Thrashers finally find way to beat the Hurricanes

Once more the Thrashers drug the Carolina Hurricanes into overtime, just as they had three times in the previous four meetings. Once more their personal tormentor, Erik Cole, scored a big goal against them late in the game…this time on a break away after jumping off the bench to tie the game a two with 7:39 remaining in the third. But, unlike in the previous meeting with the Canes this season, this time it was the Thrashers coming away with the all-important two points after Tim Stapleton scored the game-winning goal for Atlanta in overtime.

Yes, that’s right…I’m talking about Tim “You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him” Stapleton, scorer of two goals in the last five games.

Tim Stapleton celebrates his game-winning goal in Carolina Wednesday night with Evander Kane and Ron Hainsey, who assisted on the play (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Tim Stapleton celebrates his game-winning goal in Carolina Wednesday night with Evander Kane and Ron Hainsey, who assisted on the play (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

The Thrashers didn’t come by these two points easily, though. After going up 2-0 in the first period on goals by Rob Schremp and Toby Enstrom, they allowed the Hurricanes back into the game, giving up goals in the second and third. For Schremp it was his first as a Thrasher and eleventh of the season.

However, in overtime Stapleton put home a great pass from defenseman Ron Hainsey following a 2 on 1 break.

Two-goal leads are something Atlanta haven’t had to deal with lately, and their lack of practice holding them has been quite evident lately. Including Wednesday night, the Thrashers have failed to hold the last three two-goal leads they have managed to build. Last Saturday they held a 3-1 lead on Florida before being forced into overtime and last month they blew a 3-1 third period lead on their way to losing 5-3 in Edmonton.

At least these last two times they still found a way to eventually win…so maybe they’re getting the hang of it again, eh?

Ondrej Pavelec returned between the pipes after missing the last week and a half of games. He stopped 35 of 37 shots he faced and improved his record to 19-18-8. He also improved his GAA to 2.64 and his SV% to .920.

“We finally did it,” Pavelec said after the game. “I didn’t mean we didn’t play well against them in the past; we just didn’t find a way to win. Finally we did.”

The victory was the second straight after beating the Panthers in overtime last Saturday. It’s the first time they’ve put even a modest two-game win streak together since the beginning of January when they knocked off Montreal in OT and then beat the Panthers 4-2 two days later.

Making his first NHL start was defenseman Paul Postma. The seventh round pick in the 2007 draft posted 9:55 TOI during 17 shift. He blocked 2 shots, delivered one hit and took one SOG. He finished the game with an EVEN rating.

Postma played in place of Dustin Byfuglien who missed his first game of the season.

And lastly…in case you missed this, Chris Vivlamore reported Wednesday night that there are three entities in discussion to purchase the Thrashers.

In the article, Vivlamore says that team president Don Waddell “is dealing directly with the entities — two groups and one individual — who have expressed an interest in a possible purchase of only the Thrashers from the Atlanta Spirit and in keeping the team in the city. Two of the entities are from Atlanta”.

“Each group is doing their due diligence,” Waddell said.

115 comments Add your comment

Alan R.

March 10th, 2011
7:17 am

Waddell scares me, but at least there’s a lot more than just one person or group looking to acquire (at the very least) the team, with the hopes of keeping them in town. Almost certainly, a deal involving a cut of Arena profits would have to be involved.

World Be Free

March 10th, 2011
7:24 am

Can’t hold a lead-which in the end, will probably be the difference between the team having enough points to make or not make playoffs.

Also, watched Chicago/Tampa Bay last night; 2 teams with great first lines and so-so beyond their top 3. St. Louis got away with stop/start in the shootout for the win. All those who wanted to keep Kubina-he looked horrible last night. TB’s defense is pedestrian at best.

glovesave29

March 10th, 2011
7:53 am

I like to think that Waddell is in the process of negotiating himself out of a job. Lemme get it straight – there are two groups that want the whole ball of wax from ASG, and three additional that want just the Thrash?

For the first time in a loooooong time, last night the team won a game it should not have. Lets hope we can parlay that into something – cause this week is gonna be a be-hotch with NJ and PHI 2x. Lets hope the boys rise up to the occasion.

