Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Congrats, Kovy, and a classy move on the dish to Army. Well deserved milestone. I hope we get to see number 1,000 at Phillips.
PDaddy has an interesting post on Gaborik trade possibilites. There's been a lot of noise involving a Kovy-for-Gabby swap. But most of it comes from a source only slightly more reliable than Eklund. So here's what we know:
- DW watched the Wild on two occasions.
- Marion Gaborik is unhappy in Minnie; most likely wants to play in a run-and-gun high octane offensive style.
- Trading Kovy right now is an idea so stupid, a trained seal would have a hard time swallowing it if it were written on the side of a herring. (Let's hope DW spends time at the aquarium.)
I'm holding out an ever-dimming hope that Mikko Koivu comes our way. In that purely hypothetical vein, I've place a poll on the page to that extent.
The more likely scenario is DW trading what assets of value we have for a Slovakian winger named Marian who will probably depart at the end of the year for the largest cash-grab since...
I don't see this ending well.
But wouldn't it be cool to watch Kovy & Gabby on a line? Centered by... Jason Williams... Eric Perrin... Jim Slater...
Merry Christmas, everyone. Grace and peace to all.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The Blackhawks got all the pieces. They're stacked, top to bottom. Matter of fact, I picked them as my season team on NHL2K9. 28-6-1, as of right now. Kane, Sharp & Towes... BC anchoring a solid young defense... 3 players over 30... the future is bright. In Chi-town.
So... like... I have to write about them?
Thrashers/Isles tonight. Could anyone care any less...
Shoot me now.
In other news: Thanks Leahy. While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?
Pensblog: Look, I get it: if you want factual news, go somewhere else. The Pensblog staff have a certain level of (let's say) irreverence to maintain. I love 'em, and I don't rate any kind of response, but...
This might be the biggest non-story of all time. We're the only ones right, therefore we are wrong, apparently, as the rest of the hockey internet world wants Crosby to be punished.
Basically, this is what happens when Crosby, who has been churning out cliches and run-of-the-mill quotes since he was 8 while being the face of Canadian hockey and essentially Reebok nowadays, goes a little bit off the beaten path.
Nobody's made a joke about that's as close Crosby will ever get to a Cup?
Nobody's made a joke about Puck Daddy being an expert at going after a man's balls?
If it wasn't for Puck Daddy, we wouldn't have even known about this thing turning into some kind of scandal.
Much love, staff. And don't hold it against me that I'm a Thrashers fan. You play the hand you're dealt.
Maybe I'll find that trade to Chicago I've been asking for under the tree.
Monday, December 22, 2008
- Watching the Thrash/Lightning game on Saturday, I was reminded of Mark Recchi's comments about wanting to play for a good team.... something about something going around.... and then coming around...
- Ryan Malone is a joke.
- Ian White, yer on, pal. Let's see what you got.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I think it's safe to say everyone's favorite cherub-cheeked aw-shucks altarboy is not exactly as he appears to be. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone easier to hate than this wanker.
This is what I get for not watching the game.
For tomorrow, looks like Schneider's back, Kari's in, Pavs is down, X is out, and Lehman stays put. Does this all add up to a win against the more-hapless-than-us Bolts?
But I was beaten to the punch.
Being late to a party never bothered me none, and being that I want to forget the Thrashers for a little while, we'll see if this game catches on. It's caled Top 5. Name your top 5 “track 1’s” - the first track of a record (cd for the youngins), record name and artist.
In no order…
Top 5 Track 1(/Side 1's)’s
1. “ELO Kiddies”, Cheap Trick (1977)
2. “Teenage FBI”, Do The Collapse , Guided by Voices (1999)
3. “Thunder Road”, Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen (1975)
4. “No Action", This Year's Model, Elvis Costello (1978)
5. “So What”, Kind of Blue, Miles Davis (1959)
Some good news did come last night. Finally, finally, FINALLY, Mats Sundin has figured out where he wants to work for the next, oh... four-and-a-half months. Now all that's left is the hand-wringing about the "under-performing Mats Sundin and the directionless 'Nucks" after an unceremonious first round playoff exit. Ah, but to dream...
I'm not a pro- or anti-fighting type, but I love me some Dennis Leary:
I don't like goons. But one of the great things about hockey is that, unlike anything else in life, if you're gonna be a jerk to my teammate, you're going to have to answer and you're going to have to answer right now in front of 18,000 people.Freaking great.
While looking fo that Cam Neely/ESPN/"Why don't you kick my dog while you're here?" commericial (anyone got that, btw?) I found a sweet ad w/Kovy & Naslund. They really should air these around here...
