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

R. Stroz

March 2nd, 2011
2:02 pm

Alan R.

March 2nd, 2011
2:10 pm

Good stuff, Bill, as always!

Darren

March 2nd, 2011
2:20 pm

Thank YOU, Bill. Your mix of insightful, thoughtful, entertaining posts are very much appreciated.

I only saw the last 10 minutes of the game, but there’s simply no excuse for the team not to play like that for the full 60.

Also, notice the blatantly obvious difference in the offensive chances that result when they skate the puck into the zone versus when they dump and chase. This game was another example. They skated the puck in the Montreal zone over and over again, and simply dominated possession and the quality of scoring chances (the one breakaway notwithstanding).

For the most part, dumping the puck should only be done on the penalty kill or to get a change. Dump and chase is not an effective offensive strategy. You voluntarily give up possession of the puck in HOPES that you can somehow reacquire possession deeper in the zone. Makes zero sense. You usually just give the other team a chance to pick up a loose puck and create a rush of their own.

Take the Edmonton game as a perfect example. Up two goals, on the power play (a situation where you should NEVER, EVER dump and chase, in my opinion), they dump it, Edmonton draws a penalty, negates the power play, then draws a second penalty 4 on 4, and Atlanta loses the game. Inexcusable.

Red Light

March 2nd, 2011
2:21 pm

If you shoot the puck, somebody needs to be available for rebounds! Cue 22, 26, 16, 80, 9, 27, 36, etc.

New suitor for the Dallas Stars?

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/38764-Source-Dallas-oilman-Douglas-Miller-makes-offer-to-purchase-Stars.html

Dwayne

March 2nd, 2011
2:24 pm

Bronze….and thank you Bill!!!

Dwayne

March 2nd, 2011
2:25 pm

ooops, no soup for me

ZAvalanche

March 2nd, 2011
2:26 pm

@ Rawhide, LOL on the Rosie O’Donnell comment, that is classic. Wish I could join you all at TJs, pretty fun place, and I guarantee many of my old colleagues from Holcomb Bridge MS will be there.

Shots on goal – right on the mark, we have nobody in front of the keeper to pick up rebounds or screen. Crucial as every goalie in the league can stop a shot from 30 feet out if they see it the whole way.

Congrats on the traffic Rawhide, further proof that this blog is damn good and heck of a lot of fun.

Tom

March 2nd, 2011
2:44 pm

Bill, I agree the comments are great here, but you are also an amazing MC and host for all of us.

Your ability to keep posts coming on interesting and provocative topics is appreciated and the glue that keeps this guy coming back for more.

Matt

March 2nd, 2011
2:50 pm

reading this makes me think back to all the people that would be yelling “SHOOT THE PUCK” just because a player was open. A lot of fans looked at it like basketball and assumed and open guy meant they should shoot.

Well, NOW the Thrash are shooting way too much and aren’t getting the puck down low. That’s where goals happen, in front of the crease.

There’s just very little talent on this Thrashers offense. I was watching LA/Detroit on Vs. the other night and I remarked (to no one) that LA’s offense features Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Ryan Smyth, Alex Ponikorovsky, and now Dustin Penner. They’re barely clinging to the 8th playoff spot and any one of those guys is as good (if not better) than any of our best forwards.

Sorry, but we need a real NHL offense here. Dvorak helps the penalty kill and we needed help in that department badly, but he’s a good piece, not a difference maker on the scoresheet.

It’s a shame I won’t be able to go to TJ’s, that would be fun, but I’m heading to Florida for Spring Training that weekend.

40yrs

March 2nd, 2011
2:52 pm

I don’t think the Thrashers have ever put anyone in front of the net. I remember Little’s first season after he was called buck up. He would go to corner dig the puck out and pass it to the front of the net. the result would be a turnover. I felt sorry for him. I took him about 10 games to learn not to do what he had been taught his whole life.

Hockey Biltong

March 2nd, 2011
3:00 pm

Gold!
Silver!
Bronze!
Unobtainium!

Tom Lysiak

March 2nd, 2011
3:06 pm

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

Hopefully Mason reads this too.

Brendan

March 2nd, 2011
3:09 pm

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?

I would have said 7-3-2, choice # 3. It’s disappointing, that’s for sure. We had injuries to Enstrom, Slater, Pavelec. Our strategy, perhaps, is a bit flawed. Or we just don’t have the horses to run it, the way Ramsay would want.

