Monday, July 6, 2009

Thrashers sign 2 goalies ..whats next?

If you scroll down just a little bit on this blog you will see a previous post talking about how the Thrashers have 3 goalies in the organization and my opinion on what should be done with them. Well... over the weekend THE WAD went out and signed two more goalies, Peter Mannino and Drew MacIntyre. So its has to be asked...What's THE WAD's game plan now?

Something has got to give. Too many goalies. Not enough nets to put them in. I will put it in a way that might be even EASIER to understand. My fellow "Word On The Bird" contributor Meek put it like this: "well you don't go out and buy more beer unless you plan on drinking the beer you have already". I know I can understand the thought process on that one.

So who is getting traded? Kari? Moose? Pavelec? If it was up to me it would be Moose. He has already reached his potential and he could be a solid back up for another NHL team. We already have the top 6 forward and top 4 defensive player everyone has been wanting. If it was me I'd trade Moose for a PK specialist. It is another one of the much needed missing pieces to the Thrashers "my first playoff win puzzle" that we've been trying to put together for 10 years now.

Something is about to happen...hide and watch...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thrashers hire Associate GM

Just read on the Craig Custance blog that the Thrash hired Rick Dudley as Associate General Manager. He has been working with the Chicago Blackhawks for the last few years building what most would say is the youngest and most talented team in the NHL today. Seeing as its the direction we are heading in this could be a good sign of things to come with Free Agency around the corner. Click this link to read more info on Mr. Dudley.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Put me in coach...I'm ready to play?

The other day my friend and co-Bird is the Word blogger and I were discussing the recent playoff action. See I’m from Detroit and a big Red Wings fan (insert booing here), and one of the things that we were discussing is the large role some of the younger players on their team have taken on. Now anyone who has been watching the playoffs or paying attention undoubtedly has heard mention of Detroit’s ability to bring in these kids from the AHL due to injury in their lineup and still get productivity. Guys like Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Ville Leino and Jonathan Ericsson were all playing in the AHL this year and are now in the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s 4 rookies who combined don’t have a full seasons worth of NHL experience. So how then is Detroit up 2-1 in the series with 4 rookies in the lineup? Well I thought it would be a good idea to compare Detroit’s approach on player development to Atlanta’s. Now I know some of you are already saying “How can you compare those two teams? It’s totally different”, and I agree but, I think the comparison needs to be made. If you want to be successful I believe it helps to study what has made others successful, and nobody can deny the success Detroit has had. So here goes.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Detroit has had the luxury of having a very good team for quite some time. This in effect has allowed them to leave a lot of their younger players down in the AHL and let them really develop. This fact can’t be ignored but, just because a guy plays for a while in the AHL doesn’t mean he’s going to be a good NHL player. One of the most important things I believe the Wings do starts in Grand Rapids. The players are taught the same system that is run in Detroit. That way when a player does get called up they know exactly what is expected of them whether it be positioning or the role they are asked to play etc. Now as mentioned being one of the best teams has allowed them the opportunity to not rush players into the NHL. This has also hurt them. When it comes to the draft we all know success means bad draft position. So the wings have had to find players late in the draft. I would argue that Detroit has some of the best, if not the best, scouts in the NHL. Couple that with Kenny Holland who is referred to as one of the best GM’s in all of pro sports and you have a formula for success. Take a look at some of the players they have and where they were drafted.

Henrik Zetterberg 1999: 7th Rnd, 210th by DET

Pavel Datsyuk 1998: 6th Rnd, 171st by DET

Johan Franzen 2004: 3rd Rnd, 97th by DET

Thomas Holmstrom 1994:10th Rnd, 257th by DET

Jonathan Ericsson 2002: 9th Rnd, 291st by DET

Nicklas Lidstrom 1989: 3rd Rnd, 53rd by DET

The Wings ability to find these players late has allowed them to stay competitive over the years. They keep their younger players in the AHL and wait until they are ready instead of forcing them into the lineup and making them take on a role they can’t handle. A lot of guys wouldn’t be patient and might try to play somewhere else (Pavelec anyone?), but the fact that they are successful gives them the benefit of having guys want to play for them, thus they are willing to wait until they get their chance. I’ve included an article that speaks about the things I’ve mentioned here.

The next part of my article brings me to the Thrashers. Let's take a look at some of the Thrashers draft picks and their status with the team. I've included a list of the teams complete draft history as well.

By my count 4 of our 11 first round draft picks are no longer with the team. I think we'll all agree that Stefan never lived up to expectation. The Heatley situation was unavoidable. We're all still pissed about Coburn. The ironic thing is that I've heard many people say "well Coburn wasn't developing fast enough so we traded him". He was only 21 when we let him go. He played 91 games with the wolves and 38 with the Thrashers. How on earth is that enough time to tell if he's going to develop into the kind of player we're looking for? But I digress. Looking at the link I've provided above listing our draft pick history I decided to pick out the players that I thought we did a good job of selecting. Here's my list.