Thursday, December 18, 2008
“We just need to work, and we need to be consistent,” Kovalchuk said. “That’s the key, because we don’t have any superstars on this team. We have to be the hardest-working team on the ice every night. Then we’ve got a chance to win.”
Wait a second. Isn’t Kovalchuk a superstar?
“I have to win something [to become that],” he said.
This really needs to be addressed.
Recently, there have been a number of calls for Don Waddells... um... attention, at the very least. From the obvious, to the sublime, to the down-right "funny-because-it's-true," the message has been getting out publicly: Don Waddell has a no-confidence vote amongst the (even mildly) hockey-aware in Atlanta. That alone should stike one as an ominous sign. This isn't Toronto, Montreal, or even Columbus - according to Canuck media, we shouldn't even care about hockey, what with being NASCAR-obsessed cousin-marriers, and all.
My impression of the Waddell-Kovalchuk relationship has been thus: it seems Don is much more hands-on with Kovy than with any other player (and rightly so, I might add). Kovy maybe has Don's ear a little more than anyone else. From draft day forward, it has seemed that Kovy has been Don's number one priority. After all, what else would you with a potential franchise player? Hopefully, this little nugget gets through to the GM's office before too long, and nets us some kind of respectable gain. Let's hope Don wakes up in the middle of the night with the cold sweats, lingering remnants of a nightmare involving Kovy and a certain former #18 laughing as they trade SCF war stories wearing other teams' sweaters. Let's hope Don decides principles and doing a job right are more important than job security and stands up to the Atlanta Suck Group and demands a little more latitude.
Of course, this is all assuming quite a lot. This is assuming this whole mess is the result of an inept hockey-ignorant ownership group, and not an over-his-head GM floundering for anything that works. Yes, Bruce Levenson can be a pompous, arrogant, discourteous blowhard - but this mess is big enough for lots of blame to be tossed around. I've resisted saying this for quite sometime: Don Waddell is quite possibly a bigger Ringo than Ringo, and, on some level, he must know this. Yes, I know, he did come from a Detroit operation fresh off a Stanley Cup victory. Yes, I know he was picked to head this franchise instead of Brian Burke(!!!!1!). Yes, I know USA Hockey thinks very highly of him, placing him in very important positions of responsibility over the years.
I like ribs alot...
Follow me here. I promise, this is going somewhere useful.
I like ribs alot. You don't? Well, then wings work too. If wings don't work for you either, you're clearly not a red-blooded North American, and should go back to eating whatever braised foie gras quiche you've got in front of you. Every time I eat ribs or wings, I can't help but make a gigantic freaking mess all over my hands. To some, this is a bad thing. To me, I just call it the cost of doing business. Anyway, point being, my tastbuds get this awesome explosion of BBQ goodness. My fingers, they get the residual mess. If you asked my fingers to descibe the flavor of the charred animal part I just consumed, they would be hard-pressed to give a coherent answer. They may mumble something about "this wing was a better wing than we had last year" or maybe some crap about a five-year rib, but nowhere, no how can it tell you how it tasted. What that means is my fingers can be right in the mix of things, looking like they're soaking in everything, but really be missing out on the most important part, the magic that makes the whole expreience worth it. Ergo, it's entirely possible that Don Waddell, even with his Detroit-system-Stanley-Cup-winning experience (consisting of One. Whole. Year.) is entirely clueless on how to build a Cup-contending franchise.
Yea, I just did that.
In conclusion, it's time for change in Blueland. Kovy knows it, the fans know it. It's time the organization knew it.
No way! Really?
If only we had an extra goalie we could send them... maybe we could pick up a Jarret Stoll or an Oscar Moller or ANYTHING TO HELP US WIN....
Anyway, Cros & Co. at Phillips tonight. Anyone remember this?
Someone needs to make sure Letang remembers.
I'm looking at you, Eric Boulton.
Let's see more of the team we saw in Ottawa.
The Flower is back in net for the Pens, Taffe & Stone are up from trolling the Wyoming Valley Mall. Let's hope Stone is wearing clothes. Some of our guys might remember them from a small series of games last year.
Anyone know a good place in the GA400/GA20 area to get a Guinness and watch the game?
Let's make tomorrow a bad day for some bloggers.
Friday, December 12, 2008
- Yes, according to the Boston Globe hockey blogger, Timmy Tommy is the likely starter tonight. I like his 3-3 record (3.08GAA/.897 SV%) a whole lot better than Manny Fernandez's 5-0 (1.80GAA/.923) against the Thrash. But John Anderson was being a little cagey with the Boston media this morning; I don't put it beyond wily veteran coach Claude Julien to pull a little slight-of-hand, either.