And, of course, all that would have changed … if we’d only kept Alex Bourret, the human lightning rod. Bygones. (Why is my sarcasm detector exploding?)

Brendan

March 2nd, 2011
3:10 pm

@ Tom Lysiak, I rather enjoyed that post, at 3:06 PM.

Russian

March 2nd, 2011
3:14 pm

After last night Game I am ready to get Lottery for Thrashers. WE are 24-th now and I hope they can go down and try to get 1-3 pick.

Smoothie

March 2nd, 2011
3:15 pm

Advice for thrashres: stop being wusses and GO TO THE NET!!!

That is all.

PS – until you grow some sack, I will continue to call u thrashres

Tom Lysiak

March 2nd, 2011
3:22 pm

Thanks Brendan. That first goal was ridiculous. I could have stopped that one. But, in the interest of fairness, I probably provide more square-inch net coverage than Mason does…..

Hoof Arted

March 2nd, 2011
3:28 pm

The BlogMaster sets ‘em up and we just knocks ‘em down.

This is the……

Best

Thrashers

Blog

Ever!

Tom

March 2nd, 2011
3:37 pm

Interesting quote from a Montreal paper about the Thrasher’s ice.

“It was bad ice out there and you’re just trying to get pucks to the net,” added Pacioretty, who led the Canadiens with four shots on goal. “I didn’t bury my good chances so I’ll take that one. Gomer and (Brian Gionta) were both in front of the net and that’s how we’re going to be successful here, getting pucks and bodies to the net.”

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Offensive+game+sloppy+Camalleri+says/4370239/story.html

We try to play an uptempo game predicated on crisp passing on one of the worst ice surfaces in the league… Something just does not make sense.,,

Darren

March 2nd, 2011
3:40 pm

Tom, there’s ultimately no excuse for it, but didn’t the circus just leave town (ha ha.. no, really?).

They always have to re-do the ice when that happens, and it usually takes it a while to recover after that. Could be wrong though.

Thomas magnum

March 2nd, 2011
3:47 pm

Price s basically saying that the thrashers might shoot a lot but not quality shots. We need to get some one in the crease. How about putting Buff at center too?!?

Thomas magnum

March 2nd, 2011
3:48 pm

Uhmmm I mean Buff at forward…

Alan R.

March 2nd, 2011
3:50 pm

Darren – Vivlamore posted Friday that the ice laid down after the circus is a fresh sheet.

Smoothie

March 2nd, 2011
4:00 pm

If that ice surface was bad, then there’s no hope for a good surface in that bldg. The circus has been gone for weeks and the Hawks have been on a road trip since the All-Star game. It’s been all hockey for nearly 2 weeks straight. It was as cold in that bldg last nite as I can ever remember (prolly cuz there were only 7,000 ppl there) and yet guys are still complaining about the ice surface. I guess we don’t pay enough to get a good ice crew in Atlanta like the one led by the guy who always gets the call for the outdoor games and such. Then again, there are a lot of bad ice surfaces throughout the league, and not just in the SE.

jimbo

March 2nd, 2011
4:00 pm

SOG on goal are not a key determinant of success. It’s legitimate scoring chances and we fall short without forwards who position themselves in front of goalies. We’ve never really had that one body who created confusion around the net and batted in rebounds. Wheeler looks like a candidate but Antro. and Stewart for all their size seem reluctant to muck it up around the net. D-Buff is a guy who has proven to be very effective in front of the goalie by old CLUELESS CRAIG seems reluctant to try any new strategies or approaches. THE GUY IS TERMINALLY CLUELESS.

Matt from MN

March 2nd, 2011
4:02 pm

Shoot the puck closer to the net!!

Screen the goalie!!

Waaaaayyyyy to many soft, outside shots. I read that quote from Mr. Price and was thinking the exact same thing, Rawhide. Now let’s see if anyone puts this “classified info” into action.

drajax

March 2nd, 2011
4:04 pm

Price was right. The team rarely shot from the middle of the ice and although at times there was a Thrasher in front of the net most of the shots were coming from the left side of the rink to Price’s right side. Why? Where’s the coaching?
Another observation: Oduya was manhandled by the Canadians. I wonder if he has the strength to make it in the league. Stapleton appears to be small enough to evade the heavy checking the Canadians dish out and is quick. I’d hope we give him a longer look.