Name Selection# Round# Year

Exelby 217 8 1999
Heatley 2 1 2000
Kovalchuk 1 1 2001
Lehtonen 2 1 2002
Enstrom 239 8 2003
Coburn 8 1 2003
Little 12 1 2006

Now the disturbing trend that I see here is that out of 82 picks in our history I only feel like there have been 7 that had any real impact or help to the team. Let me say that again. 7 out of 82. I'm sure some of you will argue that there are other guys worthy of mention but I ask who? The large majority of our picks have long left our team or our system.

Another thing that bothers me is when looking at the players I've listed you'll notice that all but 2 were in the first round and our first selection. Personally I think that if you pick a guy with your first pick of the first round he should have talent. I know some might turn out to be a bust but you should have a higher percentage of success than failure in that round. Only 2 of these players were late round selections or "gems" if you will. Enstrom certainly falls in this category as it looks like he was a steal in the draft. I gave Exelby a mention since he's been with the team since we drafted him and overall has been an ok player but, I wouldn't look at him as a steal.

Now compare this to Detroits history of drafting and notice their ability to find special players late in the draft and our inability to do the same. Are they consistently lucky in this category? I actually think it speaks volumes about our scouts and or managements drafting decisions. Perhaps it comes down to the development of our players. I know there are some guys in Chicago that have been there for a while and I applaud Atlanta for not rushing them into action but, is it because they aren't ready for the NHL or that they just aren't NHL caliber players? I get the impression by looking at the ages of some of the guys in Chicago that they might not ever turn out to be consistent NHL players. Maybe it's not a lack of development but a lack of skill keeping them from cracking the lineup. Once again this comes back to our scouting and draft selection.

I talked before about how Detroits AHL team runs the same system as their NHL team. Why don't we do the same? Even Bryan Little talked this year about how having Anderson come in really boosted his confidence due to him knowing what was expected of him out on the ice. It's a huge advantage for younger players making the transition and I feel a big problem with our orginization. Unfortunately Chicago isn't directly controlled by the Thrashers. All in all I feel like we might be on the right track. Bryan Little has gotten his game going and has a chance to emerge as a very solid player. We've seen flashes of good play from the likes of Stuart, Pavelec and Oystrik. We brought in Anderson and he's running the system that many of our prospects are familiar with. One would think that could only help our younger players as they move into the roster. My only hope is that whoever we draft this year is given the chance to refine his game and build confidence before we shove him into the spotlight. Here's a quote that I think really typifies a lot of teams in the NHL including ours.

"We want to give guys a chance to grow and have a chance for success," McCrimmon said. "There's a whole bunch of teams where there's a lot of pressure to put in their draft picks, for marketing reasons, or because you don't have the depth that you can say you don't need that kid right now. All of a sudden, he's on the second line."

Let's not make the same mistakes. Give our kids a chance and build the team from within. Lord knows I can't stand another 9 years of this.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thrashers Re-sign Salmela

Well it had been rumored for days but its official. The Thrashers Re-signed Salmela. As usual the terms of the deal were not disclosed but its supposedly a multi-year contract. It will be interesting to see what Mr. Salmela will bring to the team this year. Its rumored that the 24 year old signed a one way contract so he will be starting out with the Thrashers and not in the AHL like he did last year with New Jersey. "THE WAD" seems to be pretty big on this guy. I hope he can stabilize our shaky defensive corps.

For those still not that familiar with him here is a short video with some awesome cheesy music:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A tale of 3 goalies

I was recently on the Atlanta Thrashers message boards. I was reading a thread where people once again discussed the idea of trading either Lethonen, Moose, or Pavelec. In the past I've always been more of a either "trade Moose for whatever we can get for him and bring up Pavelec as Kari's back up to light a fire under Kari's ass'' or "trade Pavelec and prospects or picks in hopes of bringing back a REAL top 6 forward or top 4 stay at home defender" kinda guy.

See the rationale that I've read, even from Waddell himself, is that the Thrashers have depth at goalie and its a way we could trade for the talent we need to show Kovalchuk the Thrashers are going to do what it takes to be a serious contender. Now while I agree with getting more talent on the team not only for that reason but for just plain ''getting talent'' purposes go, I argue that trading away any of these goalies might hurt us in the long run.

The last thing I want to see the team doing right now is mortgaging the future for today. I hope we learned our lesson with the whole "Coburn fiasco of 2006". I would really hate to see us trade away our goalies for a minimal return that only leaves us up the creek when one or two of them gets hurt and we need a back up. Its happened before, had we more depth in goal in the 2005-2006 season we might have made the playoffs.

