Little positive found in Thrashers lost season

Instead of typing out words that could properly describe last night’s heaping, steaming pile of FAIL that the Thrashers left on the ice of Philips Arena, I wanted to try and find something positive to write about. And one “positive” that came to mind was Bryan Little…specifically speaking, his team-leading plus/minus stat.

Now, like many of you I always take the +/- numbers with a healthy dose of salt. It’s a stat that can sometimes be misleading as it doesn’t factor in such things as if the individual is playing top-line minutes against top-line opponents and if a defenseman is being paired with another who might be weighing him down.

However, sometimes a player’s +/- rating is indeed well deserved. For instance, take Zach Bogosian and his -25 for the season. I don’t think you’ll find too many Thrashers fans who’ve been paying attention that would argue he doesn’t deserve that negative stat hanging around his neck.

Bryan Little scores one of his 18 goals this season against Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks. Little leads the team with a +12 rating this season (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Bryan Little scores one of his 18 goals this season against Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks. Little leads the team with a +12 rating this season (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

On the opposite end of that spectrum, Little’s +12 for the season can also be described as well deserved.. In a season that has spiraled into the ground since New Years, Little has been one of the few positives to be found.

Take last night’s craptastic 6-1 beating dished out by the Carolina Hurricanes for instance. Bryan Little’s goal in the last minute of play was the only thing that denied Cam Ward of his fifth shutout of the year. Even though it made…ahem…little difference in the outcome of the game, it did allow Little to finish with a +1 rating. He and Andrew Ladd were the only two Thrashers who were on the positive side of that stat on this losing night.

When he scored, I couldn’t help but think that f there was one player in red that deserved to score the lone goal registered by the home team, Little was that one.

His +12 far and away leads the rest of this Thrashers squad. Among those remaining on the roster, the next highest is the +4 held by defenseman Ron Hainsey. Brent Sopel was a +7 before being dealt to Montreal in February.

In fact, last night’s +1 pulls Little’s career +/- to EVEN in this his fourth season with Atlanta. That’s quite an accomplishment for anyone who has played so many games with this team over the last four years.

As stated above, a player’s +/- stat doesn’t always tell the whole story and it’s not good to try and judge there worth solely on those numbers. But given that this team has given up 43 more goals than they have scored this season, Little’s positive showing here really does stick out given he’s averaging 18:26 TOI. To me, it’s indicative of the solid effort he puts in night in and night out and how he works his butt off every shift.

His 47 overall points is second among forwards on the team and his 29 are a career high. His 18 goals scored are well off his career high of 31 set two years ago, but it hasn’t been due to any lack of hustle or drive. If anything, this kid could win this year’s Snake-Bit Award as he’s pinged the post and been stymied by great saves time and time again.

But even though he’s been frustrated at times in the offense zone, Little hasn’t let it affect his play in the defensive zone. That’s a telling sign of a maturing young star.

Next fall, Little will begin his fifth season in a Thrashers uniform and he’ll no doubt be one of the players looked upon most if the team is going to finally put together a positive record and earn a spot in the playoffs after four straight years on the outside looking in.

123 comments Add your comment

Joe Friday

April 9th, 2011
8:28 am

You ranallo’d me on the other blog, so I’ll repost it here as your comment on Little is on point, he’s about the only bright spot and he returned to form of 2 years ago, it’s not like Ramsay coached him up this year:

Find out last night that they’ve fired two more of the bartenders in the clubs, for a ridiculous reason, then two more have quit in frustration. We need new owners so badly . . .

Good thing Ramsay called timeout there or it could have been 7-0!

Let’s review Ramsay’s job this year and see if he warrants a second chance this year:

I pegged this lineup at 79 pts last fall, we’re at 80 and might get 82 if the Pens lay down tomorrow. Did he coach this roster up? Nope.

Pavs has regressed this season, started out very strong, but last night showed the level of his frustration. Why has Ramsay been playing Mason so much lately? Obviously Pavs is frustrated by the situation here. Did we develop our franchise goalie this season? Nope.

Is the system implemented by Ramsay a successful one that will lead to this core group jelling into a Stanley Cup contender? Nope.

What young players have shown marked improvement in their play this year under Ramsay’s tutelege? Bogosian? Nope. Kane? Has shown some signs the last quarter of the season, but not a marked improvement. Litlle? Back to the form he showed two years ago. Stewart? Nope. Ladd is Ladd. Enstrom is Enstrom. Buf has regressed. Burmistrov? Nope. Has Ramsay elevated anyone’s game on this roster? Nope.

He hasn’t elevated any of our player’s game and his system isn’t a winning one. His in game decision making is puzzling and his line changes are confounding, it shows in the incredible amount of back to back (and to back again sometimes) goals we give up.

Can anyone make a case showing that Ramsay has been effective this year?

Move Buf up front to top line RW and if we can get a new owner by July 1st then mabye we can sign Bieksa and a top 6 forward and bring in a new coach and compete next year.

Jamie Fehr

April 9th, 2011
8:32 am

Great article, you sir are bang on. I was reading some forum comments the other day and everybody was just ripping him, makes no sense, anyway any idea if he will be getting a invite from to the world hockey championships, or if he has interest to go?

Matt from MN

April 9th, 2011
8:38 am

Way to lie down and die like dogs, you hacks! Ramsay must GO now.

Always Hoping

April 9th, 2011
8:52 am

Bieksa is an injury waiting to happen…go research his games lost due to injury. He plays a tough physical game but it leaves him unable to play a good deal of the time.

hockeygoon79

April 9th, 2011
8:53 am

Bryan Little has been one of my favorites for some time now. He’s always given 100% out there and it’s much appreciated by this fan.

Last night’s latest Turd on Ice by this team was about the worst I’ve seen since the 9-3 thumping by Toronto last January. If Nik Antropov can still say he has never seen this team quit this season then he just isn’t really paying attention.

Ramsay cannot be shown the door fast enough. Maybe we’ll be blessed sometime next week to read he has voluntarily stepped down due to health concerns but has decided to stay on in an advisery role. Then elevate Ramsay to head coach.

Oh yeah, and Atlanta Spirit, you SUCK!

Always Hoping

April 9th, 2011
8:55 am

….and one more thing. Please Mr. Kincade please stop with your “Balkan” mystery. Either give us details or remain silent. I’m hoping the Thrashers take you along to Winnipeg.

R. Stroz

April 9th, 2011
8:56 am

Decided to stay home last night and watch the game from the couch.

Some might refer to that decision as a WINNER.

ejimbo

April 9th, 2011
9:07 am

You are right, Rawhide, the boys left a pile of crap on the ice last night. I had the glasses on the Hockey Whisperer. Is the guy even alive? He scans the crowd after goals. Probably looking for either help or an electrician to turn out the lights. He’s a beaut!

Brett

April 9th, 2011
9:15 am

What a game! I brought a couple of first-timers to the game last night. Needless to say, they won’t be coming back anytime soon!!! What an embarrassing game!

As far as Little is concerned, he has continued to mature and it shows in his consistent play night in and night out! Thanks for the effort Brian!!!!

Stylez

April 9th, 2011
9:20 am

We are an ahl team

R. Stroz

April 9th, 2011
9:21 am

Hartley is looking better and better as a coach as each year passes.

Sage of Bluesland

April 9th, 2011
9:27 am

I don’t know why some expected different results….I guess some aren’t too swift when it comes to the ownership/management effect on the entire organization. I’m actually surprised they have done as “well” as they have. They have exceeded their payroll and care-given by the top of the structure.

I wonder if the coach will get any credit in taking these utterly inferior ingredients and making something better than when we had better talent across the board…and even less excuses?

Nah–it’s easier to be a Joe-Bob-Friday-Revionist-Historian and blame the coach for all that ills…and to change the story years later, having “known it all along”, of course…

Stop the disillusion–and blace the blame for this mess where it belongs….and for Heaven’s sake stop putting dollars in their undeserving pockets…if you want the behavior to change, you will cut the funds. All is Joe-Fridayesque.

Fan from Carolina

April 9th, 2011
9:27 am

He hasn’t posted yet but I’ll do it for him to save the energy. “I though the Thrashers played a good game. Most of those 6 goals were lucky. The Thrashers would match up well against the Canes in the playoffs.” :-)

Supes

April 9th, 2011
9:33 am

This marks the first season in 5 years where I didn’t go to a single Thrashers game. I refuse to support this ownership “mess” and this so called “rebuilding project” is looking like a failure at this point. I was considering going to one of the last 2 games, but I’ll save my money and go to a Braves game or two instead.

When and IF a new ownership group comes in, they need to CLEAN house…just like Arthur Blank did with the Falcons…new GM, new Coach(staff), and SHOW RESULTS…get this team in the playoffs for crying out loud….1 time in 11 years….simple won’t do gentlemen.

