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.
Read more in the comments below!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Burmistrov is a Success; Now Send Him Back

Alexander Burmistrov has proven he's got the determination and the skill to make it in the NHL. Through five games, his line centering Thorburn and Eager has been the most consistent and productive on the ice. He has also seen time on the penalty kill and his high hockey-IQ has served him well there.

The kid shows poise, good decision making, speed, tenacity, and skill. He could fill the role of third or fourth line center admirably for the rest of this season.

But he shouldn't.

I know I'm going to be lambasted for saying this, but Burmie should spend the rest of the year in Juniors.

The company line from both Rick Dudley and Craig Ramsay has been that Burmistrov "has done everything he needs to do to stay here." And I can't disagree. However, a player with the amount of potential Burmistrov has shown in these five games needs ice time to develop.

Burmistrov has been centering the fourth line, though that line has been getting pretty decent ice time. In the California swing, Bumistrov averaged around 13:35 even strength ice time each game.

In Juniors, Burmistrov would likely play on the top line of his team and earn closer to 18 minutes of ice time per night, plus power play time.

With Patrice Cormier due back at some point from injury, it might make more sense to send Burmie back to Junior, place Cormier in his spot, and retain three full years of Burmistrov's entry level contract.

The principle is similar to that used when a head coach decided whether or not to redshirt a blue chip player in college football. Do I want four (or three) years of this kid at age 18-22, or do I want four years of this player at age 19-23, after an addition year of practice? Do the Thrashers want 3 years at $850k/year when Burmistrov is 18-21, or do they take those 3 years at that price when Burmie is 19-22, had another year in Junior, and has bulked up and matured for 12 more months?

Patrice Cormier isn't the same kind of prospect as Alexander Burmistrov. Cormier is expected to be an energy guy who spends his career on the third and fourth lines. Burmistrov is slated to be a top six guy and a point producer. It makes more sense for now to let Burmie practice lighting the lamp for 18 minutes per night in Junior while Cormier centers the thumper line in Atlanta.

Ondrej Pavelec Gets the All-Clear

Which you can read about here.

Should an interesting goalie year.

But seriously, don't leer

while roping a steer.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Screw Center Ice

Here's your link to watch tonight's game.


Chomp Chomp Chomp. GAME DAY: San Jose Sharks

What did we tell you? That we always knew bringing in NASCAR superstar Tony Stewart to play as a top forward was an excellent idea.

We play the Sharks this evening. Might be interesting.

Ducking Defeat in Disneyland

Haha, what?

The hockey version of Earth has drifted out of our regular solar system and into a parallel dimension full of ice goblins and Clarke MacArthur demons.

So. Here's some sexxxxy late night soundz for those of you who didn't nod off after the game (only after furiously masturbating, of course, because of Anthony "Tony" Stewart and his NASCAR Victory; JEEZUS stop being so vulgar):

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thrashers vs. Ducks Live Stream

Thanks to some commenter on Rawhide's blog.


A Children's Treasury of Boris Valabik Memories

It's been real. Stay cool, Boris.

From the Blueland Chronicle on the night of March 24, 2008:

I really don't understand what everyone is complaining about vis-a-vis Boris Valabik. I thought he was immense in that last game against the Caps; he fights and pushes and he's the size of a mastodon. I think he might well be a fine addition for next year. He'll need some serious preparation and conditioning given the disparity in style between the Thrashers and the Wolves, but I think this summer should be enough time to prepare, even if he joins the Wolves in their run for the Calder Cup. I like you Boris. Come and stay a while. Wreck a guy or two...

Thought experiment: what if we sign Jason Smith and he and Valabik play on a line together next year?

HAHAHAHAHAHA. Jeezus, your editor was so naive. Not so much on Valabik (I don't regret giving the guy the benefit of the doubt at the beginning) but on Smith. True story: I once got Jason Smith's agent on the phone. That was hilarious.

From the Blueland Chronicle on the morning of September 29, 2009:

I really don't know about this Boris Valabik. His greatest asset, people keep telling me, is his size. Observable reality tells us he rarely uses this size in a constructive, non-horrendous-penalty-taking manner. It's obvious he can't clear the puck or make good passes (though we're also told he secretly has a hellacious slapshot, which we never see). I'm not trying to be cruel to the big fella (why would I do that? Why, if I ever approached Boris Valabik personally and said "What ho, Boris Valabik, why do you suck so much and what is it like, sucking so much?" he'd probably give me a thorough head-bending, and he'd be right to do it) but REALLY WHY IS HE HERE?