Also, and I give credit to the Atlanta Thrashers message board poster "Zim" credit for this: a number of elite goaltenders have struggled in the NHL at Pavelec's age and gone on to great success (examples include Broduer, Belfour, Hasek, & Nabakov). Do we want to see Pavelec move onto another team only to see him gathering 30 wins only a couple of years from now?

Another point would be that we need to stop rushing our prospects into the league and let them come up when the time is right and not always when we need them due to not enough depth. I know that Pavelec, or his agent, supposedly threw a fit earlier in the year about being sent back to Chicago but that is what happens to prospects. You get sent down until you are ready for the big show. He is going to have to get used to that. It would probably have happened on any other NHL team as well.

To me, and I've read something where Waddell said the same, the team would have to get another goalie who is NHL ready if they were to trade away any of the 3 goalies. You just have to have the back up plan in place should the worst case scenario occur.

If it was my decision, and I'm sure "THE WAD" will call asking for advice, I would keep all 3. Pavelec still has much potential and so does Kari. Moose is the guy everyone likes to have in the locker room and seems to serve as a good mentor to the younger players, which we have many of right now. I do not think the return we would get from trading any of them would justify the trade. Don't forget that Lethonen is still young. There is obviously the health issues but I say sign him for 1 or 2 more years and give him one last shot. If he is able to improve his focus and be the kind of goalie that we have seen glimpses of he could be our guy for a long time to come. He's just gotta stay off the IR for long enough to prove it. While I know that Atlanta has not been a major destination for free agents lately I really hope that Waddell is able to lure a couple solid players to the team. Hopefully, that will mean we don't need to give up any of them at all. Last but not least, don't forget this is the final year of Hedberg's contract and I do not expect for him to be resigned. One more year in the AHL could be just what the doctor ordered for Pavelec.

Unfortunately I view this as a "damned if you do, damned if you don't'' situation. If we do decide to trade Pavelec or Lethonen and down the road they end up playing great for another team then we'll be kicking ourselves. But how much longer can Atlanta fans sit around waiting for success?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ilya Kovalchuk sends secret message...

After winning the World Championships and being named MVP, Ilya Kovalchuk decided that he wanted to celebrate a little and let everyone all over the world know that he thinks that THE WORD ON THE BIRD is the best Thrashers blog out there. I was a little shocked when I first noticed it too but if you don't believe that Kovy is behind our efforts 100% then just check out the obvious gesture that he is making with his left hand. He thinks we are #1!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Toby Enstrom injured in Switzerland

For those of you who don't know the IIHF World Championships are going on in Switzerland and there are a few Thrashers who are competing in them. One of them is Toby Enstrom. Well yesterday he took a hit that looks like the hockey equivalent to being ''curbed" by Martins Karsums (Tampa Bay). Reports of the extent of his injury seem to be conflicting but it seems he may require surgery. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope that he is back on the ice soon. Here is a video of it if you like seeing someone get his clock cleaned so bad that just watching the video will give you a headache...


Just read this on the blueland blog:

Apparently Enstrom lost some teeth as a result of his collision with the boards and has a facial fracture below his orbital bone which is being surgically repaired today. He is expected to make a full recovery. All of this is from Kevin Allen at USAToday.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brayden Schenn

To complete (for now) our focus on the possible picks for the Thrashers in the 2009 entry draft I'm going to talk about Brayden Schenn.

Most people know by now that he is the little brother of the young Maple Leafs stand out Luke Schenn. He plays an aggressive style game much like his brother. I have heard people compare him to being like Thornton and Cheechoo. He describes himself as a 2 way forward and he was named WHL rookie of the year in the 07-8 season. Schenn also led his team in points this year, was 7th in the WHL, with 88 points (32 goals, 56 assists).

I think he would be great on our team and add some much needed toughness in our top 6. I could see him playing on any line from our top line all the way to the 4th. Personally, I would love to have a kid like this on the Thrashers. He can put the biscuit in the basket and on top of that he hits like a freight train. If you don't believe me watch the videos below.

Showing more of his scoring and passing ability

Duchene, Paajarvi-Svensson or Cowen?

I decided to do a little write up on 3 possible picks for the Thrashers. I'll do them in order of who I would like to see us get.

First up is Matt Duchene.

This kid has great hands and possesses one of the best shots in the OHL, with a very quick release. He's labeled as a pure sniper. One of the best skaters in the 2009 draft he has the ability to accelerate and change gears instantly ala Kovalchuk and Ovechkin. Speed like that can back off defenders and create a lot of problems. Can you imagine Kovy and Duchene racing down the ice together? Although rumored to be a decent passer he has the ability to be a game breaker with his offensive talent. Offense aside he's said to be a solid 2 way defender. Something Atlanta poorly needs. At 5'11" and 198 and only 18 this kid could still get above 6' and around 210 easy. That's some pretty decent size to go along with that speed. His downside seems to be that he needs to learn to use his size to shield the puck a little better, especially along the walls. That's something that can be worked on and corrected over time. Personally I would love to see this kid Centering a line with Kovy and say Little on the wing.

