- Created: November 4, 2013 - 9:48 am
- Written by Paul Branecky
Despite playing fewer home games than any other AHL team (two), the team returns to Charlotte with a record of 5-4-1, including a 3-2-1 mark on its just-concluded, six-games-in-nine-days road trip. The second leg of that outing wrapped up last week, with the Checkers suffering their first regulation road loss of the season in Grand Rapids on Wednesday and then bouncing back for a 5-3 win over the then-first-place Rockford IceHogs the following night. They then surrendered three one-goal leads to San Antonio in their most recent game on Saturday.
Starting this Thursday, the Checkers will host a pair of two-game sets against the Chicago Wolves and Hershey Bears. Sixteen of the team’s next 19 games will be played at home, a segment that will run up to the start of the holiday break on Dec. 21.
Week in Review
Last week's record1-2-0
Last 10 games5-4-1
Grand Rapids 5, Checkers 2After Aaron Palushaj had opened the scoring in the first period, the Grand Rapids Griffins scored four unanswered goals on their way to a 5-2 victory, handing goalie Rick DiPietro (25 saves) the loss in his Checkers debut. Victor Rask scored the other goal for Charlotte, which suffered its first regulation loss on the road this season (4-1-1) and split the two-game set against the Griffins that occurred during Charlotte's six-game road trip. Full recap
Checkers 5, Rockford 3Charlotte jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second period of their game against the first-place Rockford IceHogs but had to fend off a furious rally that tied the game in the third, ultimately picking up a 5-3 victory. Reigning AHL Player of the Week John Muse made 35 saves and set a new team record for longest shutout streak (154:03) that ended late in the second period. Victor Rask had two goals, marking the first multi-goal effort by a Checkers player this season and the first of his professional career. Chris Terry also had an early goal for the Checkers, with Aaron Palushaj providing the winning goal to break a 3-3 tie in the third period and Nicolas Blanchard scoring into the empty-net. Full recap
San Antonio 5, Checkers 3Charlotte surrendered a trio of one-goal leads, including a 3-2 lead at the second intermission, as it fell 5-3 to the San Antonio Rampage to conclude its six-game road trip. Rookie center Victor Rask scored his fourth goal in his last three games, with Justin Shugg and Matt Marquardt also finding the back of the net for the Checkers. Goalie Rick DiPietro suffered his second loss in as many Checkers starts but made 38 saves, the highest total for a Charlotte goalie this season. Full recap
- The Carolina Hurricanes placed forward Brett Sutter, the Checkers' captain for each of the last two seasons, on waivers for the purpose of assigning him to Charlotte. Read more
Back HomeThe Checkers, whose two games played at home are the fewest of any AHL team, will correct that discrepancy by playing 16 of their next 19 at home starting Nov. 7 and running right up to the holiday break on Dec. 21. Having lost both games at Time Warner Cable Arena, the Checkers are one of just three teams (Portland: 0-4-1; Utica: 0-3-2) that has yet to earn a home victory this season. Dating back to last season's playoffs, the Checkers have lost each of their last four games at home, three of which came by four or more goals.
Meanwhile, the Checkers' eight games played on the road tie them with five other teams for most in the AHL. Their 5-2-1 road record to start this season ties them for the second-most road victories in the league.
Terry's Streak EndsForward Chris Terry did not record a point during the Checkers' 5-3 loss at San Antonio on Saturday, marking the first time he had failed to do so all season. Terry's nine-game point streak (6g, 4a) marked the longest of his five AHL seasons and the second-longest in team history, trailing Bobby Sanguinetti's team record of 11 set during the 2011-12 campaign.
Terry's point streak tied for the second-longest point streak by any player in the league this season, with reigning AHL Player of the Month Travis Morin taking the honors with a 10-game run that ended one day after Terry's. Terry's simultaneous seven-game road point streak, which also ended Saturday, still stands as the longest posted by any AHL player during the current campaign.
