Thursday, December 30, 2010

Game Day: Bruins

Big Shooter was feelin' the blues,
he was watchin' the news,
when this fella came on the tv.
He said "I'm tellin' you
that science has proven
that heartaches are healed by the sea."

Well that got both Big Shooter and Razor goin'
without even knowin'
they both packed right up
and drove down.

Now they're on a roll
and they swear to their souls
tonight they're gonna paint this town.

----End bastardization of Garth Brooks song----

Yes friends, Shooter and I will be missing tonight's surely epic rematch between the Thrashers and Bruins in which Milan Lucic and his finger square off against his hero Evander Kane and the rest of the Thrashers. Atlanta gravely needs a win to end their current four game losing streak to have a chance at a rare winning December.

The Thrashers currently stand at 6-7 for the month with tonight's tilt against Boston and tomorrow night's house call in Newark remaining. They built a nice cushion in late November and early December climbing briefly to the top of the Southeast Division and third place in the conference and still sit six points ahead of ninth place Carolina after the four game skid.

This is also the last home game before kids go back to school and is the team's last chance to make a good impression on folks who are making it out during the holidays to their first game. The glorious 7-1 exorcism of the Devils on December 18 seems distant in the past when looking past the 4-2 loss to the Blues and overtime heartbreaker against the Lightning at home. A good emotion-filled win against Marc Savard and the Bruins would go a long way towards keeping some of these seasonal fans.

Despite dropping the last four, the Thrashers haven't played as awful as their usual December Doldrums performances. The Blues game was close and ended with an empty net goal; the Tampa game was decided in overtime with Byfuglien in the box for a bad penalty. Atlanta dominated the first half of the game in Pittsburgh but couldn't deny Sidney Crosby, then fell apart in the third period. The Bruins game was the only ugly performance, but the team showed some fire by mixing it up in the third period.

Look for Cormier to go for a more impactful game tonight than he had in Pittsburgh. After the physical confrontations late in these two teams' last meeting, he has a chance to set the tone early with a big hit.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Patrice, Cormier On Down!

Yeah, it's cheesy, but I couldn't resist after seeing that State Farm ad with a corpsified-looking Bob Barker twenty times during the Independence Bowl last night.

According to Vivlamore and Ben Wright, Patrice Cormier has been called up from the Wolves and Tim Stapleton has been sent back down in his place.

In just 11 games in the AHL this season, Cormier has 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points and is a +8 on a team where that ties him for second on the team to Spencer Machacek's +11 earned over 34 games.

Perhaps the rest of the team has fallen into despair from having to listen to Patrice Cormier and Spencer Machacek's endless "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" jokes.

We'll get to see soon how well Rick Dudley's assessment of Cormier's potential has been. He was right about Byfuglien the defenseman, he was right about Andrew Ladd. Perhaps PC can inject the "spark" that Bergfors has been lacking.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Random Idea

The New York Islanders should be renamed the New York Pets.

The new name would be keeping with New York's naming scheme for their less successful franchises:





Plus, the Islanders kind of roll over for their opponents like a puppy wanting his belly rubbed, so it's very apropos.

Mr. Bettman, Mr. Wang, you're welcome.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled day.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Game Day: Lightning

Stamkos, The Imp, and Vinny L come to town on the day after Christmas as the daily leader in the Southeast Division. Having played two fewer games than the Thrashers and Caps, the Bolts have 45 points which gives them the tiebreaker over Washington. If the Thrashers are victorious in regulation tonight, they will also have 45 points but will remain behind Tampa in the standings by virtue of having played more games.

In my well traveled opinion, the Thrashers absolutely must earn a victory tonight in order to fend off a three game losing streak. It was pointed out by someone somewhere (sorry, I didn't write it down at the time) recently that the Thrashers historically draw well in December. However, December is also the month when Thrasher teams of the past have seen their season go down the drain. Meaning that our biggest crowds have been witness to our worst choking.

Now that the Thrashers are playing respectably, it is imperative that they win in front of large home crowds to keep the folks coming back January and into April.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

...from all of us here at the Chronicle. Your TBC editor is going out of town for a few days, so we expect Other Folks will handle the upcoming Game Day posts. Or perhaps I'll handle them from Elsewhere...who knows?

At any rate, God rest ye.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

GAME DAY: Bruins

(updated with Kane/Lucic lore below)

Yes, I know it's not a bear, but when else can we post pictures of Santa Horse?

UPDATE- This is hellacious and awesome: Milan Lucic texted Evander Kane to congratulate him after that time he knocked out Matt Cooke.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Warring Slobs End Their War, Remain Short of Cash

Oh yeah, this thing:

The owners of the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers have settled their six-year, high-profile legal battle, according to a statement sent from the ownership group, known as the Atlanta Spirit.

Part of the settlement includes seven of the group's co-owners buying out Steve Belkin's 30 percent stake in the group. There are no new investors to replace Belkin.

Good. Thin the ranks of investors until there ARE no investors, at least among the Atlanta Spirit LLC kids. Oh, and sell the team. To...Big Boi, maybe?

Whatever happens, this is truly a Christmas Miracle, almost as cheering as a Yule log.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

GAME DAY: St. Louis Blues

Alright, Toby Enstrom, you've pushed me far enough. I'll cave and purchase one of your name-brand ENSTROM 39 jerseys.

In other news, the Thrashers play the Blues tonight. How about that?

Monday, December 20, 2010

GAME DAY: Toronto Maple Leafs

You'd think the Toronto Maple Leafs would offer us an easy win. But what if they don't? After all, it's not like we've played them this year. HMMM.

Because the Capitals decided to cold break their long losing streak last night, the Thrashers are no longer first in the SouthLEAST (haw haw haw) Division. But we can regain the top spot if we, uh, win tonight. Which is feasible.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

First Place in the Southeast; Second in the Eastern Conference

With the 7-1 drubbing of the Devils and a Washington loss to Boston in the books, the Atlanta Thrashers have moved into first place in the Southeast Division and second place in the Eastern Conference.

Ilya Kovalchuk (who has fewer hat tricks this season than Eric Boulton OR Anthony Stewart) and his New Jersey Devils are now 18 points out of a playoff spot while the Atlanta Thrashers sit in the second slot in the East, seven points ahead of the 9th place team.

If the playoffs were to start on December 19th, the Thrashers would be playing the Washington Capitals in the first round - with home ice advantage.

As GPY said to me at one point in during tonight's game, "who would have thought that Byfuglien would be an upgrade from Kovalchuk?"

Who indeed?

On another note, I believe I have uncovered a sinister plot. I believe that Big Shooter is not who "he" has claimed to be. Instead of the jovial lad in the Blueland Chronicle Balcony, I believe the true author of Big Shooter's posts is indeed Kirstie of the Blue Crew.

Want proof? Here you go:

Big Shooter

(Move the S to the end and...)

Big hooterS

I rest my case.

