Monday, January 31, 2011

Like The Olympics, Sort Of

So did you enjoy last weekend's sunshine and moderate, non-humid warmth, in the midst of which you only occasionally turned on the teevee to check news of the Egyptian uprising? Of course not; you stayed inside watching the All Star festivities (i.e. Jeremy Roenick asking Dustin Byfuglien to "rap"), and it's not like our hundreds of channels had any actual news anyway.

This year's hoopla (the Staal/Lidstrom draft, etc.) was a good narcotic and sort of fun, but your editor has to admit he couldn't find any enjoyment or excitement in the game itself. I've always had a feeling that Anze Kopitar and Loui Eriksson would play well together, though, and for the rest of my life I can sleep in sound confirmation, thanks to the 2011 NHL All Star Game.

ALSO: Vis-a-vis this year's ASG in Raleigh, our former boyfriend Craig Custance has written a nice article on the viability of Sun Belt franchises. Do read.

ALSO ALSO: As far as I could tell, the Hurricanes organization found no way to get Ric Flair involved in last weekend's festivities. This is regrettable.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

GAME DAY: Capitals

Everyone is injured, Patirce Cormier is now a second-line left wing, may the ancient space lizards help us, etc.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crashing A-Headlong Into the Heartland

Vivlamore dans l'AJC:

Despite the Thrashers’ injuries and current losing streak, I’m told the Thrashers are not close to making a trade. Certainly the Thrashers need a top-six forward however nothing is imminent.

WHOA HEY NOW. Not ideal, but then again, who can we realistically afford to trade? There's been a lot of chatter lately about trading Zach Bogosian, but your TBC editor isn't entirely sure about that. Why? Because, um, remember Rob Blake's early years? Oh right, he was really good and literally went to the Stanley Cup Finals in his 3rd season. Not the best analogy.

STILL, I can't help but think it'd be a bad thing to trade that Bogosian character. Johnny Oduya, now there's a guy we can trade. Perhaps we can trade him plus a few first-round picks to San Jose for Dany Heatley, who will then kill us all, the end.

...and that about does it.

Via Ben Wright, it seems Toby Enstrom has a fractured finger and will be out for "2-4 weeks."

Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes keep winning and scoring various goals.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Diagnosing the Thrashers

Hang with me here...

When I was studying Psychology, there were many theories and concepts that I came across that intrigued me to great length. Normally, these were things that I could apply to my own life and my own way of thinking in an attempt to better myself on a daily basis. But the one theory that interested me the most was a concept deemed "The Jonah Complex" by psychologist Abraham Maslow. What exactly is the "Jonah Complex" you say?

"This is our reluctance to achieve greatness. This can be due to the fear to attract attention, fear of responsibility, fear of being outside the norm, fear of insecurity, or the fear of losing control. There is a greater fear than the fear of failure. It's the fear of success." (source=Internetz)

I still remember the day that I came across this concept, the very first thought that came to mind was "This sounds EXACTLY like the Thrashers." It's been about 3 years since I first discovered The Jonah Complex. As time has gone on, it's become abundantly clear to me that, if ever a sports franchise could be diagnosed with a personality disorder, the Thrashers have the Jonah Complex.

This is a franchise where the complacency of our ignorant ownership group has trickled down to the very players we give up our money to cheer for. The storyline for most of the Thrashers seasons has been almost exactly the same.
1) The team plays well enough at first (October-November) to get fans in the gate
2) Crash and burn when people DO come to games
3) Make a late push to finish the season strong...but usually 2-7 points outside of a playoff spot.

Not including car accidents and when we trade our best players to other crappier cities, this is the arch with which the Thrashers season almost always follows. It's not only become an utterly predictable and depressing cycle for this team, but it's also the exact reason why so many people who have come to games this year have been put off by this team. The players play so well when there's absolutely nobody in Blueland, clamor to the press and on Twitter for more people to come to games...and when the public shows up, you get destroyed by mediocre NHL clubs.