- Welcome back, Savvy & Hnidy. Sav, we hope you continue your pointless streak (3 games, and no goals in the last eight? Hm.... maybe you should grip the stick a little tighter), and Shane, keep up that pace for a career-high 100 PIMs!
- Adam Proteau hates the Atlanta Thrashers. What better way to get back at him than to make the playoffs?
- Milan Lucic & Phil Kessel must be stopped.
- Sean Grace over at the Roar has an almost poetic statement as to why trading Kovy would be awful.
- Congrats to former Thrasher Pascal Dupuis on his first career hatter. Postgamer with Dan Potash, go to the 1:00 mark for creamy goodness.
The unequaled, the original...
Thursday, December 11, 2008
- Yay! No stupid penalties!
- Wicked bomb of an outlet pass from one Seafood Twin to the other to setup a goal. I'm with Maali on this one, bring up more Wolves - let's see how they do. Maybe they'll be to young and inexperienced to know they're Thrashers, they're supposed to suck.
- Now THAT was an Ilya Kovalchuk Goal Celebration:
- Fire & intensity, and a pretty big scrum. Gomez better watch it - he's not making any friends at Phillips.
- So, Waddell says he's not trading Kovalchuk. He repeats it three times: to Mike @ the AJC, our buddy Craig @ the Sporting News, and Dan during last nights' first intermission. So... why is it I still don't believe him?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
- What's this? Brett Hull a mere figurehead leader? Away at thee and thine foul, vicious lies! Next you'll be telling me he flouts the laws of the Royal Mr. Bettman!
- Speaking of royalty, King Henrik is out tonight; Steve Valiquette makes his 5th start. Seems Lundqvist is.... bah, insert your own Lundqvist-Sundin-Ikea-meatball joke here. I don't have the energy.
- The Rags have been outscored 15-4 in their last 4 games. They seem ripe for some mongoosing. If they play lockdown, things might be a little tough for our boys in blue, but something tells me the combination of a goal drought, not being on the ice much the last couple of days, and the perception of the Thrash as ...>ahem<... a doormat may lead to them trying to stetch their legs a little too far. Here' s to surprises.
- Boulton/Orr 2: Epic Returns? You gotta love it when Boults gets props from even Rags fans. Maybe this time, they'll go 4 minutes.
The Return of the Mongoose
He tasted blood against the Isles... now a second course of New York tastiness.
I give you... hungry mongoose.
I know we're a little.... "fan depleted" here in Atlanta, but we gotta do better. Kovy's not even on the leaderboard yet. You've got Boston fans, those lovably psycho Pens fans, and even Washington fans(!!!!) pushing their guys up the standings, and we got nothing. Nothing. It's not we're "hockey pursits" who hate the All-Star Game, the shootout, and any & every word that comes forth from his majesty Mr. Bettman (well, we're not gonna use that as an excuse anyway). Even if it's just to give the scouts a better look at Kovy (I know, I just slapped myself), he's gotta see the bright lights of the Bell Centre.
Besides, I'm gettin just a teensy-bit sick of all this Habs/100 garbage.
So let's get on it.
..and remember: a vote for a Penguin is a vote for a Hab-Free ASG.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Now, to a Thrashers fan, this is called "The Promised Land."
Anyway, I don't know if it was Shalls or Berce that posited the idea of Kovy going to the Pens, but it was thrown out there. And the obligitory discussion of who would be sent back to ATL. Staal/Goligoski/Lovejoy/whoever-leaves-the-dressing-room-last-after-a-bad-loss all got mentioned. Then the talk of Kovy's ability to be "just" a secondary scorer came up. Pretty sure he'd do just fine anywhere on that lineup. I mean, geeze, Hal Gill is out, let's pencil him in as the enforcer.
My point is this: has Atlanta leapfrogged Tampa and become the new Pittsburgh South?
Cause, really... that's a great goal to have.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
*blueland outsider takes no responsibility for any loss of time, words, or intelligence that may be incurred by clicking the above link. Especially if you read the comments.
edit: My official editorial position is thus: A trade would make me frowny. That is true. But as long as a trade netted us 2 or 3 good young *potential* stars (not draft picks; I have an utter, a complete, and an overall abysmal lack of confidence in the drafting ability of the current regime), I would be satisfied. But, there's always a danger of this. Anyway, my thought on the Bradley article is: Shut up. All of you. Just.... shut your mouths. You're just... you're just coming off stupid. Yes, there are many intelligent Thrasher fans out there (just to name a few). But the rest is just white noise. I guess the best response has already been written.
Look, what exactly can we do? This ownership group is totally ignorant to the goings-on at Phillips when the ice is laid out.
