A holiday assortment of thoughts and observations on the OT loss last night, and other random stuff:
- Fan favorite Justin Pogge returned to North Carolina today, this time as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes, who was an emergency call up after an injury to Mike Smith. Unfortunately, the Hurricanes game isn’t on TV to witness the sight.
- Riley Nash was recalled this morning to the Hurricanes. I believe he had planned on heading home to B.C. for the break, but I think making your NHL debut trumps time with the family, eh? He will be in the lineup tonight in lieu of an injured Tim Brent.
- 28 seconds of overtime… man, what a let down! The crowd was electric and it was a great game to watch (I could hardly keep track in the first period with the goals and penalty shots!), but it sucked having OT end so abruptly.
- After five of eight match ups, Charlotte is now 3-1-1 against Oklahoma City. With the OT loss last night, the Checkers maintain their position as the only AHL team to have a winning record against the Barons this season, who are still number one in the league with 44 points.
- Short handed goals against the Checkers make me want to cry.
- But on a positive note, Charlotte’s special teams are beginning to make a turn for the better. They scored another goal on the PP (though the shortie might cancel out it’s awesomeness), and didn’t allow any goals while on the Penalty Kill.
- In Shaya’s 10 Thoughts yesterday, he had this gem I agree with completely, in reference to Mike Murphy being the undisputed number one right now, “The blue paint belongs to him and so does the responsibility of keeping Charlotte in every game despite the perplexing lack of goal support this season.” How true is that statement? The Checkers are lucky to have a skilled netminder like Murphy in the crease, but if they don’t find a way to support him a bit better, the team could really struggle. Maybe more starts with a still unproven rookie guy like John Muse will remind the team that they can’t rely completely on great saves by Murph to win games.
- People in my section were chanting “Frenchie, Frenchie… YOU SUCK” last night in reference to goaltender David LeNeveau… I forgot to post a pronunciation key, I guess (leh-NEH-view). Unfortunately, Leneveau is from British Columbia, and not a French-Canadian at all, so they were off on the taunting… oh well.
- While I didn’t notice any questionable calls as a result of this, did anyone else notice that last night was linesman Mark Hamlett’s fourth straight appearance as an official in Charlotte? I know all of the officials work regionally, which is why we see people like him and Jason Rollins a lot, but four-straight games? For that matter, in the seven December home games, Hamlett was a linesman for six of them. Seems to me a bit more variety in the officiating would be a good thing for all involved.
- I’m supposed to be headed home for Christmas in 30 minutes, and haven’t packed, so this is as good a time as ever to sign off. I have a special treat tomorrow for you guys… get ready to be inspired by my awesome creativity. If you had non-hockey related drivel, just say away though. You’ve been warned!
Let’s Go Checkers!