Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back From The Dead

I haven't updated this thing in quite a while. I haven't lost any interest... far from it. I have no excuse other than I've just been busy.

We all know where the Thrashers stand right now. We've been doing well but the last two games haven't been pretty. The Devils game was actually a really good game... a fluke goal, a 5 on 3 and ane empty netter at the end... and that's it. The Thrashers have historically faired well against Brodeur but on that night... he was nothing short of a 10 foot thick concrete wall infront of the net... no matter how many chances we generated, nothin' went in. It was a much better game than the score indicated... and you just have to tip your cap to Marty.

I'm not sure WTF was up with that guy tonight with the Devils jersey on and a Yankees hat... he's lucky he only got booed... Never seen that guy at a Thrashers game, so I have no idea what he was thinking... that being said, I myself a Martin Brodeur fan and even though I always particiapte in the goalie suck chant, I simply can't bring myself to do that when Marty's in net... way too much talent and way too much respect to tell him he sucks.

The next night night was Thrashers vs. Pens. I didn't watch an ounce of the game... mainly because I was at the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game... and even though I was back in time to watch the end, when I saw it was 4-0 and 5-0... I didn't even bother. I know, I should never give up... we've had some amazing comebacks recently. But I just knew we weren't coming back from that kind of deficit... not on the 2nd game of a back-to-backer. The Thrashers never seem to play well on the 2nd game of a back-to-backer. Hopefully they'll rest up, recoup and be ready for Thursday's game against the Maple Leafs.

Tonight was an interesting night. I snuck outta work early and made it down to CNN Center about 6. We ate dinner and then headover over to the Omni Hotel's North Tower Grand Ballroom. There were quite a few people waiting in the lobby. We scarmmed in and grabbed some seats right up front... though it really didn't matter all that much. They gave away some prizes by asking some hockey and Thrashers trivia... thankfully that's NOT how they are giving away the tickets to the game itself. They didn't give away anything that exciting... some golf balls, NHL 08 games, hats... nothing that great. They did have some of the biggest damn chocolate chip cookies I think I've ever seen and damn were they good. They also had Pepsi... ooops, yeah uh last time I checked this is Atlanta.... this is a Coke town.... I guess that's why there were a crap ton of them left on the tables.

Basically they made a few introductions, a rep from the Thrashers spoke and got us all to do a "Let's Go Thrahers!" cheer and then they did some trivia and gave the stuff away, and then handed out the applications and they walked us through them. After that, we turned them in and that was bascially it... not sure why they could've have just sent them out via e-mail, but it was nice to meet everyone in person... and the free huge chocolate chip cookies made it well worth it. I think we were all hoping for some free swag, but not tonight... We did get some free hockey cards though... I basically applied to do anything and everything... so we'll see. There were a TON of people... aparently well over 100 people (including me!) signed up at the first pre-season game and they noted that was a record... the crowd was HUGE... awesome to see so much interest in hockey here in Atlanta.

What else... during the Devils game, I had a lady offer me $10 for my Thrashers blanket. $10. Ten damn dollars. WTF? Up the anty just a liiiiiiiiiitle bit and maybe we'll talk... but $10? I told her just to look around after the game to see if anyone left theirs. As we were walking to my car after the game in CNN Center, some crazy ass girl came up to me and asked me for blanket... I told her no (I wasn't rude at all) and she got all in my face. It's a damn blanket... they've given better ones away for signing up for a credit card. Not sure why people were so damn crazy about it... I guess it's because they aren't giving us any damn good giveaways at all this season... so this is what... the best giveaway this season? That's sad. It's just a damn blanket! If ya wanted one SO bad, it's called GET IN LINE EARLY ENOUGH!!!

Sometimes people will line up in the left most "lane" for games. For whatever reason, Philips doesn't operate that late on some nights and everyone in that line is forced to get in another line. For whatever reason, they feel as if they can just migrate into an existing line and not actually GET in line... I don't understand that shit. And then on games where there's a big crowd (Friday or Saturday night) the doors on the right are never setup for a line... yet about 10 min before they open the doors, they bring over the barriers and table... and setup a line... so those of us who have been waiting in line an hour and a half or two hours get fucked... and people can just run over there and get up front in a line and wait about 10 min... EITHER SET UP THE FUCKING LINE JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHERS OR DON'T SET IT UP AT ALL!!! Sure it helps get folks in but it's NOT cool. They should have to wait in line like the rest of us.

Secondly - If FLORIDA... fuckin FLORIDA... and TAMPA can have season ticket holder entrances... there is NO reason on earth Atlanta can't have one. It would be an aweome perk. That set of doors near the wall with all the NHL masks... that would make a PERFECT door... must move the table that's setup there somewhere else. Sine STH are there on a nightly basis... just do it. No offenese to those who don't have season tickets... but it would be a nice perk for those who are there every game... Loyalty goes a long way with me and I wish that loyalty paid off a bit more than it does these days. I'm not asking to be treated like some VIP... far from it... but I am jealous of the fact that two other teams... close to Atlanta.... have a STH entrance... and we don't. Turner Field does. It's not hard. Believe me I'm not the only one who wishes there was one... but no one else speaks up about it.

What else... let's hope the boys get rested up and ready for Thursdays game with Toronto... we've been doing well agaisnt teams in our own Division recently... let's just get back on track with a W against Toronto.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thrashers Finally Back Home - Thrashers vs. Caps Game Preview

There's one question on everyone's mind tonight: Will Ilya Kovalchuk get another hat trick? We'll just have to wait and see.

Other questions:

- Will the Thrashers continue to be "Comeback Kids"? With the last two games being huge comebacks, nothing would surprise me. However, I hope this title doesn't hold, especially tonight. We should score first and not let up from there.

- How will Pav do in his first home game start? Will he be a bit nervous in front of the home town crowd? I doubt that; I think he is primed and ready to go. He's been really sharp and I think he'll keep us in the game tonight, giving us a huge chance to win... and we should. We better. I'm not walking out of Philips Arena tonight until we win... I don't care how long it takes!

- Will there be any leftovers from the infamous Chicken night? Will Hanlon make a move again in the halls of Philips Arena against DW? Will he talk smack again? Those chicken masks from the past were awesome.

- With no TV tonight at all on either side (Thanks, VS!) will we draw a bigger crowd than normal? It might be a Tuesday night but I wana see a packed house. Bring your asses down to Philips for the game!

- Most importantly: Will the Thrashers win? I think it's a no-brainer. The Caps came here on our Opening Night and ruined the night of our SE Division Banner ceremonies. I think it's time the Thrashers paid a little revenge for that night... with the Caps losing to the Flyers and then big time to the Canes 5-0... and the Thrashers coming off a pretty successful road trip and an awesome comeback win over hated Tampa Bay, then yes, the Thrashers should win... with Pav in net and Kovy on the loose... and if Hossa steps it up a bit... he's come a live... a little... the last couple of games... the Thrashers should win this one outright.

Score Prediction: 4-1 Thrashers.

Got a bit of time before I head down to Philips today (it's always nice to have off work on a gamedays...) but can't wait to get downtown. See ya'll tonight! GO THRASHERS!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Atlanta's New Comeback Kids?

Braves fans will probably remember the title the Braves once had. While this title will always be from those amazing years of the Braves, the Thrashers, at least for our past two games, can borrow the name. After the near miracle comeback against the Senators... and Saturday night's comeback victory over the hated Tampa Bay Lightning, I believe that it is certainly a fitting title. That being said, it's not a title we should ever have... No way should we have to come back down 5-0 and 4-1 to try to win games. But a win is a win is a win, and if you have to comeback to do so, then so be it. Maybe it's that dramatic, fiery speech that a coach gives the team that creates the spark. Perhaps it's that one goal that helps to spark the team to comeback. Whatever it may be, it's worked the last two games. I really hope the Thrashers don't become know as Atlanta's New Comeback Kids... but they very well could adapt that title if these kid of comebacks occur more down the road. At least for the last two games it is a very fitting title to say the least.

Kovalchuk has been playing like a bat outta hell. Nothing against Bobby, but right now Kovy is leading this team. I wouldn't be surprised if you take the jersey off, underneath is a Terminator-like, hockey playing, highly advanced robot. There's no doubt that fans have already cast their All-Star vote for him in their minds. I'm sure he'll be a hometown hero for the All-Star game.

