Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Thrashers Have Full Coaching Staff

Anderson's appointment as the Thrashers' new head coach apparently is attracting top quality minor-league coaches to our team. Randy Cunnyworth and Todd Nelson were named Thursday to the coaching staff to join Steve Weeks and video coach Tony Borgford. Presumably one of our two new assistant coaches will be the defensive coach so he can work with our new talent there. Our D should be rebuilt and ready by the time the season starts, and I am assuming Weeks will actually be able to be goaltending coach this year, so Kari's development should come across nicely.

ESPN Power Rankings were released today, and we rank dead last in the Eastern Conference. I don't really understand if Burnside pays attention to what goes on here, if he hates us, or if he just doesn't care, but I would assume the addition of these excellent coaches, along with our shift from journeyman players (only Slava seems to fit that bill right now) to fresh young talent like the kind that these guys are used to working with in the minors, would at least put us more in contention than the Isles and Panthers are. And, well, we have a defense now, so wouldn't that make us slightly better than Tampa Bay, who has neither defense nor depth at goal? Offense is fun to watch, but serves no purpose if you're getting sat on by Boris Valabik.

I also disagree with his assessment of the Blues. Our defense is improved, and we actually have depth at goal. The rest of the Central has not stepped up to pass them; Nashville has taken a step back and Columbus still has the same coaching staff that could never make it to the playoffs, even with Nash and LeClaire. Detroit's only signed the Second Coming in Hossa, or so people are thinking (watching him here makes me realize what he's capable of, but on Detroit who is already perfect, well, what's the big deal?). Chicago is the team in the Central that gives me the willies. I can see St. Louis finishing 3rd in the division and fighting for the number 8 playoff spot. I don't know if we'll make it or not, but we won't be second to last in the Conference again.


D. J. said...

I think the Thrashers have improved, but it will be a long time before they are an elite team in the East. DW has not done a great job for the most part.

As for the Blues, I have probably never been so excited for a player coming as I have been with Oshie (save when Gretzky came/went).

I hope that he is as good as some of the videos I have seen on youtube.

BTW: I spent the first 26 years of my life in St. Louis and have been in Atlanta for almost 8 now. ;)

Laura said...

Aww, you're in almost the same boat as me, except I've been here more time than I spent in St. Louis, though since it wasn't exactly by choice, well... St. Louis is still my hometown. :-D

I'm very excited about Oshie... I think he'll make a world of difference... I get frustrated when I read negative "reviews" of the Blues after we've tried so hard to fix stuff.

DW's really tried hard this off-season, but you're right - he did so much damage that it's not really like he's improving - he's just trying to fix what he shouldn't've done to begin with.

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