After dramatic win in Philly can we mention the ‘P’ word again in Thrasherville?

Last Wednesday night I was sitting in the Taco Mac on Highway 92 near King Road in Roswell. My friend Tom Ferda and I were viewing the game being played in Carolina that night on the HUGE TV screen located on the back wall…those who have been in that establishment know what I’m speaking of.

Anyway…as we were breaking bread together and preparing for the puck to drop, he commented that he truly felt this team still had a run in them. I came up from one of my hot wings long enough to respond, “Who…what? Which team are you talking about, the Thrashers or Canes?”

Tom insisted he was indeed referring to our Atlanta Thrashers.

“Look”, I said while picking up the last chicken wing. “The Thrashers playoff hopes are kinda like these plate of wings here”. I then gobbled it up and tossed the bone into the basket. “They’re finished.”

Wiping my hands on a napkin…or the back of a hoodie belonging to the kid sitting beside of us, I can’t remember which…I then continued, “The only ‘run’ that might be found in this Thrashers organization this season would be found on the back of one of the Blue Crew’s stockings.”

“However”, I added, “Seeing that they actually won last Saturday, if they can rattle off something like 5 or 6 points against the Hurricanes, Devils and Flyers these next three games…then come talk to me.”

OK… well I guess it’s time to talk.

Following Saturday night’s thrilling come-from-behind win in Philadelphia…one that saw the Thrashers overcome a 3-0 deficit after two periods, a 3-1 and 4-2 disadvantage deep into the third, only to then win it 5-4 in OT…they now find themselves only four points out of a playoff spot. It was their fourth overtime game in a row, but they have won three of them.

Ron Hainsey celebrates his overtime game-winning goal in Philadelphia Saturday night (AP Photo)

Ron Hainsey reacts after scoring the overtime game-winning goal in Philadelphia Saturday night (AP Photo)

For those who might be concerned about giving away yet another overtime consolation point to an Eastern Conference foe…don’t be. I mean, it’s not like we’re going to catch the Flyers anyway. All that matters is the all-important two points procured in the standing.

The way I’m looking at things now, if the Thrashers are going to qualify for this spring’s Great Hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup…good Lord, I don’t believe I’m even saying this…Atlanta is going to do so only if they’re able to squeeze into one of the last couple of spots. Philly, Pittsburgh, Washington, Tampa Bay, Boston and Montreal should occupy spots one through six, mixed and matched in various possible orders. That leaves the bottom two spot, currently occupied by the Rangers and Buffalo, to be contested for.

To put it in a different light, no longer look at the Thrashers in the Southeast Division…instead view them as a part of the newly formed six-team “Squeeze-In” Division. The top two finishers in this division get into the playoffs.

Those in the “SID” are the New York Rangers, Buffalo, Carolina, Toronto the Thrashers and New Jersey.

After Toronto’s 4-3 win over Buffalo and the Rangers shootout win in San Jose, New York leads the SID with 76 points and the Sabres are second at 74. Carolina, who were knocked off by Columbus at home, remains at 72.

Then you find both the Thrashers and Maple Leafs sitting at 70 points apiece. After that with 68 points are the Devils, who Saturday night won again in overtime…this time on Long Island.

Buffalo takes Ottawa today and the Leafs will host Tampa Bay Monday. On Tuesday Atlanta is in New Jersey, the Rangers take on the Islanders while Carolina goes to Buffalo.

Atlanta has earned 7 of a possible 8 points in the last week to claw themselves back to this level, and with 13 games left on the schedule they’ll still need somewhat of a miracle finish if they are to play beyond the mandatory 82 on the schedule. Things won’t be getting any easier for the Thrashers either as they are looking at heading to New Jersey Tuesday night, welcoming in Philadelphia on Thursday before shuffling off to Buffalo on Saturday.

So will the Thrashers actually make a run at the playoffs during the last month of the season? Eh…talk to me this time next week.

A great idea to honor an honorable man, T. R. Benning Jr

As you all have certainly heard by now, T. R. Benning Jr passed away last Thursday at the age of 89. Mr. Benning was the gentleman seen so many times on the Kiss Cam with his lovely wife Maria. The two were honored last spring with the Thrashers 7th Fan Award.

I was told last night while viewing the game at TJs Sports Bar & Grill that someone had come up with the idea to name the 7th Fan Award in honor of Mr. Benning…call it, maybe, “The T.J. Benning Jr Memorial 7th Fan Award”.

I don’t know who was the one who first thought of this, but I can think of no better way to honor a man who we all came to admire so much. It would also be a wonderful way to honor Mr. Benning for his service to this country during WWII.

Mr. Benning was a part of the 254th Engineer Combat Battalion stationed out of Newquay, Cornwall, England in the days and months leading up to the Normandy invasion. On 7-June, 1944, D-Day + 1, he commanded the 3rd Platoon Company B of that Battalion as they came ashore on the Beaches of Normandy, France. While on patrol, he was wounded and evacuated to an army hospital back in England. However, by November of that year he was back in action. He took over command of the 2nd platoon of Company B while in the Ardennes Mountains of Belgium and saw action during the Battle of the Bulge.

Mr. Benning came back from Europe with a purple heart and his first wife, Loretta Margaret Serey, whom he met while recovering from his wounds. She passed away many years ago.

The T.J. Benning Jr Memorial 7th Fan Award…a great idea that I would love see made happen by the Thrashers organization.

And finally…Thank yous and shout outs

I would like to thank each and every one of you who came out to TJs last night to watch the Thrashers beat Philadelphia. A double-special thank you as well for all of the food items that were brought out by you to help the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club provide much needed help to keep Atlanta area food banks stocked for those less fortunate. John Mikalonis of the ATFC did a great job organizing this event and he’s to be commended for his work.

Well done, John!

In addition, a big, heart-felt shout out to Tim Ecclestone and his fantastic staff for doing their usual bang up job. Also, for those of you who attended a similar event at Rafferty’s in Kennesaw and donated there…thank you so very much as well.

I would also like to add just how much fun I had Friday night, despite the less-than-desirable results against the Devils. I had the pleasure of spending that game with my good friends and frequent contributors of this online forum World Be Free, his daughter, FormerIslesFan, Smoothy, Red Light and Badger Bob. We were honored by the presence of Ms. Audra Martin, and also joining us in section 107 was our friend Amy.

Oh, and Amy is going to have to chime in and share her thoughts on a new idea regarding overtime and penalties. Either that, or I’m just going to have to tell you all myself and claim the credit for it.

Lastly, as we all were gathering out in front of the will-call window of Philips Arena, we were joined in conversation by another frequenter of this blog, litz. It was indeed an honor to make his acquaintance as well.

151 comments Add your comment

Sage of Bluesland

March 13th, 2011
8:32 am

Maybe the coach’s system is working after all?

Hahaha.

Nope, Fools-Gold, folks…

Hoof Arted

March 13th, 2011
8:46 am

Playoffs? Pl….playoffs? Are you kidding me?

Playoffs?

Well, OK. Maybe we can use the word around here again. But only with the words “slim” and “chances” on either side of it. But at least they are still alive and kicking, right?

Sage of Hindsight

March 13th, 2011
8:48 am

Above poster is a know nothing PITA

Big Daddy (formerly waffleboy)

March 13th, 2011
8:58 am

That’s why we’re fans, so we can have these conversations! The Thrashers need to focus on winning only one game—the next one. We are free to speculate about playoff scenarios and scoreboard watching. We have ample opportunity to make the playoffs and every game counts. We need to keep taking care of business and let the chips fall where they may.
That being said, I feel we’ll come up just short, similar to the 2005-6 season.

Rightshot

March 13th, 2011
9:00 am

Well there I was, all ready to start watching America pickers after the second. I just couldn’t resist the urge to watch the first few minutes of the third. Good thing I did. American pickers was a rerun anyway.

Good win and hope for more to come. Good luck gentleman

My condolences go out to Mrs. Benning and family. I agree the award should be named after Mr. Benning. The fan award should be named after a fan.

Rhythmpenguin

March 13th, 2011
9:06 am

The 7th man award should definitely be named after Mr. Benning!

glovesave29

March 13th, 2011
9:17 am

That’s a great idea to name the award after him. Since it is a good idea, the ASG will of course not do it.

Great win last night. Really fun to watch it at a TJ’s with a nice sized crew. When Ladd and Hainsey did their work, that place EXPLODED!

Let’s see where we stand after the rematches this week. Perhaps this thang ain’t over after all!

