Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Are We There Yet?

Ah, August. How I hate it.

No hockey.

No football.

It's hot as hell.

Nothing on TV.

Oh well, let's make the best of it and talk some hockey to keep our selves from going insane. After shipping Todd White off to the Rangers for a cheaper buy-out, the Thrashers have made room for some young talent in the lineup. Let's take a look at the Thrashers' depth chart as it stands right now. Keep in mind this is my own semi-arbitrary guess at where guys fit.

LW --- C --- RW
Kane -- Antro -- Buff

Bergy -- Pevs -- Lits

Ladd -- Slater -- Eager

Boults -- Cormier -- Thorbs

-- D --
Bogo -- Toby

Oduya -- Hainsey

Sopel -- Boris/Kulda

-- G --

Chris Mason

With Eric O'Dell injured and Angelo Esposito still recovering from his latest ACL tear, Cormier looks like the only centerman ready to step up and take a spot on the roster. There's also the chance that Bryan Little could move back to his natural center position, allowing someone like Carl Klinberg, Spencer Machacek, or Alex Burmistrov to come in and play wing. The most likely scenario though is that Jimmy Slater and Cormier will compete for playing time in the third and forth line center roles.

The top six forward positions represent a whole lot of question marks.

How will Evander Kane and Nic Bergfors perform in their sophomore campaigns? They have a new coach and a new system to learn. Second seasons in the NHL are notoriously tough. How those who step up to the challenge will have a huge impact on the Thrashers season.

Can Nik Antropov continue to lead the way offensively the way he did after the departure of Ilya Kovalchuk last season?

Was the Dustin Byfuglien we saw in the Stanley Cup playoffs the real Big Buff, or will he revert to his sub-20 goal regular season performances he exhibited in Chicago prior to April 2010?

Where did Bryan Little go in 2009-2010 and will be be back this year?

Is Rich Peverley really a #2 center? This is a crucial question because I don't think anyone is willing to say that Jimmy Slater (as much as we all love the guy) is equipped to step up into that role if Pevs falls short.

Can anyone put the biscuit in the basket now that Kovy, Afinogenov, and Kozlov are gone?

Will the locker room be torn between the Ex-Blackhawk faction and the Swedish Mafia comprised of Toby Enstrom, Johnny Oduya, Nic Bergfors, and Karl Klinberg?

With Kane, Byfuglien, Aliu, Jordan-Samuels, and the soon to be bought out Donald Brashear, is Atlanta officially the blackest NHL team ever?

Will Rick Dudley order a redesign of the Blue Crew uniforms to match the sexiness of the Chicago Blackhawk ice girls? (the hockey sock leg warmers are hot!)



manswers said...

yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, no, yes, yes!

Switch bergy and lits with kane and buff so buff opens up space for pevs and kane and antro opens up space for lits and bergy. Also enstrom plays with sopel and bogy plays with Kulda on third line until he proves his worth.

Razor Catch Prey said...

I think the last thing you want to do with a player like Bogosian is drastically cut his ice time by putting him in the third pairing. And if he is struggling, you certainly don't want to put him with the rookie so that we have a major hole on defense for 10 minutes per game.

I think Bogosian will rebound fine. Ramsey is supposed to be very good with young players and we're bringing in Torch who coached Keith and Seabrook for the last two years. Bogo has more tools than Keith, and with the right coaching can be a better player. Just give him time and opportunity.

Razor Catch Prey said...

Good column by Rawhide over at the AJC on sophomore slumps. http://bit.ly/bEG1MB

Looking at the current depth chart, the Thrashers will fall well short of the playoffs if they ice this current roster and fail to see big steps forward from Kane, Bergfors, Little, Byfuglien, and Bogosian.

manswers said...

Ok then toby with kulda and bogy with sopel. I think that would be three even lines of defense. But I still do not trust bogy until he shows me otherwise. He started playing like exelby last season. Hopefully being injury free, he will flourish like many hoped he would.