Rocky road ahead for Thrashers even after big win over Panthers

One of the nice things about Saturday night’s thrilling overtime win is that it gets to linger in our thoughts for several days. Following the 4-3 overtime win over the Florida Panthers Saturday night the Thrashers don’t play again until they travel to Carolina Wednesday night to take on the Hurricanes.

But even so, the truth of the matter is this team needed a much better showing than the 2-2-1 record the played to over this recent all-important five game home stretch. It’s not just that they only procured 5 of a possible 10 points in the standing when they really needed more, but they played the role of gracious hosts far too well by allowing 8 total points to leave town with visiting teams…all of whom were Eastern Conference teams.

So for those of you who may have held out hope that a good showing in those games would possibly catapult them back into the playoff race…needless to say it didn’t pan out that way. Now what you’re looking at is the team needing to go something like 10-3-3 during the final segment of the schedule and pray that 88 points is good enough to somehow squeak in.

Making that mountain even steeper to climb is the fact that ten of those sixteen games will be played on hostile ice away from Thrasherville, including a five-game roadie between March 12 and April 7.

How many of the remaining 32 points will the Thrashers get?

  • 8 or less: Next stop - Lotterypickville (18%, 38 Votes)
  • 9-16: The second-half slide continues (44%, 91 Votes)
  • 17-24: They'll make a nice run but fall just short (31%, 65 Votes)
  • 25 or over: Playoffs here we come! (7%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 209

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To put it mildly, the road has been quite inhospitable place for this team lately. They went winless during their most recent three-game road trip…losing in Phoenix, Edmonton and Buffalo without even the consolation of an overtime loser point…and have gone 0-5-1 in their lat six away games.

The last time they were able to come away two points on the road was back on January 23 when they netted a pair of late third period goals on their way to a 3-2 shootout win in Florida. And since the 6-3 win in Toronto back on December 20…a.k.a. “The High Water Mark of the Season”…they have played to a record of 3-9-2 away from Philips Arena.

Only one of those wins, the 3-2 win against the Panthers on January 5, came in regulation.

Assuming they can take care of business at home by going 6-0 from here on out…yeah, I know. I know…they would still need to go 4-3-3 in the road games to reach the 88 mark. That’s a pretty tall order when you see two games in Philadelphia and one each in Boston, Montreal, Carolina, Nashville, New Jersey, Nashville and Buffalo in the slate. There is also a trip to Long Island remaining on the schedule against a team that has played better of late.

Even before we see our team in action again Wednesday night, the lanes on the Thrashers road may become tighter and narrower still. Following yesterday’s action in which the Devils beat the Islanders in a shootout, Buffalo beat Minnesota in OT and Florida earned yet another overtime consolation point, Atlanta is not only chasing three teams for a possible playoff spot but they now have three more hot on their tails.

The Devils are now only a point behind us Florida trails by four points and the Islanders are but five in back of the Thrashers. All three of those teams play at home Tuesday night and if they come out victorious, Atlanta would be sitting in 12th place in the conference with 14th place not too far behind.

Therefore, the rough road ahead of us could lead to a playoff berth, another trip to Lotterypickville…or possibly somewhere in between.

166 comments Add your comment

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
9:43 am

Look to next season-little or no chance for playoffs. Better start scouting juniors or trade the pick for veteran help at the draft.

Stan Drulia

March 7th, 2011
9:47 am

I have to take the win Saturday (which I didn’t even get to see on TV) as the big positive here that I can enjoy…not as a sign for the playoffs. Seems there is no way that we will go on a big tear right now when we can just barely pull a win out of lowly Florida. I wan’t to get excited and start pulling for the playoffs again… I just have been taught too well by this team.

BLUELANDbeliever

March 7th, 2011
9:52 am

Im sorry but my heart is with the team. We can do this yall. Stop being negative, for the teams sake.

Russian

March 7th, 2011
10:06 am

88 points will not be enough to get in Play Offs. I will say that 91 points is Play Offs spot. We have 65 points and 16 games. If Thrashers like to reach 91 points, they must go as 13-3. Is it possible? Yes. Theoretically is possible. But if we reviewed game at Saturday one more time we can see that 13-3 is not easy to get it. We have 3-1 score and blew it for 3.5 minutes. We played a team who traded lot of good players. I cannot believe that we can win 3 times on Philly, one time on Boston and beat Vancouver and plus win any games against red hot NJ.
My vote is drop this season and move to Lottery pick. Send Scouts now to Europe and Juniors and watch young players.

moriler

March 7th, 2011
10:06 am

Mindset for the fans should be the same as for the Thrashers right now: Win the next game. It’s no longer possible to set expectations based on the standings — so just win the next game. If you win the next game enough times, you might find yourself in a place where you _can_ set expectations… and then start thinking about that.

For now? Just win the next game. It’s all they need to do.

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
10:06 am

believer-it’s not being negative, my assessment is the reality of the situation. The goal is not just making playoffs, it’s to go deep into the playoffs. This team is 2 players away from being able to make the post season and advance beyond the first round. Being swept 4-0 in 2005 was not a victory.

Chunk

March 7th, 2011
10:06 am

Rocky Road Ice Cream… mmmm…….

BTW, ice cream is much more refreshing in Atlanta than in Winnipeg.

However, I can do without ice cream or hockey as long as I never have to hear from (or directly do business with) Bruce Levenson or Michael Gearon ever again.

Happy Monday, Everyone! (Unless you are part of the Atlanta Spirit Group, of course.)

Rawhide

March 7th, 2011
10:06 am

Just a reminder here folks about the Thrashers Viewing Party Saturday at TJs Sports Bar & Grill located on Holcomb Bridge Road. Game time is 7:00 pm and remember to bring food items to help stock Atlanta area Food Banks.

It’s sure to be a good food and good times with great Thrashers fans!

moriler

March 7th, 2011
10:07 am

also, everyone please quit saying “Lottery pick” as though it was a goal. It’s physically impossible to get 97% of the players in this league to intentionally tank games. We’re not going to end up that far down; I’m figuring probably 10th in the conference.

Russian

March 7th, 2011
10:22 am

I am saynig about Lottery, because 1-4 picks are very talented young players:
1. RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS C 6′0 170 L Apr. 12/93 Red Deer WHL
2. GABRIEL LANDESKOG LW 6′0 207 L Nov. 23/92 Kitchener OHL
3. ADAM LARSSON D 6′3 200 R Nov. 12/92 Skelleftea SweE
4. JONATHAN HUBERDEAU C 6′1 168 L June 4/93 Saint John QMJHL

I really like Adams Larsson. Scouts said that he can be another Nik Lindstrom.

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
10:27 am

How many games do we need to lose to at least have a shot at Gabriel Landeskog at #3 or #4 of the draft? 10 losses? 12? 14?

Not a lot of RW available in the top 20 of the draft, anyone know much about Joel Armia who is playing in Finland? Doesn’t sound like a Finnish name, interesting route to go if he’s from somewhere else.

moriler

March 7th, 2011
10:27 am

We are not going to be in the bottom 5 in the league this year. The lottery is meaningless to us.

moriler

March 7th, 2011
10:30 am

The bottom five will be the ones who are there right now: Ottawa, Edmonton, Islanders, Colorado, and the Panthers squeaking in at #26. St. Louis may collapse and join them, and while it’s perpetually spring in Toronto (”‘cos the Leafs are out”), I doubt they’ll fall much further. Simply put, even if we play horribly those six teams won’t pass us, and we could very easily go the other way.

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
10:30 am

The Lottery Pick is our destiny.

Frosty the snowman

March 7th, 2011
10:35 am

We are always looking to next year.

Dwayne

March 7th, 2011
10:40 am

Maybe we play up to opponents and shock the world!!

moriler

March 7th, 2011
10:44 am

The sad part is, that does match our history… we routinely play up to strong opponents and down to weaker ones (cf. our performance against the Capitals and Islanders this year)

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
10:45 am

I wouldn’t count on NYI on being a lock for the bottom 5. Watch out for St. Louis and your Atlanta Thrashers!!

Sage of Bluesland

March 7th, 2011
11:00 am

Don’t forget, Don Waddell told us a couple of years ago that we were relatively AHEAD of the Philadelphia Flyers at some point in our development.

How this incompetent buffoon still has a job with this organization never ceases to amaze me. There is no wonder why he never appears to the Atlanta media anymore.

Not another dollar of mine goes into his pocket. Period.

Rawhide

March 7th, 2011
11:11 am

We are always looking to next year.

Frosty – Problem is… next year never seems to come.

Don’t forget, Don Waddell told us a couple of years ago that we were relatively AHEAD of the Philadelphia Flyers at some point in our development.

Sage – Ya know, I was having a discussion with R. Stroz about just that thing not too long ago. DW made that comment after the 2008-09 season, if I’m not mistaken…that would be the first John Anderson campaign.

