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. Checkers players from last season have been awarded their rings by team owner Michael Kahn. The attention to detail on the ring is incredible and the continued generosity of Michael and his family is not overlooked by anybody. What a phenomenal way to honor the greatest year in Checkers history. We are very lucky to have Michael supporting all of us.
2. The defensive combination of Jake Bean and Roland McKeown continues to work very well. Their skill sets complement one another and bring out the best of both players. Jake and Roland are playing very good hockey for Charlotte right now in a moment where it’s difficult to find a bright spot.
3. While the team’s play at 5-on-5 has struggled, the penalty kill and power play continue to be strong. Charlotte is ranked number one in the PK and are top-10 while on the man advantage.
4. So far, when Charlotte gives up the first goal of a game they are without a win. That’s problematic on several levels. Mostly because scoring goals at even strength is a challenge.
5. Although the Checkers didn’t score on Sunday afternoon, Hunter Shinkaruk did his best to create chances by consistently driving the puck to the net. He has four points (2G, 2A) in his last four games.
6. Former Checkers great Chris Terry is tied for the league lead in points (27). The one thing everyone knows you’re getting from Chris is offense. One part of what keeps him playing at a high level each year is that he happens to be one of the best teammates in this business. A quality player and person.
7. The AHL listed their stars of the month and Alex Nedeljkovic was overlooked. In November he went 4-1-1 with a 1.34 GAA and .949 SV%. Stellar numbers as expected from Alex.
8. I’m not weighing into any controversy here but with all the recent news I think it’s time to remind people that Michal Jordan is one of the kindest and most likable players this organization has ever had. He’s the only European captain in team history and was regarded by his teammates and the front office with the highest regards. We still talk about him to this day and still quote some of his funny lines. Sometimes you wish you had a few minutes to sit and reminisce with players like him again. It’s a great reminder that to many of us the skill of a hockey player is less important than getting a chance to know a quality human being like MJ.
9. Laundry Talk with Donald White and Nick “Triple X” Roy might be the best segment in team history. In fact, it could easy be a talk show… on HBO. Full credit to Don White’s voiceover and acting work. He’s had a lot of practice pretending to work hard for years so it’s not necessarily surprising to see him do it on camera. Can’t wait to see what other guests they have for the future. I assume there’s no chance Derek Wilkinson is booked. His appearance fee is beyond Laundry Talk’s budget.
10. Charlotte heads to Syracuse where they typically have played very well. It would be a nice start to the road trip to get the team moving in the right direction. Pregame show tomorrow begins at 6:45pm. Join us then.