During the season, 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 night’s game against Rochester took nearly three hours to finish. The game didn’t need a shootout or overtime and obviously it wasn’t a playoff game. Yet, the game simply wouldn’t end. The building was silent for most of the second half, as you can imagine, after fans were whistled to death by linesman. Between players being thrown out of faceoffs, icing calls happening every 10 seconds and so many unnecessary stoppages, it was painful.
2. Winning two of three on the road was a step in the right direction. But this upcoming home stand might set the trajectory for Charlotte the rest of the way. A protracted losing streak could derail the season. If the team finds themselves winning most nights, the second half will have a much brighter outlook. There is reason to start believing this team can put it together.
3. Head coach Ryan Warsofsky said last Wednesday’s game in Syracuse was Janne Kuokkanen’s best of the season. Very good news for Charlotte.
4. On a team with most players plus/minus in the negative, captain Roland McKeown is even and is also third in team scoring. When your team struggles, you need your captain to lead the way. Roland does it every single night.
5. Before his win last Wednesday, goalie Anton Forsberg had not won a game since October 25th. It’s hard to believe since he’s played so well all year. This last week, he was brilliant in both games he started and a big reason Charlotte came away with 4 of 6 points.
6. Suggested rule change of the week: Penalties that are interrupted by period breaks should begin the next period with an offense zone faceoff. And while we’re at it, if you go offside while your team is shorthanded, the faceoff should take place in the defensive zone.
7. The single most underrated player in the NHL right now is Teuvo Teravainen. With Sebastian Aho heating up, the Canes’ top line is going to win them a lot of games.
8. Very happy to see Julien Gauthier get another chance with the Canes. Warsofsky and Gauthier have spent lots of time working on the defensive aspect of the game, which will be vital to him being a full time NHL player.
9. When Trevor Carrick finally got his championship ring, he called his time in Charlotte the best five years of his life. He was speaking in a manner which made it sound like he was still part of the team. Maybe one day a return could happen. It would be more than welcomed.
10. As of today, Charlotte is six points back with two games in hand on Hershey for the fourth spot in the division. This team is fighting hard every single game. The next challenge is Syracuse on Friday and Saturday. Pregame show on Friday starts at 6:45pm. Join us then.