Atlanta Thrashers Vs. Florida Panthers
February 6, 2010


After much speculation and rumor, the trade was finally announced. Ilya Kovalchuk and Anssi Salmela to New Jersey, in exchange for Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier, and a first round draft pick. A lot of the fans were angry over this move. I, on the other hand, think it will be a blessing. Our team was entirely too centered around one individual. I think the time for that has come to an end, and I'm excited about our future without Ilya Kovalchuk.

The team played their first game without Kovy on Friday, against the Capitals. They lost 5 to 2, but the game was better than the score would reveal. I saw some things I liked. Namely, a much improved number of shots on goal. It was exactly as I suspected - without everyone always trying to pass to Kovy, they would take shots themselves. This will soon pay off, I'm sure of it.

In the meantime, Washington D.C. was inundated with about two feet of snow. So much that it has completely crippled the city and they have called it "Snowmageddon." Since they weren't able to fly out, the team stayed in D.C. on Friday night and got up early to begin their trek home on Saturday. The local airport wasn't an option, so they boarded a bus for Richmond, VA. It took them twice as long to get there as it should have, and they sideswiped a tractor trailer on the way. But they finally made it to the airport. They're all seasoned travelers, but stated that it was quite scary when they couldn't see more than 100 feet in front of the plane. They said they closed the airport about 10 minutes after they departed. With all this mess, the game had to be delayed. It was scheduled to begin at 7:00 PM, but puck drop didn't actually happen until about 7:50 PM.

They had also called an impromptu season ticket holder town hall meeting with Don Waddell to discuss the Kovalchuk situation. It was delayed as well, since Waddell was on the plane with the players. When it finally began, he told us about the day's travel and the story behind the Kovalchuk trade. I departed early so I could get down to watch warm ups, but part of me wanted to stay to watch the drama unfold. I did get to see one fan in particular that was very blunt and slightly confrontational. Waddell almost lost his cool, but he reigned himself in and managed to finish discussions.

We had no idea what to expect out of the game itself. The boys had a terrible travel day, so you couldn't blame them if they came out flat. To add to that, the new boys hadn't had a single opportunity to practice with their new team, or even do a morning skate. This would be interesting.

Jim Slater was featured on the program. They still hadn't updated it to remove Kovalchuk and include the new boys.

Moose would get the start for the evening and as such, came out first.

Thorburn always goes straight to this spot to start his stretches.

Moosey Moose Moose.

New guy # 1, Johnny Oduya.

New guy # 2, Niclas Bergfors.

Out of focus, but another shot of Oduya.

Some more of Bergfors.

A side view of the Moose.

Pavelec looks surprised.

Grr, Kane, grr.

Kovy out, Kozlov in.

Kinda blurry, but I thought this was a cute pic of Peverley.

The "Moose cruise."

Oduya seemed to be in a good mood, at least. You never know how these guys are going to react to a trade.

Boulton tossed some pucks to the fans.

Bergfors waits for his chance to shoot on goal.

Afinogenov drives toward the net.

Enstrom was in good spirits as well. Heck, I think they were just glad to be alive!

A cheerful looking Little.

Alright, moving on into the game. I like how Moose has his eyes cut over to watch the action behind him.

The Ruskies discuss something during a break.

Moose paces the blue line.

Oduya? I would, but Afinogenov. Har har har!

Some of the action in front of Vokoun.

End of first period and Pavelec shows Moose some goalie love.

Armstrong and Booth work on their syncronized skating.

Net crash!

Hainsey went head long into the boards and got a penalty for his efforts.

He and Ballard then got into a tiff.

We were stunned, because Hainsey never fights.

But I have to say, he did well for himself. I don't know if Ballard got any punches in.


And then there's always the make out session on the ice afterwards.

Kubina takes a shot.

Kaner handles the puck.

Vokoun heads to the bench after we get a penalty.

Moose discusses the situation with one of the refs.

A pile-up in the corner.

Antropov heads toward the Lightning zone.

Poor Thorsy broke his stick!

Dramatic save!

Kubina throws his weight around.

Bergfors learns that it's difficult to be discreet when there are thousands of fans watching you.

Vokoun makes a save.

Bodies collide at the net.

Some shoving ensues.

Zach Bogosian and Dominic Moore decide to dance.

Once Z-Bo got his elbow pad off, it was on. (Not the elbow pad, but "it.")

This picture rocks. That is all.

Bogo heads back to the bench.

White and McCabe park in front of Vokoun.

Reinprecht glued a puck to the front of Moose's pad.

Afinogenov and Campbell race toward the Lightning net.

A bit of a crash and slide ensued.


A goaltender interference call? Sheah, whatever.

Now Hainsey, that's just not nice.

Wow, ice shavings galore.

Look at his right foot. He lost his skate blade!

Bergfors scored a big goal, and what would eventually be the game winner!

More chaos in our net.

Thrash makes a suggestion.

I didn't get the pic, so I had to settle for the replay. Kane just missed the open net, but Kulikov threw his stick, so goal # 4 was awarded.

Another *gasp!*

Moose continues to guard the net.

Thrashers win! And just let me say, the crowd was amazing!

Goalie wuv.

We outshot the opposing team again! That makes 82 shots on goal in two games!

Johnny Oduya was the game's third star.

This mostly undressed Nik Antropov was second star with three assists.

With the game winning goal, Niclas Bergfors was the first star.

He signed a stick for a 10 year season ticket holder.

The final score and interview.

Onward to the post game show. This is our radio personality and super nice guy, Dan Kamal.

Don Waddell was our guest of the evening. The players were all involved in the Valentine's Puck Surprise and were meeting the fans that won. No doubt that after that, they all went home and went to bed.