Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Few Thoughts on the Pre-Season Thrashers

So last night Monsieur Catalogues and I took a stroll over to Phillips Arena and saw the John Anderson-era Atlanta Thrashers in the flesh for the very first time. They were playing some team from up yonder. 

First off, it was fantastic just to set foot in Phillips again. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the gigantic beers from Gorin's in the CNN Center...all so magical. 

And now to the game itself:

1. Yeah, it sucks we lost. But there are a few things to be happy about.

2. For instance, you can tell an instant difference between John Anderson's system of play and the old ones the Thrash have used. The style really is much more aggressive: the defensemen are taking bigger, longer shots; there really is a smaller gap between our D and our forwards; the game is high-octane, fast, and, uh, fast. 

3. Toby Enstrom is more physical this year. Or at least that's how he seemed last night. He threw his smallish frame around quite a lot, and he even threw himself down on the ice in the neutral zone to block a Red Wings pass. 

4. Our passing is crisper. We just need to make sure our passes don't get intercepted by rogue elements.

5. Erik Christensen is my new favorite player. His goal last night (our only one, sadly) was a thing of beauty. We've heard about Crusher's excellent hands and fancy stick-work in the past; last night he showed us what that was all about. Beautiful goal. Another Christensen note: he likes to plant himself in front of the net and wait for a pass from the Czar or Jason Williams. So maybe Kovy will be centering Crusher from the wing. Unconventional. We like it. 

6. Zach Bogosian=all business. He had a few shaky moments last night, but most of the time I was thrilled with his play. He has a hard shot, he's solid in his own zone, and he's physical. I'm not worried that he's grossly under-prepared for the NHL.  The dude is a lot bigger than quite a few of the other players: Enstrom and Hainsey, for instance. I think he's ready. And all business.

7. Kari was solid. Two of the Red Wings' goals were more or less empty-netters. Also, he seems to have dyed his hair jet black. 

8. The Czar is still the Czar. Even though he didn't score a goal last night, he put on a show: at one point he fineagled his way past two Red Wings defensemen with crazy finesse and basically set himself up for a one-timer. Yes, set HIMSELF up. That's why he's the Czar. 

9. Whatever happens this year, the games are going to be ten billion times more fun to watch.

10. Jimmy Slates can fight! And Chris Thorburn is alive! 

11. I hate Chris Osgood. Never seen such a cowardly, "ooh I'm afraid I'm about to be scored on, let me dislodge the goal and cry" excuse for a goal-tender. Total joke.

3 comments:

the jointhead said...

I liked what i saw last night as well, not just because the wings won either. Bogo is certainly nhl ready and his head was completely focused on the task at hand. He also looked pretty good against some of the best players in the NHL. Slater dumping Lilja was fucking hilarious. I hope the red wings trade him.

Big Shooter said...

Sound like I missed a good one.

the jointhead said...

I like andersons system, but you can tell the players aren't completely up to speed. They spent a little too much time following the puck instead of getting into position. Some times you could see a play developing but someone would be just a step too late getting into position. Should be an exciting year though!!
4 tickets in 308 $21 off ebay. Watching players warm up down at ice level then watching the entire game from 7 rows up....priceless..