Tasty turnovers in Toronto continue Thrashers tumbling trend

The Maple Leafs have this thing with waffles…but for the Thrashers, its turnovers.

Monday night in the Air Canada Center, they served up more turnovers than any bakery found in Toronto and were giving them away all night long to those wearing blue jerseys. Taking advantage of the visiting team’s generosity, the Leafs then helped themselves to a tasty 5-4 win over the Thrashers.

While there were many candidates to choose from, this night’s clear winner of the Platinum Pastry Award for the single most egregious turnover of the game goes to…tearing open the envelope…defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.

Mikhail Grabovski politely raises his had to ask for more turnovers from the Thrashers. Unfortunately, they were more than happy to oblige (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

After scoring a goal, Mikhail Grabovski politely raises his had to ask for more turnovers from the Thrashers. Unfortunately, they were more than happy to oblige (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

For those who were not able to see the play that de-knotted a 3-3 score early in the third period, Big Buff attempted to casually backhand the puck over to the right side boards to Johnny Oduya. Unfortunately, what Byfuglien accomplished was a beautiful pass to Toronto’s Nikolai Kulemin…who then neatly tucked the gifted puck under a surprised Ondrej Pavelec.

Kulemin, I’m sure, will do the right thing and follow up with a nice Thank You card to the Thrashers defenseman.

Five minutes later, Tim Stapleton…who should be arrested and charged with impersonating an NHL player…played hot potato with the puck in the corner and lost the puck. That turnover led to a Tim Brent goal, making it 5-3.

An Andrew Ladd jam-in at the 11:01 mark got the Thrashers back to within one, but in the end it was the Maple Leafs that pulled the win out of the oven…even though they failed to put the icing on top by way of an empty-netter.

Forward Fredrik Modin left the game in the second period with an upper body injury. The bad news here is given the Thrashers don’t play again until Friday and the way their luck has gone lately, there’s a better than even chance he doesn’t even miss a game.

The loss drops Atlanta’s record to 0-3-1 coming out of the All Star break, 4-7-4 in 2011 and 5-11-5 since the last time they played in Toronto back on December 20.

Their 24-22-10 record leaves them at 58 points along with the Carolina Hurricanes, who were idle Monday. However, the Canes now have three games in hand and will take to the ice twice this week before the Thrashers play again Friday against the Rangers.

Buffalo is only five points behind Atlanta and has five games in hand while the Panthers trail the Thrashers by six with four in hand. Both of those teams have games on Tuesday and on Thursday the play against each other in south Florida.

Meanwhile…back in Thrasherville…rumor has it general manager Rick Dudley has been seen out on his balcony play the fiddle. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but he needs to bake up some sort of deal soon to help this team before the season is completely cooked. Otherwise, come April 11, these Thrashers will once again be enjoying turnovers and other pastries while they await their tee times.

And as good as turnover pastries are… that would be tough to swallow.

By: Bill Tiller – AJC.com Thrashers Fan Blog

204 comments Add your comment

goose

February 8th, 2011
8:37 pm

How about Zac, Antro or Stewart, and a prospect for Penner and Hemskey.
And then maybe our first to the blackhawks for seabrook

Red Light

February 8th, 2011
8:53 pm

“With that said, we are heading in the right direction, just under manned. Let’s not make stupid trades now. We should focus on the next 2-3 years. The issue is not how we look now, but whether this group of GMs, VP and scouts can assess talent for the future and build the depth we need to compete.”

HillMan: That’s the problem, if you don’t blow up the scouting staff, now in place for the most part since the beginning, then how do you expect them to assess talent now better than before? Just because Dudley showed up? Ever hear of anyone from this organization hired by another NHL besides McCrimmon? No, you say, because it hasn’t happened, ever!

Alan R.

February 8th, 2011
8:54 pm

I wonder how the fan club is liking tonight’s game at Philips.

