Thrashers prepare for final week of frustrating season

Over the course of the past several weeks, there have been many different words Thrashers fans have used to describe the way this 2010-11 season has turned out. Some have even been fit to print here. But Nik Antropov’s comments following Saturday’s 3-2 loss in Boston, one that officially eliminated them postseason play, seems to contain the word most appropriate.

“It’s frustrating, that’s the feeling right now”, the Thrashers forward said after the game. “Nothing else but frustration.”

The key word there would be frustrating…or frustration, take your pick.

Indeed Antropov’s words could accurately sum up the feeling after losing yet another close game. They led 2-1 early in the second period after Evander Kane’s 19th goal of the season. However, the Thrashers failed to convert their early success into a win.

Boston Bruins' Daniel Paille scores after intercepting a Zach Bogosian pass. The score tied the game in the second period. Another Bogosian turnover led to the Bruins' game winning goal in the third (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Boston Bruins' Daniel Paille scores after intercepting a Zach Bogosian pass. The score tied the game in the second period. Another Bogosian turnover led to the Bruins' game winning goal in the third (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

After intercepting a weak outlet pass from Zach Bogosian behind Ondrej Pavelec’s net, Danielle Paille knotted the score at two-all just under five minutes later. At the time Boston was killing off a delay of game penalty by former Thrasher Shane Hnidy.

Yeah…frustrating.

Then in the third, Bogosian once again gift wrapped the puck for the Bruins with another turnover and fellow defenseman Johnny Oduya had little option but to take down the charging Michael Ryder. However, he converted on the penalty shot and the Bruins had the 3-2 margin they would eventually win by.

Bogosian had an up close and personal vantage point for all three Boston goals and his –26plus/minus rating is “tops” on the team in that stat. Antropov is next on the current roster with a –14, (Rich Peverley was a –16 before being traded in February to Boston).

Yessir-ee, Zach has had a frustrating season to say the least.

But the “F” word could also sum up how the second half of this season has played out for the Thrashers. After playing to a 22-15-6 record and 50 points after 43 games played…and stop me if you’ve heard this one before… they failed to take advantage of that success and stumbled from that point on. Since the 3-2 win in south Florida on January 5, they have gone a disappointing 11-18-6 since with just 4 regulation wins in those 35 games.

The Thrashers will now prepare to finish off the remaining four games in this frustrating campaign. And although they themselves are now mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, all four remaining matchups will have some impact on others who remain in the thick of the playoff race. None more so than the two scheduled later this week. Thursday and Friday night they’ll face the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes. Both are scratching and clawing to earn a spot in this spring’s great hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Following their shootout win in Philly, the Rangers have 89 points with 3 games left to play. Buffalo defeated Carolina in overtime, giving the Sabres 90 and the Canes 87.

As for Atlanta, no matter the outcome of this week’s games they’ll finish in fourth place in the Southeast Division. They can finish no higher than 10th in the conference and no lower than 12th. The most points they can achieve is 86 if they take all 8 available in the final four games.

Last season they were second in the southeast and tenth in the conference with an 83-point season.

Looking down the road, they’ll own a draft pick somewhere in the range of 6th to 8th overall in June’s NHL entry draft. After that, it’s free agent signing season beginning on July 1, then we wait for training camp and preseason in the fall.

One of those exhibition games will be against the Ottawa Senators in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland. The two will play there after that was named Kraft Hockeyville 2011. It’ll be the second time the Thrashers have participated one of these games. Prior to the 2007 season, they beat the New York Islanders 4-3 in overtime in North Bay, Ontario.

Until then, though, they’ll just be finishing out this frustrating season. But at least the Thrashers will have a chance to share some of that frustration with the Rangers and Hurricanes.

139 comments Add your comment

ManUp

April 4th, 2011
9:04 am

ManUp

April 4th, 2011
9:07 am

23rd best team in the NHL right now. Oh, well at least we are kind of consistent over the years.

Smoothie

April 4th, 2011
9:24 am

R/L – Zach can’t spend any time in the minors unless he clears waivers right? Hasn’t he played too many games at the NHL level to get sent down without an injury exemption? If Bogosian doesn’t spend some serious time working on some things (not bulking up in the weight room all summer) this off-season and elevate his game to where he isn’t a fairly consistent liability, we will be right back where we started this past season of lost potential and dashed dreams. Personally, I think he should be trade bait. I may even go out on a limb and predict that Duds will trade him. Depending on how Duds views the developmental progress of both Kulda and Postma (along with Johnny O’s potential trade value), Bogosian’s future in ATL is somewhat murky IMO.

Smoothie

April 4th, 2011
9:29 am

Good news!! Bogosian doesn’t have the worst +/- in the league! He’s only 4th from best! Three Ottawa D-men are worse (Phillips, Karlsson and Kuba are a combined -92). Golden boy Cam Fowler is 5th worst with a -25 slightly better than Z-Bo’s -26. The only difference is Fowler is just finishing his first campaign.

World Be Free

April 4th, 2011
9:29 am

Hey, I am not frustrated-and why? I had no dilussions or high expectations-so I have no letdown.

Matt

April 4th, 2011
9:47 am

is it just me, or did this whole season take a nosedive as soon as it was revealed that ownership had been trying to sell the team since the day they bought it?

Matt

April 4th, 2011
9:52 am

and also… without a true #1 scoring line, we’ll never go anywhere. We’ve assembled a good core of ancillary scoring, but we don’t have anything that resembles a true #1 line. Perhaps some of our guys will develop into that top line, but as of right now (and probably next season), it’s just not there yet.

SomaAtl95

April 4th, 2011
9:59 am

While it is frustrating to see the Thrashers season end so early there is a word I would use here that I would not in years past – hopeful. We saw how good the team can be the first half of the season. My hope for the off season is that the A$G listens to the Eagles (Take the money and run) and that we have committed ownership that isn’t afraid of going above the cap floor. The first half of the season was a preview of what we can expect when all the stars align and we have all the correct parts for success.
Something tells me that once new ownership takes hold old DW will be gone. Maybe he can go back to the Red Wings (don’t curse me Alan R for saying that).
Like any true fan says – Next season will be the one that we surprise people October – April and beyond.
I am hopeful.

Michael B. Shapiro

April 4th, 2011
10:09 am

Bill
I know that Buff got his 20th of the year the other day, and that Kane is at 19, but before that only Ladd had 20 or more goals. Any other teams in the league with such a figure (only one 20-goal scorer)? As others have posted, we’re sorely missing offense (something we all saw in pre-season, but were lulled into forgetting during those heady days of November). With the loss of Kovy and Max’s firepower, it showed as the season progressed.
Any predictions of who will be voted off Frustration Island during the off season? I put my first vote in for Anthony Stewart.

james c.

April 4th, 2011
10:10 am

It is encouraging to see a 2011-2012 pre-season game scheduled with the Thrashers listed as well as season tickets for next year on sale now.Hope to hear some positive news soon about the whole ownership picture.

LAC

April 4th, 2011
10:14 am

If the team is here next season, zach bogosian MUST BE GONE. This guy $UCKS, he was responsible for ALL three Boston goals and how many others this season.

He is ECHL quality at the VERY BEST and I would take a 7th rounder for him at this point, He needs to SIT the last four games and NEVR NEVER NEVER be allowed to put an Atlanta jersey on every again.

GO AWAY zach, You ARE THE Worst defenseman in The NHL !!!!

World Be Free

April 4th, 2011
10:15 am

Smoothie-I saw that about Cam Fowler, shows he should have gone back to juniors this year.

World Be Free

April 4th, 2011
10:18 am

Matt-what would this team be with 1/2 of the guys who have taken the train out of town?
Hossa, Heatley, Kovy, Savard, Kinitz and others.

Hossa is a horse in Chicago these days, playing 24 minutes/game, killing penalties, power play and then some.

Bluestreak

April 4th, 2011
10:19 am

I was at the game where the Thrashers took first place after shellacking the Devils, so I am disappointed. They have a lot to answer for in regards to their play and coaching. Frustration and disappointment are the marks left from this season.

Rawhide

April 4th, 2011
10:22 am

Any predictions of who will be voted off Frustration Island during the off season? I put my first vote in for Anthony Stewart.

MBS – I’d say that’s a good guess. Disappointing too…like the Thrashers he started off well, then…..

Bluestreak – Then after that 7-1 win they went to Toronto and beat the Leafs 6-3. There record at that time was 19-11-5, they owned the top spot in the SE and second spot in the east.

Since that time they are 14-22-7.

Matt – To your point, the Thrashers are 10-15-5 since Gearon dropped that bombshell on Thrasherville, including a 2-8-4 run in the 14 games after he made the comments.

Russian

April 4th, 2011
10:36 am

TASKS must be done at this summer:
1. Figure out who will be OWNERS of Atlanta Thrashers (I do not care about Basketball)
2. Sign Ladd and Wheeler for 4-5 years.
3. Sign Bogus for 3 years (small price, not more than $1million). **Smoothie** I know you do not like him, but he will be OK.
4. Go to Draft and get GOOD Young Forward or Trade First Pick for 30-40 goals forward with 3-4 years contract.
5. Find and sign UFA for 1-2 lines.
6. No worry about Goalies. They are good and stable.

World Be Free

April 4th, 2011
10:42 am

Nice list Russian
Rawhide- bye, bye Anthony Stewart

ThrasherTim

April 4th, 2011
10:51 am

For all those bashing Zach this year…well…I have nothing to say after the game Saturday. Truly it was amazing to see such EGREGIOUS turnovers as the Thrashers were clearly establishing the tempo and style of the game. And the 2nd thing to note was that Pavlec did not make the big save. I mean, Paille scored on a perfect shot and the penalty shot was simply more of the same from Pavs in the skills competition. Pavs needs to work on two things really badly over the off-season: 1) shootouts 2) handling the puck behind the net.

As for Zach, I am not ready to give up on him yet, but at the same time, it won’t surprise me either if Duds trades him for a top 6 forward during the summer. Oduya seems to have found another gear playing with Stuart. But he too may be trade bait to get a top 6 forward.