ThrasherTim

March 2nd, 2011
4:10 pm

The Thrashers have to go 13-5 to get to the 89 point mark which seems to be the magic number….oh, and we play Philly and NJ 5 more times. Doesn’t seem too likely given the current scoring woes.

I’m not sure what game I was watching but I thought we controlled the puck and play and Price was the difference. As far as him saying the chances were from outside, I’m not sure I agree with that either. He stopped Stapelton on a break-away….Antropov had a great chance that went under his arm and past him out the side. He stopped Thorburn right in front of the net all alone. Stewart rocketed a chance that he grazed, pushing it outside. Kaner missed the net with less than a minute left. Meanwhile, Montreal cycled the puck once or twice all game. Oh well.

Smoothie

March 2nd, 2011
4:16 pm

Kaner’s had some choice looks that I’m sure he’d love to have back, but you’d think by now he’d be a little more adept at shooting somewhere other than the goalie’s belly or pads (5 hole). Perhaps he’s so banged up that he’s not really getting much on his shots. They need to move him to RW and Wheeler to LW and let them use their speed to cut to the middle and drive the net. This natural wing bull crap needs to stop.

glovesave29

March 2nd, 2011
4:20 pm

First of all, I gotta disagree with Darren. Although I prefer an intricate passing offense to a dump and chase, you need to use that style for several reasons…you cannot be predictable and enter the zone the same way every time, and if the D is playing a trap – the dump is the best way to gain the zone.

I would like to add to the “bag of goodies” to be given away at TJ’s on the 12th. I have a signed photo of Gordie Howe spraying a Rangers goalie with ice. I got it years ago directly from the Howe foundation with a box of other signed items for a charity auction for Huntington’s Disease. This will go to the person who brings the most canned items for charity. I challenge the rest of the regular crew here to dig into your collections and make some items available to those who show some charity.

Go Thrash!

POM-POM

Alan R.

March 2nd, 2011
4:26 pm

Then again, there are a lot of bad ice surfaces throughout the league, and not just in the SE.

I remember Washington’s ice being voted the worst. Several times over.

m

March 2nd, 2011
4:26 pm

did i miss the all star game from two months ago? last i remember it took place january 30…

Mr. Heat Miser

March 2nd, 2011
4:27 pm

Getting real tired of not getting fair officiating when playing Canadian teams. The number of no-calls and blown-calls the last two games have been staggering. Sat on the 5th row behind Price for the second period last night and watched the Habs hold and slash like it was a free for all.
POM-POM

Rawhide

March 2nd, 2011
4:37 pm

m – Yes…the ASG was on 1/30, which is just over 1 month ago. Post has been corrected.

glovesave – That is very generous of you indeed, thanks! POM-POM!

Mr. Heat Miser – I normally do not like to cast blame on the officiating crew for Thrashers losses. But I must agree with you that there were some e-GEEE-gious no calls that should have gone against the Habs…shrugs

Gotta still play through ‘em though. POM-POM back at ya!

glovesave29

March 2nd, 2011
4:37 pm

Agreed HM…watched a player complete send Thorburn upside down against the Panthers…and I am still POed about the high stick goal against the Coyotes. Yeah, not Canadian teams – but monumentally bad calls nonetheless. I can think of the TERRIBLE “charging” call Antro got against Army and the Laffs. Was barely even a solid check! When are they going to start enforcing the rules enacted to open the game up after the lock-out?

SomaAtl95

March 2nd, 2011
4:38 pm

The Habs held so much last night they could have at least offered to buy the Thrashers a drink!

SomaAtl95

March 2nd, 2011
4:40 pm

Lets not forget the “Phantom” Cross Check called on Buff at the end of the PHX game! He was so ticked off he was bright red while arguing his case, and replay showed Buff with nobody around him.

Smoothie

March 2nd, 2011
4:53 pm

Refs have sucked all year, but you gotta convert chances when they come around and we don’t, period. Our PP sucks and until Ramsay allows these guys to tap into some buried creativity (stop passing to Buff by default!!), then we will continue to go 0 for 5 or 0 for 6. Of course, just learning how to enter the damn zone without having to dump the puck and exhaust themselves retrieving it might be a good start. Also, a formation such as this might actually make more sense:

Left point: Bryan Little (played it in JR and he takes good care of the puck)

Right point: Toby Enstrom (big fat DUH, see last 3 years)

Right wall: Nik Antropov (stop wasting him on the wrong side and let him see the middle of the ice on his “off” wing)

Right corner and behind net: Evander Kane (kid has the speed and the balls to walk the line and go hard to the net)

Rover / Goalie Eclipse: Big Buff (as if I had to tell you that)

Just watch the goals pour forth like manna from the heavens!! ;)

kj

March 2nd, 2011
5:08 pm

Smoothie: right on about the PP. Change it up/change the luck GET BUFF IN FRONT OF THE NET! (he’s been a bit less of a Puff lately too).