"This happiness corrupt political shit." GAME DAY: New Jersey Goddamn Devils

So this isn't Ilya Kovalchuk's first game in Philips Arena as part of another team. If you want your Chronicle's take on the "Kovalchuk Returns" theme, click here and here.

Nothing has changed this year. I won't boo the man; he's given me too many great memories for that. But many of you are ungrateful titty babies and/or consumed by resentment, so you'll boo him as if your lives depended on it. An empty way to live and think, but there it is.

Should be an exciting game. But then again, maybe not. Maybe it'll just be an easy win for the Thrashers, because the Devils suck VD-corroded cow balls. Either way we'll be drinking!


Oh yeah, MOOSE will be back. Now that's something to get excited about. You folk know what to do when he's introduced.

Bruce Levenson Existential Question Time*

Oh look, it's the Wall Street Journal with an AP report.

ATLANTA — Thirty years after losing the Flames, Atlanta's hockey fans are on the clock again.

The NHL wants the city to show better support for its winning team.

Atlanta fans who can remember the Flames' move to Calgary in 1980 don't have to be told what could happen if poor turnouts continue at Philips Arena.

The Thrashers, blessed with young talent, have a winning record but rank only 28th among 30 NHL teams in attendance.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press on Friday the league wants to keep the team in Atlanta. He says the team's owners must consider all options if attendance does not improve and they cannot find additional investors.

Oh fuck. Is this much-praised "Free Thrash" gimmick a final desperate push before we're all boxed up and moved to Canada? I hope so, if only because your Chronicle has unfinished business with a waitress/nursing school student in West Edmonton.

No, just kidding, as it happens we DON'T want the Thrashers to move.

Wait, there's MORE to this AP report? Yes there is:

“I can’t tell you how close or how far away we are collectively from having to consider alternatives and make a decision,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press on Friday. “But it has not been the best situation for Bruce and as a result it has not been the best situation for the franchise or for the National Hockey League.”

For now, Daly says the league has advised Thrashers owners to look only for investors who want to keep the team in Atlanta. But they have been hard to find.

One of the team’s owners, Bruce Levenson, says he has had no luck while looking almost two years for investors...

“His focus has been exclusively Atlanta centered and our hope has been and continues to be that he’ll be successful in finding an alternative that will keep this team in Atlanta for the long term,” Daly said. “That’s our preference.

“Having said that, and this is what I’d say to any franchise, not just Atlanta, there comes a point in time where if there is no alternative in terms of ownership or in terms of support in a particular market, you have to look at alternatives. That is just the reality.”

Friday news dump with a fucking vengeance. God, how depressing. But probably not anything to get too worked up about. Nevertheless, the Atlanta Spirit remain a shameful fuck-catastrophe.


In other hockey news: your TBC editor has a conundrum for you. Is "Gretzky" a good name for an L.A.-based cat or is it terrible? Either way, the cat is dead.


Friday, December 17, 2010

5 Notes

1) How good was that Penguins-Capitals 24/7 thing on HBO last night? I find myself fascinated by that Dan Bylsma fellow.

2) Poor Thrashers. Oh well, at least we got a point.

3) This "Free Thrash" marketing campaign is highly amusing, but we here at the Chronicle weren't sure about the lack of Thrash/presence of the Braves', Hawks', and Falcons' mascots at tonight's game. We can't help but wonder if it'd be better to stage a Thrash jailbreak every game night: Thrash running around in his striped prison pajamas while policemen chase him all over the arena, catching him towards the end of the game and dragging him, kicking and flapping his beak, back to prison. BUT, Freddy the Falcon is a fine mascot.

4) Speaking of the Falcons: was PLEASED to see Roddy White, Brian McCann, and Robby Ginepri (dear God, your tennis fan editor hasn't heard that name in YEARS) at the game tonight. They were seated in the section directly below your Chronicle; we recognized McCann and White, but didn't realize Ginepri was present until after the game. SUCH IS LIFE.

5) Not related to hockey at all, but the Online Etymology Dictionary is a wonderfully useful thing.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Game Day: Hurricanes

That's right kids... Big Shooter has returned due to the demand of the public. We'd like to thank long time Chronicle reader, Jay, for giving us a swift kick in our collective lady parts for the way we have treated TBC lately. The Thrashers have been playing well for a change (I TOLD you all Rick Dudley was a mastermind :-) yet the Chronicle staff for one reason or another was all burned out.

Oh, there's a game you say? Indeed. A win tonight will have the Thrashers all alone in first place in the Southeast Division. On Dec 16. Now there's still much hockey to be played, but there is a big difference in Dec 16 and Oct 16. Very impressed with this team and the way they have played. I'm actually stunned by this team. TEAM, as in no Kovalsuck dur dur dur dur dur dur. Can we stop it with this nonsense yet? All across the internets that's all Thrasher fans talk about. He doesn't play here any more. Move on folks. NJ's problems have very little to do with Kovalchuk, even though he isn't playing well. Call me crazy, but I'd much rather have Kovy at a $6.5 cap hit instead of Hainsey at a $5+ cap hit. I do think at some point in the next 12 years Kovy will step it up. And no, it's not time to poop yet.

Oh, and then there's the marketing department! What is this... an actual idea???? Splendid! Creative, imaginative, different... let's hope it works. Thrash has always been the star of our team and best mascot in the NHL. Those of you who don't have tickets yet... help FREE THRASH for the love of God and get him out of jail before he is raped by Carlton the bear who was thrown in there after his, um... 'guest' appearance on To Catch a Predator.

Fun times in Thrasherville for sure. But those of us that have been here for a while know this is when we fall flat on our face and drive off any fringe fans that may go to the games. Wouldn't it be cool if it was different this time around...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GAME DAY: Tampa Bay Lightning

Ah, snow. The best kind is when it comes down in flurries but mercifully doesn't stick to the ground.

Anyway, Tampa Bay tonight. Your editor once wrote a sonnet about the Tampa Bay Lightning, still unappreciated by our country's deaf and unperceptive literary critics. Here it is. A kitsch classic, with references to Mark Popovic and Slava Kozlov.

ALSO: As Chronicle operative "Jay" said in the comments today, it appears Thrash isn't happy with the Chronicle's paltry recent coverage.

Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself...

(As I said long ago, the Chronicle is going through some changes at the moment. Here, at long last, is our brand new columnist, for your instruction and delight. Enjoy or die. -Ed.)

It's not often you get offered opportunities that you can't say "No" to.

This is one of those opportunities. The Blueland Chronicle has offered me an opportunity to voice an opinion that has never been presented to me before. It's an opportunity to articulate thoughts and ideas in a forum that I believe in and open myself up to the feedback of the masses. Most people knock on impenetrable doors and make phone calls that go unanswered to try and get their foot in the door to do something like this. I'm fortunate enough that all I had to do was get to know the TBC staff over an adult beverage (or 7...was it 7?), be forced to speak with individuals like Big Shooter and Razor Catch Prey, and this opportunity was offered to me.

