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
5:21 pm

Guess I was thinking more about February when they gave up 24 goals in a span of 8 or 9 games. Honestly, I stopped paying attention to them once we stopped having to lose to them! ;) I guess the lack of scoring has been their bugaboo lately as you’ve pointed out, but I would not feel too good about going in to the P/O with an aging corps of D-men that features Ohlund, Kubina, who always fades down the stretch it seems and Clark. Apparently the acquisition of Brewer has helped some but they are only 4-3-2 since the trade. I still won’t pick them to advance from the 1st round quite yet. Hedman needs another year and more help IMO.

Cornbread

March 10th, 2011
5:36 pm

RL and so it goes for the Thrashers in their woes as well. The difference is when teams are not allowed to enter Tampa’s zone and get shots off. 4 guys in the netral zone and one D-man skating in his end for a dumped/chipped puck is uglier than any trap NJ played. They are not good in their end and it is where you have to beat them. But first you must get the puck passed the center line and dump it deep. A lot of teams are puck possesion teams and don’t like to do that. Where they make their mistakes is turning it over to Tampa in the neutral zone only to be counterattacked. That option has to be taken away from them. Atlanta actually did that pretty well in three of the games against them this year without the results they may have deserved.

I’m not sure how much of a fan I am of a penalty being called for teams having more than 3 guys in any one of the two zones between the blue lines or all 5 guys in the NZ when a team does not have control of the puck and is in retreat. But, it may be the only way to stop the ugly hockey by less overall talented and deep teams like the two teams in FL.

Otey

March 10th, 2011
7:06 pm

Cornbread says:

“I’m not sure how much of a fan I am of a penalty being called for teams having more than 3 guys in any one of the two zones between the blue lines or all 5 guys in the NZ when a team does not have control of the puck and is in retreat. But, it may be the only way to stop the ugly hockey by less overall talented and deep teams like the two teams in FL.”

I would love to see a rule like that. One of the problems with hockey is that the rules and size of the rink make it difficult for superior players to distinguish themselves. There are too many legal ways for mediocre players to clog up the works. That is a main source, I think, for hockey’s inability to gain a wider audience.

Hockey needs to find a way to allow great players the room to show off their greatness. The current rules skew outcomes in favor of players who are simply grinders. Which makes hockey much less exciting than it should (or can) be.

Red Light

March 10th, 2011
10:01 pm

Huge OT win for WBF and Spud Webb tonight. Down 2-0, the Sabres recover and win 4-3 at Boston, pushing them into 7th place, with the Rangers. They’re tied with 74 points now but the Sabres have two games in hand. Leafs lose 3-2 to Philly, so the Thrashers remain one point behind them for 10th.

LAC

March 10th, 2011
11:47 pm

Nice win tonight by St.Louis over Montreal 4-1. Funny when the announcers said Montreal had NOT played in St.Louis since 2001 ? How could that happen ?

Zombie Steve

March 10th, 2011
11:59 pm

If Chara did that on purpose, then it was a terrific acting job. Didn’t look intentional at all. As far as Chara just skating away stoically, when was the last time you saw a hockey player show remorse in a game for anything that happened on the ice?? It just doesn’t happen.

World Be Free

March 11th, 2011
6:18 am

Red Light-Broones have protected their 3rd period lead every game this season, except 3-all come from behind wins for Sabres. Boston better not get BUF in the playoffs, Sabres owe them for last season’s exit. Boyes pickup looking pretty good right now.

LAC-very nice win for St. Louis, the trade with the Avs looking pretty good right now I would say.
Chara did not look back, really didn’t know who he was hitting until well after the incident. I am turning my focus to the design of the arena. If the league and players are going to address the turnbuckles, then they need to get rid of ALL the seamless glass too. Hitting that stuff is like hitting a brick wall. Philips Arena has the traditional glass, gives alot more. I was skating there recently and “hit” the glass in a few places, gives real nice.

Worst color commentators? Any commentators that complains about the refs. They are right most of the time, even though I don’t really like the new post-lockout rules. Andy Brickley whined the entire game last night about the calls in the BUF-BOS game. Get over it you hack.

I think the pont on Tampa’s defense is that it is going to have to be better if the Lightning are going to go anywhere in the playoffs. It’s OK at best in the regular season and Roloson was darn good against the Black Hawks.

lemon drop the gloves

March 11th, 2011
7:58 am

LAC-i don’t know how it could happen that a team does not play in a town for 10 years. all teams should never go more than a year w/o playing in each other’s barn. the canadians recently went 5 years without playing in chicago. during the nhl’s 75th anniversary season they did not play in chicago. these are very poor scheduling decisions by the league. original 6 teams should play each other home and home every year – period.

Dwayne

March 11th, 2011
8:08 am

Federal Agents looking into the Evander Kane knock out of Matt Cooke.

Red Light

March 11th, 2011
8:14 am

Traded Players Update:
Stillman: 2 goals and 3 assists in 6 games for the Canes.
Kaberle has just one assist for Boston in 9 games.
Fisher 1 goal and 3 assists for the Preds in 13 games.
Versteeg: 4 goals and 1 assist in 12 games for the Flyers.
Rozsival: 1 goal and 1 assist in 20 games for Yotes.
Wojtek Wolski: 5 goals and 11 assists in 26 games for the Rangers.
Peverley: 1 goal and 1 assist in 6 games for Boston.
McCabe 2 assists in 6 games for the Rangers.
Boyes: 3 goals and 3 assists for the Sabres.
Chris Stewart: 9 goals and 3 assists in 12 games for the Blues.
Erik Johnson: 2 goals and 2 assists in 8 games for the Avs.
Craig Anderson: 6-3 with Ottawa allowing just 13 goals.

World Be Free

March 11th, 2011
8:35 am

Red Light-let’s add Peverly’s goal post in OT last night in the Buffalo-Boston right.
Brad Boyes ended the game shortly after-
And how?- going to the net, you have to go to the net.

Are you listening Anthony Stewart?

Hockey Biltong

March 11th, 2011
9:55 am

Siva posted on Vivs blog that the old couple on kiss cam; one of them, the fellow, is sick….so think good thoughts for them….

Rawhide

March 11th, 2011
10:50 am

:!: RANALLO WARNING!! :!:

This is your official 10 minute Ranallo Warning.

New blog to be posted in 10 minutes.

R. Stroz

March 17th, 2011
10:29 am

Rawhide

March 17th, 2011
10:42 am

R. Stroz – Nope