And my tune hasn't changed much since.

The highlight reel:

We wish the Badger of Bratislava the best of luck.

Game Day: Ducks

Yes, I know the Ducks were a Disney team and therefore were named for Donald, not Daffy, but I've never liked Disney and am a huge Looney Toons fan, so there. Besides, Disney is to, well, DISNEY to have ever produced an image of Donald after having been shot in the face with a shotgun.

So, after looking very ineffective for 50 of 60 minutes against Quick, Doughty, Kopitar, Smyth, et al, the Thrashers head up the road to take on Selanne, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf, and Corey Perry. The Ducks have come out flat thus far, going 1-3 and giving up a flock of goals. Tonight might be a good opportunity for the new line combo of Kane, Antropov, and Peverly to get a spark going.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


You all DO know, don't you, that Brent Sopel's wife is blogging about her day-to-day life as a hockey wife (today's topic: bon-bons and the state of the Sopel finances)?

They seem to be auditioning for some kind of wacky hockey family reality teevee show.

Just so you know.

Sour Swede Spanked in Ramsay Rampage!

Lots of talk about this "Niclas Bergfors" being benched for at least a game.

Bergfors seems a little out of sorts, like he's beginning a classic sophomore slump or is just plain uninterested (or "disinterested," as people who don't know the meaning of words say) in this Thrashers gig. It sounds like Ramsay is trying to send a message, blah blah blah, etc.

Is this important news? IF SO, what do you kids think?

P.S. Clarke MacArthur, how about that? Your Chronicle can honestly say we didn't expect this.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

About Time

This is probably good news. Might even lead to goals!

We can't make Chris Thorburn shoulder every burden, folks. I know it's easy to forget, but the man is only human.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Starlets! Slash! Thrashers vs. Kings Liveblog! (For All You Nighthawks)

And the ice orgy at the Chateau Marmont begins! City of Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain, X and the Cramps, Kim Kardashian and Rob Kardashian...what does it offer, hockey-wise? And who is this "Drew Doughty" person?

We're also a-tweeting shit on the Twitter, in case you can't get enough shit.

ALSO: Special Agent J. Barty Party a.k.a Mr. Speaker a.k.a Smoothie is performing a vaudeville liveblog of his own. We're competing, see, just like Ryan Miller did in ancient Greece.


1st Period

- Kings just cold walking out, like it's the home opener or something. Luc Robitaille, in his capacity as President of Kings Business or something along those lines, probably realized that there were a million unemployed set designers in L.A. who could build a fake castle door thing relatively cheaply. OMG HERE COMES SLASH.

- Slash doing the national anthem on his Les Paul. Less burning-through-your-synapses noisy than Hendrix, more wah-wah melodic.

- Some nice feedback at some point there.

- Razor Catch Prey: "Slash Anthem: A for guitar work. F for not removing his hat."

- Oh yeah, the game has started. You got two rookies centering each team's fourth line in this here game: Alex Burmstrov for the Thrashers and Brayden Schenn for the Kings.

- The pattern on Craig Ramsay's tie looks like an abstract version of the Thrashers logo.

- Thrashers power play! Will anything happen?

- "Will notorious Armenian Zach Bogosian do something spectacular on Armenian Night?" the masses wonder.

- This Thrashers power play has been balls, like all of our power play efforts this season. Still early, though. Obviously.

- The freaking power play is on "NHL On the Fly" as we speak but not on the Game Center channel thingy. Mad. Time delay? PENALTY ON THRASHERS.

- Yeah, totally just saw this on NHL Network. This computer feed is living in the past.

- Bergfors to the box. Kings announcer says something about a "reacharound."

-Kings power play does nothing. Thrashers on another power play. SO MANY POWER PLAYS.

- Aaaaand no more power play. This game is...what do the kids call it? "Chippy." Lots of power playing, no scoring so far.

- Kane with a powerful shot that doesn't go in. WHERE ARE THE KARDASHIANS?

- Jack Johnson just charged through like ten men on his way to the slot, only to pass the puck directly to Bryan Little. Little then took off on a breakaway and scored. NO, NOT REALLY. Nothing happened.


- I guess this is entertaining. Far too lacking in swimming pool nymphets and people driving motorcycles through hotel rooms. I mean, IS THIS L.A. OR IS IT NOT? Sigh. Everything is dull now. Even L.A. is just juice bars and horrid yuppies.

- We like this "Heidi" person interviewing Willie Mitchell.

2nd Period

- CHRIS THORBURN SCORES. Clearly it's time I revise my opinion of this man. We now have to rely on our fourth line forever.