As far as the insight I can offer you, what makes me different from the other writers? Well, if my intel's correct, the entire TBC staff are season ticket holders. I have no financial investment in this team outside of what I'd like/want to spend on them. I am the fringe fan that the entire Atlanta Spirit ownership group values and is trying to covet. I wanted to invest in this team before the season started, but my skepticism kept me from doing so. My worries have been put to rest (to some extent) in the fact that a certain former Chicago Blackhawk can actually play defense (side note--Where you at NOW, Jeremy Roenick?) and the team's 4 lines seem to be consistently scoring. Like most of you, I've been waiting for a team worthy of such a significant financial and emotional investment. I still won't be writing any checks to Levinson et Al. anytime soon, but they're slowly starting to break down the pessimism I'd built around this organization.

As for me personally, my background's a degree in Psychology, a plethora of Thrasher games in person, and being a successful convert to the sport that I've never played, but now love more than any other. There's very little about me to set myself apart from the rest of you who read this site...but I hope to tackle the mental side of the game a little bit more. There's a few "disorders" that I would LOVE to diagnose the Thrashers as having, but all of these are ideas I hope to develop as the season continues. I've been fortunate that I've also recruited a "frozen correspondent" from the Rocky Mountains who knows what it's like to be a dislocated die-hard Thrashers fan to give an outsider's perspective. Somebody who's not as invested in the team as, say, you and I are.

Ultimately, my voice is going to be different from the TBC staff in that it's a "fresh" perspective. My name won't start with "Razor" or end in "Peacock." My ultimate goal, at the end of the day, is to get even more of you commenting here on TBC. There's not many blogs out there that offer the kind of opportunity that this site offers. As somebody who's been commenting here for awhile, it's the hope that all of you who "lurk" and read the content on the site will make yourselves known. If you've got the website bookmarked or on your list of "must-visit" sites...I sincerely want you to get up off you ass and say something. Because when you do finally stand up and say something, you'll find there's good people and a good time awaiting you.

I've joined the most dysfunctional family in the Thrasher world that isn't our ownership group, and I sincerely hope all of you join in as well.

On that note, Go Thrashers. Make Tampa your bitch this evening.

Go Puck Yourself

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Duschene and Stastny Dance

Reported by Puck Daddy over on Yahoo with video. I actually caught glimpse of them doing this after the game at Philips last week but didn't know what was going on.

Shows they have good taste in sitcoms at least.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wait, What? GAME DAY: Ottawa Senators

This blog is the incarnation of "falling down on the job" lately. We're SORRY, world.

Go the Thrashers, git 'em, woooo etc.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Game Day: Avalanche

As Evander Kane posted on Twitter yesterday, "Lets see how much we can fill PHILLIPS arena tomorrow cause we love playing in front of a packed house[.]"

Rawhide's Rowdies will be whooping it up in the 200 section. You can still get in on the fun for $30 and get a free t-shirt by calling 404-878-3781. And be sure to bring your POMPOMs.

The Avalanche are two points out of a eighth place in the very competitive Western Conference despite being devastated by injuries this season. Among those missing significant time have been goalie Craig Anderson, Paul Stastny, Wojtek Wolski [EDIT- brain lapse here, I meant Peter Mueller for whome Wolski was traded last year], and Chris (better known as Anthony's brother) Stewart.

The Thrashers have won 8 of 10 including the 6 game winning streak and have been victorious in their last two. The Avalanche on the other hand have only won four of their last ten games including an overtime loss to Atlanta on November 30 courtesy of an Anthony Stewart overtime goal.

If Rawhide's royalty checks don't bounce, some of the crew from here at the Chronicle may make a quick grip-and-grin appearance at the gathering of the Rowdies tonight, so we hope to see you all there.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

The endless "will they Thrashers relocate? No, they won't relocate" back-and-forth has gotten stale beyond belief. It's tedious always to have to restate the obvious, but so it goes...

ALSO: I remain convinced that the Spirit ARE trying to unload the team, but to someone who will keep it in Atlanta. No bad thing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thrashers Involved in Three Way

Bet you didn't think you'd see that headline again once Andreas Karlsson retired, did you?

Yes, the Atlanta Thrashers, by virtue of a come from behind victory Monday night in Philips Arena against the Nashville Predators have moved into a three way tie with the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The Bolts who have only played twenty seven games thus far take the tie breaker over the Thrashers who in turn have the tie breaker over the Rangers having played one fewer game than the Blueshirts.

The first period Monday night was unkind to the Thrashers who appeared to have difficulty finding a rhythm. Ondrej Pavelec was strong but saw goals by Colin Stewart and Steve Sullivan find their way past him. Atlanta remained calm and followed Craig Ramsey's game plan, drawing back to within one goal by the end of the second period thanks to Jimmy Slater's deflection goal.

Nashville goalie Anders Lindback stymied all Atlanta chances in the third until Captain Andrew Ladd suddenly remembered his Charlamagne. "Let my army be the rocks and the trees, and the" pucks in the net.

(Skip to 4:06)

The puck found Laddy's stick on his backhand after Lindback failed to corral a Byfuglien slapshot and the Captain buried it to even the score.

In overtime, Ben Eager (yes, Ben Eager was out there in overtime. Don't ask me why) was looking to dump the puck in and go for a change when he heard Zach Bogosian yell from the puck on the other side of the ice. Eager fed a beautiful pass across to the streaking Bogosian who then let loose a snap shot above the high slot and beat Lindback to the stick side and claim the victory.

The Thrashers have now won eight of their past nine, all with Ondrej Pavelec in net. Their only loss in that time was on December 2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins who have now won ten in a row.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Game Day: Predators

Nashville brings their 14-10-1 record into Atlanta to square off against the 14-10-3 Thrashers. Both teams are lead by star defensemen (remember those Sutter and Weber guys from the Olympics?) and feature bald men behind the bench who apparently specialize in turning out winning records with budget basement rosters.

The Preds also come to the table with two vets whose best days may be in the past but are still dangerous in Steve Sullivan and J.P. Dumont. Dumont is best known as "and that other guy" in discussions of good players who have left Buffalo for more money and the chance to live somewhere that is not Buffalo.

According to Dan Kamal on the Ol' Twitterometer, "Looks as though Kane and Enstrom are fine for tonight. Pavelec in goal."

Will Chris Mason ever get another start in goal? Pavelec has won 7 of his last 8 games played including every game of the six game win streak and two games against the Caps with a .5 GAA against Ovechkin, Backstrom, Green, and Semin.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Karmic Power Plays, Goalie Heroics = Victory

And pandas in splendor.

As you all know, last night's win against the Caps was a wondrous thing. Pavelec has morphed from a "young goalie with potential" type to "zeezus chrisht OMG what a save" Hero of the Net. And Andrew Ladd's power play goal was mighty satisfying after David Steckel's knee-on-knee incident with Toby Enstrom.

Speaking of Enstrom, how is he? I suppose I could scour the Internet looking for clues, but really, who wants to do that? At any rate, it'd be an unhappy thing if he was out for any significant amount of time.

