Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Season Over

This season is done after last night's loss to Carolina. I could say many things about the pathetic effort that was put forth, but mostly I'm glad that I didn't waste my time driving down to watch that effort. I had work to do and I couldn't even give away my tickets to this game. It is pretty telling when the home team radio duo openly discuss the lackluster effort. It is also pretty telling when the opposition TV crew discuss the quiet crowd and lack of effort.

Eric Christensen showed us his hands for the first time and that was nice. But the best TV moment was seeing Coach/GM Don Waddell's outburst after the referees refused to blow the puck dead. I wish we would have seen a bit more of that intensity behind the bench back when this team still had a shot at the playoffs, but it was too little too late. That explosion was the equivalent of slamming the barn door after the horses have already escaped.

Time to start thinking about "pressing start" on next year. Who will coach? Who will be playing? Who will be calling the shots? If you're ready to think about next season you might want to check out Hockey's Future new Top 20 Thrashers Prospects update. Newly acquired Esposito comes in at #4. He is a hard player to rank truthfully because he is a high risk, high reward prospect. He will either make the team and be a top 6 player or he will totatlly bust and not make the NHL.

There a couple of Thrasher prospects who have taken a step forward this season. Spencer Machacek (3rd rounder) has shown more offense this year and Jonas Enlund (6th rounder) had a great season over in Finland and he is still quite young. Three college freshmen Paul Postma (7th rounder), Jesse Martin (6th rounder) and Alex Kangas (5th rounder) all had decent first years in quality NCAA programs.

A couple of other prospects took steps backward Oystrick (7th rounder) looks like he just isn't going to make it unless he take his career much more seriously. Pospisil (5th) has been underwhelming this year as well. Chad Denny doesn't even look special in the ECHL and that is pretty damning considering he was a 2nd round pick--is he headed down the Scott Lehman career track? Most of these late picks will probably never wear a NHL uniform but if a couple of them come through and can fill roster spots that will be a real plus in the future.


  • Falconer, a few months ago you noted the poor performance of the Thrashers talent scouts, particularly in the OHL. Is there not a risk that accumulating these early round draft picks in 2008 may not be the panacea for the team two or three years down the road due to our difficulty in identifying young players with mega potential? Do we know if the ASG is aware of the need to make changes in their scouting organization?

    By Anonymous d, at 1:50 PM  

  • It really came down to two abysmal streaks 0-6-0 and 0-5-3. Just replace those streaks with .500 hockey and we lead the division with enough points to land an eight seed if needed. That ain't coaching, that's a mediocre/unmotivated team.

    By Blogger pkwaldrop, at 2:11 PM  

  • d: As far as 2008 goes it will be hard to miss with the Thrashers top pick the draft is loaded with "can't miss" types 1-7. The Pittsburgh pick will be lower and they need to get it right.

    I have no idea how they handle internal evaluations. Personally I think they ought to go back over every scouts list and compare that to how those players performed after the draft--every scout is going to have some misses that's just the nature of watching 18 year olds. But if there is a significant difference in the accuracy of player rankings the better scouts ought to be retained and even promoted and the inferior ones replaced--or at a minimum put less weight on their player rankings.

    I'm not going to name any names but if you go back and look at past media guides there are a few people who are no longer in the same position they once were in.

    By Blogger The Falconer, at 2:47 PM  

  • pkwaldrop: Every team will have some losing streaks--even top rated Detroit is in a horrible slump. Philly and other teams have struggled as well.

    What bothers me the most is the lack of effort in numerous games. In particular the absymal performance is back to back games has been one problem.

    Even good teams start off with a flat period every now and then. But they go in the locker room, get fired up and come back out and find a way to win points. This team would go through entire games and consecutive games where the effort simply wasn't there.

    The other thing about this team is that they just didn't have enough talent at defense and two veteran players Kozlov and Zhitnik pretty much mailed it in the whole season. That's 1/7 of the total team payroll that is producing very little. Throw in Holik's wasted salary and you're now got 1/4 of the payroll tied up in three guys who are doing very little out there.

    By Blogger The Falconer, at 2:52 PM  

  • Driving back to the office today my thoughts were along the same wavelength.
    Don't wait until after the end of the season. Identify the problems, and proceed work on them in the order of importance.
    With the draft coming up and the need to name a head coach, if the AS,LLC intend to do anything at the GM position, I hope that they will take action within days of the end of the season. Doug Armstrong, Pat Quinn and Neil Smith are available.
    I understand that assistant coaches are under contract, but make the list and take action ASAP!
    Larry Robinson, Robbie Ftorek, and maybe Ron Wilson or Marc Crawford may not be there for long. Act swiftly!
    The UFA market for Centerman appaers slim this year. With Holzapfel being a year or two off, And Esposito being an unknown commodity, Brian Little is shaping up to be very important. A trade may be necessary. But what is the bait? Brett Sterling? Unless Erik Christensen really catches fire, we may have a continuing problem in 08/09.
    I hope Zubarev continues to shine, but was distressed to see Valabik fall off. I wish that D-Wad would give him a try-out the final 12 games with the Thrashers since all is lost this season.
    Secondary scoring will be a different rant, but, why is it figured that Eastern conference teams need 92/93 points to make the playoffs, and western conference teams need more than 93 points? There could be a multitude of reasons, but I believe that among that multitude, one of those reasons is grit! It is a known fact that more western conf. teams play with a physical edge more so than the east.
    Take a hint Thrash (new) GM. We need Darcy Hordichuk back terribly. And a grit guy like Scott Walker wouldn't be a bad addition for the 3rd line. This one inconspicuous action could add 4 or 5 points and put us past the 92 pt. playoff figure.

    As always, I enjoy reading your point of view. It makes me think.

    By Anonymous Tween the Pipes, at 4:08 PM  

  • Facloner, I saw your post on the AJC board regarding the town hall meeting for STH's. What are the top two or three questions that you would like to raise tonight? Also, will any ASG owners attend the meeting - or just DW?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:24 AM  

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