HillMan

February 8th, 2011
8:59 pm

Zac is only 20 – he has more talent then Colburn and we know how that trade worked out. He has the talent to be a top 2, our coaches need to coach him up. Zac, Toby and Buff are the 3 D-men we shouldn’t trade. The only forwards we should make untouchable should be Little, Kane and Ladd. Beyond those 6 and OP, all should be available. The issue would be what can you get for the remaining stuff?

rob

February 8th, 2011
9:02 pm

Good news for me is soccer starts for the kids teams and I am coaching them both, and they are taking skating lessons so they can play hockey in the fall, so I can use the excuse I am too busy and tired to watch the team become even more demoralized. Poster above refferenced Duds pre season constant talking and outlook……where did all that go? Has the ASG already pummeled even him into the ground in a short time?!?! How about for shootarounds we get the guys life size cutouts of the MORONS running things here???? Since they don’t pay any attention to the team they would never know!!! I am sure the next ASG suit will be against the fans, for not supporting their team…..the NHL, for not giving them a Stanley Cup…..and probably followed by Ted Turner himself, for, well, that is why they hire lawyers, to figure out why to sue someone…..

ZAvalanche

February 8th, 2011
9:10 pm

I will continue to watch. I am and always be a fan of the sport. And though there are ups and downs I am not a fair-weather fan. Doesn’t mean I have to like it though.

Red Light

February 8th, 2011
9:41 pm

The good news is that the Devils beat the Canes. The bad news is that it happened in OT so the Canes are officially are in 8th, one point ahead. The other bad news is that Ilya and Co. are now just 14 points behind the Thrashers.

Iron League 13

February 8th, 2011
10:05 pm

Red Light, Brendan and others talking careless expansion…

Yeah, again I truly support the expansion in to markets with LARGE amounts of hockey initiated transplants. That’s exactly why Atlanta is a good market, plenty of em and for every hockey knowledgeable transplant that drags a southern buddy to a good game, the interest grows, cuz HOCKEY IS UNDENIABLY RAD. It can and does work, but yes that hockey knowledgeable transplant is vital in helping spread the bug in most cases as the alien nature often overwhelms the uninitiated. It also goes without saying that they will be the bread and butter for an indefinite amount of time. That said…

No, if I were Bettman I would not have tried to make a 30 team league by expanding to the sunbelt or anywhere, unless….I had a seemingly bulletproof plan for success. I dunno what that would take exactly, but I have an idea that it would take lots and lots of careful analysis by intelligent consultants, hand holding/fostering of such a market, etc.. However, I do not trust a guy’s strategic abilities that green-lights expansion teams named after a bad, derivative hockey version of The Bad News Bears just because they were owned by Disney. Not complaining about the market, rather the wanton pushing of the league and the eagerness to sell teams even if it Mickey Mouse’s the league in more ways than one up in so.

Anyways, I don’t think contraction would be advisable now, that’d kill any kind of momentum this league has gotten and overshadow everything else. The options for floundering teams is simple, find a way to be competitive and maintain a fanbase to stay in the black otherwise relocate.

Relocate to where? I dunno, but Las Vegas…that’s the only one named that I’d vote off the list immediately. I’ve got family out there and even was married there. I like it, but I don’t see there being a large enough population to guarantee interest, especially with the distractions.

LAC

February 8th, 2011
10:32 pm

I hate 3 point games. Carolina gets a point and suddenly improving New Jersey wins… Again !

joedaiceman

February 8th, 2011
10:56 pm

This team never had the mettle, just one fairly good win streak. All the gushing over Dudley and Ramsey is now exposed for nothing more than hope against hope. I watched the stands start to fill when they were winning, now they are starting to empty. Should we expect anything from ownership or management to turn the tide? Not in a million years. The fans want a winner, they want to bicker and sue and argue. I’ve meet hundreds of fans that could do a better job than these bums. At least the fans care. That can’t be said of the owners, and I hope it can be said of the players.

Not Blind

February 8th, 2011
11:18 pm

New ownership ??? HA ! Who would enter into any type of business venture with the ASG ???? You buy the Thrashers and the ASG is your landlord. How do you think that’s going to work out ???

Face it, we are stuck until the ASG goes bankrupt or sells the WHOLE PACKAGE.

