1) Jeff Daniels said that the first home win last Sunday was how the team needed to play in order to be competitive every night. Though it wasn't pretty, it was effective and they were the hardest-working team on the ice. The reward was two points.
2) Give full credit to Brendan Woods in Sunday's win. At the very onset of the game he created a scoring chance and then got into a fight in his first shift. He showed he was mentally and physically engaged. I am sure coaches demanded the team leave everything on the ice and Woods led the way.
3) Lots of hockey folks were talking about Bridgeport goaltender David Leggio removing the net from its pegs before he could face a 2-on-0 rush. Couple of points to make: He tweeted the following day that this is a tactic they actually teach in his goaltending school (amongst other delay strategies). Also, because he stopped the penalty shot that was awarded against him, his gamble cleary paid off. But now I would assume that this will be reviewed by the AHL rules committee and perhaps an automatic goal would be awarded in order to stop that from happening again.
4) One more thing about Leggio throwing the net off its pegs. I find it strange that his first reaction was to find a way out of the circumstance rather than to immediately engage in making a save. A goaltender, at the most crucial moments, you would think, should instinctively go into fight mode, not flight. How many times have you ever seen a goalie turn his back to the play that is coming in his direction? I doubt many goalies would even conceive of the idea.
5) The Grand Rapids team that we saw a few weeks ago is suddenly sinking in the standings. It was a consensus early in the year that they would be one of the top teams in the league. Now, that may still be the case. However, as of now, their top goaltender can't make a save and they aren't scoring nor defending well either. Maybe it's a byproduct of keeping prospects in the AHL too long. They may have a tendency to get bored knowing they are a year away from an NHL job.
6) Last week I wrote about how Greg Nemisz is really starting to turn it on. Just a few days later he had both goals in a 2-1 victory over Hamilton and was the game's No. 1 star. That's the reason you read this column.
7) The Checkers' MVP, without question, is goaltender Drew MacIntyre. No Checkers goalie has this many starts in team history at this point in the year. Having said that, the team has a great goalie in John Muse waiting for a start and I am guessing coach Daniels will give him a nod either Saturday or Monday at home. I've seen John practice this year and he is working incredibly hard to be ready when his number is called.
8) Defenseman Ryan Murphy's game on Sunday may have been his best ever in Charlotte. Not only was he playing well offensively and creating chances with the puck, during the second period he broke up a 2-on-1 rush against T.J. Hensick and Drayson Bowman. It was a key turning point in the game. If he can continue to play like that, it won't be long before he is back in Raleigh.
9) Rogers Sportsnet did an incredible piece on former Checkers captain Brett Sutter's brother, Chris. Go watch it and realize why Chris is so loved in the hockey community.
10) The Checkers called up forward Andrew Rowe from South Carolina to play in Sunday's game against Hamilton. That was his fourth game in four days and he looked great creating scoring chances and putting four shots on net. That's a lot of hockey combined with travel and he left everything on the ice.