Tuesday, December 2, 2008

To the Atlanta Thrashers Players.......

Alright, time to step back here. 24 games in. The Thrashers are 8-13-3.

It is time to stop this. Now, I don't mean to pitch a fit, or rant, or rave, but yeah that is what I am doing.

I am a Season Ticket Holder. I pay money for tickets. I pay money to park. I pay money to eat or drink if I don't eat before the game.

I work my schedule around making the games.

I have recruited friends to come to games.

I am invested in this team.

SO hey players, coaches, GM, listen up. I am not happy.

You are getting paid a hell of a lot of money to play hockey, coach hockey, run a hockey team.

Hey players! A hockey game consists of 3, 20 minute periods.

Not one period.

Sometimes you play well in the first period and then check out early for dinner.

Sometimes you play well in the second period and then head home earlier to watch Leno.

Sometimes you show up late and play in the third, only to take a nap in front of our goalie.

I have one thing to say.


Play consistent hockey.

What sort of motivation do you need?

How about thousands of fans screaming, "Let's go Thrashers".

Or playing in a nationally televised game?

How about for your family's?

How about respect??

Fans like me are constantly trying to see the good points, remain optimistic.

I am starting to give up.

If you the players do not care, then why should I?

Why should I support you? I work hard for the money I have spent.

I think each of you should write me a check for what I have spent.

Why should I waste my time breaking my neck getting to the arena to watch another lack luster effort?

I can stay home and watch it on TV and then when you play like you always do, I can change the channel!

Do you need me to come yell at you? Want me to motivate you? I will. I know how to win a hockey game and I have never played hockey in my life.

You are lucky. You get to play a game, you love, for money. Not chump change, you make more money per game than some of your fans make in a year.

Give a damn. Show you care.

I know not all games will be won. Games will be lost. But play like you want to win. Play the WHOLE GAME.

Restore my faith. You won 5 straight! DO it again!! Play hockey like you know you can.

Also, take your goalies out for dinner! You owe them. If it wasn't for our goalies, who knows what the record would be.

Do something now, before me and other fans lose all hope!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thrashers Fans, bandwagons, and the Wind

I am proud to be a fan of the Atlanta Thrashers. You want to know why? I am loyal to my home town team. I stand behind them faithfully in a loss, just as I do in a win. The reality of sporting events is this: each team involved in a contest has a 50% chance of winning. Sometimes the lucky bounces go our way, sometimes they do not. It is life.

To blame any one player in a loss is wrong. They are a team. The Thrashers win as as a team and lose as a team.

Do you really think that a new team, with a new coach and new systems, would start out of the gate kicking butt? The answer is no. They have to have time to adjust, to settle in, to get to know what is expected on them.

Even the negative "fans" can see a difference in this team versus last years team. I am not going to throw stats at you. Honestly stats are nothing. Stats do not show you how hard a team is working one the ice. The Thrashers are losing 1 goal games. When they get down, they keep scraping, getting goals, and fall just short of a comeback. Have you people seen the same games I have? I see puck possession. I see cycling. I see defense, fore checking, and most importantly shots on goal.

I as a Thrashers fan do not going into the games looking for a "win", I am looking for improvement. Instead of watching goals, root for shots on goal. The more chances the Thrashers take, the more likely that rubber puck will meet the back of the net.

I am happy to see the improvement. Just turn off your negative blinders for a moment. Watch the game. Notice the difference. Each game we are getting better. Just watch. Things will fall into place.

Now as for calling out any particular player, why would you do that?

I read blogs and message boards. I do not comment very often, but I read them.

When the Thrashers win there is a group of message board posters that post. When they lose, there is an entirely different group of posters. People that do not usually post, or only post something negative all the time.

Just a warning, living such a negative life is not healthy.

You cannot blame Hedberg for the loss against Boston. If you are going to do that, then well you have to blame Lehtonen for the loses against Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, Tampa Bay, and Detroit. You cannot blame either of them. Our goalies take too many shots, yet they still manage to keep the score close.