Efforts have been made. Season tickets tanked. I haven't paid full price for a ticket since... well, before the lockout. I guess the message wasn't received. If we boycott, they get fed up, split off the Thrash, send them to Hamilton where the smug Toronto media can gush all over themselves, saying "See? It bombed twice!" Then the A$G will bring back the Georgia Force to make up the lost revenue. I have not seen one thing from this ownership group that indicates they care (much know anything) about NHL hockey. If things look this bad on the outside, what do things look like on the inside?
But, back to the original question, what can we do? What am I going to do?
I'm going to keep watching, keep listening, and keep going to games. Because I'm a crazy hockey fan. I am a fan of this team. And when you watch/listen to a Thrashers game you are guaranteed that at least one NHL calibre team will show up.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
THREE goals in FIFTYNINE seconds?!?!?!
Oyster did WHAT?!?!?
I wish to God that Christensen had the talent to match the toughness:
Erik Christensen left the ice with a subluxated right shoulder, popped the joint back into place himself and got back in the game.Big Shooter has a fantastic idea. Seriously, I am all for this trade. Let's go ahead and get this deal done, and Spez could be in the road whites after gameday skate... or, we could have another disgruntled, expensive player on our hands. That's what you get when you dig yourself into a hole this big. Whatev. In that spirit, go chekc the Pensblog for a Pens retrospective that may give us a little hope.
Yea, I was there. I saw the "team" (save for the Seafood Twins, who, God love 'em, hustled best they could) completely lose interest in playing anything that resembled hockey. It was kinda cool to see Walt's 1000th, and the seats were good. Ummm.... even though it was kid's day, there weren't a lot of kids there...? Having trouble thinking of good things to say....
Friday, November 28, 2008
Re: Tonight v. Nashville.
- Joey Crabb debuts tonight, taking EC's place on the third line, and seeing some PK time as well. Let's hope he fills the role of "aggressive winger with an eye for the back of the net."
- Nashville is coming off of a game where they demonstrated HUGE puck control. The Nashville top line has been their Kahlua line, but Shea Webber has kept pace, points-wise. We don't need to help them up their SOG average. Mongoose time.
- It'll be tougher than the Leafs, but so far this year, the boys have hung with Boston, the Rags, Detroit & Buffalo. They just need to find the right motivation during those moments when the legs seem just a little heavier, and they can take a couple of these tough close games.
- Let's go over .500 at home.
We wore out hungry mongoose, and to defeat the Preds, we need vigilance. I give you Mogoose-at-the-ready. Watch out, he's pissed.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
- Lots of nice debate about the Kovy/White scrap. Check out Kukla's. Seems only the Leaf fans are missing the part where White cheap-shotted Kovy.
- Speaking of Kovy, here's what Mick Kern of XM204 had to say about our star. I think Mick Kern is THE best personality on Home Ice, but... c'mon Mick, Special K? He's right about one thing, though: these are Kovy's Atlanta Thrashers. He alone has the star captial to expend to bring the Birds out to the front of the NHL. Kozzy's always great, Little is on the way to being a star, Hainsey is seriously underrated, but only Kovy can make the Toronto Hockey Media even acknowledge Atlanta as a hockey city. This IS his team.
Tonight vs. the Capitals:
- Half the Caps starters are out. Kidding. But seriously, no Mike Green, no Alex Semin and no Federov (who always seemed to torch me in NHL2K when he was a Wing). Jose Theodore gets the nod in goal, who in the past has pretty much owned us. Click for expansion.
The good news is he has a .888 SV% and a 3.26 GAA against the rest of the leauge, and he was in goal when the Thrash nailed the Craps for 7 goals. Pavs gets the start, and here's hoping he stands on his head again. If the boys bring the fire again, it'll be a long night for 'ol Bruce.
Looking for his second win in as many games, Hungy Mongoose.
- I like watching Army score. Is it just me, or did he look like a kid at Christmas?
- Did it also look like Kovy was breathing a big HUGE sigh of relief after that goal?
- Ian White = 'Stache Bum. And what was with that joke charging penalty?
From the ajc:
Yea. Right. You pulled a crap move, and got jacked by a "sniper." Deal.
White called Kovalchuk “selfish” for going after him and taking a double-minor that could have hurt Atlanta. Kovalchuk said he was just finishing what White started.
White’s version: “I finished my check off. Clean hit. And then he took a run at me on the far blue [line]. So I followed him up the ice, I was saying something to him, and he stopped, and I wasn’t expecting that, obviously. I was protecting myself. That’s the ugly part of the game. He’ll get what’s coming to him.”