Frosty the snowman

April 9th, 2011
9:42 am

We will be here again next year talking about the same dissapointment like we are every year. The thrashers will sign some more ahl talent in the summer.
Yeah Supes I went to one game this year because I got free tix, I refuse to pay. Last year I didnt go to any games.
Everything from top to bottom has needed to change 5 years ago. The Organization needs a complete overhaul, total liquidation blowout!

R. Stroz

April 9th, 2011
9:45 am

The Thrashers organization needs a colonoscopy.

Big and Little

April 9th, 2011
9:51 am

Even though we have completely sucked the last half of the season, there was real hope the first half. If we can spend some money, develop some depth and not have to worry about injuries, we will be contenders. To those riding the coach, I say leave him alone. He has hockey knowledge and ability. I like his demeanor and I think he just lacks a couple of key players. The move to acquire Wheeler and Stuart was brilliant by Dudley, and I’m sure Rammer had a big part in that. We need to put this year behind us, and start preparing for next year.

One thing this team needs to work on, in my opinion, is conditioning. It is pretty apparent that we struggle on the second night of back to backs. More so than other teams. Part of this I believe is due to the youth of the team. Endurance in men peaks in the late 20’s and early 30’s (look at Lance Armstrong). We need to concentrate on fitness, strength, and nutrition. Put all of these ingredients together and I think we contend next year.

Get The Puck Out

April 9th, 2011
9:54 am

I guess Jonesy was right when he said that the Canes would dominate the Thrashers. I can’t think of any other word for it. Even dimwits can follow directions if you tell them what to do. Seems they aren’t following directions or the one giving directions is not doing a very good job in giving them. What a bummer.

World Be Free

April 9th, 2011
10:56 am

One thing we talked about in October was the need for NHL depth. We were very good the first 2 mos of the season, then fell back on December to ultimately land in our current position. Several teams have vaulted past the Thrashers since December. Look at the the other teams and you see NHL depth in the organizations. Buffalo has taken our spot in the playoffs; the Sabres have brought up NHL caliber forwards, defenseman and goaltending from their farm team. What contributions hve been made by the Chicago Wolves to the Atlanta Thrashers during this season? Very little from what I see. Last night’s game was one of 82 so I m not losing myh mind over it. The results are the symptom of greater problems.

The Chicago situation is the biggest issue Dudley must solve in the off season. You cannot expect your top 23 players to carry the team through 82 games and the playoffs. Fix the farm and alotta other issues will fix themselves. Current Thrahsers will be forced to play better because they know there re hungry young players on the farm ready to take their spots. I know there are other issues, but this is a hockey issue that needs repair. Other low budget teams have heathy farm systems.

2 positives last night-Burmie’s hits and Zubarov’s overall play. “Zubie” was Atlanta’s best defenseman last night.

sisu

April 9th, 2011
10:58 am

What a mess of a game, the team for the most part quit. Sad really unless they made a deal to lose to the Canes (Sarcasm)
Only positive was Little, scoring a goal at the last minute to prevent a shutout. I was shocked that there was a timeout called but maybe it is like the rec leagues around here? If a team is losing bad they still paid for the ice time so might as make it last and practice stuff during a game…

World Be Free

April 9th, 2011
11:12 am

We can complain about the past and the current sitution, but where do we go from here? This was a good team early on, then faded and fell back to where we were last season. You take some positives out of the first 2 mos and learn from what has happened since December. I am not taking a “rosie” approach to the Atlanta Thrashers, but it is what it is. How does this team move forweard in Atlanta?

Wayne stuck in AL

April 9th, 2011
11:26 am

RAMSAY MUST GO!!!
RAMSAY MUST GO!!!
RAMSAY MUST GO!!!
RAMSAY MUST GO!!!
RAMSAY MUST GO!!!
RAMSAY MUST GO!!!
RAMSAY MUST GO!!!
RAMSAY MUST GO!!!
RAMSAY MUST GO!!!
RAMSAY MUST GO!!!

Jason

April 9th, 2011
11:33 am

On the bright side, it was fun booing Rutherford Seydel last night….

AudraM

April 9th, 2011
11:58 am

Hey Bill! … It’s about time I got on here to leave a comment huh? Took long enough :) …. Great article …. It’s never easy (or fun for that matter) to write after a game like last night, but this is a great example of how to focus on the postive :) I’m really glad you chose to do a story on Little. I have always liked him as a player, but this season, not only do I really like him as a player, but maybe even more as a person. He was one of the first players I interviewed this year. He was on quite a hot streak, and when I asked him about it, he attributed his success to his teammates. Class Act. I think most people would agree his numbers don’t do him justice, yet he still plays hard. He isn’t jaded by the number of times he has been “snake bitten,” instead he does what he can to help his team. Too often you see athletes catch a series of bad breaks or are too concerned with stats and they never recover. I think this season Bryan has showed a level of maturity that not everyone has…. and I respect that more than anything.

See you Sunday… and thanks again for the help last night… my secret project is coming along… I’ll keep you posted!

-AM

Hoof Arted

April 9th, 2011
12:00 pm

Jason, amen that. How can that fool show his face at Philips?

GoalieBrian

April 9th, 2011
12:52 pm

Thought the game was great last night for personal reasons. A) Won great seats via the twitter contest (Thanks Ben Wright!), B) Got picked to do the second intermission contest (was in the red shirt), C) Got to boo Seydel (in the words of Gary Busey, “Butthorn”). Sorry the team got trounced, but man, I had a blast last night spending $15 on beer and walking out with some sweet prizes.

Rawhide

April 9th, 2011
1:00 pm

AudraM – Yeah, it’s about time you finally posted here, chickie! :cool: Very honored to have you do so and thanks for your kind words.

I’m not at all surprised of what you have to say about Bryan. Indeed he seems like a class act and we’re lucky to have such a player in the organization.

Good luck on your “secret project”. I know it’s going to turn out great

Smoothie

April 9th, 2011
1:05 pm

Billy! Great choice of subject matter in the wake of that God-awful display of fatigue / lack of will and in some cases heart / utter incompetence and confusion. That game was less fun than a sweaty pair walking thru the ATL Zoo in the middle of July choking on elephant dung.

Anyway, good to see you last nite along with a few of the usual suspects in our tight-knit Thrashers family. And great to see Blue Spark as it’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to chat it up. And Audra, I must say, that was as good a first post as anyone could possibly write for this dynamic and knowledgeable blogging forum!! Kudos and I hope the Taco Bell removed the hurt! ;)

As for Little, he may be little, but he is fierce! He has a huge heart and a never-ending motor on the ice. The fact that he is a +12 on a team with a wretched -43 is rather remarkable. And had he hit the inside of several posts, we’d be talking about his 25 goals to go with his 30 assists. But anyway, hopefully we can get him, Ladd and Wheeler some veteran help to take some of the pressure off of that top unit. He still needs work in the F/O circle but he’s coming around. I think 20-25 G and 35 A would be a nice goal for Bryan to set for himself next year. We’re lucky to have a consummate pro like B-Litts on our hometown team.

LAC

April 9th, 2011
1:08 pm

I agree with Joe Friday, Ramsey needs to step aside. We need a coach, not a teacher.
Some of his comments this season have been, very odd to say the least.

How much LONGER are we going to keep zach b. here, get something for him and help the team, He sure as hell is not helping and I will be the first in line to say HE cost us the playoffs with his Stupid play, Lazy play and Total inalility to play the mental part of the defensive game, Plus he has turned into a Total MARSHMELLOW . I sincerely hope Sunday at 3pm is his last game EVER in an Atlanta uniform.

Time for a number of others to go. DUD dudley should, but won’t. He has ZERO credibility
in my book and this team “he” built, did Not Cut It !

This run & Gun style has got to GO away ! Three years of it and nothing. Ramsey is NO different than John Anderson, except he has NO hair. We need to copy Washington and change styles of play. Total defense, Period. Look at the teams making the playoffs… Low GA. We sure don’t have that and the ONE season we did, we were much better = Playoffs.

Main off-season need, Top Flight NHL Goalies, Get rid of the two we have and get some Solid ones in here. And the mess in Chicago has got to END, it is Killing Us.

But as long as The Stupid Lying Group is in control, nothing will ever change, afterall, I still think there is a 50/50 chance there will be NO Atlanta Thrashers next season… But a new OWNER has to top the priorty list !

World Be Free

April 9th, 2011
4:26 pm

I knew we would get a LAC/Zach post for the ages today after the first 2 goals went in. Can’t say I disagree with you either.

