Charlotte Checkers News Harris Teeter

Weekly Report: Nov. 11, 2013

Michal Jordan
Despite playing two games against the Chicago Wolves last week, the Checkers will continue their brief home stand still looking for their first victory at Time Warner Cable Arena this season.

A pair of 2-1 losses to Chicago on Thursday and Saturday dropped Charlotte to 0-4-0 on home ice and to an overall 5-6-1 on the season, marking the first time they have dipped below .500 in over two years. Combined with a 5-3 loss in San Antonio to conclude the previous week, the team has dropped three consecutive games for the first time this season.

The Checkers will look to get back on track with two more home games this week, both against the Hershey Bears on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by a two-game trip to Toronto starting Saturday.

Week in Review

Team Statistics

  • Overall record
    5-6-1
  • Home record
    0-4-0
  • Road record
    5-2-1
  • Last week's record
    0-2-0
  • Last 10 games
    3-6-1
  • Division Standings
    5th
  • Conference Standings
    13th
  • League Standings
    24th

Chicago 2, Checkers 1

After Charlotte's Adam Brace opened the scoring in the second period, the Chicago Wolves tied the game less than a minute later and went on to net the game-winner in a 2-1 victory at Time Warner Cable Arena on Thursday. John Muse made 27 saves for the Checkers, who fell to 0-3-0 at home this season and to 1-1-0 against the Wolves, having picked up a 5-0 victory in Chicago on Oct. 27. Full recap

Chicago 2, Checkers 1

Just as they did two days earlier, the Chicago Wolves came back from a goal down to earn a 2-1 victory in Charlotte on Saturday. Brendan Woods got the Checkers on the board, marking the seventh consecutive game the team had scored the first goal, but the Wolves answered back to keep the Checkers a winless 0-4-0 on home ice to start the season. John Muse, making consecutive starts for the first time this season, stopped 29 shots. Full recap

Notables

Elias Lindholm
  • Elias Lindholm, the fifth overall pick in this summer's NHL draft, played both Checkers games last week after arriving from Carolina. Read more

Last Week's News

Rare Territory

Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves dropped the Checkers to 5-6-1 on the season, marking the first time they've been under the .500 mark since starting 0-1-1 in Norfolk on Oct. 7 and 8, 2011. It is also the latest in a season that the team has been under .500, with the 2010-11 Checkers evening their record to 7-7-1 exactly three years ago today en route to an eventual run to the Eastern Conference Final.

Since joining the AHL, the Checkers have been under .500 for just 39 total days, 29 of which came during the team's inaugural season, when they hit a record-low four games under .500 (2-6-1) on Oct. 29, 2010.

Trouble At Home

The Checkers are 0-4-0 at Time Warner Cable Arena, marking their slowest start at home in four AHL seasons. The previous record through four games was set by the inaugural 2010-11 team, which started 1-2-1 but went on to post a team-record 49 points (22-13-5) at home. Dating back to last season's playoffs, the Checkers have lost six straight home games, while their four-game losing streak to start this season is tied for the longest in the AHL.

Though Charlotte's four home games this season are tied for fewest in the league, it is one of just two teams (Utica: 0-4-2) that have yet to earn a home victory this season. The Checkers play 14 of their next 17 at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Striking First

The Checkers have opened the scoring in 10 of their 12 games, putting them just one behind Portland (11-of-14) for most first goals this season. They have recorded the first goal in each of their last seven games and in all eight of their road games.

The Checkers have a record of 5-4-1 when scoring the game's first goal this season for a winning percentage of .550 that ranks as the league's third-lowest (Lake Erie, at 3-3-0, and Utica, at 1-1-0, are both at .500) when scoring first. When not scoring first, the Checkers are 0-2-0.

Brace Yourself

After sitting out six of the Checkers' first eight games as a healthy extra, forward Adam Brace has recorded points in each of his last four games (1g, 3a), tying Victor Rask (3g, 1a) for most on the team during that time. Including a successful stint with ECHL Florida after finishing college last season, Brace has 25 points (8g, 17a) in 23 professional games, including playoffs.

Power Play

The Checkers have gone three consecutive games without scoring a power-play goal (0-for-13), marking the first time they have not scored in consecutive games all season. Prior to the current slide, the team had scored at least one power-play goal in seven of its first nine games, including a streak of six consecutive games that marked the third-longest streak in team history.

Youth Movement

Elias Lindholm, the fifth overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, made his AHL/Checkers debut on Thursday, becoming the youngest player to ever play for the franchise at 18 years and 340 days. Defenseman Justin Faulk, who debuted with the team following the end of his freshman season in college, had the previous record at 19 years and 40 days, set on April 20, 2011.

Lindholm also became the second-highest-drafted player to suit up for Charlotte behind Rick DiPietro, the 2000 first-overall draft choice who made his debut with the team earlier this season. Manny Malhotra (7th overall in 1998), who has since signed with Carolina, gives the team three top-10 picks this season alone. Prior to this season, the highest-drafted player to ever play for the team was defenseman Ryan Murphy (12th overall in 2011), who played his first game with the team last March.