One final note: at some point in the game I noticed Alexander Burmistrov streaking and deking past several Caps players in the neutral zone. I thought, "HMMM, that reminds me of that insane goal he scored against the Caps that one time." Three seconds later he scored another insane goal.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Game Day: Caps

Yes, I know, that's not a capitol building. It's my favorite non-historical/memorial site in DC. Settled in amongst the Capital's China Town just a block away from the Arch, Capital Q serves real Texan barbecue with all of the good sides. If you're taken in by your Oriental surroundings, you can get your 'cue served over rice with a pair of chopsticks. It's also one of the very few places in the District where you can get sweet tea. That's right, though DC was put where it was as part of a compromise that put the Capital in the South, it's now a very norther/international city where one must quest for Southern table wine.

Evander Kane has been skating with the team but there's no telling yet whether or not he'll be ready to go after taking that slapshot off the inside of his knee Tuesday night. Kane tweeted on Friday that he's feeling better but wasn't sure himself if he'd be ready to go today.

The loss to the Pens on Thursday night denied the Thrashers a franchise best 7 game winning streak and extended Pittsburg's unbeaten span to 8 matches. However, the team should still have their heads held high after battling back and having a chance to tie the game in the closing minutes. Even in the three games Atlanta dropped prior to starting their 7 game streak, they played very well against the cream of the crop in losses to the Pens and Caps that were one goal contests but for empty net goals in the final seconds of each.

In fact, the only "bad game" the team has produced in their past ten was the 2-1 loss to the Panthers on November 17.

No word as to who will be starting on goal tonight for the Thrashers and there is no pregame skate today due to the MCI Verizon Center playing host to a Georgetown University basketball game this afternoon.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Game Day: Penguins

Ok, actually that picture makes me sad. As much as I despise the Pittsburgh Penguins, I love penguins. When the Chronicle staff ventured to the Georgia Aquarium in October before the home opener, I stood in line with all the little kids and dragged my out of shape 6'0 235lb frame through the tunnel so I could put my head inside the little bubble amongst the penguin exhibit and take pictures.

But those aren't the penguins the Thrashers face tonight. The Penguins that will take to the ice tonight are the kind that would have punched me in the crotch from behind while I was taking my pictures at the aquarium. The kind that send flying blind-side elbows at little fake artists. The kind that the NHL shoves down our throats 24/7 as though there aren't any other marketable personalities *cough*Iginla*cough* in hockey.

Those same Penguins are 9-0-1 in their past 10 games and have won seven straight since dropping that overtime game to the Rangers on November 15th. A winning streak will be ended tonight, whether it is Pittsburgh's 7 gamer or Atlanta's franchise record tying 6 gamer.

We're still waiting (as of 10:55 Vivlamore is still seeking an updtate) for word on whether or not Evander Kane is going to play after taking a Toby Enstrom slap shot off the inside of his knee in Tuesday night's victory over the Avalanche.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Make it Seven

That is the only time you will ever hear that here on the Chronicle, folks.

The Thrashers have tied their franchise record of six wins in a row and will be going for a seventh Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

With Boris Valabik no longer playing in a Thrasher uniform, will Sidney Crosby try to find another set of testicles to punch? Will Matt Cooke wet himself if Evander Kane winks at him?

P.S. Kevin Shattenkirk's name makes me think of the Captain of the Enterprise on chili night at the food replicator.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

GAME DAY: Colorado Avalanche

If you're ever driving through Colorado, your editor strongly recommends you take a swerving detour to the charming town of Durango, where you can, for some reason, find mighty fine Reuben sandwiches.

Anyway, the Thrashers play the Av's in Avland tonight, and so on and so forth. As you may have heard, the Thrashers are coming off an insane homestand that saw them walloping the Capitals, the Red Wings, the Canadiens, and perhaps some others MIGHTILY. Will this win streak endure? Which offensive defenseman will triumph tonight? Will it be J.M. "Scourge of the Rockies" Liles or the Enstrom-Byfuglien hybrid monster?

ALSO: The Thrashers played against that "Matt Hunwick" character Sunday. At that time he was a Bruin; tonight he'll be an Av. Will this restless wanderer ever settle down?

So many questions.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

5 Things

1) The Atlanta Thrashers have been very convincing lately. 5-game winning streaks have happened before, but never with this much confidence and energy from such a variety of players. As many have already pointed out, it seems like someone different contributes every night. This is a good thing.

2) Dustin Byfuglien seems to be working out just fine on the Defense thing, and it's probably not up to me to disparage the choice to position him there. Especially on a night like tonight, when he has a hand in every single goal (in tonight's case: 1 goal, 3 assists.)

3) Pavelec always had promise and potential, but my goodness.

4) Hooray! For all of this, that is.

5) Leslie Nielsen died today. Very few can equal a career such as his. Rest in peace, Lieutenant Drebin.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Le Jour de Match: Les Habitants

First off, be sure to check out this post from Pierre LeBrun (hey, we're playing a French Canadian team and I post a link from a guy named Pierre, how you like that for topical?) over on ESPN about the top ten surprise players of the early season. Atlanta boasts three of the ten, including the new captain, Big Buff, and Ondrej "how many fingers am I holding up" Pavelec.

Alex Auld will be getting the start in net for les bleu, blanc, et rouge to give All Star sure bet Carey Price a rest. If anybody happens to have seats next to the visiting bench tonight and can yell where Price can hear you, do me a favor and ask him why his rookie mask had Garth Brooks painted on the side of it. I've always been curious about that.

It'll be amusing to watch in person tonight as the munchkins that constitute Montreal's top line buzz around Atlanta's giants like Byfuglien and Antropov.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hey Toronto...

How's that Colby Armstrong workin' out for ya?

Prepare for the Zombie Wingnut Invasion!

This post also to be known as "Game Day: Red Wings."

We all know what happens when Detroit comes to town. It's the same thing that happens when Buffalo comes to town, only more disgusting.

Yes, our beautiful (if poorly maintained) arena is about to be sullied by those red clad minions of evil, Red Wing fans. Like mindless, bandwaggon riding zombies they stagger through the doors of Philips Arena and insult the home team by chanting "let's go Red Wings" and screaming with joy when their alien overlord scores on a hapless Thrasher goaltender.

If you've seen even one zombie movie, you know how to handle the walking undead. That's right, you get everyone you know to come out wearing blue on this night before Thanksgiving, drown the Wing Nuts out, and send then back to Hell. Or even worse, send them back to Detroit. No, wait, we can't be that cruel, just send them to Hell.

What's your zombie plan?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We Got Assets

Rick Dudley recently discussed the trade climate in the NHL in an interview with the team's internal PR department. The most interesting statements were these: "at this point in time we are one of the few teams that are still assessing simply because of all the changes. . .. We’re a team that could conceivably make a trade that other teams can’t make partly because we have a pretty deep roster. . .. We have strength at certain positions that we could afford to give up a player and get something back that we really need. . .."