Next up is Jared Cowen

Here's what I like about this kid. SIZE, SIZE and SIZE. At 6'5" and 218 pounds this kid is a beast and he's only 18. He's a very fluid skater and has an impressive wingspan that he uses to immobilize forwards. Aside from his stature his strong suit is his positioning and discipline. When a defenseman has good positioning they usually don't take a lot of penalties and it shows by his 45 PIM this year. Cowen likes to jump up into the play so he would fit nicely into our system. He isn't going to bring the same kind of offensive production that bogosian does but he's a big kid who plays very physical in front of the net. Often used to shut down the oppositions strongest player he could eat up a lot of ice time as well. This year he placed 3rd in hardest shot at the skills competition. That could bode well for playing the point on our PP. The down side is he's coming off of a knee injury and that could scare some scouts. Prior to the injury he had never missed a game due to being hurt and was often talked about as the number 3 pick in the draft. A good video can be seen here.

Last but not least. Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi

Magnus is an extremely fast and fluid skater. He's 6'1" and 200 pounds. He likes to use his size to attack the net and back up forwards. He has great hands and his offensive upside has been compared to Markus Naslund and Matts Sundin. Magnus has managed to work his way into a potential top 5 pick this year. Good on the breakaway and a tremendous playmaker he could be a great set up guy for Kovy. Downfalls are that he apparently shy's away from physical play and his defensive game needs some work. I'm not sure if we need another guy who can score but can't play in his own zone.

Evander Kane & the #4 Pick

Last night in the 2009 NHL draft lottery none of the top 5 teams moved positions. That means that the Thrashers have the 4th pick in the draft slated for late June. We at The Word On The Bird are going to assume that by then both of the assumed top 2 draft picks (Tavares and Hedman) will be gone. So we are going to bring you some of our half assed analysis of some of the best players who could possibly be available to select at that time. Don't worry Thrashers fans, there will still be plenty of talent left over when its their turn to pick. In this post I'm going to talk about a player and then Meek is going to give his thoughts on others. Hope you enjoy them...

Evander Kane

This season he was the 4th leading scorer in the WHL league with 96 points (48 goals, 48 assists). He is currently ranked 6th by the International Scouting Service and is expected to go anywhere between 3rd and 7th in the draft. Like the nearly undisputed first choice of the draft, Tavares, Kane has a great shot and great puck handling skills. But he is also a solid two way player and plays with an edge that the Thrashers sorely need. He will score, he will pass, he will hit, and he will fight. What more can you ask for? Evander has been compared to Iginla and that's not bad company. He likes to go into the corners and battle for possession and knows its his job to score. Not only does he know its his job but he wants the puck when the game is on the line. You gotta like that.

On top of all this it should be mentioned that he is African-Canadian (yeah funny word for us Americans to hear). Yeah, that's right, he's black. It's pretty obvious that could be a big deal considering the sizeable black population here in Atlanta is a giant untapped market by the Thrashers and hockey in general. He has even already interviewed with the Thrashers. Want to hear what he had to say about being a draw for the black community here?

“I did speak with Atlanta. And I suppose going to the United States, of course there are a lot of African Americans. But I would be happy to play anywhere in the NHL. If it were Atlanta, well yes, you’re correct on that note and I guess that’s all part of the job and I would be very happy doing it.”

With all the positives that I've written about him here you might wonder what his downside is? It seems to be size. Some sources have him listed as small as 5 foot 11 and 160 lbs. Others, which I assume are more up to date, have him listed as 6' 1'' and 185. Either way, he would have to put on some size to be able to continue to play the same game he has in the WHL. If we end up with him I hope he is ready to play next year because the Thrashers could use more grit in their top 6. On top of all this he is named after fellow Atlantan, Evander Hollyfield, which is hilarious.

Here is a highlight video of Evander Kane:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pavelec to have surgery?

There is a rumor floating around that the Thrashers young goalie prospect is going to have surgery in the off season. Supposedly he was not diagnosed properly months ago and it is going to require surgery to repair his knee. With that being said, he must have been playing hurt for a while. This could explain his poor play nearing the end of the season. Looks like we are going to have to put a hold on our having 3 goalies situation a little bit longer...

Playing the lottery

Fans of the Atlanta Thrashers will get a good idea about what player they will probably end up drafting tonight. As I mentioned in my last post they have a 10.7% chance of ending up with the first pick in the draft tonight. This could be the first glimpse into what the Thrashers could be next season. Are they lucky enough to get that first pick? We will find out at 8pm tonight on the VS. network! Check back in the next few days because we will be giving our half-assed analysis of the possible choices for the Thrashers once we find out the draft order.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thrashers lose, Kovy/Bogosian put on a show

I will choose to ignore the fact that the Thrashers have lost their last 3 in a row and instead focus on 4 things in this post.