I can’t remember if Boulton is signed for another year, but I see him disappearing if he;s not. He hasn’t done much and continually had trouble handling pucks and getting the puck out of the zone Saturday. I’d much rather see Maxwell in his spot.

Anthony Stewart had a dismal 2nd half and I am not sure how the coaching staff wasn’t able to spur him to use the body more. My only caveat here is that it was his 1st time playing a full season and perhaps he can improve in Year 2. Best case, I see him having to make the team during training camp and perhaps he is the 13th forward we keep on the team.

KLS1

April 4th, 2011
10:53 am

It makes me like Torch that he blasted Zach for his play and I’m sure he was the driver for putting him the press box. Lottery pick or not, you gotta play well to stay on the team.

Of course everyone felt bad for him and made excuses for his play, most of all Darren Eliot who blamed the short handed goal yesterday on Buff for not recieving the pass?

Bring in new announcers with new ownership…if you do color at least have an opinion, its all fluff.

Frosty the snowman

April 4th, 2011
10:56 am

I wouldnt sign Wheeler any longer than 2 years, he will flop like Bergfors and Peverly, next year we will be talking about trading him. Ladd I would sign for 4-5 years, he is a winner, 2 cups, but he needs to be a 2nd line player. As someone stated above we need a first line of forwards and defenders, this team still and always has never had a true top defense pair.

Rawhide

April 4th, 2011
10:56 am

ThrasherTim – Boulton is a UFA come July 1. If I had to venture a guess, I would say he won’t be returning next fall.

Russian

April 4th, 2011
10:59 am

I am not going to see Bolt next year. I think he will retire. He is a good guy, but we do not need him anymore.

Buff-n-stuff

April 4th, 2011
11:12 am

Boulton, Dvorak, Meyer, Stewart, are “ALL GONE” next year….likely to also be gone are Stapleton, and yes, Antropov. Antro will be traded for a 2nd rounder or a 3rd and a 4th rounder (to get rid of his salary, aging body and slow play). This team will go young, will sign a top 6 winger that is a “two-way player” and also happens to be a goal scorer. Two of the kids in Chicago will come up. One d-man, and one forward.

……..if we can only add new ownership to this list, we will at least be on the right path !!!

DWTOO

April 4th, 2011
11:20 am

Need to take my share of the blame for not making the playoffs. In 2007 we were on vacation and missed the two home games. So…….when we started planning another spring vacation we decided to go in March so as the be around during playoff time. See how that turned out.

“Face it Flounder, you F’ed up. You trusted us.”

hockeymom92

April 4th, 2011
11:21 am

Back from Nationals and sorry to say our team went the way of the Thrashers and the stacked team from Maine won the medal. Am now in official hockeymom withdrawal.

Keeping my fingers crossed that one of the rumors I heard this week about possible new owners (person seemed to have quite a bit of knowledge about the situation) comes to pass – it would be awesome. Just not quite ready to name names – don’t want to jinx anything.

jimbo

April 4th, 2011
11:44 am

11-18-6 over the last 35 games is pathetic. We never made any major adjustments in strategy or personnel during that time. The dumb strategy of a wide open game only produced the 3rd most goals allowed and a predictable offense that other teams were able to clamp down on in clutch situations. Major blame- Dudley for bringing in his cronies- Ramsey and the supposed defensive genius- Torchetti. Get rid of the paternalism and get us a coach who can motivate and change strategies when needed!

World Be Free

April 4th, 2011
11:58 am

I still have a hunch Dvorak will be back next season-just a feeling.

hockeymom-once again, congratulations to you and your son – for both your efforts. I keep telling the kids that very little happens without parental commitment and involvement. You normally find “the best” parents around youth organizations, people committed to the kids. Our commitment is paid in something other than dollars-but I have always found it much more valuable.

Cliff Fletcher

April 4th, 2011
12:16 pm

the future depends on one thing and one thing alone//money

rick dudley will be the gm moving forward, that is a given. his ability to sign current players and improve the roster depends on his player budget. all dudley needs is to be able to spend 50 million dollars on players, no more. 50 mil (up from the current budget) will allow him to obtain at least 2 players to replace some of the current duds. if he gets the money he can do it.

our issues are on the ice, lack of talent and lack of quality depth. enough money in the right hands can cure those 2 issues. stewart on the second line proves that we do not have enough talent.

Brendan

April 4th, 2011
12:33 pm

I’m not frustrated with this season. I expected 74-points, and chose to be optimistic, with my projection of 81-points, during our AJC.com contest. The fact that this team could even match last year’s 83-points, after losing Kovy and Afinogenov, speaks to how well they’ve actually done, off a league minimun (actually below it) salary cap. I applaud the Thrashers not having 69-73 points, which is about the type of season they PAID for. Now, I’m not saying that everything’s super, with PollyAnna glasses on. It’s far, far from Super. First order of business is finding new owners. Then firing Jonah, I mean, Waddell, so our boat can sail safely into pleasant waters, free from the scurvy curse that haunts it.

WBF, I doubt Dvorak will be back. I’d think Boulton has a better shot at returning. Freddy Meyer, A. Stewart … I’m not too sure about.

Rawhide, what do you think of replacing Boulton with Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke, currently suspended for the remainder of the season and 1st round of the playoffs? I actually kind of like that move. I like Cooke’s numbers and skill. I don’t like that he’s a repeat offender and big-time on the NHL’s radar as a “dirty” player, and that he’s 32. But still … I do believe Cooke to be an upgrade over Boulton. Cooke’s a hot potato, so … if we want him, I don’t think we’d get a big fight over his services.

I do agree with the voices on the blog that say Ramsay didn’t adjust his strategy while the team went 6-17-6 for 29 games, between December 21 and March 3rd. The team went into a funk, and didn’t come out of it until the Goaltending “consultant,” Clint Malarchuk, stepped up to bereate the team and announce a goalie change, between periods. Thanks Clint! Where were ya in December, for that?

Meanwhile, Nero was fiddling and Ramsay used the word “wonderful” ad nauseum, citing how we outshot our opposition (from the outer periphery).

Folks, let’s size up the Draft. It’s time. Who do we like? And if we don’t like anyone, who do we want to trade that pick for? Gotta be a player with 5 or more years left on his deal, otherwise, we’re flushing the pick, and are better off selecting someone.

Cliff Fletcher

April 4th, 2011
12:45 pm

brendan and others///

this team lacks the talent needed to win in the nhl on a consistent basis. reshuffling and changing players in and out does not help if you don’t have the talent to endure a full nhl season. the core elevated this team for the first few mos of the season, but they could not sustain the effort. we asked too much of our top 6 forwards and top 4 defenseman. goaltending was superb early on, then fell back to where it should have been as the year went on.

i am not giving ramsay a pass, he was poor at adjusting in-game. but some players had good season, especially pavs. shouldn’t we give ramsay some credit for getting more out of some of these guys than others could?

dudley deserves credit for getting wheeler and stuart, especially if we can resign wheeler for a few more seasons. again, it all comes down to money. we could have had macarthur on 2nd line this year had we been willing to pay him before we went to arbitration and lost him for zero. you have to be willing to pay players.

Brendan

April 4th, 2011
12:57 pm

**AJC.com Point Totals Update** – We have new eliminees with the news that the most the Thrashers can get this year is 86-points. Therefore, anyone who took 87 and 88 points are now eliminated. Those posters are: Darkhorse, Flagstaff, Tablehockey, Rawhide, HookyBob, Thrashdawg, Smoothie and 3stripes. At the bottom end, two posters are now eliminated: Badger Bob, at 77-points and Chippers Love Child at 76-points.

On the cusp of elimination, at 85 and 86 points, are the following posters: StateBird and Jen have 86-points. At 85-points are: Adam, Mikey, Sisu and Jimbo.

At 78-points, hanging on, are: Jethro and Nate.

At 79-points are: Zoomo, Joe Friday, and Curly.

At 80-points are: Red Light, WBF, Ex-STH, and J-Man.

At 81-points are: dwayne, polskidawg and Brendan.

At 82-points is: No one !!! (We’ll use tie-breakers for 81 and 83 points, if the team finishes at .500.) Remember, Thrashers are locked into 4th place. Conference rank is yet to be determined.

At 83-points is: BuzzEng.

At 84-points are: J(Z), R.Stroz, and Russ.

Someone listed above … will be this year’s winner, joining Don, (via tie-breaker over Glovesave29) and Pam On Weck, as previous winners of the contest, throughout the years. Good luck to all.

The Deadline for the 2011-12 season, for making a point total guess, will be “puck drop” of Opening Night, sometime next October. Thanks to all that played this year, and good luck next year, and to those still actively in the hunt.

Rawhide

April 4th, 2011
12:59 pm

WBF – Let’s see…since the trade, Dvorak has 0 goals, 1 assists and an EVEN +/- rating in 13 games played for the Thrashers. This is compared with Bergfors’ 1 goal, 7 assist and +2 for the Panthers in 17 games.

Dvorak also just turned 34 years of age.

Pass.

Red Light

April 4th, 2011
1:05 pm

Way too much to say on the subject, so I posted my commentary. But, I am closely aligned to World Be Free’s take on the subject. A prelude to the commentary, the Thrashers had three of its own draft picks called up this season from Chicago, who played a total of 13 games for the club thus far.

http://sportssoutheast.com/index.php/red-light-report/59-nhl/252-no-easy-fix-for-the-thrashers

Brendan

April 4th, 2011
1:06 pm

Rawhide, Red Light, Russ, etc., … do we have a list of all the RFA, arbitration-eligible Thrashers? I ask because Cliff Fletcher reminded me about Clark MacArthur last year. He was an RFA, and I figured he was TRAPPED here, only to discover that he held arbitration rights. The Arbitrator awarded $2.4 million for MacArthur Park, and the Thrashers walked away. Clark MacArthur actually had a decent season with the Leafs. So, who’s got the list handy? Again, we’re looking for “Arbitration eligible” RFA’s. Is Wheeler one of them?? Is Ladd one of them??? Just because someone is an RFA, doesn’t guarantee that they’re TRAPPED here until they reach UFA status. They could elect arbitration … and force us to walk away from the award.

