Challenge 19: Atlanta Thrashers (Discussion Thread)

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bruins72
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Post by bruins72 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:15 pm

I've got Thornburn playing on my 4th line with Boulton and Stewart (Stewart is centering). I love that line! They're so tough, yet they can still skate well and they've got some good defensive ability.

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Post by blueshirtnParis » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:22 pm

bruins72 wrote:I've got Thornburn playing on my 4th line with Boulton and Stewart (Stewart is centering). I love that line! They're so tough, yet they can still skate well and they've got some good defensive ability.
Ah yeah, forgot about them. Stewart eventually over-priced himself and Boulton got old....but they did form a good line too.

Depth is not an issue with this team. D, goaltending and another top center are the big holes. If you dont have them now...just wait, you will ;)

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Post by bruins72 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:27 pm

I can definitely see goaltending becoming an issue. I think I can work with the D for another season or two without too much trouble though.

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Post by joehelmer » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:40 pm

In my second season I'm now past 40 games played and still I haven't been able to get a trade done. And the more time that pass the more sceptic I get about that I will get a trade done, but who knows what happens at trade deadline.

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Post by bruins72 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:58 pm

If you've made it this far it might just be worth waiting until the deadline. Sometimes you see some great deals around then.

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Post by Flying_Buffalo26 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:31 pm

Season 4 Eastern Conference Finals game 2: Parise decides to turn a 0-1 into a 3-1 within just 35 seconds... I don't regret to have traded for him any more :-D I guess that none of my players will ever score a hatrick that fast again


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Post by francis246 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:33 pm

I'm enjoying this challenge as I am in Season 4 and in 7th place after 60 games. I started out the season flat and I hadn't signed any FA's so I was hoping for a waiver claim. Then the kings put Chara on waivers three games into the season!!! I tried claiming him, but he went to St.Louis even though I believe I was lower in the overall standings at the time.

My lines look like this right now.

Ladd - Antropov - Zherdev
Kane - Savard - Little
Klingberg - Bubnick - Bergfors
Stapleton - Cormier - Cisse

Enstrom - Bogosian
Hainsey - Byfuglien
Oduya - Valabik

Corey Schneider
Chris Mason

Schneider has been a pleasent surprise. He 14-7. But gives up a lot of goals. Mason is 15-17-7 and is doing decent. I've been basically splitting the games for the most part. Give each goalie a game on back to back games, then usually ride which ever goalie is hot.

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Post by bruins72 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:51 pm

Ugh! I hate when players get ejected from preseason games and get suspended for regular season games. I'm going to be without Koivu for the first game and Zubarev for the first 2 games. Add to that, Slater being injured through the preseason and still injured to start the regular season. So I'm playing with 5 defensemen (because I didn't feel like bringing up a defenseman to play for Zubarev and went with a 19 man roster for the game) and two minor league centers (Esposito and Cormier to replace Koivu and Slater). We lost the first game of the season 5-3. I'm hoping we look better with our regular lineup.

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Post by kuulapaa » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:36 pm

I'm only 55 games into the season #1 because of some issues concerning my spare time, but in last couple of days I've been able to play again. And how my team is playing! After 40 games Thrashers were 16-21-3 and 14th in East, now we're 26-25-4 and 9th. I got so fed up with the penalties I reset our tactics and while our PIM average per game was 16.3 in those 40 games, it has been 12 in the last 15 games. But that's not all - now the opposing teams take more penalties than us nearly every game.

I't hasn't even occurred to me before to try the kind of tactics we are playing with now. Or at least I've been sure one can't win games with such mentally and defensively passive tactics on both unit and personal levels. I don't like the fact we have so many SOG per game we do (we are 6th in the league on SOG Average), but as we can't shut down our own end with the Dmen we have, we just have to take care we shoot more than the opponents.

