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I'll tell you one thing. That Checker's team is going to be full of guys with a real shot at the NHL. It's going to be a rough year to make the Checkers roster. I'll be using my vouchers that's for sure.

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I went to this past Friday's game (1/27).

They had their largest attendance ever that nite. Over 13k in the stands. Even had the upper deck open!

Love the (Announcer) "HE SHOOTS!" (Fans) "HE SCORES!"

Plan on going to at least one more game before season's end!

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They open the upper deck pretty often for weekend/friday night games. Now having a crowd of over 12,000 isn't something that happens everytime it is open, but it's proof the new team has been a success here so far.

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They open the upper deck pretty often for weekend/friday night games. Now having a crowd of over 12,000 isn't something that happens everytime it is open, but it's proof the new team has been a success here so far.

The games I went to last season (weekend games), I don't remember the upper deck being open. Of course, that could just be my memory.

Wonder who will end up with more wins at the end of the season?

Charlotte Checkers or Charlotte Bobcats.

Just saw the Box score of the AHL All Star Game. West beats East 8-7 in a Shoot-Out.

Chris Terry(Checkers Representative) got 2 goals, 1 assist.

Edited by hopper915

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Despite hopes being tempered on the Cane's season, I am still assuming that there will be hockey this year. But there IS hockey being played involving our very own players and prospects, mostly over in Charlotte. I really want to catch a Checker's game, but scheduling and a 3.5 hour one way drive are making that tough. I know they've been on a 6 day break, so this post may get the response of cricket's chirping, but I need to get into some actual hockey talk as this dang CBA is so annoying.

The team is doing quite well (9-3) despite a massive road trip, and a few players are dominating. They are #1 in the AHL in points, #1 power play, 5th in goals allowed.

But it's one thing to look at stats and another to watch them play.

So my question: is there anyone out there going to Checker's games that can report on our prospects?

(I know there's a separate board for that, but no one's been over there in a month, and a few of these guys are actually Hurricanes).

Looking at the stats a few guys leap off the page:

1. Faulk. Yes, most of us realize the kid is elite, but 14 points in 11 games? That's domination. I won't do the remkin projections for an 82 game season, but suffice it to say it's off the hook. Yes, it's the AHL. But it's still good to see. Tied with Boychuk at #6 in the league for points from all positions, #2 in assists with one less than the leader (who has played 2 more games).

Note: he has missed two games. Rest, or injury?

2. Boychuk. Yes, Legend, it is just the AHL, but still 9 goals and 5 assists for 14 points in 13 games. #6 in the league with only 2 less points than Jordan Eberle. Word is he's looking that good too. If he were a center he'd get a quick look if the NHL every started. Oh and #3 in goals in AHL. Oh and 4 game winning goals.

3. Bowman. #1 in the AHL in goals (tied with one other) including an unholy 8 game goal streak. This should do wonders for his confidence at finding the net, and having been clearly the preferred winger from the prospect pool last year, I have to assume is still on the inside track for a third line wing spot. If only the guy could find a couple more assists. That one assist kind of says shoot only. But again, here's where not seeing the games could be misleading.

But there's far more going on. Brett Sutter has 10 points. Victor Rask was sent down to juniors. Marc-Andre Gragnani has just two fewer assists than Faulk from the blue line in the same number of games. Jermome Sampson has 8 points and leads the team in plus minus. Rasmus Rissanen got a nice pro scout shout out, but as a defensive defenseman (hmmm wonder who could use one of those?), doesn't put up stats.

OK that's my read of the stats. But what of how guys look?

Who is looking the most NHL ready of the center prospects?

Is Bowman passing at all?

Does Gragnani look as good as his numbers?

How did Rask look before going bye bye?

Why do Dan Ellis' numbers look better than Justin Peters?

Who else is looking better than their numbers? Especially, how is Welsh looking?

The are but some of the questions.

Anyone know the answers?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Edited by remkin

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2. Boychuk. Yes, Legend, it is just the AHL, but still 9 goals and 5 assists for 14 points in 13 games. #6 in the league with only 2 less points than Jordan Eberle. Word is he's looking that good too. If he were a center he'd get a quick look if the NHL every started. Oh and #3 in goals in AHL. Oh and 4 game winning goals.

Yes, Rem, he's got NHL skills, he has shown in the past that he doesn't have the work ethic and against AHL players who he can get by on "talent alone" it's just not impressive to me. He's also shown he can dominate the ahl before, so.... Until the NHL opens its doors on what is likely Boychuks last shot with the team I dont have much more to add.

Muller scoffing at Boychuks work ethic hopefully got him straight.