Let’s get crackin’ on this.

Rawhide, I’m going to assume this blog is staying active all throughout the playoff and during the offseason, through the June Draft, and into the Frenzy in July?

Red Light

April 4th, 2011
1:08 pm

But, Andrey Zubarev was just recalled, so we’ll see what the 24-year-old Russian can do in four games.

Russian

April 4th, 2011
1:24 pm

**to Red Light**
It is good call. I was waiting Zubarev all year. He can be very good help for next year.

Rawhide

April 4th, 2011
1:30 pm

Rawhide, I’m going to assume this blog is staying active all throughout the playoff and during the offseason, through the June Draft, and into the Frenzy in July?

Brendan – Affirmative. As for the RFA/Arbitaration Eligible players, I don’t have that off the top of my head but do plan on posting such a blog in future.

Red Light

April 4th, 2011
1:36 pm

I will look forward to seeing him play Russian. Have not seen him play at all.

World Be Free

April 4th, 2011
1:42 pm

Rawhide on Dvorak-I just have a feeling he might be back. The numbers don’t support it, but…

Spud Webb

April 4th, 2011
1:52 pm

Bogo could be gone, I hope he’s not. He’s a baby…I’m not ready to give up yet on him. Stewart…gone…Nik will be here. The guy has played hurt all year. It hasn’t really been talked about, but he’s never healed from the surgery. I fully expect a giant bounce back next season. I’m going to lean towards optimistic for next season. I like the makeup of this team. A player here and there & I will love this team.

Bart

April 4th, 2011
2:01 pm

We’re currently in 24th place with the 29th payroll. Ownership must be very proud of the 5-spot overachievement.

Red Light

April 4th, 2011
2:03 pm

Dvorak’s numbers won’t ever wow you. He is not a stats producer, and never has been. But, he can play a role, and you need role players. Of course, this team needs more than just role players, but Dvorak is worth a one-year deal.

sisu

April 4th, 2011
2:24 pm

Great write up Red Light, many good point on depth of the organization. I think if there is a strong point it is the d men in the system, there is room to make a trade with one on the current roster or in the system. I look for Burmi to get more minutes and put up more points in his second season when he is not stuck on the 4th line.

I am disappointed so far with Cormier this season, perhaps next season he will be better or is he another Esposito???
My prediction of 85 points was high in hindsight but I felt the team would come up short on playoffs once again.

Midfield

April 4th, 2011
2:29 pm

Brendan, Cooke has been getting away with so much dirt ONLY for playing on the “Crosby” team. And even there he pushed his luck one time too many. If he puts on Thrashers uniform, he’ll be a perminent distraction and the penalty box feature, in my opinion. Bolts is at least respected across the league.

Old Time Hockey

April 4th, 2011
2:51 pm

As for the idea to sign a 30-40 goal scorer…as of right now there are all of 22 of them in the entire league. That’s why it’s so important for Little, Kane and Wheeler to step up.

Tom

April 4th, 2011
3:17 pm

I am not sure if anyone has brought this up, I have been away for a while, but the Thrasher’s being named to play this exhibition game fortells doom in my eyes…

http://www.thetelegram.com/Sports/2011-04-04/article-2397986/C.B.S.-reigns-supreme-as-Hockeyville-winner/1

Why would they choose the Thrashers to play an exhibition game celebrating CANADIAN Hockeyville? It is not to celebrate the long history of the team in Atlanta.

But it could be a most excellent way to showcase Canada’s newest team during a nationally televised preseason game.

Thoughts?

Red Light

April 4th, 2011
3:22 pm

OTH

397 players have scored 30 goals or more in a season since the 1997-98 season. Obviously, some have done it more than once.

For digestion purposes, since the Thrashers inaugural season in 99-00, only Audette, Kovalchuk, Heatley, Hossa and Little have scored 30 or more goals in a season. Ladd needs three more tallies to join the list.

Red Light

April 4th, 2011
3:23 pm

Tom: Perhaps no other team wanted to play in Newfoundland?

Rawhide

April 4th, 2011
3:29 pm

Tom – I think you may been reading way too much into this. As stated in the blog post, the Thrashers and Islanders played in this game back in ‘07. Last year, the Senators and Sabres were the featured teams.

Tom

April 4th, 2011
3:30 pm

Red Light, it very well could be, but I have to be honest this just screams done deal to me… And I truly hope it is not the case.

World Be Free

April 4th, 2011
3:31 pm

Tom-I am trying not to read into anything I hear from Canada about the Thrashers. No offense to my Canadian friends (or relatives) but we all know most of the “Thrasher news” out of Canada is agenda-based. Not sure about the Newfoundland thing.

Tom

April 4th, 2011
3:32 pm

Rawhide, I hope you are right. I have been working on a marketing project the past couple of weeks that is built around a hook that changes the conversation midstream. My conspiracy tin foil hat might be on a little too tight. :)

Hockey Biltong

April 4th, 2011
3:40 pm

Dvorak is gone… he can’t stay healthy for a long enough time. I think Boults has regressed a bit this year. In puck play, that is. So we might need a new enforcer. Cooke does not impress me.What about Neil from Ottawa?
Stewart needs puck handling drills.. all that speed and no finesse.
Zach needs one more year and it better be good or I am done with him too.
I feel that Arthropod should work on skating drills now that his hip is better. He could be good trade bait, just as he is recovering from surgery so long ago.
Ladd needs to be resigned, although it has been very quiet on that front for the past two months.
And really , we do need a top scorer. Not just all the other contributors.
I believe the NJ. Devils are the team with only one 20 goal scorer, to answer an earlier posted question.

Cornbread

April 4th, 2011
3:53 pm

I have no problems criticizing players or play when that criticism is both accurate and warranted. I feel like I have defended Bogo all year from the “trade him now” crowd whom I believe have been wrong and irrational with their arguments against a very talented 20 year old kid. And much of their analyses of “bad plays” has been flat out wrong. I have no problem trading him but, in the very unlikely scenario that should occur, you better get what the Thrashers need most in return – a proven two-way playmaking first line center with 3 or more years left on his contract.

As for Bogo’s play on Saturday, the short-handed goal was not Paille “intercepting a weak outlet pass from ZB behind OP’s net”. Stating such makes it sound like Bogo served up a special delivery pizza which clearly was not the case. It was likely a set give-and-go play with Buff coming hard from around the net. Bogo was not behind the net in fact he was above the goal line. He saw Buff coming who was likely calling for the puck. Bogo gave him a touch pass which was deflected slightly by Paille causing the puck to take a fluky hop over Buff’s stick in the face-off circle who was at full speed and could not stop quick enough to retrieve it. This could clearly be seen in the replays.

Paille created it off of a fore-check and it was a perfect shot. But he did get lucky to have that one end up where it did. If Buff does not have the puck jump over his stick, he is off to the races on what would likely be a 5 on 3. It should be noted that the reason the puck was where it was to begin with was off of 3 great plays by Buff, Bogo, and Ladd on the PP. Buff fed Bogo a great pass and he fired a hard shot on net only to have it deflected wide and out of the zone by Ladd. Buff and Bogo have not been out there together on the PP much this season. It’s usually Enstrom out there with both of them. With him out, unfamiliarity likely contributed to the broken play. Also, Bogo was not given a turnover on this play by the official scorekeeper.

Now being a defensive defenseman, I don’t like to make such plays. But, touch passes like that are made all game long. They are high risk high reward. I would have preferred Buff stay behind the goal line for an over pass or for Little to get on the half wall for a better outlet instead of coming down the center. But, these are D-men who are two-way guys, Buff being a complete offensive D-man. They are going to make plays like this especially on the PP and when they work are a thing of beauty that make highlight reels. This time they made it but for the wrong reasons. Kind of like the whole season went. Frustrating isn’t it?

As for Bogo’s plus minus, “his assist on Buff’s goal was the only reason he was a -2 and not a -3″ is not accurate. He was not awarded a plus because his perfect feed for Buff’s one-timer occurred on the PP where +/- is not awarded unless a goal goes against the team with the man advantage like it did on Paillie’s goal. He was not awarded a minus, nor was anyone else, on the penalty shot goal.

Bogo was credited with a turnover off of the play that led to the goal which he rightly deserved. The ironic thing is he was doing what he does best, skate with the puck out of the zone. He got trapped and tried to flip the puck in only to have it “intercepted” in this case. A weak play to be sure.

As for the first goal he was “up close for”, not his fault. He was in correct position behind the net for a reverse from Enstrom. Instead, a “hard” play was called. This could clearly be heard. Enstrom rimmed it hard up the boards to Kane only to have it “intercepted” by Bergeron. Kane got beat along the boards when he had clear position over Bergeron to begin with who then threw a bouncing puck towards the net. Bogo was in good position to get that bouncing puck and he had it go off his stick a couple of times. Pavs was also there who eventually let it squirt under him for a gift tap in by Recchi. Two centers were on the ice at the time, Antro and Burmi. I would have liked to have seen Antro take up the back door man. Burmi could have done a better job taking away the shooting lane. But, the play should never have occurred if Kane does not allow Bergeron to so easily beat him along the boards.

Four goals Bogo was a factor in. One was a great assist, one a bad turnover, one a turnover by a team mate, and another a fluky bouncing puck. He also had 6 attempted shots, 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 23:35 ice time. He was actively involved in the game which he has been all year. Some games, especially those in the second half of the season, he has played great and gets very little credit for, or worse, is instead erroneously criticized like his previous game in Philly.

His -26 is ugly and as a defenseman there is no sugarcoating that. I’m just going to say that he’s a talented 20 year old kid playing big top 50 minutes in the NHL against the world’s best. He is better and more experienced than both Kulda and Postma who would never be put into the all situations role he is performing. He will learn and improve in the coming years. The kid can flat out skate, fire rockets, and run people over. He has improved greatly this year in holding on to the puck or making the correct good first pass in his end instead of firing it up the boards only to have it turned over. He is now getting the experience that will serve him 3, 5, or even 8 years down the road when he will still be a young D-man and likely a monster on the blue line. Getting rid of Bogosian now and giving to another team the future benefits of the Thrashers’ hard labors would be a travesty and a far bigger mistake than getting rid of Coburn.

