Thrashers look to go from Rags to riches this weekend

Just a quick couple of comments here before I shove off to Alabama for the second time in three weekends. The younger tax exemption qualified for the Navy National Rifle Championship and left yesterday morning for check-in, registration and practice rounds. He’ll compete for two days and then we’ll make our way back Sunday morning. I’ll join you that afternoon to watch the Thrashers take on the Carolina Hurricanes, but you’ll have to hold down the fort tonight.

I’m counting on ya, Thrasherville.

Given all that, this blog entry will probably serve as your weekend discussion thread…barring some major breaking news that tears me away from my son’s competition. News like, oh I don’t know, an actual trade to help address some of the Thrashers weaknesses.

Anyway…

I don’t know if there are ways to elaborate on the fact that the Thrashers really, really…I mean REALLY…need a win tonight any more than has already been said since Monday’s loss in Toronto. We’ll take ‘em any which way we can these days, but one in regulation tonight would be especially nice. The same can be said of Sunday’s game as well.

During their current 5-11-5 winter hibernation, opponents have skated away from games with either one or two points in 19 of those 21 games. The only two times the Thrashers have denied anyone the courtesy of a win or at least an overtime loser point since December 20 was when they beat Florida 3-2 and Washington 1-0 last month.

Yes, it seems as though this season’s March from the Playoffs came a little earlier than last year’s, and this morning, Thrasherville awakes to find their team sitting in ninth place in the east, just once point ahead of the Buffalo Sabres. They knocked off the Panthers last night 3-2 in OT last night.

But while the Thrashers have indeed fallen on tough times, the schedule gods may have provided a great opportunity for them to seriously get things turned around in a hurry. Turned around, that is, if they can finally put together 60 minutes of solid hockey free of any ill-timed turnovers, unforced errors or any other on-ice brain cramps that have plagued this team of late.

Tonight, it’s the Rangers paying us a call. New York is just four points ahead of us and currently sit in the sixth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Unlike seemingly almost every other team in the NHL, they haven’t played fewer games that Atlanta has. The Rangers have 56 under their belts, same number as the Thrashers do.

The Blue Shirts hobble into town losers of their last five, only gaining an overtime loser point in that time by at least dragging the Penguins to a shootout at the beginning of the month. They last played in Detroit on Monday and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Wings. So maybe we’re catching these guys a just the right time.

Netting a pair tonight would also set the stage for another big showdown with Southeast Division foes Carolina Sunday afternoon. Fresh off their loss in Philly Thursday night, Carolina remains just a point north of Atlanta. They’ll be taking the long route to Atlanta by way of Tampa for a battle with the Bolts Saturday night before making their way here the next day.

So, if all goes according to plan, two Thrashers wins coupled with a Canes loss in Tampa and a Rangers loss in Pittsburgh Sunday would see Atlanta even with New York at 62 points…three ahead of the Hurricanes. That’s kind of like going from…ahem…”Rags” to riches but moving from being on the outside in to once more holding on to one of the valued playoff spots.

Helping matters tremendously would be the return of defenseman Toby Enstrom, (DUH5). C-Viv reports that he went through a full-contact practice yesterday and could be a game-time decision tonight. Things look good, though, for his return Sunday if he’s not able to go against the Rangers.

Since the team’s leader in assists went down with a broken finger the last time the Rangers were in town on January 22, the Thrashers have gone 1-4-1 and have been outscored 24-12.

And finally…if you haven’t yet procured your seats for this Sunday’s game against the Canes, you can still take advantage of the “tickets and a jersey” deal. For $26 you can get a seat in section 203 or 204 and also receive a free replica Thrashers jersey.

For more details, simply call Karin at 404-878-3781 by noon today.

By: Bill Tiller – AJC.com Thrashers Fan Blog

165 comments Add your comment

World Be Free

February 11th, 2011
7:56 am

Congrats Bill and good luck in Alabama. See you Sunday.

Hoping for Toby

Iron League 13

February 11th, 2011
8:02 am

Good luck, Younger Tax Exemption!!!

Mr. Heat Miser

February 11th, 2011
8:05 am

I wonder what color skirt Avery will be wearing tonight?

Iron League 13

February 11th, 2011
8:07 am

Well, the hockey gods have given us some softies in this last month or so that we just didn’t capitalize on, so with fingers crossed I’ll hope for the best, but all bets are off at this point. I know this is tiresome, but a trade or two can’t come quick enough. Enstrom returning and hopefully Slates makes it 2-3 good solid players needed as opposed to 4-5. That’s good as long as our key players don’t go down.

LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!

Red Light

February 11th, 2011
8:07 am

$7 million in prorated contracts for 26 games or 58 days under contract means the actual investment without sending another player off in a deal is what, $2.217 million or so, or $38,259 per day?

Hmmm…

Red Light

February 11th, 2011
8:32 am

The problem now becomes Buffalo. Three games in hand and just one point back. Last night Myers picked up the puck with 12 seconds left in OT at Florida, dashes to the other end and lets go with a slapshot from the top of the circle and scores with 4.5 seconds left.

They play 6-of-7 at home, go on a five-game road trip, and come back to HSBC for another stretch of 6-of-7 at home through March 26. That will be very interesting to see if they move Connolly and free up more space to make a more logical move.

simpleminded

February 11th, 2011
8:37 am

Good luck Rawhhide, Jr.!

I think the Thrash sould dress all the D-men and skate Byfuglien as a forward until the third period when it’s time to squeeze the bench. Kulda should be playing. Limit Oduya’s exposure please.
I can’t wait until Stapleton is no longer needed as a part of the team.

Hoof Arted

February 11th, 2011
8:39 am

Red Light, yes the Sabres are an issue right now. Just a quick as the Thrashers could find themselves sitting in a playoff position this weekend, they could find themselves sitting in 10th place just as fast.

These are playoff games. They will be from here on out and this team better play like it is.

Please coach Ramsay, PLEASE!!!! Sit Modin or Stapleton and play Boulton.

GO THARSHERS!

World Be Free

February 11th, 2011
8:39 am

Red Light-I talked about Connolly late in the last blog. Ottawa’s trade of Fisher has wet the lips of Sabres’ fans thinking they can get a number 1 pick from some team for Plastic Tim. He is a good playmaker, setup man for a finisher. I think Byron is Connolly’s replacement in the lineup next season, but they cannot really afford to move Connolly with Roy out and make playoffs. So what do they do? I think a 2nd round pick is more likely for a rental like Connolly. Myers’ winner last night was a beauty, the Tyler Myers Sabres’ fans saw last season.

VOLinATL

February 11th, 2011
8:52 am

Wish I could be at the games this weekend…GIVE ‘EM HECK, THRASHERS!!

moriler

February 11th, 2011
9:12 am

Craziness. The team hasn’t played well enough to deserve to be in this spot, but I gotta say “thanks” to the Ranjerks and Canes for floundering and letting us hang around.

3trees

February 11th, 2011
9:19 am

Bill – Congrats and good luck to your son.

Also, good luck to the Thrashers. Play some defense and if you get the tying or go ahead goal, don’t give one up within the next minute!

Good to see the photos of Kane in the community.

Go Thrashers!

SomaAtl95

February 11th, 2011
9:34 am

Hoping tonight we bounce those bums back to Broadway. I’m sure we can all say we are tired of this team playing well below their skill level.

BMF

February 11th, 2011
9:42 am

It’s right there in front of us. 4 points. 2 home games, both win-able, VERY win-able. Toby coming back tonight would be tremendous. Curious if he’s got his whole game at this disposal coming off a broken finger, wonder if that affects his ability to blast shots from the top fo the key or take any other one-timers, but hey, Toby does so much else that I’ll take him out there if ne never even shoots the puck once. The effect he could have on Buff is worth it alone. If we don’t pull the trigger on a trade, the impact of his return to the lineup basically has the same effect. Will be nice to see Boulton back as well, would not be surprised if his line puts a puck or two in the back of the net.

I want nothing short of 2 regulation wins this weekend, starting tonight.

Red Light

February 11th, 2011
9:53 am

Interesting quote from Doug Wilson, Sharks GM

“”People talk about a player as if he’s a game-changer,” he said. “They’re not game-changers — otherwise people wouldn’t be moving them in most cases.”

Iron League 13

February 11th, 2011
9:54 am

Rangers tonight likely means a large spike in attendance regardless of the Thrashers suckiness of late, just sayin. Perfect example of why our market could be awesome.