Yup Toby did get caught. Put some blame on the bench for not alerting him a player was jumping in and would be on a break. He’s human. Still take him on my team 100 times out of 100.

Saw the 3rd on of CHI / TB…nice move with the spin o rama in the SO. As much as I dislike StL and TB, I wanted the goal to stand. Things like that make the competition interesting. Not as interesting as continuing the 4 on 4 to 10 minutes instead of the inane shootout, but watchable.

lemon drop the gloves

March 10th, 2011
7:57 am

congrats to posty on his super solid NHL debut!

World Be Free

March 10th, 2011
8:00 am

Yeah Postma was pretty good-

Mr. Heat Miser

March 10th, 2011
8:02 am

2 game #WINNING streak. Was going to have to break something if Cole won it for the Canes in OT. This lead blowing has gotta stop.

jimbo

March 10th, 2011
8:11 am

Great pass by Hainsey. Good goal tending by Pavs. We’re on the brink, hanging on by the slimest of threads.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
8:14 am

I bet Bryan Little is peeved that Paul Postma is trying to steal is nickname. Can the boy hit anymore posts this year? Kid needs an easy one to stay off the milk carton!

Cliff Fletcher

March 10th, 2011
8:25 am

don’s picture and name mentioned in any ajc article—

I think we need to be prepared for a sage post sometime and it should be a doozy.

gretschdrum

March 10th, 2011
8:25 am

In Regard to the ownership and all these new potential buyers. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a sports franchise for sale that’s attracted this many buyers in this short of a time span. I count six total – the three that Waddell is dealing with, two that Vivlamore spoke of, and one that Kincade talks about. I wonder how the current owners feel when this many people believe they can run the franchise(s) better than they can? I just hope that the Spirit hasn’t messed this up to the point that when people look at their books they throw up their hands because they can’t make heads or tails of the situation. It’ll be interesting to see what the buyers have to say once the diligence period is finished. I just hope the buyers have good attorneys. They’ll need them.

Joe Friday

March 10th, 2011
8:29 am

“All those who wanted to keep Kubina-he looked horrible last night.”

I think he’s lost a step as well, which for him means turtle pace now. I wanted to re-sign him, but looks like it was the right thing to let him go. Kubina = Sopel = Stuart so that all worked out as I’d rather have Stuart now than Kubina. Good job, Duds.

Re. Dvorak, is anyone else underwhelmed by him?

“I like to think that Waddell is in the process of negotiating himself out of a job.”

Yes, that should be the first move of the new owners, but knowing Teflon Don, he’d probably be retained by the ASG to run Philips Arena and the Hawks, or something. Good for him, again, he’s a good man, just stay away from our hockey operations.

moriler

March 10th, 2011
8:32 am

The # of buyers it’s attracted in such a short time should spit in the face of Canadians who want to say hockey can’t succeed here — clearly some of these people know what they’re doing and can say “Hey, the ASG screwed the pooch, that’s why they’re losing money”.

If I had to come in sight unseen to this, I would say “Atlanta should be a great hockey town — if you get the local fan base awake, you’ll be able to backfill the games with all the transplant fans and you’ll be in good shape”. And sure enough, our record-setting (for an expansion franchise) opening season showed it… and then the ASG took over and crapped on the center dot. Screw them, they deserve to lose money.

As far as the game last night, good showing by the boys. I’m not gonna lose too much sleep over that breakaway goal, honestly: it’s a “single-split-second mistake” sort of thing, which is going to happen every so often. Much worse was Thorb’s crappy passing in our own end that led to _TWO_ sustained pressures from Carolina that Pavs had to bail us out of. Those are way, way worse, even though they got a goal off neither.

Well, two points banked. No time to worry about giving points to anyone else, either — we need to just get as many as we can and whoever falls by the wayside does so. Now, time to “win the next one”.

BLUELANDbeliever

March 10th, 2011
8:36 am

I felt that Bogo was a bit lackadaisical with the puck before the Cole goal, but ill cut him some slack considering Cole literally hopped off the bench right behind him. God I hate Erik Cole, he makes me paranoid everytime i see him on the ice.

