Mason throws goose egg at hockey’s Grim Reaper as Thrashers blank Flyers

He stands silently in the chilly, damp mist that has blanketed Thrasherville for the past several days. In his hand, he holds a hockey stick with a sharply curved blade instead of a scythe.

Robed in black, he makes his way through the NHL’s landscape to gather up 14 of the league’s poor unfortunate souls. One by one, as they are mathematically eliminated from postseason contention and their playoff aspirations expire, he gathers them up and takes them away.

He is hockey’s Grim Reaper…the angel of the dark light that the Atlanta Thrashers have become very well acquainted over the past eleven NHL seasons.

Thursday night, the Reaper traveled to Philadelphia knowing that a loss to the Flyers would cause the Thrashers playoff hopes to finally flat-line and be declared officially, if not mercifully, dead. Oh, their fate has been known and accepted for some time now and the team’s fans have gathered around the deathbed awaiting the inevitable.

But on this night, death would be cheated as Chris Mason and his 43 saves blanked the Flyers. It was the 21st shutout of Mason’s NHL career and his first as a Thrasher.

Nik Antropov’s third period goal proved to be all the offense the Thrashers would require in the 1-0 win allowing the Thrashers frail playoff chances to cling desperately to life…even if for just one more game. It was goal number 15 of the season for Antropov, who also scored the only goal scored the team’s only goal during Tuesday’s loss in Montreal.

In defeating Philly, Atlanta wrapped up the four game season series with the Eastern Conference’s top team. The Thrashers took three of them…twice beating them in extra time and then Thursday night’s victory.

Saturday afternoon they’ll take on the Northeast Division leading Bruins in Boston. The Thrashers are 2-1 against the Bs this season, winning both games in Atlanta and losing 4-1 up there just before Christmas.

In fact, if you consider the 4-1-1 record against the Southeast Division leading Washington Capitals, they are 9-3-1 so far against the three division leaders and top seeds in the east. Pittsburgh, whom the Thrashers are yet to beat this season, does hold the third highest point total in the conference, but given they trail Philly by four points in the Atlantic Division they are the fourth seed at this time.

Atlanta is 2-1 against the top three out west as they knocked off San Jose 4-2 back on October 16, beat the Big Red Borg 5-1 on Thanksgiving Eve before losing to Vancouver last Friday.

That would leave them with a mark of 11-4-1 against the six division leaders going into this weekend’s bout in Beantown.

Make no mistake… the Atlanta Thrashers will officially and mathematically be eliminated from the playoff race sometime in the coming days. Hockey’s Grim Reaper has time and the odds on his side. All it will take is one more loss or a win by the Rangers and Sabres.

On this night however, as he stood waiting for them next to the Zamboni, they stared back at him and laughed in the face of death.

In defiance, Chris Mason even tossed at goose egg at him.

100 comments Add your comment

Alan R.

April 1st, 2011
12:24 am

Bill, kudos is in order for this fine piece of journalism you’ve composed here!

SomaAtl95

April 1st, 2011
1:02 am

Bravo, Bill. The only thing that takes the sting out of yet another early exit is the fact we’ve still got this blog to come to and talk hockey! Hoping the Thrashers get committed ownership, then as the NHL commercials keep saying, “History will be made”.
Just a shame it took 2 generations of Atl hockey before that finally happens. We’d be old hat in the playoffs if the A$G hadn’t watched the infomercial titled “How to try to flip a sports team and alienate an entire city at the same time”

R. Stroz

April 1st, 2011
1:08 am

GOLD……..APRIL FOOLS!

Brendan

April 1st, 2011
1:25 am

A nice write-up. The Reaper may escort us to Lotterydraftville. Right now, we’re 6th. I was a bit surprised to see Florida is now ranked 15th, behind Ottawa. It’s very possible for the Devils to finish ahead of Atlanta. It’s a little less likely that the Islanders will. But even if it is only NJ that surpasses Atlanta, that’s enough to make us 5th.

You know my policy. Anywhere in the Top 10, but especially in the Top 5, you make a selection. I don’t want to see a repeat of 2005, where we move from 8th to 16th, to pick Alex Bourret, to load up on 2nd rounders. IF we must trade this pick, it’s got to be for a Tier I player, with 4-6 years left on his contract. Otherwise, we might as well just pick someone.

Big and Little

April 1st, 2011
6:53 am

The miracle run continues! They will make a movie of this in years to come!! Go Thrashers!!! Playoffs here we come!!!

EA

April 1st, 2011
6:58 am

Kane says it is fun to play in that kind of atmosphere. We have heard that before. Perhaps with new ownership, we can fill our building on a regular basis and create that atmosphere on a regular basis.

EA

April 1st, 2011
6:59 am

Ooops-regular basis twice–it is early!