And Bogo? He’s played last night like he was disappointed he wasn’t traded after the effort he gave the night before the deadline!

Smoothie

March 2nd, 2011
5:20 pm

I think he feels like his days are numbered as he’s the best bargaining chip we have this summer. Prolly a bad move to trade him but we have too much $ tied up in Buff now.

gnomeboy

March 2nd, 2011
5:21 pm

Thrashers Fan club..what a joke.

Tom Lysiak

March 2nd, 2011
5:22 pm

Still chuckling over the Thrashers email from today. Thursday is going to be “Big Buff Night” against Ottawa. Lower level seats are $33, plus it also includes unlimited popcorn and soda. Great deal, but are they trying to say something????

ben

March 2nd, 2011
5:27 pm

here’s a story out of ‘Pegg that REGINA, SK is building an arena in hopes of getting an NHL team. These people are crazy if they think that Regina gets a team. On another front, it looks like if the Goldwater Institute gets their way with the possible lawsuit, the ‘Yotes migt have to move whether they go to Canada or not.

So here’s my question. Is there anywhere in the U. S. the ‘Yotes could move to? Vegas seems like a big problem for any pro team as they are a town mainly of transients. Which brings me to where I think they ought to go, TORONTO! Why? Give the Toronto media another team to follow, and I bet that once you put the Isles in Quebec City, all the relocation nonsense goes away. I swear, all this is just griping that gets fanned by a media which is tried to death of following a crappy team which under performs year-in-and-out.

Joe McGrath

March 2nd, 2011
5:35 pm

Thrashers have THE worst GAA in the EC, and the 3rd worse GAA in the league. I know our defense has been paltry, but I’m starting to think maybe Dudley should have been looking at the goalie market Monday.

Acer

March 2nd, 2011
5:39 pm

Honestly, I do see a viable location in the US for the Coyotes. Houston or Kansas City have facilities but will they work? Give Winnipeg back it’s team when bad comes to worse.

Acer

March 2nd, 2011
5:40 pm

*I don’t see* damn spelling.

glovesave29

March 2nd, 2011
6:05 pm

Awww c’mon…have we not beat this subject to death already? Let’s talk about hockey. If something changes with regards to teams moving, we can address it then…agreed?

POM POM

ben

March 2nd, 2011
6:34 pm

i’m just saying glovesave29, that I don’t think the team is going anywhere out of the metro area. and i think that if a team was put in toronto, then this crap would go away.

as for talking hockey i like the moves duds did bergie needed to go. i feel that the budget will increase next year or the year after as new ownership is brought in. i also feel that we won’t make the playoffs, so we play for the draft.

this team needs a legit scorer and a dman to shutdown the opponents other than buff. but this is a nice core, it just needs a couple of pieces one might get on the fa market.

EA

March 2nd, 2011
6:59 pm

Crash the net. Crosby gets so many of his goals that way (when he is healthy).

eugene

March 2nd, 2011
7:00 pm

The Thrashers had a lot of good chances against Price but they were always a step out of position, or they’d shoot wide on an empty net. The problem isn’t the shooting outside, the problem with the Thrashers is they’re holding their sticks too tight and they’re not properly screening the goalie. Also, the players need to trust each other a little more. I noticed at yesterday’s game several players were doing the job of other players instead of concentrating on their own duties. Because of that, when there was a turnover in the middle of the ice, there wasn’t a single Thrasher in position to take advantage of that turnover because you had 2 guys covering a single player. I think the team’s effort the past 2 games is a whole lot better than what I’ve seen all season. The effort is there, and they’re battling hard, I can say I’m proud of their effort, If they keep this up, they’ll make the playoffs.

