February 07, 2012 2:18 PM
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) The game against the Texas Stars this past Saturday was the best game I’ve seen during the regular season. Despite the ridiculous day-of-game travel, the Checkers managed to gut out a 4-3 victory. I was thoroughly impressed by every single guy on the ice that night. In one game, I think they showed their coaches and those watching that the kids have what it takes to be physical, score goals, block shots and do what is absolutely necessary to win.
2) My broadcast intern Mark Binetti and I can do a full reenactment of the famous “Desert” scene from the movie Casino. I play Joe Pesci and he’s Robert De Niro. So, in case you’re wondering what we do in the booth with about 30 minutes of downtime before each home game, the mystery is solved. “You said I’m bringing heat on you!?!”
3) The Checkers will be making their first ever trip to Peoria this weekend. It will be a great chance to see Ben Bishop, the AHL goalie who is making tons of noise before the trade deadline. St. Louis has to trade him, otherwise they’ll lose him for nothing. It will also be great to reunite with my first ever color commentator and fellow former Motor City Mechanic of the United Hockey League, Mr. Matt Olinik. We will reminisce about our days in the iron league.
4) Hall of Fame broadcaster and radio voice of the Carolina Hurricanes, Chuck Kaiton, is on Twitter. He launched his first-ever tweet last night. You can follow him @AndTheLetterK
5) A.J. Jenks scored his first goal of the season on Friday against Oklahoma City and had a really solid game the following night against Texas. The good Michigan boy has really given the Checkers more depth at center. Great addition to the team. He also has the second best head of hair behind @matt_pistilli.
6) I will have an exclusive sit-down interview with Ron Francis that will air during our TV broadcast for Sunday’s game against Norfolk. I only ask the tough questions. Tune in for it.
7) Does the Rick Santorum bandwagon have room for one more?
8) Goaltender John Muse is quickly becoming the MVP for the team in the second half. Imagine where the team could’ve been if Muse wasn’t playing at this incredible level. How many teams can lose both of their goaltenders and not miss a beat?
9) I need to take another thought to give credit to Sean Dolan. Not only has he fit in very well, he was being utilized heavily on the penalty kill. That takes trust by the head coach and clearly Dolan has earned that with his solid defensive play.
10) I extended my streak of not watching Super Bowls to 11 straight years! The most underrated characteristic when it comes to sporting events is indifference. I have it in spades.
11) Friday night from Milwaukee and Saturday night from Peoria will be on WBCN 1660AM. Sunday will be a television broadcast on TWC channel 520. All three games are available on AHLLIVE.com. You can tweet me during the game and I will try to give as many responses on the air or on Twitter. It’s not easy to text Paul Branecky, tweet, call the action, read emails and peruse the Internet at the same time but I’ve been getting really good at it recently.
12) So what is it going to take to for Bobby Sanguinetti to get a call-up? A 78-game point streak? The kid is on fire.
13) Chris Durno is edging his way back. Let’s remember, he is old (way older than I) and it takes time for his grizzled bones to get going. When you’re his age, recovery is a bit slower. That being said, the grey-haired veteran will be a tremendous addition when he’s ready.
14) Goalie Joey MacDonald got the start for the Wings this past week. I found it interesting that he was wearing an “I hate Terry” t-shirt underneath his equipment. Wonder if he still holds a grudge…