Go Thrashers

POM POM

Hoof Arted

March 13th, 2011
9:22 am

BTW, I love the The TJ Benning Jr Memorial 7th Fan Award idea. Whoever came up with it should come forward and get a much deserved pat on the back.

Make

This

Happen

Thrashers!!!

Fan from Carolina

March 13th, 2011
9:25 am

If the Thrashers can beat the Devils in Jersey, yes, you may bring up the ‘P’ word again. Remember that as impressive as the win was last night, Philly has been in a real collapse mode lately. Hard to believe but the Caps are just 3 points out from 1st.

KLS1

March 13th, 2011
9:38 am

Great win…I don’t know how this team is still in it but they really are. It would be a great time to get hot and push right into the playoffs!

It will require more character than any thrasher teams of the past have been able to display but just maybe possible?

A2B

March 13th, 2011
9:40 am

Mark this down as the turning point in the franchise. I’ll be the first to say it, this is the run we have all been waiting for to look like November again. Any team in the past for this franchise folds there but you can see how this team kept fighting and found a way to win. Believe in Blueland.

World Be Free

March 13th, 2011
9:45 am

Hoof-you beat me to the punch on “playoffs”.
Mr. Rawhide, yes, great times both Friday and Saturday night-TJ’S was rocking last night, never say die attitude was in the air, though it may be in vain. It will be a great run to the playoffs, hope we get some good signs out of the excercise.

Give THE PLAYERS credit for last night’s win. They never gave up, took advantage of Philly’s average defense and goaltending. For all the heck I give Anthony Stewart, he made a nice play to start the breakout on the game winning goal. Ron Hainsey-hero. Wheeler played a nice game yesterday too. Stuart and Wheeler are really starting to make that trade look very nice.

Finally, great on the 7th fan award-awarded for dedication and commitment

World Be Free

March 13th, 2011
9:48 am

Oh and FYI-the Toronto Maple Leafs are for sale too. I saw we start a rumor that the Leafs are being sold to a major corporation and moved to Seattle. The Boeing Leafs, or something like that.

What would be even better? Have Jim Basillie buy the Leafs and screw them up even more, just like Harold Ballard did 30 years ago.

LAC

March 13th, 2011
9:52 am

A Great step in the right direction… However, there are still two games this week at NJ and Philly again, and they will be out for blood, so to speak after this game, which, in my opnion, wasmaybe the best game in Atlanta Thrashers history. The 9-0 Blasting of Carolina in 2006 was a good one too.
But this really showed what this team can do when they all show up, and let’s face, a lot of nights several guys don’t. But it was GREAT to watch their coach being all flustered and upset, just great to see.

Mr. Heat Miser

March 13th, 2011
9:52 am

Sorry I could not make it out to TJ’s last night. I guess Charlie Sheen Gabe a pep talk in the locker room during the second break and put #tigerblood in the water bottles. This type of heart is going to be needed to make the playoffs.

LAC

March 13th, 2011
9:53 am

WBF, I say Leafs to Kansas City. Then Nashville can move to the Southeast where they belong !

AtlantaVols

March 13th, 2011
9:53 am

Unbelievable win! The grit and determination was like no other. Pretty depressing game until we found away to pull through. Lets keep it rolling! Lets go Thrashers!!!!

Smoothie

March 13th, 2011
10:05 am

I love how SOB comes to the blog to pee all over Rawhide’s cornflakes. Then even better is the fact that someone comes behind the miserable SOB to ask “Who Farted?” essentially. Is this a great blogging community or what!?

Damn it Sage, can’t you just be happy for the boys for once instead of spewing your usual poo-laced mouth blather?? They finally did something they haven’t been able to most of the year, and that’s come from behind to win a game in which the odds were seemingly insurmountable. Just enjoy the moment and the emergence of Evander Kane as a pre-eminent power forward RIGHT wing!!

The team is going to get sold and you’ll be able to find a reason to be happy again in your sad, pathetic blogging existence. The ASG wants out, they NEED out, they are bleeding money. Your boycott has been successful. Now shut the hell up!!!

Hockey Biltong

March 13th, 2011
10:09 am

Go Thrashers!!!!!

Buff-n-stuff

March 13th, 2011
10:12 am

SMOOTHIE – Sage will always be our “blog cynic”, which ironically is a “good thing”, as it can sometimes function in a “reverse psychology” sort of way, as evidenced by our boys recent run. Sage wants the boys to win, he just spews negativity as his way of hoping for what he really wants.

I want to be at the Philly game next week. That ought to be a physical game !!!

Hope we can keep the momentum going Tuesday in NJ….

Fair and Balanced

March 13th, 2011
10:37 am

I sincerely doubt that Buff n Stuff, Sage revels in his msnbc world of whining and complaining and won’t ever be happy till our team is sold to Hugo Chavez and moved to Caracas.

Sage of Bluesland

March 13th, 2011
11:04 am

Whoever doesn’t think that the Flyers simply fell asleep after being up 3-0 in the 3rd period is Joe-Bob-Fridaying themselves….All of a sudden, they had to turn the amp up and couldn’t do it. We are not to be taken seriously, folks, and a large lead actually puts the other team to sleep, as it were.

If…If…IF we’re taken seriously for the full game, we’re toast. Spin it any way you want, but in the end it is what it is.

Weirdly enough, a sizable lead (by the opposition by mid-game) might be this forlorn team’s most deadly weapon…

Just like November was the “turning point” for this franchise, I’m seeing some of it again from the Sunshine Crew–who are so desperate to bewieve in anything it’s actually humorous…Now some clowns are proclaiming, “You heard it here first!” and other such rot….

(Now we just need a wittle spweadsheet to prove the ‘numbers behind the numbers’…and that Donny is still doing a gweat job and all…)

Hilarious, really.

drajax

March 13th, 2011
11:07 am

At this point I would hope Ramsay would realize he cant trot Pavelac out there every night. Mason has a pedigree for late season play and the team should let him carry the load the second game of back to back games. Did anyone see Hainsey’s on the post game show? I was wondering why the attitude?

Hockey Puck

March 13th, 2011
11:07 am

I turned the game off after the 2nd period and watched replays of Charlie Sheen rants as I found them more entertaining than the game.

Hockey Puck

March 13th, 2011
11:11 am

Thrashers need some of Charlie Sheen’s drugs that will enable them to play like a tiger for 3 periods

tonyb

March 13th, 2011
11:19 am

Interesting numbers.

16000 for Thrashers-Devils Friday night
15500 for Hawk-Portland Saturday

So, does this mean Hawks are moving to Winnipeg too.

Got to love the ASG, destroying pro sports in Atlanta, one team at a time.

kj

March 13th, 2011
11:41 am

After the first two periods I think the stats showed the Thrash with 14 hits??? Frank hits Mike more by accident in someone’s attic on AP for crissake….I too was ready to just go back to the Wings/Blues but for some reason – blind hope – I stayed with it. Whatever pissed off Evander Kane, please bottle that for the next game. He played with passion AND purpose and helped propel the team in the comeback. Epic.

ZAvalanche

March 13th, 2011
11:48 am

No matter which way you spin it, Thrashy took down one of the best teams in the league. No, it wasn’t an a$$ whooping but still a win. Enjoy the victory ppl and look for the next one.

Tom

March 13th, 2011
12:15 pm

kj – great point on the hits. This team has a tendency to play soft. When they start hitting their level of engagement and passion increases.

During the run in November and December the Greek Gods would get the hitting started early and get that precious zone time below the red line. We have been missing that. A little gristle in our game would do us well for the rest of the season.

Amysn11

March 13th, 2011
12:33 pm

My wanna-be-new NHL Rule: If a team takes a penalty in say the last 30 seconds of a game, the period should be extended until the PP time runs out or the PP team scores a goal. Its only fair!

P.S. Really like the idea of the 7th fan award being named after Mr. Benning. Thoughts and Prayers out to his loved ones.

ZAvalanche

March 13th, 2011
12:40 pm

Interesting idea Amy, very interesting. I don’t think it would go down though, the team on the PP would much rather have a 4 on 3 than a 5 on 4. If overtime was 5 on 5 normally, then yeah, I have no problem with that idea as it would pretty much change very little. Like the idea though :)

Amysn11

March 13th, 2011
12:44 pm

It could at the end of OT or say the team that draws the PP is down a goal then the time would be extended and could potentially lead to an OT.