Edited by legend-1

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Yes, Rem, he's got NHL skills, he has shown in the past that he doesn't have the work ethic and against AHL players who he can get by on "talent alone" it's just not impressive to me. He's also shown he can dominate the ahl before, so.... Until the NHL opens its doors on what is likely Boychuks last shot with the team I dont have much more to add.

Muller scoffing at Boychuks work ethic hopefully got him straight.

Actually don't disagree. No doubt there are guys with skill that just can't put the skill and work ethic and balancing defense with offense and the step quicker NHL. I think it is still the better bet that he just doesn't quite get it or have it at the NHL level. Further, we have a gaggle of nice wingers now, so how does he get his one more chance? Probably injuries. One does wonder if he could show any NHL ability if he could at least have some trade value.

But there are some late developers in the NHL too. Guys who finally figured it out and had nice NHL careers....never know.

I held out for him for a pretty long time. Then, after a few years, I threw in the towel like just about everyone else. It would be a touch ironic though if something has clicked in his head after so many AHL games and NHL rebukes. The AHL has a bunch of NHL guys in there now, and Boychuk is still 6th overall in points. It also may be ironic in this sense. If the season had started on time, a guy like Boychuk would have had zero chance of making the team in camp. Then his AHL numbers would be an afterthought. Now there's at least a little more attention to the AHL.

Though by the responses to this thread maybe not as many as I thought.

I guess the thing I was hoping was that someone following the team could comment on his and other's play. How they look.

Again, yes it's AHL, but on a relative basis, the Checker's broadcaster wrote that he'd never seen Boychuk play this well....

I know it doesn't prove anything. Just rather talk hockey than CBA.

Edited by remkin

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I can't answer specifics since I've mostly been keeping up with them on their radio feed. However, I did decide to try AHL live for last night's game. The video quality wasn't that great for me, so it was hard to tell who was who at times. But, what I can say is that this team as a whole has a lot of grit and determination. They were down last night 2-0 in the 2nd period, but then went on a tear with 4 unanswered goals (3 in the first 5 minutes of the 3rd) and ended up winning 4-3. Peters was sketchy in some spots giving up a couple of easy goals, but he also made some spectacular saves when needed.

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I have not watched the games, so can't add a lot, but for this question:

1. Faulk. Yes, most of us realize the kid is elite, but 14 points in 11 games? That's domination. I won't do the remkin projections for an 82 game season, but suffice it to say it's off the hook. Yes, it's the AHL. But it's still good to see. Tied with Boychuk at #6 in the league for points from all positions, #2 in assists with one less than the leader (who has played 2 more games).

Note: he has missed two games. Rest, or injury?

I know he missed one game during a 3 games is 3 days stretch, as they were keeping the younger players from playing 3 days in a row. There have been two 3 in 3 stretches so far, so I assume that accounts for the other missed game. I don't know if they will continue that, since Gragnani is out with an injury, and they are playing the second of a 3 in 3 stretch tonight.

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I actually watched a game last week, one they lost to Chicago I think (it was an exciting back and forth game)... anyway, I started listening to the game last night but fell asleep before the third (naturally)... it's hard to keep up but I could try a little harder. I think they deserve that.

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Right enough of this "no hockey" season .. I am driving down to watch the Checkers next Sunday 25th Nov 3pm puck drop - have a 7 seat van, message me on here if you would like to join me - wearing a Canes jersey gets you a free ride .....

SP

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Right enough of this "no hockey" season .. I am driving down to watch the Checkers next Sunday 25th Nov 3pm puck drop - have a 7 seat van, message me on here if you would like to join me - wearing a Canes jersey gets you a free ride .....

SP

Great! I'm working, BUT, love to have you come back on here and post your thoughts on our prospects!

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Despite hopes being tempered on the Cane's season, I am still assuming that there will be hockey this year. But there IS hockey being played involving our very own players and prospects, mostly over in Charlotte. I really want to catch a Checker's game, but scheduling and a 3.5 hour one way drive are making that tough. I know they've been on a 6 day break, so this post may get the response of cricket's chirping, but I need to get into some actual hockey talk as this dang CBA is so annoying.

The team is doing quite well (9-3) despite a massive road trip, and a few players are dominating. They are #1 in the AHL in points, #1 power play, 5th in goals allowed.

But it's one thing to look at stats and another to watch them play.

So my question: is there anyone out there going to Checker's games that can report on our prospects?

(I know there's a separate board for that, but no one's been over there in a month, and a few of these guys are actually Hurricanes).

Looking at the stats a few guys leap off the page:

1. Faulk. Yes, most of us realize the kid is elite, but 14 points in 11 games? That's domination. I won't do the remkin projections for an 82 game season, but suffice it to say it's off the hook. Yes, it's the AHL. But it's still good to see. Tied with Boychuk at #6 in the league for points from all positions, #2 in assists with one less than the leader (who has played 2 more games).