BLUELANDbeliever

April 1st, 2011
7:19 am

Big, i love ur optimism but its been over for awhile. Ive been holding out these past few weeks but have decided to enjoy the rest of the season. Mason was spectacular and hes the NHL.com Compuware 1st star of the night. If in fact by nothing short of a miracle, we make the playoffs, my butt will be in the bulb for every game. Stewart, you gotta hit the net there man, no excuse for that. This team does not stand up for the $hi* it takes AT ALL! Why didnt Boulton or Thor or someone mess Carcilo up after the crap they were doing to Burmie? Stop taking crap and stand up for your teammates!

Rip Van Winkle

April 1st, 2011
7:34 am

Don Waddell STILL has a job….and he got promoted, as well?!?

Red Light

April 1st, 2011
7:43 am

Initially, I thought you were talking about Scott Hartnell Bill. Nice lead-in.

Phoenix, Nashville and Anaheim all are 8-2 in their last 10 games, but the President’s Trophy winners are 9-1. Tough to make up ground out west, and the seedings are going to be quite interesting in the West. Dallas loss at San Jose is another crushing blow for their hopes but they still have six games left.

The Rangers are now buckling and both the Canes and Leafs still have a shot. Big SO win for the Buds last night. But, it still is going to take at least 90 points to get a playoff spot IMO, and that would mean Toronto has to win all four games to have a shot, and the Canes will need 6 or 7 points in their last five games. Another interesting final week is coming at us.

Flames

April 1st, 2011
7:49 am

Mason was just awesome last night!

sisu

April 1st, 2011
8:03 am

What a great hockey game to watch! If this type of effort would have been shown few months ago the team would have qualified for the post season. I wonder how NY will feel once they realize they are looking at Carolina making the post season instead of them? Looks like the preseason predictions are coming through on 3 SE teams making the playoffs…

Dwayne

April 1st, 2011
8:08 am

It was a good day, Thrashers win, Braves win.

Flames

April 1st, 2011
8:08 am

I really believe that we are only a few players away from becoming a really good team. I thought the additions of Stuart and Wheeler have worked out well. We need more players like Stuart. He plays with a lot of grit. I really believe that the Ben Maxwell move will work out for us. I don’t know how we can get another scoring forward. I haven’t looked at the free agent market for next year. I just wish we could get a new owner like the one in Buffalo. He was so excited to purchase that team. Look how they responded to the new owner. I think everything starts with a new ownership. It can only go up hill from there.

Mr. Heat Miser

April 1st, 2011
8:10 am

The Thrashers may have just delayed the inevitable but shutting out those Broad Street PUNKS in their own house makes it a little more bearable.

jimbo

April 1st, 2011
8:14 am

Good one, Rawhide. Mason was great. Robbie Schremp may be a find. Let’s hope the Grim One sends old Clueless Craig on a one way Zamboni ride.

Spud Webb

April 1st, 2011
8:29 am

REDLIGHT!!!!!!!!! I’m liking my chances for some steak….2 more wins baby!!!
WOW your Rangers getting CRUSHED last night. Torts was speachless….I couldn’t believe avery went at the end of the game…
Call me crazy, but I love watching that Islanders team. Al Montoya, ARE YOU KIDDING ME! What a great story this guy is.
Thrashers and Isles will both be in teh playoffs next season…two young and exciting teams.

Red Light

April 1st, 2011
8:35 am

It’s a consolation steak for you Spud if you get it. Meaningless wins after elimination was a certainty, long a trait for this club. No worse comment to make than, “we finished only five points out of the 8th spot,” particularly when spending another $3- to $5 million might have made a big difference.

Hope the little one is well!

Michael B. Shapiro

April 1st, 2011
8:46 am

Just how many chances does Anthony Stewart need to score a goal? And then in the third he fails to clear the puck when we urgently need to? Finally, will this team ever score an empty net goal so we can all sigh in relief? Still a good win, especially over the Bullies! Go Thrash.

LAC

April 1st, 2011
8:47 am

Bill, right, but when we are 0-4-2 against Tampa, 1-2-2 against Carolina.

1-3 against Toronto, 0-3 against Pittsburgh, 1-3 against Buffalo, Bad losses to Dallas, Columbus, St.Louis, 1 in OT, 1 in regulation… Bad loss in Edmonton. While we had some other tough losses, Chicago (OTL), Vancouver, several against Tampa… and a couple against Carolina and Eirk Cole !!!

A bounce here or there, NO back to back goals within a minute several times… And where could we be ?

We have scored with the best of them, BUT… The same damn issue that has plagued this franchise since inception, GA, we are going to be at the bottom again, That MUST be addressed in the offseason, We HAVE to shore up the defense. Just think if we had allowed 60 fewer goals, We would be making playoff plans. The defense MUST been upgraded !!! Until we DO, we will be in this same position again and again.

Can dudley & Ramsey NOT see this ?????? Why NOT ????

Fan from Carolina

April 1st, 2011
8:57 am

Very impressive effort and win. Now if they could just pick up a Jeff Skinner type with their draft pick… Thrashers scouts, are you doing your job this year??? The Canes sure stole him after all those clubs passed. The same can happen again. Doesn’t have to be a lottery pick to get a real good one.

