Quick Hits, and Wolves at Checkers gameday preview

Quick HIts:

  • This is a great article about Charlotte Checkers goaltender Dan Ellis, and his return to the AHL this season.  Personally, I’ve been incredibly impressed with Ellis’ play, and a player like him can take this team far.
  • On the subject of goaltenders, former Checkers goalie and fan favorite Mike Murphy was released by Spartak Moscow on Thursday.  The KHL is a very different league than any of those in North America. The teams that win are the ones with an unlimited payroll, and Spartak has about the lowest in the league. Murphy would face as many as 40-50 shots in any given game, an impossible feat for nearly anyone.  I heard from him on Friday, and he told me he tried hard and learned a lot, and closed our conversation with, “It is what it is.”

Chicago Wolves (6-2-1-0) at Charlotte Checkers (6-2-0-1)

  • This afternoon marks Charlotte’s first home game after a nine-game roadtrip that left the team 6-2-0-1.  The Checkers last game was on Wednesday, a 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals.
  • The Checkers and Wolves are pretty evenly matched with nearly identical records.  Each team has 13 points and sits atop their respective divisions.
  • Chicago last played on Friday night in Rockford, a 6-3 victory.  They are currently 6-2-1-0.
  • Charlotte tops the league on the power play, while the Wolves are near the bottom.
  • On the penalty kill, the Checkers are in a very respectable sixth place.  The Wolves are at the bottom of the pack (get it? Wolves….. Pack.  I know, it wasn’t that funny.  I won’t try so hard next time!)
  • Drayson Bowman is in the midst of a seven-game goal scoring streak, a stat that leads the league. Here’s hoping that can extend to nine!
  • Former Hurricane and Checker Derek Joslin is playing for the Wolves this year.  In eight games, he has two assists.
  • The Checkers attendance has been so bad this season, they aren’t even listed on the AHL’s attendance rankings. Oh, wait… they haven’t had a home game, so being unlisted is ok.  If there are 10K fans at the game this afternoon though, they’ll be number one tomorrow!
  • Opening night (afternoon) at the Checkers is always a time for me to stroll past the merchandise stand and see if there’s anything new and awesome. Mostly though, I walk past with my fingers crossed that there aren’t pink and/or sparkly jerseys for sale.  I hate pink jerseys.  I don’t understand why they are an acceptable item to show team pride.  Stick to the team colors, please!!!!! (Edited to say: I am a HUGE fan of Pink in the Rink jerseys, but those are for charity, and therefore awesome. But pink girl jerseys are not okay EVER, and if you wear one, I will mock you!)
  • Mrs. Mike Fisher Carrie Underwood was in concert last night at TWCA. The ice was uncovered at around 2 a.m.  I would expect the concert festivities may have an effect on today’s ice.
  • Speaking of concerts, who do I need to suggest to the Checkers staff that they should make Justin Bieber a personalized Charlotte Checker’s jersey when he plays the arena on January 22? He’s Canadian, loves hockey, and his favorite number is 6.  Don’t ask me how I know this.  Cause don’t tell me it wouldn’t be AWESOME to see him wearing it sometime… this of all the free media coverage!

Gametime:  3:00 p.m. EST


Charlotte Twitter: @CheckersHockey@PaulBranecky,@MikeLappan@Jason_Shaya@ChasingCheckers

Chicago Twitter: @Chicago_Wolves@TheShaves

Chasing Checkers game-day twitter list: https://twitter.com/ChasingCheckers/checkers-game-day