Dudley had discussed that "pretty deep roster" earlier in the interview when he singled out Riley Holzapfel, Spencer Machacek, Arturs Kulda, and Patrick Cormier as players who could potentially crack the Atlanta lineup and make the team better. He went on to say that "there are guys who you look at more like could they play as opposed to somebody else currently in the lineup but they might not necessarily make us better."

Those players that can fill in adequately for current roster players without necessarily making the team better are what makes for depth. If the NHL club needs to call someone up due to injury or trades, the they can fill in the gaps without losing productivity on either side of the ice.

With the trade winds stirring in the NHL as teams begin to solidify their needs, we here at the Chronicle decided to take a look at exactly what constitutes the Thrashers' depth and who could be potential trade bait. For the sake of comparisons, we'll use an EA Sports NHL style numerical system to rate players' skill sets and value to the team and to potential trade partners.


This is where the depth really shows. The current NHL roster features:
Antropov- 80
Ladd- 75
Peverley- 75
Burmistrov- 75
Kane- 80
Little- 75
Bergfors- 75

Those players constitute the core of the forwards and are very unlikely to be moved via trade any time in the near future. The possible exception could be Bergfors if Dudley and crew don't feel that they have a good shot at signing him to an extension. The rest of the forwards currently on the roster and the prospects in Chicago are all fairly interchangeable and therefore could be packaged in any combination in order to bring marquee talent back to Philips Arena (prospects are ranked with a range due to the uncertainty of how their game will translate to the NHL):

Eager- 65
Modin- 60
Slater- 70
Thorburn- 70
Stewart- 65
Boulton- 65
Cormier- 65-70
Holzapfel- 60-65
Machacek- 65-70
Petterson- 65-70
Dawes- 60-65

Among these tradeable assets, Modin and Dawes' stock has fallen significantly since they were acquired during the summer while Thorburn and Stewart's value has likely risen due to their improved scoring touch through the first quarter of the season.

The blue line corps is deep, but doesn't feature as many ready prospects as the forwards. I would be shocked to see Dudley make a move that required our big three defenders to change zip codes:

Byfuglien- 85
Enstrom- 85
Bogosian- 75

Johnny Oduya, whom we will rate at a 75, fits into a similar category as his fellow former Devil Nick Bergfors. If management feels like he will re-sign with Atlanta, they won't usher him out the door. However, if they see the horizon reflected in his eyes, they could realize a healthy return by shipping him out early. The final two roster regulars and prospects are all potential trade fodder, though Hainsey's contract numbers may make him a difficult sell:

Hainsey- 70
Sopel- 70
Kulda- 65-70
Mayer- 65-70
Valabik 60-65
Postma- 60-65

Hainsey's stock is probably slipping a bit this season with just 1 point and an even rating through 21 games. On the other hand, 33 year old vet Brent Sopel, while no offensive dynamo, has quietly put up respectable stats at +3 with two points through 20 games. That may not sound like a big difference, but he's outpacing his colleague who makes $3 million per year more than he does and he's won a Stanley Cup. Boris has been passed over on the waiver wire going both ways (meaning that nobody claimed him even when they would only be responsible for paying half his salary), so his trade value is effectively zero.

While Peter Manino (65-70) and Drew MacIntyre (60-65) give the Thrashers good depth for the future, neither seems quite ready to take over as a backup in the NHL this season, so Pavelec (75) and Mason (70) should be safe from any trade rumors.

Of course there are also draft picks that can be offered up in trades. The Thrashers have already traded away their 2011 second round draft pick (Ladd) and 5th round draft pick (2 6th round draft picks in 2010; Kendall McFaull and Tanner Lane). With his team in the midst of a rebuild, and knowing Rick Dudley's pride in his prospect evaluation talents, I cannot imagine him making any deal that left Atlanta without a draft pick in the first two rounds.

A well stocked Chicago Wolves team and beaucoup cap room has Atlanta in prime position to make a trade or two when the time comes. Because so many players are ready to step in and fill gaps without giving up productivity, Dudley has the luxury of packaging multiple players for a single, higher profile target.

Glorious Week of Hockey and Football and Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving week, esteemed Chronicle readers! We here wish you all safe and happy travels wherever the festivities take you this Turkey Day.

What a week we have in store, with three hockey games (four for me since I'm going to the Gladiators game tonight) and college football's rivalry week.

We began the week with Dustin Byfuglien's overtime heroics sealing the deal after Ondrej the Giant kept the Thrashers in the game against New York on Sunday. Allowing the Islanders to break their 12 game losing streak against the Thrashers would have been a huge letdown after the high of smacking around the Caps on Friday night 5-0. How bad are the Islanders? Their announcer pulled a Bob Uecker impersonation into a live mike during what he thought was a commercial break, so we'll let him explain.

Wednesday night will see a packed house at Philips Arena. The night before Thanksgiving should produce a good turnout no matter who the opponent is, but when you add in the fact that the dirty Red Wings are visiting, it all but assures a rocking house.

On Thursday, after you've devoured your body weight in turkey, cranberry, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean cassarole, cornbread, gravy, and pecan pie, you can look forward to the first game in many, many years in which the Texas A&M Aggies are favored against their rivals, the Texas Longhorns. Texas must win to be bowl eligible, and the game is in Austin. Talk about a recipe for a heated rivalry game.

This Friday will find the Thrashers fending off a French-Canadian invasion as the Habs visit Blueland. Dustin Byfuglien and Nik Antropov will think they've wandered into Lilliput as they watch Gomez, Gionta, and Cammaleri skating around their knees. Your appetizer for that game is the 2:30pm matchup between Alabama and Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Bama is looking to deny their rivals a trip to the national championship game while Auburn wants to show that Cam Newton was worth every penny.

As you recover from Friday's excitement on Saturday morning, make sure you get up in time to hear Big and Rich sing the theme song to College Gameday and get ready for the rest of college football's rivalry games such as USC/Notre Dame (make sure you scroll down for the pictures on that link), Ohio State/Michigan, and of course Georgia Tech vs. the population of the Carke County Correctional Institute.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Important Note Regarding Your Chronicle

It's the Thanksgiving holidays, yes indeed, and thus time to take off your shoes and brave the gropey security mimes of U.S. America's gleaming airports. And to spend time with bourbon-flavored cranberry sauce and pleasantly plump turkeys, etc.

All of this means that your Chronicle, or at least your Chronicle's editor, is going to take a few days off. If you hadn't noticed already (and surely you have), this blog has been mired in shameful writer's block for a few weeks now. What to say about the Thrashers that wasn't said in the late 18th century by Christopher Smart?

So this blog needs to rest for the week. Rest, and think about investing actual currency in a Dustin Byfuglien jersey. HAPPY THANKSGIVING, KIDS.

