Advice for Thrashers ailing offense comes at right Price

Allow me to take you back in time a month or so ago. Like the other 29 NHL teams, the Atlanta Thrashers were coming off the All Star Game break and preparing to begin the latter stages of the current hockey campaign. At the time the Thrashers were 24-19-9, coming off a 1-0 win over the Capitals prior to the break and sitting comfortably in a playoff position.

There were troubling signs, however, for the team. As has been the case for so many years they were giving up far more shots then they were taking themselves and this imbalance was pointed to by many as a major cause for concern.

Now with all that in mind, if I were to have told you back then that Thrashers would go on to outshoot their opponents by a combined margin of +91 SOG over the course of the next 12 games…an average of 36.4 S/G to 28.8 SA/G…what would you think the their record would be during those games?

Montreal goalie Carey Price saves a shot from Thrashers defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. It was one of 40 saves made by Price in the 3-1 win over Atlanta...most of which came from a distance that made life easy for him (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Montreal goalie Carey Price saves a shot from Thrashers defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. It was one of 40 saves made by Price in the 3-1 win over Atlanta...most of which came from a distance that made life easy for him (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

10-1-1?

8-4-0?

7-3-2?

Maybe 6-5-1?

Nope…try 2-8-2.

Even though they have found a way to play better overall defense, move the attack forward and out-shooting the opposition by a total of 437-346, they have been outscored by a total of 41-27 over the last dozen games… 42-27 if you count the gimmick shootout point awarded to Florida last Friday.

In the last four games alone they have taken 171 shots and have exactly 6 goals to show for it. Three came in the overtime win over Toronto last Sunday.

So, what’s the cause of the Thrashers scoring woes even though they seem to be getting pucks on net? Well, maybe Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price may just have an answer to that question.

“It was busy out there, but it wasn’t a lot of hard shots”, Carey said after stopping 40 of 41 SOG during the Habs 3-1 win in Philips Arena Tuesday night. “We kept most of the shots outside”.

“It’s not hard to stop 40 shots when they are from the outside.”

It’s not often a team can get a little free advice from an opponent, and this little piece of 411 came at the right…ahem…price for the Thrashers brain trust. Free. So I’m thinking that maybe the equipment manager can tape Price’s quote up in each player’s locker at the practice facility in Duluth as well as down at Philips.

Heck, maybe even affix it to the wall nearest coach Ramsay’s desk.

A Big ‘Thank You’ From Me to You

I received an e-mail from my online editor last night informing me of the heavy traffic that happened on this little blog-thingy last month. It seems we set an all-time high for page views in February, breaking the recent high mark by right at a 40% increase. The previous high-water mark was set just last December.

One of the main reasons why we continue to see such increasing numbers around here has to do with the great conversation and debate that goes on in the comment section below. I’ve always said that the main reason people hit this site has hard and frequent as Rosie O’Donnell does an open buffet has more to do with what happens down there then it does anything I opine about up here.

And because of that, I can only say thank you very much from the bottom of my heart for making this online forum what it is. So reach around and give yourselves a big pat on the back today.

Thrashers Viewing Party At TJs

To show my appreciation for your patronage here, I’d like to invite you all out to TJs Bar & Grill in Alpharetta for a viewing party on Saturday night March 12th. The Thrashers will be in Philadelphia that night to take on the Flyers and the puck drops at 7:00 pm.

Tim Ecclestone…former Atlanta Flame forward and owner of TJs…has been asking me for quite some time to do this and, given the personal schedule I’ve been keeping with my family, this is really the only time I’ll have all year to do it.

The Thrashers ticket and marketing department will also be supplying me with a few signed Thrashers items…including a full size stick autographed by Dustin Byfuglien, a mini-helmet signed by Andrew Ladd as well pucks signed by Toby Enstrom and Alex Burmistrov.

Also, my friends at the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club will be out there as well and John Mikalonis of the Fan Club told me this week that they will hold raffles during each intermission.