The Real Thrash

March 13th, 2011
12:53 pm

One game at a time. Build on this. No scoreboard watching just take care
of your own business.

World Be Free

March 13th, 2011
12:53 pm

LAC, we could have some real fun with this Leafs thing, if we are so inclined to do so. Wonder how much whining and crying we would hear from Hockey Night in Canada? The best thing that could happen is Hank Steinbrenner buying the Leafs!

Sage-Look at the bigger picture; the Flyers have been in a funk for some time. I mentioned last week that maybe they made too many moves this year without making the biggest move-getting a top flight goaltender. Timmonen and Coburn are mobile, but the rest of their defense are immoble. They are an inconsistent team and as you stated, fell asleep late to allow the Thrashers to come back. They did the same thing against Buffalo and Tronna last week.

Nice to see us come back for a change.

ZAvalanche

March 13th, 2011
1:07 pm

In the style of Peter King (some of you know who he is), here are the ten things I think I think (not that you really care, I am just bored).

1. Toews is trumping Ovy – badly.

2. The Devils are going to run out of steam here soon (maybe) and if they don’t it will be because of Brodeur.

3. How flipping tough are hockey players? O’Byrne for the Avs took a skate to the face, finished his shift, got 100 stitches and played within two games of the injury. Can you see TO doing that? Nope.

4. I look forward to seeing Thrashy vs Boston or Philly here in a few weeks – it could happen people.

5. As much as I enjoy football, the lockout can only help NHL exposure as national stations will probably set contracts with the NHL to broadcast games that would normally be occupied by NFL games.

6. Congrats to one of my alma maters, University of Northern Colorado, for making the tournament for the first time – but you are going to get mowed. Greatness has to start somewhere…..but I think it may take a long time…

7. There isn’t much talk about Vancouver and that scares me. A team who thinks that it is unappreciated is very dangerous. Add that to a VERY good team and, well, you do the math on that one.

8. If Thrashy can find a way to play like they did in the 3rd vs Philly, they will make the post season.

9. NHL players don’t get enough credit for what they do for the community, how frequently they stay out of the criminal news compared to other sports, and how much they play for pride and don’t drop shifts because “the coach yelled at me”.

10. How blessed are we as a nation to have the best athletes in the world (minus soccer – err, football) playing in our nation? Jagr, your Russian league experiment isn’t turning out the way you said it would……

OK, I will add an eleventh

11. Peter King writes a very good article every time, almost always regarding football (though he occasionally does give a hockey shout out). That being said, our resident Blog Master is a very strong second and that is a huge compliment. Keep it up Bill! And BTW, you should write for the Avs too…..

Sherry Taylor

March 13th, 2011
1:12 pm

Did anyone see, think it was NHL network, they had a post that the Thrashers lead the league in most points goals scored by defensemen. We are leading at something. And with three defenders doing the scoring last night added to the totals.

Ashamedly, I admit, I couldn’t make myself watch the game last night, I couldn’t take another heartbreak, especially after I flipped over to check the score and it was already 1-0 Philly. Then, it was 3-0 Philly. So, I continued watching HGTV until I heard my husband (from his man cave upstairs) yell and start clapping. I flipped back to the game and it was like a Christmas miracle, Ladd had just scored to tie it at 4-4. They also have scored (at home games(every time I go leave the stands to go to the rest room). I’m beginning to get a complex or at the very least an over-active superstition that I might need to spend the games there to begin with. :) Whatever it takes.

I’m with you there, whoever was the genius to come up with the idea, to name the fan award after T.R. You’re so right, the fan award should carry the name of a fan.

Player to be Named Later

March 13th, 2011
1:16 pm

Sage has a Mrs?

You guys been married a long time or are you on revolving five year plans?

Lee

March 13th, 2011
2:18 pm

The Thrashers need to take it one game at a time. If they think to far ahead, they won’t win. They need to be concentrated on that specific game that night and skate their heart out. I believe they can do it. I really do. But they’ll have to put in a LOT of effort into it.

GO THRASHERS

Jason

March 13th, 2011
2:28 pm

While I would love to see the award named after Mr. Benning, now that it’s come out that he was a (very successful) business owner, the ASG will probably use that as an excuse not to name the award after him. Or, they’ll try to go to his son and ask him to sponsor the award so they (ASG) can make money off of his memory.

I have to admit to staying up and looking over the standings a bit last night just to see if the playoffs were possible. Yeah, technically, they are. But, I think the schedule is going to prove to be a bit too tough for us going down the stretch and we’ll miss out by three points. That being said, last time we were that close, we won the division the next year.

Smitty

March 13th, 2011
2:40 pm

Just read that Rick Martin has died from a heart attack. Only 59. Bad day for Sabre fans.

Rawhide

March 13th, 2011
2:42 pm

Amysn11 – Well done. See…that was painless.

My suggestin was simply that a player in the pentalty box when time expired in OT would not be eligible for the shootout. He’s in the box, after all. But I like the extending OT out to finish the PP.

Everyone - Here’s an interesting blog entry by C-Viv. Seems as though Clint Malarchuk addressed the team during the second intermission. Ramsay said he had no words to say to them, but Malarchuk did.

An exerpt from the story:

“We had to change the tide,” Malarchuk said. “Then I kind of got a little irritated. It’s not my place to do this, [to] talk to the forwards or defensemen or the team. My job is the goalies. This is a bad deal for me to say ‘You’re out, you’re in.’ I turned around and said ‘You guys got to understand this [stuff]. These guys play every night. Can we not just gut it up and do it for teammates? We are a family and we have to understand that when one guy is down you fight, you push. We are family. Let’s do it for family.’

Hoof Arted

March 13th, 2011
2:46 pm

Dang. I wish he would have delivered that message about 3 or 4 weeks ago.

Glad to see someone on this coaching staff knows how to motivate players.

Smitty

March 13th, 2011
2:56 pm

Why is the goalie consultant giving the pep talk? Sure glad he did.

ben

March 13th, 2011
4:51 pm

it was a good effort, but no playoffs. two years from now, this team’ll be a beast. until then, they ought to man up and cut the prices. when the new owners come in, i hope that they can start building the history of this franchise into something solid. i now believe kovy when he said he wanted to stay here, and i’m sorry he’s gone. i only hope they retire his number when he retires

Brendan

March 13th, 2011
4:52 pm

Rawhide, if the Thrashers are 3-points out of of 8th, with 5 or more games to play, I think we can re-introduce the “P” word. Right now, the Thrashers are playing for positions and contracts next year.

If the Thrashers can get new ownership prior to the Draft, Don Waddell won’t be sitting at the table. Can you imagine it? A draft … without Waddell at the table? Maybe, not even there. Period, the end. Actually, if Waddell were released, I suspect the NHL network would hire him to cover the draft, for “GM perspective.” I’d actually rather enjoy that. We’d hear all his ‘alleged’ war stories about trades that never happened, but were proposed.

I long for the day … when a new team owner, willing to link his face to the franchise, emerges. That continues to be my wish.

WBF, I do hope Balsillie buys the Maple Leafs. I think the “valuation” of that team is $463 million, making it the most expense in the league. Are the Devils still for sale? Has Phoenix been purchased yet? In the last couple of years, Tampa Bay has had new ownerships, plural. The Edmonton Oilers got new ownership. So, people are buying NHL franchises.

Brendan

March 13th, 2011
5:02 pm

WBF, Smitty, Tom, Paminsky and other Sabre fans across the message board, condolences on the loss of Richard Martin, one of the greatest goal scorers of his era, in the 1970’s, a part of the famed “French Connection,” all of whom hang from the rafters of HSBC. I remember “Rico” as a rookie who scored 44 goals. Which, at that time, was somewhat unheard of. I think Bossy would come along to score 53, as a rookie. It’s funny what you remember about a player. But one year, and you Sabre fans will have to enlighten me, Rick Martin and Danny Gare came into the final game within striking distance of 50 goals for the season. I think Martin sat at 49. Or he had 48, and scored one to reach 49. Danny Gare came into that game with 47 goals. The final game saw Buffalo will an opportunity to clinch the game with an EMPTY-NETTER.
The puck was on Richard Martin’s stick. He paused, looked for Gare, who was looking for the “hat trick” in that game, and set him up for his 50th of the season, to complete his trick.

Now, that’s a selfless gesture. Rick Martin had Goal # 50 on this twig, but elected to pass to Gare, so he could have a 50 goal season and a hattie. Niiiiice.