On another note…these two games may be important, but we don’t always do very well against either team, so our guys had better get mentally prepared. I wanna see some real hustle and grit for the duration of each game, it’s playoff push season and it’s time to see how serious they are. Should be very telling.

jimbo

February 11th, 2011
9:58 am

The problem is not the Canes, Buffalo or other teams, it’s a coach who like the ownership “just doesn’t get it”. Schultz points out that D-Buff told him that we can’t win “shinny games” (wide open play) and old Rammeroo wants to open up the offense. Every other team in the NHL that has a run at the playoffs will begin to tighten up play and the Scary One wants to go the other way. DUH, DUH, DOUBLE DUH.

moriler

February 11th, 2011
10:30 am

See, I don’t understand what BUFF is thinking there. From what I’ve seen, we do best playing up and down the ice, rolling four lines, forechecking heavily, and going on the rush when the opportunity arises, because we have young players and their legs can do that. Plus, our guys create better out of chaos than they do out of set plays, because we don’t have many set plays that aren’t obvious right now.

I know we’re trying to become more of a “puck possession” team and get away from just blindly throwing it up the ice, but that doesn’t preclude ‘forechecking heavily’ and being willing to play both up and down and try to wear teams out. But we do need to hit more to do that, I think.

Curious George

February 11th, 2011
10:36 am

Rags to Riches this weekend?

Isn’t that THE OPPOSITE of what the heads of Atlanta Spirit Group did?

Joe Friday

February 11th, 2011
10:38 am

“Schultz points out that D-Buff told him that we can’t win “shinny games” (wide open play) and old Rammeroo wants to open up the offense. Every other team in the NHL that has a run at the playoffs will begin to tighten up play and the Scary One wants to go the other way.”

Yep. This is the time of year playoff clubs tighten up their d. We get burned when we start running around and get into up and down hockey, we can’t win games that way (although we did win some early this year when we played that way if Pavs stood on his head).

If Pavs can get hot again, they can win some more here, it’s pretty much up to him. Hopefully he’ll be sharp tonight after being rested for a few days this week.

Smoothie

February 11th, 2011
11:19 am

The next 12 games are all against teams that are no higher than 6th in their respective conferences (MTL & PHX are both currently 6th), but that is certainly no pre-indicator of success for the Thrashers. HOWEVER, we shall see if Toby Enstrom is truly a difference-maker as he is back in the line-up and we’ve got a chance to win 4 points this weekend and get right back into the thick of the race. If we win both, and Duds DOESN’T make a trade, I will be very, very pissed.

Smoothie

February 11th, 2011
11:20 am

Oh yeah, hoooray Egypt! I hope the transition of power does lead to a sovereign democracy that doesn’t become a safe-harbor for terrorists. Good luck to you Egypt! Historic day.

World Be Free

February 11th, 2011
12:00 pm

Smoothie-I am old enough to remember when Egypt was very hostile to the west. Let’s hope they don’t return their ways of the pasy. Where are you sitting tonight?

Hoof Arted

February 11th, 2011
12:08 pm

Red Light

February 11th, 2011
12:10 pm

A little research (since 2003-04 season) shows that while there are some key pre-deadline and deadline deals for teams that eventually go to the Cup Finals, it is a gamble at best. I didn’t show what the teams gave up, or it would be of Brendanesque length. I may have missed one or two, but…

Here is a list of key deadline acquisitions for those teams that either made the Stanley Cup Finals or won the Cup!

2009-10
Ville Leino from Detroit to Philadelphia Stanley Cup Finals

2008-09
Bill Guerin from NY Islanders to Pittsburgh Stanley Cup Champs
Andy Wozniewski from St. Louis to Pittsburgh Stanley Cup Champs
Craig Adams from Chicago to Pittsburgh (waivers) Stanley Cup Champs

2007-08
Hal Gill from Toronto to Pittsburgh Stanley Cup Finals
Marian Hossa & Pascal Dupuis to Pittsburgh Stanley Cup Finals
Brad Stuart from Los Angeles to Detroit Stanley Cup Champs

2006-07
Oleg Saprykin from Calgary to Ottawa Stanley Cup Finals
Brad May from Colorado to Anaheim Stanley Cup Champs
Doug O’Brien from Tampa Bay to Anaheim Stanley Cup Champs

2005-06
Dwayne Roloson from Minnesota to Edmonton Stanley Cup Finals
Sergei Samsonov from Boston to Edmonton Stanley Cup Finals
Mark Recchi from Pittsburgh to Carolina Stanley Cup Champs
Doug Weight from St. Louis to Carolina Stanley Cup Champs

2003-04
Darryl Sydor from Columbus to Tampa Bay Stanley Cup Champs
Stan Neckar from Nashville to Tampa Bay Stanley Cup Champs

World Be Free

February 11th, 2011
12:23 pm

Hoof-GREAT NEWS!

Red Light- I have expressed my opinions of deadline deals before. For those of us that are a little old, Butch Goring has to be the greatest late season pickup that made the greatest impact. The players you noted above, for the most part went to teams that needed compliment players, guys who could come in and pickup a happening team. At this point, we are less than happening. We need a big deal right now and I just do not see that happening.

Cut bait and focus on the future.

Red Light

February 11th, 2011
12:24 pm

For a list of past Thrashers deals, both just before or at the deadline click on the link below. Not sure if this one is all-in, but it’s close.

http://sportssoutheast.com/index.php/red-light-report/59-nhl/246-thrashers-deadline-deals-since-2000

Cliff Fletcher

February 11th, 2011
12:27 pm

oduya will get traded, he never wanted to be here to begin with. the arrival of kulda makes johnny expendable.

remember what he said we he arrived in atlanta-
“it is what it is” instead of “I am happy to be here and can’t wait to help the team”.

think about it

Alan R.

February 11th, 2011
12:32 pm

remember what he said we he arrived in atlanta-
“it is what it is” instead of “I am happy to be here and can’t wait to help the team”.

He did, but I think he warmed up to the idea. It’s generally not a good idea to interview a player during a game right after he was traded. Some players are genuinely happy to get moved, but some never see it coming.

Oduya and Bergfors are two players who never felt those trade winds blowing, and they felt pretty burned by it.

Oduya displays a good attitude about being here, now. I think he’s embraced being here. I don’t quite see the same in Bergfors.

Cliff Fletcher

February 11th, 2011
12:35 pm

alan r//

it’s not that I don’t like him

I think johnny would rather be with a winner, also think he is expendable. we do not have too many parts that can be replaced here.

Smoothie

February 11th, 2011
12:36 pm

Didn’t Bergfors say “it is what it is”? Perhaps its Swedish for “I see you have an IKEA.” :)

WBF – I’ll be in 203 tonite with K-belle. Where are you? We can definitely meet up at some point, perhaps even during warm-ups?

Red Light

February 11th, 2011
12:49 pm

It was Bergfors, not Oduya who made those comments last year.

World Be Free

February 11th, 2011
12:52 pm

Smoothie-not sure where I am going to be yet. I will be in front of Gorin’s between 6:30 and 6:50 or so. If not there, I will come over to 203 and find you. see ya then.

And yes, Bergfors said the same thing about “being here”. I think Alan R is correct about Oduya warming to Atlanta. But as Cliff says, he may be one of our few replaceable assets right now if we want to make a significant deal.

Thrashy Thrashy

February 11th, 2011
12:59 pm

There goes Rawhide, subsidizin’ the ol’ incompetence again by pimpin’ tickets ‘n’ such.

(By the way, I don’t care for that aspect of the AJC blogs. Hell, even DOB does it on his. He’s a freakin’ journalist. Ahhh, the social media age. The lines between cover-er and cover-ee blur so seamlessly now.)

Badger Bob

February 11th, 2011
1:14 pm

“The next 12 games are all against teams that are no higher than 6th in their respective conferences (MTL & PHX are both currently 6th), but that is certainly no pre-indicator of success for the Thrashers.”

Since the previous 4 games (0-3-1) were against teams no higher than 7th in their respective conferences, I hope Les Thrash focus more on their game (like they did with the homestand that first got us all excited this year) than on who the opponent is.

And bring in some scoring help! RL for GM!

Smoothie

February 11th, 2011
1:17 pm

WBF – sounds good man, we’ll be in row B so we should be pretty easy to spot as I think that is the first row in the 200 section and it may be the one with only 2 chairs.

BadgerBob!! – AMEN! Just pointing that out so we call get even more pissed when we go 3 – 6 – 3 over the next 12. j/k Well, sort of. ;)

Thrashy – I hear ya, but I don’t think Rawhide sees himself as a journalist at all. Perhaps a conveyor of truth w/r/t the state of the Thrashers, but I doubt he’s trying to give C-Viv a run for his money.

