News and notes worth talking about.
1. How about the Checkers?
Nine games in a row on the road, and they ended the roadtrip 5-4-0, which is pretty darn good if you ask me. The travel was brutal, and involved overnight bus trips or 4:00 a.m. wake up calls on game days, but the team really pulled through, especially playing the majority of their games against teams in two of the toughest divisions in the AHL.
All in all, the Checkers should be commended for their efforts over the stretch. The guys are probably happier than the fans are to be home for a bit, with only one game on the road (and in relatively close-by Norfolk) over the next nine games.
2. Looking back at last season versus this year
The Checkers are 16 games into the 2011/12 season. This is about 1/5 of the way through the year. They have 19 points, and a record of 9-6-1-0, and lead their division. Of the 16 games they’ve played, 11 of them have been on the road.
At this time in 2010, the Checkers were 6-7-1-2, with 15 points at the 16-game mark in early November. They’d had seven home games (versus the five this year), and hardly looked like the playoff-caliber team they finished the season as.
It’s great to see a team that has come together so quickly, especially facing the adversity of a new division, new conference and a whole new type of travel. Now… if only some of the awesomeness that is the Checkers would rub off on the Hurricanes….
3. The Ryan Miller / Milan Lucic situation.
OK, so this is hardly current anymore, but I’m still upset that there was NO suspension/fine/slap on the wrist go to the principal’s office on Milan Lucic’s hit on Ryan Miller. It’s amazing to me that the guy didn’t get any discipline following the hit. He raises his arms when he approaches Miller. He doesn’t try to stop. I don’t care that Miller wasn’t in the crease. If Miller wasn’t a goalie, it STILL would have been a dirty hit.
If you are interested in Ryan Miller’s response, here’s a great video. Um… probably not safe for work, unless like me, you work with a bunch of foul-mouthed sailor types.
Why does this have anything at all to do with the Checkers? Because one week ago, our own Chris Terry was suspended for two games for a “charging” call on the Grand Rapids goaltender. Obviously, MacDonald was in the crease, which is a more protected area, but Terry wasn’t TRYING to knock him down.
According to the Grand Rapids Press, MacDonald missed the past three games, but may be able to return to the ice early next week.
Chris Terry is a guy with a previously pristine record as far as discipline is concerned. He was also thrown even harder into the crease by the Griffins Tomas Tatar. The fact that Terry received a two game suspension and Lucic got nothing? That frustrates me! I totally get it’s not the same league, not the same people enforcing the rules, but Brendan ShanaBan has made a name for himself in being tough, and I hate he let Lucic, a repeat offender, slide.
Am I the only one super excited about seeing the Movember progress on Friday night? Mustaches are so gross, but I LOVE them during this month! Since I’m unable to grow one, I’ve been wearing my super-special mustache necklace quite a bit, and hope it will bring the Checkers some luck this weekend against the IceHogs. If you haven’t already, DONATE to Team Terry or Team Durno.