- I'm going to have to replace Anze Kopitar with Chris Thorburn on my fantasy team.

- This is absolutely nuts. The Thrashers are actually doing the "stick in lane" thing and breaking up Really Good chances by Kopitar et al.

- Chris Mason is solid. The Kings aren't getting anything by him.

- It's midnight. Let's have a midnight song.

- They keep showing the Kings-Thrashers game on NHL On the Fly. Normal teevee is so delayed. Thrashers on power play NOW.

- Goddamn Evander Kane nearly ripped Drew Doughty's head off after hitting him normally. Penalty on Thrashers. EDGY.

- 2nd period over. Kings will start it on the power play, I believe.

Ha. Ha. Don't leave us HANGING, now.

Good lord my live-blogging has gotten banal.


- Oh hey the Chilean miners are emerging. Hooray! Why is Bob McKenzie tweeting about that instead of this dull Kings-Thrashers game?

3rd Period

- Is there any way the Thrashers could win this game with a bit more give-and-take goal-scoring? This has been painfully uninteresting so far. Aside from the carnival sideshow sight of Chris Thorburn scoring his second goal in as many games.

- SPEAKING OF THE WORD "UNINTERESTING," why the fuck do so many people use the word "disinterested" as if it means the same thing as "uninterested?" It doesn't. And disinterestedness is too valuable a concept to have confused with being bored or uninterested. Disinterestedness is one of the highest achievements of human civilization. Uninterestedness just means being bored. And "disinteresting" isn't even a fucking word.

- Ryan fucking Smyth. The kind of close-range goal in which he specializes.

- Well fuck me. The Kings are ahead 2-1. Jarret Stoll. OK THRASH, LET'S MAKE THIS INTERESTING.

- What wicked magic does Chris Thorburn have up his sleeve now?

- The things a player will do to prevent a goal by Chris Thorburn...penalty on Kings, Thrash on the power play. Will they finally do something?

-Power play still ain't no good.

- Little and Bergfors just had a lovely 2-on-1 breakaway. Nothing happened.

- I get the feeling that Bergfors is either scheduled for a sophomore slump or is simply not that keen on playing for the Thrashers. Possibly both.

- Ryan Smyth into the empty net, the end.

"It's the suede-denim secret police." GAME DAY: Los Angeles Kings

(updated below, thirce'd!)

Hahaha, that song is suddenly topical again.

Anyway, the Thrashers begin their Californian Death March with a game against the Kings tonight. Should be fun. My bold prediction? Bryan Little will get on the board. As for wins and losses, I've no idea.

As someone once said, "Go the Thrashers! Play the hockey now!"


Oh wait, you actually wanted a GAME DAY PREVIEW, full of stats about the other team and sentences like "It might be wise to watch out for Anze Kopitar" and "Drew Doughty has a few Norris Trophies in his future" and "Jonathan Quick is in net?"

How about this: the Kings are having their annual Armenian Night tonight, which always coincides with known Armenian Zach Bogosian coming to town. This means that all humans of Armenian descent in the Los Angeles area will descend on the Staples Center (after riding the roller-coaster on Santa Monica Pier) and watch Bogosian play the hockey against their local team.

It's always exciting when Zach is producing, and tonight should be as good a night as any for him to Do Stuff.

Another thing: tonight is the Kings' home opener, so...yeah. There's that.

And finally: thank goodness the Braves' stumbling, gutsy post-season run is over, because now we can concentrate on nothing but Thrashers hockey. Successful and important sports franchises just get in the way sometimes, you know?*

*But seriously now folks: SO LONG, BOBBY COX. It's been a brilliant career.

UPDATE: Wait wait wait, so this game isn't on Atlanta teevee tonight? This makes your editor sad, as he enjoys these late-night West Coast games. Game Center it is, I suppose...

UPDATE II: I advise all of you, especially if you're Evander Kane or Brent Sopel, to take a look at Chronicle operative Smoothie/Mr. Speaker/ J Barty Party's post today about Zach Bogosian, his eyebrows, and the Kardashian sisters.

UPDATE III: Slash will be performing the national anthem tonight at the Staples Center. Insane. Can we get Big Boi to give a dopalicious star-spangled performance at Philips one day?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two Games In

It's very hard to say where the Thrashers might be headed this season. Other than out to California for a difficult road trip, that is.

Saturday night's game against the Lightning didn't go very well, obviously, but people should take away one overwhelming Good Thing from that game: Craig Ramsay's awesome orange shirt and tie. The man is a sharp dresser, folks, much sharper than John Anderson ever was. I'd even go so far as to say he's the best-dressed coach the Thrashers have ever had.

