March 13, 2012 11:22 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) Losing Saturday night could’ve been disastrous if it wasn’t for the victory on Sunday afternoon. The Checkers looked like a totally different team. Not sure what it is, but this year, when the Checkers have their backs to the wall, they respond incredibly well. Sunday was the biggest game of the regular season and they played like it meant everything.
2) Get well wishes to Justin Soryal. His role can’t be filled by anyone else and that’s what makes that loss so difficult. He is loved in the room and respected on the ice. Justin’s supposed to be getting me a tryout in Europe somewhere … I’m hoping he spends his down time making calls on my behalf and not reading books by perhaps the dumbest man in the history of human civilization, Bill Maher.
3) Don Cherry is always the first guy to tell you, “I told you so.” Well, saying things like that just isn’t my style. So, I’ll just say Bobby Sanguinetti‘s call-up is no surprise to me. He gets to play in Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. The dream scenarios must be racing through his head. Let’s hope they come true.
4) Michael Murphy was spectacular on Sunday afternoon in what was the biggest game of the regular season against Chicago. Without Murphy’s second-period heroics, the game might have turned on Charlotte. His first shutout of the season only took him 31 games. The reason: his new KOHO pads.
5) If the playoffs started today, Charlotte would play San Antonio. There won’t be an easy matchup in the playoffs in any round but I have to say that everyone will hope to avoid Abbotsford because of that ridiculous travel.
6) At this point, I think it’s all but certain that the St. Louis Blues will win the Western Conference and probably the Presidents Trophy. They are also my pick to win walk right into the conference finals against Vancouver and beat them.
7) As the coach of the Police/Sheriff hockey team, we pulled out a shootout win against the Fire/Medic team on Sunday night. Fire tied the game with 8.4 seconds left but we prevailed nonetheless. It is always the most stressful night of the year for me and it didn’t help that I was screaming with a heavy case of bronchitis. Winning is way better than losing.
8) We’ve waited a while for this but it’s finally out; Mike and Mike’s Mailbag as performed by Riley Nash and Jason Shaya. Riley and I have almost literally nothing in common except for the fact that we are both males. Riley says he’s smart because he went to Cornell. I prefer to actually be smart despite my education at a small private Catholic institution. Thin on chemistry, heavy on sarcastic comments and fake laughter, here it is.
9) There are four teams currently in the NHL playoffs in the Eastern Conference that would have zero chance of even qualifying in the West.
10) With 16 games left, the Checkers (3rd in the Conference) are separated from 10th place by only four points. Basically, Charlotte better start to find wins consistently or they won’t make the post-eason. A record of 3-3-1-3 in their past 10 just isn’t going to cut it.
11) And you guys thought I couldn’t stop at 10. Well, who’s laughing now!?