In addition to that, John informed me that they will be accepting donations that night to help stock the shelves of Atlanta area food banks. The Fan Club has been involved with many charitable events throughout Thrasherville and many people have benefited from their efforts. Those bringing 5 food items will be given a special raffle ticket for a prize to be determined later. There is no limit, so the more items you bring, the more tickets you’ll receive and the better your chances of winning.

“In these hard economic times, many children and families are going hungry”, John told me earlier this week. “The food banks are running extremely low and cannot help the daily amount of people who are truly in need of food to feed their families.”

“After the holidays many of these food banks run on the bare minimum and many are turned away. Every little bit helps.”

Suggested items to be donated are canned meats including tuna, beef, stews, chicken, chili, Spam, peanut butter and jelly, canned fruits, canned soups, canned vegetables, juice, dry pasta, rice, or beans, cereal, baby food/formula, and any non-perishable item. But no glass containers please.

So if you plan on attending, please load up with as much as you can to help those families in our community that are in need.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you there.

139 comments Add your comment

eugene

March 2nd, 2011
7:02 pm

ben, the only reason why Vegas won’t get a sports franchise is because most of the sports franchises want Vegas to stop sports betting in that state. Sports gambling is a multibillion dollar business for Vegas, there is no way they’d ever give it up for a sports franchise.

Marcus Valdes

March 2nd, 2011
7:41 pm

Anyone notice Dvorak literally standing in the crease BEHIND Price last night during one of the plays?

jimbo

March 2nd, 2011
8:07 pm

Hey Rammeroo, yeah you DUM DUM, how about sticking Buff up front on the PP and have the others crash the net once in awhile?

AtlantaVols

March 2nd, 2011
9:20 pm

We have a possibility of getting 36 points from here on out. The Thrashers have the capability of getting 28 of those if not more. Look at what New Jersey has done. They were the worst team in the NHL and right now they are unstoppable. All it takes is a group of good guys (which we have) who come together and want it the most. If we do that, then I know we can make playoffs. I’ve seen signs of life and determination, but its gonna take all they got from here on out. They gotta push the entire game until the final buzzer sounds. I know it sounds like a cliche’, but thats exactly why it is, because it is completely true and it is the best way to describe what needs to be done. On the ownership side, we need someone who is committed to this team and will do everything possible to help it succeed. Look at Arthur Blank. Comes in and promises season ticket holders he will refund their money if they don’t make the playoffs his first year he owned the team. Now look at them.Sold out every game (granted they only play 8 home games a year, but still). People are excited about the Falcons. I see commercials all the time. Billboards on 75 85 285, 20 you name it. People can be excited about the Thrashers, but it directly relates to the owner. I hope we can find someone who will take this team and do it the RIGHT WAY. The only reason for a failing franchise is because of poor ownership. We got 18 games to show the NHL and the world who we are and that we can win with what we got no matter of all the unnecessary barriers that we and the players deal with. GO THRASHERS!!!

Sage of Bluesland

March 2nd, 2011
10:53 pm

I can’t believe some of the tripe I just read. Blank did NOT guarantee playoffs or refund if the team didn’t make them. That is utter fantasy.

He DID, however, lower seat prices–including some sections to bargain-bin status just to fill the Dome up.

My goodness, the ignorance knows no bounds…I suggest some “Vols” go back to Tennessee…Please…

Acer

March 3rd, 2011
5:10 am

It’s laughable to compare the Thrashers to the Devils. On one side, you have a franchise which is the middle of ownership crisis and on the other side you have one of the most successful franchises of the last couple of years. Plenty of people around the Devils, including players, coaches and management know what it takes to make the playoffs. Firing the coach was one option. Your Thrashers Devils comparisons starts to lack from here on.

Realistically, I don’t see how the Thrashers can get in the playoffs. Where is the “we-know-how” mentality of the Devils? It’s nowhere to be found because Atlanta only made it once. Oh, and they had to sell the future to squeeze in.

EA

March 3rd, 2011
7:11 am

11,000 Tuesday night. The crowd filled in as the evening progressed. Whatever. Lots of empty seats in NJ last night. I am sure their blog is open to trolls as well.