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! ;)

Smoothie

March 3rd, 2011
4:07 pm

“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”

R/L – I would agree with this statement if not for the fact that we play Carolina after we dispose of OTT and FLA in succession. Assuming they lose to Buffalo and Chicago, then we’re tied with CAR again having played the same number of games. I think the 7 game road trip will catch up with BUF in time as they still play CAR, PHIL, MINN, PITT, BOS & TOR. That’s a pretty brutal stretch. And the Philly/Minny double is a back to backer, fun! We can pull for CAR over BUFF win they meet again after Buffalo’s road trip! :cool:

Don Waddell

March 3rd, 2011
4:08 pm

If you want to discuss tripe, I have alot to add to the conversation.

Tom Lysiak

March 3rd, 2011
4:09 pm

Here is what I don’t get about all those problem areas. If they review video of every game, why aren’t these things obvious to the staff? Are you not believing what you are seeing, too stupid to see it, or just too stubborn to make adjustments to the adjustments other teams make? I thought that was how scouting and game tape reviews were supposed to work.

Smoothie

March 3rd, 2011
4:12 pm

Thrasher Tim – we scored our first 27 PPG in the first 28 games. Since then, we only have 18 PPG in 36 games. I’d say that’s just a hair above lousy in the production category. Don’t forget, we had the #1 ranked PP after the Nashville game on December 6th. We’ve had droughts of 4 games, 3 gms, 6 games and now we’ve failed to score a PPG in 4 of our last 8, all of which we lost. And essentially, all 4 of those losses were 1-goal games which could have been much different had our PP not sucked you know what! Sorry, but our PP has been far from good for quite some time now, with or without Toby.

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
4:13 pm

Smoothie still what 40% of Buff goals (shrugs)? Sorry, not wanting to do that math, but that’s close enough. Brilliant statistical analysis on your part. Thanks.

Hoof Arted

March 3rd, 2011
4:22 pm

I’m sensing another “trap” game here. The last couple of times we faced a team sitting at the bottom of the conference standings we got beat bad. First it was the Islanders right out of the all star game when we got smacked 4-1. That seemed to be the beginning of the end for this team. Then it was blowing a 3-1 lead in Edmonton to lose 5-3. I remember thinking after that lose we wouldn’t recover form that loss. Seems I was right.

Now we have a must win situation against a team residing in the cellar, losers of 3 of their last 10, I hope I’m wrong but this has got disaster written all over it.

Please let me be wrong.

Smoothie

March 3rd, 2011
4:32 pm

Yeah, Tobes was on the ice for all but 1 of Buff’s 7 PPG and I think he was on the ice for 8 of 11 ESG by Buff.

More importantly, when our PP was good, we were getting contributions from a lot more than just Buff & Toby. Between Buff’s 3rd PPG and his 4th, we scored 12 PPG in 13 games with the following goal scorers:

PP-Antropov (1)
PP-Bergfors (2)
PP-Peverley (1)
PP-Antropov (2)
PP-Antropov (3)
PP-Kane, E. (7)
PP-Peverley (2)
PP-Ladd, A. (5)
PP-Stewart, A.(5)
PP-Peverley (3)
PP-Antropov (6)
PP-Stewart, A.(6)

A bigger problem may be the lack of contribution from one Nik Antropov, especially on the PP when his hip isn’t as much of an issue. As you can see, since the DET game, Nik has only scored a PPG. He has 5 assists on the PP, but that’s not nearly enough. Anthony Stewart has also cooled off considerably on the man-advantage with only 1 PPG since DET, assisted by Nik Antropov strangely enough. Andrew Ladd has our last 3 PPG and has stepped it up considerably as he tries to maximize his contract value before signing the dotted line. To take the pressure off of Ladd & Buff, we need Enstrom, Antro and somebody else (Kane??) to step and score some damn goals with the extra man.

Smoothie

March 3rd, 2011
4:38 pm

Nik has only scored a PPG*

*one time, and that was agains the Isles at home when we won in OT.

That’s one PPG in 43 games for Nik Antropov…stellar.

Brendan

March 3rd, 2011
4:51 pm

I like “Big Buff” and I cannot lie. But Geez Louise, the guy needs to score. Period.

And like Red Light said, and I just posted on Viv’s blog, if we don’t bank 4-points vs. Ottawa and Florida, then we’re headed to the lottery draft. Those two clubs are in a dual for the 1st overall pick in the draft, or positioning within the lottery draft. Operation “tank it,” for Ottawa and Florida, is in full effect. They dismantled at the trade deadline. There just CANNOT be any excuses tonight.

Go Blue!!