Is it possible for the Thrashers to break the mold and go on a playoff run? Sure it is. Anything's possible (if you believe your mother.) If the Thrashers are to get back on track, they should follow the advise that Maslow gave...

"We all are given our own special talents and skills. You are to use these talents and skills to improve your life and the lives of those who we come in contact with. Feel your fear of success and achieve your full potential."

Since I have absolutely zero optimism for a non-Zhitnikesque franchise-altering trade (or anything of the sort to swing the pendulum of my opinion of the team), I'm assuming that we're stuck with our current roster for the rest of the season. I guess the only advise I would give the Thrashers players is to take Maslow's words, look at yourselves in the mirror, remember that you earn a handsome living to play a game, and go give your all for 60 minutes. Realize that your quotes and Tweets about wanting to "put Atlanta on the hockey map" will ring as hollow as your predecessors' eerily similar words unless you can actually display semblances of the "character" that hockey players are supposed to have in their DNA.

Here's hoping that some of the 19 players who play in our games (well, let's say 18...Pavelec's been OUTSTANDING) can actually embrace this adversity and use it to will this team to the playoffs. If we have players (and people) that can actually accomplish this goal, the effects of their on-ice accomplishments will be felt beyond their locker room and the walls of Blueland. Maybe the franchise can start a new season routine that deviates from the norm we've all become accustomed to.

Alright, I'm done venting. Go Thrashers? Why not.


Time to Panic?

Crashed, wounded, mauled, eighty-sixed, on the nickel, finaled by the fuzz, under heavy manners, on the rails to Hooverville, all wet, dried up, burning hay, off the trolley, Enstrom-less: lately, the Thrashers aren't looking so good.

Somehow the team still sits in 8th place, but that's hardly a comforting place to be when the scenery starts collapsing. And it is collapsing: if the Thrashers were a play, all of their backdrops would be falling down, their fake trees would be toppling over, and lighting rigs would be falling on the actors, taking them out of commission one by one.

There's been a lot of talk about Rick Dudley making a season-saving trade, but, uh, hm, who knows, right? A more important question: is this the beginning of the Thrashers' annual collapse? If so, we're sure we won't go without a late-season winning streak to tease us all into false hopes of a playoff appearance, so at least there's that to look forward to.


ALSO: It's probably telling that we've heard absolutely nothing from the Atlanta Spirit since that epic Friday news dump. No public statements, no emails to season ticket holders, nothing. Their latest version of PR damage control seems to be to not mention their latest lawsuit. If you don't talk about it, it'll go away, maybe? And so on and so forth...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

GAME DAY: Rangers (plus a story)

For a while now, your editor has wanted to own a sled and a ruined monastery.

The other day my attorney called me and said that he'd located a teevee mogul (ha ha, there are no more teevee moguls, except that one guy) who owned a sled and a ruined monastery. We all agreed to meet in the back room of a bar.

My attorney drew up a contract on a napkin (none of us had a pen handy, so he wrote with lipstick). I purchased the sled and the monastery, but to my surprise the package came with an actual sled dog team. No sled without the sled dogs. I didn't reckon on this.

I also didn't reckon on the sled dogs being pomeranians instead of Siberian huskies. Such is life, you might say.

I've been trying to sell the pomeranian sled team for a quick profit, but so far no dice. I mean, owning the sled and the abandoned monastery has been great so far, know, now that I think of it, the reason I can't sell the pomeranians is because my attorney drew up a faulty purchase contract! Yes, that's the ticket. Time to sue my lawyer. Surely this will turn out okay?

The Thrashers play the New York Rangers tonight. Go the Thrashers.

Friday, January 21, 2011

ATL Spirit Have Been Trying to Unload the Thrashers For Years, Sue Law Firm to Prove It

For some time now the Chronicle has been pointing out that the Atlanta Spirit have desperately been trying to sell the Atlanta Thrashers. The signs all along have been fairly obvious.