1. Kovalchuk - so far he has proved to be exactly what this team needed this year (and hopefully for years to come) as far as a captain goes. I know it is still up in the air what he does when his contract comes up for renewal this year but I'm holding my breath that he will re-sign with the team. He was presented the "Heineken 3 stars award" last night, for player who was picked for the most 3 stars of the game honors this season. He scores, he can pass the puck, and apparently after watching last night he can fight. I love watching him wave on the crowd afterward. So he is not only a Captain but a man who likes to put on a show.

2. Bogosian - Anyone who reads this blog will know that I have a massive semi-romantic man boner for Bogosian. He continues to impress. Last night was no different, the sombitch had 2 goals! It really is awesome to watch him play. He seems to get better every game and I notice every player on the ice looking to pass to him when its time for a shot. Even more so than most of the forwards on the team.

3. Players Player Award - This year the award went to Marty Reasoner. This season he put up a career best for goals scored and played his ass off every shift. Sounds like the kind of guy that you want coming back next season doesn't it?

4. Draft Lottery - With the loss last night, the Thrashers have solidified their position with the 4th position in the draft lottery. Anyone who was worried about their late run in the season possibly changing where they end up drafting does not have to worry anymore. They still have the outside chance of ending up with the 1st overall pick if the lottery goes their way. Thats right, the Thrashers have a 10.7% chance of getting the #1 pick in the draft. For those scoring at home, that is a 8.5% better chance than TripleLindy has of getting laid in 2009.

We should know what pick they end up with by about 8:30pm on April 14th. Cross your fingers!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Take it easy Bruce...

The Thrashers had a hilarious video during a break in play yesterday that took some jabs at Ovechkin. I thought it was pretty damn funny and Ovechkin could be seen laughing too. This is what Bruce Boudreau had to say about it:

"I wasn't a big fan of that. If they want to mock their own players, fine -- go ahead and mock their own players like that. But people pay a lot of money for these commercials, and I didn't think it was in very good taste when they did the stuff with Alex."

Come on Brucey, stop being such a douche...

Here is the video in case you have yet to see it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Looking for revenge tomorrow night...

The Thrashers lost 6 to 3 yesterday to the Crapitals. Not without giving a valiant effort though. It was nice to see Colby Armstrong notch his 20th goal of the season. A career high for him that also gives the Thrashers 5 players with 20 or more goals on the season. If someone would have told me at the beginning of the season that the Thrashers would have 5 players with 20 goals I would never have believed them.

They get the chance to avenge their loss tomorrow night and possibly put a damper on Washington's hopes for finishing 2nd in the Conference. They are leading the Devils by only 2 points and it sure would be great if they could screw that up for them.

One point about yesterday's game.... It was interesting to see how effective the Capitals forechecking was in the beginning of the 3rd period. They completely shut the Thrashers offense down and in turn created some good scoring chances. It was also kind of shocking that the Captials scored 6 goals and none of them were from Ovechkin (he did however have 2 assists). 11 shots and not a single goal. Obviously it wasn't from a lack of trying.

With Washington being one of the best power play teams in the league, the Thrashers penalty kill is going to have to be better to stop the Crapitals from dumping on them again tomorrow night.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

MISSING!! Have you seen this man?

For the month of March Hainsey has 0 goals, 4 assists and 0 PP points. That's ZERO PP points. For someone logging so much ice time I would expect a little more. The man I heard many proclaim should be our Captain because of his strong play early in the season has dropped off as of late. Now what's to attribute to this you ask? I honestly wish I knew. Could it be that Bogosian has really stepped up so much that we don't notice Hainsey like we used to? Could he just be going through a funk right now? Who's to say other than Hainsey himself. I'm glad to see that the team is winning without him performing up to par. I liked the addition of Hainsey and I hope he can be a solid contributor next season. Let's pick it up a little Ron!!

I Am Happy To Be A Thrasher's Fan Again.

That's right.. I said it. I am happy to follow this team again now that we actually look like we give a shit about the game. Great game all around last night. Bogosian stole the show with his great first period goal and at least 5 amazing hits all over the ice. Kovy looked good for the entire game and ended with the OT game winner and and an assist on Bogo's goal.

I just read the re-cap of the game on and it quotes Kovy as saying that J. Anderson has proven that the can take the team to the playoffs next year. He says something else in defense of J.A.'s rough first half of the season and sounds pretty content overall... dare I say that it sounds like we actually have a chance of Kovy re-signing over the summer??? If that happens I will parade around the streets naked. Seriously.

You're welcome Sabres Fans!

I do not have any problem playing spoiler to the Sabres playoff hopes. Great game last night! It was aggressive with neither team backing down and its great to see the 'boys in blue' (or sometimes ehhh maroon) building some pride in getting the win that will hopefully carry over into next season. After all, assuming that we are able to re-sign both Reasoner and Armstrong, we will probably be looking at a very similar roster come October.