Iron League 13

March 3rd, 2011
5:45 pm

Smoothie, you’re a stats monster, I love it. Best bet for stepping up would be Kane or Wheeler, which brings me to….

Kane – Thorbs – Wheeler

ROLL THAT, RAMMER!!! Nothing to lose and nearly all the most harnessed aggro we can muster on ONE LINE.

Brendan, I regret to say this and I hope I’m as surprised as I was in November and December, but it truly looks like it’s headed there.

Hockey Biltong

March 3rd, 2011
6:03 pm

See you all at the bulb…

F-5

March 3rd, 2011
8:57 pm

As a season ticket holder since the start, I simply cannot pay to watch this team anylonger.
Gave tickets away for tonight and am glad I did, this is simply awful to watch. If you bought sour milk for the same store over and over and it never got better, would you still shop there ? I would not and will not renew, unless they make playoffs in the future. This franchise is terrible and I really see no way the team will improve anytime soon. After this season, I really don’t care if they move, after 11 years I am tired of all the losing with no hope this team has.

Fat Lady

March 3rd, 2011
8:58 pm

La…La…La…La…La…Lottery….Ah….Ah….Ah….Again

Sage of Bluesland

March 3rd, 2011
9:13 pm

Joe-Bob-Friday-Knew-All-Along can blame the coach all he wants–but the talent and heart on this team is beyond pitiful.

I don’t care what anyone says.

Jumble and fantasize about all the line-combinations you want—in the end, it’s nothing but pure fantasy. The ONLY easy fix for this club is a serious infusion of talent…and of real leadership.

Cornbread and his/her ilk can bluster about ‘great play’…he/she also talked about how “easy” our February schedule was….For someone who blusters about knowing “so much about the game”, I guess the bigger they talk, the harder they fall (but, it’s funny, they have a tendency to disappear instead of admitting they were dead wrong on so many things).

This display is pitiful. No progression. No real leadership. Nothing.

R. Stroztradamus

March 3rd, 2011
9:23 pm

The Thrashers will FAIL to make the playoffs AGAIN.

R. Stroz

March 3rd, 2011
9:24 pm

BENCH ANTROPOV

Tom

March 3rd, 2011
9:33 pm

The second half of the Thrasher’s season was a big old bucket of fail.

Again.

How do we lose to a team that traded away most of it’s talent and is fighting for the #1 pick.

Sage of Bluesland

March 3rd, 2011
9:56 pm

I see numerous opportunities to score–but nothing. Nothing. Nothing but wasted opportunities.

That’s talent, folks.

Blame the coach or the Easter Bunny all you want….but, at this rate with the collection, get the revolving door ready for the coach’s office…

Cliff Fletcher

March 3rd, 2011
10:16 pm

always nice to see the sage of whatever stick his head out of the sand to report the obvious. stash says you keep us grounded sage, i guess stan and sage deserve each other. waiting for your buddy lac to chime in too so we can repeat the obivous again and again.

B. Thenet

March 3rd, 2011
10:17 pm

We had more talent on the ice that the Senators did tonight, no question about that.

It is one thing to lose with a talentless team that is coached well. This is a moderately talented team that is coached poorly, that repeatedly makes poor decisions with the puck, that is coached to take shots from absurdly low percentage places on the ice, that is coached to not be physical, that is coached to not get in front of the net and fight for space in front of the goalie.

Craig Ramsay must be fired, and he must be fired before the end of the season. We cannot head into the next season with this man and his gutless wimp brand of hockey.

HillMan

March 3rd, 2011
10:28 pm

We have 63 goals in last 30 games. Right around 2 per game. If we added up all the average goals scored by our opening day roster, we would have scored 205 goals, slightly over 2.5 goals a game and we had little or no depth in our organization beyond our NHL roster.

As a STH since day one, I got what I expected. What I would say, is this team does have more work ethic then several teams we have had. Just not enough talent, never did from day one this year.

Again, no surprise here. Just some false hope after a great early season start. Over 82 games we will probably end up at that 200 goal range and therefore get what we all probably expected opening day. Let’s all take a deep breath and hope that Rick and our new owners truly add the top 6 forwards they have been promising to add for the last 5 years.

HockeyGoon79

March 3rd, 2011
10:39 pm

I was one of those who thought Bill was wrong for calling for Ramsay to be fired last week. I even told him that to his face Saturday night. Turns out I was wrong.

This is a total disaster.

