1) If the NHL is going to make rules against the spin-o-rama in the shootout, then don’t convolute the process with intricate guidelines. Just ban it or allow it. Trying to factor every microsecond of whether the puck continuously moves or “closely monitor” if the puck goes backwards is profoundly misguided.
2) Michael Murphy sported a giant bruise on his thigh because he got hit with a puck during practice. It’s something that happened because of the new rules shortening goalie pad sizing above the knee. Nevertheless, he battled his way to his first Checkers win since the 2011-12 season on Saturday. As the game went on, the Murphy we remember emerged. That win took heart and will power, which he displayed all game.
3) Speaking of goalies, Justin Peters showed the kind of excellence that we have become accustomed to in Charlotte. He wasn’t even given a star of the game. I guess his 32 saves weren’t good enough. He will be very hard to beat this year.
4) I grew up in Detroit, so that makes Patrick Roy an enemy by blood. However, he will be great for The Avalanche. People in that town will come in droves to watch him run the bench. Fans have to love that kind of intensity and passion from your head coach. If outbursts are constant, it can be a distraction but a little swagger is not a bad thing. His players should love playing for him.
5) CBC commentator Glenn Healy is usually wrong. And by usually I mean always.
6) Manny Malholtra, who is probably the oldest player to be in Charlotte, once won a Calder Cup in Hartford with former Checkers coach Jason Dawe in the 1999-00 season. Derek Wilkinson also spent some time in Hartford that season. It’s strange because I didn’t even know they had professional hockey back then.
7) There is a continual problem in our sport regarding trying to protect players against any possible injury. If you believe that you will eradicate all harm in the game by stuffing more rules into the rulebook, you are mistaken. You cannot prevent the unpreventable. However; I am not against practical measures and willing cooperation.
8) Kevin Lowe, the six-time Stanley Cup winner and father of Checkers defenseman Keegan Lowe, was at both games on Friday and Saturday to see his son make his pro debut. Kevin is the president of the Edmonton Oilers (Oklahoma’s NHL affiliate) and is part of Team Canada’s Olympic hockey staff. It’s a busy year for Mr. Lowe, so it must have been great for his son to have his father in attendance. He said watching Keegan get into a fight is always surreal and just hopes Keegan doesn’t take one on the chin.
9) Please note: If someone passes out in an airplane, Brian Maddox will casually go back to sleep. Also, never turn your back to Rasmus Rissanen. Ever.
10) Who decided to give the Checkers two weeks off after opening weekend and then put us on the road for 10 days and six games in three different states right after? Please call my office. I’d like to speak with you.