Of course, as a fan, it feels good to comeback and win over any team. But after our trip to Tampa a few weeks ago, after the altercation with those two losers, I have a feeling they went home crying to their mommies. It's called revenge and sometimes it's best served up ice cold with a 6-4 comeback victory. Those two jerkoffs had nothing better to do than come ALL the way up to our section to talk shit... it wasn't even good shit, it was about the level of a 3rd or 4th grader. In fact, I hope they found their way back up to the group of Thrashers fans that were there in Tampa and were reeling in their fruitless, pointless effort. I hope that if those two losers were there that Thrashers fans got their point across to them. But enough about these two loser Tampa "fans". No longer can Tampa and their fans expect an easy win against Atlanta in their house. For whatever reason, Tampa has always had our number in Tampa and I'm tired of it. Hopefully Saturday night's win will end that.

Back To Blueland

So, finally, after over three weeks of no home games, the Thrashers are back home tomorrow... back in Blueland... finally! It's been way, way too long. There's another fairly long road trip in Feb and one at the end of March, but there are plenty of home games the rest of the way.. at least one game every week this month... and Dec has at least two games each week... so we'll surely have our fill of games in Blueland! This 3+ week road trip has felt like an eternity but finally, thankfully... we'll be back where we belong tomorrow night! With this big string of divisional games coming up as well, we have a good chance in front of us to make up a lot of ground after our disastrous start, which will hopefully start against the Caps tomorrow night. It's been way too long. I went to the Hawks Home Opener, and it was fun and a great game, but it's not Blueland. Gladiators games help with the hockey game withdrawal symptoms, but it's far from Blueland. I'm glad Tuesday is almost here!

Thrashers Games In Athens

I was in Athens this weekend for the Dawgs game against Troy. Troy is a helluva of a team by the way. Anyway, thankfully the Dawgs game was a day game and we didn't have to miss the Thrashers game. My little brother is a Senior at UGA and he lives in ECV (East Campus Village) and of course I go up to Athens all the time to visit and for football, basketball and baseball games. While ECV is a really nice place to live, for whatever reason, UGA does not provide SportSpouth to university housing. My brother is also a huge Thrashers fan but rarely gets a chance to watch Thrashers games because of the lack of SportSouth. We did find a good place to go - World of Wings ("WOW") Cafe and Wingery . Each booth has it's own small flat screen TV, so you can choose whatever you want to watch, and thankfully they have SportSouth. We were the ONLY table in the entire place watch the Thrashers game. When we started to come back, we were screaming and highfiving, getting plenty of "WTF?" looks at our table. What a good feeling... Dawgs win, Thrashers comeback over Tampa... what a good night. So, if you are ever in Athens and need a place to watch Thrashers games... it's going to be very hard to compete for a TV with all the college football games going on on a Saturday night, but you can catch all the football you want... and still not miss the Thrashers Saturday night games either. And the food was pretty good to boot. Why UGA has never bothered to add SportSouth to their TV lineup is beyond me.

Well, I've spent more than 20 mintues doing this when I should be doing work... so I need to get back to business... but I'm ready, I'm anxious and I can't wait to get back to Blueland tomorrow night!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tampa Review & Fast Forward

First off, I need to apologize for having a lack of posts... like anyone actually reads this thing anyways....

Tampa Away Game: The Review


We arrived into Tampa and didn't even have time to check in to our hotel... along the way, a guy with one of those RVs that you attach to your truck, he had been in the wrong lane to get on to 75 and aparently swerved at the last moment trying to get back into the correct late, and the entire thing rolled over... creating a good 30-45min backup of traffic... it was a pretty horrific looking accident... cars had to drive on the dirt to get around it... Anyway, once we arrived, as I said, we didn't have enough time to even check in to our hotel... we all met up at Sally's hotel at 3, hopped in her RV and drove over to St. Pete Times Forum. She was kind enough to drive us all there, allowing us to avoid paying for parking. Sally knows a spot that she can park for only $5, so it was a steal. We had plenty of time before the game, so we all hung out at Dave Andreychuk's Grille, right in front of the arena. I was a bit jealous of how it's setup in Tampa... sure we have CNN Center, but they have Channelside right next door... restaurants, bars, awesome hangout place before the game... sorry but it puts CNN Center to shame, as much as I love CNN Center. There's also several sports bars right across from the arena, including Dave Andreychuk's Grille. The food is nothing spectacular, but it's a sports pub, so it's to be expected. Toward the end of our meal, we noticed a nice Mercedes Benz rolling into the lot... and low and behold, Dave Andreychuk himself got out! Fans ran up to him asking for autographs and to take pictures... I didn't get a chance to get an autograph, but we all took a group photo with him and he was a really nice guy and shook all of our hands. A bit later we walked across the street into the arena.

Inside the Arena

Tampa opens their arena an hour and a half before game time as opposed to an hour in Atlanta. I'm not sure if that is a weekend thing or their standard opening time, but in all honesty, it's a bit pointless. After visiting the store and buying official game puck, we went down to where the Thrashers came out for warmups. We sat there a good hour or so before anything really happened. But it was all good, after hours and hours of driving, we got to sit... even more. But it's ok because I couldn't stop looking at the...

Tampa Scoreboard Screen.

Holly shit that thing is absolutely gorgeous! It's like one giant wrap around screen. The quality of the graphics and video is amazing. Even more amazing, later on, when they showed fans on the screen... it was HD like if not HD. I'm a tech geek and the thing was just so beautiful. Now the funny thing to me is that hey, we have our games in PHILIPS Arena. You'd like to think if there was a place for Philips to showcase their latest and greatest in technology, that Philips Arena would be the place. Our scoreboard screen has been the same since the joint opened. Nothing wrong with it; it's a good setup, but after seeing the system in Tampa, it makes the screens inside Philips look like something outta the 1980's. According to one of the guys working the game near where the Thrashers came out, they are going to try to market the screens to other arenas. I don't think Atlanta would get it because it's not a Philips product... but man, it's awesome. I've heard the one in Philly is pretty sick too, but I've never been.

Warm Ups.

The Thrashers finally came out for warm ups... there was a decent sized group of fans banging on the glass and cheering them on... and this one lady comes over with her husband, has a Kovalchuk t-shirt on but it's tied up above her belly. She had on some hooker-looking white pants and totally had some cameltoe action going on. She apparently was from Colorado and I think she mentioned Denver (losing 4 games in the World Series and a MNF game on the first play of overtime... man I feel sorry for Denver fans!)... anyway she was nice and all but totally looked like she had no clue how to dress up for a hockey game. I mean I'm glad we have fans from other places than Atlanta, but man, it was just funny the way she was looking at the game. Anyway, enough about cameltoe lady.

Got some good pics during warm ups and then we headed up to our seats.

Tampa Fans.

Tampa fans have a horrible stereotype of being assholes. Yeah, I said it... assholes. Now, of course not every Tampa fan is an asshole. In fact, we met a few really nice Tampa fans. But for the most part, yeah, they are assholes. I'll give you a few example.

Example 1: The Father & Son Boyscout

There was a dad (or a very older brother but I believe it was his dad) dressed up in Boy Scout clothes, patches and all. The kid must of been between the ages of 4 and 7. They were sitting in the row in front of us. The little kid and his father would turn around talking trash. The little kid would turn around and say "You Suck!" on a consistent basis during the game. Well, I don't know about you, but I'd like to think that if you have your son in the Boy Scouts that they'd teach him not to act like that in public, even at a hockey game. And at that young age, if I had turned around to tell people "You suck!" at that age, my mom and dad would have put me in serious time out and taken away a bunch of my stuff for talking to people that way. It's the fact that he was apparently a Boy Scout... and yet still said all of that stuff... at that age. Way to raise your little kids, bro. That's being a really good father. Letting your little kids say "You suck!". Maybe if they were older kids it would be fine. But at that age... no. Horrible, horrible parent.

The Mullet Guy

There was a guy in the seats in front of us, but a bit to the right, that had a full on old-school mullet. If you thought the Thrashers mullet wigs were bad, this guy had a real 100% mullet. I even grabbed a picture of it. It was hilarious.