Tony C

March 13th, 2011
5:42 pm

“There was such desperation on the faces of each player. Each player that came off [the ice] was exhausted but within seconds they were looking at me to go back out.”-Ramsay as quoted in C-Viv’s article…

They have to bring that for the full 60, not just the last half hour. Should they do that and The Byfuglien is able to come back from this leg thing (and hey, I don’t know you can afford to hold him out what with the opponents we have next on the dockett) at close to 95-100% then I think we have a shot.

This upcoming week determines much for April/May hockey.

Just remember, those same Flyers (in my mind the best team in the League-though Vancouver’s not far behind) with pretty much the same lineup got in on the last shot of a shootout…crazy things can happen when you refuse to lose.

LAC

March 13th, 2011
5:51 pm

Saw an interestin “Oil Change” on NHL network. Interesting to watch. It’s all about Edmonton Oilers and their young players. But they showed their farm team in Oklahoma City. Had about 10 minutes on them and the final comment made by Oilers Director of Player development was,
You HAVE to DEVELOP your OWN players to suceed. You cannot rely on teams where you DO NOT control your players. No truer words have ever been spoken, I hope a new owner would consider that, because Chicago is really not helping develop Atlanta players.

kracker

March 13th, 2011
5:57 pm

Heh. The Squeeze-in Division doesn’t make the task any easier but it is a fun way to look at it. Sooo…the Thrashers are yet again near the bottom of another division – but also only four points from the second and necessary spot. On to New Jersey! Fortunately, it is only for a day or less.

Red Light

March 13th, 2011
6:58 pm

Through it all, the Thrashers are six points out of the 8th spot because of Buffalo’s win and will have to jump three teams to get in and hold of the hottest team in hockey just behind them. And, the first tiebreaker being wins, Atlanta trails every team they are battling.

LA Kings, now 10-1-4 since Jan 22 in road games, have moved into 4th overall in the West, and all of a sudden the Caps have a five-point lead on Tampa Bay for the Southeast Division lead.

Hoof Arted

March 13th, 2011
7:12 pm

Like I said, “slim” and “chances” have to be placed on either side of the word “playoffs” when talking about this team.

R. Stroz

March 13th, 2011
7:31 pm

Well, at least “slim chances” is preferential to Slim Whitman.

World Be Free

March 13th, 2011
7:54 pm

LAC-develop your own players and develop them in the same system used at the NHL level. The Chicago arrangement must be dealt with in the off season. Dudley sending players to ECHL for ice time is a clear indication that he wants more control over the development of our lower level talent. I think that change will happen with or without change in ownership.

Red Light-school of thought in DC is that Mike Knuble may be the odd man our in Washton. No whow nice would it be to Mike as the Thrashers’ second line r/ing?

The goaltender consultant had to provide the insprational speech that propelled the team to victory in Philly? Not hard to read between the lines on that one!

World Be Free

March 13th, 2011
8:06 pm

Brendan-great that you remember thaa last game of the season when Danny Gare, he of the round Stan Mikita/Bobby Roussou helmet picked up his 50th goal, leaving Rick Martin at 49. Martin was the light-hearted guy of the French Connection, he kept the other 2 serious guys grounded. Amongst the tragedies here is the new Sabres’ owner, an owner who FINALLY embraced the Sabres’ past that was dismissed by the last 2 owners.

When we were kids, we all wanrted to be like Gilbert Perrault, but all wanted to shoot the puck like Rick Martin. We made steel pucks in metal shop to strenghten our wrists and forarms with the home of being able to launch those Martin Meteors. I remember one night, Martin whipped a hat trick goal past Wayne Stephenson of the St. Louis Blues like the goalie was standing still. I will also remember his one “move”, the toe drag through the defenseman’s skates better known as “The Rico Shuffle”. Rick Martin, gone too soon.

KLS1

March 13th, 2011
8:11 pm

Win the next 5 and then

KLS1

March 13th, 2011
8:13 pm

We will have something to talk about…sorry for the iPad malfunction.

kracker

March 13th, 2011
8:16 pm

I like the “TR Benning Award” idea a lot. However, I favor making it just a short name like that and then describing it as the 7th Man Award online and at presentation, etc.

glovesave29

March 13th, 2011
8:16 pm

Alright…both last summer and two summers ago, I got abused for suggesting that Gwinnett should move up to the AHL and be our primary affiliate for a myriad of reasons. Charlotte did it – we need to follow suit. Teach “our” style of hockey, and have them 3 miles down the street (from the practice facility, that is). Perhaps we can work with other SE teams (and NSH, STL and CLB too) to move their teams in the region too to minimize travel. Think of the cities that could join in…Birmingham, Memphis (need to move the RiverKings from the CHL), Louisville (yeah, I know the history there), Jacksonville, Orlando, Columbus (GA, that is…the Cottonmouths have always drawn well no matter what league), New Orleans (think now the city is re-examining when the NBA Hornets forced out the ECHL Brass?).

Amazing story about the Rick Martin crash is that his German Shephard survived it.

Zombie Steve

March 13th, 2011
8:24 pm

Great, great win. I wouldn’t call it a “turning point” however. The real turning point will be when the ASG is nothing more than a bad memory. This team has proven what they can do with bare-boned support; anything they do now is icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned (even playoffs).

kracker

March 13th, 2011
8:54 pm

Stroz, I agree, we gotta give Slim Whitman his props. He helped make late-night TV what it used to be.

Tom

March 13th, 2011
9:05 pm

Let’s call the 7th man award the Benning Award.

It would be right to honor both of the Benning’s as it is “the couple” who epitomizes the ideals of the 7th Man Award not just T.J.

Slim Whitman

March 13th, 2011
9:06 pm

These are all the songs that touched my heart most. And I hope they’ll touch yours too.

Fill in the Blanks

March 13th, 2011
10:01 pm

Slim’s Mexicali Rose always brought a tear to my eye and a lump to my…

kracker

March 13th, 2011
10:12 pm

That’s a good idea, Tom. For sure, honor both the Bennings as exemplary Thrashers fans.

litz

March 13th, 2011
11:07 pm

It was great meeting all the other bloggers outside the arena friday night – good talking to y’all!

I think the idea of honoring TR’s life and service by naming the 7th Man award for him, an exemplary example of Blueland class. Just like before the game, a moment of silence both for him, and the victims in Japan … true class at work.

(btw, you could hear an intake of shock from the vast majority of the crowd, who had not heard of TR’s passing … the crowd was visibly moved by the moment of silence gesture)

As for last night’s comeback … let’s not forget we did it without Byfuglien, Slater, or Cornier. If we can pull off something like that w/those guys absent, imagine next year, when all are healthy.

At least … with hopes Buff didn’t leave with something serious … we should (maybe?) have him back in NJ. That can only help us.

My firm opinion is, anytime you’re playing a road game, and the locals trudge home in stunned silence … we done good.

Anyone else notice Stapleton … little ol’ Stapes … has found a NHL groove? Kid’s trying damned hard to make a mark, and proving rather surprising while doing so.

Finally, if you haven’t had a chance, go watch the “full highlights” package on the thrashers website from the Philly game. When that OT goal goes in, you can hear the *production crew* whooping in the background … :-)

Red Light

March 14th, 2011
6:44 am

When Jacques Lemaire took over in NJ, the Devils record was 9-23-2. The Devils record since is 23-9-2, leaving them at .500 and remember the Devils went 1-7 in his first 8 behind the bench.

OT/SO record for goalies…
Pav and Ward have exactly the same mark: 8 wins and 9 losses. Mason is 5-3. Lehtonen is 7-8. Milelr is 9-7 and Enroth is 4-1. Rinne is 6-8. Quick is 8-2. Brodeur is 6-2. Jimmy Howard and Kiprusoff are each 9-5. Lundqvist is 8-4. Roloson is 6-2 for Tampa and Tim Thomas is 2-8!!!

Thrashers lead the league is…
OT/SO losses when scoring first: 9
OT/SO losses when leading after 2 periods: 5
OT/SO losses at home: 7 (tied)

Red Light

March 14th, 2011
6:45 am

Thrashers lead the league in…

World Be Free

March 14th, 2011
7:18 am

Red Light-Islanders were furious Saturday over the officiating in OT against the Devils.
Sounds a little bit like Friday night and the BS call against Evander Kane in OT.

World Be Free

March 14th, 2011
7:19 am

Glovesave-no abuse here, I think it is a great idea having the AHL team so close. Sabres and Rochester Americans did the same for 30 years and it worked very well.