The goalies are going to allow goals. It is what the NHL wants. Fans want more goals scored. It is why they are changing the size and specs of goalie gear.

Our defense has to be less sloppy in turnovers and clearing the puck. THEY HAVE TO PROTECT OUR GOALIES.


Now I do not mean, laying down in front of the goalie and blocking him from seeing the puck (Toby).

You also cannot leave a goal scorer camped in front of the net like he is waiting in line for the fried chicken at Golden Corral. Knocked him down. Protect the goalie!

The Thrashers problem is not goal tending. We have that set. And no, not Pavelec. If Lehtonen can hold his own and keep progressing, Pavs will be gone.

Like it or not, the fans sense this negativity. They read this stuff, and we all know they do. So my plea is this. If you are going to be constantly negative, the find another team to be negative for. Center Ice is a wonderful, wonderful tool to watch any other team you choose. If you are going to be this negative. Stay out of Blueland.

Until Next time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I am back, did you miss me? Nah didn't think so....

I started this blog with an attempt to try and to at least a weekly blog of my thoughts, feelings, and general information on the Atlanta Thrashers. I know that I slacked off a bit, well heck and whole lot. I guess I stopped blogging for a while because there really wasn't any new information to share. But now the season is close at hand. There is a The Traverse City tournament is behind us, training camp is in full swing and yes folks next Wed (Oct 1) the warriors of Blueland are returning to the ice at Philips Arena.

There are a couple of things I want to touch base on in this blog and then go on further in a future blog.

First thing is the new slogan. I may be in the minority, but I like it. I will say "Become one in Blueland" is not exactly as corny as one might think, but it is slightly corny. Do you know what the purpose of a slogan is? To get people's attention. The slogan doesn't have to always be a good one, more times than none the stupid, bad slogans stand out in our minds more. You have to admit, this slogan did gets people's attention. People have been so critical of the Thrashers and the Atlanta Spirit for not having an as campaign. Well here you go, it is different, they are getting it out there, people will look at it and remember it. SO I think that it is working.

Fans can never be made happy. Especially the fans of the Thrashers. They complain about everything and I mean everything! I often wonder when the Thrashers win the Stanley Cup if the fans will complain about not sweeping the other team 4 straight. I read the message boards on a daily basis, but I avoid most threads because of the high content of negativity. The players do feel this you know. Over the summer fans complained about the players, the uniforms, the arena, the management, the owners, the parking, the logos, too many STH perks, not enough STH perks, the select-a-seats, the ticket reps, the announcer leaving, the announcer staying, the team gear store, the staff, the arena food, the arena alcohol, tailgating, other teams fans, prices, giveaways, the ice, free agent signings, and I could go on. It is really ridiculous how negative this fan base is. My advice is to stay away from the message boards. Love your team, cheer them on, and let the negative bashers have the boards. But yes I will still read them and make a comment or two, but I prefer not to let those with heavy negativity try to bring me down.

I think having a third jersey is great, even if it is rumored to be maroon. SO what?? Maroon is one of the colors of the Thrashers, has been since day one. For those who say it wouldn't be Blueland anymore with a maroon jersey, remember the first jersey, the maroon one? They wore it in Blueland after that was established. It didn't matter then, why should it now? hmmmmmm It is fine, go ahead and complain anyway, it is what Thrashers fan do ;)

I attended the Town Hall Meeting last week. I was not too shocked to hear that Slava Kozlov had been injured. I could tell he wasn't 100%. He didn't play like it all, I knew something was wrong, though I thought it might have been something personal going on. It makes sense now, and I am looking forward to seeing Kozzy back to his former self this season.

I am now a huge believer in Coach Anderson. The man is a great speaker and I loved what he had to say. He wants to win, he wants to push this team forward, and I believe he will make a great push this year. He is going to turn this ship around. After hearing his talk I feel better as a fan and feel better about my financial investment.