Cliff Fletcher

February 9th, 2011
7:40 am

not blind, people are looking for suggestions on how to improve the thrashers. my suggestion is based on the fact that the current group has no legitimacy with the rest of the league and the only way the team can survive is if the league intervenes in some way. the alternative is waiting for the team to turn around under the current circumstances. do you think this will happen? if so then may you are the person that needs to wake up my friend.

Cliff Fletcher

February 9th, 2011
7:44 am

new jersey is getting goals from rookies, the young players are getting the devils back in the hunt. having lemaire as your coach doesn’t hurt either.

Iron League 13

February 9th, 2011
8:06 am

I don’t know how these arena/team packages work, besides it would clearly cost less to pay yourself to play in your own arena. Yes, that sounds odd, but umbrella companies do that all the time…I know I worked for one I still can’t tell if it’s smart or just silly games, but I’m leaning to the latter. Anywho, why would a prosepctive owner have to have the arena too? I know it would be more profitable, but this is a newer trend (pretty sure) and it never stopped anyone that wanted to own a team before. I just don’t think that’s THE deterrent, rather the location may not be so appealing for a hockey nut(s) with deep pockets looking to splurge. Not knocking Atlanta, but honestly if I didn’t live here and had the ability to procure a franchise I wouldn’t pick a southeastern franchise. Just sayin’. Anyone on the market knows it’s gonna be a labor of love to do so. That may be kinda telling…are there any mega-millionaire(s) or billionaire(s) on the market that would buy a franchise for reasons other than profitability, such as passion for the sport and to be competitive? Again, I think the biggest deterrent besides the ASGs games is the city. We all know the sunbelt stigma is very real and is held in large numbers.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2011
8:31 am

Iron League-good post
I stil consider the large numebr of transplants here, makes sense that an NHL team should thrive in atlanta. I had ticket 10 packs the first 2 season when the team was horrible, the seats were may up on top couldn’t get better seats. Then the well-documented problems started; and so we have arrived where we are today.

Sabres exposed the Lightning last night. Talked about how slow the Lightnings’ defense is, well they looked very average last night. Roloson also looked like a 40+ year old goaltender when the floodgates opened in the 3rd period. Buffalo is not an offensive power either. You beat Tampa Bay by getting on their slow defense. Bergeron has a great shot, but he is a liability in his own end, in corners and in front of the net.

ZAvalanche

February 9th, 2011
9:25 am

Iron, can explain the silly stuff the “umbrella companies” ? I am not familiar.

LAC

February 9th, 2011
9:25 am

I still wish Todd McCellen had become coach here. San Jose shutout Washington last night and I was really surprised to see Buffalo, who a blogger pointed out has 4 games in hand, SPANKED Tampa in Tampa 7-4. Why can’t we do that ?

I wonder if we can even compete in the upcoming game against Edmonton…

Joe Friday

February 9th, 2011
9:27 am

“having lemaire as your coach doesn’t hurt either.”

This. Good coaching always always always lifts the talent level of individual players and makes the sum of the parts greater than the whole.

I will say it again, this core group of guys we have is fine and proved it when Ramsay’s system was working. When other clubs scouted us and implemented schemes to counter us, Ramsay was not able to change it up and that’s why we’re at where we’re at. And the players are now frustrated and are tuning him out (yes, he’s lost the room, it’s pretty evident), and this is the drain we circle. I had my eyebrows raised at him early on this year when he’d miss simple basic things in games like changing out his guys when the other club iced the puck, or failing to change out his center on key defensive zone faceoffs. Ramsay sees like a great assistance, x’s and o’s guy at the practice rink, but not a good big picture guy and no ability to make on the fly changes in games to counter what’s going on out on the ice.

Finish out the year and play out the string with these guys, get a new coach in here and add a couple key pieces from cap challenged clubs–need at least one top line RW and one shutdown dman and let’s hope we can watch the improved club here in Philips next year and not only on CenterIce.

Why’s Dudley so silent? Skipped out on his interview yesterday as well. There’s some dark undertones coming out of this club . . .

LAC

February 9th, 2011
9:28 am

Another comment… How did the NHL give Tampa a 12 game homestand in a row ???????

