustration over the lack of fan support for these ‘essential’ games. But, on some level, the players must KNOW that the fans feel the same way about this ownership as their AGENTS do about them. When I look at Ladd and Byfuglien … I don’t think we’re going to get any of their UFA years.

Midfield

February 6th, 2011
3:10 pm

Brendan, I remember you calling the current regime a “depth strategy.” I have to say that the depth strategy apparently does not work when you only have 3rd and 4th liners talent-wise. Pavelec has stolen a few games for the team, but it looks like he’s been re-scouted: blocker side upstares is his weak spot.

Cornbread

February 6th, 2011
3:32 pm

Lots of folks wondering why Buff was not on the ice at the end of regulation last night and Bogo was. It’s simple really, Buff has been stuck on 41 points for over one month or 13 games.

Still, Buff’s getting his chances with 62 shots in that time! And that does not include missed shots and blocked shots. So I don’t buy the line that “other teams are shutting him down”. Keying on him yes but he is still making things happen out there. Bergfors goal, that he did not get an assist on, was all set up because of him. No one can knock him off the puck. The problem is that he is snakebit right now in scoring goals and so are his team mates who can’t knock in his rebounds.

So, cue up Bogo. Right call by Coach Ramsay and it paid off. Zach Bogosian played a great hockey game last night. Nice to see him make the most of the opportunity he was given.

Cornbread

February 6th, 2011
3:35 pm

Saw you on the TV a couple of times Mr. Heat Miser. Nice showing by Thrasher fans. And, nice to hear some boos from the Canes fans that came about from the Thrashers’ solid play.

Cornbread

February 6th, 2011
4:05 pm

The Thrashers have played three very solid games against the Canes this year. Each time they were every bit as good or better. In the first, they did not win because of Cam Ward. In the second they rebounded after the Toronto loss and played a solid game only to have some very questionable calls go against them. Last night was a combo of the first two. Ward played great and made NHL On The Fly’s play of the day off of his two late game saving saves off of Buff and Pevs and there was some questionable calls and non-calls last night. Oduya interference that led to the Canes first? Give me a break. Then right before Sutter’s second, Burmistrov had a clear break away and was horse collared up high around the neck with Gleason’s hand and stick. No call. Fast break the other way and a goal.

It sucks not to get the breaks but the Thrashers are every bit as good if not better than the Canes. They get three more shots at them to prove it.

Cornbread

February 6th, 2011
4:10 pm

“Only have 3rd and 4th liners talent-wise.” What? Please.

LAC

February 6th, 2011
4:53 pm

smoothie, ALWAYS attacking people with whom he disagrees, What a wonderful life you must live,
Look in the mirror and see what you are… Gee Whiz Grow Up smoothie !

alex

February 6th, 2011
4:55 pm

kj sorry you get offended. if you don’t understand sarcasm i can translate to you from french that with asg and don we going to Canada. i want them succeed here. again if you still don’ understand third meaning being people like you, now clear.

NHL and NBA need change

February 6th, 2011
5:17 pm

it’s a joke that in 30 team leagues you send over half of your league to the playoffs. If there was a more deserving system, the Thrashers would have fallen out of the playoff race a lot sooner.

Needless to say though about the Thrashers this will be yet another year of missing the playoffs … gasp wow shocking I know that a team this good would miss the playoffs … please hurry up and move them out NHL

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
5:32 pm

Midfield, the depth strategy works when you’ve got four lines that score about equally. The key is to find 10 or so twenty goal scorers, while paying something close to equally between $2.0 to $3.3 million. But yes, the talent has to be there. We can’t have a group of AHL’s and call them NHLers. Or, just as bad, we can’t have “washed up” NHLers masquerading of their former selves, of a decade ago. Players who survive more on reputation than actual ability as the FAULT of the General Manager.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
5:38 pm

Midfield, my post got eaten in SPAM filters, so I’ll try again. The depth strategy works when all four lines are contributing. Darren Eliot likes to refer to that as the “balancing act.” But if the 4 lines aren’t composed of 20 goal scorers, and are instead … a hodge podge of AHLers or NHLers masquerading as themselves from decade ago, it’s bound to fail.

The depth streatgy was working earlier because we were getting goals from Burmistrov, Boulton, Stewart, Thorburn, Slater, Antropov, Kane, Little, etc. But it didn’t last. I still think a depth strategy can work in Atlanta, it just takes finding two VERITABLE 20-goal scorers. And then, not overpaying them, to make it all work.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
5:40 pm

Is it ’such a joke’ that 16 of 30 teams make the playoffs when the # 3 and # 13 seeds are separated by six or fewer points?