I've mostly had same kind of experiences of team's players than the others here. Enström is ATM the number one guy to leave the team in a trade as soon as I may do one - he seems to have some trade value left. On the ice his value is zero. I benched him some time ago but now he is dressed again because of the injuries of Sopel (a long term injury since late November, UCL tear - out for some 3 months) and Bogosian (luckily a short term injury, a twisted knee - out for about 10 days). Valabik was up for awhile and played decently but as his AvR stayed below 7 I sent him back to Chicago. So right now my Dmen pairings are Hainsey - Byfuglien, Meyer - Enström and Oduya - Welch. Hainsey's AvR in last 15 games is 7.93, Byfuglien I moved down to play as dman in December and suddenly team started winning games, Meyer's rating is under 7 and he is -5 the whole season, but somehow I'm still pretty happy with his action. Oduya will get waived sooner or later, he's been sitting out approximately as much as Enström. And Welch, his AvR is a bit above 7 in 42 games so he's doing pretty well as a 6th dman.
In offense there has been some minor injuries, but nothing too serious (this far *knock knock*) - Antropov was out 2 weeks earkier and Boulton got two separate injuries in January and was out for 20 days. Production-wise it's pretty much our 1st line Ladd - Antropov - Eager who score the goals, but luckily Slater (especially earlier in autumn) and Little have been pretty productive too. Our 2nd line is now Kane - Slater - Bergfors, but it needs some tweaking because of the lack of production after holidays. Little, who was on a mini streak in January (6+0 in three consecutive games) centers our third line with Modin and Peverley as his wingers and 4th line is Boulton - Thorburn - Dawes. I guess I'll do some minor changes in all three bottom lines to help them score more. Brashear is our 13th forward, he's had some games too when Boulton was injured, but he keeps getting poor game ratings and his morale is low all the time.
In the net Mason has played most of the games and he has been great lately - he has started 14 of our last 15 games and in five of them he got a 10 and twice a 9 as game rating (still only one shootout...).

In the end one funny notion from Chicago. Wolves highest paid player Darren Haydar is a real artist. Every three or four games he asks to be moved 'cause he feels left aside or something. I've said OK to all of his requests to leave and every time he changes his mind after one more played game. This has been going on all winter...

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Post by jesusrocks150 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:25 pm

In the offseason I really wanted to trade for Jordan Staal, but the Pens wouldn't move him. So I settled for trading for a d-minded forward and landed Pahlsson for Peverley. I usually have Pahlsson check one of the opposing teams top forwards and he seems to be doing pretty good.

I also wanted to sign a good free agent d-man, but I wound up with Ruslan Salei...not exactly cream of the crop, but the only other d-man that accepted my offer was Wallin, who didn't accept until long after Salei did. I also had to reject my contract to Brian Boucher, who probably wouldn't have been a great addition anyways.

I started out season 2 going 9-5, but then finished out the first quarter at 11-8-1. At one point, I had 5 guys in the top 15 in scoring. The d is still shaky and Mason is having a worse year than previously. Pavelec has a much better GAA and save %, but he usually doesn't get the same goal production from the offense. Hopefully I'll be able to make the playoffs this time. The division is rather tough with the Caps (won the cup in season 1) and the Lightning.

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Post by Flying_Buffalo26 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:46 pm

jesusrocks150 wrote:So I settled for trading for a d-minded forward and landed Pahlsson for Peverley. I usually have Pahlsson check one of the opposing teams top forwards and he seems to be doing pretty good.

I also wanted to sign a good free agent d-man, but I wound up with Ruslan Salei...not exactly cream of the crop, but the only other d-man that accepted my offer was Wallin, who didn't accept until long after Salei did. I also had to reject my contract to Brian Boucher, who probably wouldn't have been a great addition anyways.
Pahlsson's performance in my game is really good too, a great 3rd line Center and a pretty good substitute for 1st or 2nd line injuries as well. He is already 36/37 but he is still a fine role player...