Now the owners have simply confirmed our suspicions by, um, suing a law firm for writing a "flawed" contract that they say has prevented them from selling the team for, oh, six years.

As today's AJC reports:

A lawsuit filed by the owners of the Atlanta Thrashers claims a "flawed" contract written by an esteemed Atlanta law firm has prevented the sale of the NHL franchise for six years.

Meanwhile the hockey team has lost more than $130 million in operating costs since 2005 – the year Boston-based partner Steve Belkin agreed to sell his 30 percent stake – and the franchise value has dropped by more than $50 million, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Fulton County Superior Court.

None of this would have happened had the Thrashers been sold just after the 2004-05 NHL lockout was over, but the now seven-man ownership group, known as the Atlanta Spirit, says a “fatally flawed” and “botched” contract written by high-profile Atlanta law firm King & Spalding prevented that from happening.

HAHAHAHA, oh how we knew it. DO NOT try to bullshit the Blueland Chronicle, people. It might work on the gullible blogs of Planet Earth, but not your TBC.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

GAME DAY: Lightning

Let's have a win streak, yes?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eager to Leave Town

According to Chris Vivlamore, Ben Eager has been traded to the San Jose Sharks in return for a 5th round draft pick.

The writing was on the wall when coaches and players failed to stand up for Eager following his sucker punch on Colby Armstrong that resulted in a 5 minute major penalty and three power play goals against two weeks ago.

Despite being older, Eric Boulton is a better fighter who picks the time to drop the golves impeccably. Boults has also obviously worked hard on his all around game and has shown a lot of improvement this year, so Eager was surplus goonage.

A fifth rounder for a guy like Eager sounds about right. I don't think he's a bad guy or a bad player, and wish him well in San Jose. May be practice his cheap shots on Dany Heatley in practice.

Monday, January 17, 2011


For some reason your editor thought the Thrashers-Panthers game was tomorrow. But no! It is, in fact, going on RIGHT NOW.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

GAME DAY: Dallas Stars

Kari Lehtonen. This will be AWKWARD.

Also: good job getting scored on by all those mean French Canadians last night, Thrashers! What is it about names like "Briere" and "Giroux" that just make you want open your net and let everything in?

ALSO: Despite their recent troubles, the Thrashers have impressed your TBC editor this season. Not least with their offense. But when you look at a team like the Stars, with their top line of James Neal - Brad Richards - Loui Eriksson, you get an inkling of what the Thrashers are missing.*

Anyway. GO THE THRASHERS. And the Falcons too.

*This is not to mention the Stars' second line of Brenden Morrow - Mike Ribeiro - Jamie Benn.**

** Lest I'm unclear, I don't mean that the Stars score more goals than us (they don't). The point is all of those forwards are decent-to-excellent two-way players.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Game Day: Flyers

The Thrashers take on the top team in the Eastern Conference in what, if the playoffs started today, would be their first round matchup.

The Flyers are experiencing unusual success this year despite missing future hall of fame defenseman Chris Pronger for a long stretch. Their good fortune is due in large part to the emergence of Sergei Bobrovski in net.

Long time NHL fans know that this turn of events is entirely accidental, as the Flyers' charter contains a clause in which they are bound to attempt to win a Stanley Cup with mediocre-to-terrible goaltending.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And We Were Swingin'...

With the Thrashers sitting in 8th place in the Eastern Conference, just three points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes who have three games in hand, every point from here on out is crucial. However, some games are more important than others. Most pivotal are the so called "four-point swing games."

Four point games are those played against teams with whom the Thrashers (51 pts) are in direct competition for playoff positioning. At this point, just over halfway through the season, those teams are the Canadiens (51 pts), the Rangers (53 pts), the Hurricanes (48 pts), the Lightning (57 pts), and the Capitals (55 pts).