The Losers

There were some empty seats behind us. Late in the third period, there were two guys who came up there to sit behind us. Tampa "fans" of course. Well, no... they don't even deserve to be called "fans". I am not going to exaggerate or fluff what I'm about to tell you. Both of these guys looked like they could have been Osama Bin Laden's cousin or brother. They looked like they hadn't shaved in months... possibly years. The literally looked like they were homeless or lived in a shack. They decided to come up there to egg us on. Their comments were on the level of MAYBE (and this is giving them a huge benefit of the doubt) about a 3rd or 4th grade level. They weren't even intelligent comments or disses. I don't remember much of what they said because I just blocked it out. Yet they came ALL the way up there to where we were sitting... simply to taunt us. The only reason I can see that they had to do this was to help them feel better about them selves. It wasn't good enough for them that Tampa killed Atlanta 6-2. They had to truck all the way from where they were to come up to the seats behind us... and start talking trash. It wasn't even good trash. It was immature, really, really unintelligent comments. We all ignored then but they did manage to get on my girlfriend's last nerve and she got into it wit them. I didn't want to start a fight, I didn't want to get arrested and thrown out, I sure as hell didn't want to get in trouble and that's exactly what would've happened had it gone any further... but she was really angry and I had to turn her away from the guys for her own good... later on she realized that I was right to turn her away, but at the moment they made her really angry, but I understand why she was so angry. These two assholes lowered every other Tampa fan to ever exist to the ground. No longer will I ever hold any Tampa fan with any respect or kindness. I'm sure some of them are still nice, down to earth people that can have a good discussion about a hockey game. These two super losers had nothing better to do than find their way up to our section and talk shit. It wasn't even shit. It was so bad we were laughing at them... not in their faces but toward each other and for the most part we ignored them. After the game, they had the never to follow us out of the arena and continue to talk shit.

I hope that the next game in Tampa the Thrashers come out and win the game. We've been playing much better since the game we were at and I hope they come into Tampa and shut their fans up. I really do. Not only were these two losers some of the worst human beings I've ever come across in my life, there were plenty of other Tampa "fans" that had to taunt us and talk shit all night. I know it's hockey and I know fans are insane and talk shit to each other. That's fine. But there's a point at which it crosses a line and is beyond. Even Buffalo fans I've talked to in Atlanta haven't been this obnoxious.

Tampa fans get an F. A big, fat failing grade. They suck. And I'm a nice guy. I give people the benefit out the doubt. Yes, like I said, there were some nice Tampa fans. But the few ruined it for the entire crowd.

The Arena

It's pretty much a giant blur now, but the inside of the arena reminded me a lot of when we went to the game against the Panthers. The arena bowl is dark and cavernous. Even the ice is very dimly lit until right before the players come out onto the ice. But even after the come out, the lighting everywhere else besides the ice was really dark. In our game seats, you could really tell that the ice was lit up well but the rest of the arena was really dark. I didn't like it at all. You could also tell exactly why when games are broadcast from Tampa, they look horrible on TV. The lighting in the building sucks. The bottom section of the arena was nice, but the upstairs are was small. The hallways for fans to walk were really small and cramped... kind of reminded me of how it is at Yankee Stadium. It was hard to move around since everything was so cramped up there. It was ugly upstairs and nothing to speak of at all. I can't give you anything about the food because we didn't eat anything at the arena - we ate before the game. I mean, yeah, the arena is right on the bay, there are palm trees all around, it's short walk to Channelside and bars and pubs... and I mean it's Tampa... right near the beach... to see a hockey game and be on the beach... that's like a wet dream for me.

Post Game

We all tried to get into a bar after the game, but it was so full jam packed of Red Sox fans that there was just no where to sit... so a few min later, we ended up at the hotel where the Thrashers were staying... we didn't see any of them, but Craig Custance did stop by our table. We drank our sorrows for quite a while.

Fast forward to today.

We've won two in a row... and that is a big accomplishment for us. Sure, it's a SO win, but a win is a win. Little got his first ever SO goal, Kovy played like a freak, and the Thrashers played really well against Montreal. We didn't get to see most of the game, as we were supposed to end up at the Smashing Pumkins show at the Fox... which was canceled... the drummer ended up in the hospital... from what I've heard on a drug OD. Sad. Hopefully they'd reschedule it soon. I was about half way to downtown on 85 when I got the message from the Ticketcrapster robot lady. So instead of going to the show @ the Fox, we went to the nearest Taco Mac by my girlfriends house, and of couse, no Center Ice. DOH! So we went back and watched a movie. But of course I found out this morning that the game was being broadcast for free on Comcast... I guess it's a free Center Ice preview or something... if we had only known... but no matter we heard the end of the third, OT and the SO on the radio and we won... so that is all that really matters. Two in a row baby! Hopefully we can keep it going against the Senators...and then back in Tampa. I really really hope we can win against Tampa. They are now officially on my shit list of teams... Yankees, Georgia Tech, and now Tampa Bay.

Anyway, I have a meeting at work in a bit and I've been really bad, making it look as if I am working, yet instead I'm writing in my blog. I better go. But I'll try my best for more updates.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Limited Edition McFarlane Hossa Figure Coming Soon For 2008 ASG

It seems that no one on the Thrashers message boards seems to care all that much about discussing collectibles... I am a collectaholic and have been collecting all sorts of things for a long time... from die cast model cars, DVDs, sports memorabilia, shot glasses, etc.... I collect a lot of stuff... including bobbleheads, player statues and the like.

Well, turns out that McFarlane, maker of collectible sports figures, will be making a limited edition Hossa figure, limited to a run 0f 3,000 figures, and will be available during the ASG festivities.

The McFarlane Press Release is here: http://www.spawn.com/news/news6.aspx?id=13228

It appears that McFarlane may have their own ASG-related event or be part of the official festivities; there are no details yet, but make room on your shelves for a new McFarlane Hossa!

That's really all for now... good luck to the Thrashers tonight in Philly as we search for our first win... it ain't gonna be easy tonight.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Thrashers Win Their First Game Of the 2007-08 Season

Well, OK, I knew that would grab your attention.

No, we still have yet to win a game. Up 4-2 vs. the Devils, I thought we had a chance, I thought we played well enough to win, and frankly, it is a game we should have won and had no business losing. Hartley changed the lines in the 3rd period and we pretty much fell apart. With a score of 5-5 with about 30 seconds left in the game, the Devils went ahead and held on for the win. There was a pretty close shot on goal from the Thrashers at the very end, and from my vantage point in 411, it looked like, from what I saw on the replay, that it had been so close to the line, on it or over it. But from the 400s, it can be hard to see the detail on the screen and according to some fellow messageboarders, it wasn’t even close. Oh well. I thought it was so close and I couldn’t believe it was not reviewed, only to find out later it wasn’t close.

The positives are that we played very well for most of the game, we finally scored more than 1 goal in a game, and we actually led in a game for the first time, and played with a lot of heart. But taking a penalty at the very end of the game – not cool.

Usually after a big heartbreaker like that, I sleep it off and the next day Idon’t even think about it. But this one was different. I was so pumped, so excited that we’d get our first win… only to be let down. The Thrashers took a big ‘ole dump on my heart. In fact, I’m STILL in denial we actually blew the game. Kari wasn’t as sharp as he normally was either. I was hoping for, at the very least, going into OT and gaining a point – SOMETHING positive. But no. No. We blew the game at the very end.

Well, what can you do? Not much. Gotta move on and look forward to the next game – Philly. Even though they sucked last season, they were our bitch… we couldn’t muster a win against them. And now they have vastly improve their team… so we’ll see what happens. I’m really hoping we pull out a win for selfish reason – I have a huge job interview on Wednesday morning and I’d really, REALLY like to go into that interview with the positive feeling knowing the Thrashers won a game. If they don’t win, of course I can’t and won’t let it effect me during an interview, but it could only be a positive boost if they do.

Also, we are going to our second-ever Thrashers road game in Tampa on the 20th. I’m looking forward to making a post about my experience there. Can’t wait!

That’s all for now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

0 'n 3... Not Time To Flee... Except Maybe Ken Klee

I was so hopeful last night. Tied up going into the third period. Our best played game of the season, despite the loss. I thought we played well enough to win… but yet again, too many turnovers, too many penalties, too many costly mistakes. Kari has been sharp… I think he could be better, but to anyone who has doubts about him… why don’t YOU go strap on some goalie equipment and try it yourself… and see how many people complain about you. Anyway, I was worried at first because there seemed to be no one in the arena… and right before game time, it filled out decently…

Anyway not much else to report right now other than what you already know… no matter how well we played last night, we are 0-3. There's no sugar coating that fact. Tonight we are playing an 0-2 Sabres team… I think tonight is, hopefully, our first chance to really win a game… we had a great opportunity last night, but nothing bounced our way… plenty of shots on goal… Kovy was a monster out there… but nothing went in… plenty of pings and clinks hitting the pipes but nothing would fall our way. At least, from a positive aspect, we have looked like we’ve improved over the first two games and played a better, more consistent game.

