After shootout victory Thrashers embark on last road trip of season

Here are just a few random, passing thoughts that I have following Sunday’s 5-4 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators. I’ll just toss them out there for you and you may deal with them as you may…add yours if you’d like

First off, I would seriously like to know just what it is with the Thrashers and 2-goal leads. Yesterday Atlanta held leads of 3-1 and 4-2, but the Senators were still able to drag them past regulation anyway.

By my count, yesterday was the fifth straight time they’ve fail to properly care for that kind of advantage when they’ve had it. Twice they’ve lost in regulation, the other three they’ve won, but required overtime or a shootout.

Thrashers captain Andrew Ladd, seen here in action against Vancouver last Friday, says his team needs to learn how to play with the lead (Photo Michelle Rivers)

Thrashers captain Andrew Ladd, seen here in action against Vancouver last Friday, says his team needs to learn how to play with the lead (Photo Michelle Rivers)

At least this time was one of those that we were able to celebrate a victory…and we in Thrasherville have come to know all too well that when it comes to this team and wins, you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.

To that point, Thrashers captain Andrew Ladd opined after the game. “It’s still frustrating to give up a two-goal lead in the third. At some point we have to learn to play with the lead and not give up two goals.

“But we wanted two points and we got them.”

It was the 27th time the Thrashers have played beyond the scheduled 60 minutes during a game. That’s greater than one-third of the 75 games played so far. Atlanta has won 15 of those games, five in a shootout.

Just what does that mean in the big scheme of things? Well, consider this…the Thrashers have now netted 76 points for the season, or a points winning percentage of .507%.

However, given that their opponents have won 31 times in regulation, 12 times in OT and15 times have force overtime before losing to us…that means they’ve collectively skated away with 101 of a possible 150 points so far this season. That’s a “points losing” percentage of .673.

In the second half of the season alone, Atlanta has allowed the opposition 52 of the possible 68 points, or a points losing percentage of .765%.

In earning points 75 and 76 this year, coach Craig Ramsay has now match the total points total of John Anderson in his first season behind the bench. He now has seven games left in which to try and equal the 83 Anderson coached the Thrashers to in his last season here.

If you wish to go back to the first full season Bob Hartley coached here, which was 2003-04, he was able to coach the team to 74 points. However, he had a little more than half a season the year prior after he was hired on. Also, they didn’t have the benefit of shootouts to determine the outcome of games back then.

If you want a more “apples to apples” comparison, if you remove the 5 gimmick points awarded for shootout wins, the Thrashers would have 71 points right now if they played under the same rules as prior to the lockout.

After celebrating their shootout win over the Ottawa Senators, the Thrashers will now take off on a five-game road trip. It will be their last games away from home this season (AP Photo/John Amis)

After celebrating their shootout win over the Ottawa Senators, the Thrashers will now take off on a five-game road trip. It will be their last games away from home this season (AP Photo/John Amis)

In allowing four goals to Ottawa Sunday, Atlanta has now given up a total of 246 for the season. That’s 10 off of last year’s 256. The season before that they gave up 280.

They’ve scored 210 goals so far…and will need 24 goals in the last seven games to match the 234 scored a year ago. They produced 257 goals during the 2008-09 campaign.

With their -36 goals for/goals against numbers, it looks like the Thrashers will not continue the downward trend of that stat over the last couple of seasons. During the dable that was the 2007-08 season in which they allowed 56 more goals than they scored, the GF/GA deficit was cut to -23 and -22 in the past two years.

The 28 shots allowed to the Sens marked the seventh consecutive game in which they’ve held their opponent to fewer than 30 SOG. Just prior to that streak they gave up exactly 30 to New Jersey. In fact, since the All Star game the defense has allowed the opposition 30 or fewer shots 15 times in 23 games played.

Their record is 8-12-3 during that time.

The Thrashers will now embark on a five game road trip before closing out the season with two home games. During their travels, they will take on five teams that all currently hold on to a playoff position.

Montreal and the New York Rangers each have 87 points and have the sixth and seventh spots in the Eastern Conference. Boston recently clinched a spot and lead the Northeast Division with 94 points. Nashville’s 92 points puts them in sixth place out west while the Flyers own the east’s top spot with 100.