I have never seen anything like that before and they play the entire month of February at home,
Talk about an UNFAIR advantage…

Cliff Fletcher

February 9th, 2011
9:57 am

joe friday-we have had 11 years of subplots and dark undertones. current addition is no different that was has forced so many fans to the sidelines.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
9:58 am

Tonite is the nite we turn it around, I can just feelz it!! I guarantee that we finally don’t lose tonite!!

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
9:59 am

“Why’s Dudley so silent? Skipped out on his interview yesterday as well”

Kevin Allen ran long on his interview, Duds got to board early for his flight to St. Louis to talk Scott Mellanby out of retirement! Capt Rat-Trick will set us straight! Actually, he should probably be the next coach after Rammer & Torch get themselves canned.

Joe Friday

February 9th, 2011
10:23 am

you know, Captain Rat could be the Sage of Bluesland. He’s not coming anywhere near this club as long as Waddell is still here, but I like the idea, he’d bust their chops and get them in gear . . . good hockey guy

Iron League 13

February 9th, 2011
10:30 am

ZAv – Here’s my example, I think you are saying you don’t know what I mean by “umbrella company”

In my case it was the drilling and blasting company I worked for, which in turn owned 3 properties and two subsidiaries. One was a rock drill dealer/service/parts company and the other was an explosives distribution company. My company (the parent) rented to the rock drill dealer and bought drills, parts, service, etc. from them and pretty much vice versa. We bought our explosives from our explosives distributor while they rented us our own land at another location while paying us vehicle maintenance and repairs, etc. That’s just the tip of it. What I’m getting at is we were ONE company running under the guise of 3 seperate companies with 3 sets of books run by a single CFO aided by occassional consultants. Anywho…I think you get it.

So, the ASG owns 2 teams plus operating whatever for the arena and I’m guessing those teams pay rent of some kind basically to themselves. ASG is an umbrella corporation of sorts, IMHO. One group of owners 3 sets of books (that are really one, don’t let em kid you) money going from the left pants pocket and into the right. BTW, it should be noted that this is likely a convenient way to play financial shell games.

Red Light

February 9th, 2011
10:31 am

Mel is in his first or second year as an assistant. Lets not put the cart before the horse. He wouldn’t come back here for any reason, unless the entire organization is overhauled from top to bottom.

Iron League 13

February 9th, 2011
10:39 am

ZAv – That’s partially my definition of an umbrella company, though it has other more commonly understood meanings. In case running several companies thourgh one owner and having them loosely affiliated is the same thing if you think about it there are lots of self-protectionistic (yes, I made that word up I think, but it makes sense to me) kinda benefits in my example and the ASG’s.

Iron League 13

February 9th, 2011
10:40 am

In this case running (that is)

Joe Friday

February 9th, 2011
10:41 am

RL, Smoothie was being facetious, I think. I thought it was especially funny as Mellanby is literally in Blues land and like Sage, he hates Waddell and the owners. Kind of a funny juxaposition there . . . and we need laughs, or we’d cry, and we can’t do that, cause there’s NO CRYIN in HOCKEY, Sally!

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
10:44 am

Yeah, we need an ass-chewer in the worst way. It is more than just mildly irksome that we can’t beat TOR, NYI, CAR or any of the teams we’re just as good as. The difference is confidence and focus. This young team has such a low confidence level that the minute adversity creeps in, they get flustered or let down. They may not give up and fold completely but there is something missing. Leadership, coaching, accountability…those are probably more an issue than the dearth of talent. But it sure would be nice to have another top-6 scorer and some added depth to the blueline to fill in that talent void.

kracker

February 9th, 2011
10:44 am

I don’t know about the room but it sounds like Rammer has lost this blog or some of it.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
10:47 am

The two posts preceeding my last one were with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Of course Mellonhead wouldn’t come back here for anythiing. But he’s in my opinion the best captain we’ve had so far. That’s the sort of mettle and experience we need in the room.

R/L – c’mon man, you’ve spent enough time with me to know when I’m joking right? ;) He just likes to bust my chops cuz I’m such a free-wheelin’ stream of consciousness guy sometimes! :cool:

Iron League 13

February 9th, 2011
11:06 am

ZAv – Afterthought sorry, I do this a lot….