Friday's home opener was exciting and emotional, but even then I couldn't get too carried away, given our history of home opener victories (many of them blowouts).

What should we expect? Hell if we know.

Oh, and speaking of exciting and emotional: part of your Chronicle was present at yesterday's Braves game. Your TBC editor can honestly say he's never been that ecstatic at a sporting event, nor more dejected. I think I'm traumatized for life. Oh, and Brooks Conrad, the poor man, has become our favorite new metaphor.

ALSO: Your editor really, REALLY enjoyed the blaxploitation/"release the Kraken" video that took the place of "Unleash the Fury" at the home opener. Genius stuff. Really.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Game Day Again Already: Bolts

After an emotional battle with the Washington Capitals on opening night at Philips Arena, the Thrashers travel to Tampa to take on the Lightning in the first regular season game of the Steve Yzerman era on the bay.

Ondrej Pavelec will presumably not travel with the team as he was kept overnight at the hospital for observation. Reports state that Pavs regained consciousness and was alert and asking about the score of the game. I can tell you that it was a great feeling to hear that announcement last night in the final minute of play.

For anyone who doesn't know yet, just two and a half minutes into the game last night, Ondrej Pavelec motioned to the bench that he needed to come out, then collapsed, falling backwards and bouncing his head off the ice. Goalie masks offer very little protection on the back of the skull, with only a thin piece of plastic and one or two pads that are more for keeping the mask from slipping than protecting from impact. Trainers and physicians from both benches rushed to Pavelec's aid and he was taken from the ice on a stretcher and transported to the hospital. It was a scary sight with Pavs motionless on the ice after collapsing well away from the play.

After a few minutes of understandably distracted play, the team rallied starting with Evander Kane's solo effort to intercept a Capitals clearing pass then drive to the net and score low to the stick side. The team played well in all aspects last night, moving the puck confidently and making good breakout passes, crashing the net, and sustaining pressure in the Caps zone. Alex Ovechkin earned an assist on a very nice pass in the third period to bring the Caps to within one point, but was shut down and frustrated most of the night through strong physical team defense.

Tonight will be a different test. The Bolts spent the Summer retooling much like Atlanta did. Dan Ellis should be in net [EDIT- Now hearing that Mike Smith is back and will get the start tonight], Vinny Lecavalier will be looking for a comeback year after a disappointing campaign in 09-10, and Steven Stamkos will be trying to build on a sophomore year where he not only didn't slump, but he earned a share of the Richard Trophy. Oh, and there's that Pavel Kubina guy on the blueline.

I missed the introduction video last night, but have since been able to view it on the Thrashers website. Have to say I am a fan of the movie trailer style intro and the overall spirit of the thing. It's interesting to note who they decided to showcase and who got left out. Toby, Johnny Oduya, Byfuglien, Ladd, the Pevs Dispenser, Mason, and Bogosian. No Antropov, no Bergfors, no Hainsey, no Pavelec. They didn't have time in this little video to show everybody, and I can't argue with any of the ones they chose. Just curious.


Oh, and how about those Braves! Bobby Cox gets ejected for arguing a blown call against the same ump who blew the call that cost the Braves game 1.

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Season Game Day: Capitals

Yes, those are capitOls and we're playing the CapitAls. But it was an excuse to show Florida's horribly phallic capitol building.

After a very forgettable preseason, the Thrashers finally open the 2010-2011 season tonight at Philips Arena against the reigning President's Trophy winners. The Caps haven't made many changes from the roster that was far and away the best in the NHL during the regular season. Jose Theodore is gone and Varlamov now holds the title of number one goaltender.

Atlanta went 0-6 against Washington last year, but this is a very different team from the one that took the ice and gave up Alex Ovechkin's 50th goal last April. Gone from that lineup are Popovic, Armstrong, MacArthur, Reasoner, Afinogenov, Artuykin, and Kulda (in the AHL). Newcomers filling those spots are Ladd, Eager, Byfuglien, Sopel, Burmistrov, Stewart, Modin, and Dawes. That's six additional Stanley Cup rings.

Vivlamore revealed the likely lines for tonight's matchup. They don't pose a huge scoring threat at this point, but not many expect them to remain this way for very long. Antropov is still not at 100%, so he's playing on a line with Nigel Dawes and Freddy Modin. Burmistrov is breaking into the NHL slowly with fourth line minutes centering Eager and Thorburn.