Smoothie

March 3rd, 2011
10:53 pm

Better luck next year…time of death was roughly 9:10 pm this evening.

Time to call up all the young guys you can and screw over the Wolves since they’ve been screwing us over for the last decade. Rosters have expanded so just give Postma, Kulda, Machacek and ???? some serious minutes and let them get some on the job training.

BTW, Dustin Byfuglien is NOT a defenseman. End the experiment after this year please.

EA

March 3rd, 2011
10:54 pm

The effort is there. The talent is not enough. Anderson, like Price, played very well. The defensive break down on the 3rd goal was bad. The zone was not cleared for over a minute. Mason was just o.k.

B. Thenet

March 3rd, 2011
10:57 pm

Call up our prospects, and send down Stapleton. I have seen enough of him to know that I do not ever want to see him in a Thrashers uniform again.

Making a difference once every 20 games is just not enough.

Brendan

March 4th, 2011
1:29 am

Rawhide, I was wrong. With more talent than the Senators possess, with benefit of the final line change at home, we lost to LAST PLACE TEAM in the Conference in a ‘must win’ game. Are we playing ‘meaningful games in March?’ No. And we’re not … because we’ve won just seven times in the past thirty (7/30) games.

At a .333 clip over 30 games, that’s more than just a trend. That’s heaping pile of FAIL, as we seem to say on these blogs. A record of 7-17-6 reflects an inability to get results, during a critical stretch of games, with benefit of a slower paced schedule and lower echelon opponents.

It seems to me, Rawhide, that an inability to get results … means there’s something wrong. The 1st line manager is the Head Coach, Craig Ramsay. Ramsay has oversight over the players, the Associate Heach Coach, and the trainers, and the equipment manager. Many of the players on the roster today … were here on Opening Night. They were good enough to win games in October and November, but not good enough in January and February. So, either they overachieved in the early portion of the season, or our strategy was solved by other teams, and insufficient adjustments were made to correct it. Or, this teams just, flatout, doesn’t have the horses to be a playoff team.

We can’t fire 22 players. So, it’s easier to fire a Coach. I can see that. This Coach was hired by the GM, who just got a 4-year contract extension (Dudley). This GM … was ‘hand-picked’ by the previous GM (Waddell). Only in Thrasherville does the outgoing GM name his successor. And the entity responsible for hiring a GM and Team President … is the HeptaCluster, lead on the hockey side, by Bruce Levenson.

This team cannot get sold fast enough to Coca-Cola or whomever.

Tom

March 4th, 2011
6:52 am

Watched Rammer’s press conference. Pretty lame.

Low energy and the take away quote is maybe we would be better off with only 25 shots a game.

Dude, you have been preaching to the boys to take shots from everywhere. Now you want to change it up?

I think Rammer has lost his confidence…

World Be Free

March 4th, 2011
7:25 am

I think some of us called this in early January, when we suggested the team get a top 6 forward maybe a right winger with hands to play 2nd line. Again, I use the term “plumbers” when describing our team’s scoring skills. Not that I have anything against the plumbing trade, but plumbers use their hands in a brutal trade. This team lacks the softness needed around the net. Dudley’s number one priority over the summer is to get a player, like Versteeg in here.

Off subject, you have to give full marks to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Loafs have 1-2 players I would want on my team (Kessel and Phanuef) yet they are playing great hockey. What’s the difference between Tronna and Atlanta? The Leafs play 60 minutes, if you don’t want to play all out then you don’t play for Ron Wilson. That’s not the case here, some of the Thrashers have been sleepwalking for weeks. Sure the players like Rammer, but who doesn’t like the country club atmosphere? Stop with the “there’s not enough fans here” BS. Give them something to play for, like let’s have a fight or 2 so we can be sure there’s a pulse in the locker room.

Red Light

March 4th, 2011
7:27 am

The lyrics of truth come from one of my favorite musicians, Gregg Allman, this morning!

Just one morning, I had to wake up with the blues, 
Pulled myself out of bed, yeah
Put on my walkin’ shoes
Went up on a mountain, 
To see what I could see
The whole world was fallin’,
Right down in front of me, 

Cause I’m hung up on the dreams, I’ll never see, yeah baby, 
Ahh help me baby, or this surely will be the end of me!

May I suggest focusing attentions on Nashville? Blake Geoffrion picked up his second goal last night and led the Preds to a 3-0 win in Vancouver?

