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

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
11:18 am

Surprised no one is talking about Schremp getting the Bergfors treatment last nite. Score a goal early and then ride the pine for the last 25 mins of the game. I know he was on the ice for the first GA, but he didn’t seem to be that out of position. He may have been floating a bit, but when your wingers typically get too deep into the circles at the same time and it’s easy for the opposition to cycle the puck to the point, wide open shots will happen. Tough bounce for Toby on the block and right to Bodie. Thought Schremp looked great with Kaner and Stapleton on the cycle in the first half of the 2nd period so once again, Ramsay befuddles the masses.

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
11:28 am

Troy Bodie had only three shifts after his goal.

ThrasherTim

March 10th, 2011
11:32 am

Well, by Sunday, we should know if there is any real hope this season for Games 83 through 86. Nice to get a couple of wins and see the Rangers lose, by figure we need a minimum of 4 of 6 points, maybe more to realistically stay in the race. It will be painful if NJ takes us in regulation and pass us because of you know who.

I thought Stapleton played his best game so far — of course, that’s not that hard, but maybe potting a couple recently will help him free up a bit now. Speaking of freeing up, Little needs a break, doesn’t he? Someone please count the posts over the last month. Ridiculous.

Postma was both good and bad…a couple of very poor passes, but a couple of solid plays. I thought too, that he at least looked comfortable.

AtlFlamesFan

March 10th, 2011
11:34 am

I’d like to see more PP time, and ice time in general for Schremp. He has a gift of offensive instincts. His goal last night was a result of him doing what comes naturally to him. I still have not figured out what caused both Edmonton and the NYI to give up on him.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
11:40 am

R/L – and your point is? ;)

Both teams shortened their bench, but inexplicably, once again, Ramsay favors Stewart, who was dreadful last nite, Thorburn, who has been non-existent offensively, and Antropov, who refuses to shoot the darn puck. Usually, Rammer is good about a chance for redemption, already Schremp is getting not a one?

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
11:42 am

“I thought Stapleton played his best game so far — of course, that’s not that hard, but maybe potting a couple recently will help him free up a bit now.”

Stapes also made a great play getting the puck deep and feeding Kaner on the doorstep for a point blank chance. Alas, Kaner can’t buy a goal. He and Little are vying for featured billing on Bill’s milk carton.

AtlFlamesFan

March 10th, 2011
11:48 am

@Smoothie
Yeah, I didn’t play close attention, but thought that Schremp was missing. Are we trying to get rid of players who can put the puck in the net?

ThrasherTim

March 10th, 2011
11:50 am

Agree with Smoothie regarding Stewart. I thought Ramsay was supposed to be a good teacher by Stewart cannot win a board battle EVER and get the puck out of our zone. And he constantly takes his stick off the ice when trying to chase the puck in the O zone. Dude! You can’t move the puck if you can’t touch it. Ridiculous. He should be on our 3rd line at best – which is where he will likely be next year.

Russ

March 10th, 2011
11:53 am

I apparently missed what ever happened to Cormier. Can someone help me out? Is he hurt, down in Chicago, or being a healthy scratch. If the answere is anything other than hurt, I can’t believe he can’t earn a spot ahead of some of the forwards that are currently playing. If the team has already lost faith in him the return on Kovy keeps looking worse and worse.

AtlFlamesFan

March 10th, 2011
11:54 am

Totalling up the distance from the net of both of Stapletons recent goals can’t be more than 24 inches. The guy can skate in stickhandle, but couldn’t shoot the puck through a paper bag. He should have considered a career in the Ice Capades.

As for Stewart, he has the opposite problem. He can shoot the puck, but can’t do anything else with it (like stickhandler, or even catch a pass). Its got to be frustrating to the D, whenever trying to get the puck out of the zone, to pass it to Stewart, who then immediatly loses the puck.

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
12:05 pm

Cormier has an upper body injury (concussion I think) and remains sidelined.