Laughable, is it not.

also, everyone please quit saying “Lottery pick” as though it was a goal

moriler – Gotta agree with you there. As a fan, I want my team to win every time out. Even though I hold out little to no hope for the playoffs right now, when the puck drops I’m rooting for them to win that game.

Finishing as a lottery team is the ultimate in failure. It’s a disgrace. That’s made even worse by just how many times this team has finished in that position or just above it. All those high picks and what to show for it?

…sigh…

Besides, even though there is a nice crop of prospective talent to be drafted, I don’t see any “franchise savers” this summer.

Cliff Fletcher

March 7th, 2011
11:16 am

sage-I don’t remember that statement, but it would not surprise me one bit. major lapse of judgement to ever say we are better than philly in anything hockey-related.

Joe Friday

March 7th, 2011
11:23 am

New Jersey is catchable. We should blow by them this week. There’s always hope re. Florida, they may get hot, and Colorado has a game in hand, we may catch them as well, keep the faith!

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
11:32 am

Right on Sage! Sh!t yeah! Wooo!

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
11:34 am

Actually, I want to lose every game either 4-3 or 5-4…at least pad some stats and prove how miserable our defense really is. Bogosian’s a bust and the future is Kulda & Postma. Not that a lottery pick will help us because Waddell will screw everything up and force him to play too soon. That son of a biatch!

Greg

March 7th, 2011
11:35 am

I am actually pretty high on Matt Puempel too. He injured his hip, but he still put up 35 goals in 55 games, so that kid can really score. Accurate shot, fast, good hockey sense; seems like he’ll be a really good player. And don’t forget about Sean Couturier he’s supposed to be ahead of Huberdeau and Puempel. My point is that we don’t necessarily have to be in the top 5 to get a good pick. As long as we don’t pick a player like Saad or Biggs who are projected to be 3rd liners then I think we’ll be ok.

moriler

March 7th, 2011
11:42 am

“Bogosian’s a bust and the future is Kulda & Postma. Not that a lottery pick will help us because Waddell will screw everything up and force him to play too soon.”

*puzzled look* Do you follow the organization or watch the games at all? Because it seems you’re declaring that a second-year top pick who was thrown in too early is somehow a ‘bust’, and that Waddell is still the GM instead of Dudley.

Do you know why TSN and ESPN were reporting trade rumors for everyone trying to get Bogosian? Because he’s a huge talent, even if he’s having a crappy year. If he was a bust, he would be like Valabik; nobody claimed him even off waivers and he was a ‘warm body’ from the AHL in a trade deal finally.

Frosty the snowman

March 7th, 2011
11:45 am

*** Bogosian’s a bust and the future is Kulda & Postma.*** The same was said about Coburn, and look what happens when traded to a legitimate franchise. I am sure Bogo would be fine with a trade, then we would be laughed at once again for another blunder.

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
11:47 am

Man y’all are gullible. Took the bait, hook line and sinker.

Thanks for playing!!

I joke around a lot on this here blog, but I guess y’all didn’t notice.

ThrasherTim

March 7th, 2011
11:48 am

Bogo is coming around. We’ll trade Oduya during the summer for a top 6 player and then bring in Kulda and/or Postma.

Deeno

March 7th, 2011
11:50 am

Simply put the Thrashers have no scoring ability. Our best scorers are defensmen. Until we get a 30 goal scorer we are toast.

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
11:56 am

ThrasherTim – I reckon we will, but I doubt we’ll get a top 6 talent for Oduya. I wish we could, but they cost more than that I’m afraid.

If Antropov doesn’t fully recover from his hip and rebound with a 50+ point season and Bogosian doesn’t make serious strides next season, then we will be in pretty much the same situation we’re in right now when March 2012 rolls around.

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
12:09 pm

Anybody that wants to know what’s wrong with this team just has to view the tape after the thrashers made it 3-1 Saturday night. The boys went up by 2 and crawled back into their cocoon, allowing a predominantly AHL team tie the game before winning in OT. You cannot play 30 minutes/game and expect to win on a regular basis in the NHL. I do like the fact that the Thrashers’ goals were scored close in, which means they are still going to the net.

LAC

March 7th, 2011
12:19 pm

Correct WBF, we just folded like a stack of cards. But in OT they drove back for the win.
On zach, I really hope we move him. He is never going to be more than an average defenseman, look at his decline since rookie season. He should be progressing, not declining.

Just seems not to have good hockey sense. What would he be worth ? We will see…

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
12:27 pm

LAC-I just wish the team would have left Bogo in juniors and not rushed him to the NHL. Look at Andrej Sekera, young Sabres’ defenseman. The kid is finally making an impact at the NHL level, it has taken years for him to shed the nickname “Suck-era”; alotta other examples across the league too. If we are going to trade him, it will be to a team that allows him to slip into the 3-4 d-man role with veteran partner. My gut feel is it will be Philly that steps up with an offer.

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
12:35 pm

WBF – Philly needs to shed salary, I would not be surprised in the least if they dangle JvR in front of Dudley’s nose. At least with that swap, it’s #3 overall pick for #2 overall pick. But since Duds is in a position of leverage, he might be able to pry a little bit more for Bogosian should he choose to go in that direction. Remember folks, Dudley didn’t draft Bogosian so anything is possible when it comes to his maverick ways. We’re talking about someone who traded Pavel Bure and wanted to trade Vinny Lecavalier. Do I want to trade Bogey? Not sure, if the price is right and JvR might be the right price. All I’m saying is it would not surprise me if Dudley did so as he ostensibly has his stud offensive D-man in Mr. Buff and Puff, who will blow your goal down with 6-9 shots per game!

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
12:35 pm

LAC-I can’t handle this laying back and letting the opposing team do what they want in our zone. These guys don’t even have to pay the price for scoring. And Stewart stands around like a cigar store indian.

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
12:48 pm

Smoothie-wow, I mentioned JVR as a possible just yesterday. What about JVR and Coburn for Bogo and our 3rd round pick? Bogo is an RFA this year, so we may need to make a move.

Russian

March 7th, 2011
12:48 pm

**to WBF**
“Stewart stands around like a cigar store indian”
LOL :-)
I love it.

Russian

March 7th, 2011
12:52 pm

Where can I see UFA list for summer 2011???
I checked NHLnumbers.com but they got for last year. 4-th period is not showing anything. Please let me know.

Alan R.

March 7th, 2011
12:56 pm

Russian – http://www.mynhltraderumors.com/2010/06/01/2011-unrestricted-nhl-free-agents/

Be warned, this pool is about as deep as a poetry reading by Paris Hilton.

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
1:00 pm

Alan – thanks Alan, that pool is shockingly shallow. Everyone wants to hold onto Bogey, but the market may dictate that he’s used as trade bait because there is a paucity of UFA scoring talent available this summer. Unless y’all are willing to wait another 2 years for the playoffs, we may have not choice but to trade Bogosian to get something of value (assuming Kulda is ready to play 15-16 NHL minutes next year).

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
1:01 pm

WBF – that would be hilarious if we got Coburn back. At least that might get folks to stop mentioning that trade ever again! ‘Cha right!

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
1:05 pm

Russian-at least the cigar store indian gives out cigars.
Maybe the best Seinfeld episode is the one with the cigar store indian.

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
1:06 pm

Smoothie-such a trade would make the dead rest easier.

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
1:15 pm

UFA’s-Steve Montador is going to cash in this summer, he has had a good eyar with the Sabres.
Oddly enough, the other player on this list that I like is Fredrik Sjostrom. He plays hard every night, did in NY and with the Loafs.

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
1:20 pm

WBF – man we think alike, I was thinking Sjostrom as well for depth if we can’t re-sign Dvorak. And I’m not even sure we should re-sign the aged Czech. Might as well go with the speedy 27 y/o and perhaps make Stewart expendable in a trade (sell high!!).

Greg

March 7th, 2011
1:35 pm

I’d also look towards Glencross and Leino.

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
1:50 pm

Smoothie – we sure do!
Greg-agreed, I was thinking of UFAs and our usual budget.
Leino will resign in Philly, Glencross was let go Edmonton and played his way onto the Flames’ roster. I think he’s going to get a 3-4 year deal at about $4M, too rich for us.

2 good playes though

Rawhide

March 7th, 2011
1:54 pm

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Greg

March 7th, 2011
2:02 pm

WBF-yeah but if you read the comments of the flyers fans after getting versteeg they’re worried about cap space, especially for leino

moriler

March 7th, 2011
2:08 pm

“What about JVR and Coburn for Bogo and our 3rd round pick?”

Philly’s GM just fell out of his chair laughing.

Come on, y’all, I expect these sort of trade rumors out of Eklund. :p

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
2:13 pm

moriler-just having a little fun today and yes that does sound like an eklund rumor. Betcha ek laughs at 1/2 of his own posts. “the dominos are falling”.
Greg-great point on Leino and Versteeg, I just always assume the Flyers find a way to get it done and get under the cap.

