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Beth Dolgner
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Thrashers Fan

Winnipeg Jets Strength Weakness and Stanley Cup Chances posted by Thrashers Fan

The Winnipeg Jets finished the 2013-2014 season in the 22nd position and failed to make it through the central division to the playoffs. The season saw the departure of Coach Claude Noel and the entry of the new coach Paul Maurice.

Team’s Performance

The player with the highest number of goals was Blake Wheeler who scored 28 goals. He also finished the season with 69 points. The other top player in the team is Evander Kane. Kane finished the season with 19 goals and 41 points in 63 games.

None of the players in the team can be said to be a Number .1 Player. The team relies on the talents of Evander Kane, Blake Wheeler Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien. These talents are good, but hardly good enough for the team to perform better than it did in the last season. They need elite talent in the team, if they are to perform better.

Goaltending Talent

The main problem with the team is the goalie that it is relying on. Ondrej Pavelec has not proven to have the goaltending skill that a team hoping to get to the playoffs through the Western conference can rely on.

The backup, 24 year old Michael Hutchinson, has only played in the NHL from the last season. His inexperience and Pavelec’s poor show are going to continue affecting the team’s performance. Their previous and offseason performance have shown very little hope for the improvement of goaltending.


The team has a chance of improving its performance in the coming season. However, the lack of a star player and reliance of mostly Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler will limit their performance. If the team’s goaltending does not improve significantly in the coming season, then they have no chance of making it to the playoffs. 

Continue reading "Winnipeg Jets Strength Weakness and ..."

Jeff Ponder

Atlanta Signs Chris Mason to a 2-year, $3.7M Deal posted by Jeff Ponder

After gobbling up Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd from the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks, the Thrashers have signed Chris Mason, formerly of the St. Louis Blues.

Mason had a good season in 2009-10, posting a 30-22-8 record with a .913 save percentage and a 2.53 GAA.  He is best at stopping shooters on side-to-side movement, and can also make that spectacular save when needed.  The only knock on Mason may be his rebound control; many goals allowed last season were on second or third shots.

The Thrashers may have gotten a steal on Mason though.  The Canadian goaltender commanded $3.50 last season, and even turned down an extension from St. Louis before the Blues acquired Jaroslav Halak from Montreal, reportedly worth around $3.70 million.  Now signing at a cap-hit of $1.85 million, Mason joins Ondrej Pavelec as the goaltending tandem for the Thrashers. 

Was this signing to make Mason the starter?  I would guess not.  The Thrashers made a good move in getting Mason, but this just may be what Pavelec needs to really challenge for a number one job in Atlanta.  Great move no matter how you look at it by the Thrashers.Continue reading "Atlanta Signs Chris Mason to a 2-year, $3.7M Deal"

Kevin Christmann

Goaltender Options for the Flyers - Part 2 posted by Kevin Christmann

Part 2 of this series will include Restricted Free Agent options as well as possible acquisitions via trade.

In Part 1 of this series I covered some of the more realistic Unrestricted Free Agent options for the Flyers in their quest to acquire a starting goaltender. In addition to the Unrestricted Free Agent options, there are several viable Restricted Free Agent options. The benefit of restricted free agents is that they are all young…that is, after all, why they are restricted free agents. They are often times coming off their entry level contracts, and just haven’t played enough seasons to be eligible for unrestricted free agency. The bad part about restricted free agency is that, depending on how much the player is signed for, the team is required to pay some sort of draft pick compensation.

The compensation thresholds are dependent upon the salary cap ceiling for that respective season. Since we don’t know what the salary cap will be set at for next season, the compensation thresholds have not been set either.

Last year’s compensation was as follows:

-at or below $863,812 = no compensation

-$863,813 to $1,307,812 = One 3rd round pick

-$1,307,813 to $2,615,625 = One 2nd round pick

-$2,615,626 to $3,923,437 = One 1st round pick, one 3rd round pick

-$3,923,438 to $5,231,249 = One 1st round pick, one 2nd round pick, one 3rd round pick

-$5,231,250 to $6,539,062 = Two 1st round picks, one 2nd round pick, one 3rd round pick

-$6,539,063 or above = Four 1st round picks

Continue reading "Goaltender Options for the Flyers - Part 2"

Jeff Ponder

Bogosian Proving Worth posted by Jeff Ponder

With the third overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the Atlanta Thrashers knew that they were going to get something special.  Zach Bogosian is confirming that thought.