Brendan

April 4th, 2011
3:55 pm

Midfield, I’m not married to the Cooke idea. Thirty-two years of age isn’t where I want to add players, especially since he’ll be looking for some security, probably a 3-year deal. And we saw what Coach Ramsay’s response is to those who thumb their noses at the league office. The response is accepting a 5th round pick for Ben Eager, to San Jose.

Red Light, excellent Redlight report. Very nice blog.

Cornbread

April 4th, 2011
3:56 pm

Brendan I enjoy reading what you write and agree with much of it but getting Cooke is just crazy talk.

Hoof Arted

April 4th, 2011
4:05 pm

Red Light, great article. Thanks for sharing it. There are some insightful comments to be found in it and I agree that the UFA talent seems down from years past. Dudley’s going to have his work cut out for him this summer trading for some much needed help.

Your posting here and other writers as well is another reason I like this blog so much. There are some fine writers who share their pieces here and BlogMaster doesn’t seem to mind sharing the stage. That’s waht helps make this the…

Best….Thrashers….Blog…..EVER!

Cornbread, hate to disagree with you about Bogosian but he stunk the joint up Saturday. I won’t go as far as saying he is responsible for all 3 Boston goals but he sure played a part in them. He’s had a terrible season and I can only hope somebody in the organization can help him during the offseason. He’s still got way too much upside and potential.

ManUp

April 4th, 2011
4:07 pm

I shudder to think where the Thrashers would be right now without Pavlec in goal. He bailed out the team so many times.

Smoothie

April 4th, 2011
4:15 pm

That defense of Bogey’s gaffe on the PP is a big load of hogwash. While I understand your POV in defending Zach as he is still only 20, and there are times when he is the victim of misfortune, that dumb pass to Buff never should have happened. He could have gone to the outside up the wall as Ladd was coming back (so was Little). Buff shares in the blame for not staying back, but both forwards were coming back and Bogo never looked up ice. When he received the pass, he needlessly kept skating backwards from the top of the circle all the way to the corner making himself more vulnerable to Paille. Buff probably should not have moved up the ice so quickly as he helped put Bogo in a pickle, but a tricky situation was made much worse by trying a high-risk touch pass. I understand what you’re saying, but Zach is hardly absolved from any guilt on the play as the pass was unwarranted and unnecessary, especially if both forwards were coming back to start the rush back up the ice as a group with support. Perhaps it was gross ambition on Buff’s part, but Zach should be able to recognize when to move the puck up the ice or away from Paille (opposite corner vacated by Buff thus giving them time to regroup at least) in that situation. Both guys were too cavalier.

Red Light

April 4th, 2011
4:24 pm

Hoof, Brendan, sisu: Thanks!

cousin Eddie

April 4th, 2011
4:25 pm

well said Cornbread. He is only 20 and playing against the best in the world. He is going to make mistakes and I have seen a progression in the way he has played. Be patient. I’m sure most Thrasher fans have learned to patient given the way the past 11 seasons have went!

Brendan

April 4th, 2011
4:32 pm

Rawhide, thank you for keeping this blog going all year ’round. It really does make all the difference. My favorite time of the year, aside from the Fall, when the World Series takes place and Hockey, Football, and Basketball are all back in full swing, is right about now!

Yep, the final games of the regular season and the start of THE REAL SEASON. These next 2.5 weeks, where we have eight (8) playoff series happening simultaneously … is just … my idea of heaven. These are the games that truly matter. These series are what the Draft was about 4-5 years ago. These series are what the FRENZY the last few Julys were all about. These series are fruit of what decisions were or were not made … during the trade deadline. It’s fun to watch it all unfold. I’ll have my two adopted teams in the hunt this year, Phoenix and Los Angeles. I don’t know if I can consider Nashville to be a rotating adopted team, since I’ve just come to accept them as my favorite team in the Western Conference. Any combination of Nashville, Phoenix, and/or LAK having any success this year … makes the whole playoffs so worthwhile for me. Watching the Coyotes struggle, and make it, through ownership adversity … watching the Kings slowwwwwly build this thing … year after year … it’s time to see the long-awaited benefits of all that. Watching the Predators being intelligently constructed by GM David Poile, on a low budget, should give us all hope that it can happen here, with the right people in charge of the Thrashers.

In the East, I know I’m gonna get a ration of it, but I like the Carolina Hurricanes. I know. We’re required to hate them, as division rivals. But I like GM Jim Rutherford. I like Paul Maurice as a Head Coach. God help me, I even like Carolina’s fans. For me, I hope Buffalo gets 7th and the ‘Canes 8th. Not that I dislike the NYR, because I don’t, but I just don’t see them as having a strong Center or quality blueliners … to have done enough to be a playoff team. To me, the Rangers are Henrik Lundqvist and Gaborik and not much more. Though, I certainly do like Stepan, Parenteau, Ansimov, Callahan, and Dubinsky. Are these some Tier I guys???? Alllrighteee, then. I’ll wish the Rangers luck if they make it in. With Lundqvist in net, who knows? You never know, come playoff time, when some goalie will pull a Dryden or a Giguere, and carry their team to the Finals.

My preseason picks were the Capitals/Penguins in the East, with Washington prevailing, and San Jose vs. Vancouver in the West. I think I picked SJ in preseason, because I seem to recall my runner-up pick for the Cup Finals was Penguins-Sharks, if Washington lost. I do like Vancouver’s chances this year. It’s been quite a ride for them. They get the 2010 Olympics, which Canada wins, in overtime, on a goal by the NATIONAL HERO, Sidney Crosby, against America’s hero, Ryan Miller. Now the Canucks are having their greatest regular season in their history. Every win and point sets a new franchise record. They do have the Presidenty’s Trophy clinched, for the 1st time in franchise history. They do have a goalie, in Luongo, that has the panache to carry them through to the Stanley Cup Championship this year. Luongo does have that Gold Medal, as well, for Team Canada. His resume is impressive.

And what about Detroit? No slouches there. Is Jimmy Howard ready to hoist the silver chalice?? That’s why we play the games. Johan Frazen, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Brian Rafalski, role players like Helm and Cleary and Abdelkader … it’s hard to make a case why the Red Wings CAN’T WIN it all, this very season. Why not Detroit??

What about Dany Heatley’s quest for the silver chalice? Do the Sharks suck? I’d say, “no.” But their window is starting to close. Niemi has the Cup, from last season, so we know he can do it. Heatley, Marleau, Thornton, Goc, Boyle, Logan Couture. It’s a deep roster. It’s good enough to win it all. For the Sharks, they’ve never reached the Finals before. They’ve been to the CF twice before, including last season. Maybe this is the year … we’re all forced to watch Heatley’s toothless grin, holding the Cup over his head.

Last, my pick to win the Cup, however misplaced, is the Washington Capitals. I’ve felt, for quite some time, that GM George McPhee has done an outstanding job with the club. The knock on the Caps is that they’re not tough enough for the playoffs–that they’re built for regular season success, only. We’ll soon find out. I gotta think … that the league offices of the NHL have a vested interest in seeing a marquee player like Ovechkin win the Cup. Crosby’s done it already, so it’s Alex’s turn. Folks, a Capitals win does speak well of the Southeast Division, where it comes time to make arguments over how weak or strong a division really is. If Carolina edges out the Rangers for the 8th and final, that makes Washington, Tampa Bay, and Carolina … all Southeast division teams, in the hunt. Go ‘Canes/Caps in the East!

james c.

April 4th, 2011
4:34 pm

10,000-12,000 people buying 2011-2012 season tickets out of a metro area of close to 6,000,000 people would certainly put a lot of fears to rest.Is that realistic…I hope so.

Rawhide

April 4th, 2011
4:34 pm

Cornbread – First of all, you are indeed 100% correct about the difference between the -2 and -3. Buff’s was a PP goal and the PS goal doesn’t count against him. I’ll strike that in the post above.

Respecting your right to take issue with my observation…I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree about that shorthanded goal gift wrapped by Bogosian. When you are making a pass like that from behind the goal it simply has to go tape-to-tape. He had to have seen Paille there.

…shrugs…

As for the third goal, even Ramsay called him out for that one. And I didn’t even mention his play on that first goal.

Really, no matter how you look at it, Zach has been a train wreck this season. About the nicest way I can sum up his year is that he hasn’t matured and developed much since his rookie year.

Bogosian has gone from 9 goals, 11 assists and a +11 in 47 games to 10 goals, 13 assists and –18 in 81 games last season to 5 goals, 12 assists –26 so far after 67 games played this year.

Regardless, my friend, you and I totally agree on the fact that the Thrashers do not need to give up on this kid at this point in his career. He’s yet to even see his 21st birthday for cryin’ out loud. He needs some one-on-one attention from someone who can help him and if he can get that, who knows. He can really be great.

But I’ll add that if we are looking at the same type of “progress” from Zach this time next year…the “he’s still young, give him time” defense will have some serious holes punched in it.

Brendan – You know…you’re just going to have to repost all that again next week. :grin:

Brendan

April 4th, 2011
4:37 pm

Cornbread, all to the discussion that Cooke will be putting out PK unit out there, all the time. Like I said, I’m not married to it. But I do think Cooke is a decent player, if he could just do a better job of controlling himself. He does have skill. Sean Avery has some skill. What’s he known for? Yes, being “stupid.” And tactless. And probably a few more things, which we won’t get into here.

Truthfully, Cooke here on a 1-year contract, where we can stash him in the AHL, if we don’t like what we see, or where some other team could claim him on re-entry waivers … might not be so bad. It’s high risk, is the problem. Who wants to take that risk? If we could be assured that he’d behave like a choir boy, we’d probably love the idea of Matt Cooke. How likely is ‘angelic’ behavior out of M. Cooke? Riiight.

Midfield

April 4th, 2011
4:42 pm

Choir boy? We already have our fair share of those.