The Bolts and Caps sit at #1 and #2 respectively in the Southeast, just ahead of Atlanta. Each have just one game in hand on Atlanta which has still played more games than anyone in the East except for Pittsburgh. Atlanta will complete the season series with Tampa and Washington by the end of January, playing the Bolts on January 20 and 23, and the Caps on January 26.

The Thrashers have 9 games against the rest of the teams in direct competition for the last three playoff spots. Those dates are as follows:

Canadiens- 3/1 and 3/29
Rangers- 1/22, 2/11, and 4/7
Hurricanes- 2/5, 2/13, 3/9, and 4/8

Atlanta also has five games scheduled with the next two teams in the pecking order, Florida (40 pts) and Buffalo (41 pts), but at 11 and 10 points out of a playoff spot at this point of the season, it would take a monumental run for those teams to be a factor.

The Thrashers have to maintain pace ahead of two out of three of the group of Habs, Rags, and Canes in order to make the playoffs. If they can also catch the Bolts and/or Caps, that's icing on the cake.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Enstrom and Byfuglien Make All-Star Roster


We would have liked to have seen these two plus Ondrej Pavelec on the All-Star roster, but you have to be delighted that a great defenseman like Toby Enstrom is finally getting the recognition he deserves.

Buff was a given. Toby deserved it (I'd argue he deserved it more than anyone else on the team) but he wasn't as sure a choice. Good on the NHL robots for selecting him.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowpocalypse Break

Well, it looks like exhaustion/overwork has finally caught up with the Thrashers. The game against Carolina yesterday was hard-fought and quasi-successful (a good sign), but the team looked just as tired and disjointed as they did in Friday's catastrophe.

Thank goodness they have some time off. Especially when the city is buried under snow and polar bears have migrated south to live here.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

In Depth Analysis of Thrashers/Leafs Game

And congrats to Patrice Cormier on his first NHL goal.

Friday, January 7, 2011

GAME DAY: Toronto Maple Leafs

I know a guy who knows a guy who says he once hired a private investigator to dig up some dirt on Carlton the Bear. Two words: hooker slap.*

Anyway, tonight the Thrashers play the Toronto Maple Leafs, who come from Canada, which in turn comes from the space beavers. To quote our former governor, "Go Thrashers."

*Just kidding, North America. We have no wish to defame Carlton. He is, after all, a sweet-faced polar bear. However, I did see him trample a small child once. At least he didn't eat the kid, I suppose...

ALSO: Evander Kane and Jim Slater seem to be out. As does Ben Eager, who remains on the IR. "IR hurt," he says.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Langenbrunner For Sale

...according to everyone.

Well, what do you think? Should Dudley go for it?

If so, what do we give up? Bergfors-for-Langenbrunner sounds like a catastrophic trade, but who knows?

UPDATE: Langenbrunner traded to Dallas for a conditional 3rd-rounder. If you wanted Langenbrunner, your dreams have expired like a...a...a tire? An accountant? An ennui-filled accountant on that girl from high school he found on Facebook?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Evander Kane Is Not Pleased (Plus, Thrashers on HBO!)

Not everyone can be Evander Kane, Kaner.

Also: nice win in south Florida tonight, hooray!

Also also: HBO's 24/7 series on the Penguins and Caps might be the best HBO series ever, which is really saying something. The final installment (which aired tonight) almost made me weep.

P.S. Just watched the beginning of the final episode (which I missed, at first) and what do you know there are THRASHERS in it! Never thought I'd see Zach Bogosian on HBO.

GAME DAY: Florida Panthers

Maybe tonight dead panthers will fall from the sky.

Does that make sense, biologically?

P.S. In memory of our plunging avian friends, here's the Raining Frogs sequence from Magnolia:

P.P.S. Oh wait, thrashers are birds, aren't they? This can't be good, based on recent events.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Justin Bieber Has Something to Tell You

TBC Exclusive! Letter From the Overlords

Look in the inbox, what do I see?

Bruce Levenson and Michael Gearon a-reassurin' meeeee...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oh Yeah...

