Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Some Dan Kamal Love

So I listened to the first half of the Thrashers-Avalanche game while driving home in my car. The game was a big blowout and it sounded like the Thrashers defense was "not good" to put it politely. But you know what I still enjoyed listening to Kamal and Jeff Odgers. They were critical of mistakes but made even a ugly game sound interesting.

The Thrasher have made some less than stellar personnel decisions over the years but as far as I'm concerned they did very well when they hired the two radio guys. My biggest regret is that the TV broadcast delay is so great that it makes it difficult to turn up the radio in my living room and watch at the same time. I wonder if there is any way they could give the radio broadcast a couple seconds delay?


  • I'm a huge Kamal fan. Sometimes he gets a little goofy but I always love his enthusiasm, and for the most part, he's pretty honest about how the team performs, unlike the TV duo.

    Odgers I'm not always crazy about. Sometimes his timing or flow just doesn't seem to work over the air, but mostly I feel like he gives some pretty standard and cliched commentary. I wish he'd get a little more in-depth about the tactics, performance, breakdowns, etc.

    By Anonymous silverpork, at 11:17 PM  

  • I agree with you, Falconer, about Dan Kamal and Jeff Odgers. Kamal is fun to listen to with his enthusiasm. Odgers adds his knowledge as a player, and has great insight. I wish that Kamal could do the TV broadcast too over Elliot and JP. I like those guys, but I like Kamal and Odgers better.

    About last night's game and the season in general:

    Last night's loss was terrible!!! I want to focus on some comments that are being said about Moose and Kari. They are playing their guts out, but they are not getting enough help on defense. This time you can't blame Zhitnik; he didn't play. You can't blame Havelid or Enstrom either as they were +2 while they were on the ice. 4 of the 5 Colorado goals were achieved when Klee and Exelby were on the ice. Not so sure about Klee because I didn't see the whole game, but based on what I saw on one goal, Exelby lost possession and 1 second later they scored. Knowing what I know about Exelby, he just needs to sit. I say bring up Popovic, Kwiatowski, Doell, or someone who is dying to get out there and play some f___n defense.
    Look at Toronto!!! They are close to being out, but they beat Philly last night. They are not giving up easy! They made no real trades at the deadline, but they are finding ways to win. This is why I respect the Toronto team, as do a lot of hockey fans. You have to respect that when these guys like Tucker, Kaberle, McCabe, and Sundin say they don't want to be traded, they mean it, and they play with heart until they are eliminated. Why can't the Thrashers do the same!!!! Recchi talks about the fact that the team needs to play with pride. I agree.
    It seems like Christensen, Armstrong, Havelid, Enstrom, Moose and Kari, Slater and Boulton, and Perrin, and Kovy. I don't know about the rest, but what about everyone else?!?

    The remark I have seen lately that is bothering me is about how Kari said he is tired of losing, and I can't say I blame him. He made 40+ saves in his last start, but they lost. Same with Moose- the remark in the game summary by Waddell was, "We hung Moose out to dry." If the Thrashers are not careful, both players and managers, then both of our goalies are going to ask to be traded because they play for a team with no heart. I don't see it as totally their fault. Management and owners, at least now, acknowledge that their number 1 concern over the summer is defense. Hallellujah!!!!! It is about time! A little late, but finally. It distresses me when you see defenseman go to other teams like Campbell did to San Jose, Modry to Philly, Vandermeer to Calgary, Foote to Colorado, Salvador to NJ, Backman from St L to NY Rangers. I could go on and on. Of that group, I know Modry used to play for Atlanta. Foote would have been nice to have; he has Stanley Cup experience too. I don't know if we could have gotten any of these guys. Campbell was looking for a big contender, and I can't say I blame him. But the others, I don't know.

    Management needs to look at quality defenseman. Not just one or two, but enough to solidify all defensive lines. I am pleased with Havelid and definitely Enstrom. Klee is pretty good, but his speed is a concern. I like his grittiness and his work ethic, but if there is faster defenseman who can put up more assists or goals, DW and the owners have to consider that. But to keep Exelby and Zhitnik who are turning over the puck or not getting back on defense quickly enough, or are not giving enough good outlet passes to the offense, then it is time to get rid of them. Everytime I see Coburn have a good game for Philly, I get really mad. I think about how we traded for Zhitnik with him. Philly has to be laughing all the way to the bank on that one!!! Don't get me wrong, both guys are nice guys, but nice guys don't get you into the playoffs or to the Stanley Cup finals.

