Bryan Rodney (Photo Credit: Jeff Willhelm)

Cardiac Checker: Playoffs Kickoff for Carolina Hockey


A recently recovered netminder, a sedated goalie, and the rest of the Charlotte Checkers boarded a plane Wednesday evening to kickoff the 2011 Calder Cup playoffs with division rivals, the Hershey Bears. I gave you a look at the competition on Monday. Click here if you missed it, you slacker.

So let’s dig into the heat the Checkers are packing to Pennsylvania:

  • Chris Terry: The third top scorer in the AHL with 34 goals and 14th in overall points with 64.Terry also collected five goals and two assists facing the Bears this year.
  • Zach Boychuk: As the 13th highest AHL leader with 65 points, and 17thin helpers Boychuk earned nine assists against Hershey in the 2010-11 regular season.
  • Zac Dalpe: As a thorn in the Bears’ side, Dalpehad four goals and four assists in the eight previous contests. His season totals are not too shabby either with 23 goals and 34 assists.
  • Bryan Rodney: #33 had nine goals this season and four of them came against the Bears. He also claimed three assists in those games (38 for the year).
  • Jacob Micflickier: The winger finished 20th in AHL point leaders with 61 with 29 goals and 32 assists. Against the Hershey Bears, he delivered serious damage with four goals and three assists.
  • Drayson Bowman: Recently reassigned from the Hurricanes, he produced a goal and three supporters when playing the Bears this year.

Justin Pogge, Michael Murphy, and Bobby Goepfertwill be representing goaltending, although Murphy’s playability is questionable. The rookie missed the final nine games due to a concussion during a March 20th game. Murphy ended his season 21-11-3, while Pogge finished 22-18-4. Goepferthas been busy filling the net for two Florida Everblades playoff games before traveling to Charlotte.

Personally, I’m concerned about Murphy not starting for Charlotte. He has gone 4-2-0, 2.23 GAA and .930 save% against the Bears. Everyone knows Pogge’s history with Hershey is a colorful one. A game in which Murph took the L while Pogge was dismissed after going all Charlie Sheen in December 19th showdown.

By no means am I saying #1isn’t a stellar goalie. In 48 games he had a .907 save percentage going 22-18-4. I just don’t think he is the  absolute perfect fit between the pipes against the Hershey Bears for the Checkers. Every athlete has their kryptonite, I’m just convinced The PA AHL team may be that poison for Pogge. I vote Goepfert should Murphy not be an option.

I said it Monday, and I will say it again. These teams are evenly matched. It is going to be a nail-biter, so grab your sedatives.

Alright, you crazy Carolina hockey devotees, break out the red, black and white and get ready for Thursday’s 7pm playoff showdown!

Let’s Go Checkers!

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Tags: Bobby Goepfert Bryan Rodney Charlotte Checkers Checkers Chris Terry Drayson Bowman Hershey Bears Jacob Micflikier Justin Pogge Michael Murphy Zac Boychuk Zac Dalpe

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