Alright, I just touched on a few things here, but more blogging to come as we get closer to the first face off. Please feel free to comment. I love to debate and to talk hockey. Share you opinions, there are no right or wrong ones.

Until next time. GO THRASHERS!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kari Lehtonen is a Thrasher for 1 more year?

To my loyal readers.....all 3 of you! ;) Sorry for my absence, had some stuff going on, but now today I have a chance to sit down and blog a bit.

First off, Congrats to Kari Lehtonen on his 1 year deal. I personally was a little shocked that Kari was only given the 1 year. With the recent contracts of Fleury and Miller, one would have thought that Lehtonen would have been locked in for a good 3 to 4 years. Hmmm makes one think doesn't it? Does this mean that Kari Lehtonen is not the future goal tending god that we all thought Don wanted him to be? Perhaps the team is leading toward making Pavelec the next Zeus. I think we honestly see that Pavelec will be a member of the Chicago Wolves this season, unless Kari's iron groin acts up again. Kari has to fight this season if he wants to remain an Atlanta Thrasher. If he has a bad season, or an injury filled season, I would make a prediction of Kari being a trade deadline pawn. Of course if he is killer and stays healthy, perhaps Pavs would be the trade bait.

Kari has to learn to keep his head in the game. I tend to be a fan of the goalie, so I watch the goalies very closely during the game. Next time you watch Kari play and the Moose play take note of this. In between plays Moose does his skating around, he will got to the left side of the net, circle back and then go to the right side of the net and circle back. Moose hardly ever looks at the score board, Moose never looks at the fans. He talks to himself, stays in a zone, does not get distracted. Kari, skates around, looks at the fans, looks at the scoreboard. He gets distracted. I am not saying anything against Kari, he just needs to become mentally tougher. Tune out what is going on around him. Focus on the game. That right there is the difference in a veteran and a kid. Moose will help Kari and will help Pavelec. Honestly this is just another chapter in the Lehtonen/Pavelec debate.

If you read my blog, feel free to drop me an email at anonthrashersblogger@gmail.com and always feel free to leave comments. I blog to start a conversation, to debate, and to learn.

Take care and see you next time.
(Special Thanks to one of my readers for the cool picture for this blog).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lehtonen Re-Signed

The Thrashers and Lehtonen reached a deal on Wed rumored to be 1 year at around 3 million dollars. I say good move on both sides. I will have a new blog this weekend about recent signings and more.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Are we Finnish-ed or just Pav-eling a long?

So what is the hold up with Kari Lehtonen signing with the Thrashers? Is he holding out for more money and more years? One would wonder why the two have not reached an agreement. Don Waddell has been quoted several times saying that Kari would be back, he would match the offers from any other clubs, and that his salary is being added into the cap totals. Kari has been quoted as to saying he wants to stay in Atlanta and doesn't want to go anywhere else. Heck he has a nice pad to live in, so why would he?

So I guess my question is, why hasn't he signed?

It seems that a guy who has the Calder Cup Championship goalie breathing down his neck, would want to go ahead and get this taken care of.

I know that it is a great debate on who should be the Thrashers "franchise" goalie or "future" of the team. It causes quite an uproar on message boards and possibly a few fists fights in person. You can't argue that Pavelec was pretty good in the AHL, but his numbers with the big club were not wonderful, but by far they didn't suck. He was right around .500 winning percentage just like Hedberg, and the team was for most of the year (until the fall into the pit started in Feb).

But the real question is, Is Pavelec ready for a full time gig with the big boys? Even if he is, would another tour of duty in the AHL really hurt? Nah, won't hurt at all. The pressure could be good for both the guys. Kari knows if he slips he has Pavs on his heals and Pavs knows that he has to continue to train hard and work on his game. So a win/win situation. Then we have Moose playing mentor role to which ever kid is on the roster with him. Good plan.