Also just wanted to note that with all of the job interviews going on and things changing in my life, my posts may not be as consistent as a I like… If I get a certain position then big things will be changing in my life… but I guarantee you this… if I get this particular job, the very first thing I’m going to do is pay the rest of my season tickets off, buy All-Star tickets, and put a down payment for next season already if they’ll let me know.

Anyway, that’s all for now...or maybe not... I hope we will finally get a W tonight. We have a work bowling league (exciting, I know…) and I won’t be able to see most of the game tonight. I’m hoping for some good news when I get back to the car.

Oh, also, I know the AJC finally picked their fan blogger. So far I see one post. The guy is very knowledgeable and seems to be a big fan. But I have a few questions… is this guy there every night? Is he that dedicated of a fan? I dunno. I was honestly hoping I’d get the job. Am I some big hockey expert? Far from it. But I guarantee you the guy doesn’t have the same passion that I do. Nothing against who they picked – I’m sure he’ll make a fine IceMan… but hey AJC... the guy is married and has kids… I seriously doubt he has the same amount of time to dedicate to going to games, watching games, and being a fan. He probably has better credentials than me and that’s more than fine… but the AJC didn’t pick the person with the most passion and dedication out there… something also tells me there’s some sorta inside connection going on as well. Well ,whatever, my rant is over and done with...well not yet... One more thing… can we please get some bobbleheads and / or player statues as giveaways? Our gate giveaways listed so far are pretty lame IMHO. The replica banner is cool, but man, whatever happened to getting some awesome bobbleheads? Bring ‘em back.

Also, sorry about the supposed ticket giveaway... some one at work wanted them and it was good brownie points for me, so, I apologize about that...they were in the 400s so you didn't lose out on any big free tickets.

Oh yeah, I finally got the Upper Deck mini jerseys… both the red batman jersey and the blue Atlanta jersey as well… they are cool collectibles. Also, I saw a TON of the McFarlane Hossa player statues at the Perimeter Wal-Mart if you want to grab one… or two.

Let’s get a #%&(@*W#%&#@*(%& win tonight!!! GO THRASHERS!!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

T-Minus 24 Hours And Counting.. and POSSIBLE Ticket Giveaway!

Opening Night is more than 24 hours away at this point, but actually less than 24 Hours until I’ll be there hanging out.

Let’s just say I’ve found a way to not have to work tomorrow, and normally I work all day on Friday.

It’s also now public that Gary Bettman will be in Atlanta on Opening Night. What you don’t know is that there is a not-so-public event before the game. I was going to save it as a surprise of-sorts for after Opening Night, but now that it’s public, I’ll go ahead and spill the beans.

Gary Bettman, love him or hate him, is an AEPi Alum, and I am also an AEPi Alum. I got an e-mail from the AEPi National Office that he would be coming to Atlanta and there is going to be a speaking event with Bettman before the game. For $50 a ticket, you get a lower level seat, food and drink, and attend the speaking event before the game. For a few more bucks a ticket, you can upgrade to better lower level seats, and that I did… Center ice, section 115, row X. While it’s the last row, it’s still a great view…and to be able to sit there on Opening Night…is awesome. Even if it was just a ticket at that price it’d be a good deal. The speaking event, from what I’ve been told, is an invite-only event and not open to the public. The best part of it all is that we get to go into the arena early for the event and don’t have to mess with Opening Night lines. Sweet!

Not much else to say at this point… the anticipation is building, Friday night can not come soon enough, and got the camera charged and ready to go. That’s about all for now. Saturday morning we’ll be going to the event at the Krispy Kreme. After that event, I’ll have a recap of everything and plenty of pictures.

Also, one last thing. I happen to have an EXTRA PAIR OF TICKETS for Opening Night. I am attempting to see if anyone at work wants them (good for brownie points at work)… if no one is interested, I’ll GIVE THEM AWAY… JUST STRAIGHT UP GIVE THEM AWAY… so I’ll LET YOU KNOW BY TONIGHT… KEEP CHECKING BACK…. If I am unable to give them away at work, I’ll think of something to give them away to someone who reads this. They are NOT being given away YET… I’ll let you know what happens. I can e-mail these tickets, so you don’t have to worry about meeting and picking them up.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

FaceOff 2007

First off, I want to apologize for not posting as many updates as I would’ve liked to the last few days… I’ve been busy as hell, I’m job hunting and interviewing and that has taken up a LOT of my time. My goal is to try to find a job that will allow me to accommodate my love for the Thrashers… somewhere where I can get plenty of hours in but not have to work until 8. I have a few things in the works so we’ll see.

I could go back and go over the last couple of pre-season games vs. the Panthers… but the Pre-Season is over and done with, so I won’t go back in time too much. I’m glad we’ve had a rather successful pre-season and I hope we win on Opening Night. Sure, you aren’t going to win every home game, but if there’s one game you really wana go home happy from, it’s Opening Night. And Opening Night win sets the tone, even perhaps for the entire season. You start off the season with a loss… I mean… even if you go to every game you can, there are a few games that you will always remember more than others… and one of those games is Opening Night. Sure there’s all the ceremony stuff, the banner, the players all being introduced… that’s all great… but you want an Opening Night victory more than anything… do YOU want to go home on Opening Night sad and disappointed? I sure as hell don’t. An Opening Night thriller… an OT win or a SO win would be sweet… but I’d rather have a secured win in regular…4-2 Thrashers is my guess for the final score. That being said, the Caps have upgraded their team and we’ll see just how good they are on Friday night. In reality, even if we don’t get a win, I hope we at least end up with a point by going into OT. If you can’t win, it’s still not too bad to go come knowing you put up a point on the board. Opening Night is one of those magical nights that you hope comes out in your favor.

Going back a little… we went to the FaceOff event as we always do. It was setup much better this time… instead of standing in line forever, the autograph tables were setup on the arena floor and fans could just sit and wait in seats while they waited for autographs. We were the very first in line for line E and Sam was excited, as you can guess, to meet her hero Kari once again. She’s taking a photography class and developed a really nice photo of Kari… Kari didn’t seem to care all that much… Sam was a bit disappointed… I felt bad but what can I do? Anyway, after autographs, we went to take a bathroom break and then headed over to get some free Moes for dinner… now that was a LOT better than the free hotdogs and coke they ran out of last year. A LOT better. In fact, it was so good, I’m going to start a petition that they do that EVERY game for season ticket holders…. Hah yeah right. Anyway after that we went to check out the gear sale… of course all of the really good stuff is gone by then, people first in line their get the best dibs on stuff… so I’m thinking ahead to next FaceOff already… that’s the line to get into first…. Autographs are cool and all… but that opportunity comes only once a year… anyway I managed to pick up a used Jimmy Slater stick … with #29 on it. My first thought was what kind of scam is this? LOL. Slater’s always worn #23. No one at FaceOff could figure out an explanation, but some helpful fellow fans on the message boards figure it out… he wore #29 while in Chicago… so I ended up with a stick from his AHL days… cool with me. Grabbed a Damian Rhodes name plate (surprised no one had picked that up, he is an original Thrasher and, although not very popular with fans back in the day, he will always be remembered by fans that’ve been there since 1999. Got a few game pucks as well.

Ben, a.k.a. All Powerful Mod a.k.a The Web Guy, chose me, Sally and Jenn to be moderators on the Thrashers message boards. He chose us out of well over 4,000 users. I was taken back, stunned, and couldn’t believe it. At first, he didn’t make it public that we were moderators, but he has announced it and now we are known as moderators. For our services, he’s given us each a new replica jersey. They are nice and it’s always good to have a new jersey, but the material isn’t as good for autographs. I’ll wear the new one, don’t get me wrong, but I still have plenty of love for my good ‘ole 5th season jersey. It’s seen more hockey games and beer than a lot of other jerseys…

Back to FaceOff…. There was only one thing that made me angry. We got in an autograph line which wasn’t that bad… I wanted to get my stick autographed by Slater, and we thought we’d have time. I can’t be too mad because they did give us fair warning and told us we may or may not make it. We got down there… we were RIGHT by the table… and they stopped autographs. Well, instead of making fans wonder if they will get an autograph and then get pissed off when they don’t, instead of just making people guess, you cut the line. You go to the line, you tell people this is the end of the line… sure, you don’t want to be the guy who the line gets cut off from, but it’s better to make one person really mad than make a ton of people disappointed and sad they didn’t get an autograph. When I worked with the Braves for two seasons, we helped out with the FanFest in the winter. If you think the autograph lines for FaceOff are bad, you ain’t see NOTHING… the lines at Turner Field for Braves autographs are insane… they can easily wrap around the stadium. You HAVE to cut the lines at a certain point… guarantee people they’ll get their autograph and that it’s. Close the line off. You don’t leave people hanging and waiting around to MAYBE get an autograph… to wait all that time and then not get your autograph…well it SUCKS…. So next year, do the exact same format… but CUT lines…it’s better for fans, it’s better for the players so they can look up and see that they only have so many fans left at the end… don’t let them look up and see that there are still giant lines… they’d probably like it better if they see a short, cut line at the end. In the end, everyone wins this way, except the guy who gets cut off. Like I said, better one really mad person than a whole bunch of sad and disappointed fans.

