Editor’s Note: Another “guest” post for you to enjoy, and a further step towards Chasing Checkers becoming more of a community effort! Some good thoughts regarding the Norfolk game from this past Sunday, a team we will see an additional three times in Charlotte, and twice on the road.
Some thoughts on Sunday’s Norfolk game:
1. I do not think I have seen a team that is more of a polar opposite of the Checkers than the Admirals. They play a super fast, aggressive style with lots of forechecking and believe “put the puck on net and see what happens”. Honestly, with the offensive potential the Checkers have I would love to see them forecheck a little more. Norfolk caused a ton of turnovers with their pressure and swarming forwards that picked off a ton of the Checkers stretch passes. The Checkers did a great job pressing their forwards out to the boards which made Mike Murphy’s life a lot easier. While he made some great saves the D did what they were supposed to do against a team that is “shoot first.”
2. Matt Pistilli continues to impress with his hustle and grit, he went right to the front of the net to screen and help set up the Cedric McNicoll goal and he even got a little chippy on the boards a few times with Norfolk. He did not play that way last season but he is showing the beginning of the make-up of a grinder at the NHL level. Jared Staal could learn a thing or two from him—get in front and cause some havoc with your size, please.
3. The team really held up well after getting down a goal and stuck with their system (which can be frustrating to watch) and it lead to the rush that Jordan scored on–not a pretty goal but it shows good things happen when you crash the net.
4. Drayson Bowman looked a lot more active this game as did Zach Boychuck. It was nice to see both going hard at the end of a 3 in 3.
5. Overall the faceoff circle is very hit and miss–a lot like the Canes. The Checkers offense would be a lot more dangerous if they could win more offensive zone faceoff’s.
6. Back to forchecking–Norfolk caused what looked like a powerplay rush shorthanded by attcking the Checkers while they tried to bring it up. Murphy got beat on the first shot but it hit the post. High risk, high reward as the pressure made the Checkers PP goal easier but I wish the Checkers would apply a little more pressure than their usual Hurricane-style let the other team bring it to the blue line approach.
7. I commented on a post a few days back but Justin Faulk needs to stay in Charlotte to learn; not play 10 minutes or sit on the bench in Raleigh–either keep him in Raleigh or leave him in Charlotte. Also, how are you going to see whether a young player is any good if he only gets 6 minutes of TOI in a Canes game? The Canes do not use their 4th line correctly as Boychuck gets a call up to basically sit and watch? He is not a grinder if he is going to make stick in the NHL he needs to be a top-6 scoring wing. Of course I think Maurice frustrates a lot of Canes/Checkers fans.