So, it’s Jersey, at Philly, at Jersey and Philly during the next week coming off back-to-back wins for the first time since Jan. 2 & Jan. 5.

Including this season, the Thrashers are 38-44-10 vs. Atlantic Division teams during the past five seasons, 4-5 vs. Philly in their last nine, and 3-7 vs Jersey in their last 10.

Perhaps this is a bit too much to hope for, but I would love to see 15,000 screamers in the stands tomorrow night. AT-MO-SPHERE!

World Be Free

March 10th, 2011
12:07 pm

Anyone soften their stance on the Chara / Max Pacioretty incident?
Just curious-I have watched the tape 10-12 times, enough to see both sides of the suspend or not suspent arguments. Milbury and Jones make me sick on Verses,

alex

March 10th, 2011
12:08 pm

don’t be to fast in conclusion. let kubina get one or two bad games. guy you are sport guru and understand everyone even greatest sometimes get bad nights. same accurate for postma, please don’t jump in his bus. 9 min. playing time in one game saying nothing if he nhl player or ahl player. bogo got full season of great games, still we not sure he is not the bust. i keep my breath, waiting for sale. this going to be like resurrection from cancer tumour named asg for both atlanta franchise. finally, last to who didn’t see messi goal for Barcelona with arsenal. go to YouTube, just magic.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
12:15 pm

World Be Free has been saying it from Day 1, Stewart is lousy. Apparently, he scores and backchecks just enough to keep the likes of Schremp, Bergfors, Burmistrov and Antropov out of the top 6. For awhile I started to warm to him, but the last two months have soured me on the brotha from the same motha as Chris Stewart. To wit:

Stewart is a -8 in the last 16 games and has not scored a goal since the Rangers win 10 games ago. He’s been as absent as anyone lately, but he’s been sloppier with the puck recently and he doesn’t win nearly enough wall battles like ThrasherTim says.

Joe Friday

March 10th, 2011
12:22 pm

“For awhile I started to warm to him, but the last two months have soured me on the brotha from the same motha as Chris Stewart.”

Yep, WBF had him pegged early. I was a backer of his but have seen enough.

Good observation on Schremp riding the pine. I don’t get it. The thing I noticed was after he looked so good with that PP unit that the next PP we got, Ramsay did something weird like throw Kane, Antropov and somebody out there and they did absolutely nothing. I have no clue what Ramsay’s MO is, and don’t care anymore, just want a new owner, new coach, new 1st line center, and new #1 dman (I don’t ask for much).

R. Stroz

March 10th, 2011
12:23 pm

Stewart is 6′2″ of powder puff pansy.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
12:30 pm

Joe F – have no idea what the thinking was as Schremp had one bad shift and it wasn’t as dizzyingly bad as some of Bergfors wimpy lost battles or Stewart’s befuddling gaffes along the wall. And you’re right, he scores on the PP, then gets no PP time after that as Rammer rolled out Antro, Kane & STEWART! for the first half and then Ladd, Lits & Wheeler for the next wave of pathetic.

Speaking of Stewarts, did y’all see Chris’ mesmerizing break-in goal where he dangled like Afinogenov and then tucked it with speed on the backhand top shelf where momma hides the viagra? Wow, just wow.

World Be Free

March 10th, 2011
12:32 pm

alex-My earlier posts were just my observations from last night’s game against the Black Hawks, though I have seen Kubina a couple times this year without really being enthused about his play. He may be hurt or moving on the downside. Like others, i would like to have seen him return to the Thrashers this season.

Stewart needs 4th line time, or better yet, a view from the pressbox. Addressing right wing has to be a priority for Dudley this summer.

