Kukla's Korner

Red and Black Hockey

On the farm: Checkers heating up

The Charlotte Checkers have just completed a grueling stretch of eight games in eleven days.  Included was a stretch of five games in six days.  They will now have four days off before playing two in a row against the AHL worst Adirondack Phantoms (Flyers).  The Checkers got off to a bit of a slow start, but in that eleven day stretch, they earned 12 of 16 points, going 5-1-0-2 along the way.  They are now in second place in the East Division, third overall in the Eastern Conference. 

They showed a few signs of fatigue last week, but they looked sharp towards the end of that stretch, scoring goals in big bunches.  The goaltending has been pretty good, but in the two games that I attended during that stretch, the defense was a little suspect.  In last night’s 6-5 win over the hapless Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Islanders), Bobby Sanguenetti had a particularly bad time, leaving goaltender Mike Murphy in a helpless situation. 

Rookie Zac Dalpe has been very good in the last two weeks.  Chris Terry, Jerome Samson and Jacob Micflikier have been consistently good all season.

Dalpe has scored goals in five straight games.  During that stretch, he has eight (6/2) points.  Prior to this hot streak, he had only registered one assist on the season. 

Chris Terry, who has 14 (8/6) points on the season, had a seven game point streak snapped on Friday.

Samson was a very consistent performer last season, and he was awarded with a call-up to the Hurricanes.  In limited ice time over seven games, he registered two (0/2) points.  He’s leading the Checkers with 17 (11/6) points through 18 games.  Zach Boychuk has 16 (7/9).  Micflikier has 15 (7/8).  Oskar Osala has 15 (3/12).  Any of these guys could see time in Raleigh this season. 

Jared Staal, who was once touted as the most talented of the four brothers has been invisible.  He’s been a healthy scratch half of the time and hasn’t done anything at all when he has played.  In nine games played, he has no points, two penalty minutes, and is a -3.  This isn’t what the Hurricanes were looking for when they acquired him this summer.  I’m sure it’s a lot of pressure on him, being a Staal and all, but he needs to start producing.  Soon. 

Of the defense, captain Bryan Rodney has been the only consistently good player.  He will likely see some time in Raleigh this season when injuries dictate.

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: charlotte+checkers, chris+terry, jacob+micflikier, jerome+samson, zac+dalpe, zach+boycuk

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About Red and Black Hockey

David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science.  He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows.  Sometimes, all in the same day. 

David has contributed to CBC.ca for their Stanley Cup playoff coverage in 2006 and to the New York Times Slapshot blog for theirs in 2008. Red and Black Hockey was founded in July of 2005.