But the best part are the prices of the gear…game used sticks can skyrocket in prices…but the prices on the gear was nothing short of very reasonable, even some seeming too good to be true. A game used stick for $10? Sweet. Game used pucks for a dollar? Awesome. Next year that will be the first line we hit, no doubt.

Here are some pictures I’ve taken recently:

FaceOff 2007:

Thrashers vs. Panthers (Last Pre-Season Home Game):

Thrashers First 2007-08 Practice Session:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thrashers vs. Predators: A Big Confidence MOOSEster

Last night the final score should have been 2-0, no overtime, no shootout. Moose let in on really sloppy goal, leaving the net, or the Moose Cave as I like to call it, and it was an all too easy goal. Both goals scored on Moose should have not been goals, they were simply presents to the Predators. Yet despite Moose’s costly mistakes, he more than made up for them with a shutout in the shootout. Second pre-season home game and we’re already going to a SO. The SO is the worst way to win or lose a game. Sure, it’s awesome and exciting when your team wins in SO, but I just don’t like it being the one thing that determines the outcome of a game. But the other night, when the Georgia vs. Alabama game went into OT, I couldn’t help but think of how similar it was. Each team starts on the 30… close enough for a good touchdown pass or at least a field goal… so it’s almost like a shootout. It’s not the same, but it’s similar…each team gets a shot… and in hockey, it is also true. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a college football game go into OT, so I wasn’t up on all the OT rules until they displayed them on TV.

So, we put in “Mr. Automatic” (Kozlov), Hossa, and Kovy. Now, Kozzy was on an amazing streak of SO goals last season… he kind of let up at the end of the season, but I just assumed that he’d start up right back where he left off… but it wasn’t even close, he couldn’t even really get a shot off. Hossa, to my surprise, wasn’t any better. And then to our surprise, it was Kovy that was put in as the third shooter. Here we go, like we are really gonna win this one now. We all know of Kovy’s all-so-wonderful history in the SO… he’s historically horrible in the SO… yet this time he proved us wrong. This was a huge confidence booster for Kovy. I don’t think he’ll score in every single SO, but he’s gotten better, and last night’s sniper shot simply proved that. Not only was it a confidence booster for Kovy, but mostly for Moose. After giving up those two horrific goals, once of which was a huge brain fart mistake, he was solid as a rock ‘tween the pipes during the SO… giving the Thrashers a shutout in the shootout… This coming through in the clutch performance more than made up for his earlier blunders… and giving the small crowd at Philips a happy drive home.

My worry is that if Kari is hurt, even if he’s not, can the Moose be a consistently good goaltender? After last night, it’s hard to say… giving up those two mindnumblingly bad goals it’s hard to say… sure event he best goaltenders, even the great Marty Brodeur, will let in a bad one every now and then… and better now we get those out of the way during pre-season than the regular season. I forgive the Moose for his mistakes, as he is one of the best professionals you will ever see out on the ice. He gave us a helluva a performance in the playoffs, despite the outcome, and he is generally a very consistent and reliable goaltender, not to mention a really nice guy.

So tonight the guys play in Sunrise. I hope we won’t be too tired after last night’s win and then having to leave right for Florida… but I mean, it could be worse… I wouldn’t complain about playing hockey in Florida in sunny whether surrounded by palm trees, an ocean breeze, and, well, it’s Florida. I hope Kari gets the start as reported and I hope he’s able to stay in and re-injure himself playing.

Best of luck to Kari and the Thrashers tonight in Sunrise. Let’s make the Panthers pay!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Dawg Gone Good Weekend... for the Thrashers and Falcons, Not So Much

Last weekend was awesome. Thrashers, Braves, and Falcons games... all in one weekend. But I'm trying my best to forget about the Falcons game... I've been to plenty of Falcons games, but that was a sorry ass game. We did have Club seats; that was my first time in the Club seating at the Dome and I've gotta say it's awesome. But it's sad, we both the tickets for less than 1/2 the cost of face value... I wish we had of gone to the last Braves home game instead; it would've been more fun. Oh well... on to important things here: The Thrashers

Saturday night as surreal. It's been a little over five months since we've been to a hockey game. Walking back into Philips for the first time was, well... it was strange, yet I felt at home at the same time. Standing there, looking out onto the ice and checking out the arena bowl, I thought back to the first playoff game... instead of a 1/2 empty pre-season game, I saw a jam-packed Philips Arena roaring all night for the Thrashers. I saw the boards and glass all lit up in Blue. I heard the roar of a deafening crowd; a city set on fire by the Thrashers. Am I delusional? Last time I checked, no. Some times I wish I was; life would be more fun that way. It was surreal being back in Philips... watching an actual hockey game. Not some crappy video stream from North Bay but a real, live in-person game. It was hard to believe we were there, watching the Thrashers. It hasn't even hit me yet hockey season is back. Perhaps that will happen tonight for the 2nd pre-season home game? I hope so.

So, guess what, as usual, Sam and I were there early. Not super insane early like we will for for Opening Night... but early enough. First in line, as usual. The best part is that smell. That ice, beer, and arena food smell. I haven't smelled that glorious smell in months. It's the best smell in the world next to freshly printed money. As the doors opened, and you get that first whiff of the smell that is Blueland, your senses open up, and you realize that you are about to watch the best sport on earth - NHL hockey. Oh, that smell... there's nothing quite like it. If I could bottle it up and make my house smell that way... or maybe just a smelly thing for your car... that would be awesome... to get into your car and every time it smells like Philips Arena. The ice, the cold, the beer, the food... whatever it is that makes up that combination to make that unique, sweet smell of Philips Arena... it's awesome. There's nothing like it anywhere.

The game itself was almost irrelevant... not a full roster, nothing counts, it's just pre-season... of course you want the Thrashers to win... well that's all some bullshit right there. Yeah, it was pre-season, but it was that all too-familiar feeling I get after a Thrashers loss... even in pre-season. But it was to be erased quickly. After stopping at the V (that's the Varsity for you non-ATL types) to get some grub, I drove to my moms to watch the end of the Georgia vs. Alabama game. I won't go into how weird and strange it was not hearing Larry Munson on the radio on the way home; this is not a Dawgs blog, but man, it was weird. Got there just in time to watch the last half of the 4th quarter... I drove up to my moms house to find a house full of people still there... she has a break-the-fast dinner every year after Yom Kippur, but I wasn't about to miss the Thrashers game, even for that. I get inside and everyone is gathered around the TV. OT rolls around, the Dawgs win, and my brother who was home for the holiday, who would have otherwise been at the game, went absolutely insanely berserk, dancing and jumping around... it would have made a priceless YouTube video if we had only captured his victory dance after the game. It was exciting to say the least and the Dawgs OT win 100% turned around any crappy feelings from the Thrashers loss. It erased it all. I'll take a Dawgs OT win ... especially over Bama...and a Thrashers pre-season loss any day.

So tonight is the second pre-season home game. I have a feeling, seeing as how it is a Tuesday night, that there will be a really small crowd... fine with me. Just means better seats to sneak down to!

I am a bit concerned that Kari is not starting tonight; Moose is back in goal... guessing they are letting Kari heal up as much as he can before the regular season starts. The line is also very interesting tonight with Little and Kovy... we'll see what happens. I dunno bout you but with these two guys I'm expecting some highlight-reel plays. We'll see.

Well, that's enough for now. I'll do a post-game... uh... post... either tonight or sometime tomorrow.

See you in Blueland tonight! LETS GO THRASHERS!!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Religion of Hockey

Being that tonight and tomorrow is Yom Kippur, I thought I'd do a post a little off the beaten path. With hockey fans being among the most passionate, obsessed, and loyal fans on earth, it isn't a long shot to say that hockey might as well be a religion in and of itself.