MFenner

March 3rd, 2011
8:20 am

Thrashers will soon fall behind the Devils, slip slidin away unfortunately. I swear I heard more fan support for MTL the other night than the home team. Whats up with dat ?

World Be Free

March 3rd, 2011
8:29 am

Busy week folks, not much blogging. Agree (again) with Smoothie on going to the net. Everyone on this team needs to watch Thorburn do his thing, work hard, go to the net, backcheck.

Have it on my calendar for 3.12 at TJ’s – Sage, will you be there?

See ya’ll Saturday night!

Red Light

March 3rd, 2011
8:40 am

The elephant in the room, that no one has mentioned for quite some time, is that a once dynamic offensive force, Dustin Byfuglien, has been rendered inconsequential since Jan. 5. He had 41 points, six game winning goals and took 171 shots through the game in Montreal on Jan. 2. The team’s record at that point of the season was 21-15-6.

While he has taken 103 shots in the past 21 games, he has but two goals and two assists and just one power play point. His plus minus rating in those 21? -13.

There is no way you can pin the streak on him, but again it illustrates the Thrashers dependence on him through the first half of the season. Now, if you have a player averaging 5 shots per game in the last 21 games, and he only gets two assists, that means no one is effectively going to the net to screen the goalie or to battle for rebounds.

Taking shots from the outside is still a vital part of the game, particularly when they are coming in as hard and fast as Byfuglien shoots. To me, that just means there is a lack of commitment to go into the dirty areas to fight for position, and try to score off rebounds.

Since Jan. 5, no player has more than four goals other than Ladd!

Ladd has 10 goals and 4 assists. Little has 4 goals and 10 assists. Kane 4 goals and 5 assists in 16 games. Stewart has 4 goals and 5 assists. Antropov 4 goals and 12 assists. Enstrom 1 goal and 10 assists in 16 games. Burmistrov 2 assists in 15 games. Thorburn has two goals. Hainsey has 1 goal and three assists and Oduya has 3 assists. Bogo – 1 goal and 5 assists.

World Be Free

March 3rd, 2011
8:43 am

R/L-all translates to a lack of leadership on the ice and in the locker room. I hate to make it that simple, but it is what it is.

Stan Drulia

March 3rd, 2011
8:45 am

Yet again, I will call the season over if we lose tonite. I have said that for the last three games. Even our one lonely win gave Toronto that all-important point. No win tonite and I just can’t imagine how we can pull it together in time. Hard to believe that just a couple of short months ago I was absolutely positive we were going to make it… DAMNIT!!! Oh, well. At least we got a couple of short months of the media showing the Thrash a tiny bit of respect instead of constantly bad-mouthing us. Good thing we have also had Sage in here to keep us grounded.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
9:02 am

Red Light – Agreed on Buff. WAY too many shots and far too FEW goals since January or so. No team should say anything or think anything of relying on blueliners to produce large percentages of points. Sorry, that’s just called realism. The only defenseman that I know of that I’d say otherwise about was Bobby Orr (possibly THE REAL GREAT ONE?). Anyways defense is for defense FIRST, that’s a no brainer. Great puck cycling/distributing defensemen are fantastic when you can find a good one, like Enstrom or Scott Niedermayer, etc., but again one shouldn’t ask for more offense than defense in any case unless it comes organically. Now on a PP that’s a little different, but to expect offense forward defenseman to score like forwards is just silly.

I honestly pegged Buff for about 15 goals when I heard of him going back to D and I was clearly wrong, but I still say he’d have much more goals (I’d say 30+) right now if he was playing on the wings. Anyways, let’s call a spade a spade here, I do like Buff, but is his defensive play worth over $5 million a year? No and it’s amazing how professional hockey minds turn into children when players break expectaions as Buff did in the first half. Where’s Smoothie to back me up on how it really wasn’t just Buff’s doing either (cough Toby cough)?

Joe McGrath

March 3rd, 2011
9:12 am

If Buff was a true leader and really wanted this team to make the playoffs, he’d approach Rammer and ASK to play forward (at least on the PP).

Smoothie

March 3rd, 2011
9:18 am

Toby is bomb!!

And teams hadn’t figured out our PP yet.