Tony C

February 11th, 2011
1:22 pm

I think what Ramsay was talking about (at least I hope) in regards to “opening it up” was moreso him admitting that he got way too cerebral for some players (looking at #4), and then when that didn’t work a little tacky with the players. Players don’t like to be told they are doing suck, and unfortunately (or if we keep the team fortunately) we’ve got a LOT of youngsters on this club-who just don’t have the life experience of things sucking and having to fight through them…he indicated that a key focus of the coaching staff has been players spacing/positioning/process without the puck. This isn’t the easiest thing to do-transfer how you should be positioned with the main source of input being a video or still-image. I’m praying that with this stretch of regular practice and Ramsay throwing away the back section of the playbook and “dumbing it down” will help.

While we can’t win a barn-burner unless Pavelec from December is in net, we certainly can put the pressure on the opposing team. You look at the past month or so and yes, it looks like they boys get lost real quick in their own end. Perhaps it’s because they in fact were. Not knowing and I mean knowing where you’re supposed to be really puts a monkeywrench in a position-specific system like the one Ramsay seems to wont to use. Sure, when spacing is right, the counter-attack starts at the red line. But if one guy is out of position or loafing it back to his own end, a seam opens up and the whole thing breaks down. We simply do not have the talent-level to play loose positionally. It does seem that the team plays better if they play loose mentally. I think that’s what Ramsay is talking about-opening things back up as far as not concentrating on the “advanced-level”(for lack of a better term) positional duties/breakouts/etc. and going with a simpler, more fun “basic level” game-plan.

Also it’d be a real joy to see a Thrashers club that understood how to beat the trap AND have the willingness and grit to do so.

Tony C

February 11th, 2011
1:28 pm

Oh and if any of yall know who this is-tell him AWESOME!

Brendan

February 11th, 2011
1:38 pm

Red Light, for me, the most memorable was the Oilers’ acquisition of Dwayne Roloson at the deadline. That team went from 11th to 8th, and then knockedoff Detroit, San Jose, and Anaheim enroute to a loss in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Red Light, it’d be fun to look at some offseason deals, like this one from July 7, 2002, that translated into Stanley Cup wins, like this one: http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/sports/2002/07/07/2002-07-07_devils_deal_sykora_to_ducks.html.

The Devils traded away one of their best forwards of the past three seasons, Petr Sykora, in a package deal that brought back mobile defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky along with left wing/center Jeff Friesen from Anaheim.

The Devils wound up facing the Ducks in the 2003 Finals. New Jersey prevailed in seven games, in a series where the home team won every game. It might have also been the last time a Conn Smythe Winner came from the losing team (J-S Giguere).

litz

February 11th, 2011
1:48 pm

Here’s a question for y’all …

Is there an owner of a major sports franchise (outside of films with the words “Major” and “League” in the title) more hated than our current ownership group?

I think you’d be hard pressed to find one …

Jason

February 11th, 2011
1:52 pm

This is what I just sent to my ticket rep as to why I won’t be renewing next year.

————-

(Redacted),

I have made the decision, after six seasons of dedication to the Atlanta Thrashers, that I will not be renewing my season tickets for next season. Here are my reasons:

1.) The value of my tickets has been progressively downgraded as the years have progressed, as has the personal value of me as a season ticket holder (STH). I understand the costs have been cut for seats, and I am appreciative of that; however, I apparently don’t “spend” enough money to get items I used to receive as part of my plan. I received a $25 gift certificate per seat for each ticket on my account. Now, since you guys cut the price of my tickets, I apparently don’t spend enough money to receive this benefit. Granted, between the amount I spend on concessions, parking and team gear every year, I spend well over that threshold. This was never explained to me when I renewed last year. I just saw the price cut on seats and blindly followed through. This year, not so much, especially looking at the quality of product on the ice.

Further, I look at a team like Tampa Bay. I’ll be referencing them again later. Here’s what they did (which I know you know they did, but I’m going to include anyway for effect): “All full season ticket holders for the upcoming season will receive a home game jersey with their respective season ticket commitments. The jersey will be reserved exclusively for full season ticket holders with its own distinctive identifying marks. In addition to the sweater’s distinct look, a microchip will be inserted in the sleeve, thereby allowing season ticket holders to be identified at concession stands and merchandise shops throughout the St. Pete Times Forum. By scanning these embedded sleeves, fans will receive a 25% discount on all concessions in the arena and a 35% discount on all merchandise purchased at the Times Forum during Lightning games.”

As an Atlanta Thrashers STH, I’ve never received a free jersey. I’ve had to pay for mine, and now I don’t even get a gift certificate to the store to help pay for it. Also, I don’t get a concession discount. Yay me!

2.) Quality of product on the ice. The Thrashers currently ranks 30th among 30 teams in the amount spent on player salaries. The team also has more money under the salary to spend on talent than any other team in the NHL. The team leading our division – the Tampa Bay Lightning – spends nearly $8 million more than the Thrashers.

3.) Ownership. They’ve wanted to sell the team for six years and lied to everyone about it publicly. Need I say more?

4.) Value as an STH. Let’s look at Sunday’s game against Carolina. If I weren’t an STH and decided to buy a ticket to the game, I’d also get a ticket to the zoo and a ticket to the Georgia Aquarium. But I have bought my ticket to the game. I made my commitment almost a year ago. How do I get repaid for this? Um….yeah. If I buy tickets for Sunday through a blog on the AJC, I get a jersey (I know, a very cheap replica, but still). What do I get for committing almost a year ago to buy tickets? Um…yeah.

5.) Hawks tickets as a perceived benefit. I got tickets to three Hawks games this year. Section 317 Row M. Yeah, great place to watch a basketball game….

6.) In-arena experience. There are two ushers for my section and the four sections around mine most nights. Really tough to enforce things like “puck in play” with two ushers. I understand that not every concession stand can be open in the upper deck, but it makes it tough to get items before the start of the next period if the majority of them are closed. Goal songs we’ve had for years like “Zombie Nation” and “Song 2″ get replaced by a P.O.D. song? I can’t see the LED boards across the way from me due to the scoreboard hanging over center ice, and now, I can’t get any out of town scores either because the old-style matrix boards underneath master control/press box have been turned off.

I was already frustrated as a season ticket holder. After getting the renewal plan, I’m insulted.

DWTOO

February 11th, 2011
1:52 pm

Tony C – He’s the Peverly Hillybilly!

Red Light

February 11th, 2011
1:54 pm

“The Devils wound up facing the Ducks in the 2003 Finals. New Jersey prevailed in seven games, in a series where the home team won every game.”

Brendan: I took my mom to Game 7 that year and saw the Cup raised in person for the first and only time. Very special even without a dog in the hunt.

litz…Daniel Snyder of the Washington Redskins leaps to mind.

Smoothie

February 11th, 2011
2:06 pm

3.) Ownership. They’ve wanted to sell the team for six years and lied to everyone about it publicly. Need I say more?

Jason – I certainly don’t blame you for bowing out as a STH, but how is this not your #1 reason for not renewing?

That Tampa Bay STH promotion is very interesting to say the least. I wonder if they eavesdrop on people’s conversation via the microchip to see what they really think about the ownership!

Red Light

February 11th, 2011
2:11 pm

Forsberg will play tonight for the Avs against Columbus! Awesome.

Red Light

February 11th, 2011
2:12 pm

Canes GM Jim Rutherford…offered an emphatic “nope” when asked if he had any interest in acquiring either Dustin Penner or Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers.

Jason

February 11th, 2011
2:14 pm

Smoothie – I went in order of what ticked me off most as I was writing it. Ownership really plays in to everything on that list, so it would be an overarching #1. Yet and still…I felt penalized for keeping the same seats I’ve had for 6 years.

Smoothie

February 11th, 2011
2:16 pm

A fun little back and forth b/w Lebrun and Burnside — who is showing much love for the Thrashers — over at ESPN which you can check out here: http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/4616/daily-debate-whats-wrong-with-detroit-will-atlanta-or-buffalo-earn-playoff-spot

Burnside: I am not sold yet on the Sabres, although having won eight of their past 11 contests is surely impressive. The power play is also starting to cook, which is crucial. During this stretch, they have beaten Tampa Bay, Boston and Montreal. That’s the key if you’re trying to make up ground, beating the also-rans and getting points against good teams. The Sabres have done that.