Zoomo

March 10th, 2011
8:39 am

>> Dvorak, is anyone else underwhelmed by him?
Invisible so far, but he’s a pro and will find a way to contribute.

Postma showed glimmers of some nice skills. I was happy to see him make his debut. He’s one guy that caught my eye the very first prospect camp he attended. He just looked like a find. Big, good low shot, quick skater. Will be fun to watch to see if his development continues and he becomes a solid NHL DMan.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
8:45 am

Cole gives Kovy a run for his money in the cherry picking department. Guess Maurice is trying to victimize us as much as possible by letting him roam to get back at us for years of Kovy owning the Canes.

Waddell must be shown to the basement but only this time he can have the damn stapler!

LAC

March 10th, 2011
8:52 am

Joe you are right, Pavel looked really overmatched lat night and has looked slow a lot of the season… Any idea what his offensive nymbers are ? Bet worse than last season here.

Postma, looked solid. I liked the way he cleared a rebound after a save and a Carolina player about to get it, he simply moved the puck to the corner, like any well taught defenseman should.
He needs to have a long look the rest of the season and I bet his play next season, will lead to the departure of zach, who, yet again, cost us a goal by standing around, and NO he was NOT pinching in, he was standing at the BLUE LINE when Stillman took the puck away from him.

Solid game for the most part but Cole continued to waltz around us like we were in cement.
Why is it NOBODY will nail him with a solid check ? He can be taken off his game that way.

Lastly letting Dumb don waddell, discuss the sale of the team is like letting Momar have nukes,
it will destroy anything good that could happen. Don’t let a three year old drive a car and DON’T
let don waddell ruin the sale of the team.

World Be Free

March 10th, 2011
8:54 am

Joe-Kubina and Ohlund were paired together last night, talk about to slothes.

Michael B. Shapiro

March 10th, 2011
8:55 am

I’m with glovesave on this. Sooner the deal is done the sooner D-Wad gets his butt kicked out the back door (we can only hope). As for the Thrash, they played great the 1st period and barely showed up in the third. WTF? The team is bigger than ever before (except “the Shrimp” and “Tim, am I really in the NHL Stapleton” yet they don’t hit nearly enough for my liking. Will be at the Bulb for Friday’s game. Can we make it three in a row guys? In regulation this time?

Bluestreak

March 10th, 2011
8:59 am

Hey Mr. Hide,

What do you think of Kincade’s info on the “Balkan” wanting both teams and the arena? He seems to be the only one with the info, but he’s been dead on a couple times before so it seems like he does have insider access at some level.

Rawhide

March 10th, 2011
9:05 am

What do you think of Kincade’s info on the “Balkan” wanting both teams and the arena? He seems to be the only one with the info, but he’s been dead on a couple times before so it seems like he does have insider access at some level.

Bluestreak – It’s interesting to say the least. Really though, I don’t have any more to add to what he and C-Viv have been reporting. Like everyone else, I just hope this sale happens sooner rather than later and this franchise can finally get back to moving forward.

Fan from Carolina

March 10th, 2011
9:12 am

Good win for Atlanta. Solid but unfortunately too late again this year. The comments about Kubina and Ohlund are so true. SLOW!!! They are shells of their former excellent selves. Where would the Lightning be without Roloson? 9th? 10th? Yzerman may have made the trade of the year. The Brewer pickup was huge as well. I’ll be pulling for them in the playoffs instead of the Caps. Have to support the Southeast division.

Bluestreak

March 10th, 2011
9:13 am

Agreed. I don’t care who the new owners are as long as they keep the Thrashers the Atlanta Thrashers and put some capital into the team so we can actually bring home a championship (I’d just be happy with a playoff series win!)

SomaAtl95

March 10th, 2011
9:26 am

Beating the Devils would help build some confidence for this team, especially in the part of playing spolier for NJ’s “miracle” comeback. I’m sure after the beatdown a few months ago they want another W from our boys in Blue.
Great to see the Thrashes get another W. Hopefully they can manage some regulation wins so we can make up some lost ground.