Brendan

April 9th, 2011
4:38 pm

Red Light, NYR posted a very big and convincing win, 5-2, this afternood against the Devils. I think it forces the Carolina Hurricanes to win in regulation time or overtime, no? Or would a shootout win do, as well? This is a nail-biter. Noticed that the Rangers did the “Shirts off their backs” with their fans. Niiiiice.

I still want that 1st round pick traded for a legitimate player. Otherwise, I’ll have to sit through post after post about how the draftee isn’t living up to expectations or developing fast enough. Defensemen take 4 years. Goalies take 5 years. Forwards take 1-3 years. The Thrashers rush their draft picks into the lineup, ruining their development. I wish the practice would stop. I wish posters would give goalies and blueliners their requisite time to develop. Trading that pick, and pick # 38 or so, for another NHL-ready player, ends all that player development/our scouting sucks talk that permeates these boards.

Buzzeng

April 9th, 2011
9:27 pm

I have to ask, but isn’t there one thing we’ve learned this season – “don’t start Pavs in back-to-back games”…? Maybe Ramsay was trying to teach him to be a No.1 goalie (i.e. the No.1 goalie needs to be able to post two wins in back-to-back games). I can’t think of any other reason to start him last night, despite his performance the night before.

HillMan

April 9th, 2011
9:36 pm

As a day one STH who has renewed for next year, I too am disappointed with ownership, Ramsay and overall finish. However, like most preseason power ranking, I figured the Thrash would finish some where between 10-12 overall. They hit that range. We saw Little rebound, we saw Pavs get 4 shutouts and the team had 5 or 6 overall.

This season truly was a building year that will have payoffs next year – we had a forward learn how to play D, good offense from Buff – needs to work on his positioning and not backhanding pucks on D. We added 2-3 pieces (Wheeler, Stuart and Dovark) that will improve our PK next year. We developed a Russia, that many said needed to bulk up at the beginning of the season to make the team to make an impact – next year he will have more bulk and make a larger impact.

And while we had some huge disappointments with Zach and Pavs, each is young and will take this season and learn from it and come back stronger next year. They are professionals, they know they played poorly and will bounce back next year. We have one solid top two line (Ladd-Little-Wheeler) for next year and another top 6 forward in Kane. Two more top 6 guys and we will have to solid lines, and our other two llines will be solid as guy can more down from our top 6 to their rightful on the 3rd or 4th line.

kovyoverrated

April 9th, 2011
9:52 pm

My HOPE is that Bogosian has seen the writing on the perverbial wall, with a little “inside information from Duds”, and did not re-sign a 1yr lease on his apartment.
BYEBYE BOGO!

I would trade his sorry a@# for a coupon for a free “Frosty” from Wendy’s and a $50 gift card from Bass Pro Shops. Then I could refresh my trout fishing tackle, go get knee-deep in a N.GA stream and forget about this abortion of a season.
I could then stop on the way back in Cornelia and get a free Frosty for the ride home.
Good Thoughts.

EA

April 9th, 2011
10:28 pm

I just saw Henrik L. interviewed. Asked if he was disappointed that the Rangers did not clinch the 8th spot the other night against the Thrashers, he said “they are a good team, consistency is the their problem and the reason they are not in the playoffs”. The same words spoken by Brian Boucher.

Brendan

April 9th, 2011
11:24 pm

Congratulations to the University of Minnesota-Duluth for winning the NCAA Men’s Divion I National Championship over Michigan tonight, in overtime. It’s AMAZING just how often these National Championship games do come down to “next goal for all the marbles.” There have been some great overtimes to settle the title, through the year. I believe a player from Miami of Ohio, Miele (Sp?), won the Hobey Baker Award. Miami flopped in the tournament, however.

The “Beanpot” came down to overtime, this year, as well. It was BC over Northeastern, 7-6, I think.

Congratulations to the New York Rangers for making the playoffs. They lost control of their own destiny, but then did what they had to do, defeating the Devils, then got help from the Lightning, in the form of a 6-2 drubbing of the ‘Canes, to eliminate Carolina. :eek: , :sad: , :shock:

Hoof Arted

April 9th, 2011
11:51 pm

AudraM = Audra Martin?

Secret project? BlogMaster is in on it?

This should be interesting.

R. Stroz

April 9th, 2011
11:58 pm

Hoof Arted – You nailed that one.

After the last few renditions of the National Anthem, I wish they would let Audra sing more often.

Brendan

April 9th, 2011
11:59 pm

Okay, we have our Eastern pairings finalized:

# 1 Washington vs. # 8 NY Rangers – Two ex-Patrick Division rivals, who still know each other very well. A “train” series, from Union Station to Penn Station. These clubs have met five (5) times previously, with Washington holding a 3-2 series edge. In 2009, the two met in the 1st round, and the NY Rangers blew a 3-1 series lead, to lose, 4-3.

Note: “Did You Know?” … that since the Lockout, the NY Rangers have now made the playoffs five of the past six (5/6) seasons. The year they missed, 2010, they lost Game 82 in a shootout, to Philly. Amazing what introducing a cap for the Rangers out-of-control spending has done for the club.

# 2 Philadelphia vs. # 7 Buffalo – Two teams who seems to play each other a lot in the playoffs. Speaking of teams that have been in the playoffs five of the past six (5/6) seasons under the salary cap, here are the Philadelphia Flyers! Ken Hitchcock, John Stevens, and Peter Laviolette, Philly’s last three Head Coaches, have actually made money for the Flyers’ ownership. What a concept! And sandwiched inbetween all that was a DEAD LAST in the NHL finish, in 2007. They used the 2nd overall pick to select James van Riemsdyk. Sabres have played the Flyers eight times (8x) since 1975. The Flyers own a 5-3 mark in those series. Both the Flyers and the Sabres have reach the CF twice under this CBA. These teams last met in the first round in 2006, when Buffalo was enroute to the CF, and won the series, 4-2. For Buffalo, this is their fourth playoff berth under the salary cap. Darcy Regier deserves some credit for that, on a limited budget.

The # 3 vs. # 6 match-up has NOT CHANGED since February! So, it’s of very little surprise to either the Habs or Bruins that they’d meet again in the playoffs. Guess how many times the Bruins have played the Canadiens in the playoffs? The answer is: 32. Montreal owns a WHOPPING 24-8 mark in those series. Montreal is another club that, five years of out six, (5/6), has been in the postseason dance. They only missed in 2007. In 2008, the top-seeded Habs beat the Bruins, 4-3, in what was nearly a UTTER collapse. Montreal held a 3-1 series edge, but the Bruins forced Game Seven. Habs won, 5-0. In 2009, the top-seeded Bruins got their revenge, SERVED COLD, via a 4-0 SWEEP. Both these clubs have been the # 1 seed in the East, in this CBA. Neither won the Cup or reached the CF when they did. For Boston, this is their fourth trip to the dance under the current CBA.

# 4 Pittsburgh vs. # 5 Tampa Bay. Pittsburgh is YET ANOTHER team to make the playoffs five times out of the six years (5/6) of the current CBA. They missed only in 2006. Tampa and Pittsburgh have NEVER MET in the playoffs before. If there’s to be an upset, this Lightning have a shot at it, with no Crosby, no Malkin, etc. But this is not the 2004 Bolts team. What TB needs to take away from this series … is the experience of it. For Stamkos and Hedman, this is the first step towards a multi-year window for TB to win the Cup. Pittsburgh’s got the experience. And we saw what they did … missing two of their major horses, in the second half of the season. Is Dwayne Roloson back in 2006 form? Fleury’s got his credentials, but the Pens are smarting from last year’s major upset by Montreal, in the 2nd round.

Brendan

April 10th, 2011
12:01 am

Trixie, help!!

Balkan

April 10th, 2011
2:07 am

HOLY MANbearPIG!

KLS1

April 10th, 2011
8:17 am

Kovyoverated…the price you are asking bogo is too high.

World Be Free

April 10th, 2011
8:54 am

Congrats to Red Light and the Rangers for making playoffs, especially after the bummer of being out of the post season as a result of a shootout last year. Deja vu for the Canes; 24 hours earlier they witnessed the Thrashers go on the tank, Canes dove into the Georgia Aqarium last night too. Funny how bd they looked Saturday after looking so good Friday. Just like the Thrashers being great on Thursday and horrible on Friday. Back to back games at the end of a long regular season.

Red Light

April 10th, 2011
10:15 am

Thanks WBF, but I don’t think the euphoria will last too long without Callahan. Even though they played well against the Caps in the regular season, this is a tall task, although I can see the series going to six or seven. You can’t use the word choke referring to either the Canes or Rangers, they both played well down the stretch except for one or two games. Shows how tough mentally the Lightning are, winning on the road with nothing to gain from the victory.