Here are a few photos and links of proof:

- Interesting Blog Article on Canadian Jews who play hockey

- Israel Ice Hockey Federation

- Jews have been playing hockey for longer than you think!

- The Coolest Jewish Hockey Jersey You'll Ever See:

- Even Jesus loves hockey:

- Jesus playing hockey:

- Jesus Saves:

- Jesus as a Flyer:

Negative Result From Nashville & Chief - The Man, The Myth, The Living Legend

Got back from the Braves vs. Brewers game late and didn't see or scoreboard watch the game, so I really can't tell you much more than what you already know - we lost 5-3. Sure it would've been sweet to go 3-0 in the pre-season, but reality finally set in tonight: You mean we aren't going to win every single game? Of course it's just pre-season and the disappointment of a loss isn't on the level of a regular-season game... But the Braves did win 3-1... When we left the game, the Mets had gone ahead.... but I get back to the car and my brother calls me to tell me the Marlins tied it back up with 3 runs in the 9th... and ended up winning the game. Of course the Nats blew a nice lead on the Phillies and the Phillies ended up winning... but if the Braves are to make it, we are gonna need some help along the way... but it surely doesn't help that both the Mets and Phillies essentially have a cake walk the rest of the game... playing teams like the Marlins. The Braves are hot right now and let's just hope for a playoff-making miracle.

So, yes, ok, back to the Thrashers here. I so badly wanted to be in Nashville tonight... more than anything. But that's ok... you can put money on the table that I'll be incredibly early to Saturday night's game... I ran into Chief (if you live in Atlanta and go to Braves and Thrashers games and don't know who Chief is, than you aren't a true Atlantan) and we talked to him tonight for quite a while.... to say the least, he is excited that the Thrashers are finally back. Of course, Chief will be there, but you know he can't break his Braves attendance record, and will be a bit late... but it was great to catch up with Chief tonight.... he is the nicest guy you'll ever meet too. And if you thought I was loyal, Chief is hard to beat. We are always hanging out in line talking Thrashers, Braves, Falcons and sports in general before Thrashers games... he plays sports himself... he's an avid softball player (he was very animated tonight telling us about ending up in first place) and and avid floor hockey player.

In fact, Chief, Sam and I have become good buddies. So much so, in fact, that I created a MySpace page... just for Chief. I'll be honest, I haven't kept up with it as much as I should have, but if you know Chief and you're on MySpace, add him to your friends list. I did a huge interview with Chief and need to get around to adding the info from our interview. The MySpace page is here:


Not much else to say tonight... but I am pysched for Saturday... I can't wait for that Blueland smell... cold ice, beer, hotdogs, and, well, of course... more beer. I can't wait to see the ice, I can't wait to actually be at hockey game... it's been WAY, WAY too long and I'm anxious to see our boys in blue play the other... boys in blue... and this time with no huge pressure for a win... win or lose, it's not the end of the world - it doesn't count - and I'd rather save those pissed-off moods for the regular season... this Saturday is a take-it-easy kind of game. Of course, yeah, you want a W, but it doesn't count.

One last minor thing... not sure how long services will run on Saturday... I hope to be able to make it to the Nasty Nesty BBQ down in the Gulch but it all depends on my timing... I have to change, put my suit in my car and then go back... that may take some time.

There's just one more little thing: On my season ticket box, it says "2007-08 Southeast Division Champions"... I'd like to believe this is not a misprint - rather it's the truth. But before we start making such bold predictions... which are totally cool with me, I don't mind.... let's get the season started... let's raise that banner, let's kick some ice and... ITS @#$()@(#$&@# HOCKEY SEASON!!!!!

Oh yeah... before I go.... tonight at The Ted... it was a small crowd but I did notice serveral Thrashers shirts and hats throughout the ballpark... even a couple of kids got one the screen - one a hockey jersey (couldn't make out the team) and one with a Thrashers jersey. I'm still, of course, a huge Braves fan and will wear Braves gear to a Braves game, but I kind of wish I had thrown my my Thrashers gear tonight. Oh well. It was cool to see some Thrashers Hockey Love at The Ted tonight. We got some free fireworks from Cent. Park, a Smoltz statue, a Braves win, a Mets loss, and the best part - a subtle reminder that hockey season is upon us.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Class Is In Session

Ever wondered just where the Thrashers got their name?

Check out the Brown Thrasher entry in Wikipedia. It even mentions that the bird is the inspiration for Thrashers as our team name. Take a minute or two from all your Thrashers and hockey news, blogging, and fantasy hockey and educate yourself.

Or listen to one. I swear he's saying "Let's go Thrashers!!" ....in Thrash-sorta speak. Or maybe he's just trying to tell off some Sabres or Rangers fans...

And did you ever think about it... seeing as how it's a BROWN Thrasher... aren't you glad our main team color is not UPS brown? If we have a bad game, at least we can't say we look like shit... literally.

And yes, the Georgia Brown Thrasher has his own highlight video.

The Birds,The Braves & The Battle

I love this time of the year. It's not all that often you get to go to a Braves, Thrashers, and Falcons game all in one weekend. If only it was like this all year!

I've been invited to go to the game in Nashville, but there's just no way I can really get up there. I have to work all day Friday. My girlfriend can't go. Friday night is Yum Kippur. Saturday morning as well. Great timing, right? Sadly I will have to miss the Open Practice... as much as I want to be there, my conscious simply won't let me skip going to synagogue on the holiest day of the year. I will, however, change right after services and meet up with folks at the Nasty Nest tailgate in the Gulch. Thankfully my synagogue is off of Peachtree Battle, so I won't be too far from Philips... I'll just have to stop somewhere and change.

So, as I said, there's just no way we can make it up to Nashville for the game... it makes sense to save $$$ for regular-season games anyway. Not to mention we'll be at the Braves game (John Smoltz statute night!).... which will probably be the last Braves game I get to go to this season....barring any last minute playoff-making miracles.

Sunday my brother and will be at the Falcons home-opener. And speaking of miracles, they are gonna surely need one as well... could they pull out a W?

So, Thursday night it's Braves...
Saturday it Thrashers home pre-season game 1...
Sunday it's the Falcons....

The only tough part about Saturday night is that the Dawgs will be at 'Bama... just hoping they'll keep us up to date on the scores on the boards in Philips... and of course it means checking the TVs during intermission.

But I'm anxious as all hell to finally see some hockey again... of course Saturday the Thrashers won't be playing most of our main guys, it will be the younger guys to see who will get some of the last roster spots... could the Thrashers go 3-0 in the pre-season?

As you already know, Custance is the Thrashers one and only AJC writer / blogger. Sadly, the AJC, ironically located next door to Philips Arena, has one Thrashers writer. ONE. Pathetic. However, Custance is a great source of inside info. He published a piece today regarding our goalie situation. Kari, as you know, was our #1 "Franchise" goalie last season, and no doubt is still the future of this franchise and still, to me anyway, our Franchise netminder. However, Thrashers fans will have the opportunity to yell "Mooooooooooooose!!" a bit more often this season, as Kari and Moose will be competing for the starting position. Will Kari start on Opening Night or will you go deaf hearing "Mooooooooooooose!"on Opening Night? That remains to be seen. There will be a battle between Kari and Moose and I only see that as a positive... it will keep them fighting for the chance and can only make them better. I don't know if this is Coach Hartley's idea or DW playing master of puppets, but whoever made the decision to make it a battle did the right thing. The question remains, however.... will this help get the Thrashers more wins? That remains to be seen for now. I do know that Kari stood on his head when his parents were in town to watch him play. Hopefully they'll come as MUCH as possible this season.

AJC.COM: "Lehtonen has competition in the nets"

Monday, September 17, 2007

X Hero of the Day in North Bay

Well, well.... whadda we have here?

The Thrashers are now 2-0 in the pre-season!

The game was, in theory, broadcast on NHL Center Ice Online.... but half the time the site wouldn't load, and sometimes it did but the player didn't launch....if the player did launch there was no feed...luckily the CBC was also broadcasting the game online... it was a decent video feed, it was grainy and choppy but better than nothing. People kept walking in front of the camera... guess that's what you get in a small arena like that.

X scored the game-winning OT goal over the NY Islanders. Now, here's the scary part... it's only the 2nd pre-season game but my heart was racing as if it's post-season. Man I really, really missed hockey!

I don't know if Crabb will make the team, but I think he looked pretty good in the game despite that last minute penalty.

