February 28, 2012 11:29 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) Dave Caruso, the Checkers' backup goalie (depending on the date), didn’t make it to Friday’s game until the middle of the second period. His plane was delayed a few hours then re-routed to Raleigh because of storms in Charlotte. After refueling, he made his way to Charlotte and got to the rink just in time to watch the second half of the game. I am betting that he didn’t complain once. Quality guy.
2) Another quality weekend of hockey for the Checkers, as they took three of four possible points against one of the best statistical teams in the league. Great effort from the entire team despite a depleted defense.
3) Considering all the injuries on the blue line for Charlotte, I am sure the Hurricanes were looking for a defenseman to help the Checkers at the deadline. Still wondering what they are going to do when all the goalies are healthy. Ward is back tonight and Boucher is getting closer.
4) There was discussion in Carolina that they would send Justin Faulk down for the Checkers' playoff run, but they decided against it considering how much hockey he’s played over the past two seasons.
5) No surprise that head coach Jeff Daniels suggested that forward and PTO Sean Dolan will be staying with the team after the expiration of his original deal signed in early January. Dolan has been terrific and only getting better in his role with the team, and Canes personnel have been impressed with his performance with Charlotte. Since PTO signings can't be put on Clear Day lists that come out March 5, Dolan would have to be on an AHL or NHL contract to be eligible for this season's playoffs.
6) Chris Terry should use his super-secret, double-toe drag move during shootouts.
7) Just started listening to guitarist and singer Joe Bonamassa. Can’t believe I didn’t listen to this guy earlier. I’ve been living in the darkness until now. Allow me to recommend.
8) Good for Scott Howson to let the hockey world know it was Rick Nash that asked for a trade out of Columbus. It’s very easy for the hockey player to stand before the media and talk about how much he loves the city and the fans all the while behind the scenes he is orchestrating his plans to get out of town. Howson pulled back the veil and showed Nash was trying to pull the strings.
9) Jeff Carter and Mike Richards reunited in Los Angeles and the Kostitsyn brothers are together in Nashville. Who wants to have some fun?!?
10) Congrats to the most underappreciated part of a hockey organization, the front office. The Checkers staff did a great job filling the arena on Friday and Saturday. The team broke their attendance mark on Saturday night in what was one of the most exciting games of the season. A historic night on many levels for the pesky Checkers.
11) This year I was happy to extend my streak of not watching the Oscars to 31 years. Put all the people out of touch with any semblance of normalcy and reality into one room and then hand them golden statues for playing dress-up and pretending like children. The best thing is that these people would be the first to tell you how to run your life because Hollywood is the world’s moral compass.
12) Worst trade deadline day of all time. Only Nashville had the heart to make moves they thought would put them over the top. Teams have to be allowed to keep salary of some of the players they want to move - hope they work that into the next CBA. But, I am sure the players union would find a way to complain about it anyways.
13) During the month of February, Mathieu Roy is a plus-7 in nine games played… He will be vital for the team in the next few weeks.
14) SVP of Hockey Operations Derek Wilkinson says that Justin Peters, Jerome Samson and Drayson Bowman are all eligible to play for the Checkers in the playoffs.
15) I filmed a Mike and Mike Mailbag with Riley Nash this week as a last-second replacement. Riley was only condescending and patronizing to me half the time. The other half of the time he spent eating what looked like a delicious buffalo chicken wrap sandwich. Thanks, Carolina Ale House. Get well soon, Riley.
16) After beating the Wings in a shootout last week, Alex Burrows gestured with jubilation that the Detroit home winning streak was broken by pretending to snap his stick over his leg. Of course Burrows is an idiot, but Vancouver said they wanted to break the longest home-winning streak in NHL history and that’s just what they did. With winning comes bragging.
17) We are trying to get permission from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to film a segment this weekend while we are in Cleveland. I wonder if they’ll me play some of the instruments encased in glass and surrounded by laser beams and artillery.