Brendan

March 7th, 2011
2:20 pm

I love to see what what we’ll do as “spoilers.” Philly plays us three times. Can we cost the Flyers the Atlantic division? Carolina plays us, twice. Can the Thrashers push them to 9th? The NYR has far from secured a playoff berth. We could just be the points that they MISS THE DANCE by. Pittsburgh, season finale, could be for both the Atlantic Division Championship and 1st overall seed in the East.

Buffalo plays us, and is precariously inside the playoffs. Nashville is outside, looking in, desperate for a pair of points at home vs. the Thrash. And the Islanders and Senators are jockeying for position with Edmonton inside the lottery draft. Atlanta can make its impact on the remainder of the season, even if it’s playoff hopes were dashed after the Oilers game.

ZAvalanche

March 7th, 2011
2:48 pm

I don’t really see Thrashy as a spoiler. After Philly’s beating by the Rangers they will be fighting HARD for chance to be at home for the first 2 games of every series.

Red Light

March 7th, 2011
3:17 pm

Well, if anyone can tell me what the second longest winning streak was this season outside of the 6-game aberration, I will part with a pair of tickets to an upcoming Hawks game (smiles knowingly).

Rhythmpenguin

March 7th, 2011
3:33 pm

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
3:38 pm

penguin – that was actually a rather funny video. Enjoyed it with a few chuckles and Kaner made me guffaw.

Greg

March 7th, 2011
3:48 pm

Holy crap RL i had no idea we were doing that badly in the win department. Outside of that one stretch we’ve only ever one 2 games in a row!

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
3:53 pm

Greg – indeed, we’ve not tasted success as often as it seemed when we won 12 of 16. But at least we avoided the dreaded 4 or 5 game losing streak, until late December. Problem is we just had 3 of those in a matter of a month and a half roughly. We would now need a 6 or 7 game win streak to really have any shot at the P/O. Oh gosh, I may pee my pants that is so funny!

Red Light

March 7th, 2011
3:57 pm

Yes, Greg and that means the Thrashers have to reverse that trend (haven’t won two in a row since Jan. 2 and Jan. 5) before any thought of a long streak occurs. Win the next two, and then lets talk about Saturday’s game at Philadelphia. And, even if the boys win 8 of the other 11 games, this five-game stretch of away games against other seeking playoff berths or positioning is troublesome!

Mar 29 @ Montreal Canadiens
Mar 31 @ Philadelphia Flyers
Apr 2 @ Boston Bruins
Apr 5 @ Nashville Predators
Apr 7 @ New York Rangers

Rhythmpenguin

March 7th, 2011
4:02 pm

Smoothie, yeah it made me laugh also =). We have some good personalities on the Thrash (a nickname for the Atlanta Thrashers), which can be an important component of team, no matter what sport or skill level.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 7th, 2011
4:51 pm

I’ve noticed people focusing a bit on our offense, and I feel some people are missing the boat with what is wrong with this team at the present.

Currently, Atlanta ranks 8th in the Eastern Conference and 15th in the NHL in goals for (184 goals for, 66 games played). While not exactly stellar, that’s more goals scored than four playoff teams*: Washington (176 in 66), Montreal (176 in 66), Dallas (180 in 65), and Los Angeles (180 in 65).

So if the playoffs started today, Atlanta would be scoring right in line with the playoff caliber teams. The problem is on the other end of the ice … Atlanta has given up 214 goals! That’s good for 15th in the Eastern Conference, and 28th in the league, ahead of Edmonton and Colorado (side note, how does Stastny say they are Stanley Cup contenders while SOBER?).

I don’t really buy into the “scoring by committee” line that Ramsey touts, and would definitely love to add a bonafide 30 goal scorer to the top 6, but the Thrashers achilles heel CONTINUES to be defense and goal keeping. Mason is horrible (I have a feeling he’s playing with his glove on the wrong hand), Byufglien is lost defensively, and the starting six defenders are filled with arguably four players who are at best #5 or 6 defenders.
Until that changes the Thrashers will continue to be also-rans in this league, in my opinion. Scoring 15th in the league is sufficient to make the playoffs, but not when you’re 28th in goals against. James van Riemsdyk and Brad Richards will simply not keep the puck from going into our net.

So I say again, until the defense is remedied this team will continue to swim in the kiddie pool.

*- if the playoffs started today

Chris16

March 7th, 2011
4:55 pm

Well said back in Jan that the devils would catch us and they are closing. So think playoffs are a lost cause. I think it is time to look for the draft the best way the Thrashers know.

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
5:06 pm

ranallo – yep! Our defense needs serious work! Several folks are not sold on Bogey but as long as Buff has been annointed to the 1st pairing, I’m not sure Bogey will evolve into that lockdown D-man this team so desperately needs. If Dudley continues to allow Rammer to persist with this flawed system MO where upon the D-men are all expected to pinch and jump into plays, then we will never develop Bogey properly into a well-rounded defenseman. And his offense will be somewhat wasted as well since he won’t be getting 1st pairing minutes nor enough PP time to justify his use as a dynamic D-man who can initiate offense. He needs to learn more about how to play DEFENSE. Same goes for Byfuglien as well but at least he has Enstrom to help cover up his deficiencies. However, Enstrom would probably be better served as Bogosian’s mentor going forward if we can find a Kronwall type that can do the bulk of the heavy lifting on the 1st pair against top competition.

Smoothie

March 7th, 2011
5:08 pm

Oh yeah, good to have you back and posting ranallo!

Don’t be a stranger!

HookBob

March 7th, 2011
5:30 pm

Hockey is funny in that teams can be really streaky,…both good and bad. Anyone recall our home and home with the Flyers late last year? Yeah,….we swept them,… and they ended up in the SC final. None-the-less I’m not hoping for our boys to go on a good streak. (My vote is less than 16 points.)

One of my main interests in the rest of the season is whether or not captain Ladd reaches 30 goals. (Before Saturday’s game he was on pace for 29,..after that game he is on pace for 31.) Can he stay hot? Ladd needs 5 goals in the remaining 16 games. Who will give me an over/under on Ladd reaching 30?

This also has me wondering if Ladd re-signing might be on “hold” until this plays out.

My take on Bogo is that he hasn’t adapted well to Ramsay’s system. It takes him a split second longer to process what he should be doing according in Ramsay’s playbook. With hockey being largely a “read and react” sport that split second leaves him out of position. Hopefully this “processing” will become more natural and faster. I say keep him (unless we get WBF’s suggested return:)).

Go Blue,..go Ladd,….give us a 30 goal scorer.

Red Light

March 7th, 2011
5:49 pm

Ladd will score 30, but if he doesn’t “next stop Lotteryville”

Rawhide

March 7th, 2011
5:51 pm

ranallo10 (in AT) – Alway good to have a Ranallo showing. Libby and Pinhead send their best regards.

Brendan

March 7th, 2011
5:56 pm

HookyBob, re: streakyness, every team in the league puts together a 4-0-1 or 5-0-0 mark. Even the Oilers and Islander manage this. Yet, I vividly recall Waddell saying, back in 2008, “Bad teams don’t win 5 games in-a-row in this league. But enough of the Waddell bashing, by me.

Ranallo10, exactly. Well said. Things cannot change for Atlanta … until there’s a rock solid “1-2″ top pairing, and guys that actually ARE 3/4 type defenders. We’ve always had a steady stream of 5/6 guys. How to remedy that? Well, I don’t have all the answers. I do hope Bogosian will blossom, one fine day, into a Tier I defender, he isn’t one now. And won’t be one next year, either. So, how does one get a top flight guy? Perhaps, trading is the answer? I don’t know if Brian Campbell qualifies as a Top pairing blueliner. He’s at least a Tier II guy. He’s got a bad contract, in that he’s way overpaid for what he brings to the table. Chicago would probably be happy just to be rid of that contract. Nobody say “Wade Redden.” Redden can’t help our club. He can only make it worse. Sheldon Souray is a Tier II type, that is overpaid. But, I’ve never had a love for him, either. Ranallo10, any ideas on a bad contract that the Thrashers, with ample cap room, could trade for? See anyone in the Top 10 that you see as a future Tier I blueliner in this summer’s draft? Anybody that you envision might be put on waivers, strictly because of salary issues?

Joe Friday

March 7th, 2011
5:57 pm

“The problem is on the other end of the ice … Atlanta has given up 214 goals!”

Bingo. Which is why I have said, especially given the dearth of UFA talent up front this summer, the moves to make are:

Sign Bieksa or Ehrhoff
Move Buf to first line RW
Sign a free agent center
Move Kane to first line LW

Skate Ladd, Little, Wheeler as your 2nd pair

All moot unless they get a coach with the ability to implement an effective scheme, and be able to manage game situations and adjust.