After seeing clear-cut number one draft-pick Stephen Stamkos head to Tampa Bay, the Kings were on the clock.  With the 2008 Draft crammed with defensemen, the Kings selected Drew Doughty, a Guelph Storm standout in the OHL.  The Thrashers surveyed their opportunities, and landed on physical defenseman Zach Bogosian, another OHL standout.  Playing with the Peterborourgh Petes, Zach was the only defenseman in the league to lead his team in points (61) and was named to the OHL First All-Star Team. 

Zach made the roster almost with minimal effort in training camp, and looked to be one of the top rookies in the NHL.  But things didn’t get off to the start he was hoping for.  Just eight games into the 2008-09 NHL campaign, Zach suffered a broken leg when he was slammed into the boards by Flyers forward Darroll Powe on October 28th.  Thrashers head coach John Anderson seemed to be more worried about his mental state at the time of the injury:

"We’ll monitor him more psychologically than anything right now.  You don’t want to feel lonely and by yourself and abandoned because you get injured, especially at 18. We’re well aware of the possible mental things he could go through."

After a long 33-game absence, Bogosian returned to the ice on December 31st at Carolina, logging 13:15 throughout his first game back.  Since that time, Zach seems to be playing more and more for the Thrashers, who have a very young defensive core.  On March 26th, Zach saw a season-high 28:01 time played against the New York Rangers, which was a 5-4 OT winning effort by the Thrashers.  Despite the time lost to injury, Zach’s seven goals leads all NHL rookie defensemen, and his 15 points places him in fourth in the rookie defenseman scoring race. 
Continue reading "Bogosian Proving Worth"

Beth Dolgner

Atlanta Thrashers: West Coast Victories posted by Beth Dolgner

The Atlanta Thrashers are off to a solid start for their four-game West Coast visit. The team kicked off the road trip with a dominant 8-4 victory of the Anaheim Ducks, then followed that up with a 6-3 victory over the L.A. Kings. To make things even better, Captain Ilya Kovalchuck scored a hat trick against the Ducks.

Needless to say, the back-to-back victories are a much-needed confidence boost for the Thrashers, especially considering the competition they will be facing when they return home next week: the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes. In the meantime, though, the Thrashers will be facing off against the Phoenix Coyotes and the San Jose Sharks before heading home. The Coyotes are the first up, with a game this Thursday.

One of the biggest questions lately is "Who's going to be in the net?" Goaltender and perennial fan-favorite Kari Lehtonen has been hit-or-miss in his performances lately. Still, coach John Anderson has been favoring the young player over Johan "Moose" Hedberg. Despite the win at Anaheim with Lehtonen in goal, though, Hedberg took over goaltending duties against the Kings. Lehtonen let four shots get past him at Anaheim, while Hedber's total at L.A. was three. The team hasn't announced who will stand in the net for the next game, but it's looking like Anderson isn't afraid to change things up in his effort to build a winning team.

Continue reading "Atlanta Thrashers: West Coast Victories"

Beth Dolgner

Atlanta Thrashers: Introduction and Injury posted by Beth Dolgner

Hi, my name is Beth and I'm an Atlanta Thrashers addict.

What's that? This isn't the Thrashers Addicts Anonymous meeting? Whoops, sorry. 

At any rate, I wanted to introduce myself since I'm a new presence here. I'm a writer and editor by trade, but I'm also a huge fan of the Atlanta Thrashers. I've been steadily delving deeper into hockey fandom over the past few years, and I went from "hockey novice" to "hooked" in a short span of time. I live in Atlanta, just a few miles from Phillips Arena, so it's no surprise that I can often be found at home games, cheering until I'm hoarse.

Unfortuantely, one of the players I haven't been able to cheer for lately is Jim Slater. He's my favorite Thrasher, but he got a shoulder injury after taking a hard hit into the boards several weeks ago. The latest word from the team is... well, there is no word, really. They haven't yet announced when they expect Slater to return to the ice. There have been some rumors swirling about his recovery time, but it looks like the guys who are really in the know are keeping mum about it, for now. You can believe that I'll be posting any news about Slater's return as soon as its announced!

Stay tuned... I'm looking forward to talking about all things Thrashers with all of you!

Continue reading "Atlanta Thrashers: Introduction and Injury"

Frank Vinci

Nittymaki Gets the Nod posted by Frank Vinci

Goaltender Antero Nittymaki has won the starting job from Marty Biron.  After a solid weekend of play, Nittymaki had Philadelphia analysts talking about a goalie controversy.  Coach John Stevens proved them right this week, announcing that Nittymaki would be the starter until further notice.

