April 02, 2012 11:05 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) Goaltender Michael Murphy had the save of the season on Jonathan Cheechoo during the third-period of Saturday’s game. It was slim one-goal lead for Charlotte at that moment and the diving glove save helped propel the team to their second straight win. Murphy is sitting on 49 AHL wins and I can’t wait to call number 50.
2) How about Chris Terry’s pass to the captain, Brett Sutter, to slam home an empty-net goal to ice the game on Saturday? Terry could’ve shot the puck himself but he saw Sutter coming and unselfishly gave him the shot. If this was Coach’s Corner on CBC, Don Cherry would show it and say, “See that, kids?! Chris Terry, beautiful Brampton boy! Way to go!” (thumbs up). Then Ron MacLean would’ve ended the segment with something like, “Doing the right thing in spite of glory isn’t always so Terry-ble. Don Cherry in the Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada on CBC.”
3) Michal Jordan had the outlet pass of the year when he hammered the puck into the Checkers bench from behind his net on Saturday. About 100 mph faster and 10 feet higher than necessary. I don’t even have a joke for this one; I still can’t believe it happened. You have to love big number 29.
4) How about the wrister by Zac Dalpe in the second period of Saturday’s game? Rivermen goalie Jake Allen never even moved. It’s ok Jake. Happens to me too.
5) Zach Boychuk told me earlier this weekend that he hadn’t been interviewed for a broadcast all season (which I doubt). However, when I went to speak with him before the game on Saturday, he referred me to his publicist. Luckily, I managed to book three minutes of interview time this week and it will (hopefully) air on Tuesday during the second period.
6) Should the Checkers clinch a playoff spot, which as I said previously will happen, I am betting their opponent in the post-season won’t be decided until after the last game of the regular season against Milwaukee. Dear God in Heaven, let’s please avoid Abbotsford.
7) Chris Durno scored his fifth goal of the season Saturday and this time almost celebrated. His hands rose as high as shoulders but then quickly descended. It’s because during Durno’s first training camp as a pro, his linemate Ted Lindsay told him not to celebrate if he scored. It obviously stuck with Chris through the years.
8) The team bus driver this weekend drove so slow that we were passed by deer on the side of the road. I tried to go the 24-hour Steak and Shake in Chicago but we arrived so late, they were closed.
9) I met Detroit goaltending legend Chris Osgood on Friday. He said he never imaged that his career could’ve gone so well. The next big moment for him will be when he becomes an NHL Hall of Famer. Top 10 in wins all-time, three Stanley Cups (two as a starter) and a two-time NHL All-Star with spectacular numbers whenever the game was on the line. I’d ask readers what they think but I honestly don’t care on this one. He’s going to the Hall and that’s the end of this discussion.
10) The Checkers are sad to lose front-office member Patrick Stack to the Cleveland Browns. Stack is going home to work for the team he grew up idolizing. He was an enormous part of the team and we are sad to lose him. Best of luck, Patty.
11) Seven years ago today, the world lost the greatest spiritual leader of the 20th Century, Pope John Paul II the Blessed, the 264th successor to Peter. His words, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”
12) Do you have your tickets for the April 7 game at Time Warner Cable Arena? It’s a 12 p.m. start. Be there.
13) Brett Sutter: 10 points in 12 games during the month of March (3g, 7a). The bigger the moment, the better he plays.
14) Two biggest undercover goons in the league: Sean Dolan (starting fights) and Brett Bellemore (leaping over the bench to join a brawl). Although both of their penalties should be rescinded because they didn’t do what they were penalized for, their street cred just went up almost 5 percent.
15) Just heard that the Civic Center in Peoria ordered more red paint for all the touch-ups they had to make with Mathieu Roy destroying the posts three times in Saturday’s win.