Your editor is so undone by jet lag/out of the Internet and teevee loop/deranged that he didn't know until a few hours ago that tonight is the USA vs. Canada match-up in the World Juniors. 7 PM. Hooray!

For inspiration, the U.S. team should watch this patriotic video starring a news-reading robot:

Hey Enstrom, Hey Hey Enstrom...

(updated below!)

(updated again below!)

Fuckitalltohell I hate jet lag. Anyway, a nice escape from death in Montreal yesterday. "A Death in Montreal"...does that make a good title for a spy thriller? Probably not.

Anyway, look at this:

I never thought I'd live to see the day when a Thrashers defenseman ranked in the Top Five point-getting d-men in the league, let alone find himself Number 1. The fact that there are TWO Thrashers d-men in the Top Five, Top THREE even, just makes this brave new world all the more profane and bizarre.

If I worked in the gerbil tank that determines who wins NHL awards, I'd actually hand the Norris to Toby Enstrom over Dustin Byfuglien. Dustin is great, but Toby is excellent in every way a defenseman should be. More complete, if you will.

Anyway. Now that you've had your coffee, here's a rambunctious song:

UPDATE- In the old email this morning, this from Razor Catch Prey:

^---Damn Blogspot won't enlarge this screenshot, so just click to enlarge.

That fine compound word "mind-boggling" does come to mind.

UPDATE II: Our "copy editor" has intervened in the comments section with an important Correction. It reads, "Uh, hate to break it to you, but Big Buff has over 160 shots and Kovy has 107. The columns are off by one space in the picture. Not sure how that happened." Thank you, Copy Editor, and may Kypris have mercy on us.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


...aaaand we're back. Or at least your TBC editor is, from a long and idiotic journey no less.

What's going on? Hockey games, especially ones that take place at 1 PM on a Sunday, starring the Montreal Canadiens and your own favorite creatures the Atlanta Thrashers. Hooray!

The Winter Classic? Watched it in a bar with Go Puck Yourself; I think everyone agrees the game could've been more interesting. OH WELL. But I really did enjoy this Prime Time thingy; needs to be done every year.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Winter Classic 2011--Let's Get This Bitch.

Happy New Years to the TBC writers, editors, commenters, lurkers, Jack "I'm an Asshole" Edwards, and all the bandwagon Thrashers fans to be picked up in the coming weeks and months. I hope you all enjoyed yourself immensely last night with your friends and family, and will continue to do so today.

In case you've been living under a rock, on New Years Day, there's a hockey game that's played outside. They tend to call this game "The Winter Classic." For reasons such as our attendance and our team being moved to Winnipeg or Qatar (E3), we will never host this game here in Atlanta. Therefore, we're forced to watch a game of two teams that are not our own. Thankfully, the 2011 version of this game features Sidney Crosby's homeless guido mustache and the Pittsburgh Peignquins against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Bullets. They'll be playing the game in the home of serial rapist/fat man Ben Roethlissomethingsomething and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I'm not sure how the other members of the TBC staff feel about this game, but this guy sincerely hopes the Peignquins find a way to win today. There's obvious reasons for this, such as Washington currently residing above Le Thrash in the Southeast Division. However, more importantly, thanks to the phenomenal "HBO 24/7" series, we've gotten to know both teams a little bit. There are two main points I've taken away about both clubs from watching the show.

1) Dan Bylsma is a phenomenal coach and a decent guy who knows the game and generates lots of quotes.
2) Bruce Boudreau's job as Washington's coach is best surmised as, essentially, a used car salesman who got a job at a Ferrari dealership because he "knew a guy who knew a guy."

So, in conclusion, may the Peignquins reign supreme in the Steel City tonight. My prediction? 4-2 Pens, winning a close game with 2 late goals in the 3rd.

Enjoy the hockey and the sub-par bowl games that will lead up to it.

Sincerely, Go Puck Yourself