While they won’t be able to knock any one of those teams out of the playoffs during this year’s ‘Spring Spoiler Tour’, the Thrashers will at least have a chance to help bump them down a peg ot two.

76 comments Add your comment

moriler

March 28th, 2011
12:01 pm

World Be Free

March 28th, 2011
12:09 pm

Another season without playoffs-just like being a Bills’ fan.

One of the reasons I have been hard on Ramsay the second half of the season, is his team’s inability to protect a lead regardless of the strength of the opponent-we can fail against the worst of them. This is basic hockey, drop at least one forward back to ensure you have NO odd man rushes against your team. Watch the elite teams protect a lead and you can see it can be done.

Get a center that can win faceoffs

Big and Little

March 28th, 2011
12:16 pm

Hey what do you mean “last road trip of the season”? The “Miracle Run Has Begun” started yesterday afternoon. We will win every game the rest of the season and scrape into 8th place. There is no confidence around here and that is the problem!

LAC

March 28th, 2011
12:20 pm

WBF is right, holding leads is a BIG problem, look at yesterday.

Need a NHL Quality Goalie and two Defensive defensemen, and about 6 guys who can put the puck in the net on a regular basis. Lastly get RID of little zach, he will never learn !

World Be Free

March 28th, 2011
12:21 pm

How about bringing back Marty Reasoner? Just a thought….
Montreal tomorrow night and the media is starting to call the Habs “gutless”. Thanks media, for stoking up the Habs just as our plane touches ground!

World Be Free

March 28th, 2011
12:28 pm

LAC-embarrassing that this team has developed one goaltender in 11 seasons-Pavs. The Preds could outfit an entire conference with the goaltenders they have developed.

TableHockey

March 28th, 2011
12:36 pm

I suspect we get mathematically eliminated on 4/2 vs the Bruins – let the Death Watch begin. I need to dig up my pre-season projections here on the blog to confirm but I think I’m pretty close though I thought we were going to be in the lottery pick which seems unlikely now.

I do hope we can get Ladd signed – wasn’t too long ago Chris Viv was reporting that they were close. Would be nice to keep a captain for a second season for once.

oh well

March 28th, 2011
12:41 pm

Wait! The Falcons blow a four TD lead in the fourth quarter then kick a FG to defeat the Detroit Lions at the Georgia Dome. Am I happy about win? Yes. Such a performance does however have the feel of a loss. Like 4-2 lead on home ice in dying stages of third period. Only to be forced to salvage SO triumph. Doubt any Thrasher followers will/can understand that comparison but I tried. :(

michael

March 28th, 2011
12:41 pm

I still don’t understand why we traded sopel. He lead the team in blocked shots and was willing to pay the price down low.

World Be Free

March 28th, 2011
12:55 pm

michael-right on, I was hoping he would resign at the end of the season as well

Smoothie

March 28th, 2011
1:00 pm

Hey, that Slater guy is pretty good at winning face-offs…oh, darn.

Bill – great job with the numbers but for a more meaningful comparison, I think you need to adjust out S/O goals AND empty netters. We’ve lost far more 1-goal games this year than under JA in either of his two seasons. We had more “big” games last year offensively where as we’ve seen the team lose a lot of heart-breakingly close games where they lost in OT or couldn’t get the equalizer at the end. Seriously, 13 empty netters and counting. Take that number off the team plus/minus and it’s a respectable -12 at even strength. I’d say the PP going belly up has been a bigger problem than our ES play, but it’s close.

Smoothie

March 28th, 2011
1:03 pm

Take it from me, via a guy who lived next door to Sopes during the season, he was NOT going to re-sign here regardless of how the season turned out. He was one and done.

TrueBlue

March 28th, 2011
1:04 pm

Anyone else wish that the Thrashers would get a 2 point lead and then just play hard core defense the rest of the game like almost every team in the league does? I blame these blown leads on Ramsays’ “go go go” offense. If you go up by two, time to set the “trap”. Who cares if it’s boring. It wins games. Look at how many games ATL went down by a goal and the other team went into survival mode and just played to win…Bad coaching.