Lack of commitment, lack of size in some cases, lack of balls, but most of all lack of hands as most of our players suck at tipping shots when they are in front. They’re prolly scared to death cuz Buff has no control of his howitzer. Early in the year that shot was either mowing down d-men or grazing guys’ chins. We need Buff to be more calculating like Chara and Bogey needs to learn how to play like Rafalski but talk about your sawed off shotgun for a shot! The biggest problem is that Ramsay hasn’t helped his players adjust to the fact teams are overplaying the point where our passes always seemingly go.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
9:28 am

Red Light – I like your assessment about the corners and along the boards too. I don’t know what to call it, soft or noncommital, I dunno. The feeble play along the boards is definitely reserved for guys like a Modin or a Bergie especially, just soft if you want to even call it a battle ,thankfully their gone. I don’t know about a lot of the new guys as I haven’t seen them enough. All I can say is I love Thorbs, Kane’s, and Slater’s play in those areas so far as this team’s corners and boards are concerned. Tough to call as a whole really again I think it’s both. When I played I usually won along the boards (one of my few strong points) even though I’m 5′6″ and 150 lbs, so I don’t think it’s so much size, in fact I think a low center of gravity can be a plus in that area, anywho…I think it’s more about determination and aggro.

Not Blind

March 3rd, 2011
9:32 am

Ramsey hasn’t helped his players adjust to ANY FREAKING THING. I think the coach situation is this – When Dudley first talked to Ramsey and Torchetti maybe Ramsey said ” give me a year as head coach, then I will announce my retirement and Torchetti can take over”. I don’t KNOW if that’s the case but that’s what it looks like to me. We are STUCK at least till the end of the year unless Ramsey takes it upon himself to quit early. He probably is not a quitter so we are stuck watching the same crap .

Cliff Fletcher

March 3rd, 2011
9:36 am

stan, I think sage has been saying the same things for some time. we don’t need him to keep us “grounded”-what he says is obivious to even forrest gumpl; good for him but it’s not news.. we have red light, smoothie and others to keep us grounded.

T.Butler

March 3rd, 2011
9:38 am

It always seems like they can get the shots, but they are missing the finishing part of the shot. Hopefully it will be different tonight because ill be there.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
9:38 am

Smoothie – I can always call upon you to talk up Toby with me, thanks again. The best player we’ve got, period.

Yes, Buff IS NOT I repeat IS NOT a sniper. Dude needs to simmer down and get his shots on net, they DO NOT have to have the velocity of a .357. Again, if he was taking his shots from closer up on the wings, he’d most likely fair better and on the LW he’d have an excellent angle (I like right handed LWs especially). I really wish they tried that when we had a couple more defensemen and were in need of scoring LIKE OVER A MONTH AGO.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
9:43 am

Where’s Glovesave to talk about the best angles for right and left handed shots. Pretty sure he knows more than I do about this. Again I think Buff would have more room for error (better odds of hitting the net) playing a little deeper as a LW. BTW, I’m right handed too and I feel as though my snaps/slaps were always better playing on the left side too.

JT from Columbus

March 3rd, 2011
9:56 am

Why is it that after every loss we have to start this stuff about moving? Geez it get boring!

Smoothie

March 3rd, 2011
10:44 am

“Dude needs to simmer down and get his shots on net, they DO NOT have to have the velocity of a .357″

Good point Iron man! Too often Buff and Bogey think the only shot at the blueline is a full bore, wind-it-up till my rotator cuff pops, smash it thru the goalie slapper. Oh contraire mes freres! There is nothing more dangerous than an offspeed wrister into traffic if it is strategically placed. Toby is very good at this as he can be very crafty, yet his biggest weakness is one of his strengths, passing to other players on the tape for shots. I wish Toby would use his vision to pick a hole in traffic and throw a sneaky wrister towards the net that will result in a softer rebound.

