Manny Malhotra
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. This week: struggles over the weekend, the upcoming road trip, Manny Malhotra and more.

1) Opening night was a tremendous success for the front office. It pulled together a great product and the crowd support all night long was phenomenal. Although the score wasn’t the desired outcome, it was certainly a game that could have gone either way.

2) The game was heavily lopsided on Sunday afternoon but there is a very good reason. The team hadn’t played a single game in two weeks and then played two games in less than 24 hours. There is no amount of practice that gives you the kind of stamina necessary for that circumstance. While it’s easy to make excuses, the scheduling can determine outcomes more than people think.

3) You could see the team was lethargic from the start on Sunday. Goaltender Mike Murphy hadn’t played in back to back games in over a year. There was very little time to recoup from a very solid effort the night before. Energy is finite. He, along with the team, just never got his legs going.

4) Losses early in the season can be beneficial. There are many teachable moments in getting beat. Humility is a good thing. We lack it in magnitude as a society.

Manny Malhotra fight
5) I’ve been broadcasting for a long time but I have never been on the road as long as the upcoming trip demands. Three games in three nights in three different cities with lots of travel between each city. The team will follow that up with three more games ending up in Texas. No rest for the weary. Good thing I love what I do.

6) Manny Malholtra showed what a quality teammate he is when he went right after Raphael Bussieres (pictured) for hitting Brendan Woods on Sunday. Malholtra is an NHL veteran on a PTO and could risk jeopardizing an NHL contract if he gets injured. But, none of that matters in the heat of the moment when you are standing up for one of your guys.

7) It will be great to go to Grand Rapids and play the defending champs twice in one week. I wonder if Chris Terry is going to keep his elbows down this time.

8) The Chicago Wolves, who the Checkers will face Sunday, spent big money to win this season. Keith Aucoin, Mark Mancari and Corey Locke are amongst the hired guns determined to return Chicago to its Calder Cup past.

9) Working on signing former Charlotte Checkers defenseman Ethan Graham to do color on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Van Andel Arena. It’s been difficult to book him. He is busier now than before retirement.

10) Happy birthday to my favorite color commentator, Chris Jablonski. The former AHL goaltender for the Portland Pirates looks fantastic for his age, which is reportedly 27.
Author: Jason ShayaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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