1) The Carolina Hurricanes are in a dangerous losing streak. If their best players can’t find a way to start generating offense, this team isn’t going to make the playoffs again. There are way too many passengers on that team. How much longer until major changes are made?
2) With the departure of Manny Malholtra goes one of the classiest players to play for this organization. Despite the horrendous travel schedule and the three games in three nights, team meal mishaps and other issues we are all accustomed to down here, Malholtra never let his happy disposition waver. Even though he was here for just a short time, there wasn’t a man in the locker room that didn’t learn from his preparation and professionalism.
3) Want to hear a joke? Ray Emery.
4) With the return of Brett Sutter from Carolina, the Checkers will get some much-needed help at center. But, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I believe Brett should still be playing in the NHL. He was always one of the hit leaders for the Canes and no one plays harder than him. Having said that, the Checkers are lucky to have him back but I hope it’s not for long.
5) Goalie John Muse achieved the longest shutout streak in team history last week, besting Dan Ellis' record from last season. More importantly, he played another phenomenal game helping Charlotte get two more points against Rockford last Thursday. The best goalies make the hard saves look routine and mix in a save most goalies can’t when it really matters. John is right there and is only showing signs of getting better.
6) Nic Blanchard told me he is going to score 15 goals this year. Well, I think that’s what he said. Sometimes, it’s hard to understand him.
7) Congratulations to the members of the front office staff that put themselves through the Tough Mudder. This event is designed to kill most human beings, yet they all survived and finished the race together. There is nothing this fearless staff won’t do. Except clean the office kitchen.
8) Bumped into WWE wrestler Jack Swagger yesterday at the gym. He is so big that he shook my hand up to the elbow. Talking to him reminded me of being in the wrestling business about 15 years ago. I am happy the days of traveling in a circus are over. Oh wait.
9) Center Sean Dolan continues to play excellent hockey. One of his best games of the season came on Saturday night against Rockford. His penalty kill work with Jared Staal was stellar. A player like him is an integral part of any team hoping for long term success.
10) Victor Rask is playing at a point-per-game pace. After watching him in all 10 games this year, one thing is pretty easy to see: he’s the best Canes prospect to come through Charlotte since Justin Faulk. He will play in the NHL for a long time.
11) Just want to add that Matt Corrente has already had some phenomenal fights this season, but his battle with Wade Brookbank on Thursday was incredible. It was 3-3 in the third, and after that fight, the Checkers scored the game winner. Corrente is a great teammate and one of the toughest to put on a Checkers sweater.