Interesting day today. A Thrashers win means they “lose ground” to 22nd overall in the league and likely would pick 8th rather than 6th (a Thrashers loss and a Devils win).

For those of you complaining about the Thrashers head coach, be mindful that they improved from 16th last year to 5th in blocked shots this season with a total of 210 more this season, and were outshot in the fewest number of games in franchise history this season (43 of 81 so far).

World Be Free

April 10th, 2011
10:30 am

R/L, the coach will be back; he also needs more pieces and depth in the system to sustain this team for an entire season.

Playing the Caps knowing that the disaster of last season’s first round exit is still on their minds. Washington is much better defensively as a team from last seaosn, but the “failure” experiences are still there. Caps may be grippingtheir sticks too tight, an early Rangers’ win in this series will bring panic to the Washington faithful. Should be interesting.

Tom Lysiak

April 10th, 2011
10:49 am

Yes, incremental progress in blocked shots and being outshot is a good thing. However, it is apparent to me that another thing you mentioned RL, “mental toughness”, would have actually served this team more. What is the source of the mental toughness of the Lightning? Do all 23 of their players just naturally possess it? Did Ladd and Buff have it in Chicago last year and suddenly lose it when they got off the plane down here? How then is it taught/delivered/imparted on the masses? Some might say it is the job of the head coach and the organization. I think a head coach has to realize when that mental toughness is missing and take measures to fix it. Mental toughness helps you survive a goal and not give up another one within 15-30 seconds, repeatedly. Mental toughness keeps you from going on huge losing streaks. To me, even above the lack of overall talent on the team, the lack of mental toughness was the X-factor this year. Just my 2 cents.

VOLinATL

April 10th, 2011
11:13 am

Get rid of the red sweaters for next year!!!!! Seriously what is our record in them??

R. Stroz

April 10th, 2011
11:24 am

Trust me, the red sweaters are gone.

Red Light

April 10th, 2011
1:52 pm

Tom Lysiak: I think it is learned behavior, and it is a great point you made. Leadership isn’t a one man, captain only thing in the NHL. You have to have belief in many players and the coaching staff to get you past rough spots, bad performances, adversity. From day one, I believe Vinik, Yzerman, Boucher, Lecavalier, St. Louis, etc. mandated mental toughness from everyone in the organization. After the long home stand they had, which didn’t turn out as easily for them as they had hoped, they re-grouped and won key games down the stretch. Even after losing the division lead to Washington, they still finished strong by winning 6-of-7.

Remember, Vinny missed 17 games, Gagne 19 games, Malone missed 28, Downie 25, and they had Brewer and Bergeron for only 22-23 games.

The difference is that when their depth was compromised, the owner and GM went out and got key pieces for them. Must be nice to be able to add salary rather than playing it on the cheap like ASG did. Tough spot for Dudley to be in, and the biggest difference between the Lightning and Thrashers, the 1st and 3rd lines.

Flagstaff

April 10th, 2011
3:08 pm

Can anyone at the game post here for the Snyder Award, Player’s Player Award, and MVP results?

PensFan

April 10th, 2011
4:23 pm

Watching the Pens feed on NHL Cneter Ice. Fell asleep. So I missed the first period. I am glad I didnt bother going to Phillips Arena to watch the snoozer. It’s 1-1. Pens have their C team on, not even their B team.

PensFan

April 10th, 2011
4:26 pm

And one of my favorite Pens – PASCAL DUPUIS- scores his 17th goal. The guy is flat out fast.

PensFan

April 10th, 2011
4:38 pm

And Mason looked awful on the Pens 4th goal in the 2nd period. Why is Mason still out there?

PensFan

April 10th, 2011
4:43 pm

On an Atlanta penalty kill, ref misses a trip by the Pens on the short handed chance. The linesmen seem to go to the ref to explain that he missed the trip, according to the Pens announcers, but the ref doesn’t seem to change his mind. the Atlanta crowd throws some debris on the ice.

Tom

April 10th, 2011
4:43 pm

How about the missed call by the ref on Little. The Pen’s announcers are incredulous that the call was missed. For Thrasher’s fans this is par for the course as we have had so many missed calls against us this season.

PensFan

April 10th, 2011
4:48 pm

For those 2 or 3 fans still interested in the game log, here is one from the Pittsburgh perspective.
http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/empty-netters/26490-penguins-at-thrashers-04-10-11

Tom

April 10th, 2011
4:57 pm

Oh, and that last goal should get Mason a ticket out of town for good. This game is a microcosm of the season.

PensFan

April 10th, 2011
5:08 pm

Pens announcers lavishing a lot of praise on Andrew Ladd. I didn’t realize Thrashers got him so cheap from Chicago. Ivan V . Oh yeah, a 2nd round choice was thrown in too which is pretty much nothing. if Chicago didnt have their salary cap purge, what worse shape would the Thrashers be in?

LAC

April 10th, 2011
6:02 pm

pensfan, Please GO AWAY, we could GAF about what you have to say, Hope Tampa kicks your BUTTS out of the playoffs 4 straight.

Awful season, Get a solid AHL team here with support from the parent team and just have fun. Or get an expansion team in 7-8 years, because I am for getting rid of this CRAP team, No Heart, No Guts, NO DEFENSE, NO GOALTENDING,NO head coach, $HIT Owners, Nothing to build on for season’s to come, NO Farm Team which to draw from and on and on and on.

The Thrashers are THE example of how to run a sports franchise into the ground. owners who LIE and LIE and LIE and are nothing but diaper boys, wonder if levenson’s mommie still wipes him ?
How about you rutherford ???? You Lying FOOL !!!!

Just nothing more to say, they will keep the bafoons who are the president, GM, and coach around to FAIL again next season someplace else, at least they will not be here to ruin our winters anylonger… It’s tough, but thanks asg you did it, Killed a fun sport and lied to the fans…
and levenson showed what a COWARD he is by never having THE GUTS to respond to my offer…
Still afraid bruce, You should be you lying little punk !

Flagstaff

April 10th, 2011
6:33 pm

So, who won MVP and Seventh Man?

Flagstaff

April 10th, 2011
6:39 pm

And sorry for the double post but, PensFan, don’t get me started on those stupid Pittsburgh announcers. Not only did they never shut up about the team’s uncertain future, they clearly insulted (yes, insulted) Atlanta fans numerous times! The one that first comes to mind is, after fans’ booing following a bad offsides call, one of them said, “Even the fans here know that that’s a bad call!” Prejudiced, idiotic, and plain misinformed.

Alan R.

April 10th, 2011
7:44 pm

Flagstaff – Ladd won MVP. That guy who took the “Kane knocks out Cooke” picture last year won Seventh Man.

Predictably, he chose Kane’s sweater.

PensFan

April 10th, 2011
7:58 pm

LAC, thanks for the warm welcome. I was posting so many times just so that you personally experience the Phillips Arena experience in this blog where Pens fans comments outnumber Thrashers comments. Until today, that part was missing as this blog has a lot more of a percentage of true knowlegable Thrashers fans than the arena.

World Be Free

April 10th, 2011
8:50 pm

Pens Fan-alotta you guys at today’s game. The Pittsburgh fans were pretty well mannered today, vs. my Buffalo friends and few other teams’ fans. Pens have a great farm system, pretty good team without Crosby and Malkin. Get rid of Godard though he is useless, can barely skate.

I normally do not say this, but the refs were horrible both Friday and today. They look like they were mailing it in too. The Wheeler boarding penalty was a joke, when ATL was up 1-0. Orpik was holding guys breaking into the offensive zone the entire game, no calls. Loved it when somebody threw a Coke at the refs – these young refs are clueless.

Bogosian’s entire game is a mess. Not sure if he can be fixed, and I have not been picking on him before. He really is pretty far gone. You wonder what will happen in the off season.

World Be Free

April 10th, 2011
8:52 pm

Pens fan-the team needs to buy out the last year of Mason’s contract-big disappointment

WTF?

April 10th, 2011
8:55 pm

The question is will fudley Dudley fire his useless coach friend and get a real coach in here or will we have to travel to Carolina and Nashville to see real hockey in the south next season? I can’t see too many people wasting money to see another pathetic season of too many losses to bad teams and not enough wins against the good teams. Get rid of baldy and get a good goalie and we might, might just have some sort of chance at an 8th seed in the playoffs.

EA

April 10th, 2011
9:19 pm

Chris Mason is responsible for today’s loss. He was horrible. Pens fans were very low key today. They cheered for the Pens. Thrasher fans cheered for the Thrashers. It was a very festive atmosphere. At the end there were many definitive comments from the announcers that we will see everyone next year in Blueland. Hopefully!

Brendan

April 10th, 2011
9:38 pm

Well, it was fun being there for the 1st period. Collected another souvenir cup for the collector. In previous years, didn’t they give away a poster for the final game?

