January 05, 2012 2:38 PM
1) Zach Boychuk’s face isn’t having a good few weeks. In Rockford last weekend, he was cross-checked in the teeth. His upper lip needed stiches and they had to put back together his gums as well. The following night, the puck hit him in the face during the Chicago game. Last night, he needed 11 stitches to the ear. All the while, he hasn’t complained or worn a full-cage. The reason? He’s a tough Western Canadian boy, that’s why.
2) The Checkers took their official team photo before the morning skate on Tuesday. Rumor has it that Equipment Manager Steve Latin’s mustache had its own stylist on hand. Also, no word on whether Assistant Coach Geordie Kinnear smiled for the photo.
3) The Chicago Wolves' broadcasting duo of Jason Shaver and Billy Gardner is the best in the American Hockey League. They represent an organization that is a model for the rest of the AHL.
4) Checkers color commentator Chris Jablonski thought that the “Iowa Caucuses” was the name of a new team in the American Hockey League. In other news, Congresswoman Michelle Bachman was placed on waivers.
5) I do find it strange how Zac Dalpe can go from playing over 19 minutes in a game with the Canes and then be reassigned to Charlotte the following day. The kid works harder than anyone I’ve seen and I thought played great hockey alongside Eric Staal and Drayson Bowman.
6) Congrats to goaltender John Muse for his victory in the first start of his Checkers career. He proved a lot last night. I am sure coach Jeff Daniels will be more comfortable giving him more starts. The fact remains that with Brian Boucher out several more months, this team will go as far as Michael Murphy takes them and he’s more than capable. The game against Chicago last weekend may have been the best of the season for him.
7) John Tortorella’s comments after the Winter Classic cost him $30,000. No coach should ever publicly question the integrity of the officials, NBC and the NHL itself. That doesn’t mean the fans can’t love him for saying it. The NHL was livid at his remarks and I don’t blame them for the fine but I remember what the overrated yet revered writer Gore Vidal once said---the people who hate conspiracies are more often the conspirators.
8) Congrats to Jerome Samson and Jon Matsumoto for their selection to the AHL All-Star Game. Samson has been scoring at his usual rate, putting up 5 goals in his past seven games, while Matsumoto continues to lead the team in scoring with 29 points this season. I think Samson has been playing his best hockey of the season over the past week.
9) My teammates on MetLife at XI have made it to the championship game this Wednesday. If we win, I hope I can get my name on the cup despite not being there.
10) Athletic Trainer Brian Maddox is the only known airline passenger to hit turbulence all by himself. Good thing my coffee was still scalding hot and I was sitting directly behind him. It’s quite easy to soak up large amounts of liquid with the wafer-thin pseudo-napkin they give you as a courtesy #drycleaning.
11) Two huge divisional games for the Checkers this weekend. Milwaukee, which is Algonquin for “the good land,” will look to close the gap and jump to first place in the division with a victory over Charlotte on Saturday. The game will be on AHLLIVE.com and 1660 AM.
12) Thanks to Tim Donelli for supplying color commentary on Wednesday night. It was a great game to call.
13) How about this quote from future fisherman Daniel Carcillo: “It’s weird now,” Carcillo told Sportsnet.ca after the Gilbert hit. “Now, you have to process every hit that you're about to make. It's really, really hard. But if you don't want to sit out games and get fined, you have to start doing it.” An epiphany! I have to think about what I do before I do it as to not injury anyone else by possible reckless actions. Welcome to society, Daniel.