Charlotte Checkers, via LTD
Greetings fellow Caniacs. Bob and I collaborated recently concerning an idea for keeping all of the Canes Country Readers updated on how our Charlotte affiliate is doing. Expect the "Road To Raleigh" series to be updated every Sunday as the season goes on. Want to know who's hot? Want to know how far from the NHL Bowman might be? Where are the Checkers in the standings? Allow The Road To Raleigh to answer these and more.
The week that was for the Checkers after the jump.
The Checkers are hot by every definition of the word. After starting the season slowly (2-5 in their first seven games), the Checkers have pulled to the .500 mark for the first time of the young season. Charlotte is 4-0-3 in their last seven, and find themselves in second place in the East Division behind the powerhouse Wilkes Barre/Scranton Pens.
Tues. Nov. 2nd- vs. Portland SO L- 3-4
Wed. Nov 3rd- vs Portland W 5-4
Fri. Nov 5th- vs. Norfolk SO L 2-3
Sat. Nov 6th- @ Norfolk W 3-1
Sun. Nov 7th- vs. Hershey W 4-2
East Division Standings: (As of Sunday, November 7th, 10:24 P.M)
Who Is Hot? (Numbers based on the Checkers last 5 games, Tuesday 11/2- Sunday 11/7)
Chris Terry- LW 4 G 3A
One of Terry's impressive 4 goals tied Portland at home with .5 seconds left in the 3rd period, a la Jussi Jokinen vs. Brodeur.
Zach Boychuk, via LTD
Zach Boychuk- C 1 G 5A
Boychuk's game has been dishing the puck. Two multiple assist games this week, along with a goal.
Jerome Samson- RW 3 G 1 A
Samson continues to be a bright spot at the AHL level. In the top 15 on the AHL scoring list, Samson kept up the pace this week with 3 goals (one empty net), and an assist.
Honorable Mention: Pogge and Murphy:
The Checkers wouldn't be on a hot streak if not for the goaltending heroics of Justin Pogge and Mike Murphy. The great week includes 41 saves for Pogge in Norfolk on Saturday night, and 42 for Murphy on the Sunday affair against Hershey.
Who Is Not?
Jared Staal- RW 0 G 0 A
Staal the younger played in only two games this past week, therefore the judgement may be somewhat unfair, but in limited 4th line icetime, Staal accumulated a minus, and two penalty minutes, and found himself a healthy scratch for 3 of the Checkers 5 games this week, playing only once at home. His rough luck continued when he got a tip in goal waved off due to a high stick. Staal's harsh analysis may be unfair given his ice time, but it was difficult to find many cold Checkers players.
Checkers In the Shootout-
The Checkers went to 2 shootouts this week. 5 shooters went both nights, and only 1 (Zac Dalpe) scored. The Checkers 1 for 10 was matched by opponents going 3 for 8, and the Checkers losing both skills competitions.
Boychuk is starting to look like the forward many thought he could be with the Canes. His ability to dish the puck, while remaining a legitimate scoring threat remains unheralded.
Dalpe and Samson continue to look very mature for their young ages. Both stand out for their ability to create plays, and make things happen.
Bowman's reassignment to Charlotte may have been the best thing for him. Instead of limited 4th line time with Carolina, he has been working the first line (which was dynamite this week) with Chaput as his centerman, and Samson on his opposite wing. Bowman picked up a goal and three asssits this week, and continues to show flashes of development.
A busy 5 game week for the Checkers will be followed up with a shorter, 3 game week. All 3 games will be at home. A rematch with defending Calder Cup champions, the Hershey Bears, and a two game back to back set against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers are on the slate this week.
Tues. Nov. 9th- vs. Hershey 7p.m
Thurs. Nov. 11th- vs. Bridgeport 7.p.m
Fri. Nov. 12th- vs. Bridgeport 7p.m