Disasterous 4-goal second period sank the Thrashers chances of a .500 season. Not that a .500 season would measure up to last year. So, we lose Kovy, but we only regresse 3-points in the standing. Kovy lead his Devils to the 11th place in the East. Which means Kovy has played for a team that has finished in the bottom third of the Eastern Conference for the sixth time in nine (6/9) years.

Brendan

April 10th, 2011
9:41 pm

Am I about to be Ranallo’d? I ask, because I have an announcement to make.

Brendan

April 10th, 2011
9:44 pm

Not related to the pending announcement, but a season ticket rep told someone in my row that if the owners intended to relocate the team, that the deadline for making that request was January 1, 2011. So, per that ticket rep., hockey will return to the Bulb next Fall. But after next season, all bets are off. Personally, I don’t know what to believe. These owners have never done anything right, so what makes me think they’ll get this sale right, either?

Thrashers27

April 10th, 2011
9:48 pm

If the city of Atlanta loses the Thrashers, ASG should be treated as criminals!

There are few, innocent and pure things in the world and ASG has managed to tarnish one of them. It’s shameful what they have done to such a noble and respectable sport.

You suck, ASG!!!

Congrats to B-Litts!

EA

April 10th, 2011
9:50 pm

Brendan, the person who sits next to me heard the same thing from her rep.

PensFan

April 10th, 2011
9:53 pm

Why is it that Bettman seems to try harder to keep a team in Phoenix than one in Atlanta. You do not see any kind of statements from Bettman standing up for Atlanta as a market. Very stupid of the NHL.

Also , FLorida(Ft Lauderdale) is much worse than Atlanta as a market. How the hell does that team not relocate ?

If you look at all the forwards Pittsburgh lost and they still got 106 points, it’s stuff that the Atlanta franchise could very well have done this offseason
1) There were a glut of defensemen on the free market last offseason. If only they made some free agent signings on defense(granted they would have to overpay to lure good d-men) along with the great Chicago trades they already made, they could have had a decent team.
2) Goalie depth. Mason : Wow, he stunk up the joint today. Whenever I watch a Thrashers game, Mason is usually not the goalie. When Fleury struggled, Brent Johnson did a great job for the Pens. Goalies like him were available on the free agency market the last two years.

It seems like the Thrasher franchise were content with the NJ and Chicago trades and didn’t seize the opportunity to capitalize on this infusion of talent. Maybe they were shocked they were capable of some good moves and didn’t know how to take the next step.

EA

April 10th, 2011
9:57 pm

To clarify-the rep sounded positive that at least next year the Thrash will be here. Who knows?

Brendan

April 10th, 2011
10:01 pm

I have just received word that there is no pending Ranallo Warning. Therefore, without further ado … I hereby announce that congratulations are in order for one of the AJC.com posters. This individual, last Fall, declared that the Thrashers would finish with 80-points, be 4th in the Southeast Division, and finish 12th in the Conference.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm. Well, Nostradamus step aside!! Because the winner of the the 2011 AJC Guess the Thrashers Points Total Contest is …. (drumroll, please) … EX-STH!!!

You may now shower Ex-STH with adoring praise, congratulatory wishes, or just gaze upon Ex-STH with quiet awe. Way to go!!

How did it happen? Well, fellow posters WBF and Red Light also had 80-points, tied to 4th in the SE Division. However, they tied their picks to an 11th place finish in the Conference. With the Devils win over Boston, NJ finished ahead of the Thrashers, in 11th spot, pushing Atlanta to 12th place in the East. That means, Ex-STH’s guess of 80-points, 4th in SE, and 12th in the Conference … was absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt, the precise finish for the Atlanta Thrashers season. With a finger on the pulse of the team seven months ago, Ex-STH takes his spot along side Don (Not that one) and Pam On Weck as previous winners. Good luck to everyone next Fall. This year, we had 83 guesses, the most ever. Who knows, maybe we’ll break that number next Fall, when the Thrashers will STILL BE HERE!!

Cliff Fletcher

April 10th, 2011
10:05 pm

none of this moving talk is good for moral, the league or anything else.

pensfan-thanks for a good post. what the team really needs is a change of identity, totally. new uniforms and alot more. how about imbracing the old atlanta flames that live in the area?

pittsburgh has the right attitute, the players that take the injured players spots know what is expected of them. atlanta has no development in chicago which is why their kids look lost on the ice when they get here. alot of work to do here.

Puck Like A Porn Star

April 10th, 2011
10:08 pm

This blog makes C-Viv’s abomination look like … an abomination?

#breakthrough

World Be Free

April 10th, 2011
10:13 pm

Brendan-I was robbed, close enough though for horseshoes.

Speaking of New Jersey, Lemaire is out as Devils coach. Parise injured and an RFA + the need for a new coach in Jersey. Wonder how Kovy feels about not making the playoffs?

R. Stroz

April 10th, 2011
10:14 pm

A few notes:

1) If the ASG sells the team not an entity which subsequently relocates the team after next season, I have a big surprise in store for the ASG Butt Clowns. Bank on it.

2) Mason has NO HEART. Letting Hedberg go was a MAJOR screwup by Dudley.

3) This team needs a coach with some ARDOR.

Hoof Arted

April 10th, 2011
10:27 pm

Congrats to Ex-STH for winning the contest. So what does he win, Brendan?

Congrats to B-Lits for winning the Dan Snyder Award. Very fitting after this blog posting I’d say.

Congrats to Captain Ladd for winning the MVP. Very fitting choice.

Congrats to Thorburn for winning the Players Player Award. Not surprising he’s thought of in such a way by others in the locker room.

Congrats to the young man who won the 7th Fan Award. I’m sure that was a great honor.

And finally, congrats to BlogMaster for another fine season of quality blogs. What he does day in and day out is much appreciated. Maybe he’ll clue us in on what Kincade was whispering in his ear before the postgame show?

LAC

April 10th, 2011
10:34 pm

Hey pensfan…. ANY time You want to meet at a Ice Rink, lace the skates up and get on the ice and go at it, You just let me know where and when, I will be more than happy to show Stupid
fans like yourself, Hockey means a lot in Atlanta and that WE Atlanta fans on here are Damn tired of your insults, bad mouthing and showing All of US how petty you really are.

pittsburgh is as interesting as watching my grass grow, So either put up or shut up, We are tired of your lame, wothless comments, So let me know if you want to lace them up Punk !!!

Tampa 4-0, That is what I am looking for, a complete whitewash of a far overatted team in a rust city like pittsburgh, GO BOLTS !

Brendan

April 10th, 2011
10:43 pm

I’m not sure when the lottery draft ping pong balls will be decided, but here’s where the non-playoff teams stand to draft, if there are no major suprises. Actually, before we do that, for Kari Lehtonen … it’s 2006 all over again, where his team misses the playoffs by 2-points or less. It was there, for the taking, gift wrapped by virtue of the Blackhawks loss to Detroit. Way to “back-in” to the playoffs, Chicago! Now, defend your title!! At least with the NY Rangers, they won, decisively, in their game with the Devils. By the way, Jacques Lemaire says he won’t be back next year. Too bad, really. Kovalchuk will probably regress under a different coach. NJ’s major push from the end of December on has them slotted to draft 8th overall, instead of 1st overall.

Okay, enough yapping, here’s the list.

1. Edmonton, for the 2nd year in-a-row. Hey, with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and whoever they take 1st overall this year … the Oilers should be a 76-point team, next year.

2. Colorado. Proud franchise. Got Matt Duchene the last time they found themselves here. Maybe they’ll find a franchise player?

3. Florida. Uggh. Seems like an annual event, for them. Sooner or later … this team will be run properly.

4. NY Islanders. An annual tradition, for their viewing party. Good results, recently, with Josh Bailey and John Tavares. # 4 is fertile ground to add yet another player. In previous year, we’ve seen them move back, to stockpile 2nd round picks. Will they do it again???

5. Ottawa – The Craig Anderson trade really helped this club, and saved GM Bryan Murray’s job. Murray fired another coach, as he, himself, was an Ottawa Coach removed from power. Murray will hire his 3rd Head Coach in 3 seasons, I believe. The owner believes in him. Ottawa, prior to the Anderson acquision, was headed for a showdown with Edmonton for the 1st overall picl.

6. Atlanta Thrashers. Well, I still say we trade this pick for a proven commodity, if we can find one without an NTC, with 5 or more years left on the deal. Otherwise, we’ll wait, and wait, and wait … and complain and complain and complain about the draftee’s development as a high-end selection. Plus, that player will be RUSHED into our starting lineup next Fall, ruining their development, in team tradition. Plus, it’ll subject them to injury.