Joe Friday

March 10th, 2011
12:52 pm

“have no idea what the thinking was as Schremp had one bad shift and it wasn’t as dizzyingly bad as some of Bergfors wimpy lost battles or Stewart’s befuddling gaffes along the wall. And you’re right, he scores on the PP, then gets no PP time after that as Rammer rolled out Antro, Kane & STEWART! for the first half and then Ladd, Lits & Wheeler for the next wave of pathetic. ”

that was it, it was Stewart. I just sat there shaking my head in disbelief. Shremp and was it Little and Ladd on the first PP that scored, looked awesome together and clicked, and then he comes back on the next PP with Stewart, Antropov and Kane? If anyone can’t see that Ramsay isn’t an NHL head coach, I’m not quite sure what they’re watching, that move is mind boggling, but he’s been doing it all year.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2011/03/10/pacioretty-hit-police-investigation.html

Speaking of not paying attention, at least the cops are stepping in where the NHL turned a blind eye (can’t be suspending Chara!).

AtlFlamesFan

March 10th, 2011
1:20 pm

I still say the Chara was doing a hockey play; just rolling a player into the boards. It just happened in a bad place on the ice.

AtlFlamesFan

March 10th, 2011
1:22 pm

Has anyone ever heard of law enforcement getting involved when a visiting player gets hurt? Just wondering?

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
1:27 pm

Nice quote from Canes GM Jim Rutherford about Ladd, as told to Manasso for nhl.com

“The stars have to be stars to win Stanley Cups, but if you don’t have guys like Andrew Ladd — the nuts-and-bolts guys that are willing to do the tough parts in games when games are tough — you’re not going to win them,” Rutherford said. “That’s what he did for Carolina and Chicago.”

R. Stroz

March 10th, 2011
1:29 pm

AtlFlamesFan – Yes, the Bertuzzi incident

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
1:37 pm

R. Stroz: That was a home game for the Canucks.

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
1:41 pm

Dino Ciccarelli became the first NHL player to go to jail for an on-ice assault.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1067721/index.htm#ixzz1GDurL3pc

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
1:48 pm

Here’s another more complete list from Wiki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_in_ice_hockey

EA

March 10th, 2011
1:59 pm

We need a huge crowd tomorrow night.

World Be Free

March 10th, 2011
2:01 pm

Red Lght-in watching the Black Hawks last night, all I could think of was how much better they were when the had Ladd, Versteeg and Buff especially Ladd.

glovesave29

March 10th, 2011
2:02 pm

Thought alot about this one. I DEFINITELY am against the court system becoming involved in this one. This is an internal matter.

I’ve watched the tape ad nauseum. Chara has a clean history, such is true. But he has the rep around the league as a dirty player. He was deeply involved in the fracas a few weeks back between these two teams. There’s your motive. But his history is clean with the league, so a lighter sentence would have been justified. LIGHTER – not non-existent. Any check that causes a broken vertibrae and a severe concussion MUST come with some sort of league mandated suspension weather intended or not. Looking at the tape, I certainly see intent, but agree that Chara is probably remorseful that the injury is as severe as it is. IMO, Chara meant to rough him up…send a message. Players are aware of where they are on the ice. He knew turnbuckle was there.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
2:13 pm

glovesave – agree with you. If the hit was simply a “hockey play”, then why did the ref deem it severe enough to slap him with five minutes for a call that is normally 2 mins and a game misconduct? There must be some form of accountability even if Chara didn’t mean to break his neck. That’s the problem with the NHL, wildly inconsistent adjutication of justice that just sparks further controversy when there should be set fines / punishment / suspension for certain types of hit and resulting injuries. Just like real life.

AtlFlamesFan

March 10th, 2011
2:35 pm

In the event that a penalty results in an injury, the referee must give 5 minutes. So he had 2 choices: either no penalty or 5 minutes for interference.

ZAvalanche

March 10th, 2011
3:40 pm

After watching the Chara hit a few times I really don’t think it warrants suspension. Yeah, it was brutal but only because of where it happened. And as hard as it is for me to say this, I do not feel it deserved a penalty based only on the fact that had the same thing happened 2 feet further down the boards and the guy skates away just fine then it is considered good defense. I don’t think there was intent to injure on the play. That may make me sound like an arse but this is a hitting league and Chara was well within the rules.