I remember that in the Oilers challenge I only picked up naff players from free agency because of the 2M limit. But during this challenge - I don't know why - I was able to sign some awesome players who really improved the team:

2nd season: Leclaire - solid backup since then, could eventually earn the starting job in season 5
3rd season: Pahlsson - just a great defensive Center with some offensive skills
4th season: Huet - solid performance during regular season (0.904 Sv%, 36 wins in 59 games), very good in the postseason (0.919 Sv% 2.57GAA and 12 wins in 18 games) helping the Thrashers

5th season: I think this was my best UFA aquisition so far: Peter Mueller, only 26 years old. Described as first line Center, pretty far away from reaching the peak of his career - at least i hope so. I plan to play him on a line with Burmistrov and Aliu. Another option is to move my checking line to the 4th and spread out the skilled players on the 2nd and 3rd line (Little, Ladd and Cormier most likely, maybe Landeskog)

jesusrocks150 wrote:Pavelec has a much better GAA and save %, but he usually doesn't get the same goal production from the offense. Hopefully I'll be able to make the playoffs this time.
I ended up releasing him into free agency. I am wondering how so many of you rely on him!? In my game he has only a 14 rating for the blocker and 16 for the glove. The rest of his attributes are not more than mediocre as well..

I had 7 goalies contracted at the beginning of season 4. For 3 of them it was the last year: Pettersson-Wentzel, Pavelec and MacIntyre had to go. Huet and Mason are already 38 years old but luckily I was able to draft 2 promising prospects: A latvian goalie who will need 2 or 3 more years for sure in the 09 draft and a great russian goalie in the 3rd round of 2010. He is already much better than Pavelec ever will be - attributeswise

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Post by jesusrocks150 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:13 pm

In taking my screen shots, I knew I was supposed to show the trade screen as of July 1, but I hit continue thinking that it would stop before going to the next day (meaning, stop at July 1 pm rather than jump ahead to July 2 am). Unfortunately, I was wrong. My trade screen is as of July 2 am. Is that going to be a problem? I save my backup everytime I exit the game, so I can't go back to it... :doh:

As soon as I get my screenshots uploaded to a picture sharing site, I'll get them posted.

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Post by bruins72 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:38 pm

That's fine this time if your trade screenshot is from July 2nd.

BTW, this question is more the type that belongs in the Challenge Questions and Feedback thread. The Challenge Discussion thread is for talking about the events of your game and things like that. The Questions and Feedback thread is more about rules and such. You'll get it eventually. :nerd:

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Post by jesusrocks150 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:44 pm

My apologies....again :oops:

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Post by Loosie » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:39 am

So the season went up and down, had some bright spots but overall disappointing. We finished 13th in the East with a record of 32-41-9. The Wolves killed the AHL dead with the exception of Oklahoma City. The wolves had a record of 57-19-4, buts lost to OKC in the second round, OKC were the Regular season champs.

Our drafting went as follows:

1st round, 6th Overall Gabriel Landeskog RW/C
2nd round, 36th Overall Alexandre Larouche LW
3rd round, 66th Overall Jake Cardwell D
4th round, 96th Overall Anatoly Nikontsev RW
5th round, 126th Overall Barrett Kaib D
6th round, 156th Overall James Henry C
7th round 186th Overall Nicolas Larocque-Marcoux RW

Larocque-Marcoux actually looks like he'll be a nice late round steal.

Well training camp is about to start we'll see if we have any surpises.

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Post by jesusrocks150 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:14 pm

To my surprise, and without warning, I got fired from the team in season 2. :-k I guess that cements me in as the biggest loser!!

I started the season 9-5 then went on a bit of a skid ending at 11-11-4 and 9th in the conference before getting canned. Ruslan Salei was unhappy that the team was underperforming. Things were looking great offensively (Antropov was leading the league in assists and points), but the defense and goaltending was still horrible (last in the league in shots allowed average and bottom 5 in GAA).

At this point, I'm not sure I even want to add myself back as the GM, but just in case I decide I want more abuse, I took a screen shot of the teams info screen to show where the current average salary is, but I didn't see a screen to show me the budget. I believe I'm below the budget as my avg team salary when I got fired was 36-38M.

For the time being, I rekindled my Penguins game.