Brendan

April 4th, 2011
4:45 pm

Rawhide is exactly right. This is the correct way to argue some point of discussion. Rationally. Calmly. Even keeled. Respectful of dissenting opinions, etc. No one owns the truth. The truth is what it is. Rawhide doesn’t insult people. What a good blog master!

Rawhide

April 4th, 2011
4:52 pm

Brendan – SHUT UP, YOU IDIOT!!! You do NOT know what you are TALKING ABOUT!!!!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Brendan

April 4th, 2011
5:07 pm

Midfield, refs see that elbow head north of Cooke’s waist, and whoop! Arm in the air. NHL suspension committee springs into action.

litz

April 4th, 2011
6:24 pm

I think the best thing about picking up Cooke for a song is we can stash him in the AHL and no longer have to worry about him steamrolling our players.

Cliff Fletcher

April 4th, 2011
7:00 pm

cooke is a better player than some of you are giving him credit for. he is not an enforcer because he wears a shield. sign him and put him on the 3rd line, not the 4th line-he can play especially if he dumps the foolishness.

my take on bogosian-
give him a video of how luke schenn is doing it in toronto. schenn is into the basics and he is doing it well, very well. he plays his position, rarely gives up the puck and he is one of the best hitters in the league. he does a few things well, which is what zach has to concentrate on moving forward.

Cliff Fletcher

April 4th, 2011
7:05 pm

bogosian is trying to do more than he is prepared to do t this point in his career. you put him on the market and haf the league will be calling, or more.

LAC

April 4th, 2011
7:37 pm

bogosian is a complete BUST. He has had THREE years to develop, look at Drew Doughtry in LA. A million times better than Little zach. How many, I repeat, How many times has zach cost us this season ? How many ??? Answer, Too many to count. He is LAZY, a floater, Out of Position
80% of the time, cannot be physical and most of all Cannot Read plays on defense.
He makes Terrible passes and from my viewpoint, has regressed since his first game here.

He should be benched the rest of the season and traded or released during the summer, he is simply NOT a positive asset anymore in Atlanta. Don’t need to hear all this he’s 20 years old…
There are coaches coaching him and they teach as well as coach. He does NOT Learn from them, has not in three seasons. He has cost us, I would say… 6-8 games this season. THINK where we Would be with an additional 14 points, we would have 92 right now and I lay a LOT of this season’s failure on zach bogosian. He is a Cancer on the team, and Paul Postma can fill the position left after zach’s TRADE with NO problem. Please look back folks, zach may be 20, but he is a first round pick and another in a LONG LONG line of first-round BUSTS for Atlanta.

Dvorak has also really preformed since coming here ????? Zero Zero Zero 34 years old, a FLOP of a trade if I ever saw one… Do us ALL a favor DUD dudley, resign so a real NHL GM can come in here and revamp this team, and take Liar waddell with you please !

NHL Ready

April 4th, 2011
8:15 pm

Bogo supporters.I am sick of the 20 year old crap. If thats the case he shouldn’t be playing so many mintues. It comes down to Coaching and calling out your players if they don’t perform. This Coach says we had a great game & love the effort and lets all go out for Ice Cream. But the fact is we lost another the game. Remember this!!! This is the NHL not the AHL or ECHL but the NHL. You should be good enough to play here and if your not you don’t play. I am really sick of losing oh I should say Fustrated. Thanks Nik for your slow no effort season for such words of wisdom. New Owners and New Coach and a few new players and we may have something. Same Coach same players still equals crap in my eyes.

sisu

April 4th, 2011
8:33 pm

The first goal was all on Pavs in my opinion, he let’s a puck going through his 5 hole. The team has only 1 game where the goalie “stole” a game…

LAC

April 4th, 2011
9:25 pm

NHL Ready, 100% Correct !

glovesave29

April 4th, 2011
9:36 pm

LAC – Kings fans are throwing Drew Doughty under the bus for his play this last season. Guess it’s always greener on the other side…

Bogo was horrible this season. If we follow your suggestion and trade him for a 7th rounder does this mean you bite your tongue from hereforth when he turns into a good steady D-man? Thrashers have failed him much more than he’s failed the Thrashers…

1976 – Montreal Olympics
1977 – Canadiens win Cup

1988 – Calgary Olympics
1989 – Flames win Cup

2010 – Vancouver Olympics
2011- Canucks????

KLS1

April 4th, 2011
9:54 pm

Gotta make a stand Thrashers fans. I don’t think we need to release Bogo, but don’t defend minus 26 as a third year top 5 pick.

If he were on any other team he would be out on a rail…but we just keep waiting for him to turn into Paul Coffey.

And the real opportunity cost for waiting to make a move is that we are not developing our other prospects into NHL players. If Kulda got 30 of Bogos games this year he would be ready to start effectively next season. But right now there are still question marks on both players ability to play at this level.

KLS1

April 4th, 2011
10:01 pm

By the way, genious move to black out the next 3 games…its almost like they knew we wouldn’t be in a playoff race.

What twits run this organization…

KLS1

April 4th, 2011
10:08 pm

Just re-read my posts, sorry for the negativity!

I really love this team and enjoy watching them…just get a little creased this team of year when I look back on the season and realize we could be in the playoffs if we had done a few little things better over the course of the season.

NHL Ready

April 4th, 2011
10:19 pm

LAC

April 5th, 2011
12:05 am

Glove, I believe it ALL goes back to developing players. Chicago could give a crap about the overall development of Atlanta players. I would LOVE to know how many times our GM has called to check the progress of Atlanta owned players ???

Watch Oil Change on the NHL network sometime and see how the develop players at Oklahoma City and they are in constant contact with the GM & Coaches there. They are developing players
to play the Edmonton system and teaching. Chicago does neither and we just throw players there and say PLAY, that’s it.

Than Chicago relationship MUST END. We need a team we control and develop our own players, not just fill a roster with prospects, just so they can play.

That is one reason zach is terrible, and another why when we NEED players to come in for whatever reason, and contribute, but ours seem never to do that.

I hope someone can talk some common sense into the next OWNER, if the team stays here, which is now 50/50, put an AHL team in Birmingham and let it work like a top level farm team should !!!!

R. Stroz

April 5th, 2011
12:16 am

For those of us who believe Zach Bogosian could use a good mentor, may I make a suggestion?

HIS AGENT

At this point you may think I have lost my mind until you see who Bogosian’s agent is:

Take quick guess……

Did you answer BOBBY ORR? Yes, that’s right Bogosian’s agent is Bobby Orr, yes that Bobby Orr. If the Thrashers organization had a brain in one of their collective heads, they have the answer right in front of them. Any bets as to whether the Thrashers organization finds a way to properly use this resource to everyone’s advantage?

Brendan

April 5th, 2011
12:40 am

Can we wave a magic wand and make cats less curious? Can we wave a magic wand and make two year olds less bossy and hellacious? Can we wave a magic wand … and make all 20 year old defensemen into the caliber of Ray Bourque?

Sadly, we cannot. This is why … taking a defensemen or a goalie inside of the lottery draft … is an exercise in PATIENCE. It’s times like these … the Webster’s Dictionary and its handy definitions come back into play. Patience … is a virtue. It’s also a luxury that the Atlanta Thrashers do not have. If Bogosian had spent more time in juniors, then developed through the AHL … to the NHL next season, or thereabouts, in 2010-11 or 2011-12, as he development warranted … guess what? Yep, he might not be being undressed and exposed at the NHL-level. Rushing players into the NHL straight from the draft, ready for this, ruins them. As in, “you’re not supposed to do it.” All good things in their DUE time. Bogosian never got “due time.” He got rushed. He got exposed. He’s 20. And I don’t see any magic wands lying around, to go point at him, to convert him into Niedermayer, Stevens, Pronger, Lidstrom, Daneyko, Rafalski, or Larry Robinson or Borje Salming.

In some rare cases, defensemen can make the leap straight away. But it’s risky to even try it. Glad it worked for Drew Doughty, who is the player I wanted all along in the 2008 Draft, if you’ll recall my debates with Ranallo10, who assured me that Bogosian would be every bit as good, if not better, than Doughty. Ranallo asked me why I saw Doughty as so much better, when they were essentially ranked the SAME, I said … “Look at the comments by Central Scouting, Ranallo. They use words like ‘intelligent,’ and ‘good decisions with the puck under pressure.’” I argued, at the time, that every, single player housed within lottery draft consideration, by definition, would be a GOOD SKATER, a GOOD PASSER, and a GOOD PLAYMAKER. If they weren’t these things, then why would they be in consideration for the lottery draft???? So, yes. I look to statements about a player’s intelligence and maturity as being highly relevant in their overall assessment of the player.

Now, is Bogosian a “bust?” It’s too early to say something like that. What we do know is … he won’t command a lot in terms of a trade. Which means what? We’ll sink or swim with him, since we can’t put him in the minors without subjecting him to a waiver claim. Anyone want to lose him for nothing? Okay, then. Maybe he needs a specific d-man coach? I don’t know. This isn’t a Braydon Coburn situation, where it’s 4-years later, and the guy can’t crack the lineup or get his coach to play him more than six (6) minutes a game. Bogosian is getting plenty of minutes. The way to reign him in … is to limit his ice time until he starts to play more intelligently. When he does, reward him with more playing time.

Look, I don’t like how Bogosian’s development is going. But it is what it is. The guy still has the potential to become quite a “serviceable” defenseman. Will he be a Tier I guy?? I don’t know. Maybe. If some coach would just step forward to aid this asset and help develop him into something better. He’s 20. There’s still time.

Do you know what I wanted to do, at 18 years of age? That’s right. Get drunk, run with all the women that’d have me, and hire Van Halen to play my birthday party. At age 20 … what changes is … maybe you don’t think it matters so much if Van Halen plays your birthday party. That’s hold old Bogosian is. He can’t legally drink!!! Yet, he’s expected to be the blueline ’savior’ of the Atlanta Thrashers, a franchise that couldn’t find the word “defense” in the dictionary, with binoculars. We just have to accept that players develop at different rates. When Chara started out, they called him a ‘hulking Lurch, with two LEFT feet.’ They said he’d never survive at the NHL-level. Somebody helped him skate better. Somebody taught him how to play better. Invested at 3rd overall, I’d say that Bogosian merits a ’special coach’ dedicated to his development. To quote Red Light, “Nobody develops talent like the Atlanta Thrashers.” Is Dan Marr still head of scouting, 12 years later? Fraser, Hartley, Waddell (twice), John Anderson, and now Craig Ramsay … haven’t seemed to fair any better with his draft selections.