Bogosian has done it a few times more recently, but I never see Buff do it. Hainsey knows this too but when he does it, he either snaps it too high on the glove or his teammates seem surprised by it. Where is the cohesion in thinking? That is what is keeping this team from winning? Not a lack of tiger blood or effort, but too often the spacing stinks or two guys are too close together and can’t win a loose puck if the one guy loses it. There needs to be better strategic awareness and this is where I feel Ramsay has let his team down the most.

In his attempt to strip away complexity from the game so his younger players make easier decisions, he has stripped away ingenuity, the ability to react to what the D is giving us and thus team cohesion and chemistry. I find it hard to believe that our players are so much worse than half the league which can score at a 7-9% clip. How in the world are we only scoring at a 3.5% clip over the last 4 games?

JMT21

March 3rd, 2011
11:03 am

@BEN.

The story regarding Regina SK. was that they were hoping to build a 400 million domed football stadium to house their CFL team. Our federal government has refused to help pay for it so the city of Regina (Pop. 180,000) is looking at other options.

Quebec on the other is building a 400 million (18,000) arena. Media giant Quebecor will pay 33 million over 10 years for naming rights IF Quebec City gets an NHL team. They will also pay the City of Quebec 3 million per season to operate the new arena.

Contrast that with the City of Glendale where the city will pay the potential owner 17 million per year to operate Jobbing arena.

Don’t give up Thrasher fans….. playoffs are still in sight.

BLUELANDbeliever

March 3rd, 2011
11:55 am

I wish these meetups werent always out there in places like Alpharetta. :/ oh well. Even though i am not of legal age i would actually like to attend.

Red Light

March 3rd, 2011
12:03 pm

One other point I’d like to discuss today…

The Thrashers primarily have North-South types, both on the forward lines and among the defensive pairings. Once the North-South play ends, so does the team’s offensive capabilities. What I do I mean by that? Puck possession is a problem. The most adept puck handler on the team is Enstrom, Burmistrov is probably second, but few of the forwards (Little maybe?) can hold onto or rag the puck, particularly at center ice and into the offensive zone. That means chipping or dumping the puck has become commonplace.

Somebody here said you can’t dump or chip 100 percent of the time and I agree. The opponent knows the tendency and all they have to do is step up at the blueline or center line and sure enough one of the Thrashers will be forced to fire the puck in. Then, the only hope of regaining the puck is to beat the man to the puck, or chase and try to create a turnover. Few times will you see a Thrasher pull up, wait for help and then dish the puck once he enters the offensive zone. That ability can create offense, just as much as forcing a turnover can. This team has become way too predictable in that regard and I would like to see more of Toby, Oduya, Buff and Little gain the blueline, hold onto the puck and then try to make a play to cutters or trailers.

Arthur…”I often think… fish must get awfully tired of seafood. What are you thoughts, Hobson?”

Not Blind

March 3rd, 2011
12:11 pm

Red Light, Toby, Oduya and Buff don’t need to be leading the rush very often. They need to be starting the breakout with crisp accurate passes. That’s the main offensive job of the Dmen. Little often does a good job on rushes up the ice but it seems like his line mates don’t put out the necessary effort to match his pace and then go deep and provide an outlet.

Cliff Fletcher

March 3rd, 2011
12:43 pm

still cannot believe the caps gave up david steckel and a #2 for arnott. steckel is the perfect devil player, arnott is way long in the tooth

World Be Free

March 3rd, 2011
12:56 pm

Buffalo and Carolina play tonight-who do we cheer for?
Stroz will cheer for Buffalo I am certain
Let’s hope it is not a 3 point night

Smoothie

March 3rd, 2011
1:21 pm

Gotta go with Buffalo right? We can’t afford for the Canes to maintain that 6 point margin. Beat OTT and FLA in succession, get some help from BUF & CHI against CAR and suddenly the gap doesn’t seem so daunting. Then we play @CAR in a do or die game for this team. Win 3 in a row, get some help and voila! We’re back in 8th. Ooops, TOR just overtook us but we have a game in hand tonite. But, we can ill-afford to let NJ gain anymore ground so winning the next three is crucial. Buffalo is in the midst of a 7-game road trip that will make or break their hopes. For Atlanta, I reckon Kovy will get a chance to exact revenge on his old team and break their hopes officially in another week when the Devils come to the Bulb.

