Thrash Talk: A New Start

A New Start

The Thrashers start what will hopefully be a better era for the franchise. Certainly can’t be worse than before. The team started off very well under their new coach. The question now is will they keep up this type of play and learn from their coach, or will they fall back onto those very familiar bad habits. Time will tell, but at the very least Thrasher fans now have a bit of hope.


Hartley’s debut was a successful one. The team played with more discipline defensively and more passion. As time goes on, that passion will fade a bit but hopefully be kept at a level higher than the first half of this season. Hartley’s plan is to not change the system in Atlanta immediately. He will spend a few weeks getting to know his players, and where their individual strengths and weaknesses lie. Once he has a better understanding of the players, then he may choose a system to fit the team. While he will not change things immediately, he will constantly instruct the players on better defensive techniques and the like. Personally, even though it would be nice, I’m not expecting a miracle. A reasonable hope for Atlanta fans is that the team can become more consistent: defense, offense, special teams, etc., along with more passion and intensity night in and night out. Just have to wait and see.


Dafoe out at least two weeks with a groin injury. Very tough for a goalie to fully recover from such an injury during the season (the fact that he missed training camp and the first part of the year didn’t help either). Bartecko also sidelined with a bad groin. Krupp watch – another week or two and he should be ready to play. Argue amongst yourselves whether this is good or bad.

Prospect Update:

Players doing well in the organization: In Chicago, Simon Gamache and Mark Hartigan are scoring at a very regular clip. While Derek McKenzie, Ben Simon and Garnet Exelby are playing with great intensity every game, and are improving defensively. As for the college prospects, leader of the pack is Jim Slater of Michigan State. Averaging more than a point a game, he is also +7 on the season.. While LW Stephen Baby of Cornell has notched 21 points in 15 games thus far.

Trade Rumors:

Curse of the captain? Three previous captains in Thrashers history and while they were captain: Kelly Buchberger traded, Steve Staios not re-signed, Ray Ferraro traded. Is Shawn McEachern next? Everyone seems to think so, and that Slava Kozlov will go with him. But the situation in Atlanta has changed sufficiently that any rumors will be put on hold for a bit. Nobody can realistically say which players will improve under the new coach and which might become expendable. After a few weeks of games and practice and evaluation, it should a little more clear what category the Thrasher players fall into. Until that time, talk of rumors about them will merely be fan speculation, and nothing more.


I was tempted to go into a big rant about how some recent news reports have described the Thrashers as “woeful” and “losable but loveable”. From fans, I’ve heard that and much worse in the past few years. Deserved comments maybe. As a die-hard I know better than the casual hockey fan how bad this team has been, and such comments (from fans or media) suffer from a perceptible lack of class. While I would never say the media is filled with class, they usually refrain from such obvious insults. Guess I did rant a bit.

My other tid-bit is the selection of Dany Heatley into the All Star game. In most people’s opinions, a good selection. It’s the omission that gets me a bit, and I can’t believe it but I have to agree with Melrose on this one. Mogilny and Kovalchuk left off the team kinda baffles me. Both have had very solid starts to the season and would bring a great deal of flash and flair to the game, which I thought is what the league was looking for. And I know there are other selections and omissions that will draw many a heated comment (deservedly so), but just thought I’d show my displeasure for this one.

Until next time…

6 Responses to Thrash Talk: A New Start

  1. mikster says:

    Do not be fooled by Hartley’s first debut! Didn’t Waddell get a shutout too, or was it his 2nd game?

    Anyway, it is still a great start and Hartley should feel comfortable that he has a young team and he can take his time and not rush things. He is part of the building process, or i should say rebuilding process since the Thrashers should be a much better team with better players after 4 years. He is less pressured and Waddell is the kind of GM that probably leaves Hartley to take care of everything on the ice. Off the ice though, Waddell has to give what Hartley needs, and what he will want.

    Now, the problems would only reflect on Waddell, and it is all up to him now.

    How about trading Dafoe? No use in him, unlesshe has a no trade clause. He is cheap and i am highly sure that teams would be intrested.

  2. Leaf_Expert says:

    Best Player on the Break-Away:

    Ilya Kovalchuck!

    No doubt about it…He *IS* the best player in the entire league on the break-away.

    But yeah, thats all i can say bout the Thrashers really…

  3. mikster says:

    Breakways? You ought to see Bure more often…

  4. calflyers says:

    in your own words LEAF_NOVICE

    SHUA DA F*CK UP!!!

    you are clueless, you should be BANISHED from this site

    you have NO MEANINGFUL INPUT!!!

  5. cwhockey says:

    I’m not one to back up the “Leaf Expert” on most things, but he may not be far off on this, if at all. Bure has such quick hands and puck control that he will rarely miss. But I’ve seen about 80-90% of Kovalchuk’s games live or on TV. He gets stopped occasionally on a breakaway, but it’s a rarity. If you have seen enough, you can see that he will wait for the goalie to make a move. Big or small movement, he see’s it and shoots right away. Whether it’s talent or instinct, he knows how to finish a breakaway. And he is only 19 years old.

    Hopefully Hartley will be able to get to him and improve his defense (and it has looked better in the past two games). If that is the case, even the sky won’t be the limit with his ability.

  6. MapleLeafs says:

    Hartley who in my books is a smart coach,and he is going to trun the Trashers right around with guy like Heatly,Kovalchuk, McEachern and Nurminen(which is a better suited #1 goalie for the Thrashers then Dafoe.)Yesterday the Trasher bet the Briuns 3-1 and on Wednesday bet the Canadians 1-0 thanks to Pasi Nurminen.


    Go Leafs GO

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