    What to do now: Play defenseman that are going to help the goalies!!!!! Keep Havelid and Enstrom in, but supplement them with defenseman who are going to keep the pressure on and help the goalies or prevent more shots. Like I said earlier, maybe the young guys like Kwiatowski, Popovic, Doell, or someone else would be better than Zhitnik or Exelby.

    I hate it when I keep hearing commentators talk about San Jose and Anaheim who talk about how good their defense is, and it makes me think about how bad the Thrashers overall defense is in comparison. I think our forwards are doing well up front. Christensen and Armstrong are playing well as is Perrin and Kovy. But they cannot shoulder the entire load. Even Slater, who has been quiet most of the year, has had 4 goals lately. That is great!! White too. White scored more in the beginning of the season, but has not scored as much lately. Especially now that he is out with an injury, but even before that, he didn't score as much. But defense to me is the key right now.

    Another thing I have heard on NHL network is that if a team is getting a lot of shots on goal, they are not going to win very many games. They were referring to the Philly-Toronto game in which Biron had defended 38 shots. Well, that is Moose and Kari almost every night!!!!!! They can't do it all!!!!

    One more concern: I was listening to Buck and Kincaid yesterday, and I have to agree that DW continuing to coach and not letting McCrimmon take the full responsibility was and is a big mistake. He should have been tested if they got rid of Hartley. I think firing Hartley was a big mistake. He tried to make the players more accountable, and I don't think you should fire someone who is trying to do their job. Paddock got fired from Ottawa for not holding his players accountable in the midst of a 15 game stretch in which they lost the East division lead. That I understand!!! A 6 game losing streak is not good, but I don't think it was the coach. It was the players and it was the GM. Waddell made some nice trades for Hossa and Dupuis in getting Christensen, Armstrong, and Esposito, and a draft pick, but we lost Hossa and Dupuis. We need a GM and a coach with a different philosophy: do what it takes to win every night or as many nights or days as you can with some good fundamentals like defense. I though it was telling when Dupuis was quoted about Jacques Lamaire about teaching his players to defend well. It is the teams with solid defense that go to the Stanley Cup Finals; that is why Ottawa didn't have a prayer against Anaheim. That is why San Jose looks so good right now. That is why Montreal and Pittsburgh look so good. They have some great defensive corps in Markov, Komisarek, Streit for Montreal; Gonchar, Sydor, Letang, and Whitney for Pittsburgh; Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall for Detroit; Pronger, Beauchemin, Niedermayer, Schneider, Bergeron for Anaheim. All these guys are solid and this is why they win; DEFENSE!!! They have to have offense too, but these guys can go on and win night after night by one or more with confidence because they have good defenseman.

    Anyhow, that is all I can say. I know that I am not a season ticket holder, but I have gone out and tried to buy more tickets to games. But if the Thrashers are going to play like this, then maybe I will stay at home and either watch on tv or continue to check my phone or the internet instead.

    By Anonymous Steve S., at 9:18 AM  

  • I live 135 miles from WCNN, but I much prefer the Kamalian over both J.P.D.C. and Darren ("The Human Snooze-Fest") Eliot...

    By Anonymous Wayne, at 10:13 AM  

  • Darren Eliot is one of the greatest hockey commentators of all time. It's a shame many vociferous fans have no respect for him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:47 PM  

  • Falconer, cheap radio delay systems exist. This one looks interesting.

    By Blogger Adam, at 3:22 PM  

  • It probably won't be feasible to speed up the radio transmit, but you can, if you own a DVR, pause the game for a few seconds for the radio broadcast to catch up.

    By Anonymous Kozlov, at 6:34 PM  

  • Hey Steve S., get your own blog will you?
    I am a big Billy Jafee fan.
    His skin is oily and oh, that eyebrow!
    I miss him.

    By Blogger J.K. Sockey, at 11:28 AM  

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