Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Congratulations Ron Hainsey!

Congratulations to Ron for being one of 34 players invited to USA Hockey’s Olympic Men’s orientation camp.

Hockey Photo of the Day

Tim Thomas being fantastical in a game against Philly

Hockey Photo of the Day

Showing some Thrash love. To have such a week ass name (a thrasher is the state bird of Georgia for those that didn't know), we DO have a bad ass mascot.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Focus on a Thrasher: Nathan Oystrick

Oystrick, Nathan Oystrick. Oysters looks like something out of a James Bond movie in this picture from Casino Night. He has the most amazing blue eyes. And, he's been super nice the two times I met him. Unfortunately he does NOT deal good hands at black jack...or he didn't to Shauna. While he looked devastatingly handsome in his tux (ice cream man suit) he sucked the faux money right out of our pockets.

Let's find out a little more about Nathan.

Nathan was born on December 17, 1982 in Regina, Saskatchewan.

He started his hockey career in the 1999-2000 season with the Regina Pat Canadians of the SMHL. He played 43 games and scored 6 goals and 22 assists. Oysters also amassed 214 penalty minutes (nice start!)

Nathan went on to spend two seasons in the BCHL with the South Surrey Eagles.

In those two seasons, Nathan played in 110 games, scored 24 goals and 77 assists for a total of 101 points. He also racked up 372 penalty minutes.

In the 2002 NHL Draft, Nathan was drafted in the 7th round(198th overall)by the Atlanta Thrashers.

In 2002, after being drafted by the Thrashers, Nathan went to "get his learn on" at Northern Michigan University.

In 2002-03, Oysters was fourth among Northern Michigan defensemen, was fifth among the team's freshmen and seventh among the club's underclassmen in scoring.

Oystrick had a breakout year with Northern Michigan in 2003-04 as a sophomore as he benefited from more ice time. He had 8 goals, 28 assists, was +5 with 98 penalty minutes in 39 games. He made the CCHA Second Team All-Stars. He was second in team scoring and first among defensemen.

One thing Nathan had to get used to was not fighting while in college. Oysters was the type to drop the gloves in junior, but admitted the rule against fighting in college was a change.

In an interview with Hockey's Future in 2004, Nathan said:
There are some times I want to go out there and drop the gloves with someone and rip some guy’s head off, but I have to control myself [laughs]. But I have to still play the body and play hard on my man. The only difference from junior is I can’t drop the gloves and go with someone.”

Oystrick had two more successful years with Northern Michigan University. He attended his first training camp with the Thrashers in 2004. In 2006 Nathan signed his first NHL contract and was assigned to the Thrashers AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.

The 2006-07 season was Nathan's first full season as a Wolf and he had a good offensive year putting up 47 points.

The 2007-08 season was equally rewarding with Nathan playing in 80 regular season games and scoring 43 points. He and the Wolves went on to win the Calder Cup that season. Nathan scored 11 points in the playoffs.

In the 2008-09 season, Nathan got his chance to hit the big league. Atlanta had a new coach, John Anderson, former coach of the Chicago Wolves. He had a new system and Nathan knew how to play it.

On November 26, 2008 against the Washington Capitals, Nathan scored his first NHL goal. For the next home game, I made him a bad ass sign congratulating him on his first NHL goal. Imagine my delight when he was our post game show guest. I got him to autograph my sign. He liked it. No really, he did, he TOLD me "Nice sign." I said "nice goal." :)

Other "firsts" for Nathan
  • First collegiate hattrick on November 4, 2004 with three first period goals against Michigan Tech.
  • Tallied first AHL goal at San Antonio on October 20, 2006.

Nathan finished the season with the Thrashers by playing in 53 games and registering 12 points. That's a significant drop off from this AHL number. You have to take into account though that this was his first season playing against NHL talent. Also Nathan was scratched for a lot of games. Being scratched on and off again can have an affect on getting your game going.

Oystrick is an offensive minded defenseman. He's a good skater and passer and will fight if necessary. He moves the puck well and has a decent slapshot. At 5'11'' he isn't tall, but he's solid. I would love to see Oysters come back next season, but with him being an RFA, I guess we will have to see what happens.