Alan R.

March 28th, 2011
1:07 pm

We traded Sopel because we knew he wasn’t going to re-sign. His family is in Chicago, and I hope they sign him.

Really didn’t think it was that hard to see…

TrueBlue

March 28th, 2011
1:14 pm

Sopel was terrible…why does anyone miss him?

40yrs

March 28th, 2011
1:20 pm

If Bogo keeps his stick on the ice Ottawa never scores that third goal.

Alan R.

March 28th, 2011
1:21 pm

Sopel wasn’t terrible. However, Hainsey had the most blocked shots on the team when Sopel was traded.

Smoothie

March 28th, 2011
1:23 pm

Sad thing is we were trapping late in the game. But we got caught too deep at the end of that last PP, after several good chances to score, and the poor transition gave Spezza too much time and space to make a play. On the last goal, Kaner and Thorbs were lazy attacking the points and then Kaner and Schremp (I think) failed to clear the puck along the boards when they had near full posession. Protecting 1-goal leads comes down to wall play and battling in the corners, and we faded again after dominating those two facets most of the game. Conditioning? Seems hard to believe at this point, but Barry Brennan was criticized for not having the CBJ’s in good enough shape at the end of the season. I find that hard to believe for this young team; it’s more likely a matter of mental strain and playing not to lose.

Smoothie

March 28th, 2011
1:25 pm

Sopel wasn’t “terrible” and he was a close second to Hainsey in BS before he was traded. They made a good cerebral pair who used smarts and savvy to make up for a lack of mobility (Sopel) and strength (Hains). Wouldn’t it be nice to get us a legit top 2 D-man so we can roll out Buff/UFA, Toby/Zach or Oduya and Hains/Stuart??

TrueBlue

March 28th, 2011
1:30 pm

Meh…Sopel did nothing for me. He didn’t have the speed to be effective…He got in the way of shots…Okay…Not hard to stand in the way (though it’s pretty damn brave)…He showed very little offensive ability (yes, I get he is a defensive-defensemen) and his skills did not translate to this team.

Speaking of Sopel…Anyone know why he has only played 7 games with Montreal? I feel like he has been gone a whole lot longer then only 7 games…

Smoothie

March 28th, 2011
1:40 pm

He got hurt. Sopel & Hainsey really weren’t asked to contribute offensively. They kept the puck out of our net. Before Sopes & Hainsey were broken apart, they only yielded 28 ESGA in roughly 50 games. They both had a +/- up around 7 or 8. After Toby got hurt, things started to slide as the pairings got jumbled up and Bogey was given more minutes. Since then Hainsey has stepped up the offense and his +/- is still around 6 or 7. But without Sopes, he’s been on the ice for ESGA about 16 times in 25 games. With Sopes, 28 in 50 (.56) and without, 16 in 25 (.64). As it has been all year, the 2nd pairing has been our downfall.

Brendan

March 28th, 2011
1:46 pm

Rawhide, that was another great blog. I’ve been looking at the possible Thrashers points totals ever since we got stuck on 60-points, mired in a 30-game stretch of season where the team won on a .333 clip. The 76-points in 2008 and 2009 have now been equaled, in a season where the Thrashers never had the services of one Ilya Kovalchuk. The goal production has been down because of that. Lest we average 4 goals a game, for the rest of the season. Last year’s 83-points is actually in reach, but it’ll take a good road trip to make that happen.

Nobody in our AJC.com contest picked 82-points, out of more than 80 guesses, believe it or not. If it winds up 82-points, we’ll have to go to the Division rank and Conference rank tie-breakers to determine our winner(s) this year, Rawhide.

d

March 28th, 2011
1:49 pm

Great values at Thrashers game. Yesterday we pulled into our “usual” parking lot – the state bar of georgia building one block south of blueland. At first the attendant was going to charge us $15 – but he forgot this was a Thrashers game and not the Hawks – so the price to park was only $8. The attendant tells us they “take what ever they can get for a Thrashers game”.

