Gameday – Chicago at Charlotte

Chicago Wolves (11-9-1-3) at Charlotte Checkers(15-10-1-1

  • Tonight marks the Checkers first matchup against the division rival Chicago Wolves.
  • In a strange scheduling coincidence, the Vancouver Canucks are playing the Hurricanes in Raleigh on the same evening their AHL club, the Wolves, are playing in Charlotte.  Here’s for hoping the Hurricanes organization comes away with four points!
  • Mike Murphy, who has been returned to the Checkers after his week-long call up with the Hurricanes, should get the start in goal.  Murphy is 9-5-0, with a 2.44 GAA and .922 SV%.
  • The Checkers are without the services of Justin Peters, who was recalled to the Hurricanes yesterday, and Drayson Bowman, who was recalled on Sunday.
  • Justin Shugg is back in Charlotte after spending the weekend with Everblades.
  • The Hurricanes are in the midst of a three-game losing streak, however the good news is that Mike Murphy won his previous three starts before his NHL recall.
  • The three-game losing streak by the Checkers is the longest regular season streak since October, 2010 when the Checkers lost four-in-a-row to Portland, Wilkes-Barre (x2) and Albany.
  • This is purely speculation, but I have a theory that Matthew Pistilli and the Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo are related… because how else can you explain two guys who were born in Montreal, but have Italian heritage?  OK, I know that Luongo is a first-generation Canadian, and I really don’t know Pistilli’s heritage, but he’s GOT to be Italian with that last name, right?  (Humor me on this, please?)
  • According to Paul Branecky, Cedric McNicoll, Matt Pistilli and Chris Murray are scratches this evening.  That means that Jared Staal, who broke the 163 minute (that’s two and a half games!) scoring drought the Checkers faced last weekend when he scored the lone goal in the Texas roadtrip, will make back-to-back starts for the first time since early November.  Hopefully his scoring will continue!

Wolves notes:

  • The Wolves are coached by Craig MacTavish, in a peculiar twist that finds the former coach of the Edmonton Oilers working with the prospects of the Vancouver Canucks in Chicago.  MacTavish is known from his playing days as the last NHL player to play without a helmet (during the 96-97 season!), as he was grandfathered in as not requiring one when the league mandated them in 1979.
  • Right Wing Darren Haydar leads the team with 27 points (8G, 19A).  Fellow winger Mark Mancari leads Chicago with 10 goals.
  • Matt Clackson has the most PIM on the Wolves with 72.  Fans of Brendan Shanahan’s NHL player safety videos will recognize Clackson as the victim in the first video Shanahan posted.  During a preseason game, Clackson was on the receiving end of an illegal hit that resulted in a five-game suspension of Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond.
  • Goaltenders Eddie Lack and Matt Climie have each played 13 games this year, and have similar stats outside of the win/loss column.  Lack is 3-6-3-1 with a 2.59GAA and .913 SV%.  Climie is 8-4-0 with a 2.63GAA and .926 SV%.  Climie has started the past three games, winning in the two most recent.

Gametime:  7:00 p.m. EST

Charlotte Radio: WBCN 1660 AM
Charlotte Twitter: @CheckersHockey@PaulBranecky,
Chicago Twitter: @Chicago_Wolves@TheShaves
Referee:  Jean Hebert (#43)
Linesmen: Mark Hamlett (#81), Ben Shiley (#21)

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