SomaAtl95

March 10th, 2011
9:27 am

Oh and Rawhides blog is the perfect place after a Win. The trolls are MUCH harder to find.

GaVaHokie

March 10th, 2011
9:38 am

I was very impressed with Postma last night… he had a few hiccups, which was expected, but overall he was great positionally. He looked very comfortable. We’ve been struggling all year to find someone who pairs up with Hainsey, and I thought he played well with Ron.

Alan R.

March 10th, 2011
9:46 am

Food for thought: Erik Cole is a free agent on 1 July. Currently 31 years of age, and makes $2.9m.

Any takers? ;)

Russ

March 10th, 2011
9:46 am

I was very disappointed when Kubina didn’t re-sign. I can’t say I’ve watched him play a lot this year, but just looking at the numbers he seems to be doing fine. Compared to Tampa’s young stud d-man Hedman, they each have 3 goals, Hedman has two more assists, Hedman is +3 while Kubina is +2, and Hedman plays about 1:30 more per game. Like I said, I haven’t watched him a whole lot, but his numbers look solid.

james c.

March 10th, 2011
9:48 am

This is great news…PLEASE ATLANTA FANS BUY LOTS OF TICKETS TO REMAINING GAMES!!!Look at the difference it makes when the team plays before a large crowd at home or away.

Spud Webb

March 10th, 2011
9:48 am

Cole, only 31, seems like he’s been around for 20 years.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 10th, 2011
9:52 am

You totally got me again … I figured a 5:19 am post would somehow avoid getting lost due to a new blog, but them you up and post a new blog at 6:46 am EST. Jerk. I think you do this on purpose.

ZAvalanche

March 10th, 2011
9:55 am

Nice win thrashy, wish I could have seen it. And who the he!! would put DW as the MC of the discussions? Um…….yeah…….

SomaAtl95

March 10th, 2011
9:57 am

Interesting article from a Yotes fan about the constant Troll attacks (Thanks Alan for the link) http://www.fiveforhowling.com/2011/3/9/2041107/no-this-situation-is-nothing-like-winnipeg-quebec-or-hartford
Change the cities from PHX to ATL and its nearly parallel to what we have been dealing with.

ZAvalanche

March 10th, 2011
9:59 am

Great article Soma, true in nearly every aspect.

jimbo

March 10th, 2011
10:09 am

No surprise that there would be a number of suitors when 1. the current owners have demonstrated that they have absolutely no clue as to how to run and promote a professional sports franchise 2. They sound desparate to sell and 3. There is a proven demand for hockey as evidenced by the attendance in the first year of this franchise. The terms and price will obviously be the key deterinants along with league approval. All point to an optimistic end of the sorry ASG saga.

Charlie $heen

March 10th, 2011
10:09 am

The Thrashers have tiger blood dripping from their fangs.

js

March 10th, 2011
10:14 am

Hurry up and get the sale confirmed so the rest of us can buy our season tickets again.

World Be Free

March 10th, 2011
10:21 am

Cole-always liked him, good New York State boy. Seems to come up big late in games.
Kubina-I like Pavel too, was disappointed at the time when they did not resign him. But you could see the possibilty that he could lose a step. Looked awful late last night.

Hedman is a kid like Bogosian-but he is going to be a star.

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
10:31 am

Amazing thought train here. Dvorak has played in four games after playing 277 straight games in Florida. It takes time to adjust and he is not a scorer, never has been. Stuart is -3, want to get rid of him, too? Wheeler off to a good start (despite the penalties last night) but it takes time to get used to new surroundings. Need I remind you about MacArthur. These guys aren’t robots, give them a little time.

It was nice to see a well-rested Pav back between the pipes. Last night was his 23rd game in which he has made 30 or more saves, and he has a record of 11-6-6 in those games this season, with a save percentage of .969.

glovesave29

March 10th, 2011
10:36 am

I was thinking the exact same thing Alan – looking at the list of UFA’s and he’s the one I would target…other than Bryzgalov, but I gotta think that CHI or TAM will go after he and Vokoun with an open wallet.