Kovy with the last laugh:
“Whatever he wants to say. The score on the board, we win. We get two points [in the standings]. We’ve got three games [left] against them, so if he’s got something he wants to say, I’m always ready to answer.”12.22.08.
- Mathieu "off the" Schneid-er. You knew it was coming.
- Hungry Mongoose rocked it.
- Go read the Puck Daddy account of the Kovy/White debacle. Bomb the comments. Show them there are, in fact, hockey fans in Atlanta.
- Dan Kamal was aces on HTM yesterday.
- Hainsey was fun as always with Espo & Rossi.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Bad news: The Leafs lead the East in both shots for (34.3) and fewest shots against (27.1). Moose has 3.01 GAA and .891 SV% v. the Buds. Those Leafs are pretty decent at blocking shots (team total: 386, Atlanta has 256). Matt Stajan is running a point-per-game. Statistically, our boys don't have a shot...
Good News: Toskala is in goal... let's hope he brings his 3.33 GAA & .876 SV%. But that will only matter if the Thrash actually SHOOT (yes, I am ignoring his career 5-0-1 dominance of Atlanta. thankyouverymuch). The more you shoot, the more likely you are to find the back of the net. The other bit of good news? Ex was ready to give his game summary after Saturday's loss. The last time Ex brought the heat, our boys took the next 5 straight games. Maybe the correlation will continue.
Seeing as how the other moongoose(s?) haven't gotten the job done, I give you a much fiercer Gameday Mongoose. He's hungry.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Re: Retail. Don't. Do it. EVER. Rumors of a sagging economy make the belligerent even worse. Add Christmas, and stir 'til nauseous.
Re: Luongo. That woosh of air you heard was every Canucks' fans relief that their entire season isn't a loss. Alanah over @ Canucks and Beyond gives 5 reasons why the 'nucks can weather the storm. Ben Wright examines a possible All-Star Voodoo.
Re: Kovalchuck. You owe it to yourself to read the Falconers' calling out of Kovy.
Re: Finally. A suspension over an obviously cheap shot.
The best game summary came after Hamburglar potted his empty netter and my cat proceeded to vomit right in front of me.
But here are some thoughts:
Gamers (Rose-Colored Glasses Edition):
Ex - Trying to light a fire by dancing with Jared Boll in the second. You may call his offensive (and sometimes defensive) skills into question, but you can never question his heart. Once the team finds an identity (more on that in a second), that heart will serve us well.
Kozlov - A couple of roughing penalties late in the game say to me that he's frustrated. Frustrated is better than apathetic, which has been an issue team-wide for stretches (see: 2007-2008 season).
Todd White - The word "Charmin" shall be uttered no longer around here. Good to see him back & skating.
Other than that, the Jackets remind me of those 07-08 Thrashers, with a couple of key differences. They have attendance issues, a superstar in Rick Nash, cagey veterans (proved by a couple of non-calls on Friday), a couple of players that step up sometimes, and Leclaire, who shows flashes of being a pretty solid netminder. The differences? Work ethic and the trap, aka Ken Hitchcock.
Re: Terrence Moore's surprisingly insightful column from Sunday's AJC. This is the kind of piece we need to copy and mail 100,000 times to the ASG until they get the message. I think Terrance was fair and honest, and this is the kind of thing you see in "real" NHL towns as a calling-out of the powers that be. Hopefully the ASG will learn firsthand with the Hawks that, once you start winning, butts fill the seats. Yea, sure, it's probably easier to build a winning team in the NBA and easier to sell said team to a large group of fairweather sports fans, but with an average ticket price that is $10 higher than the Hawks (for a comparable product, in terms of win pct.), you'd think they'd follow the money. Anyway, back to the article. The only thing that concerns me is the Anderson quote at the end:
“We’re dealt a hand here a little bit... We can’t just say, ‘OK, this is what I want us to be.’ You look [at the Thrashers’ roster], and that’s not what it is. You have to adjust a little bit, and that’s what we’re doing.”A little bit of "you go to war with the army you have"? Let's hope our fearless leader is not losing the drive & desire that motivates the guys on a good night. But is it true that the Thrashers are "talent-challenged"? I may have to think on that a bit...
Re: The Leafs on Tuesday. If any team has been as schizophrenic as the Thrash, it's been the Buds. Seems to me a major difference between the two teams has been Toronto's ability to pick up the charity point. Maybe we'll have a Burke sighting in Phillips. Maybe the ASG will have a moment of clarity and throw large piles of cash at him and put Don Waddell in charge of... I don't know... something else. Maybe Burke will sign a 52 & 1/2 year contract, make some shrewd deals (further enraging one Kevin Lowe in the process) and Atlanta becomes the 6th "sunbelt" team in 7 years to reach the SCFs.