We'll find out in a matter of hours whether the combinations of Kane, Peverly, and Stewart and Ladd, Little, and Bergfors can light the lamp and if Ondrej the Giant can deny Ovechkin a big opening night.

Game on.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Important Announcement Regarding Changes to Your Chronicle

It's a new season, and appropriately enough (?) this web publication will be making a few changes/adding some things in the very near future. We've been lolloping along for nearly 3 years now, and we need an injection of fresh blood to complement our current stable of writers.

THUS, the following changes are about to hit your Chronicle:

1) We've added an occasional columnist! He won't be a daily poster along the lines of Razor Catch Prey or your humble servant; he's more like a defenseman brought in to be a power-play specialist. We haven't hammered down a schedule, and probably never will, but he'll be contributing on a semi-regular basis with entertaining think-pieces about your Thrashers. Hooray!

2) In addition to our new columnist, we've hired a foreign correspondent, or perhaps "frozen correspondent," to report from the wilds of Colorado on the View of Hockey from that mountainous snowscape.

3) We're adding ANOTHER occasional mystery columnist, who may or may not be contributing rap lyrics about various Thrashers and other NHL players, teams, ballin' in general, etc.

4) There's going to be a lot more podcasts.


5) This blog's machinery is getting a bit creaky, and will only get creakier with all the new features. Your editor is thinking about shifting the operation to Wordpress or some other outlet. Actually, probably not, but I'll AT LEAST think about re-arranging the template on this godforsaken thing.

Otherwise your Chronicle will remain your Chronicle, for better and for worse.

So, yeah, there you go. Hockey is here! Rejoice!


(yes, I KNOW that both Rick-rolling and Bill O'Reilly's meltdown are Old at this point, but combining the two as this video does is just Too Good)

Is there news? There is news:

- Eight defensemen. If anyone ever comes to feel that 8 is too much, they can always, you know, move somebody. Just. Saying.

- Hey, speaking of Thrashers defensemen, here's Brent Sopel doing the "Ask a Thrasher" questionnaire. He enjoys Ministry, which means Jesus built his hotrod.

- REVEAL'D! The scribes of Puck Daddy have published their predictions for this season's Eastern Conference. How will our Thrashers fare? Not well! (oh look, for the 10 billionth time in history Razor Catch Prey and I have posted around the same time.)

- The NHL season begins today, hooray! You can find games in Helsinki, Toronto, and uh, that new Penguins arena.

GO BRAVES, the end.

Playoffs!?! Don't Talk About Playoffs!?!?

The Puck Daddy blog over at Yahoo has published their staff predictions for the Eastern Conference. Not surprisingly, none of them picked the Thrashers to make the playoffs. Predictions for how Atlanta would fare within the Southeast Division bounced back and forth between third and forth place finishing behind unanimous first place Washington, and some combination of Carolina and/or Tampa.

While I am optimistic about Craig Ramsay, our goaltending, and our blueline, I don't think this Thrashers squad has enough firepower to get higher than 10th place in the East. I look at our team and see a lot of similarities to other mediocre teams such as the Rangers, Leafs, and Predators.

Has hockey had a paradigm shift in recent years? Does the old wisdom of building from the goal outward still work? Look at successful teams from last year.

Washington- great forwards, thin defense, weak and streaky goaltending (killed them in the playoffs).

Philly- great forwards, pretty good defense, chaos in net.

Chicago- great forwards, great defense, adequate but not great in net.

Montreal- pretty good forwards, decent defense, shaky goaltending that got hot in the playoffs.

Vancouver- great forwards, decent defense, hit or miss great or mediocre goaltending depending on Luongo's mood.

In the cap era, you need to have balance. A superstar goalie eating up a big chunk of your cap space will take away from either the defense in front of him, leading to more shots on goal, or from the forward corps meaning that your team doesn't put up enough points even though your goalie is keeping you in the game. Likewise, spending too much of your cap up front means that you'll be in barn burners every night with your bargain basement defense and goalie behind you letting in goal after goal.

So far Atlanta is set up nicely with a solid D and average to above average goaltending (depending on Pavelec's development). That has left enough cap space to ice some goal scorers, but Dudley hasn't found them yet.

As such, this team will lose a lot of 1-0 and 2-1 games, and will likely be in the 10-12th place range along with their peers in Toronto, Ottawa, and New York.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dudley Googling "Goal Scorers"

Just to mess with Big Shooter's head, Rick Dudley has stated that he is interested in trading for a forward to help with the Thrashers dearth of scoring.