That being said, I really hope for a good recovery and hope the guy can play again. Makes me bummed to see anybody go through that type of thing, especially somebody with a talent that makes the rest of us envious.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
3:51 pm

My argument on the Chara/Pacioretty incident in a nutshell:

“This latest decision is not on Murphy and Campbell as much as it is on the system and the standards the NHL uses to police itself because that system is inadequate for today’s game. The game is faster, the players are bigger, these incidents occur at a lightning pace, and the players are seriously injuring each other at a greater rate than ever before. They understand that and have stated so repeatedly.

“There are also more suspensions than ever before, but they are obviously not serving as a deterrent because these incidents keep happening, The only way to get the players to change their behavior is with tougher discipline. That is not happening. And so the injuries will continue and they will continue to be severe — and this was the most frightening one yet.”

From Stu Hackel of SI.com: http://nhl-red-light.si.com/2011/03/10/nhl-out-of-touch-on-pacioretty-chara-decision/

Cornbread

March 10th, 2011
4:01 pm

Schremp sat because he was irresponsible in his own end. Maybe he has not learned the Thrashers system yet but more likely he does not have a defensive mindset or worse does not want to play D. (Do you think that may be the reason he was waived by the likes of the Oilers and Islanders?) He was the center on the play. He went below the goal line when both Enstrom and Bogosian were already there on one man. A huge mistake. Instead, he should have gone to the high slot or top of the crease but made the fatal error of floating to the half wall and point that was already covered by Stewart. A blocked shot by Enstrom found its way on the tape of a wide open in the high slot Fourth Liner Bodie for his first goal of the year.

The Thrashers system is very simple in their end when the other team has possession and a shot opportunity – Front The Net! Had Schremp done his job Bodie likely would never have gotten a shot off. He was wildly out of position not once but multiple times on the same shift. If he is not going to play responsible in his own end then he should sit for the rest of the game like he did because the likelihood of him hurting his team is greater than him helping. PP time is earned. Any points he may have got on the first PP goal were quickly squandered on subsequent shifts. Do you want to skate figure 8’s and not play the game the way it is supposed to be played which you are very capable of playing? Sit on the bench for the rest of the game. Good move by Coach Ramsay.

As an old D-man there is nothing that drives me crazier than lazy forwards who don’t know or care about playing defence in their own end. When a goal is scored – likely due to them – they are the first to look at the D like it was their fault. Coach Ramsay knew whose fault it was on a goal that never should have occurred and he made him watch and learn the rest of the game.

World Be Free

March 10th, 2011
4:16 pm

The issue with Chara is his size-a hit by a 260# player carries more force that a hit by your average size NHL player. I don’t know what the avergae size is today, but he’s the biggest. So I guess the feeling may be – “pick on someone your own size”.

ZAvalanche

March 10th, 2011
4:17 pm

@ Cornbread

I agree, a lot of forwards don’t their defensive jobs, especially RWs and LWs. Many of them are looking for that pseudo cherry picking opportunity rather than playing D. I have many years of play at both positions and I have found that the teams that win have players that compete at 100% for all 200 ft of the rink.

ZAvalanche

March 10th, 2011
4:19 pm

WBF, yes being a bigger player has advantages and disadvantages, and I would rather be hit by Minni-Me than Chara. But I do not see his hit as being outside the lines of the rules.

Cornbread

March 10th, 2011
4:29 pm

As far as Chara goes, he is one of the greatest D-men in the world. He knew exactly where he was on the ice and knew he had an opportunity to drive his opponent into the turnbuckle. That his arm came up on to his head is no different had he did so 10 feet down the ice and he drove his head into the glass there.

Whether he intended to get his arm up or not on the play does not matter. Just like high sticking, you are responsible for your actions. The focus for the past couple of years has been on head shots and getting an arm high. Injure a guy and you are going to be gone, unless you are a “star” on an “elite” team. Don’t injure a guy and you are Trevor Gillies on the lowly Islanders you are gone for 10 games.

