Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Four Reasons for Concern In Blueland

Yesterday, the outsider gave you Four Reasons The Thrashers Will Do Better This Year. Today, the other side of the coin: Four Reasons for Concern in Blueland. If you're a Thrasher fan, none of these are particularly startling revelations. In fact, some of these have become mantras of sorts for the Blueland faithful.

Four Reasons for Concern In Blueland

We've been down this road before, folks. Remember last year? Jason Williams was supposed to be a talented scorer that was going to center Ilya Kovalchuk to a third round playoff run. Mathieu Schneider was supposed to be not just a mentor to Zach Bogosian, but a quarterback to lead our power play out of sub-mediocrity. Erik Christensen was supposed to anchor our secondary scoring with his little dipsy-do abilities. How many of those guys even came close to fulfilling those expectations (other than Schneider's mentoring of Bogo)?

The Ilya Kovalchuk Three Ring Circus and Big Top. Every arena (but Atlanta's) will have a media mob, frothing at the mouth to disrupt the Thrashers dressing room in any way they can with trade speculation, contract questions, and general stupidity. I don't know if you've noticed, but the rest of the NHL has decided that Atlanta doesn't deserve Ilya Kovalchuk, and would love to see him in any other sweater as soon as fricken possible. If our boys can manage to tune out all of the rampant idiocy, they'll be ok; but, man, those dancing elephants in Montreal can be very distracting...

33 Shots Per Game. That's how many shots against the Thrashers averaged in the 08-09 campaign. -4.6 shots per game. That's the shot differential (per game) for last year's Thrashers (League average? Zero, strangely enough). Of course, these numbers aren't such a worry if you have a solid cut-and-dry number one goalie behind you to... oh wait...

Weasels, Ponies, and Moose, Oh My. The Thrashers goalie carousel continued it's roundabouts last year as Kari Lehtonen was felled by injuries, what, three times? Neither Ondrej Pavelec nor Johan Hedberg could provide consistent relief. Remember that dark night in December when the Bruins lit 'em up for 4 goals in about the first period? Something has to change if the Thrashers are to have any hope of a playoff run. If Atlanta fails in net again this year, it won't be for lack of trying. Check out the list of names invited to camp: Hedberg, Lehtonen, Drew Macintyre, Peter Mannino, Pavelec, and now Manny Legace. Let me say it again: Manny Legace. Some how, some way, one of those FIVE gentlemen must have enough goalkeeping ability to keep the Thrashers in any given game. Right?


Enough pessimism for today. If you'd like to check out some other stuff I've contributed lately, check out these links:

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Laura said...

Totally agree with your last point... well, ok, with all of them. The only goalie that I have any faith in out of those is Hedberg, and that's because I don't have unrealistic expectations for him other than to be a competent backup, a dependable team player, and an occasional lights out game stealer. Oh, and have a winning record, or at least close to one, since he was our only goalie last year who got one, and came within 2 of having one year before last.

The 2 new kids have potential but I'm not sure that they're ready for prime time (MacIntyre's blowout of Chicago notwithstanding). Pavs is an enigma to me... he has the ability but he doesn't have the maturity.

And Kari? Well... let's just assume that the stretcher they keep by the ice is probably for him.

Hm. Well, at least there's Manny... as long as he doesn't go all emo, he's golden.

aaron said...

Exactly! Occasional lights out game stealer: is that too much to ask?!

Srsly, the Manny invite surprises the living crap out of me. Did he not get a call from anyone else?

Mortimer Peacock said...

Yeah, I really don't understand this Legace business. I mean, it'd be cool to have him around, he had a great season 3 years ago, etc.

But why the hell isn't anyone else calling him up?


I think Jason Williams and Erik Christensen were bigger question marks than Antropov. I think we can reasonably sure (though not totally sure, I guess) that he and Kovy will get along just fine. I actually can't think of a line with worse chemistry than Kovy-Williams-Christensen. A true horror.

It is truly an honor to comment on the blog of Outsider Hockey's head coach and GM.

aaron said...

yea... let's see how big of an honor it is at the end of the season when my team colapses into a stinking pile of rubble. did the draft time change?

Mortimer Peacock said...

No it did not. Is 10 on Sept 7 good for you?

aaron said...

s'cool. i don't mind a robo-draft. i can pretend i'm 08-09 john anderson. or coach gretzky.

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