Or maybe we get to see a shootout showdown between their Poni and our Pony.
Yea... cause that's the same...
Re: Dan Kamal on HTM/XM204 with Dulcet Tones & Big Country. Sounds like fun.
- It's amazing how much better NHL2k9 looks when you set your screen resolution to match your TV.
- Saw the new James Bond. +1
- Had personal rediscovery of Mitch Hedberg this weekend, and was thusly saved by the bouyancy of citrus. Hockey Luv.
Now I'm off to catch up on what everyone else has to say...
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
The team placed goaltender Kari Lehtonen on injured reserve Friday, retroactive to October 31st.I like Kari, I really do. But I think that Pavelic is a tougher individual. It looks as though he's going to be here for a little while. An extended evaluation period?
- I, too, am very excited about Kovy showing emotion and standing up for his teammates. I remember him getting pretty excitable during the '07 playoffs (among other times). But don't we have some guys on the roster to do that for him? ("Paging Eric Boulton... Eric Boulton to the white courtesy phone...")
- Todd White listed as day to day, Joey Crabb called up.
- Ryan Kennedy over at the Hockey News has an article about the captaincy. Why all the talk about the 'C' all of the sudden? I thought about writing a dissertation on Kovy & the C, but everyone had already said everything. Except this: I think Kovy is a player of exceptional talent balanced by exceptional self-awareness. You can tell in interviews; we've heard Semin's honest opinion, and then we heard Kovy's diplomatic response. It seems Kovalchuk has the unusual blessing of both extraordinary skill and a large heart - the ability to achieve great things, but the desire NOT to step on anyone in the process. I think he would rather the captaincy be given to him rather than risk the possibility of seeming like an egotist by stepping up and taking it. But my feeling lines up with "Mad Dogg" Matt's:
Leadership? No question.We saw last year what Kovy is capable of: putting an entire team on his back and carrying them as far as they will let him. But they didn't let him. They were disinterested and lackadaisical. Thay just flat out didn't care. But this year is different. This year, from the top down, there is heart. A belief that WE CAN, and the skill to back it up. Once the bolts are tightened and the tires balanced, we'll be off. So I want you to do this:
Captain Kovalchuk? Without a doubt.
The need for the "C" letter? Whatever.
- Go to the Thrashers 411.
- Read this quote on the right side of the page:
The "Atlanta Hockey Media" voted for the only name they recognized on the scoresheet. I get it. He's good. Quit shoving it down our throats. I "hated" him as a joke, 'cause my wife thought he was cute.... Now I see him so much, I wanna vomit. Gimme Ovie, Iginla or even Avery over this guy.
Re: Letang's hit on Todd White
If that'd been Sid (or even Malkin) instead of Todd, Pens (and much of the NHL) would be calling for the officials heads on a joke no-boarding call that.
Re: Matt Cooke's impression of Lithgow at the end of Cliffhanger
Ah, diving as only Sid can teach. Good to see the fundamentals are being passed on.
Unconfirmed reports are saying that sometime before the game, a box of Dunkin Donuts was placed in front of Ref Don Koharski's locker with note that read "Bon appetit, M.T."
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I don't know why that would be...
- Army w/ GWG
- Malkin takes a run @ Kovy
- Boulton vs. Goddard: Boults is 1-1-2 against Goddard; they really like scrapping. It's a sure thing they drop the gloves by the middle of the second.
- Battle of the Backups: Moose v. Sabu. Moose is finding his stride, but Sabourin's already hot.
- Here's to hoping the lucky bounces continue.
- Defense is key; we've got to tighten up on Crosby & Malkin, something we've not really had success with lately. The Pens haven't been overly successful at the Bulb, but this really two completely diferent teams. Score first, score often; mongoose.
And now we throw it over to Puck Daddy with one of the most important questions ever asked...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Is Jordan Stall the center Kovy's been needing?
Here are some pros:
- Pens current depth chart @center:
1) Sidney Crosby
2) Evgeni Malkin
3) Jordan Stall
Not sure Jord would be getting top-line minutes anytime soon. He'd probably like to be playing more, I would think.
- Speed, strength, and some pretty good ice-vision. Maybe not Crosby-esque, but better than we've had.
- UFA after this year. Could be in the $4-5 mil/yr range, according to Leahy.
- Defensive ability might cover for some of Kovy's... um... indiscretions...
- Still a youngun. Locking him up for 4-5 years wouldn't be much of a risk.
- Uh, did you SEE the Pens-Wings game?