Muse's Hot Start

Since rejoining the Checkers on a professional tryout contract from ECHL Fort Wayne on Oct. 23, goalie John Muse has gone 3-2-0 in five starts and leads the AHL with a 1.41 goals-against average and .954 save percentage and is part of a two-way tie for first with two shutouts.

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 AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 27 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). He won each of his first three Checkers starts for the third time in as many seasons, marking the only three times a Checkers goalie has accomplished that feat.

Divided Division

Nine of the Checkers' 12 games have been played against Midwest Division opponents (3-5-1). The team has played within its own division, the West, just three times (2-1-0) and will not play another game against a West team until hosting San Antonio on Dec. 10. With three games against Atlantic opponents, only Bridgeport has played as few games within its own division.

Quick Hits

  • The Checkers scored just one goal in each of their last two games, marking the first time they had scored fewer than two in consecutive games since March 4 and March 10, 2012.
  • The Checkers have both scored (12) and allowed (14) more goals in the third period than in any other period.
  • The Checkers have yet to win a game when scoring fewer than three goals (0-4-1)
  • Charlotte is one of five teams that has yet to score a shorthanded goal

Player Streaks

  • Adam Brace has points in each of his last four games (Oct. 31-Nov. 9: 1g, 3a).

Milestones

  • Nicolas Blanchard is 2 goals away from 25 Checkers goals
  • Nicolas Blanchard is 5 penalty minutes away from 350 as a Checker
  • Michal Jordan is 3 assists away from 50 AHL/Checkers assists

Transactions

Incoming

  • Nov. 6 - (C) Elias Lindholm assigned to Charlotte from Carolina (NHL)
  • Nov. 4 - (C) Brett Sutter assigned to Charlotte from Carolina (NHL)

Outgoing

  • Nov. 6 - (LW) Chris Terry recalled to Carolina (NHL) from Charlotte

Coming Up

Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. - Checkers vs. Hershey

Bud Light
  • Wet Your Whistle Weekday - discounted Bud Lights

Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. - Checkers vs. Hershey

Bud LightHendrick AcuraHarris Teeter
  • Thirsty Thursday - $1 Bud Light Drafts
  • College Night presented by Hendrick Acura - discounted tickets with valid college email address. Click here to purchase.
  • Harris Teeter VIC Card Thursday - show your VIC card to get $5 off any regular-price ticket

Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. - Checkers at Toronto

By the Numbers

Team Statistics
CATEGORY RECORD AHL RANK LAST WEEK
Power play 19.0% 12th 22.2% (6th)
Penalty kill 80.0% t-22nd 78.3% (t-25th)
Goals per game 2.67 21st 3.00 (t-11th)
Shots per game 30.8 12th 30.9 (t-13th)
Goals allowed per game 2.75 8th 2.90 (13th)
Shots allowed per game 31.1 19th 31.6 (21st)
Penalty minutes per game 14.9 6th 15.7 (12th)
Team Leaders
CATEGORY LEADER(S)
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)
Shorthanded goals none
Game-winning goals Aaron Palushaj (2), Mark Flood, Brody Sutter, Chris Terry (1)
Shots on goal Chris Terry (35), Mark Flood (32), Zach Boychuk (31)
Penalty minutes Matt Corrente (22), Rasmus Rissanen (18), Nicolas Blanchard (17)
Plus/minus Keegan Lowe, Victor Rask (+3), four tied at (+2)
Wins John Muse (3), Mike Murphy, Justin Peters (1)
Goals-against average John Muse (1.41), Mike Murphy (3.81), Rick DiPietro (4.53)
Save percentage John Muse (.954), Rick DiPietro (.875), Mike Murphy (.873)

Checkers in the NHL

Carolina Hurricanes
Player POS GP G A PTS PIM +/- NOTES
Manny Malhotra C 5 1 0 1 4 3 Scored overtime goal on 11/5
Chris Terry LW 2 0 0 0 0 -1 NHL season debut on 11/7
Goaltender GP RECORD GAA SV% SO NOTES
Mike Murphy 0 - - - - Dressed as backup for seven games
Justin Peters 5 2-5-1 2.51 .915 1 Allowed 3 total goals in last 3 starts

Checkers in the ECHL

Florida Everblades
Player POS GP G A PTS PIM +/- NOTES
Kyle Bonis F 9 5 2 7 2 0 Reassigned from Charlotte 11/3
Austin Levi D 10 0 2 2 8 -3  
Stefan Della Rovere F - - - - - -  
Kellan Tochkin F 6 1 2 3 14 +4  
Goaltender GP RECORD GAA SV% SO NOTES
Jesse Deckert 6 6-1-2 2.71 .891 0 All-time record of 15-2-3
Paul Branecky
Author: Paul BraneckyEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.