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Post by bruins72 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:42 pm

Good idea on grabbing that screenshot. As long as you're under the team's budget, you're okay to add yourself back in.

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Post by bruins72 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:10 pm

So I've logged my first 20 games of season 2. I'm the top team in the Eastern Conference! The team is quite different this season. Last year we relied heavily on Antropov and his line. This year, they're still our main threat but we've got our scoring a little more balanced. I've got Koivu now and even though I'm using him as a 3rd line center on even strength, he's playing 2nd PP and 2nd PK, logging an average of 19:13 per night.

Because of the way I'm using Koivu, I've also juggled the special teams lines so that they're not quite consistent with my even strength lines. I've got Bergfors on the 1st line with Ladd and Antropov at even strength but I move him to the 2nd line on the PP, putting Peverly on the 1st PP unit RW instead. Peverly plays the 3rd line RW at even strength. Little plays the 2nd line RW at even strength but he doesn't play on the PP. He's my top PK guy though. The LW position is pretty consistent with Ladd on the 1st line and Kane on the 2nd on both even strength and the PP but I did flip them for a bit on even strength just to mix things up for a bit. Usually I do this to jump start one of them if their performance or morale starts to drop off a bit. Using these guys like this has given me a better average rating for Peverly and Little compared to last season. Koivu also has a better average rating so far than last season (when he was with the Wild). Unfortunately, Slater has seem a substantial drop in his average rating but that's due to the fact that he's not being used on the PP this season but was last season. Koivu is better there though.

So far I really can't complain much about my team's performance. I can see issues with goaltending on the horizon though. Last season I went with Mason and Pavelic. Mason got most of the starts while Pavelec got 20-something of them. I think that may have hurt his development. He played a few games (and sat several) to start this season but then I sent him down to Chicago to get starting goaltender minutes and he was dominating down there. I brought up Pasquale because he didn't need to clear waivers but I didn't want to use him in any games. I've brought Pavelec up once to play when Mason was playing games on back to back nights but then he got sent back down. I could have avoided all of this if I had used my waiver claim on Dan Ellis right before the regular season started. I figured I'd wait and see if someone better became available. There's been all garbage on waivers ever since. I don't think I would have gotten Ellis though. The Blues claimed him and they had a worse record than us last year. The thing that annoys me is that they haven't even used him yet! They're going with Halak and Raycroft as their goalies. Maybe they'll waive Ellis at some point? I just hope nobody else claims him because I'm going to be one of the last to get a shot at him if I keep up the type of performance we've had so far.

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Post by bruins72 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:45 pm

Okay, this doesn't make any sense. I'm trying to recall Drew MacIntyre from Chicago. I get the message saying that he must pass through re-entry waivers before I can recall him. I confirm that I want to put him on waivers so he can be recalled. I get a news item saying that he has cleared waivers, so I try to recall him. When I do this, I get the re-entry waiver message again and start the whole process over again. I'm on my third time putting him on re-entry waivers. What am I doing wrong?

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Post by eric1985 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:09 am

After you recall him and it says put him on re-entry waivers you need to recall him to your team after you put him on waivers.

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Post by thunderbug » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:46 am

bruins72 wrote:Okay, this doesn't make any sense. I'm trying to recall Drew MacIntyre from Chicago. I get the message saying that he must pass through re-entry waivers before I can recall him. I confirm that I want to put him on waivers so he can be recalled. I get a news item saying that he has cleared waivers, so I try to recall him. When I do this, I get the re-entry waiver message again and start the whole process over again. I'm on my third time putting him on re-entry waivers. What am I doing wrong?
As Eric said you need to recall him after you approve to put him on waivers and before he clears.

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Post by bruins72 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:21 pm

Ah! I thought I'd have to wait until he cleared before bringing him up. Thanks guys!

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Post by bruins72 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:46 pm

It's funny how things change from season to season. Last season, Peverley was pretty bad and I was looking at dealing him in the off season. This season he's really turned it around. This season I've used him as my 2nd line RW and 1st PP RW. In 46 games so far, he's got 44 points (25 of them being goals) and is a +13. He's got 2 more points in these 46 games than he had in 82 games last season. Also, more of his points are goals than assists this season.