Alan R.

March 10th, 2011
10:42 am

Glovesave – If nothing else, we pick him up, and he’ll no longer be the bane of our existence!

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
10:47 am

glovesave29

Tampa maybe, but Chicago may want to continue with Corey Crawford and keep some cap space available. He has been pretty darn good since kicking Turco to the pine. I would be shocked if Burke in Toronto doesn’t make a strong play for Bryzgalov.

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
10:51 am

Cole will stay in Carolina unless Rutherford just doesn’t want to pay him $3 million. He’s 32 and probably will take another two-year deal to stay in Raleigh. He seems very comfortable in his role there.

Iron League 13

March 10th, 2011
10:52 am

Way to go Stapleton!!! Maybe his grit goes a bit further then I ever thought, I hope so anyways. I pegged him for a career AHLer, not out of spite, but out of production and age. I think this is 2 goals in about 7-10 days. Very nice.

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
10:55 am

Sopel’s wife is opening a boutique in Chicago. Maybe he’ll take a hometown discount to be the 6th or 7th d-man there?

http://lifeofahockeywidow.typepad.com/life-of-a-hockey-widow/2011/03/the-unveiling-of-our-boutique.html

glovesave29

March 10th, 2011
11:00 am

RL – not sure Crawford is the answer. They had one on Niemi, and me thinks they have learned their lesson. If I am a free agent, I go for CHI looooong before TOR. They are up against it with regards to the cap, so a trade would definitely have to be made.

One word came to me about Postma last night – poise. And that is a nice trait in a young d. Now his playing time did diminish as the game went on and the Hurricanes kicked it up a notch – but that’s likely Rammer protecting the kid. Let’s see what the progression is this week. Anyone know when Buff is back?

Joe Friday

March 10th, 2011
11:03 am

“Dvorak has played in four games after playing 277 straight games in Florida. It takes time to adjust and he is not a scorer, never has been.”

Actually, it’s been my observation that when a new guy comes to a club, you get a quick dose of jump out of them for the first 5 games. This goes back to the days of Dean Sylvester coming up and potting a hattie for us. Then the play tails off. I know Dvorak isn’t a scorer (still trying to figure out that dang icing thing and offsides, what up with that?!?), he was brought in to play on the PK . . . underwhelmed. Shocking that’s all we could get for a Bergfors, but that speaks to Bergfors. I don’t see any future for Dvorak here.

Rawhide

March 10th, 2011
11:10 am

Food for thought: Erik Cole is a free agent on 1 July. Currently 31 years of age, and makes $2.9m. Any takers?

Alan R. – Might be worth the cost and could be worth at least 4 more wins for us in the season…because HE’S not beating us. :grin:

You totally got me again … I figured a 5:19 am post would somehow avoid getting lost due to a new blog, but them you up and post a new blog at 6:46 am EST. Jerk. I think you do this on purpose.

ranallo 10 (in AT) – Yup, you’re on to me. I wasn’t gonna post anything until lunch time today… but when I got up this morning & saw your post, I whipped together a quick post just to “ranallo” you. :cool:

On a very serious note….I cannot even begin to tell you how good it is to see you posting again here. Having you, ZAvs back…sniff…it’s kinda like old times again.

Joe McGrath

March 10th, 2011
11:12 am

Instead of winding up on a slap shot and advertiszing so an opponent can move into the shooting lane and block the shot, Postma uses a wrister and throws the puck through traffic toward an unsuspecting Ward. Outstanding.

Hockey Biltong

March 10th, 2011
11:12 am

Postma +1. Nice defensive effort. Still ungodly scary at times.I was cringing in my chair through most of the 2/3 periods.
I can’t wait for some more solidifying between teammates.
I saw TB/Chi as well. Could it be Kubina is playing hurt? He was very strong a couple of games ago on Centre Ice at home. He was never fast but he was hitting to beat the band….

Hockey Biltong

March 10th, 2011
11:14 am

Rawhide: Cole for 3 years and Nittymaki or someone similar.