But I will say this: you are wrong, my friend; the Atlanta Thrashers will get up off the ground and keep the Sabres from charging into the playoffs. At least at the Thrashers’ expense. The Thrash host the slumping New York Rangers on Friday night, and I am guessing you’ll see coach Craig Ramsay’s young squad start to turn things around, even though they’ve won just twice in their past 13 games. Watch for Zach Bogosian to have a big night despite trade rumors.

LeBrun: You’re crazy! The Thrashers are going backward and you know it. But as a local Atlanta boy, you can’t say it. You mentioned the Rangers; they’ve got to get that 24th-ranked power play going if they’re going to hang on to their playoff spot. I can’t tell you how good Toronto’s Tomas Kaberle or Florida’s Bryan McCabe would look on that power play. Problem is, as Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told me this week, at least 14 teams are looking for defensemen.

Another club looking to add on the blue line is the Chicago Blackhawks, who roll into Dallas tonight in what seems like yet another must-win game for the defending Cup champions. They’re three points out of the safe zone. The Hawks made a trade Wednesday night, acquiring Michael Frolik in a package with Florida. He’s a versatile player and the Hawks hope he can rediscover that touch that helped him post back-to-back 21-goal seasons in his first two seasons in the league.

Burnside: We’ll see. For most of the first half of the season, the Thrashers were skating as well as any team in the league. Players like Andrew Ladd are going to help get them on track. Interesting you should mention McCabe. The Panthers aren’t completely out of the playoff race (six points out of eighth with a game in hand as of Friday morning), but you know GM Dale Tallon is looking at clearing out as much salary as he can to accelerate the rebuilding process. Given the demand for defensemen, Tallon’s phone will be ringing for McCabe, as well as netminder Tomas Vokoun.

A source told me yesterday that the issue is McCabe and Vokoun have no-move clauses, and their big salaries (Vokoun’s cap hit is $5.7 million, McCabe’s is $5.75 million) suggest GMs will wait until closer to the Feb. 28 trade deadline in order to save money and cap space. With deals already being made well in advance of the deadline, another source said GMs, especially in the tightly-packed Western Conference, are getting nervous. No one wants to miss the boat on an asset that could help secure a playoff spot, but no one wants to overpay for an asset or make a move before they have to.

LeBrun: A couple of nice pieces you wrote yesterday on the Thrashers, by the way. They’re an interesting story, on and off the ice, as Quebec City announced plans to build an NHL-sized arena.

It’s a good point about the Panthers not being out just yet. That’s why I think Tallon will wait until closer to the deadline to decide on McCabe and Vokoun, both of whom he’s had preliminary discussions with regarding contract extensions, which would need to be economically friendly. If they’re eight or more points out come Feb. 28 and neither player has signed an extension, they may both be gone. Have a great weekend, you lovable redhead!

DWTOO

February 11th, 2011
2:17 pm

Smoothie – Been listening to what the Tampa Bay ownership is doing on Center Ice and have to admit I’m extemely jealous. The plans for the arena and perks for season ticket holders are awesome. The silver lining for Thrasher fans is that the TB franchise wasn’t always is this good of shape. Wasn’t it just a couple of years ago the previous ownership was in disarray? One can always hope.

Smoothie

February 11th, 2011
2:19 pm

Jason – I understand the frustration. Hence why I only buy flex-plan packs for games that work for my schedule. At least that way I feel as though I have a little more control. Plus, I have a good tkt rep who is always trying to hook me up with comps and extras when the timing is good. There are some good folks in the sales dept and it’s too bad that their bosses are complete and utter fools. Their franchise flip failed miserably and now they sue everything in their path with a pulse.

Smoothie

February 11th, 2011
2:24 pm

DWTOO – I agree completely, makes me jealous too, but you’re right, they just had a change in ownership last spring I believe it was. The feuding pair of crooks who did own them were forced to sell and then all the positive changes (Yzerman, Boucher etc etc) were implemented prior to this season. And now they have new unis on the horizon.

Hoof Arted

February 11th, 2011
2:36 pm

Jason, That’s quite the Dear John letter to your rep. I’d be very curious to read whatever is replied back to you.

Jason

February 11th, 2011
2:38 pm

Smoothie – I changed reps at the start of the calendar year. Between him and the rep I had previously, I’ve never been given any sort of upgrades or comps or anything. The closest I got was the opportunity to buy tickets to the WWE show in April as opposed to a lot of people that I’ve heard from getting tix to concerts, etc. The only time I got a seat upgrade at a Thrashers game was after I filed a complaint because only 3 concession stands in the upper level were open one night last season when we played the Penguins.

Red Light

February 11th, 2011
3:10 pm

Senators GM Bryan Murray…

“There will be some deals,” Murray told reporters. “I don’t know how many, I don’t even pretend to know that, but there will be more deals. If we’re going to … follow our plan that we’ve outlined going forward, we have to make room for some people. We’re obviously going to acquire draft picks if we can and give ourselves a chance to pick as high as we can in this year’s draft and get good assets for the organization.”

Defenseman Chris Phillips to Chicago?
Looking for defense. Kopecky as trade bait now that the younger mirror-image Frolik is there?

Winger Daniel Alfredsson to Los Angeles (2 years left on current deal but while the cap hit for Ottawa is $4.875 million, it’s only $2.75 million for the acquiring team over the next two seasons).

Winger Alexei Kovalev to Phoenix?
Short-term rental to bolster PP unit, which is only clicking at 17.1 percent (19 overall)

Jason

February 11th, 2011
3:33 pm

As much as I’d love to see a deal, I doubt one will be made….

glovesave29

February 11th, 2011
4:12 pm

This will be the response from the team re: you STH cancellation…

glovesave29

February 11th, 2011
4:13 pm

Tampa – another example of the league stepping in to rid the team of lousy ownership. So where are they now for the good people of Atlanta?

LAC

February 11th, 2011
4:19 pm

glovesave29, I agree 100% on where is the NHL. Just a new owner by any name would boost attendence and OUR Sprit !

glovesave29

February 11th, 2011
4:24 pm

Here’s what I am hoping for tonight…I want Avery, the little punk to go after Enstrom and his recently broken finger. Then the balance of the boys in blue to go after him and a good, team-building, bench clearing brawl. I want to see the team starting to rally around each other and to show a little toughness.

Jason

February 11th, 2011
4:28 pm

GS29: Three hours in and you’re exactly right about the response to this point.

However, I don’t think this team has the heart to have a line fight with anyone. That’s why teams like Montreal and Boston are ahead of us. Closest we’ve come in a while was the pre-Thanksgiving battle with Washington a few years ago.

Smoothie

February 11th, 2011
4:31 pm

We had a line fight in Boston right after Savard returned. Dopey actually wanted to fight so Little beat his ass down. As the injuries started to stockpile, our fight and energy started to ebb. Like many have said, we don’t have the true depth of roster to sustain even a couple or a few key injuries like a Pens or Wings team.

BMF

February 11th, 2011
4:52 pm

Jason, I remember that game aginst the Caps that you’re referring to, think it was the 06-07 season, 5 fights in the last 10 seconds of that game. The Caps had Donald Brashear at the time and if memory serves me right he beat the absolute crap out of Vishnevisky (sp?). Metropolit and DeVries also fought in that one too, gloves and sticks littered the ice. Don’t recall seeing a game like that since, where the whole team collective decided to drop gloves and stick up for each other, or at least not to that extent. Speaking of fighting, seeing the penalty box in that BOS-MON game was hilarious. How many guys did they squeeze in there, 7 or 8? Looked like the old phone-booth drill.

glovesave29

February 11th, 2011
5:03 pm

Wasn’t that the game that lead to Glen Hanlons ouster as the Caps coach?

ZAvalanche

February 11th, 2011
6:19 pm

Good luck Thrashy! Any if any of you want some extra entertainment and have center ice, check out Avs-Blue Jackets. Forsberg makes his return tonight……….

CatThrashFever

February 11th, 2011
7:11 pm

Jason: you better get lower level seats for the remainder of the season, free concessions for rest of season and a REAL jersey with the player of your choice on it – to stay at STH! please let us know what AS does! :)

LAC

February 11th, 2011
9:33 pm

I’m glad Shirley Temple is on TCM tonight, Much better to watch than this wreched team, Just Sick !
This team’s Goose is cooked tonight…. Season Over. Be sellers, forget trying anymore this season !

CatThrashFever

February 11th, 2011
10:27 pm

LAC: fyi We won in REGULATION!! You missed a great game! :)

ZAvalanche

February 11th, 2011
10:33 pm

At least one of my teams won tonight……….. Nice game Kane, errr, clutch.

