March 06, 2012 12:41 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) The controversial overtime game winner by Lake Erie on Sunday raised the ire of the Checkers due to the collision of Cameron Gaunce into goalie Justin Peters. I think the real issue is that he appeared to kick the puck into the net, but it’s very hard to tell on the replays. It’s about time this league gets video review. How hard could it be to hook up cameras and a monitor for the referee to review?
2) I watched Don Cherry go off about Leafs GM Brian Burke this past Saturday on Coach’s Corner. The one line that bothered me the most was when he mentioned American players: “Now, if you want American college guys. If you want Americans, you got the team.” Cherry has long been disgusted with many European players and French players for being born in places on earth he dislikes. This is the first direct attack on American born hockey players that I can recall.
3) I looked at some of the data from this season and the Rangers (8), Predators (8), Blues (7) and Penguins (7) all have around the same number of U.S. born players the Leafs (8) have and are amongst the top teams in the league. So, what does that mean? Probably that evidence has no bearing on the ad hoc, capricious and emotionally-charged thoughts of Don Cherry. I’ve always found it fascinating that Cherry is infatuated with where a player’s mother gave birth to him.
4) Best line I read today on Twitter came from @JonahNRO: “Calling this a super Tuesday may be the worst case of false advertising since Lionel Hutz's lawsuit against the Neverending Story.”
5) Did you guys watch the video of “Zac Dalpe Jamming at Guitar Center”? You might not be able to tell from the title of the video, but I was in it too. I had to negotiate for about three hours just to get 15 seconds of solo playing in there. Since they edited out the part where I talked about my guitar, I’ll let you know it’s a PRS SE Mikeal Akerfeldt signature series. I still dream about it.
6) We have about 800 hits on the video and Zac told me he’d like to see at least 1,000 by Friday. I hope we don’t disappoint him. Zac can get angry…
7) The Checkers are holding a slim three-point lead on Chicago, making these next two games an eight-point swing in the division. Charlotte has gone 3-3-1-3 in their last 10 games. They have to find a way to turn it around against Chicago or this could be a very bad weekend for the team. At this point, despite leading the division in early March, the playoffs are not a guarantee. This is the biggest weekend of the season.
8) One of the revolutionary forces in political social media and an absolute warrior of the free press, Andrew Breitbart, died at the age of 43 last week. He was unafraid and loved to bring the fight to anyone willing to have a debate. "I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I've lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I've gained hundreds, thousands--who knows?--of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night." Rest in Peace, Andrew.
9) Great job by defenseman and good Clarkson, MI, boy Brandon Gentile to step into the lineup and play well for the Checkers this weekend. He’s a former Spartan and won a national championship with the best guy ever, Ethan Graham. He is also the 24th d-partner for Bobby Sanguinetti this season.
10) Previously, I said that Jacob Markstrom was the best goalie not playing in the NHL. After a reassessment, I’m changing my mind. Lake Erie's Cedrick Desjardins is the best goalie not playing in the NHL.
11) Went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Sunday to film. Time was very limited so we basically sprinted through the exhibits. I got to see James Hetfield of Metallica’s famous ESP Explorer he used on the And Justice for All tour. Hopefully, the video will be on the Checkers' website this week.
12) I will be coaching the Police/Sheriff team against the Fire/Medic team during Sunday's Salute to Heroes game right after the culmination of the Checkers/Wolves game. Please stay and support the families of those who have lost a hero in the line of duty. The game is very intense. It’s also the only time in my life I can yell at a cops and nothing bad will happen to me.
13) Without question, it must have been a very tough decision to send John Muse to the Florida Everblades after what he accomplished as the No. 1 goalie for the Checkers. I would think his play in Charlotte will earn himself an NHL contract next season with someone. He basically saved the Checkers' season. Not many teams recover from losing their two starting goalies. Without Muse’s spectacular play, Charlotte could’ve been in a very different position.
14) Seventeen-year-old Erie Otters center Conner Crisp had to play in goal for his team when starting goalie Ramis Sadikov was injured in the opening minutes of the game against the Niagara IceDogs. The best part of the story was the classy fans of Niagara. They knew Conner was a forward and was thrown into the game in desperation. Yet, they gave him a standing ovation at the end of the game and despite losing 13-4, he was named the No. 1 star. "It was appreciated so much -- beyond words," he said. "I can't say enough about how fun and classy that was today."
15) Best of luck to Jared Staal in Providence. He made their Clear Day list and has a chance to play in the playoffs. He is an absolutely terrific kid and I am sure Checkers fans will join me in wishing him the all the best.
16) Television game coming up on Saturday night. Hope everyone will tune in if you can’t join us at the rink.
17) Excited to have Chicago broadcasters Billy Gardner and Jason Shaver back in the building this weekend. Two class acts. #fatherandsonbroadcastteam