LAC

March 14th, 2011
8:20 am

WBF, Right, This is yet another issue that has hurt Atlanta over the years. I watch this Edmonton show and they appear to really watch and develop they minor league players they have, esp at Oklahoma City in the AHL. I really doubt those type things ever happen here. Remember Bryan Little several years ago telling how he had to watch video of Thrasher games to see they system they were playing ?

When you hear that, you know it is out of control, but with waddell as GM, would you expect anything less that Total CHAOS ?

Yes I think the Leafs need new ownership as well, as they never win, have a waddell like GM and
just need out of Canada. KC is ready with the Sprint Center and other venues are out there as well.
But I, like you, feel the same way, It would be great to see them move… Will never happen, but would be GREAT if it did !

Need to play very Smart in NJ, it is a Critical game.

Lastly…. smoothie, exactly how did Sage ruin Rawhide’s cornflakes ? You ALWAYS attack people with a differing point of view, wsp those who speak up against this ownership/GM/President/Coach. He has as much a right to express his views as you, and I always find your’s to be very lacking.

MASHAPlayer7

March 14th, 2011
8:53 am

There are a million reasons why having Gwinnett as the AHL location for the Thrashers would make sense – from a player development and fan affinity perspective. And having the AHL team in the NHL parent club market has worked. Philly did it with the AHL’s Phantoms; Toronto has done it with the AHL’s Marlies; Buffalo did with the Rochester Amerks for three decades until there was a bad business fall-out between Amerks and Sabres management (Florida now sends players to Rochester). Charlotte is close but not in the same market as Raleigh. Ditto for Boston sending players to Providence.

BUT there are two significant drawbacks which would probably prevent it from happening in the next 2-3 years:

1) Having an AHL team in the Atlanta market – perceived or real – would draw additional fans and ticket revenues away from the NHL Thrashers – not a good selling point for prospective new owners.

2) AHL teams have a blend of ownership between NHL teams owning the franchise, or independent owners owning the AHL franchise. AHL franchise fees (new franchise or existing, dormant franchises) aren’t as cheap as they used to be, and I can’t imagine local business owners buying an AHL team in Gwinnett with the uncertainty of the Thrashers, and thus hockey in the market. Thus the new prospective owners of the Thrashers would probably have to buy an AHL franchise and put into Gwinnett – again not a short-term selling point.

I do believe however, that Atlanta needs a different player arrangement with an AHL franchise.

MASHAPlayer7

March 14th, 2011
8:56 am

haha…i just had a great thought. If Vancouver would somehow end their player development with the Manitoba Moose (based in Whiner-peg) , the Thrashers can begin to send their AHL players to there! Not only do we get a potentially better player development situation, but we undoubtedly send a giant FU to the Whiner-peggers.

Smoothie

March 14th, 2011
9:05 am

LAC – bite me man. You miss the point of my “attacks” on Sage every time. You love to defend his POV, why? At least you can see the positive every once in awhile. He’s just here to push a stupid agenda that never gives any credit to the players for actually performing on the ice. Is this team flawed? Certainly. Is this team limited? Of course. But there is potential here and for him to continue denying that just because he’s upset with ownership/management is a broken freakin’ record and I’m tired of hearing it. Just like I’m tired of you sticking up for him like he’s your little brother or something. He can fend for himself so why don’t you let him fight his own battles?? Also, do you not see the hypocrisy of your statements when you attack me for doing the same thing that Sage does to everyone on this blog almost every single day?? You wanna be negative? Fine. But stop being such a pr!ck about it and trying to make people feel bad about getting excited once in awhile over a GD sporting event. It’s entertainment. If someone wants to come on here and express a little enthusiasm for the possibility of an extended run and some drama down the stretch, then he should let them without always attacking the “sunshine brigade” or whatever. We’re fans and there are emotional swings that he doesn’t seem to respect so screw him. We’re all disappointed about the history of this franchise and don’t need to be hit over the head with it ad nauseam (that means all the time by the way) so keep your personal opinion of me to yourself and I’ll leave the both of you two alone.

World Be Free

March 14th, 2011
9:07 am

MASHA-Winnepeg farm team – very nice and that would be great!

LAC-another point on Edmonton, is their inability to attrack players to their city – they have to develop their own, homegrown talent much the same as the St. Louis Cardinals did in the 1920-1940’s. Players grew up knowing the Cardinal way.

Rawhide

March 14th, 2011
9:21 am

Good morning everyone. Here’s just a couple quick notes/thoughts…

Tom makes a good point regarding the possible naming of the 7th Fan Award simply The “Benning Award”. Regardless though, what people here need to do in order to push this effort along is to pick up the phone and contact their ticket reps.

Make it happen Thrasherville.

Now, as for all those who have commented here about the fact that the teams simply needs to take it “one game at a time” and not concern themselves with scoreboard watching or looking too far ahead…you’re 100% correct. That’s what the team should be doing…concentrating all their efforts to planning how to deal with the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night…then the Flyers after that and then the Sabres after that.

However, as fans this is part of the fun during any kind of playoff push. We can scoreboard watch all day long and it doesn’t affect what the team is doing or how they prepare. To that point, tonight the Tampa Bay Lightning play in Toronto. Since we have almost ZERO chance of catching the Bolts at this point, but the Leafs are tied with us…I’m rooting here for Toronto Tampa Bay.

Then tomorrow night, along with pulling for the Thrashers in NJ, I’m looking for the Islanders to beat the Rangers, Philly to beat Florida and the Carolina/Buffalo game to hopefully not go into OT. But if Buffalo does win, then we could catch back up with the Canes with a win over the Devils.

FormerIslesFan

March 14th, 2011
9:24 am

Just a few quick notes here. First, my thanks to Amy, WBF, Smoothie, RH and all the others I got to hang with at the Devils’ game on Friday night. Great time was had, barring the final score. Sorry I couldn’t join all of you on Saturday night, but I would like to think I was there in spirit. Too much Little League during the day, though. I just needed to crash and watch the game on the couch.

I agree that the Bennings (plural) should have the award named after them. Maria means every bit as much to the Thrashers (and their fans) that her husband did. And frankly, considering that she was AT THE GAME on Friday night, even after her husband pased…and telling others to enjoy the game (!!) makes me believe this is one Iron Lady and someone after whom such an honor should be given.

FormerIslesFan

March 14th, 2011
9:25 am

“Since we have almost ZERO chance of catching the Bolts at this point, but the Leafs are tied with us…I’m rooting here for Toronto.”

Ummmm….RH, am I missing something here, or shouldn’t you be rooting for Tampa in this situation??

Rawhide

March 14th, 2011
9:30 am

FIF – Yes…as I just edited, Tampa Bay is who I want to see win tonight.

Smoothie

March 14th, 2011
9:34 am

FIF – no doubt man, the award should definitely be named to honor the both of them and their “iron will” dedication to fandom. They are as intrinsically tied to this franchise as anyone and their steadfast love and commitment to this team over the years are positives to be honored as reminder of what is absolutely good and pure about being a fan.

I for one will be calling my tkt rep and e-mailing Rob Koch/Travis Betts to express my belief that the 7th Man Fan Appreciation Award should be renamed the Benning Family 7th Man Exemplary Fan Award or something to that effect. Just as the many wondeful folks on this blog pushed so hard to make sure they were honored last spring, so too shall we form a united front and make this happen. I have every bit of faith that we will.

Party on…and yes, LET’S GO BOLTS! SMOOSH THE LOAFS!!

ben

March 14th, 2011
9:45 am

an AHL team in Duluth is a bad idea until this team gets substantially better for this reason: the talent-level is comparable, and folks’ll go w/ the cheaper version every time and twice on Sunday. That said, it might work after, long after, new owners are brought in and change the culture of this team into a winner.

AtlFlamesFan

March 14th, 2011
10:17 am

I’ve always been a proponent of the AHL in Gwinnett (I would prefer Cobb, but since we do not have an arena…) and I do not think an AHL team would draw from the Thrashers. However, I think the biggest issue would be cost. I believe that currently the Thrashers pay the salaries for about half of the Wolves’ roster. In Gwinnett, they would have to pay for a whole team, and an AHL payroll is much higher than ECHL. Easy for us to make this call, since it would be paid for with OPM (other people’s money).

glovesave29

March 14th, 2011
10:28 am

Ben – the worst team in the NHL will beat the AHL’s Calder Cup champ 95% of the time. Making the Glad the top farm team WILL MAKE the Thrashers better. We need organizational consistency. How many times have we all heard the term doing it “the Braves way”. We need the same in hockey.