SomaAtl95

February 11th, 2011
10:58 pm

Nice to see a great game tonight. They played AT their skill level tonight and it showed. The best part? A win almost completely means a “Negative Nancy” – free weekend of conversation on this blog. A win on Sunday would make it a stretch of games minus the “Sourpuss Sallies”
A few streaks to end the season and a few playoff wins and you’ll see the “Pessimistic Pamelas” flee faster than Mubarek from Cairo.
Its nice to hope for that after a game like tonight!
Have a great Saturday folks! :)

LAC

February 11th, 2011
11:31 pm

I stand to be CORRECTED, Great comeback to get a critical win. Good Job !

Joe Friday

February 11th, 2011
11:38 pm

Keys to the game:
Coach. Huge positive from Ramsay. He changed up his power play, and I liked it, kinks to be worked out but that was so needed.
Enstrom: cog was missing, he’s back
Boultoun: I’m telling you, he’s a “glue” guy . . . lighting up the Blue Skirt lit up our whole team and they skated balls to the wall the whole first and you saw what happened.

WBF, please commence with your Stewart bashing. I’m done with him. The boys played balls out the whole first and his fat lazy butt takes an atrocious lazy backbreaking holding call 30 seconds into the first–kudos to the rest of the boys stepping it up to overcome that braindead play

Bergfors. Please trade him, does not fit it, always a step behind and it’s not because he doesn’t have the speed…no heart

Brendan

February 12th, 2011
12:38 am

Absolutely huuuuge win. That’s a four-point swing. As important as the win was, it was equally important to DENY the Rangers any points from this game. Down, 2-1, late in the 3rd period, the only team “lurking” for the ‘pity-point’ was Atlanta. Instead, we snuffed out the possibility of ANY points for the NYR.

Turning point? The amazing save Pavelec made on Gaborik’s penalty shot. Kane had a 3-point night, I believe. Kane was credited with an assist on the Anthony Stewart goal, after a review.

Atlanta is back in playoff position. But teams beneath have game-in-hand. The PP unit came up huuuge, late in the 3rd period.

R. Stroz

February 12th, 2011
12:49 am

Lots of COWBELL tonight.

CatThrashFever

February 12th, 2011
1:31 am

testing the BOLD and the italics features

Pinball34

February 12th, 2011
4:25 am

Anybody catch the Penguins massacre tonight? Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of A**holes…

Thrashers

February 12th, 2011
6:00 am

We are in 8th again dammit!!!!!

No Boycott - Support Team Now

February 12th, 2011
8:29 am

All you morons that have been saying the best thing a fan can do is boycott this team are about to see your foolish plan backfire. Wake up and smell the coffee – Atlanta is on verge of losing our team. Get your rear ends down to Phillips or you can pack the car for Nashville to go see the NHL. Your boycott has backfired. Support the Thrashers and the NHL NOW!

Dany Heatley

February 12th, 2011
8:30 am

For those folks who have written off this team, this year, you are excused permanently from this blog. Go back to the wide world of curling or whatever other mundane pastimes you regale yourself in.

Spud Webb

February 12th, 2011
8:48 am

Pinball34, I was flipping back and forth! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo….isles gooning it up. The pens got straight WORKED. ahhahahha

Friday…Bergfors. Please trade him, does not fit it, always a step behind and it’s not because he doesn’t have the speed…no heart

AGREED 1000 percent. Bergie is NOT willing to pay the price. He is what he is, a 20 goal scorer, but too pretty for my taste. Get your nose dirty, quit being a women (no offense to anyone) and get the damn puck when its in the corners.

Great win last night, wow….relentless!

World Be Free

February 12th, 2011
9:03 am

Joe Friday, I think we all have to remember Stewart was avauilable to every NHL team and the Thrashers were the only team to take a chance on him. He has size and decent speed but lacks the fire. He has company on this team.

But Kane and Thorburn surely do not lack fire. I am waiting for Thorburn to take a shift off because I can’t remember him doing it. Kane should hold lessons for the rest of the team on how you ATTACK the opposition on the rush. No wonder he gets hurt. A very good win against a struggling Rangers team.

To quote Frank Gorshin – “Riddle me this Batman!”
Why was Sopel out on the power play playing the oppositie point?
And why would anybody drop a pass to Sopel when he was the last line of defense with Gaborik on the ice? End rest, breakaway, penalty shot and Pavs to the rescue, again.

Pavs is saving the season so far.

World Be Free

February 12th, 2011
9:07 am

You gotta love Bots, the worst place to be is in his cross hairs after he has sat for a few games. Easy to see the 2 words he hates the most are “healthy scratch”.
Boulton’s house-penalty box
Boulton’s prison-press box

Great fight to start the game. Looks like Old Time Hockey has returned the NHL. Man do I love brawls, as long as I am not in them.

World Be Free

February 12th, 2011
9:08 am

That’s Bolts

Sage of Bluesland

February 12th, 2011
9:14 am

Caught the tail-end of the game last night…from home, of course…Suited me just fine, too, knowing the ASG didn’t get a ‘direct’ subsidy from the Sage household.

Not another dollar for incompetence, despite the blind squirrel finding a nut.

Cheers–and finally a regulation win.

World Be Free

February 12th, 2011
9:25 am

Burmiustov finally awake from his slumber. Nice check and pass, good to see Burmie back.

h

February 12th, 2011
9:58 am

WBF, right on. That Burmy hit totally set up the first goal. I thought he played really well last night. Kane and Stewart were all over the place last night too. Good forechecking by Ladd and I hate to say this, but I thought hainsey played another very solid game.

World Be Free

February 12th, 2011
10:05 am

h, let’s hope the Kane, Thorburn and Burmie hustle will restart this team on the ice. Still too much standing around in our own end when the opposition has the puck. 5 on 5 situations look more like a power play for the opposing team, often turning into a goal.

This team struggles to score and I say it is time to move Buff to forward. many of you have stated this before and now I agree. It’s not like he has been a premier defenseman the past 2 months. Move him to forward, power forward. Who can handle him other than maybe Chara?

Spud Webb

February 12th, 2011
10:08 am

Thorburn has impressed me all season long. The kid plays hard & has some skills. Great, GREAT job by him to keep improving.

Alan R.

February 12th, 2011
11:30 am

WBF – I said it back in October… I said it back in December… and I’m sayin’ it now. Don’t count on Byfuglien to get moved back to forward. Ramsay is more than willing to give the man time at D.

Joe Friday

February 12th, 2011
11:31 am

Moving Buf up front is what ignited the ‘Hawks Cup run … If Dudley can get a top 2 dman, do it

World Be Free

February 12th, 2011
11:49 am

Joe Friday-maybe get Chris Phillips from Ottawa? Then maybe the folks in Ottawa will boycott Home Depot or UPS the way Senators’ fans are boycotting Carrie Underwood for taking Mike Fisher. That’s how silly some fans can get.

Alan R-I agree with you to a point, Buff gets more minutes on the backline. My issue with Buff now is that he is playing like an average defenseman. So what do we need more, an average defenseman or a power forward? Let me say that again, a power forward. Strike fear in the opposing defenses, make them cough up the puck, you know, a turnover. I wouldn’y want a 250# + forward barrelling down on me that’s for sure. I got crushed into the end boards a few times the memories kinda stick with you.

R. Stroz

February 12th, 2011
12:01 pm

Has anyone heard from Hooky Bob lately?

R. Stroz

February 12th, 2011
12:03 pm

After watching Bogosian last night, and this is not a knock against him, I think he should be converted to a forward ASAP.

alex

February 12th, 2011
12:34 pm

not good already ESPN talking about Atlanta to Quebec, watch hockey night Canada discussing, armageddon close asg almost accomplished mission now. and everybody in American and Canadian media going to blame Atlanta for not supporting this team. wrong with dw and asg no city can survive we been cursed with this morons.

Ice Daddy

February 12th, 2011
12:43 pm

First off, welcome back Toby. You didn’t do anything spectacular. You never do. You just play great solid defense and are always in the right position. Your presence seemed to bring the entire D up a few levels.

Secondly, great turnout last night. I know Fridays are usually decent crowds but with the recent woes, I figured some would stay away. Usually when we get a big crowd like that, it means half of them have the other team’s sweater on. Not last night and y’all were LOUD!!

What a great game. The work of Kane’s line and Thorburn’s line stood out. Nice save on the penalty shot Pavs and a great all-around game. Ladd was solid as always and I loved the hit that Burmy laid on somebody. Who knew?

Last night, for some reason, something told me to pull out my Danny Snyder number 37 pin and put it on my sweater before leaving. I hadn’t worn it in over a year. I miss that guy. Any way, I’ll be there on Sunday and Snydes is coming with me again. Time to get on a roll.

