Gameday: Houston at Charlotte, part two

I missed the game live last night, and am trudging my way through the archived video on  The audio was less than stellar… to no fault of Jason Shaya’s! It started off with problems from the local radio feed, but in the end, was still imbalanced.  It’s as if the gain on the microphones of Jason Shaya and Chris Jablonski was turned up too much, allowing too much sound into them.  Basically, the ambient noise was too prevalent and Shaya’s voice was peaking the signal levels, becoming distorted.  The in-arena noise… music, Wilson’s promo stuff, etc., is distracting when you are listening to play by play.  What can I say… I’m a bit of a techie geek and know stuff about sound engineering.


  • Justin Peters left the game in the third period with an apparent lower body injury.  He had to be helped off the ice.  Mike Murphy came into the game cold, and missed the first shot on net, but had a strong remaining ten minutes.
  • As a result of Peters injury, John Muse has been recalled from Florida.
  • The black jersey curse continues, with the Aeros breaking the tie and winning the game with four seconds to go.
  • Chris Terry, in lieu of Captain Brett Sutter, was wearing a third A for the Checkers.  It was great to see him wearing a letter!
  • Zach Boychuk scored both of the Checkers powerplay goals.  I wonder if it was his way of protesting NOT getting a call up this week to Raleigh.  If so, I’ll take it that kind of protest!
  • The Checkers proved again that they are the best 40-minute team in the AHL.  If there weren’t third periods, they’d have a couple more in the win column.
  • Last night was the third-straight game they gave up the lead in the third period. Can we petition to have third periods removed from the AHL?
  • After a great job last Sunday preventing the opposing team from shooting the puck, the Checkers continued that for the first two periods, with more SOG than Houston.  The third period was a different story… the Aeros outshot the Checkers 17-8.  Yuck.
  • Mike Murphy will get the start in net tonight.  John Muse is expected to dress as his back-up.
  • Following last-season’s tradition of road-red jerseys in the game after the cursed black ones, I’d expect to see the Checkers in red tonight.  I do love those red jerseys!
Gametime:  7:00 p.m. EST
Charlotte Radio:  WFNZ 610

Charlotte Twitter: @CheckersHockey@PaulBranecky,
Houston Twitter: @Houston_Aeros@3rdIntermission
Houston Blog:  The Third Intermission
Referee: Francis Charron (#46)
Linesmen: Joe DeMizio (#0), Jean Menard (#12)
Since I missed the game last night, I did what I could to bring the Checkers to the theater…. I designed the lights for a Charlotte Symphony performance, and call this my “Charlotte Checkers look” with a vibrant, Checkers-red cylorama, and of course, Wilson featured in the foreground!  Let’s Go Checkers!

5 thoughts on “Gameday: Houston at Charlotte, part two

  1. Completely agreed on the Checkers being a great 40 minute team. It has become all to frequent to lapse back into the “on their heels” type situation that has caught them out too many times this early in the season. This falls on the coaching staff to straighten out this problem NOW. While I am not a huge fan of Roy he did not deserve the elbowing penalty that seemed to be a turning point.
    Other observations:
    Matt Pistilli deserves the good hustle award. He was everywhere.
    Brett Bellemore had an outstanding game with several key plays on odd man rushes. We shouldn’t let the Aeros third goal tarnish how well he played.
    And Justin Faulk? Pretty stellar for a good chunk of the game, but he was ont he ice during some collapse.
    Compared to last weekends’ games we finally saw some physical play…finally.
    Get rid of the black jerseys. They have been nothing but a curse since day one!

    1. Pistilli has really impressed me this year. He’s a huge asset to the team.

      Faulk is young. He’s VERY young, with a hell of a lot of potential. I hope he gets to play out that potential here in Charlotte at the AHL level…. I’m still completely confused what good it is for him to skate with the Hurricanes at practice, and then watch games from the press box.

      I’m anxious to see a game from start to finish tonight in person…. maybe I’ll have more actual observations instead of just the obvious basics I pointed to in the post.

      In many ways, the way the Aeros were shooting the puck in the third (specifically the last 10 minutes of the third) I’m not surprised they got that last puck past Murphy. They knew he was cold, and therefore at a disadvantage, and threw everything they could at him.