Red Light

March 7th, 2011
6:06 pm

Why does no one ever talk about Anton Babchuk? His last two NHL seasons (with one in the KHL mixed in) have been excellent. Signed this year for only $1.4 million and is 6-5, 215 and doesn’t take penalties. The only knock is that he doesn’t hit enough, but he’s only 26. Anyone?

2008-09 CAR 72 16 19 35 +13
2010-11 CAR/CGY 68 10 22 32 +10

Red Light

March 7th, 2011
6:07 pm

Defense is a 6-person game, not a 2- or 3-person game!

Brendan

March 7th, 2011
6:27 pm

ZAvalanche and Red Light, NHL.com has done a recap of the early returns of the trade deadline dealings. They do touch on the Stewart and Shattenkirk for Erik Johnson + 1st rounder deal. Of course, that trade requires 3 years for full analysis. Maybe longer.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=555187

Red Light

March 7th, 2011
6:27 pm

Brendan

March 7th, 2011
6:32 pm

Red Light, I’d be interested in Babchuk. Will he hit the open market, though? In the playoffs, I’ve seen teams essentially go with 4 defenders, even through overtime playoff games, where the 5/6 guys play 8 minutes all game long.

Having a “1-2 punch” on that blueline isn’t something to “poo poo” or underestimate. It can’t JUSSSSSST be them. There has to be at least 4 quality defenders. But any time a team has two (2) Tier I blueliners, playing 25-26 minutes per playoff game … it is at a decided advantage. Pronger-Niedermayer. Stevens-Daneyko. Etc.

Brendan

March 7th, 2011
6:33 pm

If I’m Nashville, I don’t contemplate letting Shea Weber go. Re-sign him, for whatever it costs.

Red Light

March 7th, 2011
7:08 pm

• Suter-Weber • Girardi-Staal • Pronger-Carle • Rafalski-Lidstrom • Chara-Seidenberg • Whitney-Gilbert
• Seabrook-Keith • Giordano-Bouwmeester etc. etc.

Brendan

March 7th, 2011
7:11 pm

Red Light, what do you think about a move to get goaltender Craig Anderson as a UFA in the offseason? I like Chris Mason, but I think Anderson could be an upgrade, if he were willing to come here. Mason can be bought out, waived, or packaged as sweetener in a trade.

ZAvalanche

March 7th, 2011
8:18 pm

Brendan, thanks for the article. In the end, I think it was the right move for the Avs. A top defender is a lot harder to find than an above average forward. Will take years to see who wins in this. I hope both do though.

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
8:48 pm

R/L I think Babchuck “toils” in the sense that he just goes about his job with no fanfare. Is he an UFA this year? Babchuk is kinda like Shaone Morrisson, same kind of player just does his job while few people, other than yourself, notice much at all.

Goals against-we have talked about this on and off all year. My disappointment in Ramsay has been his inability to implant his defensive skills as a player into this Thrashers’ team. You would think Craig Ramsay the player would out defense-first as a coach. That’s not been the case this season at all.

Let’s face it folks, Pavs was lights out the first 1/3 of the season, he stole more than Bernie Madoff. When Pavs came back to Earth, there was nobody there to bail this team out. Our defensive zone coverage is the worst in the league, hence too many goals given up-just look at the 2 Miami scored Saturday night when we should have locked up the win.

I am with you Joe Friday, time to ditch the Buff experiment on defense. He belongs on right wing, with Stewart on 4th line R/W-Thorburn deserves to be on 3rd line R/W.

Brendan-Craig anderson would be an excellent addition, but I think he wants No 1 goalie time and money. Nice deal by Ottawa, getting anderson on a 13 game trial. I am on the fence on Shea Weber, especially what it would take to get him here or anywhere. Joe’s suggestion of Kevin Bieksa suits me just fine.

KLS1

March 7th, 2011
9:47 pm

This team is currently and has been for 2 months playing worse than any team in the league. That, unfortunately, is not likely to change in the last 16 games. Particularly in dramatic enough fashion to make the playoffs.

At least we had a 20 game stretch where it was fun to be a Thrasher’s fan…better than the last 3 years huh?

Brendan

March 7th, 2011
9:47 pm

Well, if Craig Anderson is unattainable, what do you think of Marty Biron or Leighton? Leighton, just last season, took the Flyers to the Finals, along with Biron. I’m saying … as a backup, of course. Pavelec is our # 1.

Brendan

March 7th, 2011
9:49 pm

Capitals have a 4-on-3 PP, in overtime, vs. the Bolts. Game tied, 1-1. 1:16 left before the shootout. Why do I find myself rooting for Tampa Bay?

World Be Free

March 7th, 2011
10:02 pm

KLS1-yeah you kinda nailed it right on the head.

Brendan-Leighton or Marty? Are either of these guys an upgrade over Cueball (Chris Mason)? I would go for Biron, but I am not sure if he is signed for another year in New York. Be nice if we had selected a goalie 3-4 years ago and developed him on an AHL team we controlled, or at least had some influence over their direction. Duds, get the boys out of Chicago!

Brendan

March 7th, 2011
10:07 pm

ZAvalanche, remember … St. Louis might appear like the “winner” of that trade for the first 2 years, but if Erik Johnson, for the next 5 years or more, is logging 25 minutes a game … and that 1st rounder (via the Blues) turns into Anything … you’ll see it as a win for Colorado.

In the end, a forward that bounces from bottom six forward to top six forward … compared to a 1st overall, Tier I, first-pairing defenseman … is a deal you’d take every time. That’s a win, over the longhaul. A good trade is one in which both teams get what they want/need. This Blues-Avs trade might be just that. St. Louis needs to start winning again next season. Not that Colorado doesn’t need to win. But, the Avs have two Cups and four (4) trips to the CF over the last 15 or so years. St. Louis has a President’s Trophy and one (1) trip to the CF in that time. Plus, the Blues are Cupless in their history. The natives must be getting restless. How many YEARS have the Blues been rebuilding? Their last playoff series win came in 2002, versus the Chicago Blackhawks. Since the Lockout, the Blues made the playoffs once, and shot like a rocket from 13th to 6th place in the second half of the season, only to get swept out, quickly, by Vancouver. The Blues are a proud franchise. They deserve to have more to show for their rebuilding than what they’ve got, at least in terms of the standings. Blues fans have my sympathy. Wouldn’t every Blues fan … trade 10 straight years of playoffs for one (1) Stanley Cup season? I would.

Brendan

March 7th, 2011
10:23 pm

WBF, I think there’s potential for Biron over Mason as a backup. I’d like Craig Anderson, though. Not too sure how Pavelec would see that move. Hopefully, he’d welcome it, as Anderson, as a backup, is pretty good depth in net.

Iron League 13

March 7th, 2011
10:47 pm

This team squandered the best chance at earning points by losing so many games they should have won. I’m tired and honestly didn’t double check, but I’m guessing there’s just sixteen games left judging by Rawhide’s noting of up to 32 pts. to be had. Not a chance, anyone getting optimistic by a win over FLORIDA (for cryin’ out loud) is reminiscent of those who thought that the Chicago acquisition was going to catapult us into the playoffs. Just sayin’. This season is O-VER.

WBF – Fully agreed on all the posts of yours I read.

Real Fan

March 7th, 2011
11:17 pm

Bogo was young when he came here. Bogo is still young, only 20. He has all the physical attributes. He skates well. Let him develop.
Kane was young when he came here. Kane is still young, only 19. He has all the physical attributes. He skates well. Let him develop.
Burmistrov was young when he came here. Burmistrov is still young, only 19. He skates well. He needs more strength. Put him in the weight room for a couple of years. Let him develop.
All is well. No need to panic.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 8th, 2011
5:24 am

@Brendan: I’ll be watching where Jovanovski, T. Kaberle, Bieksa, and Brewer all end up in the offseason, hopefully one can be convinced to come aboard. They’ll come at a cost, but that’s where I feel the first bit of money should be spent. I also wouldn’t be opposed to Ehrhoff or Hannan, but both strike me as a second pairing defender.

I wouldn’t deal Bogosian.

@Joe Friday: I would agree with that line of thinking.

@Rawhide: They’re the best, thanks.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 8th, 2011
5:26 am

Oh yeah I forgot to mention, Brian Campbell isn’t worth acquiring. I wouldn’t want to take his contract off of Chicago’s hands despite having the cap room to absorb it.

Red Light

March 8th, 2011
7:22 am

Campbell has had his best year in several seasons. Anderson was unreal last season, but remember he was once a very good back-up before emerging in Colorado. There are a lot of teams that need goaltending help but you never replace one bald guy with another. It’s bad form. Kind of like Telly Savalas in for Yul Brenner.

Babchuk is a younger version of Kubina who can skate.