Masha – some good points, but what better way to show the fans of Atlanta you are serious about building a winner here than to spend some money on organizational expenses such as building a good farm system? The current attendance for the Glads in the ECHL is about 5300 per game…puts them right in the middle of the pack in the AHL. Plenty to cover expenses. More players at the AHL level are under NHL contracts, thus controlling costs.

Red Light

March 14th, 2011
10:31 am

The problem with having Gwinnett as the AHL team is pure and simply this: there are few teams in the Southeast, which means travel by bus can be quite onerous on the team. The closest team to Charlotte is Norfolk and other than that their division rivals are all in the Northeast, and that means Glads ownership would have to increase ticket prices to offset increased travel expenses, and they’d have to ask for more money from their sponsors.

The cheapest ticket for a Charlotte game is $15.55 and goes up to $59.00. The current highest price for the Glads games is $31 and the lowest is $11. If you asked Glads fans would they pay an extra $10 to $15 for a ticket to a game, how many would really want to pony up the difference to see an AHL team vs. an ECHL team, when many are simply casual fans who are looking for cheap entertainment?

KLS1

March 14th, 2011
10:36 am

There is hope in March…that is good. I’m sigining off until after the Devils game…there is nothing left to say until we win.

And of course if we lose we are done.

Joe Friday

March 14th, 2011
10:54 am

“Did anyone see Hainsey’s on the post game show? I was wondering why the attitude?”

I saw that. He was pissed off at something. Wonder what’s up with that?

No doubt, WBF, not hard to read between the lines on the guys finally getting motivated after Marlachuk had to read them the speech. Ramsay just doesn’t have “it”.

Nice win, would love to see them make a run, but we’re too far back with too many teams to leap, I think.

glovesave29

March 14th, 2011
11:12 am

RL – read my first post on the subject…southeastern cities for the AHL to move to.

Dwayne

March 14th, 2011
11:16 am

Jus t don’t see Thrashers getting in the playoffs, even if Thrashers go 8-3-2, that’s 88 point, Buffalo and the Rangers would only have to win 7 to stay ahead. I doubt both of them play sub .500 hockey. Still have the leaves and the Hurricanes too.

Smoothie

March 14th, 2011
11:46 am

Dwayne – if I had to guess, I’d say Buffalo’s in, but we need to beat them Saturday as they for some reason struggle at home. But the combined records for the Rangers and Canes since the All-Star Game is 13 – 19 – 5 as both are well under .500. If both of them continue that trend and the Thrashers can get to 88/89 points, they’ve got a chance. But you know Chance’s best friend happens to be a guy named “Slim”. lol

I think Carolina may be in trouble as they still have 4 back to back games on their schedule despite being at home for 8 out of 13. Should the Rangers continue to fade as well, that 4/8 game vs Carolina at Philips could be the biggest game in Atlanta since Game 2 of the 2007 SC Playoffs. Of course, I’m getting way ahead of the game. Gotta beat NJ to not only keep the momentum going but put some distance b/w us and them.

Rangers need 13 points in 13 games to get to 89. Seems very reasonable, but they only had 14 in the last 13 since their loss to the Thrashers a little over a month ago. NY’s next three games are against NYI, MTL and then on the road against Pitt. Would be nice to get help from at least two of them so we can pick up at least 2 in the standings this week assuming we can go 2 – 1 vs NJ, Philly & Buff.

ThrasherTim

March 14th, 2011
11:51 am

Let’s hope that this blog topic doesn’t do the same to the team as the one back in Dec. (Is this the best Thrashers team ever? [All disclaimers noted]).

We still don’t have a regulation win in forever, so to expect this team to go on a real run is asking a lot. The good news is that we still have games against NJ, Carolina, Buff and NYR to help our cause. However, we must win all those 4. Oh, and we still have Philly for 2 more. Think they will want to make a statement Thursday night?!

World Be Free

March 14th, 2011
12:04 pm

J/F-add to this the fact that Clint is not a ra-ra over the top personality either. But the message sure got through, they played a great 3rd period in Philly. I am looking more towards next season, too many points to make up and these 3 point games are killers.

FIF-great meeting you and Badger Bob Friday night, wish we could have enjoyed the same outcome Friday as we had Saturday. TJ’s was rockin’ Saturday night.

Smoothie-Sabres have some leadership issues, their captain (Rivet) was placed on waivers. They seem to be searching for a leader and I really don’t see anyone stepping up right now. We could catch them at home. Carolina lost at home Saturday to Columbus, so they have some issues too.

Dwayne

March 14th, 2011
12:10 pm

Gonna hold out for that miracle.

GaVaHokie

March 14th, 2011
12:11 pm

I think they should call the Kiss Cam the T.J. Benning Kiss Cam… or the T.J. Benning Makeout Minute.

But the 7th Man award is a good idea too.

R. Stroz

March 14th, 2011
2:44 pm

GaVaHokie – That is completely uncouth and utterly classless in regards to a gentleman who was awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze and Silver Star.

Alan R.

March 14th, 2011
3:03 pm

Honoring a war hero by naming the 7th man award after him is completely appropriate.

The Kiss Cam stuff is inappropriate. I’d rather see it sponsored by ReMax or something, instead of named after a war hero.

glovesave29

March 14th, 2011
3:09 pm

Rumor has it that the team will be losing those horrible maroon third jerseys, and will bring back something akin to the original dark blues (with the Reebok cut / stripe changes like the white ones underwent) for next season.

glovesave29

March 14th, 2011
3:10 pm

Alan – how about the “Uncle Milty Kiss Cam”?

Joe Friday

March 14th, 2011
3:11 pm

Guys, you are right, but give Hokie a one time pass on that brain fart. He’s got the young baby and coupled with the time change, he’s probably running on fumes (for some reason this time change has me jet lagged badly today)

I was very impressed by how the club honored Mr. Benning on Friday night. Those men that fought for our country were truly that Greatest Generation and we give the management of the club plenty of crap, but they did right by him Friday night.

Alan R.

March 14th, 2011
3:15 pm

Glovesave – Only if it’s coupled with a sponsor, for additional insult.

“Uncle Milty Kiss Cam, sponsored by Ty-D-Bowl”

JF – You’re definitely right about feeling jet lagged. I’m in the same position.

That is, a reclined position in my chair, at my desk, and half-asleep.

Rawhide

March 14th, 2011
3:29 pm

JF – You’re definitely right about feeling jet lagged. I’m in the same position. That is, a reclined position in my chair, at my desk, and half-asleep.

Alan R. – Ya know…that reminds me of something. Several years ago I suffered from insomnia. I went to see a doctor about it and he told me that I needed to place myself in an environment more conducive towards sleeping. He suggested that I surround myself with items that made falling asleep, easier and more natural.

So…I moved all of my furniture from my office at work into my bedroom at home :lol:

moriler

March 14th, 2011
3:34 pm

Remaining schedules…

Rangers -12, 76 pts: Isles (x2), Canadiens, Penguins, Panters, Sens, Bruins (x2), Sabres, Thrashers, Devils, Flyers
Sabres -13, 76 pts: Canes (x2), Thrashers, Predators, Canadiens, Devils, Toronto, Rangers, Capitals, Lightning, Flyers, Blue Jackets
Canes -13, 72 pts: Sabres (x2), Toronto, Isles (x2), Lightning (x3), Sens, Caps, Red Wings, Thrashers, Canadiens
Toronto -13, 70 pts: Lightning, Canes, Panthers, Bruins (x2), Wild, Avalanche, Red Wings, Sabres, Sens, Capitals, Devils, Canadiens
Thrashers -13, 70 pts: Devils, Flyers (x2), Sabres, Isles, Canucks, Sens, Canadiens, Bruins, Predators, Rangers, Canes, Penguins

Rangers have Isles, Panters, and Sens as “soft” games (figure 8 points), Canadiens/Sabres/Thrashers/Devils as “even” games (4 points), and the Penguins, Bruins and Flyers as “hard” games (give ‘em 2 points for a couple OT losses or a win). That gives them 90 points.

Sabres have the Blue Jackets as “soft” (2 points), the Caps, Flyers, and Lightning as “hard” (give ‘em 2 points also), and the remaining 9 as “even” games (9 points). This would give the Sabres 89 points.