And there are some downsides:
- It doesn't really sound like he wants to leave:
"I have a lot of great friends here. It's a great fit for me. It's a team I want to be part of. We're young and we want to grow together."Not really the talk of someone itching to leave town.
- Draft pick compensation would be high. A 1st, 2nd & 3rd rounder, if Leahy's estimate is correct. Some might see that as giving away the future
- Is Staal what he appears? Or is this merely a hot streak?
- Let's face it, Atlanta isn't exactly a free-agent magnet, as Dan Boyle was nice enough to point out.
Doughty draws comparisons to a young Ray Bourque.
Allen puts forth a list of 18-yr-old defensemen in the NHL and leaves it to the reader as to where Drew Doughty would fall. Kinda makes you wish Bogo was healthy.
Meanwhile, back at the Rawhide Ranch, questions are being answered....
...and at the Chronicle, those mad scientists drop the most unlikely NHL/blaxploitation combo to ever see the light of day.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Booze & "Get Out Of Suspension Free" Cards
Big up to Slava & Little, especially Bryan extending a point streak to six games AND jumping back out on the ice after a rough check. Gamer of the night. Moose & Havelid need to run some Herbies after Lupul's goal.
Other than that...
I grew up in NEPA - I've seen Flyer fans in their natural habitat. A level of darkness unseen by normal human beings.
We shall speak of it no longer.
Seems some Habs fans got caught stuffing the box. Now they're saying "...shyea, like it matters..."
From Habs Inside/Out:
"Late last week, the NHL said it was studying the legitimacy of this Habs runaway, the rules stating that automated voting activity is prohibited. Saturday into yesterday morning, it stripped thousands of votes from the Canadiens, as many as 20,000 from Kovalev alone if you’re to believe the “real-time” totals.
But then, does it really matter? The All-Star Game long ago took a fork in the road from its original purpose and much of its relevence."
But if it doesn't matter... why cheat? Boo hoo, mes amis, you got caught. Deal.
(h/t Pensblog Staff)
Sunday, November 16, 2008
In the NHL, head coaches, GMs and owners all have a chance to discuss with players their performance. They go over what went well, what didn't go so well, and what to do next. They figure out if a player needs a raise, a paycut, or needs to be shipped out of town on the next plane. But there's another component to this equation. One that is responsible for a large part of the team's earnings, and therefore part of the players' salaries. What is that component?
Us. The Fan.
We spend money, the team pays players. Simple economics. How do we do our part in the performance review process? We cheer, and (conversely) we boo.
It might seem to be an over-intellectualization of something so base and primal, but if it didn't play a part, there wouldn't be terms like "fan-favorite." A player stinks it up on the ice, doesn't give 100%, or is a cancer is the dressing room, fans boo. Things get worse, fans don't show up. Something's gotta give. So, in that spirit, I offer you my list of who I will and who I won't boo and some reasons why.
Eric Belangier - Deadline pickup, key to our playoff push. Resigned with Minnesota. Always worked hard, never a lazy shift. Gamer.
Pascal Dupuis - Sent to Pittsburg in a deadline deal. Special teams, work ethic, fun name to say (say it with me: Du-pweeeeeeeeeeee!). Gamer.
Marc Savard - Took $5 mil/year to play for an O6 team and be closer to his kids. Don't blame him one bit. Gamer.
Bobby Holik - Honest, tough, wouldn't turn it up until about midseason, but that's OK - Jersey took him back. They needed some pylons (Kidding, Bobby, I love ya!). Gamer.
Greg de Vries - Now with Nashville, contributing pretty regularly. Good to see him on a playoff team. Gamer.
Danny Heatley - I get it. Tragedy. But it wouldnt've been so bad if he didn't ask for the trade after a year in some Euro-League. Oh yeah, and then rip the Thrashers once he got back to the motherland. Bum.
Andy Sutton - Meh. No special reason. Just another bum on Lawn Guy Land. Bum.
Ho$$a. - Mercenary. Self-interested. The reason for this list, actually. The chants weren't enough, the jersey sales weren't enough. I think the Puck Huffer chicks said it best:
"Hey, Hossa, how about you stop looking for a team to carry you across the finish line and instead stick with a team and help them get there yourself."Bum.
Did I miss anybody? Any quibbles with my choices?
- Is it just me, or does Dan Kamal kind of give off a Uecker-type vibe? Not that that's a bad thing - I've always felt spoiled with Kamal. I don't think I'd rather have anyone else (other than Rick Jennaret or Mike Lang, maybe). Especially not the guy from Carolina... or the Islanders Guy... or the Detroit guy... or the Sharks guy...