Darkhorse

April 1st, 2011
9:03 am

In true Thrasher fashion, they will rise up and win out the last five games and miss the 8th seed by 2pts. Gee, that will be such a good feeling to see the boys step up………..;(

New, quality ownership is the only remedy here.

Oh, and I hope the Buds fall just short. Maybe win on the last day and they’re in, but choke and crumble.

j nes

April 1st, 2011
9:28 am

@Rip

Did you ever see the episode of Seinfeild where Elaine is stuck with an incompetent psychopath of an employee. In order to rid herself of the guy, she promotes him. Maybe that is what happened with DW?

DWTOO

April 1st, 2011
9:31 am

Amazing – We have a winning record against the better teams in the league and suck it up against our fellow bottom feeders. Think that’s called leadership. Hate to see revolvoing coaches in this franchise, but, maybe it’s time for a change. Was listening to the Philly feed for awhile and their DE equivalent (think it’s Keith Jones) was singing Rammers praises. Of course because he’s not their coach.

Hoof Arted

April 1st, 2011
9:32 am

Didn’t Don Waddell tell us three years ago that the Thrashers were futher along than the Flyers it terms of rebuilding?

Or was that just that year’s April Fools joke from him?

AtLFanatic

April 1st, 2011
9:42 am

I like Byfuglien at Defense but I would love to see him moved back to forward. At the beginning of the season it was working well, but then teams adjusted to our style of play and we did not make adjustments back. If we put Byfuglien at forward, I feel like we could create more scoring, knock in more rebounds, and better yet, use our talent that we have better. He is waaaay to good to not be putting up a lot of goals and assists. What you guys think?

Spud Webb

April 1st, 2011
9:51 am

RL…there are NO truer words that this…”particularly when spending another $3- to $5 million might have made a big difference”
Kind leaves a bump in your tummy.
She’s doing great man! thanks

Rawhide

April 1st, 2011
10:00 am

Spud Webb – If I failed to do so before, please allow me to offer up congratulations to you on the birth of your little “Spud-ette”.

Hockey Biltong

April 1st, 2011
10:17 am

Birthday Win… the best kind!!!!!

Not Blind

April 1st, 2011
10:35 am

Philly’s in a bit of a slump and is also getting no ‘puck luck’ at the moment. The whole game was filled with ‘ cover your eyes ’scenarios with the Flyers pressing and the Thrashers floundering but somehow escaping the moment. That somehow doesn’t include much skillful play from the Thrashers, just luck .

Ramsey should at least put Buff out as a forward on the powerplay. This would give one of the other D men a chance for pp time.

Darkhorse

April 1st, 2011
10:56 am

Sad part is, had we squeaked into the 7th or 8th seed, we probably could have made a little noise and made it a series with the team playing the top seeds pretty well this season.

Midfield

April 1st, 2011
11:02 am

Yeah, Michael, Stewart looks really awkward and out-of-place in the NHL in the second half. I remember looking at him during his career-high scoring spree in the Fall and wondering how is it that he had scored just a few goals prior to being moved to Atlanta. Now I’m wondering how he’d scored any goals.

Chuck

April 1st, 2011
11:38 am

Although things are hopeless, with the Rangers all of a sudden losing two in a row, they now have 4 games left with the next two first in Philly and then at home to Boston. Imagine if they lose both those games in regulation which is possible, then their 3rd game is against the Thrashers.

Harry Zanus

April 1st, 2011
11:41 am

Mr Brendan…. I believe we are currently 7th worst in the league, and if devils pass us, we would then be 6th wosrt in the laegue. Worse than last year, and our point total may be lower as well.

Joe McGrath

April 1st, 2011
11:48 am

As “kryptonite” to the Flyers, angst and frustration among the Flyers players AND fans is “wonderful.” Could you feel their frustration oozing from the TV? Everytime Mason made a stop, or our D averted their drive, the boy and I giggled like school girls. If the Thrashers made the 8th spot, I think we’d take them in 6.

Swap “Russia” and “Stewart” and “national” with “personal” in Chuchill’s famous quote and you have:
“I cannot forecast to you the action of Stewart. He is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Stewart’s personal interest.”
Works for me.

Give Rammer another year–but if there is a losing streak, sack him.

Add two top 6 forwards in off season? Move Buff up to forward. Buff up front = Esposito a la 1970-75. Postma is ready to fill in. Scottie Upshall would be an amazing addition.

Stuart/Oduya tandem works very well as 3rd pairing–Stuart’s work ethic is rubbing off on Johhnny O.

Bogosian is improving. I ragged him all season, but I was wrong. He’ll be better next year, etc.

2011-12: Bogosian/Enstrom, Hainsey/Postma, Stuart/Oduya with Kulda/Meyer as back-ups?

Maxwell and Schremp may just work out.

Riding fence about Stapleton. At times he reminds me of Martin St. Louis, without the grit. Maybe he should Youtube some Theo Fleury.

Frosty the snowman

April 1st, 2011
11:48 am

Does anyone know the available free agent defensmen?