Russian

March 3rd, 2011
1:26 pm

**to Smoothie**
Cinderella said: “Dreams come TRUE!” :-) :-)
I like your way.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
1:27 pm

Smoothie – Good point about Toby passing too well for Buff to wind up like a wrist watch and wing one into the boards. Buff would make a Helluva screen too if Toby could keep possession with the wings for a second while he drives front and center more or less. I don’t think he’d have to jump too far up out of position either just kind of cross over or eclipse Toby as he shoots ON TARGET for a chance at a rebound.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
1:30 pm

I like Buffalo and always have, I’m very happy for them as of late too. So much so I may make them my official second team to follow for a good while. Good hockey town, love the blue collar thing and the uniforms ar boss too. Sorry, Canes.

Rawhide

March 3rd, 2011
1:31 pm

Buffalo and Carolina play tonight-who do we cheer for?

WBF – Doesn’t really matter if the Thrashers don’t win.

Joe Friday

March 3rd, 2011
2:20 pm

“The elephant in the room, that no one has mentioned for quite some time, is that a once dynamic offensive force, Dustin Byfuglien, has been rendered inconsequential since Jan. 5.”

Further proof that you don’t read anything I write!

“it really wasn’t just Buff’s doing either (cough Toby cough)?”

Come on, don’t make me go all LAC on ya. Next time I read someone write tripe like that I’m opening up my inner Charlie Sheen on yo ass. Buff’s a winner!!! I guess Toby has made him go ineffective since Jan. 5th as well?

“And teams hadn’t figured out our PP yet.”

As I’ve written for two months now . . . this. The problem is not that Toby has stopped enabling it all to happen for Buf. The problem is not that we’re shooting wide of the net, that we’re playing too many north south guys and not enough east west. The problem is not that they don’t have enough concession stands open long enough in the nosebleeds (what?).

The problem is, has, and will continue to be the simple fact that coach had a scheme that worked like magic, allowing the D to step into plays and catch teams unaware, and it has stopped working because other clubs scouted us and instituted schemes to counter and our coach has shown a complete inability to change it up. On the contrary, he keeps preaching that the boys just have to trust and it’ll start to work (he’ll be muttering that in his sleep in June), they’re playing just great! Good grief.

Get us a new coach, move Buf up front where he can go to work, sign a UFA D this summer and a UFA center and voila . . .

Joe Friday

March 3rd, 2011
2:25 pm

Red Light

March 3rd, 2011
2:49 pm

Joe Friday… I guess you didn’t get my point or read it clearly. It’s not about Buff, it’s about those playing with him.

“There is no way you can pin the streak on him, but again it illustrates the Thrashers dependence on him through the first half of the season. Now, if you have a player averaging 5 shots per game in the last 21 games, and he only gets two assists, that means no one is effectively going to the net to screen the goalie or to battle for rebounds.

Taking shots from the outside is still a vital part of the game, particularly when they are coming in as hard and fast as Byfuglien shoots. To me, that just means there is a lack of commitment to go into the dirty areas to fight for position, and try to score off rebounds.”

Red Light

March 3rd, 2011
2:51 pm

That means others have to help the Big Man out for him to be effective. He can’t do it alone.

R. Stroz

March 3rd, 2011
3:10 pm

WBF – BUFFALO SUCKS

glovesave29

March 3rd, 2011
3:27 pm

Our PP is what it was when we had Kovy…reliant on one player and everyone else not moving around. The D then (and now) knows what’s coming and that is killing us. I’d like to see some cycling down low to get some movement in front of the opposition goalie, and not allow the PK to key on just one person. If a screen is stagnant, goalie can peer around it…its a moving screen that hard to deal with. Get a PK D man to over commit and move in to the vacated space…but ya gotta MOVE forwards – I can pin this one on Toby or Buff. Kaner and Ladd have been busting their humps lately. Get them out there with Thorburn to raise some hell. Let’s see some creativity and try something different.

glovesave29

March 3rd, 2011
3:28 pm

uh, that’s CAN’T pin on Toby or Buff…why do I only see my typos AFTER I post?