Anyway, back to the subject at hand: Dan needs a colorman. Bad. I think the strain is getting to him. Witness the following from last nights broadcast:
On Enstrom's 1st period minor:
"'How was your trip, sir?'
'Pretty costly, now I'm in the box.'"
On a shot in the 2nd being deflected into the mesh:
"The shot deflects into the mesh... It's a fine mesh you've gotten us into..."
Dan, if you're reading this, I kid because I love. Don't change a thing. I mean it.
- OK guys, let's split up into groups, go door to door, and see if any of the other 29 teams have some PK we can borrow. Seems we're a little low.
- Nice goal by Perrin. I really hope he finds the back of the net some more; the man has MAJOR work ethic, and I always like to see those guys succeed. They're the backbone of the league.
- Boulton. +1A. Scoring machine.
- The third line looks like big, chippy guys with good hands. They'll come on soon enough and provide a little ancillary scoring. A little jobbing in the corner goes a long way.
- Boomer Gordon from XM204 says we're rolling two solid scoring lines - not faint praise from a man who knows hockey.
- Slava Kozlov: I may not agree with Rawhide's call to give Kozzy the 'C', but I don't think you could ask for a better player at this point. Experience, humility, and ability all in the shape of one Russian Professor. Gamer.
- I seem to remember reading Slava said something about this new system being similar to one they ran in Detroit. That's gotta be better than the dump-and-no-chase system from last year (cue rimshot).
- Is Hainsey worth the $4.5 mil? Yup.
Friday, November 14, 2008
The possible deal that looks more inviting would involve No. 1 goalie Kari Lehtonen. He's a very talented goaltender, a former No. 1 pick. He's big, mobile and has big game potential.
But the Thrashers also have Ondrej Pavelec, who potentially could turn out to be as accomplished as Lehtonen.
If the Thrashers decided to deal Pavelec, he hasn't been around enough to command a hefty return. But if the Thrashers trade Lehtonen, they could probably land at least two good young players.
Wouldn't Lehtonen be a good fit with the Kings' young talent in Los Angeles? He could possibly be a good fit in Ottawa or maybe Colorado or a couple of other teams.
The point is simply that there would be a market for Lehtonen and the Thrashers could land a strong return.
That's at least something to ponder, particularly because he will be a restricted free agent after this season.
I like Kevin Allen. He's never been one to trash the Thrash just cause it's cool, and he's never suggested contracting the entire Southeast Division* - just a very even, very knowledgeable hockey writer.
But I think he's wrong here.
What if we created one of those "goalie controversies" that we hear about from other, more established franchises? What if we kept Kari, but mixed it up occasionally with Pavs? Is the Pony ready for that kind of gig? What would we then do with Moose? Hmmm....
I'm not sayin... I'm just sayin....
*I know he was just joshin.... still rankled some folks.... wasn't very nice...
My favorite bits:
"I am not used to paying attention to world crises. If you start worrying about every cent you lose, you won't have enough nerves to handle it. We have to thing about something different. Our children are healthy, we wake up in the morning, the sun is shining... This is what happiness is."
"Money is money, but everyone wants to play for a serious contender. I am still hoping for better times. The times when not only Atlanta players but the entire NHL will consider the Thrashers to be a serious contender for the Cup."
"Players should know their role and what to do on the ice.Players should know their role and what to do on the ice."
"Money is money, but everyone wants to play for a serious contender. I am still hoping for better times. The times when not only Atlanta players but the entire NHL will consider the Thrashers to be a serious contender for the Cup."
Me too, Kovy....
Things To Mention For Today
- Re: Brian Burke. Attention ASG, here's your chance to fix a decade-old mistake. History doesn't often allow for this kind of mulligan. Do it.
- Re: The Carolina Hurricanes. They'll be visiting Phillips tonight, and our guests look pissed. They have one win in the last four games, all three losses at the hands of the Thrashers and Caps, two suprisingly ineffective goalies (as of late, anyway) - I'm guessing we drop this one. In spectacular fashion.
So what do we need to do?
- Keep it even-strength. Carolina has scored fewer goals than we have 5 on 5. According to the Falconer, we're starting to cash in on more of our shots taken. Let's hope that trend keeps up.
- Continue the Awakening of Kovy. Ilya Kovalchuk has quietly posted 14 points while we've all been singing the praises of the Kozlov-White-Little line. Eight of those points have come in the last 4 games. This is exciting. Let's hope his point production continues to snowball.
Prediction - Canes take this one 5-4 in OT. Carolina's not big on losing streaks (six streaks of three or more regulation losses in the almost 4 years of the Laviolette era), but I think our boys have enough fight in them to get the pity-point.