My company was an ESOP company (employee owned) with a President, so my company started the subsidiaries with our own money, yet somehow seperated the ESOP while simultaneously including it. SHELL GAMES likely what ASG is doing to. I can not divulge further insight as there WERE when things were good only about 400 people working in this heavily regulated industry statewide, that number is MUCH MUCH smaller now.

Iron League 13

February 9th, 2011
11:07 am

doing too (that is)

Russ

February 9th, 2011
11:13 am

Since the loss of confidence in Ramsay has sort of become a topic, I would like to add something that I have noticed. I don’t think he works the refs very well at all, unless he is doing it when the cameras aren’t on him. I have seen several times this season where they will show him on the bench after a terrible call/no call doesn’t go the Thrashers way and he doesn’t usually give the officials much more than an eye roll. Right or wrong, chewing their a$$es will usually get you a call or two later in the game and Ramsay doesn’t seem to have the fiery personality to do this.

ZAvalanche

February 9th, 2011
11:18 am

TY Iron, seems like a strange business practice to me.

Russ – I don’t know any coaches who don’t get in the ref’s faces. Pretty common practice when you think you got the shaft.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
11:22 am

Looks like Tobes is healthy enough to shoot the puck lightly at practice so that’s a good sign I suppose. Hopefully his finger/hand is strong enough by the middle of next week to get back in there. He probably won’t be the same player, but an 80% Enstrom is probably better than a 100% Meyer, Kulda and balances things out across the pairings. Buff would certainly benefit I think.

Russ

February 9th, 2011
11:24 am

ZAvalanche – Are you saying he does get in their faces? I don’t live in the area, so I can’t go to games, but it doesn’t come across on TV that he voices his displeasure with bad calls the way he should IMO.

ZAvalanche

February 9th, 2011
11:27 am

I misunderstood your post. But I have seen him get pretty p!ssed before.

Red Light

February 9th, 2011
11:30 am

What? Facetious? Smoothie?

Guys, despite the Chicago Trio being here with their Cup rings, the easiest thing to do in sports is to lose. Sopel, Buff and Ladd come here, look around at this roster and can easily say…lets see…we played with Toews, Sharp, Keith, Seabrook, Hossa, Kane, Versteeg, Bolland, Kopecky, Brouwer, Campbell and Hjalmarsson last season, and this season…

I am certain they were shocked that this team was able to go 12-2-2 during a 16-game stretch, they were having fun, winning games and playing with confidence, and then, REALITY!

Little, Bogosian, Enstrom, Boulton, Thorburn, Pavelec, Slater, Antropov, Hainsey and Peverley are used to losing. Nik is the only one of those guys who won an NHL playoff series during his career, and most of the others haven’t even been in one. So, what’s the frame of reference for those guys? Losing!

That’s why the entire culture needs to be overhauled. Minor league affiliates teaching the same system of hard work, accountability, puck pressure and winning championships with Thrashers prospects in the lineup. When you are called up, we expect you to play the way WE as an organization taught you. If the team can’t attract top-end free agents, then you have to rely upon muckers, grinders, P-I-T-A s (pain in the a$$es), tough guys and youngsters with talent (Kane, Little, Burmistrov, etc.) to score.

That might not be the best recipe, but it might be the only recipe to succeed. We all keep propping up Nashville, because even though they don’t win playoff series, at least they’re in them regularly despite no top-flight talent other than Weber, Rinne and a several of their young prospects.

Thrashers

February 9th, 2011
11:30 am

Earlier in the year you guys were saying Rammer for Coach of the Year, now you say he has lost control of us. We just suck and even Lombardi couldn’t motivate us!!!!!

Iron League 13

February 9th, 2011
11:35 am

After thought, again….

I’m done after this, I swear and I don’t think I’m giving too much away (yet). As I said my company was ESOP, therefore it was an employee stock driven vehicle. Our ESOP founded 2 successful subsidiaries which were seperated from our stock IMMEDIATELY (scummy right?) so as not to pay out larger sums of money to retirees/quitees/laid-offees, whatever. Funny that those subsidiary company assets were often included in our ESOP reports to boost our stock for credit and such, but again conveniently seperated too. Whatever the president wanted to report in the red he did and in the black as well. Money manipulation, period.