Smoothie

February 6th, 2011
5:44 pm

Now THAT is funny, being told to grow up by the dolt who likes to threaten people on blogs with physical violence and challenge our beat writer to a fight. ROTFL But actually it is quite sad. I’m like a wounded dog man, I only attack when attacked and when idiots like you continue to belittle and beleaguer people for sharing their opinions. You can go straight to the Devil’s department, but please don’t forget to report your track mileage accurately before you depart.

Cliff Fletcher

February 6th, 2011
5:49 pm

would blogger’s attitudes change if we had new, better owners-you bet they would. but having better owners is no assurance that the team would be better. half the owners in professional sports do not know how to manage and greow a sports franchise. and the players know what the real problem is, they leave atlanta because of management not the people of atlanta.

kinda wish i would never have moved to the attack mode earlier this week. when you attack the idiots you are just lowering yourself to their level.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
5:50 pm

TB beat St. Louis, 4-3, in overtime. The Habs lost to the Devils, 4-1. NJ is coming around now, under Lemaire. Washington blanked the Penguins, 3-0. Penguins miss Crosby and Malkin.

R.Stroztradamus, we need a Super Bowl prediction. How does 9:20 PM sound, for that? I’m picking the Steelers, but rooting for the Packers. It’s a small consolation, but if GB wins, the Falcons can say, “Yeah, we were the # 1 seed, but we lost to the eventual Champions.” It does make the defeat slightly more palatable.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
5:52 pm

Ummn, that should read ten (10) twenty goal scorers, not two, in reference to the depth strategy.

World Be Free

February 6th, 2011
6:06 pm

Smoothie-are you going to the game this coming Friday night?

Brendan-I like the depth concept, but I also think some teams play better for short periods when rolling 3 lines instead of 4. Players get into the game when they have less time on the bench, regardless of who the 9 forwards are. Just from my experience as a player.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
6:09 pm

Cliff Fletcher, good post! The name calling is the effect of nothing left to argue. Name calling ruins every blog. Good for you for realizing it. Right about now, people want change. They see another season slowly slipping away and don’t want to spend another spring in Atlanta without playoff action.

Re: ownership change, for sure, we would have NO IDEA what we’re getting. At first, there’d be elation at something, ANYTHING new and different. But, it could be another bozo, or group of bozos, or a CORPORATION that doesn’t care. Even Arthur Blank is no guarantee of successful ideas.

Here is my stance on ANY ownership: “Are they TRYING to win?” If the answer is, “yes,” but they FAIL, that’s still OKAY. Why? “They’re TRYING.” And the players agents SEE and RECOGNIZE that the ownership is TRYING. So? So what? Well, player’s agents have a pretty good idea which ownerships are spending money or making good decisions as it relates to chasing championships. They’d be HORRIBLE agents if they didn’t. Just six years ago, free agents wouldn’t touch Chicago with a 10-foot pole. But once it became clear that they were gunning for a Stanley Cup, the players responded in kind. Martin Havlat, Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell … all found their way in UFA years to the Blackhawks. So, for me, ownership that is TRYING … is GOOD ENOUGH for me.

How many UFA’s will lineup for the Florida Panthers this offseason? Anyone bangin’ down the door to get to Edmonton? Or Calgary? Or Columbus? It’s a tough sell. Those markets need ownership to step up with either signing UFA’s, making GM or Coaching changes, or making sure than pending RFA’s are locked up, including via PROACTIVE contracts. Those are tell-tale signs of an ownership that is TRYING.

I don’t mind failure. Every year, 29 teams fail to capture the Cup. What bothers me … is the half-hearted, or NO hearted effort at the pursuit, by ownership. I think a LOT of fans see that, plain as day. Here we are … with each home game a ‘playoff’ game, and we’re getting 11,000 fans. Why? Is the answer really, “Well, the interest level isn’t here?” No way. There’s tons of hockey interest here. The abstinence of fans is directly the result of an alienated fanbase that knows and recognizes when an ownership group isn’t TRYING to win Cups.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
6:14 pm

WBF, if you shorten up that bench to 3 lines too early in the season, they have no legs left for the Spring Dance. That’s the danger of not rolling 4 lines with at least some form of frequency. A TRUE depth strategy rolls all four lines … something pretty close to equally.

