Yours truly, the Editor, forgot to post this… whoops! Better late than never! Post game from the Bears game on Thursday. Let’s Go Checkers!
Observations from a tough 4-3 loss to Hershey:
1. Even after the 2-0 first period lead Hershey looked fresher and faster than the Checkers–being down a forward the night before caught up with the team a little.
2. The first goal was caused by a nice bit of forechecking by Matsumoto, he knocked it off the stick of the D-man right to Blandchard who fed it to Terry. It happened so fast that Holtby was still standing straight up when it went in.
3. Pistilli put two nice moves on the defense which allowed him to put a shot on net which went off the D-man’s skate and in with 27 seconds left in the first. The goal was a little lucky but the moves that gave Pistilli the shot were not.
4. Potulny power play goal came right at the end of a 4-on-3 situation when the Checkers could not get it out of the zone. Murphy lost sight of the puck off a rebound and Borque made a perfect pass to a wide open skater.
5. Micfliker’s goal was a perfect tic tac toe play that had the penalty kill confused and Hershey made it look so easy I thought I was watching a video game.
6. Same thing on Potulny’s second goal which was a one-timer set up by a good face-off win and a one-time pass right to Potulny out front, it almost looked like Hershey was toying with the Checkers at that point.
7. Kane’s goal was set-up by a lazy pass by Matsumoto just inside the Hershey zone which set-up a 2-1 break out. Sanguinetti really did not committ to either the shooter or passer and Murphy was doomed.
8. I really hope Matthew Ford get some kind of suspension for his boarding call on Blanchard. About two minutes left in the game, Charlotte was totally gassed and he just took a run and went high in the corner for no real good reason. Blanchard was bleeding and had to be taken straight off the ice.
9. Boychuck scored on the ensuing five minute major by getting in close to the cease and getting a dirty goal. Nice to see Boychuck working an area he usually stays away from. The Checkers got a couple more close on net in the final minute but alas no equalizer.
10. If the game had gone to overtime the Checkers would have been down to 10 forwards–Bowman went off in the second and did not return and the aforementioned hit to Blanchard. Bowman going out really drained some energy and pulled a good defensive forward out for the decisive third period.
11. The refs made up for the lack of calls the night before, stuff they let go Wednesday was called Thursday.
12. I really hope any other team in the East knocks Hershey out of the playoffs. They are a great team but it is also a team paid for to win the Calder Cup not develop talent. When the Caps need to rebuild/really develop draft picks this team is going to be hurting.
13. The Checkers had to be hurting from the night before but against a team this fast the lazy passes and just going into the corner with the puck were not going to cut it.
14. The power play looked bad, Hershey attacked and pressured the puck and the Checkers constantly turned it over and were lucky not to give up a short handed goal in this one.
15. Sean Dolan looked very good on the 4th line even without much help from his wings. He is pretty good on the face-off, does a decent job holding the puck and makes heads up passes. He also got a few shifts on the PK unit so Coach Daniels must see something as well. If he goes back to the ECHL I’m sure he will be back up with a team in the AHL before the year is out.
16. Considering the injuries (before and during the game) and the call-ups the Checkers did a good job against a stacked AHL team but it is still rough to watch another 3rd period lead vanish–a theme this year that needs to go away.