Brendan

April 5th, 2011
12:51 am

Glovesave29, an amazing set of coincidences. I wouldn’t bet the farm against the Vancouver Canucks. They’ve been in the league, since 1967-68, without a Cup in their history. So, they are overdue. This has been their best regular season ever. The momentum of the Olympics in their city has perhaps carried over??

R.Stroz, see my post above. I refrained from specifically mentioning Bobby Orr since, well … as Don Cherry once said, “There are stars. Superstars. And then, there’s Bobby Orr. The guy has to have his own category.” But yes, Bobby Orr could really help him develop! I would imagine, however, that Orr has quite a roster of players that he manages. Can he really dedicate the necessary time to devote to Bogosian? If yes, SIGN ‘IM UP!!!

Red Light, AMAZING comeback by the Broadway Blueshirts in the 3rd period … versus Boston. The Bruins led 2-0, and 3-1, and the Rangers still closed out Boston, in Regulation Time, think “ROW.” Carolina fans have to be throwing fits at this point!! The NYR was about 20 minutes from a goose egg, thrusting the ‘Canes right back into a position to take the 8th spot from New York.

Cliff Fletcher

April 5th, 2011
7:29 am

bogosian was not ready to play in the nhl. is that his fault?-no! it’s the organization’s fault for pushing him the the big club too fast, before he was ready. so you can toss bogo under the wheels and make his inhale diesel exhaust all you want, but it is not the kid’s fault.

99% of defenseman do not mature in this league at 20, just look at all the phenoms from bogo’s draft year that have struggled or are currently struggling. in each case, their club’s are asking too much of them. something tells me that all the bloggers that are critical of bogosian have never played the position or hockey itself. if you had, you would understand bogosian’s situation.

so trade him or develop him-but don’t keep trotting him out there under the current circimstances, because you are eventually going to ruin him.

Mr. Heat Miser

April 5th, 2011
7:56 am

OK lemme try this. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there……with new ownership……new marketing staff…..refurbished arena……sane concession prices……ad nauseum

Dwayne

April 5th, 2011
8:23 am

Bobby Orr is telling Zach to play like $h!t to get the hell out from under the coach whisperer.

Red Light

April 5th, 2011
8:26 am

Chris Pronger’s first three seasons…
81 games, 5 goals, 25 assists, -3, 113 PIM
43 games, 5 goals, 9 assists, -12, 54 PIM
78 games , 7 goals, 18 assists, -18, 110 PIM

Fourth season
79 games, 11 goals, 24 assists, +15, 143 PIM

Hmmmm? See a pattern?

Red Light

April 5th, 2011
8:36 am

Very nice win last night Brendan. Love the Sauer kid. He’s all what is good about this game, as he waited for his opportunity after battling injuries and now is making the most of it. Game winning goal, an assist and five blocked shots. Big game by Prospal too, and Marc Staal was +4 last night.

Carolina still has a shot, and don’t be surprised if Buffalo lays a big egg against Tampa Bay tonight.

jimbo

April 5th, 2011
8:43 am

Good time to experiment with D-buff up front. We definitely need a top line center even an aging, one step slower guy will do. Lots of speed in some of the younger guys but no real savvy in setting things up. Also need grit. For all the boxing instructions that Thorburn and Bolts took, they seem to think of themselves as offensive threats and not bruisers. We need grit. What a waste of size in Stewart. And last of all send Mr. Robinson (aka Clueless Craig) back to his neighborhood to do “wonderful” things.

World Be Free

April 5th, 2011
9:05 am

You only trade Bogosian if somebody is offering one heck of a return. The return would be a scorer and a defenseman, both under the age of 25 no draft picks please. The previous reference to Luke Schenn is an accurate one, he is playing within his means, rarely out of position. Schenn doesn’t worry about his offense, he plays defense and rather soundly at that. Stop Bogosian from rushing the puck, get the kid to play defense first then worry about offense.

What where you guys doing at 20 years of age? Frankly, I can’t remember which tells what my frame of mind was at that age. You can imagine what it is for Bogosian.

JT

April 5th, 2011
9:08 am

You know, if ol Antropov is so frustrated, why didn’t he bother to pick up Mark Recchi in front of the net? He sure has a lot to say, but doesn’t seem to do much about it on the ice.

World Be Free

April 5th, 2011
9:17 am

Red Light, I am STILL waiting for Buffalo to blow this playoff spot. Don’t know where they would be without Enroth right now, he stole the Carolina game. Team has no leadership on the ice; Tyler Myers finally played like a Calder Trophy winner Sunday. He has struggled alot this year-sound familiar? A young defenseman struggling? Myers is kid like Bogosian.

Smoothie-looks like Shaone Morrison has played his way out of a job in Buffalo. Marc-Andre Gragnani has taken Morrison’s spot in the Sabres’ lineup.

ThrasherTim

April 5th, 2011
9:30 am

KLS1 – Thursday night’s game against the Rangers is on Versus if you have that in your cable/satellite package.

LAC

April 5th, 2011
9:32 am

I agree WBF, don’t give him away, and I kinda see your point Brenden, But quite frankly, this guy has cost Atlanta this season, A LOT. Put blame where you wish, lack of time in the minors, which goes back to having our OWN farm team, young etc… He has not progressed like a third pick should or could have.. The big problem I have is he has cost us POINTS in the season, Points we could have used badly as the season unfolded. I am sorry, but I do not want to see zach play for Atlanta again, he is not a good young player and we have Postma waiting in the wings and he would take zach’s place with NO problem. I only hope they SIT him the rest of this season…

Funny thing, Nashville does not have ONE 20 goal scorer, it’s all about DEFENSE, and we have NONE and never have. Like I stated at the start of the season… We needed to cut off about 60-70
goals to make they playoffs, and yet again we are going to be at the BOTTOM of the NHL, where we are quite accustom in GA, and those in charge just don’t GET IT !

glovesave29

April 5th, 2011
9:38 am

RL – if you remember, the Whalers ran Pronger out of town, and STL fans were furious that they lost Shanahan to get him. Time kinda heals that wound, eh?

Stroz…not sure if Bobby can coach a team. You would think his agency agreement would preclude that. He’s got other players all over the league – Spezza, Kaberle, all of the Staals, everyones favorite Anthony Stewart…

LAC – preaching to the choir, my friend. Been asking to leave Chicago for YEARS.

The NHL needs to address the silly rule whereby players with junior eligibility left MUST be returned to their team if they don’t stick in the NHL. They are now paid pros and under contract. If the team feels like they’d be better served in the ECHL, CHL or AHL (which of course they’d be) instead of the juniors, they should be allowed to do so.

Brendan – I am not sold on the Canucks, they are too soft and just lost their best face off man. I just thought the stats were an interesting coincidence. But they haven’t been in since 1967. They were not included in the first expansion and their mayor and the Canadian PM raised hell with NHL Pres. Clarence Campbell claiming the Leafs tried to squander their efforts to get the team and they got in on the second expansion with Buffalo in 1970

R. Stroz

April 5th, 2011
9:56 am

glovesave29 – I get your point, however, I don’t want Orr to coach the team, just mentor Bogosian for a few months over the summer.

Ice Puckies

April 5th, 2011
10:05 am

Bogo, Kane, Bumis, All brought straight into the NHL — not one game of AHL experience between them, right?
HAS ANYONE EVER THOUGHT THAT MAYBE IF THESE YOUNG “SUPERSTARS” WERE GIVEN AT LEAST ONE YEAR IN THE MINORS IT MIGHT HELP THEM TO DEVELOPE INTO REAL NHL’ers verses middle of the road could have beens?
Answer that Wads and Duds….

World Be Free

April 5th, 2011
10:17 am

LAC-can’t argue with the way Bogosian has played this season or what he has cost us. Now we have to look forward, what do we do here? Do we tarde him or try and develop him? The latter has never been tried, the former must net a sizeable return to recoup the investment of such a high pick. The kid is obviously not getting it with the coaching and on-ice tutoring he is receiving.

Ice Puckies-if the players have junior eligibility left, you cannot send them to the AHL or any professional minor league. But leaving them in juniors would have been fine with me, you are on the right track. Do what Florida is doing.

KLS1

April 5th, 2011
10:31 am

Thrasher Tim…thanks!

WBF – I think we should definitely be developing him, but if he starts going next season, like this season, Dudley better be prepared for Plan B before Thanksgiving.

Smoothie

April 5th, 2011
10:36 am

“Now, is Bogosian a “bust?” It’s too early to say something like that. What we do know is … he won’t command a lot in terms of a trade”

Bogosian is not a bust, yet. The 4th year is tell-tale. If he doesn’t make the jump, like many young D-men before him, into a bona fide, top-4 caliber D-man, then we won’t be much better next year. As for his trade value, I beg to differ. He could probably bring a hefty return because of his age and his “upside”. That’s the million dollar question and I reckon Dudley will give him a big pay cut, tell him to get his act together and come to camp ready to dominate. While I think he could bring a hefty return, including a young, scoring wing that we need, his development from this year to the next may determine this team’s fate in the subsequent season. I just hope that Kulda and Postma are given every opportunity to make the team after Johnny Oduya is traded out of here. No way Dudley stands pat; he will trade one of our D-men and Oduya is the most likely candidate. Sorry Johnny, but it’s true.

glovesave29

April 5th, 2011
10:56 am

We share our frustration with the Panthers, who also have a less than stellar track record over the past decade. One fan designed this patch for the team…classic!

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/flapanthers/2011/04/florida-panthers-playoff-drought-commemorative-banner-contest-is-over.html

Red Light

April 5th, 2011
11:03 am

OK, this is off the Bogo topic, but will give you some historical insight about playoff positioning, etc. I hope you enjoy the long post.