(^-----NOT ideal to watch with your grandmother or 5-year-old nephew or whatever non-demented human being happens to be around)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


The Thrashers were as impressive as a blue okapi in Friday's game against the Capitals. How will they fare against this angry wounded bear of an Islanders team? We don't know, which is why we'll be watching.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Actual Swedish Chef's Take

An actual Swedish Chef (well, he's Swedish, and I assume he can at least cook toast or something) had this to say about the Thrashers' making Andrew Ladd captain:

"Atlanta Thrashers har utsett dubble Stanley Cup-mästaren Andrew Ladd till ny lagkapten.
Ladd har inlett säsongen bra, med 18 poäng på 19 matcher, men Babyhawks går oväntat trögt, bara en 11:e plats i Eastern Conference så här långt. [Editor's note: Bork, bork, bork, huunn de moose]"

The best part is that he calls the Thrashers "Babyhawks." I don't know if that's actually what Swedes call a brown thrasher, or if that is a commentary on our offseason makeover.

The rest of the interview can be seen below:


First game with our brand new captain! Very important stuff.

Ah, what is there to say about the Thrashers that hasn't already been said?

Game Day: Caps

The Thrashers take to Philips Arena ice once again tonight to face the Southeast Division leading Washington Capitals. The Thrashers are 1-1-1 against Ovechkin's squad after opening the season with a 4-2 victory on home ice. Atlanta has since lost twice in DC, once in overtime and once in a 6-4 game sealed on an empty net goal.

Andrew Ladd will lead the team onto the ice for the first time wearing the captain's C on his sweater. Coach Ramsey is undoubtedly hoping that the team will shape up behind their newly appointed leader much like they did two seasons ago when Ilya Kovalchuk was finally named captain midway through the season.

It is never good to have a ship without a captain. A team needs a designated leader to help rally the troops and give direction. An army without a standard bearer tends to break into factions. That being said, it is understandable that a team with a new GM (Dudley was part of the organization last year but reportedly spent most of his time scouting and wasn't around our players) and new head coach would want to give his players a trial by fire before naming the leader. The captain position is too important to get that decision wrong. See the Sharks under Patrick Marleau or the Panthers under Olli Jokinen.

Speaking of captains, the Capitals have one that is pretty darn good at the hockey. And at the really creepy commercials:

And the really crappy commercials:

And the highlight reel goals:

Not too shabby. But he's no Chris Thorburn. No sir. Thorbs scores, hits, fights, and apparently assasinates Templars in Renaissance era Rome:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cap'n Laddy

Via Vivlamore, Ben Wright, and Dan Kamal on Twitter, Andrew Ladd has been named captain of the Atlanta Thrashers while Byfuglien and Enstrom will wear the A's.

More to come later in the afternoon with analysis and reaction from your Chronicle staff.

So was this a matter of "see who scores the most and name a captain 1/4 of the way through?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010


You play well.

Against top-tier teams, even.

But you just can't win.

Especially when said top-tier teams' top-tier just cold keep scoring on you.

What gives?

IN OTHER HOCKEY NEWS: Colin Campbell should be exiled to a malarial swamp-prison.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

GAME DAY: Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins. They only live at the South Pole, and they're tied with your Thrash-monsters and like 10 other teams for 5th through 9th place in the Eastern Conference. What does this mean?

It means that tonight's game will be full of actual penguins, and because of various other downtown Atlanta event-horrors traffic is going to be a nightmare. So get there early, and get there drunk.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Some Important Thoughts on Puck Bunnies

You've all seen this thing, right?

I don't really understand the puck bunny-hatred, myself. Most people know the difference between a puck bunny and a female human who likes hockey. I mean, I don't think many men look at the women at a hockey game and think, "Must all be puck bunnies, to a gal."

And since our immediate context here is Atlanta, ANY reason to get people to come to a game is a good reason. And if some chicks aren't interested in the game beyond wanting to sleep with hockey players, who the fuck cares? I mean, really.

BUT: Clever song.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

GAME DAY: Minnesota Wild

Martin Havlat, remember him?

Most awesome human to ever come out of Minnesota? Prince. Paul Westerberg a close second.

And yes, this blog has taken its final logical step into "uhh, we have nothing to say so here's a video" decay. Weep for it.

P.S. Oh yeah, it's Armistice/Remembrance/Veterans Day, isn't it? Are you Commonwealth subjects wearing your poppies? Here's something for the occasion.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nothing Occurs to Us

...on the subject of the Thrashers' loss last night.

Carry on, comrades, carry on.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Livestream of Thrashers/Sens Game


Game Day: Senators

Hey, are these guys still in the NHL? The Ottawa Senators, currently performing an 82 game (and probably no longer) version of "Daniel Alfredsson's Swan Song."

The Sens roster consists of Jason Spezza who is constantly at the center of "I wanna trade" rumors, the soon-to-retire Alfredsson and Alexei "Remember that time I won the Stanley Cup? It was in 1994. I played with Mark Messier!" Kovalev, the still very good Sergei Gonchar, and some guy who is married to THIS:

Which is not to be confused with this:

Or this:

Or this:

Ottawa has been fighting a losing battle with the Goalie Gods in recent years. They have somewhat reliable minders between the pipes right now with 25 year old Brian Elliott and 28 year old Pascal Leclaire. Both are serviceable and capable of pitching a shutout or posting an open house sign on their net any given night.

The game isn't on local TV tonight and is listed in Ottawa on "SNET-E(HD)." No clue as to whether or not those with the Center Ice package will be able to watch the game, but I will try to update the Chronicle with a link to a live stream if I can find one.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What is on the TV? Hockey, Sometimes

Couldn't make the most exciting game of the year (perhaps, maybe, depends on what happens in the Future) this past weekend, due to hellish illness, but from my side of the teevee screen it looked like a raucous time.

This version of the Thrashers definitely shows up for big games. Intense situations (games against the olde team, goalie faints, etc.) make them play intensely. Hooray!

What they could work on, perhaps, is showing up for stupid boring games like that thing against the Blue Jackets.

IN OTHER HOCKEY-AND-TEEVEE-RELATED WEEKEND EXPERIENCES: I was watching Boardwalk Empire and all that other HBO Sunday night programming last night. At some point there was a brief trailer for that "follow the Capitals and Penguins around" thing. Looking forward to it, yessir.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

GAME DAY: Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks against Blackhawks! Jeremy Morin! Danger and excitement.

And Billy Jaffe has predictions.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bogo Bonks Bloodless Box Office!

YES, it has to be terribly disheartening to play in an empty, prematurely decaying arena. It's a sports taboo for a player to say anything even mildly critical of the fan base, and I'm totally fine with Zach Bogosian being honest about how he feels.

THAT SAID, it's not very hard to figure out why the arena is empty and uninspired (which contributes, perhaps, to the Thrashers' uninspired play at home). If the team wins at home more consistently, people will show up, even in times of economic horror. Simple as that.

Philips Arena's biggest issue, though, is the the fact that its facilities are getting a little creaky and out-of-sorts. If only the place was owned by someone willing to invest in it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

GAME DAY: Columbus Blue Jackets (Ohio Squid Lords)

First things first. Freddy Modin: god among men or god among gods?

Secondly: the Thrashers play the Blue Jackets tonight!