Anyone else notice this curious transaction yesterday? The Thrashers assigned Akim Aliu to Peoria, the Blues AHL affiliate that resides two points in the standings behind their own affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. But, very curious is the fact the Gladiators had just won six games in a row to finally get into playoff position, and they yank Aliu away from them?

Customer service, there’s a spill in the affiliate aisle!

Alan R.

March 8th, 2011
7:26 am

JF – I get it.

Honestly, I’d like to see Byfuglien moved back to forward, one of these days. Time is nigh for the experiment to end. Then again, we also end up looking silly paying that much for a forward.

Bygones.

As for the coach, I don’t think any changes, personnel wise, will be made. At least, not with a sale pending. New ownership isn’t going to want to have that hanging over them as well. What will happen, if anything at all happens, is a role reversal. Torch will be passed, so to speak, and Ramsay will assume assistant duties.

Just can’t see Atlanta firing another coach. Especially while Dudley is on the job.

Ranallo – Welcome back! Missed ya around here!

Red Light

March 8th, 2011
7:35 am

There is no way you relieve Ramsay, replace him with Torchetti, and then have Ramsay remain as the lead assistant. That simply makes no sense, and if it did happen, that would provide more “Sage” ammunition that things have not changed one iota with this franchise. That would be the bumblingest move of all time to coin a phrase.

jimbo

March 8th, 2011
7:54 am

A former boss once told me to “Recognize and deal with Realtiy”. As much as I anguish about our team, the reality is that we are playing sub par hockey and have too many teams to nudge out to get that 8th spot. This has been one sorry slide and I put the major blame on Ramsey’s failure to adjust his approach and strategy. At the start of the season, I could not believe that he let Buff call the shots on where he plays depite the REALITY that he was a unique force around the net. And, when we started to slide after New Years, we stayed with the same game plan. Try to fly up the wings, shot from wide angles but play little or no defense in the neutral zone. Other teams have learned to let us roam around but close the middle. Then, they push our defensemen around when they need to muck up a goal from in close. And, we have apparently chosen to refrain from any physical stuff. We are a sizeable team with little grit and a clueless coach. Next Stop- Lotteryville. VERY SAD.

Dwayne

March 8th, 2011
8:13 am

We will be in 12th place after tonight dammit!!!!!

Zoomo

March 8th, 2011
8:36 am

World Be Free

March 8th, 2011
8:46 am

Not sure who won the Colorado-St. Louis trade, but I give both GMs credit for making the deal-that took guts; The St. Louis fans have been chirping about Johnson, stating he is not physical enough for his size. It’s difficult to be overly physical any play at a high level for 25-30 minutes/game over a full season, not too many guys can do that. Maybe going to the Avs will be a new beginning, new expectations for Johnson. Both teams looked good when the came to Atlanta earlier this season, too bad they have both fallen back.

Brendan-one thing about Biron is he a good with the media, the guy never shuts up. Marty is a good guy, though I just don’t see him as a big improvement on Mason. We don’t know if Mason has influenced Pav’s improved play either.

Iron League-thanks your thoughts. Just trying to contribute and talk hockey.
Real Fan-I agree we should be patient, but the problem here in Atlanta is the pressure to win now. 11 mostly bad seasons have tried the patience of a dwindling fan base. Few of us really want to trade Bogosian, but he is the one piece we have right now that might bring a nice return. So the question is, trade and improve now or hold on with the hope of improvement. Like playing cards, hold ‘em or fold ‘em.

The only way you flip Torch into the head coach’s position is if you reassign Ramsay into another position in the hockey department. You can’t flip coaches, that would be like getting divorced, remarried and leaving your ex-wife in the basement. I think I used that analogy before, it sure fits in this case.

Alan R.

March 8th, 2011
9:07 am

RL – I get that. But it’s either stick with Rammer, or demote him to associate. Dudley isn’t going to kick someone like Rammer out all willy nilly like.

You and I are both on the same page, as far as the logic behind such a move is concerned (insomuch that there is no logic); however, everyone calling for Rammer’s head doesn’t seem to understand that he’s not going anywhere. Well, either they don’t understand it, or they’re just spewing stuff for the sake of taking up space.

Smoothie

March 8th, 2011
9:39 am

Director of Player Personnel Ramsay has a nice ring to it eh?

Actually it doesn’t but that could be the next step for a “smooth” transition to Torch as Head Coach. I’m a little concerned though. Just now Torchetti realizes it was time to break up the pairings and put Toby with Bogosian? IDK, perhaps Torch has been clamoring for this change for some time now, but the injury to Tobias and Buff’s terrible slump perhaps made them gunshy on making a drastic change. Bogey needs Toby and Ron H needs to earn his salary. We have nothing more to lose.

Red Light

March 8th, 2011
9:45 am

Jay Bouwmeester, the Flames defenseman, who has withstood a career-long playoff drought, now has played 621 regular season contests without a shot at the postseason. He is the current leader of most regular season games played without a playoff appearance and could complete the season with 635 games before the streak may finally end. By the way, he hasn’t missed a regular season game since March 3, 2004, a streak of 492 straight games.

The others looking for their first NHL playoff appearance!
Stephen Weiss 546 games
Ron Hainsey 472 games
Keith Ballard 447 games

Smoothie

March 8th, 2011
9:51 am

Sounds like J-Bouw would fit right in here in the town where playoff hopes and dreams go to die! And Dudley drafted him afterall, right?

Man, has anyone looked at Calgary’s recent drafting history? Absolutely brutal. Perhaps Dudley can entice his old cohort into making a drastic change. While J-Bouw has always been on the slightly overrated side, I for one would love to have him here in A-town.

Red Light

March 8th, 2011
10:02 am

Torchetti huh?

The longest he has ever held any position was as an assistant coach in Chicago for 3 seasons, and he was so revered there that the Blackhawks let him come here without a fight? Was an interim coach twice for a total of 39 games at the NHL level. The only guy to give him a job in the NHL is Dudley, except for the one season he spent with the Kings in 2005-06.

His head coaching resume…
Head coach of the San Antonio Iguanas of the Central Hockey League: two seasons
Head coach of the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League: two seasons
Head coach of the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League: one season
Head coach of the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League: one season

Anderson was a head coach for 11 straight seasons in the AHL, and everyone couldn’t wait until he left town.

Yeah, sure, sign him up. Isn’t he the same guy that runs the defensive corps that everyone is so enamored with?

Red Light

March 8th, 2011
10:03 am

Smoothie: In retrospect, Lehtonen or Bouwmeester?

World Be Free

March 8th, 2011
10:23 am

Red Light-you missed your calling cuz you can sure make a case. I did think it was odd that the Black Hawks let Torch go so easily.
Lehtonen or Bouwmeester? Not sure either guy could have been successful in this dysfunctional hockey organization. Bouw’s daddy would have been calling for him to be shipped back to Canada. I hope both rot in Calgary.

Red Light

March 8th, 2011
10:26 am

WBF: After spending two terms (Carter’s and Reagan’s) as an undergrad , I couldn’t see going through another three years of school.

Smoothie

March 8th, 2011
10:28 am

R/L – as you know, I’d prefer a complete overhaul, but we’re not going to get that under Dudley who is loyal to his guys. Either transition this summer by kicking Ramsay into a DofPP type role or you’re going to have to can your buddy 1/2 into the season and make Torch the interim, which will probably be met with mixed results. It would be better for Torch to have the benefit of preparing to run camp the way he sees fit rather than have to pick up the pieces after a 7-12-6 start.

And in retrospect, Bouwmeester bien sur! Franchise needed a future defensive stud more than a goalie as a properly run franchise could have and would have purchased a reliable UFA goalie not named Damian Rhodes or Steve Shields. Of course, Pasi’ injury ruined the course of events and forced Lehtonen into action too soon. Obviously the kid was not mature enough to handle the big-time.

Smoothie

March 8th, 2011
10:29 am

R/L – were you the Van Wilder of your day??

Red Light

March 8th, 2011
10:47 am

I would have stayed longer for Tara Reid!

Badger Bob

March 8th, 2011
10:55 am

R/L, the Aliu transaction is a curious one. Akim is not on the Clear Day roster for the Wolves or the Rivermen, so I’m not sure how much he’ll be playing up there, but was that perhaps a warning shot that Duds is not happy with how prospects are being used in ChiTown?

Sorry to have missed you Saturday – plans changed with respect to who I brought – but will be there on Friday and will seek you out.

Red Light

March 8th, 2011
10:56 am

Badger Bob:

I was roving around Saturday, but will be in your old section Friday night! Good to hear from you.

Smoothie

March 8th, 2011
11:00 am

Pre-boob job Tara Reid!! Well, and pre-train wreck drunken, drugged out ho Tara Reid eh?