Hockeyville 2007 Media:

Thrashers Game Recap

Islanders Game Recap

AJC.COM Game Recap

NHL.COM: "North Bay lives up to 'Hockeyville' title"

The North Bay Nugget: "Kovalchuk , Thrashers eager to suit up for Hockeyville game"

2007 Hockeyville Website

Pictures of North Bay Fans After Winning the 2007 Hockeyville Contest

Official City of North Bay Website

Thrashers Fever: Will ATL Catch It Again?

I was cleaning up some files on my computer and going through a bunch of random photos and came across this screen shot of AJC.COM from last season. It serves as an excellent reminder of just what we accomplished last year: Not only were we Division Champs, but we made the playoffs for the first time. For the first time, the city of Atlanta was abuzz about the Thrashers. It was the talk of the town. Even where I work, people I didn't know would stop by to talk to me about the Thrashers. All over the city, there was not a place you could go where you didn't hear someone talking about hockey and the Thrashers. It was the biggest thing this city had going at the time. The fever, the buzz, the anticipation of Stanley Cup playoffs...

And then finally it came: The first-ever Playoff game in Thrashers history. The sold out crowd inside Philips Arena had an energy, a force about it if you will... unlike anything we've experienced before.

My question is this: Can we do this again? Can this city rise to it's feet and support this team the same way? If we make the playoffs again, will Atlanta come out in full support? Will that same Thrashers fever catch on throughout Atlanta like it did last season?

I think our fans and this city will not only show the same level of support, but even go beyond what we had last season. Last season was just a taste... an appetizer if you will.... this season, if we make the playoffs, let's try our best not to get swept... and maybe make it to the 2nd round? We make it that that far and this city will catch not only Thrashers fever but it will be more like an epidemic of Thrashers mania.

We'll need to alert local hospitals to be on the lookout for individuals with Thrashers fever... It can easily be diagnosed by constant talk about the Thrashres, hockey, the NHL and Stanley Cup Playoffs. Victims will be dressed in Thrashers jerseys, shirts and hats, and are known to eat, sleep and breathe all that is Blueland. Victims of Thrashers fever are also known to escape jail... err... work to arrive early to games. These victims can also be seen traveling up interstate 85 to the Duluth Ice Forum to catch Thrashers Training Camp and practices. Be cautious around those you may believe to have Thrashers Fever: It is HIGHLY and EXTREMELY contagious and if you are around or near ANYONE with these symptoms and conditions, you too will be at the mercy of Thrashers Fever. Be forewarned, there is NO cure and there is nothing you can do to get rid of it. Even during the off season, Thrashers Fever's symptoms may be reduced, however, there is no cure.

On a side note:

Atlanta fans: One thing... Like our Mayor or not, if we DO happen to make the playoffs again, let's NOT boo her, no matter where your political stance is. If one day, God forbid, the Thrashers should ever have the threat of moving hanging over our heads, and we have a fan rally like Nashville did, and our Mayor is there to show support... we may in fact need her one day, if it ever comes to that, and if we boo her, she may never show her support for the Thrashers to stay in town... so let's be smart about this one Thrashers fans... like her or not, let's NOT boo her just in case, like I said, God forbid we may need her support one day. I hope that day never comes, but if it does, the power of politicians is priceless.

Now We Are Famous! Thanks, AJC!

Ok, not really, but we were in a training camp photo on AJC.COM.

We are to the right of the lady in the Canada jacket... that's my friend Jordan, my girlfriend Sam, and me with the backwards hat on.

Click here for the link to the story.


Bluelanders Give The Blues ...The Blues

Well, I must apologize already... I had such a busy weekend that I haven't been able to get around to posting anything. On Friday I was at the first day of camp, of course, but headed straight to Athens after for the Georgia game. Not too much time to post anything. I was busy with the girlfriend all day Sunday as well... this is my first real opportunity to post.

I did take quite a few pictures... it's a new camera, but they just didn't' seem to come out that well. After practice I found out there are better settings I should have used. Oh well. Here are the pictures that actually came out.

I'm glad we got the season off to a good start with a W against the Blues... might be pre-season but a win is a win is a win. And I hope the broadcast tonight from the Hockeyville game works without any issues.

What else... I'm kind of disappointed in the Open Practice date. I'm Jewish and the Open Practice juuuuuuuuust so happens to be on the same date as... oh... only the holiest day of the year: Yum Kippur. This is no different than having the event on Christmas Day or Easter... They would, of course, never have an event on the same day... Why does it have to be the one day out of the year? In all honesty, it's kind of offensive. Last year I believe the event was only for season ticket holders and BBQ and drinks were provided... this year it's open to the public and no food or drinks are provided... That kinda bums me out too. But the fact that it's on Yum Kippur... that is just bad. Now I'm not sure how many Jewish folks around here are also hard core Thrashers fans like me, but it's very frustrating. But I have to to the right thing. I'll be going to services Friday night and Saturday... meaning I won't be able to go to the open practice... but I will be going to the game that night. I wish they had schedule it for another time and day... but I guess they didn't see Yum Kippur on the calendar. Man you can really tell I am Jewish with all the complaining... but I think it's a legit reason to complain.

Anyway, after seeing the new jerseys for myself at the practice and now in pictures from the Blues game, I have to say the only thing I don't like is the arrows and stripe along the bottom.

What else... the season is not far away and every day the anticipation grows more and more.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Minor Blog Update

Well I should be in bed already, gotta get up bright and early to get to training camp in the morning!

I've made a few minor updates and changes... brought back using a small icon for each post.. I really like this one. Also added another graphic or two as well as a new link list for Thrashers-related MySpace pages... if you'd like your Thrasher-themed MySpace page added or if you are just a Thrashers fan and want your MySpace page added to the list, just let me know.

I'm looking to see if I can find past years training camp shirts, so if you have any pictures or remembered what was said on them, let me know.

Expect plenty of pictures from training camp tomorrow....err make that later today.... I won't be going on Saturday... I'll be in Athens for the Georgia game, but I'll be back Sunday and at least a few days during the week if and when I can make it up to Duluth.

Also in case you missed it, last year's Fan Correspondent Sean Grace is having a free ticket contest over on his blog so check it out... I've already put my name in the hat. Sorry, I have no free tickets to give away. Maybe I'll give something away later on to entice people to actually read this thing. I have a few Thrashers goodies and a contest or two kinda sounds like fun. Problem is I'm way to lazy to actually go out and ship something so if you do win a contest from me, you'll have to get it from me at a game.... ok, ok I'll ship whatever it may be as long as it's not really heavy.

That's it for now. See you in Duluth!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So Close You Can Feel The Cold

So hockey is almost here. Almost time yet again for the greatest sport on earth. It can't come soon enough. And speaking of things that can't come soon enough: Season Tickets. They were shipped out on Monday and arrived on Tuesday... well, they were SUPPOSED to arrive on Tuesday. Of course I tracked the package... it said damaged and missing merchandise and that it was being returned. So I call UPS (thankfully you can actually talk to a human being) and they lady told me something fell out and was missing. Great. Wonderful. Who else but Mr. UPS driver would have opened the box??? I thought something fishy may have been going on. The last package I got from UPS, which was an envelope that contained front row tickets to see Dave Chappelle at the Tabernacle, was torn up, had some sort of black goo all over it, and the flap where you open it was already half open. Thank god my front row tickets were in there. The next thing I get from UPS are my Thrashers season tickets, and out of all the tickets that were mailed out, MY box is the one box that somehow, someway couldn't make it to it's destination... in the same city. I can understand a messup if I were sending something to say... the south pole... but in the same city? Cmon. What can brown do for me? They can get me my packages... on time and not messed with! Thankfully they were returned and ended up in the hands of my ticket rep Dustin and I told him I'm just going to pick them up... no more taking chances with UPS.

Anyway, this Friday I am going to be a bad Jew and skip the second day of Rosh Hashanah to go to the first Thrashers practice. The 2nd day is always half empty anyway. Can't miss the first official practice!

The Braves are toast. The Falcons... well... not giving up on them yet, they did manage to win 3 of 4 in the pre-season, and I know pre-season doesn't mean much, but let's just hope the next game is a BIT closer than the opener. Georgia lost to South Carolina and should've played a lot better. So it's time for some Thrashers hockey!

The Thrashers will be a mix of new and familiar faces... and I think we have a heck of a roster. Thankfully, as you know, Sutton is gone. That should help us win a few more games alone! Ok, I shouldn't pick on Andy, he'll probably come back to play us and take some of our guys out.