I watched the game last night with JimLongo and we were both blown away by Bogosian's presence on the ice. To think that the kid is only 18 and playing like that is unbelievable. His offensive awareness and grit are that of a seasoned veteran in the league. He seems confident and ready to accept his role on the first D pairing. He is willing to protect his teammates and use his strength to intimidate the opposing team in front of the net. It's gonna be great seeing him get even more confident as the years go on.

With that being said, what is the deal with Hainsey lately? He just seems not in sync with the rest of the team. I recall a couple passes he made last night that were so far off target he could have been attempting to get a beer vendors attention.

Also have to mention that Kovalchuk is on fire the last half of the season. He is on a 6 game point streak and now has a point in 18 of his last 20 games. Anyone looking for a reason as to why the Thrashers have been hot lately can chalk that up as a big help. Anderson is quoted as saying "when he does well, our team does well". What does Kovy have to say about his coach? “It’s his first year in the NHL. It’s tough to be the coach in the NHL,” Kovalchuk said. “He’s shown everybody he’s the guy who’s going to take us to the playoffs next year.”

I'm gonna be crossing my fingers that the Thrash are able to get their hands on another forward this off season through either free agency or in the draft that can be just as important to the teams success as Kovalchuk. Even though the team is playing well on their current streak, its a long season. I think they are going to need a little more talent in the top 6 in order to make that run for the playoffs that the fans here in Atlanta are sorely needing.

PS. If we ever meet the Sabres in the playoffs there is gonna be a riot in Phillips.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kovy is gonna mess your shit up meek.

So according to the AJC beat writer, Lehtonen is saying that Kovy is playing like he is possessed. Says that in practice yesterday he scored like twice as much a normal. I hope that he leads us to destroy Detroit tonite. Hey, it has happened before... could happen again.

I hate the Red Wings.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Matt Cooke is a fucking asshole.

Period. Someone needs to choke his ass out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thrashers Flush the Crapitals!

I must say that I have been more than a little disappointed with the Thrashers play this season. I blame their poor play on not enough talent. But after watching the last few games and especially the game last night against the Capitals I'm amazed about how well the team is gelling lately. Speaking of gelling....If someone would have asked Kari last night "ARE YOU GELLIN?!?!!", I'm sure he would have said ''like Magellan", or whatever else those jackasses in those horrible commericals say. Despite allowing a goal within the last two minutes of regulation, I don't recall seeing a more impressive performance from Lethonen (or many other goalies this season for that matter). He faced 50 shots and stopped all but one. He was really in the zone and you could tell by his laid back style and focus. If we see Kari turn this into a regular thing the Thrashers are going to be tough to beat. It must be said however that a defense allowing 50 shots on goal is completely unacceptable and the team should be punished by watching nothing but Dancing with the stars re-runs on their next road trip.

I try not to ride the wave of ups and downs that a season filled with. I try to look at the bigger picture of a season broke into quarters or so. With that being said, it is difficult not to be excited about what the team is doing right now. Not only have they won six games in a row (franchise record) but the last 2 games and part of a 3rd were without Kovalchuk. They are also doing it while bringing new and young talent into the mix (Machachek, Salmela, Sterling). If you were to add another solid veteran presence on the team next year in our top 6 and possibly a - ***crosses his fingers*** - top 5 draft pick who is NHL ready next season, then this could really be a team that would give some top teams in the league a headache.

I have one final word before finishing this post and it is....BOGOSIAN! When the season first started he seemed just what he probably was, a nervous 18 year old kid. Within the last couple weeks he has already shown that he is ready to play with the big boys. Registering a point in games more often than not and showing the physical presence that the Thrashers sorely need. His offensive instincts on when to bite down and take the shot or break into a defense to make a quick pass are something to see. The future of our blueline is looking brighter every scratch that... lately (and I must say lately) the future of the WHOLE TEAM is looking brighter every day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Even without Kovy...

Amazing game! Watched at the Midway with Mr. Magnum and Mr. Meeks. Lehtonen's couple of saves at the very end had to have been my plays of the game. We had no volume at the bar so I couldn't tell much about Salmela... he seemed to get a decent amount of ice time. Major props to Brett Sterling who I have never thought that much of before this game... great shootout goal to win the game. 5 in a row... amazing.... watching the Thrashers play is a good time again!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Nice win...

Great game last night. My favorite goal was Bogosian's slapper from the left circle... I think he is going to be my favorite player next season. I actually fell asleep for the end but woke up right as Reasoner scored the winner... Good times.

Remember when the Oilers coach Craig McTavish used to play for the Flyers and was, I believe, the last player to opt not to wear a helmet? I used to think it was funny to see a hockey player that looked like he blow-dried his hair between periods. Nancy-boy McTavish. Sorry you lost.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Better late than never....