Baaadger Bob

March 8th, 2011
11:05 am

I can’t help this rosy observation in the midst of our present trials, but Wheeler/Ladd/Little actually looked like a first line on Saturday. They carried the play the way Ryan/Getzlaf/Perry do. I KNOW, it’s only one game. But here’s hoping our coaches keep one line combination together long enough that they get to implicitly know where the others will be.

R/L, will try to find you. Also I owe Smoothie a beer and a shot of JD, I believe, so I may roam up there.

Badger Bob

March 8th, 2011
11:13 am

In this lull between games, perhaps we should update the pre-season points / position predictions? Who was keeping that? My south-of-80-points prediction will require some additional tanking, but is certainly achievable.

Smoothie

March 8th, 2011
11:24 am

Baaaadger Bob – Oh snap! Do you really owe me a beer?? Hey, I can bring the bourbon if you want to take care of the pre-game beer at Gorin’s! Find me an extra tkt and we’ll all be drinking bourbon & coke for $5 (coke) at the game! – the Smooth Sheep

ZAvalanche

March 8th, 2011
11:36 am

KLS, I think the Avs have the worst record in the last 20 or so, guaranteed in the last 16 games.

Brendan, I completely agree with you on the trade. Right now it benefits St Louis more, but in the long haul I think Johnson will be a stud and I hope Stewy stays healthy for you. I also think that Shattenkirk will end up being a good D man, but don’t hold your breath, he is, what, 20 years old?

Yes, CO has seen a lot of success, those years from 96 to 2001 were amazing. Should have been 4 cups, actually, 5. The loss to Edmonton was a killer and the 2 WCF losses in game 7, by 1 goal, to to Dallas ruined my entire summer two years in a row. But the real telling fact about those teams – the owner ACTUALLY PAID

ZAvalanche

March 8th, 2011
11:39 am

Oops, sent my last message before it was done.

(continued) for real talent. probably 10 Hall of Fame players on those teams. Now, just like Thrashy, we are sitting in the bottom of the league as far as payroll. Yeah, the correlation between winning and salary is fairly obvious.

World Be Free

March 8th, 2011
11:54 am

Zavs-you get what you pay for when you look at the Thrashers’ payroll. Shattenkirk’s development may be what decides who “wins” this trade. R/L-I was in college during most of Carter’s adminstration, so I don’t remember much of went on during this period. It’s all an illusion to me now (Dylan quote).

How pumped will Kovalchuk be Friday night, after getting trounced here last time around.

Badger on Alui-exactly, right on-this is Duds’ way of saying he is not happy with how his “prospects” are being used in Chicago.

Badger Bob

March 8th, 2011
12:01 pm

ZA – Amen on winning and salary. Not a perfect correlation, as TO and NYR prove year after year, but a “statistically significant” one. Adding two defensively responsible 25-goal mid-six forwards to our mix (i.e., $6 – 8 million salary) puts Les Thrash in the middle of the league in salary, talent and standings. A$G, that’s all we are asking for (for now).

World Be Free

March 8th, 2011
12:15 pm

Nashville and Phoenix, 2 challenged franchises spect $8M+ more than the Thrashers this season. What could $8M have bought us? The playoffs maybe, some goodwill with knowledgeable hockey fans? Allota UFAs on our Southeastern Division rivals, Lightning have NO goalies signed for next season.

ZAvalanche

March 8th, 2011
12:29 pm

Badger, absolutely, the correlation is not 1, but I would definitely say .75 or greater. Kovy fell out of grace because he played zero defense – amazing skills though. He had all the tools to be one of the greats but not the mentality. Sad really. I just don’t think that this ownership will pony up for a couple of $5 mill + players, but as we all know, that discussion about the owners has been ridden hard and put away wet. Also, in the late 90s and early 2000s, the Rangers had an average payout of something like $90 mill plus and sucked. They had a bunch of prima donnas, few role players, and well, we all know how that ended – Jagr took his stick and went home. Now the rangers have picked up some guys willing to play both ends of the ice and as we all saw the other day, spanked the crap out of one of the best teams in the league. In my opinion, Thrashy needs to define itself with some brutes, in the fashion of Philly, NYR, San Jose, and VAN. Look at those teams and tell me they don’t go out ready to roll. They all play to hit and hit to play. Those of you who have played know what I am talking about.

As for the Devils: I think they will make it, Brodeur (as much as I hate him and yes, Roy is still my preference) was stunning. That being said, I think they peaked too soon. Yes, it is necessary to make the post season, but they won”t stand up to the 1 or 2 seed in the East in a series. Could it happen? Absolutely. A hot goalie in the playoffs is a very dangerous thing and Marty has had some rest. Boston and Philly – take note, this could get ugly.

World Be Free

March 8th, 2011
12:46 pm

Zavs-you wonder how much gas the Devils will have left int he tank for playoffs after this amazing run.

ZAvalanche

March 8th, 2011
12:52 pm

WBF, I really do wonder how they will do. Do I think they will flop? Yeah, to hard to keep a streak like that going. At the same time, could they? That could also happen. Marty has shown he can carry a team and if everything lines up for him he is going to be very hard to score on.

Thrashers27

March 8th, 2011
1:11 pm

Anybody heard any scuttlebutt about Slater’s return? Sure would be nice to have his wheels on the ice again. Maybe he could pull the boys out of the funk they’ve been in since he went down.

tonyb

March 8th, 2011
1:19 pm

Have you heard the story that Phoenix is heading to Winnipeg, and that Atlanta is going to Quebec City? Well, maybe not.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news;_ylt=Aqv9ABtfXf_o6Q2NgQWgieN7vLYF?slug=montgaz-ca-4387192

Col Klink

March 8th, 2011
1:41 pm

I know nutting about Herr Slater, but I do know Bruder Buff iz not heading to zee Raleigh.

World Be Free

March 8th, 2011
1:58 pm

Zavs-I just think the devils have had the pedal down for so long that they may run out of gas. On the other hand, they may carry the hot hand deep into the post season. Never know.

T27-have heard nothing-never thought I would say that the Thrashers miss Slater; his energy has been missing on this listless team.

alex

March 8th, 2011
2:01 pm

who is Slater? why we depend of him? why Detroit keep winning no matter datsyk or zettenberg on the ice. hawks still OK without hossa and toews. at best slatter with all respect 3 liner. i don’t like ours chances if we going to depend of slatter in the future eff the future for nhl here. think slatter not going to find job in approx. 20 – 24 teams, but Atlanta. hey dud please bring some nhl players here.

Russian

March 8th, 2011
2:47 pm

**to alex**
You are absolutely right. If Atlanta Thrashers could not win a games without 4 -th line player this team will not go anywhere. They will stay in bottom of NHL and always play for Lottery pick. :-(

Spud Webb

March 8th, 2011
3:07 pm

Smoothie: In retrospect, Lehtonen or Bouwmeester?
RedLight, I swear to you man, we were at that Dave & Busters off Pleasant Hill for that draft, a buddy of mine and me, we were JACKED up about getting Bouwmeester, woooooooo FINALLY we thought a STUD D MAN. Than the announcement, Chris turned and punched that stupid bird (I kid) I chucked my beer and said lets go, we’re still gonna suck. Oh and our final comments that day to ANYONE who was there from the Thrashers was “DW SUCKS”.

Sage of Bluesland

March 8th, 2011
3:54 pm

Spud–it’s even worse than you can imagine on the draft of 2002. Don’t trust my word on it–and do some research, but we SHOULD have had Rick Nash with our 2nd pick.

Why? How is that possible? Nash went first overall, right?

Like I said, do the research…but here is how it went. Florida had that top pick and ONLY moved out of it via trade with Columbus upon receiving our guarantee that we wouldn’t take Bouwmeester with our pick. If we balk at it, Florida stays put and takes the player they covet….leaving Nash to us.

Of course, Don Waddell wanted Lehtonen all along–and was more than happy to help out a fellow GM. See, he’s a nice-guy and all.

I wanted Nash then–and saw the drafting of a teen Euro-goalie for what it effectively was: a play for much-needed time. The kid provided years worth of excuses on ‘waiting’ for his development while the rest of the ‘Legends of Blueland’ were a perpetual disappointment.

This topic comes up about twice per year–and it never fails to have an ignorant sheep proclaim that we couldn’t have had Nash, as he went first overall….He went first, to Columbus, because we greased the skids with Florida.

It was on this fine day in June, 2002 that confirmed what I had suspected: We were being run by an incompetent buffoon.

Sage's Mom

March 8th, 2011
3:59 pm

An incompetent baffoon AND he doesn’t return my son’s e-mails. Tsk, tsk!

HookyBob

March 8th, 2011
3:59 pm

One of the things that still gives me hope for this season is that when Pavs came back after his opening night injury/episode he played “lights out.” His 95%+ save rate led to a nice string of Thrasher wins. Can he repeat this upon his return? Any word on when he’ll be back? Who is starting against the Canes?