Canes have the Isles and Sens as “soft” (6 points), the Wings, Capitals, and Lightning as ‘hard’ (call it 3 points since it’s five games), and the remaining 5 as “even” (5 points). The Canes would end up at 86 points.

Toronto has Ottawa, the Avs, and Panters as “soft” (6 points), the Bruins, Wings, Lightning, and Capitals as “hard” (3 points), and their remaining 4 as “even” (4 points). This would give them 83 points.

And we have the Isles and Sens as “soft” games (4 points), the Flyers, Canucks, Bruins, and Pens as “hard” (3 points), and the remaining as “even” (6 points). We’d end up with 83 points as well.

While 3 of our games are against other competitors and so there’s some wiggle room there, the simple fact is that if we’re going to make the playoffs, we’re going to need to get plain ol’ ordinary “hot” to do it. Real hot, too, not just “getting away with it” hot like the Flyers game. We need 7 extra points from either the teams we play ‘even’ against, or the teams who are clearly better than us. The only saving grace is that we might be in the Flyers’ head now, and we get two more games against ‘em.

Thoughts?

GaVaHokie

March 14th, 2011
3:35 pm

Ouch, tough crowd… I meant no harm. And I promise, I was one of the first people to stand and applaud at their tribute the other night. And when people asked what it was all about, I explained it to everyone.

Alan R.

March 14th, 2011
3:36 pm

Bill – Not a half bad idea! ;)

moriler

March 14th, 2011
3:37 pm

What all the above noise means from a prediction standpoint:

* The Rangers have the easiest schedule, so don’t hope too much that they’ll fall out.
* The Sabres are the most volatile of all the teams as those ‘even’ matchups can go either way easily to create a bad or good streak.
* The three teams currently “out” are going to have to beat teams that are ‘better’ than them to get in — no way around it. The playoffs will look just like this unless one of those three teams gets hot. I didn’t analyze the Devils but they’re in similar shape — just too many points out.

Rawhide

March 14th, 2011
3:57 pm

moriler – That’s a pretty good breakdown of the situation. Now, what I find interesting is your mark of 83 points for the Thrashers if that all breaks the way you outline. 83 points is exactly how many the Thrashers got last season…and John Anderson was fired after it because, as Dudley put it, they thought they had a team that should have been competing for a playoff spot.

Now, I guess the question I would have is…if the Thrashers finished with 83 points, would that be considered a “success”?

On the one hand, that’s simply treading water from last year, and to many it would be quite disappointing considering where the team was around the midpoint of the season…22-15-6 for 50 points after the 3-2 win in Florida on January 5.

On the other hand, to get to 83 points they would need to go something like 6-6-1 over the last 13 games of the season…9-7-1 over the last 17 games counting the last four. That in and of itself could be considered a minor miracle given the fact these Thrashers only won 4 times between games 44 and 65…a 22 game stretch…and only once since the All Star break have they won in regulation. That came over a month ago when they beat the Rangers 3-2 after Opie stopped a penalty shot and Kane scored twice after that in the third period.

Zombie Steve

March 14th, 2011
4:00 pm

I hope the boys are eager to dish out some payback to Kovy and the other minions of NJ.

moriler

March 14th, 2011
4:02 pm

Sadly, we threw away most of our ’soft’ games in the losing streak, or we’d be looking at a lot better scenario right now. But it is what it is — and as I’ve mentioned before, at least we know that we’ll come into the playoffs either on fire or not at all.

Something to keep in mind: They may be waiting ’til after the season to make a decision on Ramsay because there simply isn’t any point to doing so during this season. This is the first year of Dudley’s reign, and he’s had to undo a lot of damage. You don’t make plans for the playoffs in a “fix the problems” season — you just try to fix the problems, and whereever the team ends up, as long as it isn’t in the lottery, you work from there. Finishing anywhere above 8th would have been overachieving for the pre-trade deadline group of talent.

However, next season is a season we should certainly make a goal of ‘definitely’ getting into the playoffs with the capacity to do some damage, and I’d expect any offseason moves to reflect that. That would be the time I’d expect Ramsay to be moved — after all, we don’t have a Lemaire in our pocket the way the Devils did. It’s pretty easy to decide to sack your first-year coach when you’re replacing him with a guy like that… not so easy when you have to start the search anew.

GaVaHokie

March 14th, 2011
4:16 pm

Ramsay isn’t going anywhere… I don’t think Dudley expected this team to be contenders, and to match last years totals while getting younger would have to be a positive.

From a monetary perspective, the contract terms had to be pretty good for Torchetti to leave Chicago and take an Associate position in Atlanta. Gotta think the Head Coach was pretty lucrative as well. I’d say multiple years for both.

R. Stroz

March 14th, 2011
4:17 pm

GaVaHokie – Understood, Hall Pass granted.

Since my grandfather was a commander in the Pacific Theater during WWII, I’m VERY sensitive to the issue.

Sage of Bluesland

March 14th, 2011
4:18 pm

Don’t fret, folks….Remember that Don Waddell himself proclaimed we were ahead of the Flyers, development-wise, a couple of years ago….When they went from last to first….

(We’re only on our third “Five-Year Plan”…not that I’m counting or anything…)

How this incompetent buffoon still has a job with this organization, I’ll never understand….Yet, they expect me to pay his salary?

Not happening.

GaVaHokie

March 14th, 2011
4:39 pm

Stroz… my grandfather was a medic in the Pacific Theatre.

moriler

March 14th, 2011
5:04 pm

Heh. Funny ol’ world. My grandfather was an infantryman in Europe through the Bulge.

ThrasherTim

March 14th, 2011
5:26 pm

SOB – 2007 called. They want your post back.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Red Light

March 14th, 2011
5:33 pm

Thought that maybe some of you would find the following interesting as we keep an eye of the last 27 days of the regular season.

How the Eastern Conference playoff contenders stack up (category % leaders)

Total number of games allowing two goals or fewer
NYR 35 √
NJD 35 √
BUF 32
TOR 29
CAR 25
ATL 25

Total number of games allowing three goals or fewer
NYR 56 √
NJD 52
CAR 51
BUF 46
TOR 43
ATL 41

Team Records when allowing two goals or fewer
NYR 29-5-1 59 of 70 points
NJD 29-6-0 58 of 70 points
BUF 25-5-2 52 of 64 points
ATL 19-1-5 43 of 50 points √
CAR 19-2-4 42 of 50 points
TOR 18-6-5 41 of 58 points

Team Records when allowing three goals
CAR 9-14-3 21 of 52 points
TOR 7-6-1 15 of 28 points √
ATL 6-7-3 15 of 32 points
BUF 5-6-3 13 of 28 points
NYR 6-13-2 14 of 42 points
NJD 3-13-1 7 of 34 points

Team Records when allowing three goals or less
NYR 35-18-3 73 of 112 points
NJD 32-19-1 65 of 104 points
BUF 30-11-5 65 of 92 points √
CAR 28-16-7 63 of 102 points
TOR 25-12-6 56 of 86 points
ATL 25-8-8 48 of 82 points

Team Records when allowing four goals or more
TOR 5-17-4 14 of 52 points √
ATL 4-20-4 12 of 56 points
BUF 4-16-3 11 of 46 points
CAR 3-12-3 9 of 36 points
NYR 1-12-1 3 of 28 points
NJD 0-13-3 3 of 32 points

R. Stroz

March 14th, 2011
5:35 pm

GaVaHokie – Then you fully understand why I hold these gentlemen in such high reverence.

Red Light

March 14th, 2011
5:47 pm

Noah Welch has been recalled from Chicago.

Red Light

March 14th, 2011
5:57 pm

ZAvalanche

March 14th, 2011
6:29 pm

Hartley gets a hall pass from me for the rest of his life.

Cornbread

March 14th, 2011
6:35 pm

moriler that is interesting analysis and you are correct in the Thrashers missing their opportunity during the soft February schedule. They needed 9-10 more points that they should have had that month and things would be very different. Now it just got a lot harder.

The Rangers are where I predicted them to be after their hard schedule of the past couple of months. The only thing I did not think would be going on is that they would still be in the playoffs thanks to the Thrashers and Canes not getting it done. Also, Buffalo? Give me a break. They are winning on emotion right now.

As far as the Thrashers current play goes, you gotta like what we have been seeing. They have not quit. They also are not playing any different then how they did back in February. The difference is finally getting some wins that they deserved in many of their losses. The Thrashers need hot goaltending and timely goal scoring if they are going to have a chance. The rest of their game is capable of playing with anyone.