A watchful eye on the Twitter feeds this afternoon would have caught two interesting pieces of news. The first being that the Devils have placed Dainius Zubrus on waivers. The second being that the New York Rangers are looking to trade for a defenseman. (Both items come from this tweeter.)

The thought of feeble-minded Glenn Sather looking to acquire what we have to give makes me drool like Eric Perrin at a preschool field trip.

The Rangers are currently over the salary cap, but have made breathing room by putting Chris Drury's $7.050 million and Vinny Prospal's $2.1 million cap hits on the long term injured reserve list.

Knowing that those two will be back eventually and will bring their cap hits with them, the Rangers need to shed salary while bolstering their weak corps of defensemen. Glen Sather is gullible enough that he might think Boris Valabik is an upgrade over a dirty road cone.

Hopefully Rick Dudley isn't crazy enough to trade Bogosian, Enstrom, or Oduya. We know he's far too enamored with Big Buff to trade him. However, I could see Sopel, Hainsey, Valabik, Meyer, Postma, or even Kulda being offered up for a lamplighter.

In exchange for anyone but Valabik or Meyer, I would hope to see either Dubinski or Callahan changing shades of blue. I am also a big fan of Big Brian Boyle, but his league minimum salary would have to be packaged with something else to make the cap numbers work for New York.

Dudley has stated in the past that he doesn't want to take on bad contracts, so try as he might, Sather shouldn't be able to shovel Wade Redden (no need now that he's in the minors) off on us.

Zubrus would also be a good option. He has a lot of detractors, but he scored 23 and 24 goals in the two seasons before he started playing trap hockey in New Jersey. If nothing else he would be a big upgrade over Nigel Dawes or Anthony Stewart.

Big Ideas (Involving Goaltenders)

It's no secret that

1) Rick Dudley has a highly specific vision of what he wants this team to be


2) Rick Dudley has a startling level of influence on day-to-day coaching decisions.

KNOWING THIS, we wonder:

Starting Pavelec against the Capitals on Friday: is this a good idea? Is Dudley's reasoning that Mason will face MORE firepower from the Lightning on Saturday, and thus needs to rest on Friday, like Moses or whoever?

What gives?

Oh hey, just got a text from Chronicle operative "Go Puck Yourself." It reads:

Our biggest acquisition via trade is changing positions and our biggest FA signing is on the bench for the opener. This makes my head hurt.

Thrashers Name 3 Alternate Captains


...Nik Antropov, Andrew Ladd and Johnny Oduya were named alternate captains by head coach Craig Ramsay Wednesday.

Can't disagree with the choices, as all three seem like quality humans and players who take responsibility for the game. None are Leader leaders, which is fine, because good leaders are a rarity in any field of human life. What's interesting about this, and what makes one stop and think, is that none of these guys has been a Thrasher for more than a year. Two of them much less than a year.

The fact that the Thrashers have had no enduring captain at any point in their history tells you all you need to know about how this team has been assembled and run over the years.

The News Briefing Has Returned!

WELL. The 2010-11 season is nearly upon us! This bright, crisp NHL Season Eve might be a fine time to bring back an old Chronicle feature, the news blitz of Interesting or Comical Stories Concerning Your Hockey.

What's going on today?

- You know that young Russian, Alexander "Johnny Burma" Burmistrov, whom the planet's youth love as if he were an ice-dwelling Justin Bieber? The Thrashers have signed him to an 3-year entry-level contract! It looks like he'll be centering our third fourth line, which could be interesting.

- Say, what does our roster look like anyway? Accounts vary. According to Chris Vivlamore, Craig Ramsay thinks these lines are probably the most promising to start the season:

Modin - Antropov - Dawes

Ladd - Little - Bergfors

Kane/Boulton - Peverley - Stewart

Eager - Burmistrov - Thorburn





Oh my. OH MY. Is there any alternative to this, at all?

- Quite a few Thrashers are appearing on various teevee and (terrible) radio shows around Atlanta this week. Ben Wright has the schedule here.

- Much like the Saxons and Normans during the chaotic downfall of the Plantagenets, the Thrashers have no captain. They will begin the season this way and might even remain so for a quite a while. Who out of this roster can you envision as a captain? I say Ron Hainsey, and I'm not even kidding.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Big Shooter's Thrashers Season Preview

(actual photo of upcoming Thrashers season)

Because you can't live without it, really. I've been absent, for the most part, from the Chronicle these days as the Atlanta Thrashers after 11 years have finally sucked the life out of me. I've been waiting for that feeling of excitement to come over me as the season nears, but quite frankly it hasn't happened yet. Not saying it won't, just not yet.