That takes care of one problem,…however we still need to score more than 2 goals/game (or whatever the recent trend has been). What adjustments are in order here?

Sadly, even if I upgrade my vote to 17-24 more points yet this year we end up on the outside looking in.

So, I’m now focusing more on the rest of the league to gauge which two teams will battle for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Who’s your choice to meet in the finals?

None-the-less, here’s lifting my glass in a toast for lots of Thrasher’s victorys (and goals from captain Ladd).

Col Klink

March 8th, 2011
4:42 pm

Sage’s Mom has really got it goin’ on!! Yeeah babay!

Tobias

March 8th, 2011
4:55 pm

Jag saknar min polerar kompis på onsdag natt

World Be Free

March 8th, 2011
5:15 pm

Sage-thanks for reminding, I was trying to forget that “one fine day” in Atlanta sports history. The problem is we have so many other days simlilar to that one!

Brendan

March 8th, 2011
6:38 pm

If the choice were really Bouwmeester or Lehtonen, back in 2002, I’d have taken Bouwmeester. As a general rule, D-men take 3-4 years to develop, while goalies take 5 years. But, as Sage points out, there was NEVER, EVER a chance that we’d get Bouwmeester in that 2002 Draft. Either we get Nash at # 2 or we get Lehtonen at # 2. And truthfully, The Blue Jackets would have given us pick # 30 to go get Jim Slater, provided that we didn’t pick Nash, allowing Columbus to snag him at # 3 overall. I’m sure Waddell would have fallen for that one, too. After all, he wants to play “nice in the sandbox” as a disadvantaged GM, hoping that others will toss him a bone, in his time of need. Interesting theory.

I like Bouwmeester. But if he went 1st overall, as planned, I’m not sure that people wouldn’t call him a “disappointment.” The expectations of being a 1st overall are so very high. That player is expected to place the franchise up on his shoulders … and carry it. Sometimes, it actually works out that way. The only way I’d ever trade a 1st overall pick of a draft … is if I’m getting a key, missing piece, while at the same time, being close to winning the Cup. It’s almost an impossible situation, as usually, a team drafting 1st overall is coming off a league worst season. But, as we’ve seen, in the case of the Boston Bruins, they got the 2nd overall pick (via Toronto) after coming off a playoff year, and this season (2011) just may wind up being the # 1 seed in the East. So, it can happen that a Stanley Cup contender also owns a high-end lottery pick, maybe even a 1st overall selection. Suppose the Bruins needed a goalie? (They don’t, it’s a hypothetical. Everyone relax.) And Hasek were still in his prime. They might just trade that 1st overall to get him, to make sure the Bruins win the Cup, to replace the memories of 1972.

Absent that kind of scenario, you take somebody at 1st overall. And the best strategy, inside the lottery draft, is to take the BEST OVERALL PIECE OF TALENT, IRRESPECTIVE OF TEAM NEED. You can always trade it later on, ideally, for a King’s randsome. If the Bruins have two studs in Rask and Thomas, but the # 1 or # 2 overall “consensus” pick says there’s a “can’t miss” goalie in that draft, you take the goalie. And in that case, it actually makes more sense, since that goalie is 5 years away from being NHL-ready. That’s time for Tim Thomas to move on and Tuukka Rask to have a fine understudy. Etc.

World Be Free

March 8th, 2011
8:11 pm

I agree Brendan-if you are taking #1, 2 or 3 for that matter-you take the best player available.

Red Light

March 8th, 2011
10:18 pm

Interesting Q & A with Bettman about the Phoenix situation, the bond issue and the Goldwater Institute!

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=53&id=101896

Red Light

March 8th, 2011
10:25 pm

Thrashers saved from 12th place ignominy by the Ottawa Senators who beat the Devils 2-1. Leafs add a point in an OT loss versus the Isles and the Sabres lose at Pittsburgh. Panthers within 2 points and the Isles are now within 3 points of the 11th spot.

Really ugly result of a Chara hit on Pacioretty. Tough to watch as his head hit the stantchion near the Habs bench. Pacioretty has gone to the hospital obviously but he was awake and his eyes were bright.

Brendan

March 8th, 2011
10:31 pm

What a strange night in the NHL. Florida takes out Chicago, in REGULATION TIME. The NY Islanders come up with an OT win over the Leafs. Toronto gets the ‘pity point.’ And the “red hot” Devils, AT HOME, lose to the last place Senators, 2-1, IN REGULATION TIME. NJ comes away with nothing from the night’s effort, pointswise. See? See?? No such thing as “softies.”

Minnesota is up, 4-2, on Colorado. Vancouver has just tied the Coyotes, 2-2. Wait, I stand corrected. It’s now, 3-2, Canucks in the lead over Phoenix. Penguins beat your Sabres, WBF, 3-1. Buffalo held a 1-0 lead in this game.

Philadelphia is off the schneid, with a 4-1 pasting of the Oilers. Montreal spanked the Bruins pretty good, 4-1. It was 4-0, at one point. So, the Isles, Leafs, Senators, and Panthers all gained ground on your Atlanta Thrashers tonight. I think the Panthers are now within 2-points of Atlanta.

Tony C

March 9th, 2011
2:23 am

World Be Free

March 9th, 2011
7:37 am

Red Light-Listening to Mike Milbury defend Chara saying” The way the rink was contructed isn’t Zdeno Chara’s problem”. People need to stop defending Chara, he’s a heck of a player, a 30-minute guy but people need to stop defending him when an opposing player gets hurt. People may not agree with me on that, but that’s the way it is. TV networks have to come to the realization that Milbury is an idiot. He was a thug as a player and a disaster as a general manager, so who would think he would be better as a commentator.

glovesave29

March 9th, 2011
8:14 am

RL – This sale to Hulsizer stinks. If he wants to own a pro sports team with a brand new arena, then he has to accept some risk and pay his own money. That the state is coming in to issue bonds so that he can buy the team is just wrong. That the bond is being supported by parking fees is just silly. The poor people of PHX are probably going to be charged $50 parking per game. Sounds silly, but that money is going to have to come from somewhere. You better damn well believe that some entrepreneur is going to but a nearby plot of land and offer parking for much less, making the bond worthless. I hate to see a city lose its team. But this deal is just wrong on so many levels…and one the NHL would never allow had they not taken over ownership last year. I gotta agree with the Goldwater Institute on this one. All they are doing is making the lawmakers pass the laws that THEY THEMSELVES have enacted.

Yup – Milbury seems to be blessed with a short memory. Kinda like listening to Matt Millen critique NFL games (that has too kill Lions fans). Go back and forth on the hit, he did seem to ease up on Pacioretty, but I think he was certainly aware of where he was on the ice. Did he ease up so that he’d receive a lesser penalty? Only ZC knows….

Disagree on the Slater comment. Every team in the league wan’t a guy like Slater. A gritty two way player who has speed to burn and wins a LOT of faceoffs.

Go Thrashers

POM POM

World Be Free

March 9th, 2011
8:26 am

Glovesave-Yeah I kinda cringe when I hear Matt Millen talk too. We also have Bobby Valentine in baseball, to a lesser degree. It is too easy for some people to dismiss Chara because of his size, he is bigger than every other player in the league. Therefore, his size on a hit matters more than any other player in the league and he should be held accountable for what he does. The argument that he is not responsible for his size or the way a rink is designed is absurd. Like I said, some may disagree with me, but that’s how I see it. At some point, there has to be some accountability, that’s what the NHL has been missing for some time, accountability.

Red Light

March 9th, 2011
8:46 am

Kevin Weekes made a good point about the hit, that if Chara had take one r two more strides that he would have cut him off from the play anyhow, and Pacioretty would not have been in any danger. I think it was just an unfortunate circumstance and Chara shouldn’t be admonished for it. I’ve seen much worse this year, but that stanchion has to go. I’ve seen it happen twice now in the past few years. Just awful to watch.

Alright, since we know our esteemed host is going to post a new blog soon, why don’t we discuss the worst TV play-by-play commentator that you have heard in the NHL, and then the worst color man, and the worst in-studio host?

Worst play-by-play: John Shorthouse (Vancouver)
Worst color commentator: Nails on a chalkboard for me…Pierre McGuire
Worst in studio host: Darren McCarthy

R. Stroz

March 9th, 2011
9:01 am

What bothers me is the double standard. Whenever Boris hit someone, he was hit with a penalty. However, Chara often gets a “pass” due to his size. The officiating in the NHL is subjective when it should be objective.

And while I’m discussing the officiating, the number of teams using “moving picks” is unbelievable. What happened to the post lockout interference calls?

Alan R.

March 9th, 2011
9:43 am

Nice to see the blog server is back up and running. It’s been down for at least 30 minutes.