The opposite end of the spectrum has been Jim Slater. He's been trying to find a role on this team since I traded for Koivu and made him my 2nd line center. I've moved Slater around. He's spent time at 3rd line center and at 2nd line LW. He's only got 19 points in 45 games. Last season he had 53 points in 67 games. Right now he's playing LW on the 2nd line. Kane had been holding down this position but I moved Kane down to 3rd line center to let him get some faceoff experience. Kane is still LW on the 2nd PP unit. By playing 3rd line at even strength, he's got more energy.

Enstrom still frustrates me and I may look to trade him in the off-season. He's currently out for 10 days with some pain in his knee. I've got Valabik up covering for him and he's doing okay. He doesn't have the offensive attributes that Enstrom does but Enstrom hasn't really been putting up the points, so what would I be losing? Enstrom has 15 points in 41 games and he's a +9. That doesn't sound bad but looking at the guy's attributes, I expect more.

Alternatively, Buffy frustrated me a bit last season but he's doing really well this season. He'll probably put up about as many points as he did last season but it's the rest of his game that's improved. He had 45 points and a +11 in 79 games last season. This season he's got 23 points and a +8 in 42 games so far. Once of the biggest changes in his game has been the physical element. He had 149 hits last season. He's already got 138 so far. Also, last season he blocked 42 shots and this season he's already blocked 33.

And the last guy I'm going to comment on is Zubarev. He was brought up from our farm team to replace Sopel, who wasn't re-signed. Zubarev has been quietly putting out a solid rookie season. He's not putting up a lot of points and we're not wanting him to. He's a good skater but he's a defense first kind of defenseman. He's currently leading the team in 2 categories. The first category he leads in is +/-. While +/- isn't the most reliable state it does tell me that there are more points being scored when he's on the ice than allowed. He's moving the puck out of his zone and getting it to the forwards. He's only got 7 assists but he's a +23. He's also leading the team in shots blocked with 81. He's sacrificing his body for the team and cutting down on the opposition's scoring chance. I'm really liking this kid.

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Post by Llaw » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:20 pm

How do you make trades like that? Getting Richards or Parise or other guys? AI just laughs at me when i try to do such trade. ](*,) What's the secret? How do you look for possible trades?

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Post by thunderbug » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:02 am

The second season is in the books and has been for a few days. My trade during this season was Rich Peverly for Brett Connolly who the Lightning had signed in the offseason. Coach Ramsey lead the Thrashers to their second straight Stanley Cup. In the process they took home the Presidents Trophy. This season looked quite a bit different than last season. This is mainly due to Mason not playing Vezina worthy hockey anymore. I won't say he played awful, because he didn't. He just didn't play near as well as he did the year before. So I split time between the two goaltenders. Pavelec ended up proving to be the hot goalie going into the playoffs as well as the hot goalie in the playoffs. Ramsey took the Jack Adams 2 years in a row. I forgot who had the Conn Smythe. The big surprise was Boulton winning the Selke award. I thought he played like an ok defensive forward, but not outstanding.

When the draft came I saw it was a poor class and was not looking forward to it at all. If I could have I would have traded my picks for prospects, but instead ended up drafting players that have the best shot of cracking the line up (which still isn't that good). I made sure I was ready to go for July 1st with my returning players signed, as well as new prospects signed. Once July 1st rolled around, I ended up not pulling the trigger on any new signings as I didn't really like what was on the market. So I opted for the waiver option.

I'm almost a month into season 3 still waiting for a player that I want to snatch up on waivers. I have made my trade for season 3. This season I traded Antropov to the Blues for Gabriel Landeskog one of their draftees from the first draft and someone they had recently signed in August. My goal for this season is to make the playoffs with a much younger team than in previous years. I'm not holding out for a Stanley Cup though a lot of key players for the cup runs are back. I still am looking for a replacement for Mason in a few years. We will see who pans out.

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