As a wise friend once told me, “you want players to get on the stat sheet more, play them more. The guys who get the minutes … get the points.” True, that. You can’t Eric Boulton to be among the top six scoring forwards in Atlanta playing 6:30 per game. Correction, or a player ‘like’ Eric Boulton.

Smoothie

February 6th, 2011
6:27 pm

WBF – yeah, we’ll be there, in the 200’s somewhere. We gotta meet up. And I agree about shortening the bench, it wouldn’t kill some of these guys to play 18-19 mins / game for the short term to get going somehow. Too many shifts for guys that aren’t much of a threat to score. What do we have from our bottom two lines in terms of goals? 4, 5? If that, perhaps 7 or 8 if you count Nik A.

Cliff – I just like talking hockey. We all know the complexities of our ownership situation and realize there are no easy fixes. But this bunch can play better and win some games. The teams we’ve lost to by one goal recently aren’t exactly tearing it up. They may not make the playoffs but it’d be nice to see some growth from a young group instead of constant regression and adversity.

Smoothie

February 6th, 2011
6:32 pm

*4 or 5 goals in the last 20 games or so. Apologies for the lack of clarity.

Tom

February 6th, 2011
6:33 pm

Hey, is there a football game on tonight? Football does really suck compared to hockey. First baseball went by the wayside, now I can barely watch a football game as it is SO SLOW…

LAC

February 6th, 2011
7:27 pm

smoothie, you brain show more and more signs of alzheimer’s disease every time you blog something. Heck I forgot more about this fine game than you will ever even know.
When the kettle is black, call it so, you can’t so get checked on OK ???

Cliff Fletcher

February 6th, 2011
7:52 pm

smoothie and brendan////

none of the teams in competition for the 7th and 8th spots in the east are tearing it up. I think some of us realize that we are still in the hunt with the hope of being able to sqeek in. really amazing to look back and see how far we have fallen the past 6 weeks, from the penthouse to down below. we cant change the owners no matter how much we attack each other. so let’s talk hockey-you guys have both proven you know the game, you are both good hockey men.

keep up the good work.

World Be Free

February 6th, 2011
8:30 pm

You know Brendan, the concept of rolling 4 lines is a great concept for an entire season + playoffs for keeping players fresh. My issue with 4 lines, as stated before is your key players not getting enough ice time thus staying sharp in the game. Kind of like rotating quarterbacks or defensive lineman. The more you play the more you develop rythum.

It looks like Rammer is shortening his bench in key situation, using his 4th line on occasion vs the 4 line concept. You have to be the right kind of player to play 4th line, keeping your edge while only playing sparingly. I’d like to see Bolts more too.

Smoothie – see you Friday, not sure where I am sitting we can communicate through the blog king Mr. Rawhide. See you then.

Super Bowl Halftime Show-was that bad! I guess I never realize how homely Fergie is. Give me the Who, Stones, The Boss or McCartney anytime!

Smoothie

February 6th, 2011
8:54 pm

Yeah, the utter, inane silliness of the SB halftime show never ceases to amaze.

See you Friday your Worldness!

kovyoverrated

February 6th, 2011
9:18 pm

Brendan- Thank you. You said what I was trying to say. Every good hockey fan realizes that only one team wins the cup. All we ask is that our team have the vision and the drive to get to the promised land. Pittsburgh is THE example. It has always been a Steeler city. Everybody who lives there, from there, has an Aunt that lives there, is a huge Steelers fan. The Steelers have sold out games for 30 years. You can go to a Pirates game anytime you want for about $5 now because they are awful, have no payroll, and are just running as part of MLB, as a franchisee. In the early 90’s and late 70’s, though, the Pirates ruled the city. They built programs that consistently reached the playoffs and even won it all with Stargell and crew. The Pens are presently the “Gem” of the NHL. Talent, vision, a star, a championship. A couple of years ago, the franchise was as good as gone. No money, no fanbase, bad leadership. Sound familiar?
If we get the right ownership, with the right plan, with the drive to build something, the Atlanta Thrashers could be a consistent success. Would players rather live in Montreal, Buffalo, Jersey, Ottowa, or Atlanta? No brainer. The FA’s would want to come to Atlanta.
The only hope for this franchise is to be sold outright. Hopefully, that buyer will keep them in Atlanta. With the history of this franchise, the new owner will probably take them to Canada.