Note: he has missed two games. Rest, or injury?

2. Boychuk. Yes, Legend, it is just the AHL, but still 9 goals and 5 assists for 14 points in 13 games. #6 in the league with only 2 less points than Jordan Eberle. Word is he's looking that good too. If he were a center he'd get a quick look if the NHL every started. Oh and #3 in goals in AHL. Oh and 4 game winning goals.

3. Bowman. #1 in the AHL in goals (tied with one other) including an unholy 8 game goal streak. This should do wonders for his confidence at finding the net, and having been clearly the preferred winger from the prospect pool last year, I have to assume is still on the inside track for a third line wing spot. If only the guy could find a couple more assists. That one assist kind of says shoot only. But again, here's where not seeing the games could be misleading.

But there's far more going on. Brett Sutter has 10 points. Victor Rask was sent down to juniors. Marc-Andre Gragnani has just two fewer assists than Faulk from the blue line in the same number of games. Jermome Sampson has 8 points and leads the team in plus minus. Rasmus Rissanen got a nice pro scout shout out, but as a defensive defenseman (hmmm wonder who could use one of those?), doesn't put up stats.

OK that's my read of the stats. But what of how guys look?

Who is looking the most NHL ready of the center prospects?

Is Bowman passing at all?

Does Gragnani look as good as his numbers?

How did Rask look before going bye bye?

Why do Dan Ellis' numbers look better than Justin Peters?

Who else is looking better than their numbers? Especially, how is Welsh looking?

The are but some of the questions.

Anyone know the answers?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Thanks for starting post Rem!!

For what its worth, on another note, heard a rumor via WHL players, word is this NHL season will include a "winter classic" ... they'll just call it something different. At the rate the are going, perhaps "the summer classic"

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Thanks for starting post Rem!!

For what its worth, on another note, heard a rumor via WHL players, word is this NHL season will include a "winter classic" ... they'll just call it something different. At the rate the are going, perhaps "the summer classic"

Just tire of lock out talk sometimes and we've got a really good thing happening over there in Charlotte. Both some serious stepping up by prospects and a team that is off to an amazing start.

I can dig a little and present some stats, but it would be great if some more who have seen the team would post some impressions.

Anyway and update on stats:

1. The Checkers currently have more points than any other team in the AHL. That's 30 teams. We're number 1. In fairness, 2 teams are right there with fewer games, but we're at least solidly in the top 3 teams. This is with NHL players on rosters. And what would seem to be a fairly average run by Peters early.

Record: 11-3-2

2. The team is in the top 5 in offense (3rd) and defense (5th). Only team in the league to do that.

3. Bowman and Boychuk are tied for the most goals in the league with 10 each in 16 games.

Boychuk has 5 assists to go with the goals.

While it is just the AHL, Boychuk is far ahead of his previous paces.

Previous 2 years: 28 goal pace (pro rated for 82 games in a quasi NHL season length for comparison purposes).

This year: 51 goal pace

This is just for comparison reasons to show how dramatically he has stepped up his scoring touch from previous years.

Bowman is firing away and had an 8 game goal streak and leads the league. Then you look and Boychuk is right there with him with more assists.

Does he "look" that much better? That's what I'm asking for feedback on!! The team broadcaster thinks yes.

He has but 2 points less then Nugent-Hopkins, and more goals than:

Nugent-Hopkins,JEberle, B.Schenn, to name a couple of stud NHL players in the AHL at the moment.

I've been sucked in by Boychuk before, but I am feeling the pull.

4. Dalpe is putting some offensive distance between himself and the other 3rd line center contenders.

Dalpe 5g 8a and suddenly #3 on the team in points after Boychuk and Faulk.

Nash 2g 6a

Welsh 3g 2a

If Dalpe is playing any defense he would probably be the first one up at 3rd center. Don't see how you go with Welsh who has only managed 2 assists.

5. Faulk owns the AHL. Like Boychuk basically a point a game, with 12 assists.

6. Brett Sutter has as many points as Bowman.

7. Gragnani. 9 assists. Victim of too many offensive dmen? probably not even the first dman called, but still, that's a lot of assists. Never seen him. Does he play good defense?

Anyway, the story's since last time:

This team is still hot.

Boychuk stays on fire. Dalpe coming on.

Faulk: man among boys.

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Yes, 12-3-2, pretty amazing.

Bowman gets another one tied with two others for league lead.

Boychuk keeps it up with another assist and near a ppg.

Gotta get over there.