I see they were filming “Slapshot 3″ on Long Island last night. An instant classic. I just wish Crosby was back from maternity leave so he could have been pounded a few times. Or maybe he would have just got two teammates to hold an Islander so he could “Valabik” him??

Everyone, please come out on Sunday and bring a friend. This team can win and it seems like they step up when the barn is full.

Red Light

February 12th, 2011
1:02 pm

Interesting conversation last night. Few Thrashers seem willing to take the body and finish checks. Discussed Byfuglien at length. Only three total hits in last three games. Thinking back to the playoffs last year, the Big Man had everyone looking over their shoulder. He banged and made life miserable, not only for the Flyers, but also the Canucks. I know he’s playing a different position, but that doesn’t mean he can’t use his size to intimidate opponents. He’s 28th of all defensemen in hits, but I think he would be much more effective if he threw the body around a bit more often.

Anyone else think so?

Red Light

February 12th, 2011
1:03 pm

Islanders now have three forwards with 20 or more goals. The truly amazing story of the fastest skater, Michael Grabner, continues. He has 12 goals and 5 assists since Jan. 15. Included in last June’s trade from Vancouver to Florida, (Florida Panthers traded Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich to the Vancouver Canucks for Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and a 1st round selection (Quinton Howden) in 2010), he was inexplicably waived by the Panthers and grabbed by the Islanders. The former 1st-round pick (14th overall) joins Tavares and Moulson in the 20-goal club with two last night.

It’s interesting that the Isles and the Stars are the only two teams in the NHL with three 20-goal scorers heading into today’s games.

Spud Webb

February 12th, 2011
1:05 pm

Dude yea RL, I’d love to see him reeking some havoc, under control like in the playoffs last year.
Your point about taking hits and giving them and our (thrashers) lack of commitment WILL & does catch up with us. Any rounds of the playoffs requires banging and taking a bang, we don’t do either very well. We appear to have the bodies to do so, but again not willing to pay the price.

Smoothie

February 12th, 2011
1:08 pm

Yes, Toby is rarely flashly and he sometimes goes unnoticed, but what is special are his compete level, ability to read a play and anticipate, and finally his outlet passes. He makes so many great passes to forwards on the tape and in stride that most of our D-men can’t or don’t make. His ability to move the puck decisively and precisely is what makes him an All-Star and our most valuable player.

Red Light

February 12th, 2011
1:09 pm

The Rangers problem, like many middle-rung teams, is that they are very weak at center. When Christensen is your top-line center, Drury out of the year, and Stepan is in his first season, you’re challenged up the middle. They need a quarterback on the PP and a top-line center. Anisimov is OK and Boyle is a third-line type, and that’s not going to help them going forward. We may have seen the last of the Blueshirts over the next few weeks, barring a move.

If not for Lundqvist and their top d-pair, they’d already be finished.

Red Light

February 12th, 2011
1:10 pm

There is not one team in the NHL who wouldn’t want Enstrom, particularly as the No. 3 and the PP QB. Period. End of debate!

Alan R.

February 12th, 2011
1:21 pm

I’m with RStrozerson, here. Move Bogosian up front and see what happens. Byfuglien might be “playing like an average defenseman,” but he’s also still adjusting. Couple that with the return of Enström, and everything should fall back into place.

Smoothie

February 12th, 2011
1:22 pm

R/L – good point about the challenges the Rangers face. They do seem to be lacking up the middle and do not have a Toby E type who can control the game with his head and stick. They along with CAR, due to their youth, age at certain positions and inconsistent D may be the paper tigers in this race. Of course, if Buff doesn’t step up his game and our young guys don’t play like they did last nite, we’re in trouble as much as them. Buffalo may have enough to make a serious run as their D seems to be playing better and they’re heating up offensively. Montreal looked like they were gonna create some separation but now they are struggling with consistency. Plus, they have a lot of road games left and may let teams catch them if they don’t find a spark. The race is gonna get crazy I think and our 3 remaining games with the Canes may be the most pivotal for us.

Red Light

February 12th, 2011
1:45 pm

I understand people looking for more out of Zach, but forward isn’t the answer. He’s just young and needs time. A little more patience required but he has lots of ability. He also needs to hit people.

DWTOO

February 12th, 2011
2:29 pm

Interesting observation regarding D Buff – he rally isn’t the hitter we saw last year. He and Pronger had a real good battle in the finals. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt as he’s taken more than one good ride into the walls and maybe he’s banged up. Also, I remember Ex – he of the good hit and then being out of position. Maybe a combination of the two.

As for Bogey thouhgt he showed some real good flashes moving the puck and passing. And then again he an almost disasterous wiff, too. But, he’ll get there. And think it may be “Don’t let the door hit you in the butt, Nic” Bergfors. Has some talent, but, needs to play with intensity.

Cornbread

February 12th, 2011
4:39 pm

DWTOO you are correct about Buff and I think this comes down to coaching. Ramsay does not want guys hitting just to make a hit if it is going to leave them out of position. No way should Buff be moved up nor should Bogo. Now that Toby is back he makes up for a lot of Buff’s out of position when he jumps into the play. Kind of ironic that is Ramsay’s system but it’s probably a trade-off. What would you rather have, a D-man out of position on the attack scoring a goal or a D-man out of position making a hit in the neutral zone? Bogo has been playing great and I like him paired with Hainsey again. This time though Hainsey can be more responsible and let Bogo go with it. Same with Sopel and Oduya. Interesting that Zach is the number 3 right now. That is a big change and shows how he is starting to turn it around.

Cornbread

February 12th, 2011
4:52 pm

Stewart played a great game last night along with Kane. Those two are perfect wings together. Anybody else think Stewie may have been the one to get the game winner? He pointed at Kane that it was his goal but there was one replay shown only once at the end of the game last night from the goal line that may have shown Stewie batting it in before it crossed the line. Great hand eye. I’d like to see the overhead. Not that it matters but it was a great team goal all the way around. Several guys played hard last night and Stewart was one of them. I’m not going to fault him for the penalty. He went out there early in the second and was trying to make something happen to gain position. Guys who don’t take penalties – Bergfors – never get close enough to a puck carrier to make anything happen, good or bad.

HookyBob

February 12th, 2011
5:13 pm

Mr Strozer,..I’m still reading the blog,..just not writing any. TFA.

Brendan

February 12th, 2011
10:12 pm

Sure, fine. TB wins over Carolina. That’s what we wanted. What we didn’t want … was TB surrendering two (2) goals in the final 51 seconds of regulation to toss a ‘pity point’ back in Carolina, in what WAS a 3-1 game!!

Why Bolts, why?? Didja HAVE to give up those two “late” goals to Carolina?? Was that COMPLETELY NECESSARY on your part??? Sheesh. 51.2 seconds away from a regulation time win, with a TWO GOAL cushion.

Sigh. It is what it is. I’ve always said, “We can’t rely on OTHER TEAMS to do our bidding for us. We must handle our own business.” Well, that means tomorrow’s game puts even more on the line.

Brendan

February 12th, 2011
10:16 pm

Cornbread, I also thought that might be Stewart’s goal, too. I was surprised when it wasn’t reviewed and changed. But hey, it’s good enough that it counted.

Disappointing night in Tampa Bay. Bolts can’t hold a 3-1 lead, with LESS than a minute left. Thud. That aggravates me, even more than my tax return today!!

Brendan

February 12th, 2011
10:36 pm

Preds score late tallies to beat Colorado, 5-3. Good job, Nashville! I don’t know if Mike Fisher tallied or not. I think anything negative directed to Carrie Underwood is completely misplaced, by Senators fans.

Brendan

February 12th, 2011
10:40 pm

Hossa misses on Chicago’s 3rd and final shootout attempt. So, the Phoenix Coyotes win. I sure do hope the Yotes are going to the postseason dance this year. I really want them to face the Nashville Predators in the opening round.

Russian

February 12th, 2011
11:05 pm

We are 9-th position again. We have to win tomorrow.

Joe Friday

February 13th, 2011
12:55 am

“I was flipping back and forth! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo….isles gooning it up. The pens got straight WORKED. ahhahahhaz’

Ok, with all due respect. Sorry, let me have a do over on that . . . with all the respect that you are due after writing that tripe, . . . .wake the f up douche . . .

The Islanders goalie, DiPietro got knocked out for injecting his elbow into the play, Johnson walked on down and made him pay the price for the cheap play he made. The Isles decided to goon it up, and you are pleased with that because A) it is good hockey B) it makes you feel good C) you’re getting that tingly feeling up and down your leg?

