Friday, November 21, 2008


It's funny the types of thoughts that run through one's mind when sitting in traffic on the way home from a disappointing loss. Here are a few:

Ilya Kovalchuk loves his teammates.

Last night's officiating crew was horrific.

As for the traffic in and around Philips Arena, please see the comment about the officiating.

Plenty has been said in the recent days of whether Kovalchuk is ready to be named captain of this team. For those who continue to ponder, may I say that fact was decided a long time ago. Whether he gains the "C" in the upcoming days or weeks is strictly material to me. Ilya Kovalchuk IS the captain of this team.

He has been for a long time.

There's been no better proof of that than his reactions to defending teammates in the past few weeks. The latest come last night when he went after Pittsburgh's Kris Letang after Letang drilled Thrashers center Todd White into the end boards.

To debate whether the hit was clean or not is beside the point. Kovalchuk didn't care....and nor should he. Once again, he was the first to step in and stand up in defense of a teammate. His dedication to winning and defending his teammates is beyond reproach. He's a throwback in many ways. Old school on many levels even though old school would suggest he go after a star player as Letang did.

Leadership? No question.
Captain Kovalchuk? Without a doubt.
The need for the "C" letter? Whatever.

As for the officiating? Well, the word horrific was the first to roll off my tongue. Oystrick's second period interference call was so-so at best. But when Don Koharski called Marty Reasoner for a hook behind the Atlanta net less than a minute later to put the Thrashers down two skaters, I just about jumped out of the press box. The hook was barely a touch. It was a brutal call to make on a team that was already down a man. As for the non-hook/slash call on Crosby defending Kovalchuk's breakaway in the third period, I talked to Atlanta head coach John Anderson after the game and he said Crosby never touched him.

Let me be clear on this. I believe the officials in the National Hockey League do an excellent job 99% of the time. They have the toughest jobs on the ice and a forced to make split second decisions. But I can honestly say their performances last night won't be referenced in any off-season training videos.

Finally, something has to happen to improve traffic congestion in the downtown following home games.


Last night, I jumped into my car at the media parking lot at 9:58pm. I made it to the 75/85 connector at 10:27pm! It took a half an hour to "stick handle" down Luckie Street and around the Georgia Aquarium. Not once did I see an Atlanta police officer directing traffic flow. Heck, there wasn't even the officer at the W-Hotel (you know, the one that flunked Traffic Flow 101) to help us get out of dodge.

Let's go Atlanta! We're a world class city with world class events. When tangled traffic and ZERO assistance are what consumers remember about their night on the town, that can't be good for anyone.


Thrashers Recaps said...

Yeah about those calls, why no replay on the screen? I was watching, waiting to see some obvious infraction that I didn't catch the first time.

RR said...

The officiating was pitiful last night. It's the one and only thing that I don't like about hockey - too many games are decided because a team goes on the power play as a result of a poor call.

But, the Thrash need to bury the oppotunites they had to score. Then we wouldn't have had to worry about a bad call late in the game.

The team is playing well, but they have got to put W's up when they are in a close one - especially at home. Gotta find a way to win.

On nights when the traffic is bad due to the clossure of Techwood, etc., or like last night's Tech Game, I've taken to parking at Lingbergh and taking Marta the rest of the way. Avoids the pre and post game snarls - which can be like salt in awound after a tough loss. The MARTA plan worked like a charm last night.

Darren said...

I expect traffic to/from all Atlanta events will become more difficult in the weeks and months ahead.

Atlanta is in a money crunch. No better way to save funds than to cut cops for events leaders know people will turn out for one way or the other (Thrashers/Hawks/Braves/concerts). More hihg end/high visability things probably won't suffer as much (SEC Championship game, for one).

So, IMO. might as well get use to comes with the times we're in.

Anonymous said...

There was a wreck on the northbound connecter that caused four left hand lanes to close and the GT/Miami game as well. I never have aproblem getting out of games and I park next to the Tarbernacle!!!