If you've been paying attention, you know I'm not the biggest fan of Rick Dudley and his outer space robot antics. I felt that after 10 horrid years, that would have been a good opportunity to go in a new direction as opposed to letting the man that put you in that position hand pick his replacement. Anyway, I said I would take a wait and see approach, and see what I thought in October.

To recap, Dudley traded for Dustin Byfuglien and was lauded as a great move by most Thrasher fans. I was more reserved, based not on Byfuglien's skills as a power forward, but on what we gave up, in particular with the entire NHL knowing the Blackhawks had to make some kind of move, theoretically putting them in a position of weakness. We received Buff, Eager, Sopel, and Aliu and gave up Reasoner, Morin, a 1st, a 2nd, and essentially a 7th (and a couple of expiring contracts) that we traded to SJ due to the fact that no one in the Thrashers organization realized this trade left us with too many contracts. Morin nearly made the Blackhawks team as a 19 year old, which leads me to believe he probably would have made our team. But hey, we all knew we needed a power forward. Take a look at this:

"I think what we saw in the playoffs is the Dustin Byfuglien we've seen evolving for some time now," Dudley said in a conference call early Thursday morning. "As a forward he's probably one of the premier power forwards in the league."

I was told to wait and see what happened in free agency. Well, what happened was we moved Byfuglien to defense, creating an even bigger hole on the offensive side. And for all you +/- lovers out there, Dustin was a -7 on the Blackhawks last year when used a lot as a defenseman. Worst on the team and only one other regular player was a minus. That is how you truly look at that stat, if one person stands out from the rest of the team. It seems as though when you have a position of some strength, you would let one of the other guys you are sending down to the minors be your 6th defenseman and keep Buff where you are weakest.

Oh yeah, this was supposed to be a preview. The preview is we don't score enough goals. Therefore, we won't win enough games. Funny how that works. This team will not make the playoffs. I don't think we will be horrific, but some of you out there need to lower your expectations a bit. Mason will be solid and the defense will be improved. But there are way too many ifs on the offensive side of things:

Well, maybe Little will go back to scoring 31 goals instead of 13. What about Bergfors, he scored 22 last year so surely this means he will be up over 30 this year. What's that? No, I'm pretty sure sophomore slumps are a myth. Raise your hand if you expect Antropov to put up 24g 43a =67 pts this year... didn't think so. Expecting Kane to jump from 14g to 25-30g isn't fair to him.

My point is: I'm not saying this cannot happen. All of those guys have the potential to accomplish these things. But even the die hards have got to admit that is A LOT that needs to go right, considering these are the best guys we've got.

Conclusion, if 7 or 8 things go perfectly right, this team could make the playoffs. Which, let's be honest, is more than we could have hoped for some of the teams in our past. But I don't know about you, how often do 7 or 8 things go perfectly right in your life without having 1 or 2 go unexpectedly wrong?

Fire away through your Blueland colored glasses Smoothie, you optimistic son of a gun!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thought for the Day

So true. Is this Evander's way of telling the recent cuts to be stoic and Endure?

Snip Snip Snip

(for Razor's take, clickee here or scroll down!)

Ben Wright:

The Thrashers have reassigned four players from their training camp roster to the Chicago wolves of the AHL. They are forwards Fredrik Pettersson and Patrick Rissmiller and defensemen Arturs Kulda and Anrey Zubarev.

HEAVENS. The shocker here is, obviously, Frederik Pettersson. Your TBC editor admits he's a little dismayed with the decision to let Fred P. go, though not really because what difference would he have made with this neo-bad year Tampa Bay Lightning/Florida Panthers roster?

Anyway, Mr. Speaker weeps in the night, as we type.

This is something like the final cut (more or less), so this means...who's on our roster? Nigel Dawes, Chris Thorburn, Chris Thorburn, Freddy Modin, Chris Thorburn, Eric Boulton, Dustin Byfuglien doing "what he prefers" (which is important, in Hockey), Chris Thorburn, BORIS VALABIK, and Chris Thorburn.

Kudos to Freddy Meyer, though. He deserves it.

Thrashers make Cuts

The Thrashers have trimmed their roster down close to the 23 man limit which must be met by Wednesday afternoon.

Arturs Kulda and Andrey Zubarev from the blueline are heading to the Wolves, along with Patrick Rissmiller if he clears waivers.

None of these cuts are surprising but the fourth cut will likely receive great scrutiny from fans who have been paying attention throughout preseason. Fredrik Petterson has been sent down to the AHL following a very impressive rookie camp, training camp, and preseason campaign.