Your answer is?

Let me go for ya, because your a gigantic . . . nice guy?

Fish Stick Fan

February 13th, 2011
7:13 am

Joe Friday………you need to understand the facts that led to this display by my Islanders. After Pittsburgh beat us last time the Penguin players were seen laughing and mocking the Islander team from the bench. This is no excuse for the actions taken but realize this is what will happen when you mock a team and are the darlings of Bettman. I think we can all admit the Penguins are the darlings of the NHL front office and get away with cheap shots constantly. Fans and the rest of the league have had enough. I believe “Prince Sidney” even took liberties with some of your Thrasher players in the past and got away with it.

The good news is that my Islanders needed no goon tactics when beating your Thrashers last time. Perhaps if your Thrashers had shown any heart they would not have allowed us to waltz into Phillips and take your toys without a fight.

At least the Islanders will have partners on the golf course in April. Call us for tee times!!

Joe Friday

February 13th, 2011
8:54 am

Isles fan, that was a pathetic display from your pathetic club. Dumbs down hockey and the fans that would support that crap are even more pathetic.

World Be Free

February 13th, 2011
9:16 am

Red Light-reading my mind all the way on Buff.
Exacrty why I would want him at forward closing in on defenseman. Chara without the physical reputation would just be a good defenseman, not what he is today. So I too wonder why Buff takes more hits that he gives. It’s almost like when he takes a hit you wonder if the hit will wake the big guy up-rarley happens. Then you see him skate away and you wonder why he does not use his obvious physical talents.

Defense or forward, he has to be more physcial. Remember Steve Patrick with the Rangers? 6′5″ 230# in the 80’s and he would not hurt a fly. If you got it, use it.

World Be Free

February 13th, 2011
9:25 am

Need your help Trixie
Brendan-furious when I saw Carolina come back late with on Tampa. Bolts could have had 2 points clean and clear except they had to give Carolina 1 for the effort.

The Grabner kid looks like a kid, but he’s got wheels and he uses them. Isle have alotta injuries but they sure play 60 minutes just like we wish we saw every night from the Thrashers.

Sabres get the Islanders in Buffalo today. The post about Buffalo’s defense is right on, they are finally starting to come together. Letting veterans Lydman and Tallinder walk last season for nothing really hurt the Sabres D. The current unit is finally coming together, both offensivley and defensively. I was a big fan of Shaone Morrison, was hoping the Thrashers would sign him. He is coming on for Buffalo.

Tony C

February 13th, 2011
9:32 am

Anybody been looking at likely draft-choices? I’m hoping we go for guys out of the W.

World Be Free

February 13th, 2011
9:35 am

Luke Schenn and Zach Boigosian

2 defenseman drafted in the same year that should have been left in juniors and not forced into the NHL. Neither player was ready to play in the NHL. Most people blame the players instead of the organizations that believe in on the job training when we all know it rarely works with NHL defenseman. Pietrangelo in St. Louis, drafted at the same time was left in juniors, allowed to mature is playing like an NHL defenseman.

World Be Free

February 13th, 2011
9:40 am

So are we giving up our number 1 pick for Chris Versteeg?

World Be Free

February 13th, 2011
9:50 am

Fish Stick Fan-looks like the league was not as enthused with your Islanders’ play as you are. No need for the Penguins making a mockery of the Islanders, they have been doing that on themselves for a long time. When was the last competitive Islanders team? How about 1984, so they have been bad for a generation. Pens did what the rest of the league has been doing for years. No wonder Bryan Trottier, the best 2 way forward of his era, considers himself more a former Penguin than a former Islander-think about it.

FIF posts here and he gets it-you don’t.

I like physical play as much as anybody, but your friend Gillies will be in the press box for a couple weeks. Your team hustles but you still have a Wang on top.

Darkhorse

February 13th, 2011
10:23 am

Sorry WBF, the market may dictate a 1st for Versteeg by the deadline, but I wouldn’t bite on giving up our 1st unless the package included more…..i.e..salary dump for us(Hainsey/Antropov) and a good prospect back with him. I know the Leafs don’t want either of those guys though.

Wouldn’t you put Versteeg’s abilities at or just below Ladd’s? Ladd’s not worthy of a first by himself in a normal market either. I’m sure quite a bit of overpaying will take place in the next few weeks, but doubt Dudley will overpay.

Fish Stick Fan

February 13th, 2011
10:33 am

WBF – ” Your team hustles but you still have a Wang on top.”

Very good WBF. Better than eight Wangs and one a…hole as President! I lived in ATL for years and wound up moving north Sorry to see things have not changed down there.

World Be Free

February 13th, 2011
10:52 am

Fish man-let’s face it, we are both in less than desireable hockey situations.

World Be Free

February 13th, 2011
10:57 am

Darkhorse-Versteeg isa good player if he is on a good team. The Leafs will want a trade like the one they just made with Anaheim, they will want a pick or prospect back not salary for the long term. Lupul is an OK player, in my opinion, he does not have the speed to be a top 6 forward.

Would Versteeg help us win now? Yeah I think he would be an improvement over our current forwards but are we willing to give up a number one? I think the blog will be split on this question.

Fish Stick Fan

February 13th, 2011
10:58 am

WBF – Agreed plus we’ll do our best vs Buffalo to help you guys out.

Smoothie

February 13th, 2011
11:04 am

Versteeg is far more skilled than Ladd, but Ladd has come closer to mastering the art of playing to his abilities and not trying to do too much. Y’all are placing way too much value on mid-round 1st picks. Ladd WAS a top 10 pick in 2004 and wasn’t Versteeg a late first rounder in his class?

World Be Free

February 13th, 2011
11:10 am

Smoothie-especially in this draft class, not supposed to be one of the better drafts in recent years.
Especially since we have the bad habit of rushing our top picks to the NHl anyway.

Any news lately on Boris? Speaking of top 10 picks that did not pan out.

Darkhorse

February 13th, 2011
11:39 am

My fear is a Versteeg type player by himself won’t fix our woes and we would give up a lot to get him. It will take a return to optimal over-achievement from the team, and another piece, along w/someone like Kris to get us back to the PO and actually make a little noise. Just can’t tell if this team has the mental guts to pick itself back up and regain the early season confidence it will take. I hope they do of course, and I do like Versteeg’s game. A bit over-payed at 3mil, but so are many other who contribute far less.

Darkhorse

February 13th, 2011
11:42 am

Not that I am arguing salary, since we are the welfare team of the NHL.

A mental checkmark in my book would be a PO’d Thrasher team taking it to the Canes this afternoon. That will be a start if they are interested in building any type of momentum.

Smoothie

February 13th, 2011
11:43 am

Yeah, I haven’t heard much about this draft class being anything special and certainly not as deep as last year’s first round.

Oooops, I goofed on Versteeg, didn’t realize he was only a 5th rounder but looking at his Jr stats I can see why. Talk about your late-bloomers! Speaking of which, don’t the Leafs need help up the middle? How about swapping our late-bloomer (Peverley) with Bergy for Versteeg and some defensive help in the form of a big strapping Swede, Carl Gunnarsson? No need to give up a #1 for a guy who’s not even close to a #1 (Versteeg) if you’re gonna part ways with a former #1 in Bergfors.

Of course I’d feel a heckuva lot better about that deal if Slater wasn’t out with post-concussion syndrome. Get well soon Jimmah!

Smoothie

February 13th, 2011
11:47 am

Ottawa needs puck-moving help on the blueline and might be willing to entertain an offer involving Johnny Oduya, who is our most logical tradeable asset defensively. I wonder if they’d be willing to part with Michalek in that case since they seem pretty committed to a rebuild and youth movement? Apparently Chris Kelly is on the block as well and he’d look really good as our 3rd line C so Cormier can keep breaking himself in as a winger, although eventually I think he’s better suited to the pivot. But if Corms is playing LW and not Modin, I’m okay with it! Not sure I’d give up Oduya for just Kelly though. Kelly and Ruutu perhaps.

World Be Free

February 13th, 2011
12:33 pm

Smoothie-so good suggestions, I think Ottawa would take Johnny.
Versteeg gotta remember not only was he a late pick, but the Broones gave up on him too!

Darkhorse-you going to the game today?

LAC

February 13th, 2011
2:29 pm

Tonight we need to HIT Erik Cole ALL the time, he has caused Enough problems for Atlanta.

Hockey Biltong

February 13th, 2011
3:19 pm

WBF, see you there…
Saw the fixed game in TB last night. What a joke.