 Nittymaki came to the rescue on Saturday in Boston, inheriting a 0-3 deficit from Biron after one period, and steering the Flyers to a 4-3 overtime win.  He then continued his dominance over Atlanta on Sunday, posting a 3-2 win.  He will claim his throne between the pipes tonight against the Ottawa Senators.

Biron came down with a flu in December, missing almost two weeks, and has struggled since.  His lackluster play is easily attributable to his lack of consistent playing time.  But Stevens could no longer ignore the strong, consistent play of Nittymaki.  

So get ready for the controversy talk as the Flyers get ready for the home stretch.  Stevens will likely ride the hot hand into the playoffs, and Biron has to prove himself all over again.  Plan on seeing alot of Nitty from here on out. 

Continue reading "Nittymaki Gets the Nod"

Mike Smolarek

Blackhawks Trip up Thrasher 3-1, February 11, 2009 posted by Mike Smolarek

The Chicago Blackhawks resumed their winning ways last night, defeating the Atlanta Thrashers 3-1 in Atlanta.  The win ran the Hawks record on their current eight game road trip to 5-2.  Patrick Sharp ended his gola scoring drought by rifling in his 23rd goal on the power play in the second period.  Johnathan Towes scored off a rebound on the power play and Dave Bolland added an empty net short handed goal to ice the win for the Hawks.  Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 24th of the season for the Thrashers.

The Thrashers had two goals disallowed in the second period.  The first, which bounced of Hawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin then a  Hawks defender before crossing the line, was waived off because the referee had blow the play dead with a whistle.  The second goal was negated when Kovalchuk rifled a rebound past Khabibulin as time ran out on the period, but replays clearly showed time expiring before the goal entered the net.

Khabibulin was strong in net for the Hawks, making 36 saves, including 16 in the third period when the Thrashers dominated play.  There were long streches of the game where the Thrashers dominated, but Khabibulin kept the Hawks in the game, including a huge save on Bryan Little right in front of the net.  The Hawks penalty kill woes continued as Atlanta was 1-4 with the man advantage.

Cam Barker had two power play assists for the Hawks, who head to St. Louis for divisional matchup against the Blues on Friday night.  Dustin Byfuglien and James Wisniewski were heathly scratches for the Hawks, with Craig Adams and Aaron Johnson replacing them in the lineup.

Continue reading "Blackhawks Trip up Thrasher 3-1, February 11, 2009"

Mike Smolarek

Blackhawks in Atlanta, 2/11/09 posted by Mike Smolarek

The Chicago Blackhawks resume their road trip in Atlanta tonight, taking on the Thrashers at Phillips Areana.  The Hawks hope to rebound from the shellacking handed to them last Saturday night in Vancouver.  This is the Hawks first time in Atlanta in nearly three years.  Nikolai Khabibulin is expect to start the seventh game of the Hawks current eight game road trip.  Atlanta is coming off a 3-1 win in Tampa Bay last night in which goaltender Kari Lehtonen made 40 saves.  Game time is 7pm EST.

Continue reading "Blackhawks in Atlanta, 2/11/09"

Frank Vinci

Still Lucky... posted by Frank Vinci

Jeff Carter helped the Flyers stay lucky, scoring two goals and handing out one asist in a 3-2 win over the Thrashers in Atlanta on Sunday.  Antero Nittymaki made several outstanding saves in net, helping hold off a third period surge from Atlanta.

Philadelphia turned an amazing come back in Boston into a 2-0 weekend road trip.  But the Flyers should consider themselves lucky.  They fell back into their old habits Sunday, taking way too many penalties that helped the Thrashers back into the game.  Atlanta turned three third period penalties into two goals, keeping Flyers' fans on the edge of their seats until the final horn sounded.

Carter continued his season-long hot streak, having a hand in all three Flyers goals.  Nittymaki continued his dominance over Atlanta, sending some analysts into goalie controversy conversations.

For now, coach John Stevens seems content sending Marty Biron back out as the starter.  But Biron has struggled of late, perhaps still trying to find his legs after dealing with a bad flu bug back in December.  Biron will get at least on more chance to reclaim his role, but look for Stevens to have less patience.  Nittymaki has looked strong, and the Flyers need the consistency as they get set for a play off run.

The Flyers will take on Ottawa on Thursday night at the Wachovia Center.  They look to pile up some points with four of their next five games on home ice.  Look for Biron to be back in net, hopefully joined by captain Mike Richards and Scottie Upshall, who sat out last weekend's games with the flu.  Look for a rested and healthy Flyers team to go on a run in the next two weeks. 

Continue reading "Still Lucky..."

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