Sage of Bluesland

April 1st, 2011
12:50 pm

One of Don Waddell’s many blusterings has come true, folks. Remember when his goal was “playing meaningful games in March”?

Well, surprisingly, it has come twue! We are not mathematically eliminated–and I’m shocked to hear it.

Not bad for being well into our third “Five-Year Plan”…As a bonus, seeing that we put Philadelphia to sleep (both on-ice and on the scoreboard), maybe we ARE ahead of them, development-wise?

(For you, Cornbwead)

ZAvalanche

April 1st, 2011
1:03 pm

Nice win Thrashy. Awesome game Mason. I would rather be in the mix, but playing spoiler is better than nothing.

jimbo

April 1st, 2011
1:04 pm

i agree with many of you that D-Buff is more of an asset to the team up front and around the net where he is tough to handle. Give us a decent first line center with Buff and Ladd up front and we’d be a force. Buff is not that good a D-Man. He doesn’t stay put and is often caught out of position. Kulda and Postma appear NHL ready.

LAC

April 1st, 2011
2:15 pm

I agree Sage, But Which five year plan is this one ??? waddell has LIED so much.

Hoof you are correct, Mr Stupid did say that a few years ago, just another example of what a F’up this guy is and was in the NHL. He has NO business being in this league or any other hockey venue, there is no place in the NHL for people who Lie and are Stupid, except with Atlanta which had the Worst owners in the history of professional sports.

PLEASE get a new OWNER soon, and keep the team here where it belongs !

Joe Friday

April 1st, 2011
2:30 pm

Sign Bieksa and move Buf up front. I’ve noticed that Buf is rotating more up front, he’s been screening the goalie on the PP and he had that great chance in the 1st last night from the slot. I think they’ll move him up there, Kane on the LW, Little in the middle, Buf on the right, and watch it happen. Kane’s due for a breakout year, next year, seen some good glimpses out of him this last 1/3rd of the season.

glovesave29

April 1st, 2011
2:33 pm

“When I go back home to Canada (he’s a native of Dauphin, Manitoba,) people will say, ‘Well, how can you have a hockey team in Nashville?’ And I tell ‘em, ‘well, just come to Nashville. For a period, there was talk of us leaving town and our corporate base wasn’t as good as we needed it to be. But what’s happened is the local ownership group has taken over, and just by them coming in and saying ‘We’re not going anywhere’ has put investment into the fans. There’s a bond now, I would say. A nontraditional hockey market is turning into more of a traditional market. We’re now a fabric of Nashville. If we ever have a deep (playoff run) our city will go crazy.”

- Barry Trotz, Head Coach – Nashville Predators

Wouldn’t that be nice to replace “Nashville” with “Atlanta”?

Joe McGrath

April 1st, 2011
2:38 pm

@glovesave29, wouldn’t it be nice to replace Ramsey with Trotz?

glovesave29

April 1st, 2011
2:44 pm

Yeah Joe, but Trotz has been given more to work with too….

glovesave29

April 1st, 2011
3:10 pm

TSN is reporting that Calgary will change their name next season to the Cowboys in honor of the 30th anniversary of the WHA’s founding. Rumor has it we may be seeing the return of the Atlanta Flames.

glovesave29

April 1st, 2011
3:11 pm

Typo – sorry…40th anniversary

Cornbread

April 1st, 2011
3:23 pm

Just glad it was not my Flyers to eliminate my Thrashers.

Nice to see the Thrashers win a game when they were not at their best. There were far too many games this season where the Thrashers looked like the Flyers did last night and wound up with the same losing results.

Mason should have been starting in goal from February on. He has proven to be better and more reliable than Pavs during the pressure run. But, put Pavs in against Boston. He’s young and the experience will benefit him and the team in years to come.

Dwayne

April 1st, 2011
3:52 pm

Just glad it was not my Flyers to eliminate my Thrashers
hear hear !!!

Dwayne

April 1st, 2011
3:53 pm

or here here, which ever one works

Joe McGrath

April 1st, 2011
5:08 pm

Anybody hear what Kincade is saying on 680 The Fanat 5 p.m.–supposed to be some big announcement–on April 1 of all days. I’m at work and can’t hear it.

Joe McGrath

April 1st, 2011
5:10 pm

nevermind. i hear it now–uga on 680 next year.

Brendan

April 1st, 2011
5:18 pm

UGGGH! That was the big news??? I’ll never tune into the UGA games on 680. I barely tune into the Thrashers games on 680. I’m glad they’ve got an FM equivalent now, but still … gotta give us programming that we actually want.

Tom Lysiak

April 1st, 2011
5:44 pm

GS29 – Even though my brain knew better, my heart really wanted to believe.

Puckhead

April 1st, 2011
6:35 pm

Kincade tweeted earlier today about people saying one thing and doing another especially in business. I think the Balkan has backed out or never was.

AtlFlamesFan

April 1st, 2011
10:28 pm

@GS – You will never be forgiven!

