January 18, 2012 10:29 AM
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) I think Chris Terry still has the word “Vaughn” imprinted on his face after goalie Joey MacDonald waffle-boarded him in the head on Sunday (pictured). Terry scored the empty netter to ice the game and added two more on Tuesday, so I guess Terry wins as he begins to heat up.
2) Griffins defenseman and top Detroit Red Wings prospect Brendan Smith always wants the puck and has incredible skill in the offensive zone. He style reminds me of what Sergei Fedorov would tell Larry Murphy when they played defense together for Detroit: “Stay here, I’ll be right back.” On another Wings prospect note, I didn’t notice Gustav Nyquist at all in three games this year.
3) Michael Murphy won a game on his 23rd birthday on Sunday. The good Kingston boy was excellent all night, making 31 saves for the win. He doesn’t look a day over 14.
4) Rasmus Rissanen scored his first goal on a sick backhand shot over the shoulder of MacDonald on Sunday. It was the game winner and one he won’t forget. That was his first backhand shot of the year. Luku yksi tähti!
5) It’s a matter of time before Carolina starts to unload players like defensemen Tim Gleason and Bryan Allen and forward Tuomo Ruutu. What do they need in return? Derek Wilkinson said on TV Sunday that the team really needs to find someone to play with Eric Staal. Maybe not someone right away but at least a guy they project can be on his line. This will mean the Checkers will more than likely get their roster shuffled again.
6) What a great event this past week to benefit Hayden’s Hope. The team and fans helped raise over $5,000 to create awareness for pediatric organ donation. Organ donations save lives, plain and simple. My dad received a heart transplant in the early 1990’s and it gave me several more years to learn from him. Go to Haydenshope.org to learn more.
7) After games on Friday and Saturday, the Checkers will leave Abbotsford early Sunday morning and arrive back in Charlotte around 11 p.m. that night. Then, they'll take a six-hour drive the following day to Norfolk for another game. I wrote about this last week but I felt like repeating it because in some small way, I’m trying to spread the misery.
8) British Prime Minister David Cameron struck down the idea that taxpayer money would go to purchase a new $92 million yacht for Queen Elizabeth for her “Diamond Jubilee.” It still amazes me that in some countries they have designated people as “royal.” Have these people never read John Locke’s first treatise on government? Enough playing games of dress-up and pretend. There’s no such thing as royalty.
9) I found out how to tell good people from bad. The bad ones took almost euphoric pleasure in Tim Tebow’s defeat on Saturday. People who are reminded of their weaknesses respond with apoplectic indignation in the face of those that are righteous.
10) Maybe I am too hard on government intervening in our lives. Here’s a great example of a new sensible law: In Washington, D.C., rats and other vermin may not be killed but captured, preferably in families; no glue or snap traps can be utilized; the rodents must be relocated from where they are captured; and some of these animals may need to be transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator as part of their relocation process. Finally, common sense!
11) Thomas McCollum left the ice surface after being pulled on Tuesday and proceeded to shatter his stick into pieces. The kid has had an incredibly difficult adjustment to the pro game. I am not sure how long the Wings will wait for him, but he is still young.
12) With Sutter returning, the team gets their captain back and the best penalty killer on the squad. However, with the loss of Dalpe to Carolina, the team doesn’t have a number one center again.
13) I heard Dion Phanuef was recently picked by NHL players as the most overrated in a poll. Seems about right.
14) Even with the NFL playoffs and the Hurricanes game as competition, the Checkers TV game on Sunday had over 17,000 views. Not too shabby.
15) There is so much NHL trade talk and many teams which believe they have a legit shot at the cup. I think there will be record breaking moves made up until the deadline this season.
16) The Abbotsford games will be on 610AM (Friday) and 1660AM (Saturday). Of course, they'll also be on AHLLive.com.