Muse's Hot StartGoalie John Muse began his AHL season with a shutout streak of 154:03, breaking Dan Ellis's team record, set one season earlier, by just 59 seconds. The reigning AHL Player of the Week began the streak with back-to-back shutouts at Grand Rapids and Chicago on Oct. 25 and 27, respectively, becoming the second goalie in team history to post consecutive shutouts (Justin Peters in 2012-13).
Since rejoining the team on a professional tryout contract from ECHL Fort Wayne on Oct. 23, Muse began his AHL season with a 3-0-0 record for the third time in as many years. No other Checkers goaltender has ever won his first three starts with the team in any season. Muse leads the AHL with a 1.00 goals-against average and .968 save percentage and is part of a two-way tie for first with two shutouts.
Rask Heats UpSince scoring his first goal of the season in his fifth game on Oct. 25, center Victor Rask has scored five times in his last six games, including four times during an active three-game goal streak. His two-goal effort in Rockford on Oct. 31 marked the first and only multi-goal game by a Checker this season.
With 10 points (5g, 5a) in 10 games, Rask, a 20-year-old selected by Carolina in the second round of the 2011 draft, has tied Chris Terry for the team lead and is tied for seventh among AHL rookies in scoring. Including five points in 10 games before returning to his junior club in Calgary last season, Rask now has 15 points (6g, 9a) in 20 career AHL games and has posted a cumulative plus-11 rating during that time. His current plus-4 rating leads the team.
Coming In HotThrough the season's first 10 games, the Checkers have already seen four different players record three-game goal streaks. Chris Terry was the first to do so with three goals in three games from Oct. 19-25, with defenseman Mark Flood (Oct. 20-26: 3g, 1a), winger Aaron Palushaj (Oct. 27-31: 3g, 1a) and center Victor Rask (Oct. 30-Nov. 2: 4g, 1a) following suit. Of the four, only Rask's streak is active.
The last Checkers player to score goals in four consecutive games was Drayson Bowman, who did so as part of a team-record, eight-game streak from Oct. 19-Nov. 4 of last season.
Special TeamsAfter starting the season with one power-play goal in their first 13 opportunities (7.7 percent), the Checkers scored goals in 11 of 37 chances (29.7 percent) during a six-game run that ended in San Antonio on Saturday. The streak of scoring at least one power-play goal in each of those games marked the third-longest in team history and longest since the team opened last season with man-advantage goals in each of its first eight games. Charlotte's power play ranks sixth in the AHL at 22.2 percent.
After a slow start, the Checkers' penalty kill seemed to have turned a corner by killing 14 in a row over the first three games of its road trip, but has since nullified just eight of its last 14 (57.1 percent) and now ranks tied for 25th in the league at 78.3 percent.
By starting Rick DiPietro on Wednesday, the Checkers became the first and only AHL team to use six different goaltenders this season (Justin Peters, Mike Murphy, Jesse Deckert, John Muse, Allen York) - a feat that they achieved in just eight games. That number marks a new team record, eclipsing the five goaltenders that Charlotte used last season. Only two AHL teams - Hamilton (six) and Houston (seven) - used that many goaltenders throughout the entirety of last season.
The Carolina Hurricanes dressing Peters and Murphy in each of their last three games marks the third consecutive season in which the two goalies on Charlotte's opening night roster would go on to be reunited in the NHL during the same campaign. Peters and Murphy also dressed for Carolina at the same time during the 2011-12 season, while Peters and Dan Ellis became Hurricanes teammates in 2012-13.
Floodgates OpenMark Flood scored his fifth goal in six games on Oct. 26, becoming the fastest defenseman to reach the five-goal mark in team history. Justin Faulk set the previous record by scoring his fifth goal in his 23rd game last season. No Charlotte blueliner has ever scored more than 10 goals in a single season, a mark set by Bobby Sanguinetti in 2011-12. His streak of goals in four consecutive road games from Oct. 4-26 is still tied for the longest by any AHL player this season.
Flood, who ranks tied with Victor Rask for second on the team in goals behind Chris Terry's six, is tied for second among AHL defensemen in goals and is tied for third in power-play goals (three). He has already surpassed his total of one goal from 52 KHL games with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl last season and is nearly halfway to his AHL career high of 11, set with Manitoba during the 2010-11 campaign.