7. Columbus Blue Jackets. Sigh. Right in the middle of nowhere. Again.

8. New Jersey. I wouldn’t be too terribly surprised to see Lou Lamoriello move this pick, either up or down, depending on what he likes and sees in this draft. I hope he doesn’t call the Thrashers for our # 6 overall.

9. Toronto. What will Brian Burke do? Trade it? Move up? Might he call the Thrashers??

10. Minnesota. This is still fertile ground for finding a mainstay type of player.

11. St. Louis. Who’s doing their scouting these days?

12. Carolina. Good. Too far away from something better. This the stinging pain of making a playoff push while coming up short.

13. Calgary. If the Flames were in the East, they’d be a playoff team.

14. Dallas. If the Stars were in the East, they’d be a playoff team, too. This is the most painful place to be in the draft. You miss the playoffs and you can’t really reload at # 14, in that “crapshoot” area of the draft. In Dallas’ shoes, I’d look at that board … decide if I see antying I want. If yes, I make the pick. If not, I make it know that the pick is available for NHL players who are RFA’s, and not arbitration eligible.

litz

April 10th, 2011
10:47 pm

7th man winner Fred Johnson, btw … y’all will remember him for that most excellent picture of Kane ko’ing Cooke … awesome year 1 STH and Thrashers Fan.

From today’s game : Stapleton’s Goal before it was a goal (you gotta look carefully) : http://www.litz.org/pictures/Misc/thrashers_2011_final/images/2011_04100092_1024.jpg

litz

April 10th, 2011
10:53 pm

Oh … and here’s another little takeaway to feed y’alls thoughts …

There was a bin in the Team Gear store containing numbers sets they want to get rid of. Typically these are numbers sets leftover from players who have departed the team.

Players like Berghfors and Peverley.

Guess who else was in the pile? Lots and lots of #4 Bogosian

Sign? Dunno …

Jethro

April 10th, 2011
10:57 pm

I wuz reely robbed WBF. Jus won more loss and I wuld have sum braggin wrights.

goose

April 10th, 2011
11:13 pm

Brendan- I took a look at forwards with 4+ years left on their contract and did not have NTC’s and those were Havlat, Kopitar, justin willians, Franzen, Zetterberg, Hossa, Vermette, Vanek, and Bobby Ryan. I throw in Stasny as well because he has been on the rumor board so much lately. I don’t think we can get any of theses guys but who knows

PensFan

April 10th, 2011
11:16 pm

LAC, actually if you are willing to work for cheap, once you lace up your skates, instead of looking for me on the ice, look for a Thrashers scout and see if the cheapass organization is willing to sign you to an NHL contract. Your chances may not be as remote as you think.

Instead of wasting time fighting with you too much, I think I will put on a baseball jersey and and see if I can get signed as a Pirates player. My chances cant be that bad.

LAC

April 10th, 2011
11:24 pm

Did like what I saw in Klingburg, No offense to Boulton, but I would like Klingburg over him next season. Also would like to see Postma over zach, zach needs to be used to bring in some scoring help, 25-30 goal guy. Most of all, we need TWO New Goalies, the two we have are not NHL quality.
Mason really needs to go, Pavs, backup at the Very Best. Need a solid UFA Goalie, or two.

I feel we need a tough, hard driving coach, Ramsey is just like Anderson… Too soft on the players.

Change system, like Washington did this season, OH BTW… DC scored 224 goals, WE scored 223
If WE cut 60 goals off our GA, WE would be in the playoffs. But this run and gun system needs to be SCRAPPED, it does NOT work and it has cost us Badly, Three years are more than enough.

A new GM who knows what he is doing would be nice, but will not happen.

Players who need to go, zach B, Burmistrov, Stewart and Davorak.

FYI, Burmistrov, scored ONE goal in his last 43 games. He is a FIRST ROUND PICK ???
He hustles etc… But is Not an NHL player. But get ride of zach. He cost us the playoffs with his TERRIBLE play. He is Lazy, Soft and his Mental Game does not register… Terrible, use him
to improve scoring.

Feel team will be here I feel next season, BUT I feel it will be MAKE OR BREAK, We HAVE to make the playoffs next season NO EXCUSES !

R. Stroz

April 10th, 2011
11:51 pm

PensFan – You made me laugh and drew a perfect analogy at the same time. Well Played.

Brendan

April 11th, 2011
12:03 am

R.Stroz, might attorneys be involved??? The AS, LLC is the only entity STUPID ENOUGH to announce that the 2012-13 season will be played elsewhere … before or DURING the time in which the 2011-12 season is played or is being played.

Hoof, if Ex-STH comes to the viewing party … or Opening Night, next October, I’m sure an acceptable prize can be found, and enjoyed by Ex-STH. (We are expressly forbidden from saying he’s getting an hour in the VIP room, with champagne, and jello shots, for example.)

EA, the ticket rep reportedly “guaranteed” that the Thrashers would be here in Atlanta, next season. Beyond that, the ticket rep would not comment. So, … there it is. If you really think about it, moving a franchise is a difficult thing. It doesn’t happen quickly, despite what 16-year old trolls from Manitoba might say, praying off poster fears.

Playoff previews comin’ up.

litz

April 11th, 2011
12:03 am

I wouldn’t call in the towel on Burmi quite yet.

Kid made the jump from juniors straight to the NHL and you expect him to perform like Ladd?

It’s not gonna happen. In a normal world, he would be in the AHL. But his age prevented that.

So whatcha gonna do? Let him rot in juniors, or put him on the big team where he can be challenged.

Next season should be an eye opener with the kid. If he falls flat again, there’s always the trade deadline.

Jason

April 11th, 2011
12:13 am

At this point, considering how upset we seemingly all are with the disconnect between Chicago-AHL and the parent club, do we really want any of our picks to make any sort of extended stay in the minors?

Brendan

April 11th, 2011
12:21 am

I already did the East, time for the West.

# 8 Chicago, backed-in, vs. # 1 Vancouver. For the Canucks, this is the fourth time in six seasons (4/6) under this CBA for them in the playoffs. Their all-time playoff record is 13-23, for 36 series. These clubs have met four times (4x), with Chicago prevailing, 3-1, including a pair of 4-2 series wins over Vancouver in 2009 and 2010. Chicago has three appearances in the playoffs under this CBA, including two trips to the CF in 2009 and 2010, with a Stanley Cup win last season.

# 4 Anaheim (previously # 9 about a week ago,) vs. # 5 Nashville. These teams have NEVER MET in the playoffs, but BOTH TEAMS are making their fifth trip in six (5/6) seasons under this CBA. Nashville is 0-5, historically, in their five playoff appearances. Time for a win? Ready for Anaheim’s historical playoff record? It’s 11-6, in 17 series. Thud. This was an expansion team in the early 90’s. Jonas Hiller probably gets the starts over Emery. Pekka Rinne’s time to shine. For Anaheim, they won the Cup in 2007 and have two appearances in the CF during this CBA.

# 7 L.A. Kings vs. # 2 San Jose. These clubs have never met in the playoffs. The Kings, last year, made their 1st appearance under this CBA. The Sharks have won five (5) playoff series under this CBA. All-time, San Jose’s record is 11-13, in 24 series. San Jose was swept out of the CF last year, by Chicago. The Kings were eliminated by Vancouver in six games, last year. Historically, # 7 over # 2 is frequently occuring upset pattern over the past 16-17 seasons.

# 3 Detroit vs. # 6 Phoenix. Poor Phoenix. Couldn’t they have drawn a better opponent than Detroit for the opening round? The Coyotes are 2-17, in their 19 playoff series. They haven’t won a series in Arizona. They haven’t won a series since 1987. They ‘could’ do it. We’ll see. By the way, the Phoenix Coyotes are 0-3 in series vs. Detroit, and were outscored 70-46 in those series. Detroit has been in the playoffs every year under the current CBA. For the Red Wings, the window may be closing, as their great players age a bit.

It’s up to you to pick the winners.

Brendan

April 11th, 2011
12:49 am

WBF, you can claim a “Meatloaf” victory. (Cuz two outta three ain’t bad.) You and Red Light are to be commended on your picks. You did nail 80-points and 4th in SE. Polskidawg and Brendan were eliminated, this afternoon, with their guesses of 81-points, 4th in SE, and 11th in the Conference. No “Meatloaf” victory for either of us.

Alan R.

April 11th, 2011
12:59 am

For the Red Wings, the window may be closing, as their great players age a bit.

You all knew I’d have something to say about this, didn’t you? Of course you did.

People have been calling on the Wings’ time to run out for years now. It just hasn’t happened. Even last year, injuries couldn’t keep them from squeaking in, and they still beat the Coyotes in seven games.