Darkhorse

February 13th, 2011
3:37 pm

WBF-No game for me today. Too much honey do list around the house(baby on the way) with the weather nice. Will be watching later though…

LAC-Cole kills us like the Expos used to kill the Braves in the early to mid-nineties. I hope we see a focus group of Thrashers out there today. Show some heart and grit guys!

New Website For FANS - HELP Keep The NHL

February 13th, 2011
4:44 pm

Arthur Blank Buy The Thrashers . com is up and running – please help keep the Thrashers in ATLANTA:

http://www.arthurblankbuythethrashers.com/

Big Daddy (formerly waffleboy)

February 13th, 2011
4:54 pm

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=552605

Mario BLASTS the league after the suspensions are levied

Brendan

February 13th, 2011
5:00 pm

Red Light, it must have been amazing to see the Cup presented, live and in person. I’ve never been there, in the flesh. I usually record the Cup celebration, every year though.

WBF, exactly righ, re: rushing prospects into the NHL. I wonder when people will realize that it’s not as much of an achievement as it is an indictment to have players make your roster straight out of the draft, with the obvious exceptions for the players of their generation. Not only that, by waiting, you don’t start the RFA clocking ticking, either. And there’s far more value having a player at age 21 or 22, for the SAME MONEY, than at 19 or 20, when their 1st contract would begin. The egg doesn’t hatch the day its laid by the hen. It takes time to develop.

THE KISS

February 13th, 2011
7:22 pm

I AM THE KISS!!!

Thrashy Thrashy

February 13th, 2011
7:26 pm

Well, at least we know we can out-shoot a team two-to-one and lose it late.

LAC

February 13th, 2011
7:33 pm

Well I said cover Cole, we DID NOT and another LOSS. I don’t know what to say, They played last night, and were TIRED in the third, we stink on offense to High Heaven, There is NO future with this team, Friday was just a VERY Lucky win, look for no more than 3 more wins the rest of the season and we finish next to LAST in the confrence.

It is OVER !

Thrashy Thrashy

February 13th, 2011
7:53 pm

There may be no future for us as far as a playoff berth is concerned in 2010-11 (the results of the last 25 games are much more telling than the current point total…we just aren’t able to get it done right now and that shows no sign of changing), but we’ve got plenty of talented young guys who will get better. At least there’s that. If we had a bunch of Holiks and Zhitniks on the roster, I’d be willing to give up on the next season or five.

Brendan

February 13th, 2011
8:08 pm

Ranallo warning, to put this “gut punch” to bed???

Brendan

February 13th, 2011
8:18 pm

Thrashy Thrashy, I have here, the latest invention from Professor John Frinke, the “Atlanta Spirit, LLC translator machine.” And now, we just input the data. And press this button.

Alright the data’s loading … two great individual efforts by our Captain … lack of physical play … inability to finish checks … several goalposts … Cam Ward, red hot … lots of turnovers, still … lack of depth of scoring … trouble clearing the zone … and … a league minimum payroll as the trade deadline approaches.

It’s calculating … calculating … calculating. Annnnnd voila! Here we go.

“The Atlanta Thrashers continue to march steadfastly into the playoffs with another great game, where they outshot the opposition, 43-19, and outchanced them 19-7. Everything is super. And the ticket window is still open.”

Brendan

February 13th, 2011
8:24 pm

We’ve won just six out of the past twenty-three (6/23) games, right?

Smoothie

February 13th, 2011
8:46 pm

Going into tonite, a win would have been a huge momentum swing, but opportunity lost. From the dumb hi-sticking penalty resulting in a 4 min PK to the piss-poor coverage by the 4th line against Jiri freakin’ Tlusty, this team loses its focus at the worst times and often it results in costly goals (like giving up a goal at the end of the 2nd after dominating the previous 5 minutes) they cannot overcome. They need another scorer in the worst way, but the blueline is still struggling too often getting the puck out of the zone. However I will say that the support by the forwards (ahem, Kane, Stewy and Antro) must be better when playing against a trapping team that loves to pinch at the redline. You MUST GET THE PUCK DEEP before a line change. Had they won tonite, a record of 14-8-2 over the final 24 might have got it done. Now, with the 4 point swing, I think they’ll need 16-7-1 at the least to overcome the tie-breaker they’ll lose to Carolina for 8th. Very tall order indeed.

glovesave29

February 13th, 2011
8:48 pm

LAC – we had 43 shots on goal, that’s a pretty healthy total…c’mon – I hate to lose as much as anyone, but we got beaten by a hot goalie in a game we completely dominated. It sucks. It happens….

LAC

February 13th, 2011
8:53 pm

Cole has accounted for 6 points for them against just us and a trying goal last night to get them a point. 7 points he has cost us and we cover him like a dove. No after this showing it is painful to watch, and duds dudley continues to do nothing. We need to be SELLERS not buyers, because we have no chance at playoffs after this mess !

B. Thenet

February 13th, 2011
8:59 pm

So when exactly is this goalie coach of ours going to work on the high blocker with Pavelec?

I hope Pavelec mans up and takes full responsibility for this one, this is the kind of game Lehtonen would blame on bad bounces.

Sage of Bluesland

February 13th, 2011
9:27 pm

So much for that “easy” February schedule…Some haven’t paid attention to this franchise for its existence, have they (cough-cough, “Cornbread”, please share more of your “wisdom”!)

Please.

Sage of Bluesland

February 13th, 2011
9:30 pm

The ONLY good thing is that I caught the last minutes of the game from my home…I’m thankful I didn’t actually waste my time–and money–on whatever that was…

Uncaring ownership and incompetent management does wonders for the product, doesn’t it?

Too beautiful of a day to waste on the ASG and this abomination of a franchise…

Thrashy Thrashy

February 13th, 2011
9:36 pm

Sage is as much of a one-trick pony as ASG.

Kinda sad, really.

Smoothie

February 13th, 2011
9:42 pm

Sun set about a 1/2 hour after puck drop, might as well finish the day with some hockey, even if it is a bit frustrating and deflating. Sometimes you get to sit with good folks and get a chance to meet Dan Bouchard. Thanks again World Be Free, twas a pleasure meeting your lovely family. U R da man!

Red Light – great seeing you as always buddy, and thanks for getting Monsieur Bouchard as well as your other friend from Windsor, Ont to join us in our section. Was a lot of fun listening to Dan talk hockey and reminisce about his days in the show. Always a treat talking hockey with you guys!

Too bad the outcome couldn’t have been different, like an Andrew Ladd breakaway hat-trick for the game winning goal. Perhaps while I’m dreaming tonite.

Brendan

February 13th, 2011
9:52 pm

I do kinda wonder … why … OTF or NHL Live never discusses the possibility or the need for this team, with $18 million in cap room, to acquire players. Isn’t that strange? It’s like the media knows NOT to bother discussing it as an option.

Just think, if the cap rises next year, we could be $20 million under it.

R. Stroz

February 13th, 2011
11:03 pm

Groundhog Day……AGAIN

LAC

February 13th, 2011
11:25 pm

Mr.Sage…. 110% correct AS usual !!!! Thanks Sage, keep up the Great comments !

Slobbering Love Affair

February 14th, 2011
12:06 am

And LAC is Sage’s lovable, loyal lapdog.

Red Light

February 14th, 2011
6:45 am

B. Thenet

That was a great shot by Cole and Ward was amazing again.

Tough loss but Carolina has learned how to win close games, while the Thrashers have not. In division games this year, the Thrashers are 6-7-6 with four wins against the Caps and two against Florida.

Thrashers home record vs Carolina and Tampa Bay the last two seasons? 1-7-7 That’s nine points of a possible 30, while opponents skate away with 28 of 30. Just brutally good, eh?

glovesave29

February 14th, 2011
7:38 am

Give credit where its do…they were great shots, top shelf in the corner. Can’t put that on Pavelec.

Russian

February 14th, 2011
8:02 am

Did anybody see or hear Ramsay Post Game interview? I could not find it. I am wondering what he said.

Cliff Fletcher

February 14th, 2011
8:55 am

43 shots, Cam Ward stealing 2 points, continual effort and a tough loss
no idea how that translates incompetent management or whatever. maybe the sages of thw world would have a real clue if they had watched the entire game.

this team needs some finishers, that is really where the problem lies.

Rawhide

February 14th, 2011
9:28 am

G’morning gang….I’m still kinda finding it tough to get happy after last night’s heartbreaker. We can discuss it –>HERE<–

R. Stroz

February 14th, 2011
9:41 am

This team sure could have used Mad Max.

AveryBeast

February 14th, 2011
8:50 pm

Nice loss yesterday! Payback is best served cold.