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
3:29 pm

Joe Friday – Do you have tiger blood in you too? Go ahead and get Charlie Sheen on my a$$, although I think that’d be d-baggish. Look, I like Buff A LOT, but Toby is THE BEST on this team at moving the puck, and setting things up (at least) in the oppositions end period end of story. Everything can be chaotic while players try their hardest to maintain possession under pressure, but rest assured more often then not when they seek Toby’s gianormous stick out, things typically do simmer down and settle into place. Mind you, there is good reason I say they seek him out, because they know HE’S GOLD. Sorry, that’s the facts, Jack. Just watch, it’s pretty obvious the flow of the game is much better when he’s out there and he’s FAR better at surveying the ice with the puck on his stick and making things happen then Buff or any other blueliner (I can think of) in the league for that matter.

Here, this should help…

Buff has played in 64 games and has one less point than Toby with a total of 45. That’s a pretty boss 18 goals and 27 assists.

Toby has played in 58 games (6 less then Buff) and has a total of 46 points. That’s a very gnarly 8 goals and 38 assists. I wish I had the stat, but I’m telling you YES a large portion of those assists are for Buff’s goals. In fact, I think Smoothie proved that once. Take that however.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
3:31 pm

Glove – I do it all the time and comment on it to the point of annoyance, no problem.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
3:35 pm

Joe – I dunno what made Buff lose his potency, it’s definitely NOT for lack of shooting. Me and Smoothie talked about him trying to be more nuanced. I think he puts too much behind all of his shots when he should be trying to get them ON NET. Just sayin’. Don’t worry I’ll never say Toby MAKES Buff, but I think he helps out a lot.

Red Light

March 3rd, 2011
3:39 pm

This is perhaps an oversimplification of the obvious, but if this team doesn’t come away with four points against Ottawa and Florida, then as Rawhide said: “Doesn’t really matter” who else wins.

But, tonight you must pull for Carolina because Buffalo has two games in hand (you have to catch Buffalo and Toronto before worrying about Carolina) and it goes without saying that tonight you are a fan of Florida, Minnesota and Philadelphia.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
3:42 pm

Holy crap, Buff has 274 shots as a defenseman in 64 games, that’s 63 MORE shots than he had in 82 games with the Hawks last year. It was also a record year for him last season, really I think that says something about velocity along with accuracy. Sometimes less maybe more.

ThrasherTim

March 3rd, 2011
3:43 pm

I don’t understand the complaints about the Power Play. That has been the most consistently solid part of the team all year, except when Toby was out. I think we’re in the top 10, which is much better than last year’s debacle. I’m not saying it was good in the last game, but it’s not our main issue. 5 on 5 play has gone in the tank and the PK has struggled all year.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
3:50 pm

Thrasher Tim – Yes, the 5 on 5 is crappy, but we all know why. That’s actually exactly why our PP MUST be better. The PK BLOWS, I don’t think that’s going to get much better judging by the last game with the newbs.

Off topic, but does anyone know how Slater is doing? Last I heard he was waiting for a few days sans headache.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
3:52 pm

One thing the league HAS GOT to do is enforce interference like they did a little while ago , STOP CALLING CRAP PENALTIES and review some of the no goal decisions.

Smoothie

March 3rd, 2011
4:04 pm

IL13 – I’m here for ya, but unfortch Enstrom doesn’t have that many primary assists on Byfuglien goals at ES. He only has 3 on ES tallies by the big fella, but he does have 4 primaries on the PP where Buff has scored 7 times. Of course 1 of his other 3 was a slapper off of a loose puck scramble that he ended up in front of. Here are the primary assisters on Big Buff’s other 8 ES goals:

Peverley – twice
Kaner – twice
Burmy – twice
Slater – off a F/O win
1 unassited vs EDM – loose puck

Of course, three of those players are now missing from the scenario, but how does Little not have at least one primary assist for Buff??

That is a bit odd.

So, in the final analysis, Tobes has 7 of the 16 primary assists on Byfuglien goals. I guess that’s more than just statistical anomaly! ;)