I just don’t see them faltering anytime soon. They keep drafting well, and they’ll continue to ice a solid roster. Even as players like Lidstrom enter the sunset of their careers, there are others waiting for their chance to be the next Lidstrom.

Everytime someone thinks their window is closing, someone throws that window open and says “Not so fast!” It’ll happen again. Just watch.

ex-ex-STH

April 11th, 2011
1:29 am

I am honored to have correctly prognosticated the final Thrashers standings this season in Brendan’s contest. I also would like to say that this is the best blog and group of great hockey fans anywhere on the net. Thank you very much, Mr Rawhide, for your excellent articles. The most exciting part of my day today, though, was getting picked as a recipient of a jersey from one of the Thrashers today! I was right in the middle getting the jersey of Blake Wheeler! I would like to meet some of the regular blogsters so if there is a viewing party next season or a pregame meet in the CNN center before a game, I will be there. I already renewed my $999 seats for next year on the top row of section 111. Couldn’t pass this great deal and I believe with a few off-season pickups, this team will be in the playoffs next year! I will give my points total and rankings after the summer. Thanks to all and I will be checking in. Thanks for the great reading.

R. Stroz

April 11th, 2011
1:50 am

Brendan – I’m considering getting a trademark on the term “Meatloaf Victory” because I think it’s a real WINNER.

World Be Free

April 11th, 2011
7:33 am

Brendan-good that we are preceptive enough to predict the team’s mediocrity (mediocre at best).

glovesave29

April 11th, 2011
8:13 am

Thrashers may well be here next season, but not because a deadline has passed to move the team. To me, the ticket rep is just trying to drum up sales, and I seriously doubt he / she has any insight or knowledge of the situation at all. The Flames announced a move in June, the Nordiques in May as were the North Stars (only after the NHL promised owner Green the new San Jose franchise)…only the Jets and Whalers played lame duck seasons.

30 team league…16 make the playoffs (53% – 11 Thrasher seasons…10 out of the playoffs (91%).

‘Scuse me while I return my breakfast….

Red Light

April 11th, 2011
8:22 am

The Draft Lottery is Tuesday night at 8 pm on VERSUS

Per NHL rules, the Club selected in the Draft Drawing may not move up more than four positions in the draft order. Thus, the only Clubs with the opportunity to receive the first overall selection are the five teams with the lowest regular-season point totals, or the Clubs that acquired an eligible Club’s first-round draft pick. No club will move down more than one position as a result of the Draft Drawing. While Atlanta is able to win the lottery, the highest they can pick is 2nd, and the lowest they can pick is seventh.

The percentage chance of a team being selected in the Draft Drawing:
Edmonton 25.0%
Colorado 18.8%
Florida 14.2%
NY Islanders 10.7%
Ottawa 8.1%
Atlanta 6.2%
Columbus 4.7%
New Jersey 3.6%
Boston (from TOR) 2.7%
Minnesota 2.1%
Colorado (conditional/optional from STL) 1.5%
Carolina 1.1%
Calgary 0.8%
Dallas 0.5%

World Be Free

April 11th, 2011
8:33 am

LAC I agree with your post, especially when it comes to changing the system. The number of blown leads this season should be enough evidence that the defensive systems does not work. The Rangers’ announcers had some interesting observations on Thursday, one of them being the Thrashers have trouble in front of their net. Anyone see the Wild/Stars game last night? Minny’s defenseman showed how you should play the opposition in front of the cage. Standing in front of the opposing team’s net should never be a nice experience. All too often opposing players feast off standing in front of out cage.

Make Buff a full time first line right winger. He spents so much time rushing the noet these days, that I think he disrupts the offense when he is on the ice. Forwards are constantly filling in for him on the points. Forwards are forwards, they are not defenseman.

Red Light

April 11th, 2011
8:39 am

• The Predators’ first-round pick will go to the Senators
• The Kings’ first-round pick will go to the Oilers
• The Bruins’ first-round pick will go to the Maple Leafs
• The Flyers’ first-round pick will go to the Maple Leafs
• The Blues’ first-round pick will go to the Avalanche

After the first round, the Thrashers have the 67th, 97th, Montreal’s 4th-round pick (TBD-Sopel), Carolina’s 5th-round pick (Bergfors and Rissmiller-133rd), San Jose’s 5th-round pick (TBD-Eager), 157th, 187th and Calgary’s 7th-round pick (194th-Modin).

The Thrashers shipped their 2nd round pick to Chicago (Ladd, etc.) and their 5th-round pick to the Islanders (for 2 6th round picks last summer).

Red Light

April 11th, 2011
8:50 am

Loved Klingberg’s quote that re-affirmed the blog commentaries about the Chicago Wolves…

“I was in Chicago and didn’t play so much because they had their team the whole season and didn’t want to ruin that.”

The Wolves finished in 6th-place out of 8 teams and out of the playoffs.

World Be Free

April 11th, 2011
9:02 am

Red Light-that’s alotta picks – time for Dudley to earn his money. Like the Klingberg quote, obviously Dudley was frustrated by the lack of time some of his prospects got in Chicago. This is really the number one priority for this team in the off season, hockey-related.

J-man

April 11th, 2011
9:15 am

Brendan – Thanks for doing the contest. I also guessed 80 points and nailed that, even if I did miss badly on where I thought the team would finish in the conference (I picked 13th). I’m hoping for new owners as soon as possible as I believe that everything else depends on that being done first.

ZAvalanche

April 11th, 2011
9:17 am

RL, looks like the Avs will pick in the top 3 guaranteed and a very high chance of the 11th overall pick. not bad. Good to see Adam Foote go out at home with a win. Thanks for 19 years Footer, they were spectacular. I really like how the refs let him molest the player in the corner on his last shift, that is classy.

World Be Free

April 11th, 2011
9:26 am

Zavs-sorry to see Foote have to hang them up. Old school, no flash just a hardnosed physical player.

Joe Friday

April 11th, 2011
9:27 am

“Bogosian’s entire game is a mess. Not sure if he can be fixed, and I have not been picking on him before. He really is pretty far gone. You wonder what will happen in the off season.”

It’s so hard to give up on a young dman as they take the longest to develop. But I’m done with him. You can’t teach smart, and that boy has no sense. He was completely clueless on the Pens’ 4th goal and then his ridiculous clear up the middle of the ice late in the 3rd while on the kill was it for me, makes a blind backhanded clear up the middle of our zone and it’s a perfect centering pass to an open Pen. If anyone wants to overpay for him, do the deal, and sign two dmen this summer. I also completely agree with Buf at 1st line RW, no brainer of the year. We all scratched our heads when they made that switch to d, especiallly after he dominated the Stanley Cup playoffs up front last year . . . Roenick was right.

Why did Ramsay start Mason yesterday? You don’t start your franchise goalie at the last home game of the year? Clueless Craig.

Klingberg looked like a player.

I have a bad feeling that we’re looking at another year of the Spirit Squad and Clueless Craig at head coach and a similar lineup next year with low dollars being spent, I don’t see how they sell it off to someone new by July 1st so we can spend the necessary coin to fix holes. I am a very deflated Thrashers’ fan right now.

Red Light

April 11th, 2011
10:25 am

Foote was a foot-soldier through and through during his time with the Avs. Sad that he ever played in Columbus! I find it interesting that during his 19-year career he was only able to play more than 70 games in a season seven times. After the lockout, he played in 355 regular season games but just 16 playoff games.

Prior to the lockout, he played in 154 playoff games and he was part of teams (Quebec & Colorado) that advanced past the first round in 8 of 13 seasons. Not only did he win two Cups, but he also played in the conference finals four times. Not sure how you can leave him out of the Hall of Fame.

Red Light

April 11th, 2011
10:30 am

ZAvs

If Colorado doesn’t re-sign Milan Hedjuk, the oldest player on the roster (barring other FA signings) will be John-Michael Liles, who won’t turn 31 until Nov. 25. That’s scary!

Smoothie

April 11th, 2011
10:45 am

“Forwards are forwards, they are not defenseman.”

Quote of the day! Enough of these stupid, ill-concocted “up tempo” systems that rely on forwards to skate backwards. There’s a reason forwards play forward and D-men (good ones) play defense. And Buff is just talented enough to play defense. But I’d rather he play forward, and play with motivation on every shift. Bogosian is a forward trapped in a D-man’s fantasy. He’s not ever going to be a top 2 defenseman unless he takes a long, deep swim in “Lake You” to find himself and come to the realization that he needs to focus on playing defense and learning how to read the game, and not get fixated on the puck.

ex-ex-STH – congrats, nailing that contest on the # with the two tiebreakers is quite impressive. Would you like to submit my four picks for the US Open so I can move up in my Majors Pool this summer??

