It’s been so long, I forget what Time Warner Cable Arena looks like. Twenty-five days between home games for the Checkers. I know that everyone is looking forward to seeing this team play again on home ice. Don’t get me wrong, the road isn’t so bad. Rockford is beautiful in the fall.
Even if he didn’t score a goal, Jared Staal played his best game for Charlotte on Sunday.
Who said nothing good comes out of Detroit anymore? Forty-three thousand Detroiters have signed a petition to keep the band Nickelback from playing at Ford Field at halftime during the annual Thanksgiving Day game. Petition signer Eric Ransom summed it up this way: “Haven’t the good people of Detroit been through enough?” Imported from Detroit: rationality.
Chris Terry was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for crashing into Grand Rapids goalie Joey MacDonald on Saturday night. We just found out he was suspended as well. In Terry’s defense, the kid has never once tried to hurt anyone on the ice since I have been watching him play. He’s a terrific guy and one heck of a hockey player. That collision was not intentional.
The greatest coach in hockey history, Scotty Bowman, was there in Rockford to watch the Checkers and Icehogs. Bowman coached Checkers coach Jeff Daniels and had the team’s equipment manager, Steve Latin, during the Pittsburgh era. Daniels and Latin both won cups with Bowman. It was surreal to see him just a few feet away. When I was growing up, he was pretty much the biggest deal in town besides Steve Yzerman.
Rockford, Illinois, Trivia: Despite the depiction in the 1992 movie A League of Their Own (which I saw in the theater), the league championship in 1943 was played between the Racine Belles and the Kenosha Comets, not the Rockford Peaches. However, it’s good to know that Gena Davis really is a hell of a ballplayer.
Anyone else think this NBA lockout is going to last the season? Once sides begin issuing ultimatums that they know the other side would never take, it’s the beginning of the end for meaningful discussions. Professional sports are about the only “business” where labor can demand their share of revenue even at the expense of teams losing money. Owners put up all the costs up front taking all the risk. Can you imagine any other business being run this way and how long would it take to go bankrupt?
Checkers goaltender Justin Peters played extremely well on Saturday night, picking up where he left off before the injury on Oct. 21 against Houston. I am not sure the Checkers would’ve won in regulation if he didn’t play as well as he did - especially in the third period when Grand Rapids started with four minutes left on Terry’s major penalty. The goaltending battle in Charlotte will be a continuing story this season.
How much longer before Columbus decides that one of their biggest problems is that Steve Mason isn’t good enough anymore? Your team never plays well when they don’t trust the goaltender. Columbus should make a trade for a goaltender. How about Cory Schneider from Vancouver?
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. I try to keep an eye on it during the games, so feel free to comment as the Checkers play. Texting, emailing and tweeting is the national past time for hockey broadcasters around the world…the good ones, anyways.
The Houston game this Sunday will be a great game for Charlotte considering the Aeros have dealt Charlotte two late losses and stole a point in a shootout loss. This is the final regular-season match-up between the two teams and I assume the Checkers would like some revenge.
Let me take a second and give all the credit in the world to the Checkers hockey staff: head equipment manager Steve Latin, assistant Dave Paul and athletic trainer Brian Maddox. With all of the hours they spend moving equipment in the middle of the night in the freezing cold in a different city each night, they are truly the unsung backbone of a team. No one sees or hears from them but it’s pretty much the toughest job in sports and it’s thankless (and beer-less).
Zac Dalpe went from taking charter flights in the NHL to coming down for conditioning and hurling hockey bags out of a trailer at 5 a.m. at the Chicago Airport. Good to see Paris, Ontario, represented in the show again. Follow this good Canadian boy on twitter @ZacDalpe22
Matthew Pistilli looks weird with a moustache but it didn’t help that one of his front teeth was also chipped in half this weekend on a hit with no penalty called. Good thing he’s still got the good hair going for him.
The Checkers are in the midst of a nine-game road swing and will return to Charlotte Friday, Nov. 18 to host the Rockford IceHogs for a two-game set. Friday's game is presented by the Marines and the Checkers will wear special black jerseys, courtesy of Amtrak.