Friday, July 30, 2010

Focus on a Thrasher: Nik Antropov

In the summer of 2009, one of the most exciting signings for Blueland was that Nik Antropov. Thrashers fans hoped that the big (6'6" 240lb) right winger could bring his size and experience to the team and help beef up the offense.

Thrashers fans' hopes came to fruition as Nik had a great season. Nik played in 76 games and scored 67 points (24 goals 43 assists). Also, Nik finished the season at a +13, an accomplishment on a team that struggled at times and had one of the highest "goals against" in the league. Nik's hard work did not go unnoticed. He was chosen as the team MVP for the 2009-10 season.

I'm a big fan of Nik because he is the first person I played blackjack with at Casino Night. He's a great dealer! Very funny and personable.

Another reason I love Nik: his hair. He should be on a shampoo commercial. When it gets long he has some 70s wings going on, but he has great hair.

I'm not the only one that loves Nik!

So let's find out some stuff about the big man from Kazakhstan.

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Antropov was born on February 18, 1980 in Ust-kamenog, Kazakhstan.

Nik was drafted into the NHL in 1998. Nik was expected to be drafted early in the second round, but following an amazing year in junior hockey with Kaztsink-Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk, a second tier team in the Russian Superleague, he was drafted in the first round, 11th overall by the Toronto Leafs. One thing that caught the Leafs' eye, an international match against Iceland in which Nik scored 11 goals and 26 points.

Before making the trip to North America to play, Nik played in the Russian Super League for the Moscow Dynamo.

In 1999, Nik was ready to come to North America! Nik did play 2 games in the AHL affiliates of Toronto, the St. John's Maple Leafs, but he spent most of the season with the big club. On October 13, Nik made his NHL debut against the Florida Panthers. He scored an assist in his very first game!

Nik spent all of the 2000-01 season with the Toronto Maple Leafs scoring 17 points in 52 games.

After a less than stellar previous season, Nik split time between St. Johns and Toronto during the 2001-02 season. While in St. John's he had 13 multiple point games. An added complication, Nik suffered a season ending ankle injury on March 13 and had to miss the rest of the season.

The 2002-03 season saw Nik appear in his 200th NHL game. He tied for 15th in the NHL in game-winning goals (six) and finished third on the Maple Leafs in plus/minus rating (plus-11), third in game-winning goals, fourth in goals, fourth in penalty minutes and fifth in points … Established a career-high with a five-game point streak. He also set a career record for penalty minutes.

In the 2003-04 season Nik continued to play with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He played 62 games and scored 31 points (13 goals 18 assists).

During the NHL Lock Out, Nik spent the 2004-05 season playing for the Kazan Ak-Bars and the Yaroslav Lokomotiv.

After the Lock Out, Nik spent the next three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. During these seasons, Nik saw several milestones. On November 11, 2007 he appeared in his 400th game. On December 6 of the same year, he scored a natural hat trick!

Nik started the 2008-09 season with the Leafs, but was traded later that season to the New York Rangers. While with the Rangers, Nik played 18 games and scored 13 points. He also appeared in 6 playoff games with the Rangers.

On July 2, 2009 Nik signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Thrashers!

Nik is married and has a son and a daughter. I had the pleasure of meeting his wife at Casino Night and I think she could be the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in person. She was very nice, too. He and his family live in Toronto in the off season.

While in Toronto, he and teammate Alexi Ponikarosky were big friends. Check out this video. Who knew Nik was so funny?

In Russia it would be.......Burger King.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thrashers Year Book: Slava Kozlov

This week we take a look at a Thrasher who will not be with us next season, Slava Kozlov. Slava struggled this season and had some differences with Coach Anderson who benched him for quite a few games. In the 4 previous seasons he played every game but ONE. This season (2009-10) he only played in 55. Though he struggled, I like to think of him as he was with the Little White Russian line. You have to respect the Slava! Two Stanley Cups, come on!

Slava at the fan face off.

Casino night Slava.

One of the last pictures I took of Slava. This is the "Shirt off of our back" at the last game of the season.

Slava in warm ups.

Sharing some words with Hainsey at the last game.

Taking it to the net to try and get one by Cam Ward.

Slava says it's Miller Time!

Do not push the Slava around!

Slava and his future teammate, Clark MacArthur watching the action.

In front of Boston's net.

Slava and his Russian buddy, Max Afinogenov, in practice.

The shoot out, one of Slava's specialties. Slava in a shoot out is like money in the bank (usually). Unfortunately this one didn't go in.

This one did, though!

Me and my friend Slava hanging out at a gas station.

Slava keeping an eye on the puck and Klesla.

Woo Hoo! Slava scores.

The only thing Slava likes better than scoring...WINNING!

Who says Slava doesn't smile????

Good luck Slava, where ever you may end up! I will always be proud of my Kozlov jersey.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

People of Blueland: Sit Down

Is there anything worse than being at the game and some douche bag is standing in your way? It's not intermission, there isn't a stoppage in play, there is just a stoppage in courtesy and intelligence. Tired of seeing that the phrase "puck in play" has no meaning?? Welcome to today's post.

I usually like to keep it as PG as possible here at GPD so I'll only drop the F Bomb once and use initials for the rest of the post. I want to to tell these people "sit the fuck down." (STFD) Actually my friend Shauna HAS yelled STFD.

Down in front, bird!

There ARE good times to stand up, like when you try and rally the fans. As long as the puck isn't in play and nothing is going on, stand up and get loud! It's a hockey game, not the library.

When your team scores, even when you are in enemy territory. When you are the opposing fans, stand up, cheer, yell and get rowdy for your team...then STFD.

Similar to rallying the team and fans, it's kosher to stand up and wave signs (AGAIN as long as you don't do it too long and you aren't blocking action)

Then there is this. Fortunately this is during an ice maintenance break. Unfortunately, the kid didn't limit it to this time. Hey douche bag, get off the phone and tell your kid to STFD.

Atlanta is notorious for having people arrive late. Many blame it on the 7:00 start time and traffic. Weekday traffic is unimaginably bad. Funny though, people are STILL late for Sunday games in the middle of the day. So when the fans saunter in, they of course have to get beer, pretzels, hotdogs, etc so they can make their way to the seats 1/2 through the 1st period. As many of the ushers don't enforce "puck in play," you get situations like this. Somehow I don't think the gentlemen this lady had to squeeze by minded this interruption in the action.

One cool thing, when you have to get up and let someone in your row, it gives you a chance to pick your wedgie out!

Hockey games are fun. Not everyone goes to as many as I do and want a memory. I see lots of people taking pics of the game and each other. I don't mind as long as you don't get in my way. These ladies decided to have a little photo shoot.

Seriously? At first we thought they were with their dads...then they started making out.

Fortunately the usher in 114 kicks supreme ass and came over and put a stop to it. Maybe she said STFD.

Speaking of pictures....obviously I have no problems with people taking pictures at a game. Use common sense and courtesy. Do you really need to block the view of the people behind you by standing up and taking a pic with your crappy camera phone? NO you do not.

Nice composition.


You are 2 seats from the glass, do you really need to stand up??

Yes, WOOOO, go Canada. Now STFD.

This isn't so bad as the puck had stopped, but what I didn't get the pick of was them making out. The usher actually had to come over twice and tell them not only STFD, but get a room.

Yes, little heads block the view, too. STF....sit down sweetie.

Once even Thrash had to come and tell these douches to STFD. Everyone near the people cheered.

The lesson of this post...use your brains. Go the game, get loud, get rowdy and support the team, but be courteous. Remember their are people behind you, and one of them might have a camera!


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