World Be Free

March 4th, 2011
7:57 am

Red Light-I liked Molly Hatchet’s version of the “Dreams I’ll Never See” as well.

Atl_Bruin_Fan

March 4th, 2011
8:03 am

The beat goes on for the Thrashers. They are one of the softest teams around. And btw if you think Wheeler is going to help or get in front of the net think again. He’s a creampuff. There’s a nice article about Peverly’s success w/ the Bruins in the Bostoin Globe.

World Be Free

March 4th, 2011
8:25 am

Looks like Johnny Oduya was a popular subject at the trading deadline. I would not be too surprised to see him moved this summer with Stuart resigned and Kulda waiting in the wings.

DWTOO

March 4th, 2011
8:36 am

With one minute remaining in the third period:

Matt McConnell:”The Thrashers need a pair.” Goals or Testicles – take your pick.

World Be Free

March 4th, 2011
9:10 am

DWTOO-good one, don’t know why I never caught that one before.

Another team to watch is Carolina, they have a number of guys who can score when needed. Thrashers outshot and outplayed the Canes a few weeks ago in Philips, lost in the last 2 minutes. Sabres outplayed Carolina last night for a good portion of the game, but could not put the biscuit in the basket when it counted. Canes could, gotta like teams that can make plays.

Red Light

March 4th, 2011
9:57 am

Thrashers by the Numbers…

Overall record since Hossa trade: 101-113-34
Home record since Hossa trade: 54-56-15
Number of home crowds in excess of 15,000: 47 of 125 (37.6%)

Overall record since Kovalchuk trade: 37-39-16
Home record since Kovalchuk trade: 21-20-8
Number of home crowds in excess of 15,000: 15 of 49 (30.6%)

Thrashers record this season in which the announced crowd was more than 15,000: 5-2-2

Thrashers record this season announced crowd was 11,176 or less: 5-7-1

Thrashers record since Michael Gearon’s revelation about his group’s plight: 1-5-1

Time for another contract extension I guess!

Red Light

March 4th, 2011
10:17 am

More salt for the wounds!

Thrashers record in games decided by one goal since the Hossa trade: 49-34-34 (132 of 234 possible points)

Thrashers record in games decided by one goal during Hossa’s 222-game career in Atlanta: 54-21-23 (131 of 196 possible points)

Having a hard time caring any more

March 4th, 2011
10:48 am

Im a longtime hockey fan in Atlanta..prob went to 50 Flames games in their 8 yrs here..and went to about 6 or 8 Thrashers games a yr til this yr..but Ive had it..this team sucks in every way,

lets face it Its over.. the season and the team in Atlanta. This team has no real stars, no face of the franchise since Kovy left (and who could blame him). No playoff history, anonymous coaches, bad ownership. no toughness, Dead as hell arena. Nothing at all to make fans want to be a part of it. The few fans that are there (I used to be one) are either quiet or rooting for the other team. It is so depressing.

I find myself thinking “so what?” even if they had made the playoffs if they are going to end up leaving.. It feels like the Flames in their last couple of years…a lost cause not worth wasting a whole lot of energy or passion on. (Then they move to Calgary and win the cup in 88. Still makes me sick) The Winnepeg Thrashers will prob win the 2014 cup.

For a real contrast to the Thrashers, Try watching the Canes replay on FSSO at 11.pm .Ck out the players and the fans. They actually act like they want to be there;

I may get blasted for not being a “real” fan. And that may be right. I am from Ga and never played the game. But I enjoy it and have paid for many tickets..The point is that a hockey team in this town needs fans like me. This isnt baseball or football where even if the Braves or Falcons suck, fans know the sport’s nuances and can appreciate them.. and they know something about the opposition..same thing with the Hawks, you can always go to see the stars on the other team.. But we dont have the fan experience or little league/HS playing experience for that to happen here in hockey. Most of the true hard core fans here have their loyalties with their hometown team. To get local fans, wins and identifiable players are what is needed. without that, you get attendance like this year, where every announced figure is twice as large as the real crowd. but its too late now. Its frustrating as hell.

World Be Free

March 4th, 2011
10:50 am

“Having a hard time” – looks like you have company
Red Light-your numbers do tell the story

Changes are needed, big changes.

Rawhide

March 4th, 2011
11:22 am

:!: RANALLO WARNING!! :!:

This is your official 10-minute Ranallo Warning. New blog to be posted in 10 minutes.

And be prepared…we’re going to play some fun games today.