kj

February 6th, 2011
9:53 pm

alex,

Not offended at all, just calling it like it is. What I don’t like is if you are a true HOCKEY fan, and I am, you want the sport to succeed all over North America. Let everyone experience what is truly the greatest team sport. I grew up right across the river from Canada in Detroit and I was a Toronto Maple Leaf fan as a kid…my Mom was born in Canada and I worked in Canada for a time. I can totally see their passion and ownership of the origins of the sport. I totally get that. I love the passion they have for the sport and that it is as important as the NFL is to us in the U.S. I love Don Cherry for crissake! But please, if you love the game, you have to acknowledge that it needs to GROW and the people who love the game that have migrated to the south, Americans and Canadians included, passionately want to see the game be appreciated by new fans all over the U.S. Those who have accepted and wanted the sport to succeed are passionate. Unfortunately, the owners often aren’t passionate hockey people and instead are disinterested, incompetant figureheads, just what the NHL doesn’t need. Good ownership equals a good team – in any sport (e.g Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, New York Yankees, etc.).

Promote the game and it thrives even more in its’ native Canada as it grows in the Southland of the USA.

R. Stroztradamus

February 6th, 2011
10:05 pm

I predict the Packers will win the Super Bowl.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
10:14 pm

WBF, my mistake. You did say for ’short periods of time.’ And I also agree that it’s good for the guys on the bench to keep a good sweat going. And they only do that … is if they’re playing. It’s got to be hard … to sit there at frozen ice level … watching for 11-13 straight minutes, then getting a tap on the back that you can finally have a 25-35 second shift.

Congrats to the Green Bay Packers, who just stopped the Steelers on a 4th and 5, to lock up the World title, 28-25. Great Super Bowl. Looked like a ‘blowout’ earlier, at 14-0, and 21-3.

Koveyoverrated, in Atlanta, players get to enjoy their millions … watch their money go farther … in better weather … and relative anonymity. In Toronto, you’re spotted constantly, pestered for autographs, and bereated by the city’s hockey fans for poor play. Nobody walks up to a Thrasher player and says, “Do you have any kind of IDEA of the history of the logo on your jersey? You OWE it to the team legacy to play better and appreciate your position with this club.” I doubt that has EVERRRR happened. And if it did, the Thrasher player being bereated by a ‘know it all’ fan … would probably just laugh, saying, “What History??? The one that includes no playoff wins and league minimum budgets?? That History??”

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
10:23 pm

R.Stroztradamus, I need a final score, for your prediction.

Joe Friday

February 6th, 2011
10:26 pm

“I guess I never realize how homely Fergie is”

WBF, really?

Hot. As. Balls.

she’s bust your nut

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
10:41 pm

Matters of taste, JF and WBF. Matters of taste. There’s no accounting for it. Remember how split this blog was on Natalie Taylor? Remember the “Free Natalie Taylor” campaign?, which prompted one poster to retort, “They’re giving away free Natalie Taylors. I’ll take one.”

R. Stroztradamus

February 6th, 2011
10:51 pm

Brendan – Although I was aware the score would be Packers 31 Steelers 25 by 6:00 PM, I was distracted by the commercials.

My two favorites: the “Doritos: Back From The Dead” and the “Kid Darth Vader.”

World Be Free

February 6th, 2011
10:52 pm

Smoothie-see you Friday.
Brendan-coach has to know his players, which ones thrive on lots of ice tim, which can handle the work load without burning out. I guess that’s the best way to put it. But in the end you have to have the guys on the ice who can protect a lead in the 3rd or close the gap when we are behind. Need the leaders during our nightly second period slumber too, wherever those leaders may be.

J/F-I think I’ll pass on Fergie great Danica commercial though sans the leather.

kj-I liked Cherry in the 80’s when he was still fresh. But he’s become alot like John Madden and Bill Russell when Bill was doing the NBA. There’s a time when you need to hang it up and Cherry’s best days are past him. I say the crew at TSN is BETTER than the ensemble at Hockey Night in Canada. I do understand their passion for the sport, though I think nationalism is just as muchg a driving force in Canadian hockey as the game itself. Much of this can be attributed to the competion we enjoy as Americans with Canada in ice hockey.

There are so many U.S. northern and Canadian fans living in Atlanta, it makes sense that under the right circumstances the game should thrive here as it did the first 4 seasons. But you cannot fool fans when it comes to caring about winning. That’s the issue here, top to bottom-show us you care and we will all come back to the rink – fill the barn.

Nothing like living across the bridge from Canada and making the trip to a Canadian beer store for refreshments. I sure do miss that!

Get The Puck Out

February 6th, 2011
10:57 pm

Snickers commerical was awesome also.