Dee Dubya

April 1st, 2011
11:44 pm

John Kincade is a bigger fraud than I am.

Dee Dubya

April 2nd, 2011
12:00 am

Is there a better day to celebrate my accomplishments as a GM? I think not.

Several years back, I stated the Thrashers were ahead of the Flyers in rebuilding, and as proof, the Thrashers beat the Flyers 3 out of 4 times this season.

Have you seen the Legends of Blueland? I have…on other teams…not just any GM can do that.

And once again I have succeeded in guaranteeing a playoff berth……for nearly every team but the Thrashers.

And have you seen our excremental progress this season…oops I meant incremental progress.

Besides, I did my job so well, I was promoted to Team President.

Now who’s the fool? I’m drawing a nice paycheck on the day that celebrates my accomplishments in life.

ZAvalanche

April 2nd, 2011
9:02 am

Rawhide – Adrian Dater (who in my book is way lower on the awesomeness list than you) is channeling his inner “Rawhide”. This post, http://blogs.denverpost.com/avs/2011/04/02/postgame-avs-coyotes-boods-hits-the-c-note/6841/ , sounds like something you would write. And that is a big props to AD.

On another note, Brendan, you were right, Johnson is a flipping workhorse. Nearly 30 minutes…..again. And a +2. Cannon for a shot and even the “accoutrement” pick up in the trade scored. And “The Factor” (as he is known by his teammates), Ryan O’Reilly killed it. Phoenix has a darn good team and I am sure they are not pleased to lose a big game at home. It is a shame they have $$ issues as they putting out a good product.

I must be bad luck. All of my teams play only to the level of their opponents. The teams should crush beat us and the teams that should crush us we play tight. Anybody know why that is?

Dee Dubya

April 2nd, 2011
9:25 am

You know, it’s April, and as team president, I have the Thrashers uniquely positioned to possibly make the playoffs or be eligible for the top draft pick this summer.

Not just any team president, or GM for that matter, can do that……year after year after year

Red Light

April 2nd, 2011
11:28 am

ZAvs

It’s a tell-tale sign of inexperience. Pure and simply, both teams are still rather young and even the leaders (Ladd and Duchesne) are young. It’s learned behavior to show up and compete against teams you should beat, no matter what the circumstance.

Which team has the best record down the stretch so far this season? Vancouver and they could have coasted to the finish if they had wanted with such a big lead.

ZAvalanche

April 2nd, 2011
12:49 pm

Absolutely RL, both teams are of the youngest in the league. Duchesne or Liles will be Captain next year after Foote retires. Ladd is going to be a hell of a play, as is Wheeler and Eric Johnson. They can all play well, but they haven’t “learned” how to win. My Vancouver friends were saying the same thing about the Sedins several years ago and look at them now. I will say though that I still cannot believe we gave Stastny 6.6 mill a year. That makes him basically un-tradeable. Hopefully he turns it around.

Z-Bo the Doo Doo

April 2nd, 2011
3:20 pm

Forrest Gump is my hero.

Brendan

April 2nd, 2011
3:21 pm

ZAvalanche, I still say we must give that trade 3 years before we declare any winners and losers. I think three years from now, Colorado will be very happy to have the former 1st overall pick anchoring its blueline. And if you think about it, finding players that can play 25-30 minutes a game, at the Tier I level, is a pretty limited commodity. The Avs did well to acquire Johnson.

It’s 2-2, in the 3rd period, in Beantown. I think BC won the Beanpot over Northeastern this year, in a crazy 7-6 OT win.

Anyone who wants to know why the season, that was once 19-12-5 on December 21, 2010, is in the can … need look no further than the 7-16-6 stretch of 29 games from December 22 to March 3, 2011. http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/teams/schedule/ATL/. That’s 7-22 out of 29 contests, straight-up. Can’t make the playoffs like that, folks. Gotta have way more 3-4 game winning streaks throughout the year.

This Thrashers team went 14-20-7 from December 21st on. At least they answered the 7-16-6 stretch with a 7-4-1 mark.

Brendan

April 2nd, 2011
3:23 pm

Michal Ryder scores, it’s 3-2, Boston. Playoff are now swirling, but not yet officially flushed.

glovesave29

April 2nd, 2011
3:31 pm

NOW officially flushed

Hockey Biltong

April 2nd, 2011
3:34 pm

flusssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

R. Stroz

April 2nd, 2011
3:35 pm

Did Bogosian get the first star for the Bruins?

Brendan

April 2nd, 2011
3:47 pm

It’s officially ten seasons out of eleven (10/11) with a Spring Vacation, starring Chevy Chase.

Here’s your boxscore. http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2010021164. The D-minutes broke down like this:

1) Byfuglien: 27:30
2) Oduya: 24:02
3) Bogosian: 22:56
4) Hainsey: 20:42
5) M. Stuart: 20:35
6) Enstrom: 02:57

Mark Stuart was Atlanta’s only plus player, this afternoon, at +1. Bogosian was a -2. At -1 were Burmistrov, Ladd, Little, and Enstrom.