The entire Pacific Division still may qualify for the NHL playoffs. While it’s still a longshot, it could happen.

• The last time an entire division (five teams) made the playoffs in the same season was in 1980-81 when all Adams Division teams advanced. Of course, only five teams were eliminated from contention after the regular season as the NHL had only 21 teams then.

All four Patrick Division teams advanced in 1977-78 and 1978-79 when the league had a total of 18 teams.

In 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96 and 1996-97, five of the six Central Division teams advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Five Atlantic Division teams made the playoffs in 1995-96, and five Northeast Division teams advanced in 1997-98. Since the 1998-99 season when the conferences were split into three divisions, there has never been a season when all five division teams have made the playoffs. The Southeast Division has never had three teams advance to the playoffs during any one season.

• The Sharks captured their fourth consecutive Pacific Division crown after last night’s win over the Kings, and ran their record against division foes to 13-3-5. Their 31 in-division points are seven points better than the Kings, the exact margin by which they lead the division.

• The current six division leaders/winners have a combined record of 79-33-20 against their respective division rivals. The Red Wings, 11-9-2 against its Central Division rivals, had the worst mark of the six division leaders/winners.

• The Penguins posted the best record against Western Conference teams of all Eastern Conference teams taking 25 of 36 points in 18 games. The Lightning and Rangers tied for second with 22 points against Western teams.

• The Red Wings play at Carolina tomorrow night and take the Western Conference’s best record against the East to Raleigh with them. Detroit is 12-3-2 for 26 points against Eastern Conference teams. Interestingly, Central Division rival St. Louis had 25 points against the East, and Columbus, which hosts Buffalo on Saturday, also has 25 points against Eastern teams.

• Since the advent of the losing team getting one point for an OT/SO loss in 1999-2000, a total of 15 teams that had 90 or more regular season points missed the playoffs. Phoenix (90) in 2000-01, Edmonton (92) and Dallas (90) in 2001-02, Toronto (90) Atlanta (90) and Vancouver (92) in 2005-06, Toronto (91), Montreal (90) and Colorado (95) in 2006-07, Carolina (92) and Buffalo (90) in 2007-08, Florida (93) and Buffalo (91) in 2008-09, and St. Louis (90) and Calgary (90) in 2009-10.

Calgary, Dallas and Carolina all could fall victim this season. The Flames and Canes have 11-11 OT/SO records, while Dallas is 10-11.

glovesave29

April 5th, 2011
11:15 am

RL – Flames are toast, Dallas and Chicago have two games at hand. I have no rooting interest in this seasons playoffs (barring a Flames miracle), so I guess the TV ratings will drop 0.000000001% with my screen staying dark

My $0.02 is on the Sharks this season. I just have a feeling. It’s a well built team and they are peaking right now. They’ve kinda flown under the radar this year, plus they are coming off of some playoff disappointments, so the team is motivated.

Red Light

April 5th, 2011
11:27 am

Sharks could be tough to handle glovesave 29. They are 11-2-3 since March 1, but Vancouver is 13-3. Niemi has started 34 straight games for the Sharks, so I am sure he’ll get some rest this week.

I am going to pull hard for the Preds again this year, and if Rinne keeps playing well, they could finally advance past the first round.

glovesave29

April 5th, 2011
11:33 am

RL – Preds…sigh – THATS how to build a franchise. Tied into the city, a tough – hard nosed team. They’ve made the playoffs in 6 of the last 7 seasons after missing them the first 5 after expansion. Succeeding in a small market pisses off everyone north of the border, so ya gotta like that. Hard not to root for the underdog. But the Sharks just seem to have it all. Vancouver is tough, but Luongo has a history of wetting the bed when the games really matter, and Niemi has a cup ring…backing up a powerhouse Chicago team, sure…but a cup nonetheless.

ZAvalanche

April 5th, 2011
12:23 pm

Time to start discussing playoff predictions.

West:
I was hoping LA would have a chance of doing some damage, and they still could. They will probably play phoenix or nashville – but – Kopitar is done for the season and that is a HUGE loss for LA.

Chicago is struggling to stay in, it is sad to see a cup winner not make it in the next year. I hope they do. But when you ship away some winners, you gotta expect it.

Vancouver is the real deal. Detroit is always scary San Jose is always good but always loses by the 3rd round.

East:
Anybody see the Rangers vs Philly game Sunday? Wow, that looked like a game 7. Don’t count out the Rangers in the cup finals, Lundquvist is on fire. Crosby shouldn’t play the remaining games till the playoffs start, too dangerous. With Malkin and Crosby back in the playoffs, not to mention they clinched as spot WITHOUT them for well over a month, they can be very dangerous.

I think the lineup in the East is set, placement is not. Carolina won’t catch Buffablow, 3 pts behind, no games in hand and 3 games left.

Boston will stay at #3 I think. Pitt and Tampa could change spots but neither will be below 5th.

I think Philly will keep #1, sorry Caps, they are just more consistent.

Thoughts?

Red Light

April 5th, 2011
12:32 pm

Remember yesterday when I posted the Thrashers had three draft picks that were called up and who played a total of 13 games?

The Preds, on the other hand, had six draftees that played a total of 46 games so far, and chipped in with nine goals and six assists.

What is even more remarkable is that last year, they got contributions from eight rookies drafted by the team that played a total of 229 games — and they still made the playoffs.

ZAvs…despite last night’s debacle, I still like Boston.

ZAvalanche

April 5th, 2011
12:46 pm

RL, Boston is my hope from the East. I would hate to see Philly win it all. However, I see the Penguins being very dangerous.

World Be Free

April 5th, 2011
12:55 pm

Boston should not have looked tired in the third period last night.
Rangers just plain wanted that game more than the Broones.

Callahan is 100% heart-Dubinsky too.

Smoothie

April 5th, 2011
2:12 pm

Callahan is 100% hurt. Broken ankle thanks to Chara. Return is indefinite. Huge blow to the Rangers.

sisu

April 5th, 2011
2:16 pm

I have heard that Kulda has had an off season in Chicago this year which could be him being disappointed by not making the big club. I really believe Oduya is the odd man out this offseason.

The biggest issue with the AHL is the age limit, without the 20 yr age limit there would be more players developing there.

Last thought on Bogo, I think he learned a lot this season, just like Buff. Neither of them had a great season from beginning to end. Sure there were many bright spots but Buff was all but invisible in the second half as far as scoring.

Anyone have any thoughts on the upcoming draft? Any favorites so far? I think another option is to look in Europe for some guys that lead leagues over there in scoring that are available.

Anyone remember Perin (eric) here? Remember how he was so high on himself? Well he is playing in the SM Liiga in Finland in Jyvaskyla, a small town…

sisu

April 5th, 2011
2:17 pm

what I meant by Perin was that it is ironic where he ended up, not bringing him back by any means! Sorry for the confusion! :)

R. Stroz

April 5th, 2011
2:20 pm

Did Turnbuckle Chara strike again Smoothie?

World Be Free

April 5th, 2011
2:46 pm

Turnbuckle Chara! The post of the day Stroz!

Red Light

April 5th, 2011
5:22 pm

At least the Turnbuckle had nice things to say about one of my all-time favorites…

“Callahan is a top-six guy yet he still plays with so much heart and grit. You don’t see many guys that throw their bodies around to block shots like that. He plays the game so hard. You have to respect a guy like that. I heard after the game that he’d probably broken a bone, so I just hope that he’s okay long term.”

Rightshot

April 5th, 2011
5:54 pm

If anyone has a link to tonite’s game, it would be appreciated.

Brendan

April 5th, 2011
6:00 pm

Ryan Callahan may be done for the year, which sux for the Rangers. That’s a tough one. But, I do think the Rangers have all but punched their card, with that 3rd period win over Boston.

Glovesave29, I don’t trust Vancouver as a “lock” to win the Cup, either. Can’t rule out San Jose. My pick is the Washington Capitals. The Caps might not make it out of the 1st round. Varlamov and Neuvirth aren’t exactly the best known goaltenders in the league. In the playoffs, it always takes good goaltending to win. When I think elite goalies, I think Luongo, Thomas/Rask, Lundqvist, Miller, Kipprussoff, Pekka Rinne, Vokoun, Brodeur, etc. Niemi is a good goalie. Carey Price is a good goalie, despite my efforts to harpoon him, in the past.
Jonas Hiller can steal a series. Bryzgalov may wow us this year.

This is why we play the games.

sisu

April 5th, 2011
6:53 pm

Brendan, I hope you are wrong about the Rangers, I prefer to see Carolina make it…3 SE teams would be nice!

Cornbread

April 5th, 2011
7:54 pm

Rawhide and particularly several others, I don’t completely disagree with your assessment of Bogosian’s play. It has been awful in some games. Others, however, it has been great. It may be hard to say given some of the games where he looked completely lost or lacked confidence but I believe he has progressed this year. Last year he was the worst D-man on the team (even worse than Valabick which I often stated) mainly because he was trying to do too much, running out of position just to make a hit, and lacked composure under fire. This year he has had some of those games but he has had just as many where he controlled the game from the blue line and showed the true potential he has. In the 3 games against the East leading Flyers in March, he played outstanding and saw team leading big minutes in all 3. One of those games, by the way, was the game prior to Boston.

The thing about his career numbers over the past three seasons is directly related to the minutes and role he has been given. His TOI among D-men has gone from 149th to 82nd to Top 50 this year. His first year he was the 5th D-man playing much of that year with Mathieu Schneider. He also ranked 7th overall and 6th for D-men on even strength time. He was not as exposed as he is now. This has greatly affected his +/-. When he came back from his injury in the second half, the Thrashers as a team got hot. This also coincided with the arrival of Rich Peverly and it wasn’t until then in mid-January that he scored his first goal, accumulated all his points, and went from a -3 to a +11.

