February 21, 2012 2:55 PM
Checkers broadcaster Jason Shaya checks in each week with his 10 Thoughts - a series of observations about the team and the hockey world in general.
1) Saturday’s game against the Wolves was one of the best regular season hockey games I’ve ever seen. If it was a playoff game, the adjective to describe it would’ve been “epic.” Great chances, goaltending, hard work, and in the end, no one wanted it to end.
2) I suspect goalie Mike Murphy will be ready to play this weekend. He is back to practice this week for Charlotte after backing up Justin Peters last night. Rumor has it that his new pads are on the way, too!
3) Larry Brooks wins for stupid and sarcastic comment of the week. “I am surprised Red Wings fans aren’t demanding that Joey MacDonald be inducted into the Hall of Fame, too.” This was a shot at arguments for former Wings goalie Chris Osgood as a potential inductee. Brooks should just stick to constantly getting things wrong about the Rangers. We are all born ignorant, but we must work hard to remain stupid. Brooks works harder than most.
4) The Checkers had a goal waved off late during Sunday’s game. The referee pointed several times indicating a goal. After further discussion, it was waved off because a Checkers player pushed the goalie and the puck into the net (which was the correct call). The referee told head coach Jeff Daniels his pointing on the ice was simply to indicate the puck crossed the line and not necessarily that it was a good goal. This exact argument was made in an NHL game on Sunday. Anyone else see the absurdity in trying to decipher the indication of the referees signals? Either rule it a goal or wave it off.
5) Checkers team owner Michael Kahn celebrated his
52nd 35th birthday on Sunday. Let’s just hope Michael gets what I am sure he wished for: a Calder Cup. I hope the players in the Checkers room understand what that would mean to him. I can only imagine the party that would follow a championship.
6) Derek Wilkinson made the point that the Canes should trade Tuomo Ruutu for the best possible deal and have a handshake agreement that he will re-sign with the club during the summer. It’s a win-win for both sides.
7) What is amazing to me is that we spent the first part of the season wondering who would emerge as the Checkers' No. 1 goalie. Well, it’s the end of the February and the goalie situation is more nebulous with the development of John Muse. In the end, I suspect the Canes may keep three goalies on their NHL roster and let Muse and Murphy handle the work in Charlotte. That’s just conjecture considering the vagueness of Ward’s injury.
8) Justin Shugg scored a beautiful goal on Sunday afternoon against the Wolves, undressing a d-man on his way to a clean break against goalie Matt Clime. I believe with his effort this past weekend, he made his case to stay up with Charlotte for the rest of the year.
9) Checkers defenseman Joe Sova got a chance to play in front of his family for the first time as an AHL defenseman on Sunday against Chicago. Sova grew up in Berwyn, IL, which is about 30 minutes away. He looked solid out there. I am not sure the state of Illinois is still part of the Union but he is a good American boy nonetheless.
10) You will be hearing the words “brokered convention” a lot in the next few weeks, and rightly so. Mitch Daniels to the podium, please.
11) Zac Dalpe and I will be filming an interview at the Charlotte Guitar Center. Dalpe is a six-stringer and we will be talking about his love of guitars and music. It’s nice to catch a glimpse of guys like Zac outside the rink. Hopefully, my buddy and new store operations manager Matt has a few axes laid out for us to test drive.
12) My dream band: Bass—Cliff Burton. Drums—Randy Castillo or Tommy Aldridge. Singer—Joe Lynn Turner or David Coverdale. Lead/Rhythm guitar—Shaya
13) Former Checkers captain and defenseman Bryan Rodney will make his return to Charlotte as a member of the Oklahoma City Barons. He was recently traded for Ryan O’Marra. I am sure the ovation upon his return will be thunderous.
14) I remember when the Checkers had Chris Durno, he was pretty good. Speaking of which, whatever happened to Chris Murray?
15) The trade deadline is fast approaching. For the record, I haven’t been asked to wave my no trade clause at this moment.
16) TV game on Saturday. Two of the best teams in the league are going to battle it out in another huge weekend for Charlotte. They can’t afford to give up more ground to Chicago in the standings. After this weekend, Chicago controls the Midwest Division down a single point to Charlotte and holding two games in hand. This is a big moment in the season for Jeff Daniels and the team.