So tomorrow night, the Admirals are going to do something they haven’t done since February of 2008.
They are playing a team whose hometown is east of Toronto.
We’ll be welcoming the Charlotte Checkers to the Bradley Center for their first of four visits.
Charlotte, having played two more games than the Admirals, find themselves at the top of the Midwest Division standings going into the game on Friday. And for some more insight on their team, we will once again call upon Jenni from the Chasing Checkers blog for a quick Q&A.
AR: What’s the biggest difference between this team and last year’s team that took down Wilkes-Barre and Hershey in the playoffs?
CC: The biggest difference between last year and this year is the performance of (goaltender) Mike Murphy. His play really took off during the last half of the season. He has this incredible level of confidence and play that is really a huge asset to the Checkers, where as last year there was a season long battle of who the number one goalie was. That debate was set to return this year between Justin Peters and Murphy, but with Peters early injury troubles and Murphy’s dominance, Murph is making a case for being the number one.
Additionally, the Checkers are just more experienced and have a core of guys who played together last year. The chemistry is apparent on all fronts.
AR: Have the Checkers been playing as well as their record in the standings suggests?
CC: Overall, the Checkers have had an impressive start. They are preventing scoring chances, and playing a style of hockey more reminiscent of playoff hockey then the sloppy stuff we usually see this early on in the season.
AR: If you were the GM of the Canes, who do you think deserves to be called up right now?
CC: If I called anyone up, it would be Brett Sutter, hands down. The Hurricanes organization is overflowing with scoring talent in the “young gun” category. Guys like Bowman, Dalpe, Boychuk, Jeff Skinner all have that speedy forward thing going for them, but Brett Sutter has grit. He’s a grinder, plays hard and aggressively every game, and has a skill set that is more valuable in a third or fourth line situation, which is what our call ups are usually fulfilling. Most of the young guys who have had a couple of games with the big club are getting five or six minutes a game and not really contributing in a way Brett Sutter could on the same line.
So Roundtable…how excited are you to see a new jersey for the first time in awhile?