Now, we can officially start talking about the Draft. Ready, set … Go!

Brendan

April 2nd, 2011
3:49 pm

R.Stroz, Boston would develop Bogosian into a star.

Brendan

April 2nd, 2011
3:51 pm

Anyone with 87-88 points in the AJC.com contest is now officially eliminated. Those with 85-86 points are still alive. I believe Chippers Love Child, at 75-points, is now eliminated, at the bottom end of the contest spectrum. Jethro’s still hangin’ in there!!!

Brendan

April 2nd, 2011
3:52 pm

Rawhide, have the Thrashers officially clinched 4th place in the Southeast Division? It’s important, insofaras the tie-breakers are concerned.

Swede

April 2nd, 2011
4:30 pm

I almost hope bogosian gets traded so the team that gets him will develope him to his potential.
Btw doesnt anyone else see that he is too jacked?. Compared to previous seasons he seems much more slower than usual. But it all comes to training, how to do it properly etc. The organisation should see this??? trainers??. He gained like 15 lbs atleast on preseason training and that´s not normal. You should gain max 5 lbs each year. Detroit´s gm stated in an interview with swedish television the importance of the right training. He said you should gain max 5 lbs each year else you´ll loose technical skills.When I saw him in preseason he seriously looked like a guy that only focus about getting heavier, like a body builder. It´s a pretty big difference between sport people and body builders. But it all comes to the ORGANISATION. He´s a good skater but he isnt explosive as ive seen him before. i didnt watch the rookie season by him, but anone tell me how he was like then?.
On a pre-season interview he said to Ajc ” I haven´t lost a step”. That´s not whats its all about. you SHOULD gain steps each season, improving on all areas, even become faster and more explosive than he was before. You should always improve!.
I can only hope they will help him.
This is my point of view and it comes from a guy who has knowledge in training on a pretty high level.
PS sorry for bad english.

Brendan

April 2nd, 2011
5:27 pm

Swede, no problems about your English. A good post is one in which most people can understand your point at the first reading of the comment. I’m pretty sure most people caught the gist of what you had to say. Now it’s up to posters to agree or disagree with your viewpoint.

Brendan

April 2nd, 2011
5:32 pm

Swede, for the record, in the 2005-06 season, “groin” injuries ran rampant. Some people blamed the ice conditions at Philips Arena. Others blamed the conditioning coaches. Any way you slice and dice it, we had four goalies and a defensemen suffer groin injuries. I think the goalies were Steve Shields, Kari Lehtonen, Michael Garnett, and Mike Dunham. That’s a whole heckuva lot of coincidences. It led Jeff Schultz to opine, “Fire whoever’s in charge of groins” for the Atlanta Thrashers. This year, they got a strength coach named Brennan, I think, from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Swede

April 2nd, 2011
5:34 pm

I really want him to success in this organisation of course, hes one of my favourite player.

Swede

April 2nd, 2011
5:38 pm

Wasn´t brennan kicked from Columbus? Someone said Columbus players was out of shape, then we get him. Training properly is such an important thing, their training shouldnt be questioned at this level of sports.

Cornbread

April 2nd, 2011
5:52 pm

Kind of fitting that the playoff hopes ended on a turnover, fluky bounce over the stick, and a penalty shot. Kind of the way it went most of the year.

As glaring as the turnovers were that led to goals, the biggest reason the Thrashers lost today was in the face off circle. It’s been a weakness all year for them, especially without Slater, and today it really showed how this under-rated stat has hurt them. Winning 32% of the draws was just plane ugly. They won 7 of 21 draws in the offensive zone and an unacceptable 3 of 19, or 16%, in their end. If it looked to you that Boston spent some time in the Thrashers end, there’s your reason why. That makes it pretty tough on everybody especially on your D-men who were playing a man short – their best puck mover. Of those who took the most draws in their end, Burmistrov and Schremp were both winless going 0-4 each. Little was 1-7. Kudos to Thorburn for winning both of his face-offs he took in the D-zone.

This is an area the Thrashers must improve upon next year. That top tier playmaking two way centerman that’s been missing forever would go along way.

Cornbread

April 2nd, 2011
6:21 pm

Swede I disagree about trading Bogosian. I don’t disagree entirely with your assessment of Bogosian putting on 15 pounds in the off-season.

He’s young and will grow into that weight which was all muscle. He’s always been a big kid but could have used some of that muscle in his first year – like when he broke his leg. I think the weight may have effected him a bit but not to any great extent. He is still one of the fastest D-puckmovers up the ice. That is only going to get better. Big boys like Bogo, Buff, and Stewart take a lot of heat for being slow. They are not. The problem is getting them going or getting them stopped. I think that was witnessed a couple of times today. Foot speed is also something all of them will get better at in the coming years, particularly Bogo.