Never been a big fan of the Blue Jackets' name, logo, and uniform. Even the city name of "Columbus" somehow lowers the excitement factor. One wonders if they could change it from boring "Columbus Blue Jackets" to something more interesting, like "Ohio Squid Lords."

Yeah, from now on they're the Ohio Squid Lords.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Game Day: Panthers

Pictured above: what do you get when you cross the two NHL teams in the state of Florida?

The Thrashers travel to Sunshine tonight to congratulate Marco Rubio, get a tan like John Boehner and take on the Florida Panthers. This will be the first of six meetings this year against the Panthers who are now managed by Dale Tallon under whom Rick Dudley worked in Chicago. The Swamp Cats sent Eternally-Scowling-Nathan-Horton and Dennis Seidenberg to the Bruins during the offseason, effectively isolating David Booth as their only legit scoring threat.

Being so close to the ocean, this might be a good opportunity to take Freddie Modin shark fishing on a slippery boat with no hand rail.

EDIT: So about that Freddie Modin...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ronnie Haines on Puck Daddy Radio

Ronald F. Hainsey, live and in radio person, on P. Diddy Radio! RIGHT NOW.

Listened to P.D. Radio for the first time yesterday. Very solid show.

A few minutes ago Wyshynski was making an excellent point about Blur's "Song 2" and why, even though Blur are a great band, arenas are silly to adopt it as their official Goal Song.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Brent Sopel is the Bat Man

What the hell is he talking about? Oh wait:

Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Brent Sopel.


The Thrashers have played impressively of late. The Thrashers have played disappointingly of late. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The game against Buffalo on Friday was the first game of the season I've been able to get super-enthusiastic about. Good times, wild and exciting finish.

Didn't get to see the game against St. Louis, but it seemed like a stellar effort that wound up becoming a bucket-on-foot effort. None of which is new in Thrashers history.

MEANWHILE Bryan Little is out, due to a stick-meets-face incident on Friday. So, um, yeah. The important topic for today is "Bryan Little: when will he come back?" So many possibilities...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloweekend GAME DAY: Blues

Oh yes, there's a game, isn't there? Which everyone will surely watch, dressed as the Snookie or the Situation or an Ilya Kovalchuk devil.

HAVE FUN at your goblin orgies tonight and tomorrow, kids! Be safe, etc.

Here's some tunes to set the atmosphere.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Game Day: Sabres

Didn't we just do this? Anyway, Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, and Nathan Gerbe return to Atlanta for their second trip this month. The Thrashers offense will be hoping they can continue the roll they started in Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night while Chris Mason tries to allow three or four fewer goals than his last outing.

The Sabres come in at 3-6-1. After winning their opener against the Senators, Buffalo has only been able to gain victories in their previous game with Atlanta and last Saturday's matchup with the Devils.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hockey in the NY Times! Wait, THRASHERS in the NY Times?

A nostalgic retro-blog called the New York Times has profiled the Atlanta Thrashers, for being black.

It's actually a good article! Read away.

Needs More Humorous Bears

It's a shame the Thrashers don't have a marketing campaign even close to this good.

But then again, who does?

Well Slap My Toupee and Call Me Horatio


Your editor didn't see any of last night's game (for reasons that would be understandable if I explained them, which I won't, here) but he sort of wishes he did!

Let's see, what did I miss?

Very nice! What did I tell you about Bryan Little? The man is practically an Albertan-Ontarian Pavel Datsyuk.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

GAME DAY: Rangers

Oh, how we all dislike the Rangers.


1) The New York Rangers were originally formed to compete with the now long-dead New York Americans.

2) Sean Avery. People like to talk about him, don't they? Come to think of it, the Chronicle needs an NYC-based Sean Avery Gossip Columnist. Send applications to We'll get back to you someday.

3) Halloween is coming up! Why not watch a spooky time captured on celluloid (in Japan)?

4) Jimmy Slater is scratched! Dan Kamal has the comical line combinations.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ilya Kovalchuk Lacks Focus (or Something), Sez Bobby Holik

Remember Bobby Holik, the very effective third-line center that Don Waddell paid an inordinate amount of money to play for the Thrashers (often as a top-line center), directly resulting in Marc Savard's departure for greener pastures and higher pay?

Well, the man has something important to say, and said it on Hockey Night in Canada Radio the other day.

The hockey Internet, in particular the Thrashers hockey Internet, is particularly fascinated by what Holik had to say about Ilya Kovalchuk. In summary: Kovy is a fine person and highly gifted player but is often late, lacks focus, and is probably not the guy to build a team around/choose to rally your team with motivational speeches.

So this proves once and for all that Kovalchuk is History's Worst Hockey Player, and should be imprisoned for hurting everyone's fee-fee's.

Damien Cox of the Toronto Star, rubbing himself in Hyperbole and Overstatement Oil, had this to say:

What were the New Jersey Devils thinking with Ilya Kovalchuk?


The Devils, quite clearly, thought they were buying a stable, established family man, along with a 40-50 goal shooter for the next decade.

They didn’t think they were buying a problem man-child.

Yes, Damien, Ilya Kovalchuk is a "problem man-child" because he was late to a few team meetings. He's no longer a family man and his numerous 40-50 goal campaigns have ceased to exist, as if by black Ruskie magic. Wait, what?

That may be a bit of an exaggeration. Then again, it may not be at all. All we know is what the Devils and Kovalchuk have told the hockey world, and that’s nothing. Squat.

So you're admitting that you don't know anything. Fine. So why all the furious word-masturbation about how horrible Ilya Kovalchuk is?

ANYWAY, Bobby Holik was a pretty useless captain, and one of the great fuck-up's of our organization was to hire him for a pile of money that could have been spent on that Savard fella (who played very well with Kovalsuck). The things that might have been...

AND IN CONCLUSION: Team meetings are pretty fucking boring anyway.

Getting the Band Back Together

Just like the old days. I saw Billy Jaffe briefly on The Daily Line last night, and my that man looked sharp.

Anyway, this is heartwarming news.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pavelec Less Woozy-ful, Cleared to Play

Ondrej Pavelec has been back on the ice for about a week, and has now been cleared to return to game action.

With Ondrej the Giant returning to action, Peter Mannino has been sent back to the Wolves where he will likely reclaim the top spot between the pipes for the Thrashers AHL affiliate. Mannino got two periods of playing time in last Tuesday's losing bout with the Tampa Bay Lightning, taking over duties after Marathon Man Chris Mason let three pucks by in the first twenty minutes.

The Thrashers play Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, then again 48 hours later at home against the Sabres. Expect to see Pavelec play in one or both games, as Chris Mason has appeared in eight straight contests to start the season.

Wednesday night's game against the Rangers also marks the 9th game of the regular season, meaning that Coach Ramsay and GM Rick Dudley will wrestle on Thursday with the question of whether or not Alexander Burmistrov will remain in Atlanta or go back to the Colts in the WHL this season.