Brendan

March 14th, 2011
6:39 pm

I saw that Hartley landed a job in Switzerland. Good for him.

Sage of Bluesland, Don Waddell may have kept his job because he knew of the Spirit’s plan to try to sell the team, almost from the point of acquisition, and kept his mouth shut about it in exchange for the paycheck, that lasted 5 more seasons. If you’re looking for a good blackmail story, that’s probably about as good as it’s gonna get. Imagine fans KNOWING about the plan to sell … since 2005! It’d be a LOT harder to sell tickets during that span of years, while the Spirit was tied up in litigation.

LAC

March 14th, 2011
7:27 pm

Correct as ALWAYS Mr.Sage !!!!! I agree 110% with your comments !

Cliff Fletcher

March 14th, 2011
9:07 pm

just when you thought it was safe to come back to the blog again…..

i haven’t been here for a few weeks, as soon as i click on there is sage of redundancy once again “buffoon, incompetent, five year plan, still employed”. thanks for the good comedy and tell us sometime why you still come back? you must have been a water boy in high school.

captain of the obvious

glovesave29

March 14th, 2011
9:12 pm

Sage = Col. Klink…know NOTHINK!

Badger Bob

March 14th, 2011
10:10 pm

Bravo, TTim.

Recall that about this time last year we were at the bottom of the division of four or five striving for the last two spots. The “division” winners for slots 7 and 8? Montreal (who went on to slay the President’s trophy winners) and Philly (who went to the finals, of course). That should be motivation to try to squeak past this crowd.

Excellent analyses, moriler and R/L. Then again you can go nuts trying to analyze “hard” and “soft” games in this league. The Thrashers homestand that got us believing was very hard. February was very soft. Points earned did not reflect the level of competition.

Two or three of the six teams will get hot despite their schedule – let’s just hope we’re one of ‘em.

Badger Bob

March 14th, 2011
10:17 pm

Oh, and thanks Tampa!

Badger Bob

March 14th, 2011
10:38 pm

Some final fun facts for the night:

The three contests between NJ and ATL have involved 49 different skaters. The number one scorer out of those 49? Ilya Kovalchuk, with 4 points. The worst +/- out of those 49 players? Ilya Kovalchuk, at -4. That about sums up Blueland’s experience with Kovy…

The Devils hold a modern-day NHL record of not allowing a first-period goal to 16 straight opponents. That ends in about 21 hours…

R. Stroz

March 15th, 2011
2:13 am

Could Cousins Properties about to make amends for something that happened 30 years ago?

http://www.ajc.com/business/cousins-leads-team-picked-872155.html

One of the interested purchasing parties wanted to redevelop the “gulch.”

Eon Rodeo

March 15th, 2011
3:07 am

Thrashers fans are delusional. The Leafs aren’t likely to make the playoffs, I know that, but I still expect them to finish ahead of the Thrash!

Go Leafs Go!

Cliff Fletcher

March 15th, 2011
7:57 am

Eon
yet another troll – another real classy leafs polluting our site.

there’s a real why the leafs are the most hated team in the nhl

moriler

March 15th, 2011
8:06 am

He had to come say something after the Make Believes folded like a cheap napkin against the Lightning last night.

Cliff Fletcher

March 15th, 2011
8:09 am

i hope the leafs are bought and moved to san diego

World Be Free

March 15th, 2011
8:38 am

Leafs’ season was Saturday night, coming back to beat a team in the 3rd period that was playing the last game of a 7 game road trip. Giguere and Dion were the 2 big pickups of last season, both been booed at home this season by the “Leaf Faithful” whatever that means!

Yeah, go Leafs go!

Hoof Arted

March 15th, 2011
9:24 am

“i hope the leafs are bought and moved to san diego”

Cliff, San Diego is far too nice of a city for the likes of them. I’d say move them to some place like Birmingham, Alabama. At least that way we have another NHL town to drive to for away Thrashers games.

Smoothie

March 15th, 2011
9:44 am

Leafs have been blown to the curb. It’s now a 4 horse race with the Rangers leading by a couple of lengths at the far turn. As they approach the 1/8 pole, will the Canes be able to mount a final run. Can the Thrashers, who are 5 lengths back, find enough will and fortitude to ignite one final charge. And will the Devils, whose late kick has moved them from 30 lengths back into contention, have enough left in the tank to catch the Rangers at the wire?

AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME!!!

Tom

March 15th, 2011
9:47 am

Is it ironic or pathetic that the Leafs fans measure their success based on how they do in the standings compared to the Thrashers?

I am starting to think that irregardless of the fact that we have had a decade of futility our prospects and our history is still better than the Leafs during the same period.

SomaAtl95

March 15th, 2011
9:51 am

Hey Eon, 1967 called – they want your cockiness back. The leafs haven’t won a championship in the near entire length that ANY pro-sports (even the teams that were stolen) have been in Atlanta.
Aside from the Blue Jays back to back world series wins (in a sport that Americans don’t mind sharing with the rest of the world) in the 1990’s, has Toronto won anything?
And no, I’m not going to count the award for Canada’s douchiest fans – thats assumed to go to the “Leaf Faithful” every year.

SomaAtl95

March 15th, 2011
9:54 am

Trixie, can you release my most recent post? Looks like it got caught! Thank you!

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

March 15th, 2011
10:00 am

Mr. SomaAtl95 – Your 9:51 am post has been freed from Blog Purgatory.

BLUELANDbeliever

March 15th, 2011
10:11 am

I really think that if somehow, the Thrashers we saw in the 3rd period and in OT on Saturday decide to stick around that we have a legit run at a playoff spot. Lets do this boys!!

Also, 7th man award should= TR Benning Award

Don Waddell

March 15th, 2011
10:22 am

Mr. Bluesland, check your spam filter.

Midfield

March 15th, 2011
10:59 am

Brendan, I wonder if Thrashers fan club can hire a lwayer – preferably from King and Spalding – and file a class action lawsuit against SAG for misrepresentation and fraud.

Thomas Magnum

March 15th, 2011
11:14 am

I like the idea of the the 7th man award being the TR Benning award.

Eon Rodeo

March 15th, 2011
11:21 am

Toronto Maple Leafs — undefeated in the playoffs since 2006!
Go Leafs Go!

BTW Tom, “irregardless” isn’t a word.

moriler

March 15th, 2011
11:24 am

“How do you know it’s spring in Canada?”
“The Leafs are out.”

SomaAtl95

March 15th, 2011
11:45 am

No Leafs No! It must really annoy some people that the US has held the cup hostage since 1993 – the players may not be from the US but the teams those players work for most certainly are.
Only thing better than keeping the cup out of its homeland is the fact that the Leafs will go yet another year without any hope of winning anything aside from “The Burke Waffle Cone Futility Award”

BLUELANDbeliever

March 15th, 2011
11:49 am

Rodeo, i think you mean BLOW LEAFS BLOW! I hope you like waffles cuz i see a few dozen plates of em coming yalls way, EH.

Rawhide

March 15th, 2011
12:07 pm

OK gang…here’s a new blog for you to discuss tonight’s game in New Jersey. Both the Devils and Thrashers will be looking to remain in the playoff conversation.

Cliff Fletcher

March 15th, 2011
12:11 pm

hoof–

greater insult, move the leafs to buffalo so ny state would have 4 teams an ontario would have 1.

dave keon swore off the leafs 30 yeras ago, hasn’t been back since. first class organization in tonroto that’s for sure, just what loafs’ fans deserve. a billion dollars for a team that never wins-only in canada.

kracker

March 15th, 2011
1:08 pm

Yo, Old Rodeo, Miriam-Webster sez this about the word irregardless:

“Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance.”

Go have some fun over at twitter searching for references to #leafssince1967. There are thousands of them.

Brendan

March 15th, 2011
2:37 pm

People say “irregardless” a lot in common speech. I think they generally speaking meant “regardless.” But if they simply must use “ir” … the correct word is “irrespective.” But I’m not a grammar Nazi. To me, a post that makes sense upon its first reading … reflects successful communication. Posts that don’t have any punctuation … where you don’t know where a thought begins and ends … or even the point it’s trying to convey …. reflects a bad post. And for some folks, English isn’t their first language. I give them a “pass” on grammar.

Midfield, that would be hilarious!!

R. Stroz

March 17th, 2011
10:30 am

Rawhide

March 19th, 2011
8:01 pm

R. Stroz – Nope.