What else... considering going to the pre-season game in Nashville but I think the smart thing to do will be to save money for away games during the regular season. But then again, it is the Thrashers and hockey... so... gotta make up my mind soon.

My girlfriend is more than excited to finally see the boys on the ice, especially Kari... oh how she is madly in love .... well more like lust... with him. I don't care... I'm madly in love with Bridgette Wilson (you know, Veronica Vaughn in the movie Billy Madison...) and she's totally cool with that... although I've never been so lucky to have met her. Maybe one day....

My hope is, of course, who doesn't want a Stanley Cup? I just hope the Thrashers not only make the playoffs again but win a series or two and maybe even go deep in the playoffs... no more sweeps by the Rangers or any other team for that matter. Those are still fresh, painful memories... that freak puck that bounced off the boards...I won't even go into other details... just trying NOT to think about it... I'd much rather think about how awesome Blueland was that night... never before had Philips been that loud... the energy in the building was awesome... insane... something you'll never forget. I hope the 2007-08 Opening Night is just as loud and has just as much energy. I can't wait. October 5th can't come soon enough!!!

I hope there are more fans at games this year during the week. Even if a game falls on a Tuesday or Wednesday, I wana see the place rockin'. Traffic, work, more traffic, kids, more work... excuses, excuses, excuses... tired of 'em. Get your asses down to Philips Arena, come support the best damn team in this city and even if you've never been to a hockey game, you'll be hooked once you go. The Thrashers are the best addiction you can have... at least they are better than a crack addiction! There's nothing like hockey and if you've never been... COME OUT TO A GAME... you WILL fall in love with the Thrashers and hockey.... if you don't, something is very, very wrong.

If you have been living under a rock or in a cave than you might not have heard there was finally a legal decision about the Atlanta Spirit ownership group... and I think it fell the way most people wanted it to... Belkin won't get control of the team. Now that the legal battle is hopefully near an end, the Thrashers won't have to cut their budgets on certain things...

What else.... Face Off 2007 is coming soon which is always fun... there's the open morning skate...last year coach Hartley was mic'd up, hopefully they'll do that again... and then on the same day is the first home pre-season game. Can't wait!!!

Don't have much time left tonight; have to get up early to get to services in the morning... expect consistently more updates now that the season is gearing up!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Season Ticket Rep:

I haven't done any blogging, well, because there's not too much to blog about. There's the Hossa rumors and then, of course, Sutton is gone, and well, that's a big cause for celebration if you ask me. I thought he was a good dman but he was way too inconsistent.

Anyway, the point of this post is to give props and kudos to my season ticket rep: Dustin Skidmore. Dustin has been my rep ever since I became a STH. Now, with season tickets, you can have an 8 month payment plan with no interest to make it easier for fans to afford... which is a very, VERY nice option and makes it easy to afford tickets.

Dustin has been VERY... EXTREMELY accommodating to me, allowing me to pay when I get paid, allowing me to make a payment when I can, even if it's not exactly according to the scheduled. For example, I gave Dustin a payment of $100 and told him the next time I get paid I'd send him $200. Well, he e-mailed me back asking if I wanted to go ahead and make a payment... well, I was helping my younger brother move to a new apartment in Athens and on my way back to Atlanta, about 1/2 down 316, my car decided to, what I thought at the time, throw a rod. It was making horrible, horrific sounds and I somehow, someway drove back to Atlanta in the right hand lane and made it to the shop. It cost me over $1600 to fix and, to say the least, that set me back quite a bit until my next paycheck... I told Dustin and he was more than willing to let me pay him a week later when I get my next paycheck... he has done this several times for me, making my life a lot easier. He didn't have to. He could have told me to pay or we'll have to hold your tickets or cancel my account, but no, he has been and continues to be very accommodating and I want to give him thanks for that.

Instead of seeing the short term, he sees the long term. This year I might not be able to afford the best tickets or I might have to pay him little by little when I can, but next season I might be able to afford much better seats and actually pay him on time... and the season after that, who knows, I might be able to move down to the lower level... so I think he knows I'll be a long-term customer... and he knows just how to keep me as one. He could demand payment and cancel my account and not keep me as a customer and a fan, but he "puts up" with me, for lack of a better term, and I truly appreciate that. He knows that we are both HUGE fans and I know that the last thing he or the Thrashers want to do is diminish that in any way.

So thanks, Dustin, for being a great rep and for being so accommodating and understanding.

In other news, I'm looking forward to seeing the new Taco Mac in Philips Arena.

It's now half way through August and camp starts in September, so not too much longer to go until hockey!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Kozzy & X Reup, Thrash Launch New Website

Well by now you know all of the above is old news. Kozlov, otherwise lovingly known as "Mr. Automatic" in the shootout, is back with ATL. X has also resigned. As a fan fav, it's good to see X staying in Blueland as well.

But the question remains: Can the Thrash make the playoffs again? Will Atlanta hockey fans be able to again experience the magic that is The Stanley Cup Playoffs? (Maybe it's supposed to be "are the Stanley Cup Playoffs"... I'm not going to do dig up my AP Style Guide at the moment, K?)

And in case you've been living under a rock, or perhaps in the new pothole in NYC (ok that was mean) the Thrashers have launched their new website based on the NHL publishing system. While the site does make it easier for content providers to focus on content rather than site management, it also has the same look and feel as every other NHL team's website now. MLB did this years ago as well. But now every site is a cookie-cutter type site. The individualism is gone. Each team previously had it's own, unique look, feel, layout and style to it... and now that uniqueness is all but gone. The good news is that nothing that was there previously is missing; in fact there is a lot more content already, even before the season has started. But at the same time, it's also sad that the days of having your own website are gone. Some websites, such as the Blackhawks website, have a giant sponsor logo smack right in the middle of the top team logo banner, such as the giant at&t logo on their page. Now, thankfully, the Thrashers don't have a giant corporate logo plastered on the head banner.

While it is good to have NHL news on the front page... most fans visit their team's site first.. but you can also view this as a total waste of space; if I want news from around the NHL, then I'll go to NHL.COM or other hockey websites... this space could be used for something else.

But the best news is that for the casual user who may visit the site just every now and then, things look different yet familiar; many of the graphics are the same or similar enough.

When the site went live today at noon, there was instantly a new post on the message boards about it... and the Thrashers web crew was there to see what the fans had to say. I had noted that on the old site, directly on the home page was a link to the message boards, and on the new site, it was no longer there. Not even 5 minutes later, they added the link to the message boards on the home page. I guess you can thank me for that... at least you don't have to go to the menu to get to the boards.

There is more stuff under the Fan Zone for fans to check out than there is for most other teams. The wealth of multimedia is astounding and is more than enough to keep fans entertained during the offseason and between games.

Other good news is that, of course, you can still go to the website the same way (www.atlantathrashers.com) and you don't have to remember to type in thrashers.nhl.com.

The blocky look and feel does give it kind of a MySpace look and feel (that is if you don't pimp out your MySpace profile too much). It will take a bit of getting used to; but it could also be a lot worse.

The one thing missing that some teams have is a mobile version of the site. The Hurricanes have one. These sites are formatted for use on devices that are Windows Mobile, Palm, Blackberry, etc. based. They have updates and news and are great for keeping up with your team's news on the go... hopefully the Thrashers will consider doing one. You can check out the Hurricanes' mobile site here. Don't worry, it'll work in a normal PC / Mac browser just fine.

Well, the above paragraph is wrong. I just tested the same URL as the Hurricanes instead with the Thrashers, and low and behold, there is a mobile version there. I don't even think they've linked to it anywhere, but it's located here. Be sure to bookmark it on your smartphone!

Another thing I've noticed: The team banner at the top of the home page used to have several players, and in fact it used to rotate images and had different players and groups of players. With the new site, it is just one static image with Kari. I love seeing Kari there, but I did like having the random images up there. It was a small surprise every time you went to the site.

The stats are another amazing feature on the site. They have stats all the way back from the 2000-01 season and on. Why the 1999-2000 inaugural season stats aren't up there is beyond me; I hope they add them in.

I had the privilege of meeting Ben, otherwise once know as The Web Guy, last season at the Thrashers Blog Night. I'm hoping they do that again this season. The view from the press boxes are awesome. Ben and his web team did a great job with the new site and the content is going to be insane during the season. I am looking forward to it.

While a few things could be better and improved on, for the most part, it's a great new site. Let's hope that with the great new site comes a great new season.

August is just around the corner and then September hits and training camp and pre-season games start, so hockey is not as far away as you think!