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
11:00 pm

Cliff Fletcher, I am somewhat concerned about the teams underneath us, as well. One of those teams was Carolina, presently ahead of us by virtue of games-in-hand and victories. Also, Buffalo is capable of putting a streak together. Right now, I hate to say it, but the Devils are playing better than we are. It’s too late for them, in terms of a playoff spot. Even if teams in 7th and 8th spot do falter, it doesn’t mean we take their place. For us, the bottom line is … we can’t look to the teams around us to help us keep pace. We just have to take care of our own business. But lately “business is bad.”

Brendan

February 6th, 2011
11:07 pm

Kid Darth Vader was funny. I like the part of the “GoDaddy.com” commercial that said, “But contractually obligated to do something risque.”

Flagstaff

February 6th, 2011
11:27 pm

“Give me the Who, Stones, The Boss or McCartney anytime!”

WBF: Agreed! I’m a big fan of Bruce, especially.

The halftime show made me think– nobody needs real talent anymore to be famous. They just need a nice body (whether given by God or by a plastic surgeon) and a good agent… /rant

Too much melodrama from the players for me… and I never realized how much more slow and boring football is than hockey until I became a big fan back in ‘07. I still like football, but not nearly as much as the reason we all post here. (No, not litigation.) Ended up getting kind of bored, so I ended up watching The Sopranos for most of the fourth quarter.

Now, to more important matters… why has Dudley not made any trades yet? The true answer is kind of obvious, that he doesn’t want to damn the future of this franchise for one playoff appearance, and the trade market is currently less than optimal. However, how long does Dudley wait? This ship is sinking, attendance has dropped again. I’m beginning to worry in earnest now. A long time ago, I posted that I would remain unfazed by the team’s struggles (I think that this was when Alfred E. Newman last made an appearance on the blog) until they dropped out of a playoff spot. Well, it’s happened.

Does he make a trade before tomorrow’s game?

ZAvalanche

February 7th, 2011
1:36 am

It isn’t over till it is over. Thrashy still has a chance, a small one, but a chance. Not that this matters to Thrashy, but it is official, Forsberg is officially back as an Av. Hopefully there will be a SC finals match with Thrashy and the Avs (very doubtful though).

World Be Free

February 7th, 2011
5:35 am

Flagstaff-I just think the trade market is small because of the lack of sellers and the large number of buyers. If we look around, Dudley isn’t the only GM not making deals. He has a greater need than some, the few selling GMs know it. We don’t need another Coburn for Zhitnik trade which is probably what Dudley is up against right now.
Brenden-Natalie Taylor, Kovy, Todd White the long list of “ex’s” from Atlanta.

Get The Puck Out

February 7th, 2011
9:13 am

This is just my opinion, but i’d rather not make it to the playoffs than to totally be made a joke of by the no.1 seed, cause if we do make it we will be the no.8 seed. Just play like you wanna make the playoffs.

Cliff Fletcher

February 7th, 2011
9:55 am

get the puck///

i think the thrashers’ fans could accept not making playoffs if we had a management group that put forth a plan for the future. how are we going to get to the playoffs and stay there in the future? if we had that, then i could accept not making playoffs only to get thumped by number one seed. problem is we have no plan from the top down so making playoffs is the only way to satisfy the shrinking fan base.

Joe Friday

February 7th, 2011
9:59 am

Alright, today is a new day. Doesn’t matter who, how, when, where, what we’ve done these past 20 games. Get 2 pts tonight and move ahead, is Slater ever coming back?!?

Rawhide

February 7th, 2011
10:04 am

Ya know gang…while I was watching the Green Bay Packers win the trophy named after their late-great coach, Vince Lombardi…I wondered if even he could find a way to properly motivate this Thrashers organization. From the players all the way up to the ownership cluster.

TrueBlue

February 7th, 2011
10:05 am

Where are people getting the idea that Pavelec had a good game last game?? He had a God awful game. He gave up some of the easiest goals I have ever seen. All the goals, except the first one, were wristshots from just past the blue line. That is pathetic. The shots were un-screened and just basic wristshots to the top corner. It is obvious people are figuring out his weaknesses.

Joe McGrath

February 7th, 2011
10:28 am

Bogosian as a winger? Let ’s see…he excells at dishing the puck in front of the net. When the puck is in close and players are battling in the crease, he’s usually hanging about 10 feet from the action and avoiding contact. I think using him as a forward is genious! If your not going to trade him or send him down to the Wolves, then move him to RW.