Great day yesterday despite the horrific game we were treated to by Chris Mason. Yikes Almighty! What is wrong with this guy? He’s the new Mike Dunham. I actually agree with stendek that he should be called Marshmallow Mason for I have never seen so many soft goals allowed by a supposedly above average, quality tender. Trade his butt and bring back Moose for a 1-year deal to give Pasquale another year to get ready as Pavelec’s eventual back-up.

One final thing: Klingberg is the real deal. You can just tell. He was shafted in Frolunda and then treated like a peasant in Chicago. He’s going to be a freakin’ beast and I would hate to be a D-man in the Southeast once that 6′3″ animal puts another 20 15-20 lbs on his scrawny frame. He’s not afraid of anything and he definitely seems to fint the profile of a “miserable SOB” that Dudley seems to love. Love Boultsy but he should be no more than a 13th depth forward, if not 14th as Stapleton deserves a chance to stay on this roster as well for added depth. But Klingberg, Cormier and Burmi must take the next step. Lucky for them, they are forwards and they will develop faster than Bogey.

Smoothie

April 11th, 2011
10:46 am

Oh dang, trapped in the blog spam net.

Trixie, my dearest sweet lady, will you please rescue me. Delete either of the two attempts as they are only differnt by a couple letters.

Mucho gracias!!

Red Light

April 11th, 2011
10:48 am

The Cast-Offs

Combined stats for Freddy Modin, 40 games and seven goals. He played just 4 games for Calgary. UNDER!

Bergfors: 1 goal and 6 assists in 20 games for the Panthers. 16:19 of ice time per game.

Rissmiller: 9 games for Florida, one assist in 10:04 of ice time per game.

Eager: 4 goals, 3 assists in 9:01 of ice time per game in 34 games for San Jose. Playoff bound.

Sopel: 12 games for the Habs. 15:54 of ice time per game. -1 rating. Playoff bound.

Dawes: 4 games for the Habs. No points in 6:44 of ice time per game. Hamilton, AHL playoffs.

Peverley: 23 games for Bruins. 15:46 of ice time per game. 4 goals, 3 assists, -1 rating. Playoff bound.

Valabik: 10 games for Providence Bruins. 2 assists and a -1 rating. Missed playoffs.

Smoothie

April 11th, 2011
10:49 am

Good point Joe, as much as I believe we’ll get new owners, not so sure it will happen quickly enough to help us pay for veteran help. Thusly, you tell Buff he must return to forward, demote Bogosian to 3rd pairing till he starts learning how to play DEFENSE and sign at least one veteran D-man with some size and snarl to give us added depth. Of course, Kulda is probably snarling at the chance to check Craig Ramsay in practice for cutting his ass out of camp.

R. Stroz

April 11th, 2011
11:02 am

After listening to Ramsay’s post game comments yesterday, I pondered where he planned to take the players yesterday afternoon, Brusters, Baskin Robbins, or Cold Stone Creamery

Alan R.

April 11th, 2011
11:03 am

The Flames announced a move in June, the Nordiques in May as were the North Stars (only after the NHL promised owner Green the new San Jose franchise)…only the Jets and Whalers played lame duck seasons.

There are provisions in the NHL’s constitution and by-laws that prevent something like that happening as quickly as it did in years past. The “deadline date” is one of those things; however, the BoG can always vote to ignore that deadline.

Even then, though, it would be hard to move the team, as there are several stipulations outlined in the by-laws regarding market, ownership, and other factors.

Time is on our side. Not because some ticket rep said so, but because local options exist.

Rawhide

April 11th, 2011
11:07 am

OK everyone…now that the season is done, let’s take a quick look back at The Good, The Un-Good and the Ugly of the 2010-11 campaign.

Then, it’s on to playoff hockey discussion.

Red Light

April 11th, 2011
11:10 am

“After listening to Ramsay’s post game comments yesterday, I pondered where he planned to take the players yesterday afternoon, Brusters, Baskin Robbins, or Cold Stone Creamery.”

Not sure about that R. Stroz, but I’m told the player’s participation trophies will be awarded tomorrow!

Smoothie

April 11th, 2011
11:17 am

Uhhh, can I get released from the spam filter into the new blog??

My comments are IMPORTANT!! :cool:

BMF

April 11th, 2011
12:01 pm

Haven’t posted in a while but some good dialogue on this blog so i’ve got some thoughts about the just-concluded season, and for the future:

Alright, I’m going to play fantasy GM here. Here’s my ’10-’11 season evaluation, player by player:

Antropov: I expected more, you’re just not 100% healthy yet. Hopefully you will get your speed back, and soon. 2 more seasons on your contract.
Kane: Good season, getting better. Breakout player next year. 30+ goals, point-per-game player next season
Little: Excellent season, and your contract makes you a bargain. Hopefully 30 goals next season.
Ladd: can’t ask for much more. Please sign your extension offer already.
Burmistrov: should have been in minors this year. Not ready. Hope you grow up fast.
Slater: can’t wait to see you again next season. We missed you.
Cormier: I want to see a full healthy year next season. You should be one of our most physical players, we need that from you.
Thorburn: Bang for the buck, you are an excellent NHL player and we’re happy to have you for 3 more seasons.
Boulton: Love all that you do, hang around as a coach but I think your playing days are done.
Stewart: Disappointing. You are fast and talented, you should be better, much better. Not sure we sign you as an RFA or not…
Wheeler: Please stay. Really like your game, stick around.
Dvorak: Would like to see you for a full season too, stick around. Good all-around player.
Stapleton: Did some decent things out there, but you’re organizational depth, nothing more. Nice shootout goal earlier in the year.
Schremp: don’t know…did some good things…we’ll see if you make the team next year…
Maxwell: see above
Hainsey: solid as always, good season
Enstrom: very solid, but you tailed off down the stretch
Oduya: played well, not sure we’ll keep you after next season though, you might cost too much, plus with what we’ll be paying Buff…
Buff: Good season, not awesome, but I’m thrilled you signed for 5 years. You should be a winger next season.
Bogosian: Disappointing. You’re regressing. Next season is SOGOTP time. Prove me wrong…
Meyer: Bye
Stuart: I like your game, happy you signed to stay here.
Mason: expected a little better from you but overall I’m not disappointed. Tighten it up next year though please.
Pavelec: come on man, step up. You want this gig permanently or not?

Going into the 2011-2012 season, we have 16 guaranteed contracts, totaling 35.5M. Of our RFA’s, i only see 3 slam dunk contracts, and i’m guessing what they will sign for. I’m going to predict we sign Ladd (5M), Wheeler (3M), and Bogosian (1M), that’s another 9M, brings us to 44.5M, and assuming a 57M cap next season, that leaves us with 12.M or so in cap space, as of today. This might go down if we resign any of these guys: Stewart, Schremp, Maxwell, Dvorak, none of which would break the bank. I preduct Maxwell and Dvorak, maybe combined 2.5M-3M will keep both of them here, bringing us to about 9.5-10M in cap space.

The BIG IF’s are resigning Ladd and Wheeler, and they both need to stay. But assuming we can get deals done for them, what can we do next to improve this team? I ask this from a player-personnel context, not “we could use new owners” context. We all know that and it’s a dead horse on these boards. Depending on what our budget is for next year, I see our biggest trade chips being our 1st rd pick in this coming draft, Johnny Oduya, Hainsey (pricey D-man but if a top-team gets desperate for a solid blueliner, Duds wouldn’t mind trading his salary), and Antropov (same deal with his salary), and finally, our biggest trade asset would be our unused cap space.

I haven’t looked too hard at this season’s playoff teams, from a cap perspective, but as with every year, some team will have to do a Chicago-style cap purge before next season. Hopefully Duds has some ideas as to what players can be poached off some of these playoff team rosters.

That’s all I got for now. Just want to see some ideas.

Brendan

April 11th, 2011
1:31 pm

Alan R., I would definitely not bet the farm against the Red Wings. They could win it this year. They’re just not my pick. But if it happens, I won’t be stunned. To me, maybe the biggest issue is Jimmy Howard. I think he had a good rookie playoffs, last year. But he’s got to be good for the Red Wings to go all the way.

I don’t have the stats right here, but isn’t this something like 10 Central Division titles out of the last 11 years for Detroit. It’s something utterly dominant, like that. Chicago broke their run of titles last year.

Brendan

April 11th, 2011
6:00 pm

R.Stroz, step one is to contact the U.S. Library of Congress and ask about registering the term in your name.

Brendan

April 11th, 2011
9:25 pm

Ex-STH, thank you for playing, and for winning.

WBF, that’s called, “keepin’ it real.” I long for the day when we can cast votes of 105-points, and be serious about it.