Given we were without tickets, we find a couple of scalpers on the street. The second broker to approach us said “I will take any offer”. So we bought 3 tickets in 113 Row T for just $40 total – $13 per ticket – that had a face value of $78.

Of course I then spent $10 for a diet coke and pretzel…

World Be Free

March 28th, 2011
1:50 pm

Agreed, Sopel was NOT terrible and it was wishful thinking on my part that we could resign him after this season. Seems to be a common theme for most of the players (not all) that have the option of staying here or moving on.

KLS1

March 28th, 2011
1:59 pm

Hainsey definitely has the most blocked shots into our own net if anyone is counting.

Give me a break…blocked shots? This team has much more to worry about than whether Sopel stood in front of more shots than Hainsey.

Trade Bogosian for a good forward and bring up Kulda and Postma. Or trade Kulda and Postma and get a forward who can score. We have all these alleged assets but they somehow never make the team, we bring up Stapleton?

Red Light

March 28th, 2011
2:04 pm

WBF:

I have found only a few instances in which a quality veteran, unrestricted free agent that was previously acquired in a trade chose to stay with the team long term…Slava Kozlov and Chris Thorburn (Shean Donovan & Andreas Karlsson if you’d like). I am sure there are others but few worth mentioning.

Did you know the Thrashers claimed D Stephane Robidas from Montreal in the 2002 NHL Waiver Draft and then dealt him to Dallas for a sixth-round pick (Mike Hamilton)? Robidas has played 600 NHL games since; Hamilton = 0.

Rawhide

March 28th, 2011
2:14 pm

Gwinnett Fred – From your post in the previous blog…it was nice to have met you too.

Big and Little – Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. :cool:

Even if they did, we’d need the Habs and Rangers to earn no more than 2 points and/or the Sabres to earn no more than 4. And that assumes Carolina nor Toronto get to 90 either. They have 80 and 78 repectively.

Brendan – If I’m not mistaken, by preseason prediction was 88 points. They would have to go 6-1 to get that mark. I think the official statistical term for the odds of that happening is…

Notgonnahappennowayinhell.

R. Stroz

March 28th, 2011
2:18 pm

I’m pulling for Jethro in the points contest.

EA

March 28th, 2011
2:26 pm

Sopel has made some real crappy remarks about Atlanta to the Montreal media. In one of them he used “y’all” to make a sarcastic point. This is coming from a guy who can’t spell. Have you ever read his twitter?

Big and Little

March 28th, 2011
2:50 pm

Rawhide: Helllloooo, that’s why they call it a “miracle”. What else do we have other than hope!

Rawhide

March 28th, 2011
3:12 pm

Big and Little – LOL :lol: OK, OK….I gotcha!

I’m with ya, brothah…here’s to hoping!

james c.

March 28th, 2011
3:15 pm

Dear New Potential Owner(s),

1.Please promote this team positively in our community going forward with its young nucleus of talent.Atlanta can be a great hockey town…witness several recent crowds of over 16,000.
2.Sign some solid defensemen to protect our two goal leads.
3.Ditch those dark red jerseys!

SportsFan

March 28th, 2011
3:25 pm

I know Kincade keeps chirping about this “Balkan” as a potential owner…so where is he or it is a ruse? Don’t you find it is rather quiet on the ownership front? I know the Coyotes deal is taking all the pub, but when that settles (if it ever does), the heat goes back on ATL…just sayin’.

james c.

March 28th, 2011
3:29 pm

There has been very little news on the ownership front.Hope there is some good news.Does anyone know how many season ticket subscribers the Thrashers currently have? 2011-2012 tickets are now on sale so I assume that should put the done deal to Winnipeg rumors to bed for a while.I can’t see the NHL letting a market as large as Atlanta fall by the wayside.Phoenix as well but the Goldwater group certainly seems to have screwed that deal up for now unless the NHL steps in and guarantees the bonds instead of Glendale,Arizona.

Zombie Steve

March 28th, 2011
3:31 pm

Sopel has joined the proud group of the one-hit-wonder Thrashers; he’s chillin’ with McArthur and Schubert right now.