  • 2003-04 CCHA Second All-Star Team
  • 2004-05 CCHA First All-Star Team
  • 2004-05 CCHA Best Defensive Defensemen
  • 2006-07 AHL All Rookie Team
  • 2006-07 AHL Second All Star Team

Hockey Photo of the Day

Don Waddell said they are shopping a goalie. I'm hoping it's not Kari...but as long as it isn't Moose. Fortunately I don't think it will be.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hockey Photo of the Day

In November of 2008 I went on a little hockey road trip. I visited The Prudential Center (New Jersey Devils), the Wachovia Center (Philadelphia Flyers) and Madison Square Garden to see the Rangers take on the Ottawa Senators. One of the few times I could pull for the Rangers, even though I adore Lundqvist.

Sorry Rangers, the Garden sucks for hockey. I've wanted to go since I was a kid and I was super excited to be there, but it just wasn't built for hockey. The views weren't good and the lighting was awful. The crowd was awesome though. I so enjoyed chanting "Hen-rik...Hen-rik" and "Potvin Sucks."

The game went to a shoot out and of course King Henrik triumphed. Here he is facing a shot from Jason Spezza.

Of course Henrik was the first star of the game, as he should be. A little bonus montage of his fan salute.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

So who is it gonna be?

According to the AJC, the Thrashers are looking to move a goalie.

The NHL free agency period begins July 1. However, Waddell said the Thrashers are more likely to improve via trade. The Thrashers have depth at goaltender with Kari Lehtonen and Johan Hedberg on the roster and top prospect Ondrej Pavelec being NHL ready. Waddell said it is likely that either Lehtonen or Pavelec will be traded. He fielded several phones call on each at last year’s trade deadline.

Of course Don Waddell says a LOT of things that never happen or the exact opposite happens. We have Dudley now though. I'm a Kool Aid drinker, but I have faith in him after seeing his success in Chicago.

I hope we keep Kari. I still just don't think Pavs is ready. I've seen the Pavs/Moose combo and it was a very dark time in Blueland. Now granted, they were playing with the pre-January 2009 Thrashers. Who knows what Pavs might have done consistently in front of that better team.

As long as they don't take my Moose!

The rest of the draft

So woo hoo, we got Evander Kane! I had been hoping we would get him all along. After Evander, the Thrashers did some more picking and got some more talent that hopefully will pay off for us. Lower round draft picks are nothing to sneeze at these days. If you could choose going first round 12th over all in 2004 or go 237th over all in the 8th round of 2002, what would it be? Seems an easy choice.

If you wanted to go in the first round of 2002, congrats you are AJ Thelen, first round draft pick of the Minnesota Wild. You are now playing for the Florida Everblades in the ECHL. Nothing wrong with that, you still get paid to play your game. You might be able to make it back to the NHL, it's just a bit harder of a climb than first round draft picks usually envision.

If you chose to go 237th, congrats! You are Maxime Talbot and you hoisted the Stanley Cup this season.

Of course there are many other examples including Henrik Zetterberg who went 210th over all, wonder what that guy is doing now?? I don't have pictures of the others though so we will leave it with Max. And, any excuse to see another picture of Maxime Talbot is A-okay with me.

So let's meet our other new Draft Picks. (All of these pictures are ripped off from Getty Images or other websites. If anyone has a problem, let me know and I'll be happy to credit you or remove the pic)

Carl Klingberg(LW)
6'3'' 205lbs
2nd Round, 34th overall

This is my new boyfriend, I'm totally in love with him...in strictly a hockey sense. I love the Swedes, so the prospect of having a new baby Swede on the team in the future is exciting.

What is also exciting is the thought of having a large Swede who is explosive on his skates and likes to hit.

Scouting reports for Carl say:

“He has explosive acceleration and is strong on his skates – he is hard to hold off when he’s driving the net. He works hard down low in the zone and is courageous enough to go into tight battles.”

An extremely hardworking player with top notch skating skills. Klingberg has very good size and accelerates incredibly well. He likes to drive to the net and although technical skills and hockey sense are slightly above average, at best, he creates a lot of scoring chances simply by using his quick feet.

Ben from the Blueland Blog reported that:

Klingberg has two years left on his Swedish contract and he’s hoping to earn a spot on the top Frolunda team in the top tier of the Swedish Elite League but if that doesn’t work he’ll be in the second division with Boras.

My favorite thing Ben reported:

Carl oozes personality, has really strong English, and cracks jokes constantly. He’s also incredibly confident. He says he’s famous in Sweden for playing like a North American and he thinks he’ll end up being a Thomas Holstrom type player.

I love a personality! A funny Holmstrom like player?? Draft day really is like Christmas morning!