Smoothie

March 9th, 2011
9:47 am

Stroz – right on, there is a terrible double standard in this league. As for Milbury, guy is a freakin’ dunderhead and the only reason he’s on TV is because he is a lighning rod. We should only be so lucky.

Play happened pretty fast, but when you think about it, Chara probably knows where he is on the ice when delivering that hit. But instead of letting up a bit and playing it with his hip, he got his arm up and helped drive his head (although he may not have been intending for that sort of hit) into the stanchion.

But WBF is right, there must be accountability, both on the part of the player and the league to do something about eliminating such dangerous hits. Perhaps it’s time to eliminate the space b/w benches and simply penalize anyone who reaches over to hit someone on another team’s bench 5 automatic games. Seems draconian, but the point is there isn’t enough “automatic” justice in hockey and the rules adjutication in the realm of questionable hits is way too arbitrary and thus counter-productive to enforcement IMO.

moriler

March 9th, 2011
9:55 am

I can’t believe that the doofi doing the commentary for the Make Believes didn’t go back and reference Claude Lemieux’ hit on Draper back in ‘96 — it was the exact same scenario (face driven into the stanchion), except that Chara obviously didn’t go out of his way to do it like Lemieux did.

I never expect much from Milbury, but sheesh. Stupid Tronna annooncers.

World Be Free

March 9th, 2011
10:09 am

The worst play by play announcer is Pete Weber of the Predators. Weber was buried on Buffalo AM radio for about 30 years before getting the Nashville job. He used to go on radio and argue with every caller, including me! The guy is an idiot.

Worst color commentator-Darren Pang, cuz I am sick of his whiny little voice. Panger needs to take a chill pill. Hate to say it, but Harry Neale the Sabres’ color commentator seems like he’s asleep for most of the games.

Worst studio? don’t know because I rarely watch the studio guys. I am sure ALL the NHL studio guys are better than the college football idiots at ESPN.

Worst team-those 2 total losers that call the Miami Panthers’ games.

The worst

Red Light

March 9th, 2011
10:23 am

Steve Goldstein and former Thrasher Bill Lindsay do the Panthers games! Post #151?

Smoothie

March 9th, 2011
10:23 am

Kevin Weekes should be doing more color and less studio. Not that he’s not good in the studio but his passion and excitement for the game bleeds through the screen when he calls a game. He’s not over the top, he just expresses his appreciation in a very enjoyable manner similar to the way Red Light gets excited about career of Zach Bogosian! ;)

Seriously though, I love Weekesie, and Randy Hahn is the best play by play guy hands down. Gets equally excited (at least it appears that way) when the other team scores as when the Sharks do. Forslund is a close second for me, but I don’t like a few of his inflections, but compared to Benninati or Jeanneret’s inflections, he’s as cool as the other side of the pillow. I don’t mind Pete Weber so much, but he’s definitely a homer. Can’t stand the guy who does PBP for the Blues…talk about a whiny homer. He makes Panger look fair and balanced! And lastly, I think one of the more underrated PBP guys is the one in Florida, but can’t remember his name. I like his voice for some reason. Okay, one last one, is it just me or is Sam Rosen practically un-listenable these days? God I hate his voice.

Red Light

March 9th, 2011
10:25 am

“them is fighting words Smoothie!”

‘Okay, one last one, is it just me or is Sam Rosen practically un-listenable these days? God I hate his voice.’

glovesave29

March 9th, 2011
10:26 am

WBF – I’m tired of Mike Emrick. Every year at the conclusion of the SCF he uses the same line about how time passes…..yaaaawn.

Truth be told, I am not really much of a Dan Kamal fan either. Nice guy, really knowledgeable…but it seems so scripted. Guess I am old school – growing up on Jiggs McDonald and Dan Kelly. Mike Lange of the Pens is good, but I am biased there because we went to the same college.

Smoothie – just saw it again ad nauseum on NHL on the fly from some different angles. Chara’s head was clearly up and he was aware of where he was…then drove Pacioretty face first into the turnbuckle. I’d like to see the NHL step up and suspend players for injuring others (when intentional, of course – incidental injuries happen) equal to the amount of time a player is out of action due to the injury.

Smoothie

March 9th, 2011
10:28 am

Goldstein! That’s it. Don’t know why I like him so much. Perhaps he reminds me of all the geeky pseudo-Jews I hung out with in HS who loved sports like I did. I swear half my HS was black and the other half pretended not to be Jewish. j/k

Smoothie

March 9th, 2011
10:30 am

Ha ha! As if we haven’t sparred verbally before! ;) Rosen sounds like he’s about to have a stroke at any second. Jeanneret just sounds drunk.

No surprise then that I like Emrick and you’re sick of him. Although I do grant you that he’s a bit artificially hyped up for NBC games. If I had to call games with that moron Chico Resch, I’d be a bit more somber for the Devils telecasts as well.

glovesave29

March 9th, 2011
10:48 am

Ive got the 1989 SCF game 6 on DVD. Emrick’s in the Flames locker room next to Jim Peplinski making the EXACT same comments on SportsChannel that he does on NBC today. Jeez – come up with SOMETHING new!

ZAvalanche

March 9th, 2011
10:50 am

Serious lack of talent coming out of the casting booth these days. It is not uncommon for me to turn the tv volume off and listen to the Mose on The Fan in Denver. Much better stuff. Don’t if any of you have ever heard an Avs telecast with Mike Haynes and Peter McNabb – it is BAD. I honestly don’t mind Thrashy’s announcers too much. And I think we can all use a bit more of Don Cherry :)

Red Light

March 9th, 2011
10:55 am

Redundancy kills, and these guys are the kings of it!

Joe Beninati
John Shorthouse
Joe Bowen
Mike Haynes
Bob Cole
Mike Emrick
Jack Edwards
Mark Lee

Smoothie

March 9th, 2011
11:00 am

R/L – you forgot Matt McConnell and the Matty Mac drinking game!

Red Light

March 9th, 2011
11:03 am

And, while we’re at it…outlandish goal calls or “big save” calls in virtually meaningless games get my goat.

Down 3-0 and your team scores with five minutes left in the 3rd, and the (insert team name here) are still alive. In a game in October, please!

Or, how about? ‘this is a crucial game for the (insert team name here) as they are fighting for their playoff lives.’ Really? We didn’t check the standings before watching the game?

R. Stroz

March 9th, 2011
11:04 am

Chara knew what he was doing, although the intent was probably a broken collarbone.

Since Colin Campbell’s son plays on the Bruins, I expect NO punishment for Chara. Can’t jeopardize Jr.(Gregory) getting his name on the Cup. However, it is a matter of time before someone takes out Gregory Campbell as payback. Whoever has the fortitude to do so will be hit with a year long suspension.

R. Stroz

March 9th, 2011
11:07 am

The announcer who bugs me the most is the guy in Boston. I don’t know his name, other than Homer Deluxe. Every time I hear that putz, I just wish Barney Frank was a hockey fan and would take care of the situation.

World Be Free

March 9th, 2011
12:01 pm

Smoothie, if I am not mistaken the PBP guy in St. Louis is Dan Kelly’s son. Weber makes me sick because I have listened to his incompetence most of my life. His sidekick Terry Crisp is a chump too!

Glovesave, big Mike Lange fan-he proves you can be good without being over emotional. He is very knowledgeable about all the opposing players, we doesn’t just talk about the home team. Bob Errey is a good sidekick for him too. Jiggs McDonald called an Islander game last week, I watched the game just to hear his call. Smoothie-you are right on about Chico Resch – he is horrible!

So we just pointed out the 2 reasons why the newer guys are not as good-
1) They have little knowledge of the opposition.
2) Too many homers screaming into the microphone

Mickey Redmond was excellent when he was with Hockey Night in Canada in the 80’s-he is the BIGGEST homer now, can’t stand him anymore.

Rawhide

March 9th, 2011
12:02 pm

OK gang…even with the Devils losing last night, the distance between the Thrashers and Lotterypick continues to shrink. He’s a new blog to discuss that and tonight’s game in Carolina.

World Be Free

March 9th, 2011
12:11 pm

Stroz-Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley do the Broones games-Brickley is the idiot with the chowder-head accent. Versus sometimes uses Brickley, for what reason I don’t know.

Some may believe I am being hypocritical of Chara because I favor the physical game. But players also have to be held accountable; that’s all I am calling for. Chara knew what he is doing and he shouldn’t be let off the hook by old-schoolers who claim it’s “part of the game”. Clean hits are part of the game, taking your man out – but not what Chara and other players are doing in the league today. He weighs 260# and knows one of his hit’s is going to carry more “weight” than a hit by a smaller man. Judge the intent of the hit, don’t excuse the size of the man.

Stroz is right-there’s a big carpet at the league office that has alotta dirt under it-the aftermath of Chara’s check will be swept under the rug by the end of the day-that will be that.