Basically what I’m getting at is that a company like ASG can easily funnel funds to areas needed (for reporting net worth for a number of reasons). It’s not hard, but convoluted and hard to pin point without a painstaking audit aided by wronged insiders giving helpful hints. I wholeheartedly believe that ASG does something like this to the Thrashers.

Spud Webb

February 9th, 2011
11:50 am

Tampa with a giant meltdown last night, I enjoyed watching that! NICE

Iron League 13

February 9th, 2011
11:51 am

WBF – Thanks for the kudos, sorry for the delayed response that was wrong of me.

Iron League 13

February 9th, 2011
12:11 pm

Russian brought up the possibility of trading Enstrom to Edmonton. Sorry, I’m late to the party on this topic. If that happens then Smoothie and I are gonna have hemorrhaged tear ducts and very sore throats maybe holes in walls and broken hand (shrugs). I kid of course, but I’ll be beyond peeved I don’t care who we get in return.

Sage of Bluesland

February 9th, 2011
12:20 pm

I wish Scotty Bowman could coach this collection of “talent” to determine where our problem lies.

Is it the chef?…the ingredients?…the kitchen?

I think it’s a healthy dose of all of the above–but especially with the kitchen. I see folks complaining more and more about the coach lately…and that rings of deja-vu all over again.

I think it’s more like what happened to the Falcons defense against the Packers: Bring the blitz and Rodgers gets rid of it quickly to a wide-open receiver; Play back and Rodgers threads needles….The end result was the exact same no matter what.

I think the analogy should be heeded for this poor coaching staff. Do you honestly think it matters what ’system’ they run out there? Every such system has weaknesses to be exploited by those with more weapons.

I’m not saying it’s all on one factor or another–they all contribute. Those blaming the coach (only) seem to be factoring some elements a bit too simplistically.

Personally, I think the factor ‘dearth of legitimate talent’ (i.e. the ingredients) to be a huge factor. Despite what some sheep’s spweadsheet may say, our talent evaluation-acquisition operations ‘umbrella’ has been beyond pitiful.

(but, then again, you could say that about the ownership, too–or ‘the kitchen’ with which they operate).

It’s a vicious circle, isn’t it? My meandering point, you ask? It’s much too shallow to simply blame the coach or his system.

Cliff Fletcher

February 9th, 2011
12:20 pm

spud web//

bolts lost their cool and the rookie coach count not get them back on track-very telling 3rd period for tampa bay from a leadership standpoint.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
12:29 pm

Excellent points Red Light! Damn yer smart! :)

World Be Free

February 9th, 2011
12:38 pm

j/f-Lemaire was one of my favorite players in the 70’s, one of the smartest players I ever saw. So it is no mystery that he is a hall of fame coach. And why? Lemaire ALWYS has the respect of his players, there is never a question of why is boss. You could have called them “Jacques Lemaire’s Minnesota Wild” when he coached in Minneapolis.

Iron League-a number of great posts today-keep up the good work.

Sage of Blueland on Scotty Bowman-arguably the greatest coach ever. But remember, Scotty has a blemish on his record too, his time with the Sabres. Scotty was GM and coach for most of his tenure in Buffalo. While he was successful in trading for number one picks, he was unable to bring a winner to the Sabres. And remember since he had both positions, he was not only the chef but he was also the guy picking the groceries.

History has shown that Scotty’s greatest successes as a coach were with veteran teams that already knew the ways of the NHL. Could he identify our problems? You bet, in a New York minute he could.

Ironic that both Dudley and Ramsay cut their teeth under Scotty Bowman with the Sabres.

Pretty good post too Sage.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2011
12:39 pm

Give Bowman credit for developing guys like Housley, Andreychuk and Barrasso, the latter of 2 won Stanley Cups later in their careers. Nobody is perfect but Scotty was pretty close-pretty nice guy too.

Rawhide

February 9th, 2011
12:50 pm

Here is how I feel about whether or not the Thrashers should use their first round draft pick this summer in order to make a trade prior to the deadlind.

Oh yeah, and…200th!