As I discussed here, I believe it would benefit the club and Burmistrov to send him back to Junior after a 9 game taste of the big leagues. He has been very impressive and it appears he will develop into a heck of a hockey player, but he needs to put on some bulk and get a little more seasoned in his decision making. He can help the club right now, but a 19, 20, and 21 year old Burmistrov won't help the club nearly as much as a 20, 21, and 22 year old Burmistrov will when he comes back with three full years of an entry level contract ahead of him next Fall.

One argument that has been thrown around in the debate about whether or not Burmistrov should stay in the NHL this season revolves around the risk of injury. As our good buddy Rawhide said in his blog last week, injuries occur in both the NHL and Juniors. This is true. Frenchy offered up a counter point last weekend that there are no Chris Prongers skating around the WHL with their elbows up. However, there are a few Patrice Cormiers.

The risk of injury is probably about equal in the NHL and the WHL for Burmistrov. In the NHL he is a small 19 year old playing with much larger, more experienced, older players. In the WHL, he will be the same age, but will be one of the best players on the ice, making him a target for those with an intent to injure. It's like the difference between driving on a wet I-285 in a Prius around sleepy drivers of semi-trucks and driving a Porche in a demolition derby. The other cars might not be as big, but they're actually trying to hit you and take you out.

Burmistrov shouldn't be on the Thrashers' roster this Friday because he's more valuable to the team over the course of his three year entry level contract starting next year than starting this year. That is the only argument I have for sending him back to Junior, but I think it is the most important argument that can be made in this cap era.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Problem With Everything

It's long been obvious to Jilted Thrashers Fans that the problem with our sad panda of a team, at least for many years, was Ilya Kovalchuk and the fact that he scored too many goals. It was refreshing to see what's-his-name, the coach of the New Jersey Devils, catch up to this important insight tonight and just cold bench the Evil Russian, thus increasing the Devils' chances for victory.

For some reason, the Devils lost 6-1. We can't say why.

ALSO, the Thrashers played tonight and lost again, though they gained the all-important overtime loss point.

Evander Kane is going to be a helluva hockey player. Perhaps he already is. Good player, Evander Kane. We mean this sincerely.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Live Stream

Again, the game is blacked out locally even for those with Center Ice. So just watch online here for free.

GAME DAY: Capitals

Why yes, that IS Riga, Latvia in the photo. If you squint hard enough, it looks like Washington, DC. Capitals both.

The Thrashers are playing the Caps tonight. How many goals will Bryan Little's work ethic score tonight? The sky's the limit, sirs and misses!

We Wonder...

What exactly were some of you expecting?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sanity... You're a MADMAN!!!!

Vivlamore updates us all with new lines he expects to see carry over from practice to the next game against the Lightning.





That is the order in which Vivlamore presented them and he gave a caveat that they are presented in no particular order, so don't go screaming that Eager is now on the "top line" and Kane has been demoted to the "checking line."

That being said, these combinations are fairly mind boggling. Trying Burmistrov with Kane to see if the young hot-rods can build some chemistry and get something going is logical, but why put Thorburn on the line?

Modin has been very slow the last couple of outings, and having him line up opposite Eric Boulton sounds like an equation that adds up to very little ice time. They will gain a few seconds just because of how long it takes them to drag their butts back to the bench at the end of a shift.

Antropov has been playing hurt and looks it. Now we put a thumper on one wing and Pevs on the other. To whom, exactly, is Pevs supposed to Dispense?

Think how much nicer this could all look with the addition of just one legitimate goal scorer?

GAME DAY: Tampa Bay Lightning

pictured above: the Tampa Bay Lightning power play, led by John Travolta in his prime

The wicked sky-terrors of Tampa Bay are on a serious roll right now. They've turned out to be what your editor likes to think of as "an offensively explosive team," because their explosions offend me, deeply. And they're winning a lot! Leading the Southeast Division, in fact.

Hey, let's look at some greased lightning statistics:

Goals per game, so far? MORE THAN THREE.

Steven Stamkos? 10 points.

Their power play? Operating smoothly at .750%

As Geoff Peterson would say, "Oh dear."

But the Thrashers can win because they have league-leading goaltending champ Kari Lehtonen in net. Wait, what?

ALSO (which I just mistyped as "Laos"; who knew those two words were anagrams of each other?): Niclas Bergfors is benched again. Why?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh Snap

Via Vivlamore's Twitter.

42 Shots to 18 Shots

Hm. Reminds me of something. Like that one time, and that other time, and that other time, and...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Game Day: Sabres

Hey, remember when the Atlanta Thrashers used to play games IN ATLANTA? Well tonight it happens again. The Boys in Blue take the ice in Philips Arena to take on the Buffalo Ryan Millers.

Will a "goal scorer" put one past the reigning Vezina Trophy winner? Or will we once again be delighted by the lamp lighting antics of Anthony Stewart and Chris Thorburn?

Buffalo is always an entertaining opponent because the Thrashers and Sabres are very similar teams. This year the similarities are even more striking, as both lineups consist of role players who are asked to go above and beyond to make up for the lack of superstars.

Alas, the moose humping a buffalo statue will never be as apropos as it was in the past now that Hedberg is in hell, but don't think that'll stop us.

I'm still trying to start a trend of mispronouncing Byfuglien's name upon a goal or big hit just so we can all yell By-Foooooooooog-lee-in! I don't care how much of a stretch it is, I just want it to sound like we're booing when we're really cheering.

GAME DAY: Buffalo Sabres

Okay, I get that they're called the "Sabres," but why did this team insist on hiring a saber-toothed cat as its mascot? Nothing against Sabretooth, of course, but don't you think it would be a million times cooler if the Sabres were represented by a galumphing ice buffalo? I think so.

Anyway, games against the Sabres are always fun/terrifying. Remember Ryan Miller? We like that Ryan Miller. But we still want the Thrashers to win. Godspeed, Thrashers.*

Neneh Cherry - Buffalo Stance (1989)

*The Sabres haven't had an ultra-great start. Let's not make tonight their comeback night.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vive Patrice Cormier Libre!

(clarified below!)

From Lord Black's venerable Canuckistani newspaper the National Post:

Former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League forward Patrice Cormier pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of assault causing bodily harm and received an unconditional discharge.

HMMMM. What does this mean, "unconditional discharge?" Canada and its funny old Empire Loyalist laws...

We think it means he won't serve jail time, that he'll have to deal with the Man stone-cold probation-spying on him all the time, making him pay a fine, etc. (<---read below, kids)

So there won't be any Thrashers in jail anytime soon. Not unless the authorities find out about the secretly infamous Ron Hainsey Jewel Heist of 2008.

CLARIFICATION from Chronicle legal correspondent/actual lawyer Razor Catch Prey:

Unconditional discharge, if the terminology translates logically from Beaverite to American, would mean that he has plead guilty but will receive no punishment, not be on probation, and his record will not reflect a conviction.

Conversely, CONDITIONAL discharge here means that you are required to serve a period of time on probation and complete several conditions. If you fulfill all of your obligations and do not violate probation, then your record will reflect a dismissal and your record may be expunged.

These procedures are reserved for first time offenders on minor charges.
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