I train with a lot of D-men during the off-season and most of them put on a lot of upper body weight, especially those that play a physical game. Most of them end up losing it by the end of the season anyway. Too much upper body certainly can effect skill and I think that is a valid argument regarding Bogo but like I said earlier, at 20, he will grow into it improving in all areas. That added muscle will certainly be a huge benefit 3-5 years down the road when he’s a monster on the blue line.

Cornbread

April 2nd, 2011
6:34 pm

Time to sit some of the ailing players and bring up/back some Wolves for another look. I think Enstrom and Dvorak are likely done.

Swede

April 2nd, 2011
7:28 pm

Hope some players will train with gary roberts during off season, especially the young ones if they are allowed ofcourse.

Swede

April 2nd, 2011
7:30 pm

It´s still sad to se he´s regressed on his 3rd nhl season. He should have improved from his rookie season. rushed? yes, think so

LAC

April 3rd, 2011
12:46 am

zach seaked hus fate tiday, He is the worst Dman on the team and the faster he is gone, the better off the entire franchise will be for it, He simply has no head for the game and is as clumsey as a 85 year old woman. See Ya zach, don’t get hit by the Zamboni on the way OUT ! Today was the LAST Straw !

Thrashers27

April 3rd, 2011
12:47 am

Another season is done and I still love my Thrashers! Please….next year, please…

Red Light

April 3rd, 2011
9:07 am

The Thrashers will end the season 4th in the division and can finish no higher than 10th in the conference, and no lower than 12th. Two more points by the Leafs means 11th or 12th with the Devils. The Isles, Panthers and Ottawa will battle for 13th, 14th and 15th, so that means Atlanta will definitely not be in the draft lottery. More salt in the wound!

A total of 10 teams have been eliminated from playoff consideration. Florida, Atlanta, the NY Islanders and Edmonton (and perhaps Toronto) are the only teams in the NHL to have missed the playoffs in each of the last four seasons. Only Ottawa was outside the bottom six in salaries this season.

The Rangers have a vital game at Philly at 12:30 and Buffalo and Carolina battle today at 5 pm. Anaheim hosts Dallas at 8 pm in another crucial WC game.

ben

April 3rd, 2011
11:27 am

I love Le Thrash, but I’m glad they’re out. They need a good pick more than they need a 1-and-done trip to the playoffs. Before this season started I knew it was going to be bad. The hot start really fooled me. Did we see what this team could do? Was it a case of Ramsay not being a good coach? Is Jim Slater actually a huge cog in the machine, and his absence got the team in a bad way? I’ve no idea. I think that the fall starting with the ASG settlement is very odd, and might not be a coincidence. Remember that the majority of these guys are young men, some merely boys really, with no college education. Ergo, they would be in a more vulnerable position to believe the Winnipeg / Quebec City / wherever TSN feels like exciting this week. And despite Atlanta’s problems which are many, it can be a very nice place to live. And they might not want to move, despite what they tell the Canadian media.

I feel that the lawsuit being settled, when coupled with the rumors, had a lot to do with the fall of this team in the standings. This Canadian relocation is a problem for the whole league and the only to remedy it is to give the Toronto-based media a good Toronto-based team to write about. I suggest moving the Islanders to Toronto and giving the media a cup caliber team to write about. I bet 80 percent of these rumors go away and the whole league gets better.

Brendan

April 3rd, 2011
11:43 am

As Red Light points out, the Thrashers have clinched 4th place in the Southeast Division. That’s important for our AJC.com points totals contest, as division rank is the 1st set of tie-breaker criteria. Anyone who had the T-birds 3rd or 5th is now on the outside, looking in, if they wind up tied with someone at the same point total.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?type=con#&navid=nav-stn-conf

Sabres need a win, at Carolina. Same dealie with the NY Rangers and Philadelphia. Are the Dallas Stars eliminated yet, out West? Believe it or not, Toronto is still alive, in terms of a playoff berth. Wins today by the Ragers and Sabres probably end that talk.

LAC

April 3rd, 2011
11:45 am

Just watchesd the highlights on “On The Fly” of the game yesterday.

zach is to blame for ALL THREE GOALS. Him with his LAZY play, he looked so out of place
it was like watching some local scrimmage team. What is the living HELL do the GM/Coach see in
this guy ? He is LAZY, always out of position, does not handle the puck well and gets beat every night, game after game after game.

He should sit the rest of the season and NEVER allowed to put on an Atlanta jersey ever again, He MUST be traded, waived anything, just get him out of town ASAP. As for those of you expressing the notion he is only 20, look at Drew Doughty, he is the same age and IS a complete defenseman
of the same age & draft, he is Light Years ahead of Pitiful zach.

There are guys on local scrimmage teams who could play better than zach. I hope DUD dudley gets at least a fifth rounder for him, before it is all said and done !

Red Light

April 3rd, 2011
11:45 am

Dallas is not eliminated yet because they have five games left, but they’ll be out soon. Same with Calgary barring an unlikely Blackhawks collapse.

