It’s hard to put together any kind of thoughtful reflections on a game that just…. was a major disappointment.
Official gamesheet is here.
After a fantastic weekend in the Midwest (for the Checkers AND for me!), and games that had lots of positives as far as the Checkers were concerned (beyond them getting four points… I’m talking their great play on the ice… their physicality, fierceness, and just doing all of those fundamentals so well) it was hard to watch a lackluster game tonight in Charlotte.
I had great hopes for the game. But it’s like, after the “no-goal” call in the first period, the team went a bit flat. Heck, the first star was a goaltender who has only been playing in North America this season since November 22, and spent most of last year in the ECHL in Greenville. The second star was Mark Cullen, who only today was returned to the Rampage from a stint with the Florida Panthers. By no means am I suggesting Grumet-Morris and Cullen shouldn’t have been first and second star, just… well, the Checkers should have played better to deserve some of the “Three stars” recognition.
From what I’ve heard and understand, the goal was waved off because allegedly there was a delayed penalty that was about to be called on the Rampage, and the referee believed a Rampage player touched the puck, therfore ending the play. I didn’t hear a whistle, and didn’t see a clear call on the ice during the replay, but I guess that’s why I’m not an official on the ice, eh? Regardless, that no-goal seemed to continue the relatively lackluster play on the ice.
I have to do some AHL rulebook research, but I was surprised that play wasn’t stopped during the second when Mark Cullen was bleeding pretty profusely from the face. It seems he tried to check a Checker into the boards, and instead checked his face into them, ending up with a pretty big gash down his nose. He continued to play, despite bleeding a great deal, and honestly, I was starting to get a bit squeamish.
I wish I had more to say about the game tonight. It was pretty frustrating to watch!
- I took pages of notes at the three arenas I visited this weekend. One of the things I took notes on were how vocal the fans were, and awesomely together on their chants and cheers, particularly in Rockford and Milwaukee. To the guys in 103? I Salute you! Your taunts were hilarious and awesome. I just wish MORE would get involved and come together. Some of the things I heard may have been slightly inappropriate in a family setting, but they were hilarious and awesome.
- Tonight, the Checkers started a new “in game” promotion with their secondary Twitter account, asking fans to predict the first goal scorer from the Checkers. Can we blame this promo for jinxing the team to be shutout? I’m kidding, mostly…
- Jared Staal should not be on a line with Chris Terry and Jon Matsumoto. Ever. I think Chris Durno’s last minute absence from the line-up was a pretty major hindrance to the team.
- On that note, I hope Durno is back soon, and Justin Shugg, as well… or maybe one of the forwards that are in Raleigh will be returned to Charlotte…. the Checkers are almost out of players to recall from Florida!
- The AHL is announcing the All-Star rosters tomorrow. Captains were already announced…. one from Hershey, one from Chicago (big surprise). Starters will be voted on after the rosters are released tomorrow. Who are your Charlotte predictions? If the Checkers don’t have two guys on the team, I’ll be a bit annoyed, but who knows…