Checkers: Scouting the Enemy

(Photo Credit: Jacob Kupferman)
(Photo Credit: Jacob Kupferman)

You know in infomercials when they’re getting towards the finish and state: but wait – that’s not all. After the wild news week for the Milwaukee Admirals securing a venue to call home for the next ten-years the fact that we now approach a three-in-three weekend has that exact same feeling. The focus immediately shifts from the future to the here and now. And that should also be plenty exciting.

~Checking Out The Checkers~

The Charlotte Checkers enter tonight’s game with a record of 31-25-3-3 (68 points). Their 0.548 points percentage has them in fifth place of the Central Division and eighth place in the Western Conference standings.

Prior to meeting the Admirals twice this weekend in Milwaukee the Checkers just about played a mini-playoff series against the Rockford IceHogs and came up big. They had beaten the Chicago Wolves twice and proceeded to beat the IceHogs rather soundly on home ice by scores of 6-3 and 4-1. That was followed with a tight contest in Rockford Tuesday night when the lone goal of the game came in the third period for the IceHogs to squeak out a 1-0 shutout.

Of note, the man behind that shutout for the IceHogs just so happens to be a news-worthy subject in connection to these two-games in Milwaukee with the Checkers. Drew MacIntyre was in net for the IceHogs delivering the 30-save shutout against his old team since being traded for defenseman Dennis Robertson. In place of MacIntyre the Checkers received a familiar face to their blueline as Robertson played with the Checkers out of Brown University and for the entire 2014-15 season.

That wasn’t the only returning name to the Checkers, either. John Muse, the goaltender who Magnus Hellberg beat up (video highlight), also returned to the Checkers. Muse fills the void that MacIntyre left and has played in 6 games for the Checkers since his return and has a 1.63 goals against average and 0.929 save percentage.

You might also notice there is a familiar name for the Checkers no longer on the roster. Zach Boychuk, a noted fan of Admirals Roundtable, was swapped out with Andrew Miller of the Bakersfield Condors. While both are technically considered loans back-and-fourth it is very much like an AHL trade. Remember when Kevin Henderson and Francis Wathier were flipped between the Admirals and Stars? Same thing, really.

What the Checkers lose in Boychuk they certainly gain with the form that Miller has shown this season. While Boychuk is the Checkers all-time leading scorer it is Miller who has 16 points more of offense in 2015-16. Miller has produced 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists) in 49 games between the Condors and Checkers this season. That makes him second on the Checkers roster in scoring this season behind team captain Derek Ryan who has 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) in 60 games. Miller has scored 2 goals in his first 5 games as a member of the Checkers.

This Checkers team is fairly different from when the Admirals last played them. What are you expecting out of these games Friday and Saturday? Gabriel Bourque and Eric Nystrom are both active participants for the Admirals this weekend. Who do you feel ends up being the odd-men out of the lineup should Cody Hodgson and Jamie Devane remain banged up?

Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.

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