You can see my new love, Carl, as well as some of the other new Thrashers on this video

Jeremy Morin(LW)
6' 1'' 189lbs
2nd Round, 45th overall
See, he is already buddies with Carl! Another good thing about Jeremy's friendships...he's been friends with Zach Bogosian since they were children and played hockey together while growing up. They are both excited at the possibility of playing together one day. Chemistry with our budding superstar...NICE!

Jeremy describes himself as a pure goal scorer. Central Scouting says that he's faster with the puck than without it and is a shoot first, ask questions later player. He'll shoot from anywhere. Jeremy is expected to play for the OHL's Kitchener Rangers next season.

Good info on Jeremy here: http://www.andrewsstarspage.com/index.php/site/comments/nhl_draft_jeremy_morin_profile/1700-2008-09

Now on to a subject very near and dear to my heart....we drafted a goalie!!!

Edward Pasquale(G)
6'2'' 218lbs
4th round, 117th overall

Woot Woot, a new netminder for me to watch. Edward is a three year veteran of the OHL's Saginaw Spirit. What a cutie! Lots of stats and more pics here: http://www.saginawspirit.com/Team/CurrentRoster/EdwardPasquale.aspx

Well this is good...he'll fit right in with the Thrashers:

Pasquale saw a lot of rubber this season, consistently at the top of the OHL in terms of shots faced. And his resolve in the face of nightly barrages has improved his draft standing. He finished the year with a 3.11 GAA and .911 save percentage, earning third-team OHL All-star honors this season.

Hopefully by the time he would see Blueland, our team will be good enough that he doesn't have to see so much rubber.

Ben Chiarot (D)
6'2'' 211lbs
4th round, 120th overall

Ben Chiarot is a nasty, physical defenseman who Dan Marr says is almost unbeatable one-on-one. Do I really need to say anymore?

Last season for the Guelph Storm, Ben played in 67 games, had 2 goals, 10 assists and racked up 111 penalty minutes. Hockey's Future says that he has the size and is willing to throw it around. He has some offensive game, but will never be considered an offensive weapon. His hallmarks are defensive play and physicality. They project him as a bottom-pairing stay at home defenseman.

Cody Sol (D)
6'5'' 215 lbs
5th round, 125th overall

Another Saginaw Spirit! At 6'5'' Cody is the tallest member of the roster on the Saginaw Spirt. He idolizes Chris Pronger and models his game after him. He likes his style of play because it makes other teams fear playing his team. Cody, you have the size, I look forward to watching you!

You can find out other info on Cody here: http://www.saginawspirit.com/Team/CurrentRoster/CodySol.aspx

A fun Q&A with Cody:

Here is a video with Pasquale, Sol and Chiarot

Jimmy Bubnick(C)
6'2'', 194lbs
6th Round, 155th overall

Last season with the Kamloops Blazers, Jimmy played both right wing and center. He scored 57 points in 72 games. He managed to rack up 41 penalty minutes as well. Through 13 games of the season, Bubnick lead the Blazers in scoring with nine goals and 5 assists.

Hockey's Future did a feature on Jimmy, you can read it here:

Jimmy can fight, too. I wish I could say I was posting the video simply for Jimmy's fight...but imagine my delight to discover that the goalies fought in this game, too! Woot woot, goalie fight.

Levko Koper(LW)
6'0'' 180lbs
7th round, 185th overall

Levko appeared in 71 games for the Chiefs last season, picking up 23 goals and 36 assists to go along with 57 penalty minutes. He was a +31 for the season. (NICE!) Koper scored two goals in the Memorial Cup, including the overtime game winner in Spokane’s first game of the tournament against the Belleville Bulls.

He is said to be a versatile forward with good speed whose offensive contribution increase each year.

Last but not least we have....

Jordan Samuels-Thomas(LW)
6'3'' 198lbs
7th round, 203rd overall

We were excited about this because he is from Connecticut like my husband. Jordan played the last two season for the Waterloo Black Hawks. In the 2008-09 season, Jordan played in 59 games and scored a total of 54 points. Jordan will be heading to Bowling Green to play college hockey. (Who knew the had college hockey there??)

Here is a fantastic article on how Jordan got into hockey:


So there are our draft picks. Congratulations, guys!

Now for other draft news that is making me happy....
The Anaheim Ducks chose in 2nd round, 37th over all Matthew Clark.http://ducks.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=431949

Why do I give two shits about this? Matthew has a sister who is on a soccer scholarship at...THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA!!!