SportsFan

March 28th, 2011
3:33 pm

I have no idea on ST holders. I know that I don’t see the political will that AZ is showing to keep the Thrashers should no owners present themselves. I know ASG wants to ride themselves of the Thrashers, and need a local owner willing to take them and not have the extra benefit of having an arena for revenue as well. Unless they take the whole package, but I didn’t think that was an option, or even a package someone wants.

PensFan

March 28th, 2011
3:45 pm

Good to know D. I thought I had some deals at prior Thrashers-Pens game, but yours is great. 13 bucks each for 78 dollar tickets. nice. Maybe the Pens game being the last one will not bring enough Pens fans to lessen the bargains. Last time, I paid half price for some 5th row from midice seats a little towards the vistors attack zone. Unfortunately for me, the pens laid an egg. This was two winters ago.

Flagstaff

March 28th, 2011
3:51 pm

I’ll be there supporting them in Boston!

Terrible (albeit somewhat expected) news about Jim. He’s my favorite player… and I hope to God he’s back next season!

Dwayne

March 28th, 2011
3:56 pm

Any group of Thrasher fans going to Nashville on the 5th of April?

World Be Free

March 28th, 2011
4:03 pm

Zombie Steve-throw Max in there too!

World Be Free

March 28th, 2011
4:07 pm

Red Light-it just seems that more of our UFAs head for the hills than other teams. Images of atlanta are not enhanced by MacArthur, I think Slava enjoyed being out of the limelight in ATL. Robidas-thanks for tossing that 5 # bag of salt into the never-healing wound. Just wonder how good we would be if we could have corrected half our obvious blunders.

Red Light

March 28th, 2011
4:10 pm

“Just wonder how good we would be if we could have corrected half our obvious blunders.”

Just ask our opponents!

Back from NJ

March 28th, 2011
4:15 pm

I wondered about the “Balkan” thing. I was sitting behind a gentlemen at Sunday’s game with a towel with “Reveal the Balkan” or something to that affect.

Back from NJ

March 28th, 2011
4:23 pm

Ooops. “effect”

hockeygoon79

March 28th, 2011
4:32 pm

Yesteday’s win goes in the “too little too late” column. But how good was it to see Maxwell “house” the puck into the net for his first goal.

World Be Free

March 28th, 2011
4:49 pm

Do we want to finish strrog or do we want to limp in with the chances of getting a higher pick? Can’t wait to hear the responses on this one…..

jimbo

March 28th, 2011
4:50 pm

Rawhide- your presentation of the numbers reinforces the the total folly of Clueless Craig’s strategy of a wide open game. On numerous times, he said that our overall team speed would carry the day. In the last couple of months as others tightened up preparing for a playoff run, he opened up our offense. What did it produce? Very very little. We end up with one of the most porous defenses in the NHL (only Colorado is worse) and we end up with an unbelievable three month skid that has us on the sidelines at playoff time. He has shown no ability to motivate, adjust strategies or stop the free fall. He has failed miserably which means that according to Waddell Wisdom, he’ll be rewarded with a long term extension. What UFA would want to join this zoo?

litz

March 28th, 2011
4:58 pm

“I wondered about the “Balkan” thing. I was sitting behind a gentlemen at Sunday’s game with a towel with “Reveal the Balkan” or something to that affect.”

I can see it now … 5 minutes left before the last game of the season, and improbably, if we win, we make the #8 slot.

Video plays to rile the fans up, and the last line is “Release the Balkan!”

DWTOO

March 28th, 2011
5:01 pm

C Viv’s blog brings up the topic of playing hard to the end. Doubt that many on the bubble (think Stewart, Shremp, et al) would tank it for a draft pick. Some of these guys, like Shremp, are probably auditioning for next year. Hopefully somescouts are paying minor attention to Stewart so he’s gone next year.

Chuck

March 28th, 2011
5:29 pm

Looks like an uphill climb for the Thrashers now, after that loss to Vancouver. Need a big collapse by Buffalo and sweep the rest of the games. I hope chef Ramsey, I mean coach Ramsey, will “grill” his players not to give up to the bitter end…