But another question is, do we trade an asset in order to get what the team needs? It is no question that the team needs defense and a good center and I say even another winger. Do we trade Pavs? Do we sign Kari and trade him? Or do we trade someone else, like say oh a Brett Sterling. Sterling didn't really wow anyone on the NHL level this season, so he could be bait or in a package. The problem is the Thrashers have a boat load of youthful talent, but for some unknown reason when they make the journey from Chicago to Atlanta they leave that talent on the plane. It is like NHL ice is kryptonite to them. Krog, Haydar, Sterling, just to name a few, never really made their splash when called up. Send them back down and they turn into awesome hockey playing machines. So, instead of letting them play out their contracts with the Wolves and then sign with other teams when they become free agents ( Krog and Haydar), trade the assets we have now for something we need now.

Oh the decisions Don has to make. Kari only has until July 15th, so hopefully we will hear something positive on that soon. I do believe a big trade with happen, one that will make or break our season.

Thanks for reading. Go Thrashers.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It isn't over, it is just the beginning.......

I will tell you what, the line at the video store was long. Everyone was trying to rent the same movie, but I got it. Now it is time to sit back, relax, enjoy a little popcorn and pop this DVD in. I think I have seen it before, or something similar, but what the heck I can watch it again.

It is the common movie about a down and out pro sports team. Picked to fail and to have the worst players and coaches in the league. Then the plot twists when the team gets the new coach, who is ready to take over the wheel and right the sinking ship, with his new styles and methods. Then you have your star player who just wants to win, the older veteran who wants another shot at going all the way, the kids who just want to prove themselves, and the rest of the cast of character who are average players who will become awesome by the end of the movie. So lets start this thing.

I am a big fan of the sports movie. Major League, Slap Shot, Unnecessary Roughness, the Comebacks (ha ha I like parody movies too). To me, this Thrashers season has the makings of a great sports movie. Now, just hear me out for a minute.

Everything is set up. The Thrashers are coming off a horrible season, they have lost some of their big name players (not that we actually mind losing some), and they are being ridiculed in the world of blogs, rumours, and well sports in general. It seems everyone is picking the Thrashers to fail, and not only just fail, fail miserably. Perfect setting isn't it?

The new coach comes in and changes everything, starts getting things in order, running the team effectively. He works with the players' individual strengths in order to make the team more rounded. The team starts playing better, even with the average talent of the players and boom we have out story.

I think it could happen. I really think that everyone is counting the Thrashers out way to early in the season. Well heck, the season hasn't even started. The roster isn't set. The scheduled hasn't been released. The tickets haven't been printed, but the popcorn has been popped and stored in trash bags for the preseason.

Anything can happen, Don could land a good free agent (if there are any left). He certainly could trade to fill the gaps. Pure talent is not always the answer. Working together as a team can also increase our chances. Last season I felt that the guys didn't get along so well and that spilled onto the ice. I have played sports and I have coached sports and one thing I know is that you have to all be friendly and work together to get the job done. If a team is full of attitude and "clicks', then it will not function as a well oiled machine. Instead the wheels will fall off and the machine will burst into flames when it hits the wall.

I think Anderson is going to turn this around. He will be able to take the players that we do have and create a team. I, for one am a Thrashers fan. You have to experience and live through the bad in order to enjoy and appreciate the good. Take a page from the Atlanta Braves. I suffered through the bad seasons. I went to games where there were 12 people it seemed there total. I also was able to enjoy it when things improved. I was loyal to my team. I am loyal to the Thrashers now. That doesn't mean that I don't get frustrated with the players, coaches and Don because I do. I like to vent too. But I will always support them. Why? I am loyal to MY team and I enjoy the sport of hockey.

So for now I am going to pause this movie. I hope I am right about the ending. I still believe that heads will turn and opinions will change. It is too early to tell right now, it is only July and this isn't do back until oh.......... June ;)
More to come soon. Thank you for stopping by.