Edited by remkin

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This weekend's series against OKC will be interesting, as we'll see the Oilers' Eberle, Hall, and Nugent-Hopkins in action.

Link

Hopefully, I can see the guys when they come out here to OKC in January.

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Lost tonight. I watched the first two periods on the internet and the boys looked good.

Dalpe and Boychuk were looking particularly good, and both got goals.

Looked like they had Dalpe on Nash's wing though.

Welsh looks strong and smooth, but not sure he's ready for NHL speed. Of course this was two periods on my computer.

I would not be surprised if Dalpe gets a real shot at third line center, though I do wonder if he has been playing wing all year or just parts of this game.

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Seems like they wont disappoint even though they lost they have a helluva record. I'm going to see them in Raleigh in January which I'm going to guess is much to the dismay of holdout fans.

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Well put 3 NHL elites on one AHL line and it was bound to happen, and we took a couple of beatings by OKC.

But on the plus side Boychuk just keeps scoring. If he keeps this up, he just might need to get one last look if there is ever an NHL season.

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I know interest is very low but I find the only thing interesting other than a deal for NHL hockey this year is our prospects and Charlotte. There is actual hockey.

I found this a tad interesting:

Dalpe to Wing

Dalpe is starting to come on. Boychuk has been on all season. Bowman has been lighting the lamp.

I get trying Dalpe at wing to give him a different look and see if he can find his scoring again, but I don't get the stuff about this having to do with perceived organizational depth. Unless they are thinking 4th line wing, how are we not deeper than the Mariana Trench at wing, and not sporting a gaping hole at third line center?

Further, our two hottest forwards in Charlotte are wingers, and our heir apparent to third line center isn't exactly setting the world on fire.

Probably more of a shake up to see how it affects Dalpe more than an organizational need for more wingers.

Edit: Jason Shaya the play by play guy for the Checkers posted this on the website about Dalpe:

7)

Zac Dalpe was absolutely dominant in Saturday’s game. He had many great chances and finally struck for a goal in the second period. If Dalpe continues to play with that kind of willpower, he won’t be stopped many times.

<br style="font-family: Verdana, Arial; font-size: 11px; line-height: 16px; text-align: left; ">

Edited by remkin

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Don't stop now, I've enjoyed reading these updates. Well done, sir. :applaud:

OK, for you. But if anyone is out the (Hello Charlotte!) that is going to these games, love some thoughts.

The Checkers have been slipping lately having lost their last two. Oddly they seem to play much better on the road. (9-2-2 vs 5-4-1 @ home). Hopefully that's just an aberration because get this, they just started a 10 game home stand. If ever there were a time to get over there. They are at home for the next 2 weeks.

Who's playing well? Well they've only scored 3 goals in their last two games so it's limited since last time I posted.

At this point the news is mainly Zach "I'm back" Boychuk, who just keeps on putting up points, and Zac "I'm back too" Dalpe, who didn't tally the last two games but is still only 4 points off of Boychuk's pace after no where near as strong a start. Bowman was absolutely on fire early but has slowed a touch.

One stat I usually don't pay much attention to is SH%. But it is interesting that Dalpe has as many shots as Boychuk, but less than half as many goals. I know a lot of that can be situational, but Boychuk is burying one in 5 shots.

Faulk took a puck to the face, and left the last game, but is expected back. Does point out a potential downside for guys we're going to need if this lockout ends playing elsewhere. But o/w Faulk is at a point per game. Special talent. Man amoung boys etc.

Of course openings w/ the big club are going to be 3rd line center and 4th line wingers most likely (though if Semin is out of shape.....).

It seems Welsh needs more time in Charlotte and Nash has been chronically short of points. That would seem to leave Dalpe, but then he's been converted to wing....

The two other things of note:

1. Marc-Andre Gragnani. Anyone know more about this guy? He was out with an injury until the last game, but is just shy of a ppg also. Seems to be a power play, puck mover. But I wonder what his overall game is like.

2. Peters. Ugggh. Goalie is such a tricky position to gauge and to be consistent at. It is very tough not seeing him in action. But while his record is decent his save percentage? Not so much. Save percent: .899. GAA 3.04. Tell me more about Dan Ellis .930/2.32 splitting starts.

Anyway, I know there's some people going to these games and I know at least some of them have internet. Love to here thoughts, especially on the play of prospects.

Edited by remkin

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Gragnani won the Eddie Shore award for the AHL's best defenseman in 2010-11. He earned a roster spot out of the Sabres training camp the next season but was a healthy scratch by February, got traded to Vancouver, they failed to qualify him and we picked him up.

Evidently a great passer who puts up mostly assists, and a guy who can stand up for himself. That's about all I know. I did hear the Checkers were missing him after he was injured.

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