I just want to go on record saying that I am thrilled that the Thrashers are streaking at the end of the season here and actually winning some games. Last night's game was great and several others have been really good as of late. All the idiots who think it is just a given that professional athletes are actually going to throw games for a draft pick that could turn into a Patrick Stefan... well, blow me. To have so little dignity as to give up on a season to purposely try to finish last is just utter bullshit... and the message boards are literally overflowing with d-bags who can't believe that the team is actually trying to win games instead of just rolling over and taking a loss.

Draft picks are great, and I hope we get a high pick this year, but not at the cost of all self-respect and dignity that our team has. Anyone who thinks otherwise can lick my balls.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hartley To Coach Habs???

Just read that Bill Clement named Hartley as his pick to replace the recently departed Carboneau as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. I think he would be a pretty good choice. I loved Hartley for the majority of his stay here... he did exactly what they brought him in to do... but then lost the team when it really mattered. Hopefully he has learned from his mistakes and can get off of our fucking payroll!!!

Lick em.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Your choice of beer

If you won a contest and got to pick any beer you wanted to be served at Phillips arena what would you choose? Leave your answers under the comments section and at the end of the week we'll make a list of some of the best ones and email them to Phillips. The drinkers have a voice!!

Salmela Recalled

The Atlanta Thrashers have recalled defenseman Anssi Salmela (AN-see sahl-MEHL-ah) from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.

No doubt this means he will be in Tuesdays game against Colorado. Personally in a dwindling season with not much to look forward to I welcome the chance to see someone new in action. Now I'm not sure whether or not Waddell did the right thing in acquiring him, but the fact remains that he's on the team now so let's see what the kid can do. Like I said in a previous post, he is a bit small for a defenseman, but apparently plays a very physical game. I'm expecting him to come in and play very aggressive in order to make a good impression. He has to look at this as a good opportunity to stay up in the NHL. Let's face it, we have some openings and if he comes in and shows good promise I think he's got a shot at some regular playing time. Here's hoping he puts someone through the glass in his first game.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Stupid Canadiens.

I missed the game last night... and it wasn't televised. Caught On-The-Fly and it sounds like probably the best home game of the season. Goals by Peverley and Little... Little's was pretty hot-shit. Shut-out by Mr. Lehtonen. Kovy had not one but two assists. And the Canadians proved to be the little bitches that they truly are. When I was riding Marta home from work yesterday evening I saw some loser heading to the game in a really old Montreal jersey. It looked like a little kid wearing a shitty superhero costume his mom made for him out of shit from a dumpster behind a Walmart. Fucking Canadian douche.

Lick em.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Christensen was a waste of my time.

I think this was a good move. Christensen did nothing here in Atlanta but basically sulk and play half-assed. I heard it was because he left his boyfriend in Pittsburgh and never quite got over it. Anyways... This 2nd round pick has just as much potential as any one of our up-and-coming young guys so I say well done.

Lick em.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Have to deviate for a sec...

Can anyone explain the logic of the Daniel Carcillo - Scottie Upshall/2nd Rd. Pick trade to me?! Am I missing something?
First, Upshall seems like the better player. Second, I know Carcillo gets the PIM; but with Riley Cote and Scott Hartnell(dick) on your team already, who needs that. Do the Flyers just want to cement their position in history as being the biggest jackass, dirty team ever??? I can't wait to see Dr. Hook McCraken and Ogie Ogelthorpe the next time the Flyers come to Atlanta.
Fuck the Flyers!!!

Addition by subtraction?

You know, I have to say I don't mind Christensen leaving. Who knows how this O'Dell kid will pan out but Christensen was not a good fit for Atlanta. He is one in a long line of mediocre centers to come in and out of Philips with very little affect. Although I guess getting out of here with a -14 in 57 games isn't too bad!
Now we get to wait out yet another prospect. We keep trading for younger and younger players that we have to just hope make the cut. I know that's called rebuilding but with the Thrashers every year is a rebuilding year. If we keep this trend, everyone watch out for that 2050-2051 Thrashers team!!!
On the bright side, O'Dell has earned more points in two seasons in the OHL then Christensen has in 4 in the NHL. Sorry, I'm trying to be optimistic here! Best I could do.

Thrashers trade Eric for Eric...

Just saw on that Eric Christensen was traded for Anaheim prospect Eric O'dell. Review of the trade to come...

Well??? Its 3pm...

Still no word on if the Thrashers made any moves today. The rumor was that they were getting calls asking about Goaltenders and that Armstrong was being asked about by most of the league. Sometimes the trades take a little while to get finalized and we could hear more shortly. Keep your fingers crossed!

Waddell on TSN.CA

Waddell was just on TSN giving an interview. He said that no matter what offers he might receive he will not trade Kovalchuk. He also said he has a few things in the works and expects to make a few trades today with the intent of bringing in a few bodies and not just picks. More to come...