Last year he saw a bigger role as the number 4 and actually led the team in ES play. He was out there a lot more against the other teams’ best. This year he has been the number 3 and even number 1 D-man at times. He ranks second on ES play behind only Buff but has actually seen that increase by a minute a game without any increase in PP time. He is playing more and more against the best in the game – as a 20 year old kid. Again, greatly affecting his +/-.

The biggest improvement I have seen him make this year is what he does with the puck under pressure. In the past he would make a bad clear or rim it up the boards only to have it turned over. This year he is far more patient with the puck and will make a better first pass. He is shooting it more from the blue line and, since recently going to the Combat stick, his shots on net have improved. And they are hard. Unfortunately, his shooting percentage has declined from 10% to 6.5% to the current 3.4%. Keep firing it on net and they are going to go in.

Believe it or not, his positioning has improved over last year. Does he still make mistakes or look lost at times? Yep, but not as bad as last year. He also isn’t running around just to hit somebody like he did last year only to have an odd man situation occur the other way. His hits are cut in half this year but he’s still 4th on the team with 104. Also down are his stupid and unnecessary penalties. This year he has only seen minor penalties in 11 games and has seen muliple minors in only 1 of those.

Coaching by both Ramsay and Torchetti has helped in these areas. The kid has not regressed as some believe or even that the -26 suggests. In fact, he has been given a bigger role than ever before – as a 20 year old kid. There is a lot of good that comes from this on-ice experience along with a lot of growing pains. I understand it may not be easy to see or be patient especially after a game like Boston. However, with Enstrom out, don’t be surprised if he is given another chance to redeem himself in Nashville tonight as the Thrashers’ number 1 D-man in the game. After all, it is the site where he first showed his true potential by scoring his first career goal and assist, first cracked 20 minutes, first led the team in TOI, and finished a +4 just a little over two years ago on January 17, 2009.

Patience. Zach Bogosian is a talented 20 year old kid and is only going to get better.

hockeygoon79

April 5th, 2011
8:45 pm

Another game in which 2 goals were scored against the Thrashers in under a minute.

Simply amazing.

Donovan McNubb

April 5th, 2011
8:51 pm

Welcome to the NHL, Mr. Zubarev.

So far he’s played six minutes, 11 seconds. And he is a -3. Ouch.

Bogosian has sucked this year, but it’s too early to give up on him I think. Look on the bright side. At least now we don’t have to spend a ton to re-sign him. That money can go to Kane, Wheeler, Ladd.

Rightshot

April 5th, 2011
9:00 pm

I changed my mind, I don’t think I want a link to see the game now.

Curly

April 5th, 2011
9:17 pm

Good choice Righshot. It’s pretty brutal. Zubarev looks just a bad as he did in the pre-season.

Zombie Steve

April 5th, 2011
10:15 pm

Bogo showed flashes of greatness his rookie year… I’d venture a guess that perhaps his “rocky” relationship with Torch might be a primary factor in his play this season??

Will be really sad to see Boults go – if speculations are true. Points wise this has been his best season. He’s a medium sized guy that regularly stood up for his team and took on heavyweights (often beating them senseless). Boults has never taken a night off.

We do not need a snake like Matt Cooke on this team.

Brendan

April 5th, 2011
10:32 pm

How soon ’til Jordin Tootoo completes his hat trick? I see Nashville has let us score 3 goals, here in the 3rd period, just so Tootoo can get a hattie into the empty net.

Brendan

April 5th, 2011
10:42 pm

Penguins now one (1) point from catching Philly for the Atlantic division championship. Wow, that kinda snuck up on us, huh? Ottawa beat Philly, 5-2.

Buffalo took a major step towards the playoffs with a 4-2 win over Tampa Bay. That gives the Capitals the SE Division crown for the 4th straight year, irrespective of the outcome of the Capitals-Leafs game. But, the Capitals won, in the shootout, I think. Leafs are eliminated. Finally.

Montreal won, 2-1, over Chicago. That’s gotta clinch a spot for Montreal. Dallas is leading Columbus, 1-0, with 4:43 left. Nashville waits for the outcome of that game. A Stars loss means the Predators are in the playoffs, again.

LAC

April 5th, 2011
11:07 pm

Really don’t know what to say after this Nashville game, except. Nashville is a PROFESSIONAL Run team. Solid GM. Excellent Coach Good players, not great, but Very Good. Excellent goaltending & defense.

What do WE have ???? Crap run team. Ineffective, POOR GM, BAD Coach, LOUSY defense & goaltending !!!!

I am now reday to get rid of both goalies we have, They are NOT effective Period. They both must GO and we need a solid giy, Volkun ? Phoenix goalie ? Much better defensemen, Remember
please… Championship’s are won with DEFENSE & GOALTENDING in the NHL… Now this run & gun CRAP we have “tried” the past three years and the RESULTS ????????? NO PLAYOFFS !
It does NOT work, and it DAMN well better change next season !!!!!!

If the GM in charge does not make DRASTIC and I mean DRASTIC changes on defense and in goal, we will NEVER get better, either here or somewhere else… It is just plain SAD, but these two goalies need to go along with zach, get something for them !

LAC

April 5th, 2011
11:11 pm

cornbread, are you really serious ??? zach is Terrible and will NOT get better, He should sit the last games this season. I cannot believe you have glowing comments to say about him ? Just because he is 20, that is crap in it’s highest degree. The kid has and will NEVER develop, if he was going to develop, he would have shown so this season, and he has been a COMPLETE BUST this year and could be fingered as THE reason we missed the playoffs with his AWFUL play.

I cannot believe you think he will improve, NO WAY, TRADE HIM A.S.P. Please !

Brendan

April 5th, 2011
11:58 pm

Sisu, I hope I am wrong, too. I want Carolina to be # 8, and give Washington fits in the opening round! If the Caps, ‘Canes, or Bolts win the Cup this year, it sure will upset the pundits in Toronto!

I have to feel bad for Ryan Callahan and the Rangers. They’ve put up a season that looks as if it’ll end with playoffs. But now, it doesn’t look nearly as good for a 1st round upset. Then again, if they draw Philadelphia, that’s a team they know very well. Then again, Philly may fall all the way to 4th spot, and play TB in the opening round. Montreal could fall back to 7th, if Buffalo catches them at 6th.

Interesting note, of all the playoff series possibles, the # 6 vs. # 3 matchup has not changed since February 8th. It’s always been Boston vs. Montreal. If it doesn’t end up that way, I’ll be surprised. I love Boston vs. Montreal as a playoff series. We’ve seen it several dozen times, through the decades. It’s always a good one, even if there’s a sweep. They hate each other so muuuuch. Truthfully, Montreal usually wins, but things have been changing, more recently. There’s reason to believe the Bruins could win the East this year, if they catch some breaks.

In preseason, the Penguins were a good bet to win the East. Without Malkin, and with a Crosby who hasn’t played in months … I’m not sure that the Penguins are even a lock to win in the 1st round. TB has to like their chances against the Penguins, given this set of circumstances. If the Pens win the Atlantic, the Bolts will play the Flyers, Cup Finalists last year. I really think the Bolts are still a year or two away from Cup contention, but this is a year where they could win a round and use it as a springboard to bigger things in 2012.

What about some love for GM George McPhee? His Capitals have won the Southeast Division for a fourth year in-a-row. If the Caps are ever gonna win that Cup, they’ve got make it happen. Division titles are “nice,” but that’s not what signing Ovechkin to a 13-year deal was all about. Ted Leonsis, owner, expects titles. The East is a bit watered down. Conditions for winning the Conference aren’t going to get much better. The principal competition is Boston and Philly, and maybe the Pens, too. I like Bruce Boudreau. I hope it happens for him. He came into the season under a lot of heat … after last year’s upset by 8th seeded Montreal in the Opening Round. I’m not saying the Caps will fire him if they don’t win the Cup, but the pressure is certainly on … to at least make it to the CF. Washington looks to be the # 1 seed for the 2nd year in-a-row.

Cornbread

April 6th, 2011
12:41 am

LAC I am very serious. I know you are not. As witnessed by tonight’s game, like I believed would happen, Bogosian was the number 1 D-man and had a very solid game.

So much for everyone in Chicago being ahead of and better than Bogo as you regularly state. Nice to see Ramsay and Torchetti continue to play the kid and give him 20 minutes in his first NHL game. Good coaching.

Brendan

April 6th, 2011
12:48 am

More eliminees, with the loss, of course. Anyone with 85 or 86 points just got booted. The following posters are now officially eliminated: StateBird, Jen, Adam, Mikey, Sisu, and Jimbo. At 84-points, and still alive, are: Russ, R.Stroz, and J(Z). At 83-points is BuzzEng. Still alive at 78-points are Nate and Jethro. At 79-points are: Curly, Bob/Joe Friday, and Zoomo.

LAC

April 6th, 2011
1:56 am

cornbread, WRONG, I am Damn serious. I have watched professional hockey for 50 years and zach is not going to improve one single bit. He was just Standing around tonight on 2 Nashville goal with no clue as to where to be or what to do.

he is in REVERSE mode and it’s only getting worse. You like a loy of others keep saying he is only 20 years old… SO ? What is the point. He has cost us BIG time this season and the sooner he leaves town the BETTER the Thrashers will be for it. Mark my words, he cost us this s eason and he has no reason to be around for another Atlanta game EVER !!!! You cornbread, need to smell what you are shoveling !

Cornbread

April 6th, 2011
3:03 am

On how many Nashville goals? Who turned the puck over at the blue line? Thought so. You may have watched some hockey over the past 50 years but you’ve never played it. That much is clear to those of us who have played the game. What is even more clear is that you don’t know what you are watching.

World Be Free

April 6th, 2011
7:30 am

The boys must have set their tee times before the game. They sure played like it. So glad that there were other games on Center Ice last night. Anyone watch Tronna/Washington? Ovechkin owned Dion Phaneuf last night.

Rawhide

April 6th, 2011
7:34 am

Good morning all. You can chat about last night’s pounding in Nashville or discuss the Thrashers 3 pending UFAs here in this new blog.

Personally, I’d rather talk about the future.

R. Stroz

April 9th, 2011
8:46 am

Rawhide

April 12th, 2011
9:30 am

R. Stroz – Nope.