      Looking forward to a different outcome tonight! (Hopefully, I’ll see you there!)

  2. Still too angry to type after that collapse from Friday night but here goes what I saw from the last 2 games.
    Boychuck is a great offensive player, he used the same power move to score that 2nd PP goal Friday that he used against the Rivermen last weekend; but he is not overly interested in playing defense or back-checking. As long as Maurice is in Raleigh he has no chance of sticking with the team, he would also have to be a top 6 forward since he is not ever going to be the type to grind.
    Faulk, who will be great, really needs to stay in the AHL. Great speed, hard shot, good at getting the puck away from other forwards but he makes a ton of rookie mistakes—passes to fast in the D-zone which leads to lots of turnovers and actually tries to shoot a bit much which leads to lots of blocked shot. By no means is this a horrible critic but he will only learn to correct this by playing big minutes down here not sometimes playing in Raleigh. Also those kind of mistakes in the NHL will get a team killed like the 1st 3 games he played in.
    Overall the D has looked a whole lot better than opening weekend but their system is bringing on a lot of their 3rd period issues. They do not play for a puck control up ice system, they look for long stretch passes/dump and chase. This leads to great offensive chances when it works but it also causes lots of turnovers and also burning up energy chasing the puck a lot. The team has looked fatigued at the start of every 3rd period and they may not have their legs under them yet for that kind of system. I know they are mimicking Raleigh but the Canes have a lot of the same problems.
    Murphy and Peters both look really good early on which will be huge for us as the season goes on–especially looked great in shootouts combined to stop 11 of 12 so far.
    Samson looks like the same guy from last year except his puck control/strength on the boards is even better once he starts scoring in bunches (from our 3rd line) look out oppsing goalies.
    Durno and Pistilli bring great hustle and forechecking to that 3 line as well and when they get more used to Samson that line will cause a lot of problems for other teams–I do feel hustle-wise and with Samson’s shot they might be a 2 scoring line for a lot of teams.
    Bowman vanished Friday night and did not reappear until about half-way through the second last night, he did that a lot last year hopefully this was just a mini-slump for him.
    Staal needs to use his body size better, he is still a bit slow and seems to want to be a finesse player instead of camping out in the front of net and knocking people off the puck. McNicoll needs a forward on that 4th line to pass to near the net, that’s not Soryal’s job and Staal is not getting it done right now.
    I’ll shut up now with my critic of team because overall they look very good–great offensive potential, the D is looking better, goalies awesome. They just need to play the whole game and I can see this team with another deep playoff run.
    And one last thing the ref’s have been awful to this point. The first post was spot on about the Roy penalty Friday and Charon (who I think is one of the worse) missed quite a few last night on both teams but was always ready to jump right in to call 50/50 trips.

    1. This is a FANTASTIC observation of the team. You want to be a guest blogger? My job is keeping me from nearly half of the home games this year, and I’d LOVE observations like this at CHasing Checkers!

      Staal could be a great player… it’s in his genes. The thing is, he’s not Eric or Jordan. He needs to use his body and skills in a different way than his brothers. He needs to be physical. I’d love to see him emulate a guy like Brett Sutter… not a goal scorer like Dalpe or Boychuk, but a HUGE asset to the team.

      As for Faulk, he’s really good. He’s a great skater, and has a lot of potential, but he needs time. His games in Raleigh, it was so easy to see he was being targeting by the other team. They know he’s a weakness and they seek him out. He’s still learning, and there is a HUGE learning curve in the NHL for young defensemen. Look at a guy like Cam Fowler who was about Faulk’s age his rookie year… he ended up with a -25 on an Anaheim team that made the playoffs. He definitely contributed, but that first year when you are 18 or 19 is especially tough.

      I really really love what Durno has brought to the team so far, and Pistilli has impressed me like crazy as well.

      Overall, I like what I’m seeing from the Checkers. They can be frustrating, but every team is at times, especially for those of us so invested in them.

      Seriously… if you are interested in providing occasional commentary here, I’d love it!

      Let’s Go Checkers!

  3. That’s cool just let me know how to get set up never blogged anything before. I go to pretty much every game unless one of my league games get in the way (mainly Sunday). Still elated with the victory they pulled out tonight. I’ll post my thoughts on tonights game later.

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