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.
Head coach Jeff Daniels said before the weekend that penalty trouble in the third period was something the team needed to make sure wasn’t a reoccurring problem. His calls for discipline weren’t followed. The validity of the referee’s calls can be argued but the fact is those penalties cost the team points in the standings. Maybe it’s not a big deal now, but the repetitiveness through five games has to be a source of frustration to coaches and players alike.
Last week, I forgot to mention the return of Mr. Donald White to the Checkers. Donny was the head equipment manager of the Checkers during their last year in the ECHL. That year, he was also the personal psychiatrist of goalie Ryan Munce. Donny is a great guy unless the Bengals lose, because then he’s a jerk.
Watching the Checkers this weekend against Rockford, it’s clear to me that if and when possible, Justin Soryal should return. Rockford players were running around taking advantage of the more skilled Checkers lineup. Someone needs to protect the talent-loaded Checkers. Who better than the Sheriff himself?
There were 18 scouts in the stands in Rockford on Saturday night. Toronto, Anaheim, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Dallas and Edmonton are some of the teams represented to watch both teams.
Former Checkers goalie Michael Murphy’s team in the KHL hasn’t won many games this season. They had a 4-1 lead on Sunday at home in the third period and went on to lose 5-4. Fans were so furious, security instructed players leave through a different exit to avoid a potential riot. Murphy wasn’t in goal that game because he was recovering from eating a salad filled with ants he ordered at a Russian restaurant. I guess he missed the health inspection score on the restaurant wall.
Before our flight out of Charlotte on Thursday afternoon, players were optimistic as negotiations started between the NHL and the Players Association that a resolution could be met in a matter of hours. Hopes were dashed and a collective sigh could be heard the instant wheels touched down and Twitter reports filtered in announcing the depressing news that the two sides are back to disagreeing on everything.
Dan Ellis gave up a bad goal on Saturday (or as Derek Wilkinson calls them, “Shaya specials”). Nevertheless, he was the best player on the ice. His composure was incredible and he made the difficult saves looks elementary. His final save with about 15 seconds left during a 6-on-4 disadvantage was epic and preserved the win.
It’s not easy to move from center to the wing for any player, especially if you played center for pretty much your entire life. Well, Zac Dalpe looked very comfortable this weekend and now has a three-game point streak (1g-4a). Dalpe, whose happy-go-lucky exterior only camouflages the angriest person on the planet, is more than capable of being dominant wherever the Canes want him playing.
The Carolina Hurricanes community held their collective breath as Justin Faulk left Friday’s game before the end of the first period. It turns out it was nothing more than a muscle strain and he was good to go on Sunday. It’s going to take a lot more than that to keep a good Minnesota boy off the ice.
The last time the Checkers were in Grand Rapids, 10 friends of mine came to the game. A few soda pops later, my phone was buried with texts and phone calls demanding I go and hang out (while the actual game was going on). On Friday, none of them are allowed in the building.
The Detroit Tigers are in the World Series against the SF Giants. Predictions? With barely a superficial understanding of baseball, I say Tigers in 5.
It will be very cool to call the same game as Fox Sports Detroit’s Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond, the TV broadcast tandem for the Detroit Red Wings. Back home, Mickey Redmond is considered a legend. Ken Daniels is someone I’ve known since I started in this business. He is simply one of the best play-by-play men in the league.
Justin Krueger got hit from behind on Saturday night. After his head smashed into the glass, he had a huge welt on his nose. He looked like one of the bad guys from the movie Dick Tracy.
For the record, the correct pronunciation is “JOR-dee Kin-EER”