USA is my alma mater. GO JAGS!

God I love these things

This site is possibly the most worthless and juvenile thing ever...no wonder I love it! You can add bling and moving stuff, it's like ADHD heaven. I mean seriously...how much fun is this shit??? I think I've found something to help me get through the summer.

Add Glitter to your Photos

Hockey Photo of the Day

Hockey Photo of the Day, ECHL style. Is there anything better than a goalie water show? I don't think so. I had a dream the other night (not THAT kind of dream, I have those awake) about Leggio, actually it was about the whole team and the Gladiators, too. We went to see them play...in a bar lol. The only one I remember by name from the dream was Leggio.

Friday, June 26, 2009

2009 NHL Draft Party

After fighting through hellacious traffic to drive out East Jesus(a/k/a Duluth) to the Mall of Georgia, I finally arrived at Jillians in Discovery Mill. The place was CHAOS! We had a super good turn out. I bet there was like close to 1000 people there.

They had a nice set up, it looks like they really put a lot into the draft party. They had street hockey outside...although hockey isn't really meant to be played in 102 degree heat.

The Official Atlanta Thrashers Fan club had their big official launch at the draft party. I was supposed to help set up but since traffic was so bad, I was late and was pretty much just in the damn way. They had a successful night though! It was so good to see all of my hockey buddies though. I'd missed them in the off season.

Our first round draft pic from last season, Zack Bogosian was on hand. He was signing autographs and taking pictures from 6 to 7...too bad I didn't realize that until 7:30. See what happens when I start drinking! I should have not had those two martinis. I did get to talk to Darren Elliot and that was nice. He told us all about his summer plans and I told him how well I thought he did on the games he called in the Stanley Cup games for Versus. Such a nice guy.

I thought I had missed Zach all together, but he came out to talk to Darren and Dan Kamal for the the first 4 picks of the draft.
Shauna and I think that the lovely young lady on the right is his girlfriend. She didn't let him get too far out of site, lol. Teeny litte thing, very pretty.

It's a good thing I don't drink at the arena much during games. I'd have to shut this damn blog down because I wouldn't have enough pictures worth a shit. Bogo was behind glass so I had to fight with a million people, 5oo degrees of heat, glare from the glass and crappy lighting.

Bogo is sporting a faux hawk, how cute is that?? He's got some scruff going on, too. I like it when they young ones have some facial scruff. It makes this shabby old cougar feel better ;)

Me, Shauna and Thrash. Thrash was really sweaty, my arm was wet when we pulled away. It was kind of gross. I think he had just poured water down him to cool off, but it was still kind of smelly. I guess he needs a giant bird bath to cool off in.

So the draft party is over as is the first round of the NHL draft. We have our new baby Thrasher, Evander Kane. The party was fun, though I think I would have liked it better back in Phillips. For me, Phillips was an easier trip. Jillians was still hot and you couldn't hear the actual draft.

Now the long horrible summer gets really bad. We have until July 1 for trades. The schedule comes out about the 3rd week in July. Then there is nothing until September for prospect camp. UGH!

We have a new baby Thrasher!!!

With our first round draft pick (4th over all) the Atlanta Thrashers chose Evander Kane! How can we not pick a guy who is named after one of our city's favorite sons, Evander Holyfield? I also love Holyfield because he was born in Alabama and moved to Atlanta like me! Maybe we'll see Holyfield at a Thrashers game soon.

Evander Kane says:

I was named after Evander Holyfield. It was one of my grandpa's favorite boxers and one of my dad's favorite boxers. My dad did some professional boxing when he was younger. Also he played hockey as well. My mom liked the name. So they decided to go with that one.

Besides the cool name sake tie-in we got a left shooting center who loves to drive hard to the net and doesn't like being denied access. He skates extremely well and can really score. He finished fourth in WHL scoring with 96 points in 61 games in '08-09, and also tied for second in the league with 48 goals. Although he's surprised some people with his strength going to the net, at 6'1'' and 176lbs, he will need to bulk up a bit. The combine listed him at 7% body fat, so putting on some lean muscle shouldn't be a problem, especially since he's just a baby.

I'm so excited, my first blog post about my new baby. I can't wait until I have some pictures of him that *I* actually took.

In other NHL Draft news that makes me happy...Victor Hedman went to Tampa Bay...WOO HOO!!!! That means I'll be seeing lots of him next season.


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