Red Light

April 3rd, 2011
12:48 pm

LAC: I respect your and others opinions about Zach. It seems like a big digression but Tyler Myers, last year’s Calder Trophy winner looked lost and confused for the first half of the season before turning it around. The off season, getting away from the rink and not having to worry about making mistakes for a few months couldn’t hurt. The Torchetti tiff might have been worse than we knew and there is no doubt Zach has had many moments where he was totally lost, and yesterday was a fine example of that. However, you can’t teach the size, speed and skill he has, he just needs to refine it.

Now, if Atlanta and Chicago divorce, I think the best thing for Zach would be to spend a few months on the farm, re-learning the game and getting his confidence back. Same thing happened to Del Zotto in New York, and I still think both can be fine players in this league.

I wouldn’t be adverse to advocating a change of scenery for both Zach and Del Zotto, but it’s simply way too early to give up on either. A fifth rounder for him? Nope (for Anthony Stewart maybe), but you might very well be able to get a young forward with the skills to be a top-6 one day.

Just my opinion, but it was a very frustrating year to watch Zach not realize half of his potential.

HillMan

April 3rd, 2011
5:02 pm

I’d like to see Bogo and Buff on the second line for the rest of the season. Let’s bring back up Kulda and Postma on D and take a look at these guys up front. I believe these guys could be the killer Bs upfront.

Cliff Fletcher

April 3rd, 2011
6:56 pm

too late to send bogo to the minores-it would be a clear demotion and his first step out the door, which he may be after yesterday’s game anyhow.

Brendan

April 3rd, 2011
9:07 pm

Big wins for the Rangers, in the shootout, over the Flyers, and the Sabres, in overtime, over the Hurricanes.

World Be Free

April 4th, 2011
7:40 am

Flyers will go out earlier in this year’s playoffs-there is no magic on this team for the playoff run.

World Be Free

April 4th, 2011
8:01 am

I do not see a “Beast in the East”, none of these teams really excites me at all.
Does anybody have a “feel” that one of the eastern teams can rise above the rest?
Red Light predicted some surprises in the Eastern Conference come playoff time; I agree with his assessment.

World Be Free

April 4th, 2011
8:11 am

I thought everyone would get a kick out of this quote about Sabres’ fanes from the Raleigh papers-
According to some Hurricanes fans, they are a little too vocal.
—————–
A column in Sunday’s Raleigh News & Observer told of how some Hurricanes season-ticket holders refuse to attend games when the Sabres are in town.

“I find every Buffalo game unpleasant,” Chuck Wright, who skipped the Hurricanes’ first home game against the Sabres, told the newspaper. “There are a lot of Buffalo people who live here now for jobs and the lifestyle, and they’re big Sabres fans and big Bills fans, and that’s fine.

“But some of the behavior is just — I don’t want my kids exposed to it, the F-bombs and over-the-top type behavior. It’s like they’re trying to prove something because they’re on enemy turf.”

——————————

There’s more, but I think we all get the picture.

Red Light

April 4th, 2011
8:42 am

The Eastern Conference hasn’t a single team that looks “best” at this particular time. In fact, I still believe the Bruins are the team to beat, particularly if they get strong play from Thomas or Rask, but they too seem to have a few holes. But, they are the favorites in my mind, but can be taken down in the first round by a lower seed.

There is some talk, including a rant by Don Cherry the other night on HNIC, that Crosby should not play again this year. Even without him, they are capable of winning a series or two.

All teams can win one series, but which teams can win more than one?
Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay

Best chance for a deep run by a low seed
NY Rangers

Best chance for one and done by a high seed
Philadelphia

All that being said, the West looks formidable again, and I’m not sure any Eastern team can go head-to-head with Vancouver, San Jose, Detroit, or even LA at this point. Will all four of those teams win their first round series? No.

Phoenix, Chicago, Nashville and Anaheim are dangerous. Without Hiller, however, the Ducks need lots of goals to advance. Phoenix has a good chance to advance and if Rinne plays well in the first round, the Preds may actually win a series for the first time. I think they can clinch a playoff spot tomorrow night with a win over the Thrashers and a Dallas loss.

Chicago is dangerous too, despite the roster changeover, and are getting good play from Crawford in goal. But, I think the Coyotes are very dangerous with Bryzgalov in goal and a lot of nice pieces throughout their lineup. I wouldn’t want to play them in the first round despite their history of little playoff success.

World Be Free

April 4th, 2011
8:53 am

I agree with those that say Crosby should shut it down for the balance of the season.

I like Boston’s defense, team defense from goaltenders, to defenseman and forwards but I worry about their goal scoring. I also agree with you on the Rangers, especially with Torts pushing the buttons behind the bench. Always nice to have a guy with a ring making decisions, knowing how to motivate players during playoffs. I am extremely impressed with Marc Staal right now.

Rawhide

April 4th, 2011
9:03 am

Gooooooooooooood Morning, Thrasherville!!!

OK, here’s a new blog for you all as the Thrashers prepare to close out this very frustrating 2010-11 campaign.

R. Stroz

April 7th, 2011
8:44 am

Rawhide

April 8th, 2011
9:12 am

R. Stroz – Nope.