I had this same argument last night with an ex-pro D-man. He said his eyes lit up every chance he got to drive a guy into the turnbuckle. He didn’t back off either. Chara knew what he was doing. Case closed. The NHL in their dirty double standard makes the world think they are the WWE turning a blind eye when one of its main charachters drives an opponent into the turnbuckle. That’s the most outrageous thing about these on-and-off-ice episodes.

ZAvalanche

March 10th, 2011
4:32 pm

Totally off of subject, but considering I will possibly be a GA resident again here soon, I think we should make a team. LAC would definitely be our enforcer, Glove, well yeah, obviously goalie. I will play any position but am most experienced at D (scoring D, lots of speed). Somebody put out line combos, I am waiting…..

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
4:34 pm

With Kovalchuk coming to town tomorrow night, how about some trivia about some of their ex-players? Of the following seven, Heatley, Kovy, Hossa, Savard, Dupuis, Belanger & Brunette, which former Thrasher has the most assists and the highest plus/minus rating vs. his former club?

Which one has the most goals? And which is the only one not to score against his former club?

ZAvalanche

March 10th, 2011
4:43 pm

Cornbread, I may be wrong here (very possible) but after watching it several times I don’t think that was his intent. I think it was a hockey move and he did what most of us would have – rub the guy out. Just was in the wrong spot. Chara is a phenom, and will be a HoF’er when he is done. I really don’t think he meant to hurt the guy.

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
4:43 pm

ZAv

Pre-game speech: Brendan

glovesave29

March 10th, 2011
4:51 pm

Look at what Chara did after the indecent…skated away – mission accomplished. If it WAS an accident, human nature takes over and you are looking at a human being who’s body you just destroyed. You would be distraught. Look at Brian McCann yesterday at spring training. TOTALLY an accident… yet he could not concentrate afterward, took a feeble 3rd swing so he could leave immediately to be with Salazar.

I 100% agree with Cornbread. You ALWAYS know where you are on the ice. You also know the ins and outs of every arena. Where the boards are stiffer, where the glass is lower….EVERYTHING. This is nothing new, think of the days when NHL arenas were not standardized. Home teams use them to their advantage, as does a veteran team on the road. Even a beer league goalie like me takes extra shots and skating time when playing at a place like The Mic up in Marietta, as the surface is shorter and thinner.

Cornbread

March 10th, 2011
4:57 pm

Glad some are finally seeing what Tampa Bays greatest weakness is, their D and play in their own end. They don’t want to play there and it is why they play a horrible 1-3-1 and even uglier 0-4-1. Get the puck in deep on their slow and non-mobile D, gain and maintain possesion in their end and you can beat them.

World Be Free

March 10th, 2011
4:59 pm

Zavs-
Minni Me = Stapleton?

Smoothie

March 10th, 2011
5:02 pm

I’ve been saying it about Tampa since October. Surprised it took so long for their D to show this many cracks. It will be their demise in the playoffs no matter how much Boucher tries to trap and hold. And Roloson isn’t the answer. Kubina with Ohlund?? Yikes.

Cornbread

March 10th, 2011
5:14 pm

I liked Postma’s game. Very mobile on the blue line and showed some poise with the puck in his first NHL game. The biggest surprise is that it looks like he has gotten bigger. That’s a good thing for a lancky just turned 22 D-man. 6′3″ 195 pounds? He looks taller and heavier than that. I think there were some clicking issues with his teammates but I think that was the case overall with the Thrashers new line combos last night. They just were not as sharp as they have been.

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
5:14 pm

So the Lightning give up 21 goals in their last nine games and that’s a sign of cracking? 2.33 GAA

The problem has been lack of scoring…15 goals in 8 of those 9 games, and then the blitzkrieg of 8 goals against Phoenix.

Cornbread

March 10th, 2011
5:17 pm

I agree Smoothie and that is why I like anyones chance against them in the play-offs – even at one point if that were the Thrashers.

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
5:17 pm

Their defensive corps is challenged, but take away 15 or so games in which they have given up a ton of goals, they still look pretty darn capable overall.