- Justin Shugg recorded his 25th AHL/Checkers assist on Saturday
- Rick DiPietro's 38 saves on Saturday were the most by a Checkers goalie since John Muse also made 38 in a shootout loss at Chicago on April 13 of last season.
- The Checkers' 21 shots allowed in Saturday's third period were one away from tying the most allowed by any AHL team in any period this season
- Charlotte has scored first in eight of its 10 games this season, including all eight of its road games, and is 5-2-1 in those games. When not scoring first, the Checkers are 0-2-0.
- The Checkers' 3-2 loss at San Antonio on Saturday marked their first regulation loss of the season when leading at either intermission (up 3-2 heading into the third period).
- Victor Rask has points in each of his last four games (Oct. 27-Nov. 2; 4g, 2a) and goals in each of his last three (Oct. 30-Nov. 2; 4g, 1a)
- Adam Brace has assists and points in each of his last two games (Oct. 31-Nov. 2: 0g, 2a).
- Nov. 2 - (LW) Kyle Bonis recalled to Charlotte from Florida (ECHL)
- Oct. 31 - (C) Manny Malhotra released from professional tryout contract to sign with Carolina (NHL)
- Oct. 28 - (G) Allen York released from professional tryout contract
- Thirsty Thursday - $1 Bud Light draughts
- Harris Teeter VIC Card Thursday - show your VIC card to get $5 off any regular-price ticket
- Military Appreciation Night
- Schedule magnet giveaway courtesy of Novant Health
- Digital camo hat giveaway
- Air Force swear-in ceremony
- Community Blood Center of the Carolinas Blood Drive
- Second Harvest Food Bank Donation Drive
By the Numbers
|CATEGORY||RECORD||AHL RANK||LAST WEEK|
|Power play||22.2%||6th||25.7% (5th)|
|Penalty kill||78.3%||t-25th||84.4% (10th)|
|Goals per game||3.00||t-11th||2.86 (17th)|
|Shots per game||30.9||t-13th||30.9 (11th)|
|Goals allowed per game||2.90||13th||2.29 (4th)|
|Shots allowed per game||31.6||21st||29.3 (14th)|
|Penalty minutes per game||15.7||(12th)||16.4 (11th)|
|Points||Victor Rask, Chris Terry (10), Zach Boychuk (9)|
|Goals||Chris Terry (6), Mark Flood, Victor Rask (5), Aaron Palushaj (4)|
|Assists||Zach Boychuk (7), Victor Rask (5), four tied at (4)|
|Power play goals||Mark Flood, Chris Terry (3), six tied at (1)|
|Game-winning goals||Aaron Palushaj (2), Mark Flood, Brody Sutter, Chris Terry (1)|
|Shots on goal||Chris Terry (35), Zach Boychuk, Mark Flood (28), Victor Rask (26)|
|Penalty minutes||Matt Corrente (20), Manny Malhotra (17), Rasmus Rissanen (16)|
|Plus/minus||Victor Rask (+4), Rasmus Rissanen (+3), Keegan Lowe, Justin Shugg (+2)|
|Wins||John Muse (3), Mike Murphy, Justin Peters (1)|
|Goals-against average||John Muse (1.00), Mike Murphy (3.81), Rick DiPietro (4.53)|
|Save percentage||John Muse (.968), Rick DiPietro (.875), Mike Murphy (.873)|
Checkers in the NHL
|Manny Malhotra||C||2||0||0||0||4||-1||Won 25 of 34 faceoffs|
|Mike Murphy||0||-||-||-||-||Dressed as backup for four games|
|Justin Peters||5||0-5-0||3.49||.890||0||Appeared in team's last five games|
Checkers in the ECHL
|Kyle Bonis||F||7||5||2||7||2||+3||Recalled to Charlotte on 11/2|
|Stefan Della Rovere||F||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Jesse Deckert||6||5-0-1||2.59||.903||0||All-time record of 14-1-2|