Rissmiller and Petterson's departures leave roster hopefuls Nigel Dawes, Anthony Stewart, and Alexander Burmistrov in Atlanta. Andrew Kozek remains on the NHL roster, though he is battling a long term injury and hasn't seen the ice in preseason. Jimmy Slater is likewise fighting off a nagging wrist injury and has been skating but hasn't participated in on-ice drills, scrimmages, or games.

Boris Valabik remains with the team, battling with Freddy Meyer for the 7th spot amongst defensemen. Boris' play early in preseason had all of us at the Chronicle believing that his days here were numbered. In fact, we all expressed mild surprise that Boris wasn't included in the first round of cuts, let alone this latest one.

Nigel Dawes looked shaky to begin the preseason, but must have improved over the last four games, scoring two goals and earning the right to stay in Atlanta at least for now.

With twenty five players now on the active roster, the number of cuts that must come between now and Wednesday afternoon will depend on the injury status of Slater, Kozek, and Cormier, as well as any waiver activity.

Guerin on the Loose!

From CSN Philly, via Kukla's Korner:

Veteran Bill Guerin, who had been skating with the Flyers on a tryout, has been released by the team, he told in a text message.

Now, the Atlanta Thrashers are having trouble scoring the goals. Or will.

Why not add this "Bill Guerin" person to our roster, so we can once again Hope and Dream of Goals?

Because when you can't score goals, nobody wins. Except for the other team.

Friday, October 1, 2010

20/20 Hindsight Drafting

We've all been guilty of looking at past drafts and saying "what if?" As Don Waddell has pointed out time and time again (because he's had to), predicting what kind of NHL player will develop out of a 17 or 18 year old kid is very hit or miss. So I decided to take a look at twelve years of Thrashers' first round draft choices and see what our team might look like today if we could go back in time and draft with full clairvoyance.

For this exercise, I didn't bother to re-cede the Thrashers based on how much better they may have been with these better players in their lineups. That's a little too much for a Friday afternoon flight of fancy. Also, we'll just look at better players who were drafted within the same round, shortly after the player we actually took. Thus, no Pavel Datsyuk since he went in a late round so obviously NO ONE realized he'd be one of the best players in the world right now.

Could-have-been Thrashers' First Round Draft Choices:

1999- (This was a notorously awful draft class, and I am not counting the Sedins since they were a package deal)
Tim Conolly

Dany Heatley (and we're going to use our clairvoyance to get him defensive driving lessons and a psychologist who will preach accountability)

Ilya Kovalchuk

Alexander Semin

Dion Phaneuf (close call here with Jeff Carter, but we would have needed D at this point)

Drew Stafford (another fairly weak draft class)

Devin Setoguchi (was actually taken with the draft pick we traded)

Bryan Little

David Perron (or Wayne Simmonds, he was drafted at the end of the 2nd round)

Zach Bogosian

Evander Kane

Cam Fowler (Sources say he's made the team in Anaheim)

So the 2010-2011 Atlanta Thrashers' opening night roster could have looked like this:








I'm sure you could take the time to make a list like this for every team in the NHL that would make their own fans sigh just like this one does for Thrasher fans. Just a fun/depressing little distraction on a Friday afternoon.


Listen NOW.

Thrashers, trailing 1-0, pulled Pavelec. Antropov scored to send it to OT.


Cole scores in overtime.

0-5 preseason.

GAME DAY: uh, ah, what?

HAHAHAHAHA apparently the Thrashers are playing the Hurricanes RIGHT NOW in Raleigh. Who knew?

And who, exactly, is present at this game? People who called in sick? The Research Triangle's teeming horde of unemployed high-tech workers? Ric Flair?

If you're craving an actually interesting hockey game, why not go see longtime Chronicle commenter Swegs and his UGA bulldogs-on-skates compete against Auburn's war-eagles-on-skates TONIGHT at 9:30 at the Ice Forum in Duluth (where the Thrashers practice and eat grilled cheese sandwiches in the Breakaway Grill!). Speaking of the Breakaway Grill, Swegs passes along this important piece of information:

Admission is 5 bucks unless you go sit up at the Breakaway Grill, in which case there is a 5 dollar drink minimum.

Thanks, Swegs. So go out and support the Athenians, even though Razor won't, because he's a creature of North Avenue and Techwood and 10th Street, if you catch my drift.

Sadly, your TBC editor won't be able to make it either. Instead, he's going to get stressed out watching the Braves play the Phillies. Never forget.