Archive for February, 2011

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 …

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Dudley doesn’t need to wait for June to use his first round pick

According to the latest weather report, it seems likely that the metro Atlanta area is looking at yet another round of frozen precipitation overnight. What this means of course is that on their way home tonight, the masses will flock to grocery stores and strip the shelves bare of milk and bread. That, plus tomorrow morning local insurance agents busy fielding claims from their clients who went slipping and sliding all over the roads…much like what we’ve seen during previous snow/ice events this winter.

But motorists in and around Atlanta have not been the only ones experiencing slippery conditions this winter. Indeed our Thrashers have been in the process of slip-sliding away from their winning ways of last fall. As of this morning, they we find they have wound up in the ditch with six other teams who currently do not hold a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Given the Carolina Hurricanes overtime loss in New Jersey, they now lead the Thrashers by one point and have …

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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 …

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I wonder if Vince Lombardi could have motivated this Thrashers team

Maybe you’ve already heard this, but there was this little football game played Sunday out in Arlington, Texas. It came complete with Roman numerals attached to it’s name, the Black Eyed Peas played during it’s one and only intermission after Christina Aguilera sang our National Anthem beforehand.

And she almost even got all the words right and in their correct order.

In the end, it was the Green Bay Packers getting the better of the Pittsburgh Steelers by the score of 31-25. As such, the Packers will return home with the trophy named after their great, late coach…Vince Lombardi.

As I watched the closing moments, my thoughts turned back to our hockey team and wondered if Lombardi…one of the greatest coaches and personalities in all of professional sports… would have had any words of advice and/or encouragement to offer up to the Thrashers were he still with us. They are struggling through some very difficult times and if there was ever anybody who might be able to properly …

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Thump! Thrashers fall out of playoff berth

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

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

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

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

Saturday night, the fall from the top was completed.

As …

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Better effort but same result for Thrashers

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

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

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

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

Indeed, they did perform much better than they have of late. They were fighting hard and doing a lot of things …

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

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

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

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

Yes…very true.

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

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