Trade Deadline!

I wonder who else we might see moved today? Could it be Kari? Armstrong? Maybe a surprise like Peverley? We should know in only a few more hours...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Salmela. Waddell suck it!!!

Meek makes some very good points about Salmela but I have to give my two cents. Every owner and GM in the league now knows how to trade to Atlanta: give as little as possible and just let Waddell give in. Our latest ship-out is Havelid. We give up our only solid D man for the past 4 years for a dude who’s only proven himself for 3 points in the NHL and only 32 points for his best season in a damn Finnish league.

And if that weren’t enough, we give more! We give up forward Myles Stoesz in the deal. Now I don’t know about this Stoesz guy but if he has two arms, two legs, and at least knows how to tie his own fucking skates he should have never been in that deal! Next deal will be Enstrom for a fucking puck bag and some jocks.

We should have gotten more than that. Havelid is not a huge point guy (for Atlanta) but he will no doubt get more points with a good team. But it’s not his points that make him a good player; it’s his solid defensive play and his locker room presence. And in case anyone hasn’t been paying attention at all this year, the Thrashers terribly need both.

There are many teams trying to make a playoff run here and Havelid had some value. I think Waddell made another foolish, short-sighted move. I’m not looking for a Lidstrom or a Boyle here but come on. I would just like to once open up a see something where I’m like “hell yeah, that was an awesome move!” Jesus, help us… help us Lord!!!

Oh, and Atlanta Spirit can suck a fat one! Those bastards need to sell to someone who actually gives a shit.

Have you seen this man?


If you see this man near any playgrounds make sure to call the local authorities!!

Ok seriously. Todd White looks like someone I definitely would not want playing with my kids. Alright so maybe I don't have kids but I wouldn't even let him talk to someone else's kids. I mean does he have his helmets custom made? His forehead is huge.

Disclaimer: If you do see Todd White please do not call the cops. This was a joke. Please do make fun of his enormous forehead though. Thank you.

The Dark Lord On Waivers?!?!

I mentioned earlier today that Eric Perrin was on waivers. I also mentioned some other names on waivers and a great idea hit me. Why don't we pick up SATAN?!?!

I mean I don't think anyone is using the number 666 currently and how could Lucifer not help on the power play?

By the way doesn't that guy who is supposed to be satan above look like a gay Dom Deluise?

Havelid for Salmela?

I'm sure you've all heard about the trade sending Havelid to the Devils. I'm not here to report on that but I do want to talk about this Salmela kid. Here are some of the basics.

Place of Birth: Nokia, Finland
HT: 5-11 WT: 190
Shoots: L

Now in looking at this the first thing that concerns me is his size. He's not very big for an NHL defenseman. Then again neither is Enstrom. Seeing how he is 24 he's obviously not going to get any bigger. Sure he could put on some weight but I can't imagine he'll put on much more. Word is he has a lot of offensive upside and should net more points than Havelid. He did have 16-16 for 32 points in 2007-2008 so that's encouraging. From what I've read he plays a very physical style of D and has good speed and hands. Now I'm all for having a young mobile defensive unit. I think in todays NHL you have to have good puck moving defenseman. The offense starts from the back end and if you can move the puck out of the zone quick then you'll get a lot of chances to score. All in all I think we did ok with this trade. We lost probably our most solid D man but he was 35 and a UFA this summer. In return we get a 24 year old kid who is NHL ready and might be able to help us now and not 2-3 years from now. Obviously the jury is still out but as of now I'd have to say I like it.

Eric Perrin Put on Waivers

Wow, this is a little surprising because I thought that the Thrashers would end up trading him. I had read an article on about him wanting to be traded. It looks like there were no takers for him because they just put him on waivers. Oh well, I guess once you make it clear you don't want to be on a team and they can't trade you then you will end up on the street. It will be interesting to see if any teams attempt to pick him up. Other big names also ended up on waivers today....Satan (Pens), Morrison, (Ducks), Roberts (Lightning), Gerber (Sens), and Jon Sim (an old thrasher). Could there be any interest of bringing Sim back into the mix?

Could the waiving of Perrin be a sign that Waddell is going to be making a trade or some how bringing in a new forward? We should learn more in the next 48 hours.

Welcome to The Word On The Bird Blog!

Hello, and welcome to The Word On The Bird Blog! The primary focus of this blog will be the rants and ramblings of the everyday fan. I will be posting here and will also have my fellow friends (and fans of the Atlanta Thrashers) contribute as well. While we might not be as informative as other blogs I hope that we serve as a place to at least get a good laugh in at your favorite teams expense or hear a different point of view than some of the other blogs or team news sources. I apologize in advance for all of the spelling and grammar mistakes that you are about to endure. I hope you enjoy our blog and we welcome your questions, comments, and dissent.