Week in Review
Last weeks' record1-2-0
Last 10 games6-4-0
Springfield 4, Checkers 0The Checkers kicked off their three-in-three weekend with a matchup against the Thunderbirds but were unable to shake their bad luck in Springfield. Anthony Greco opened the scoring early on in the first, but that would be the lone tally until the back half of the third frame. Greco again lit the lamp to extend the home squad’s lead, who tacked on an empty netter followed by another marker to run out to a 4-0 lead. Hari Sateri was perfect between the pipes for Springfield, stopping all 33 shots he was faced with to pick up the win for the Thunderbirds. Full recap
Checkers 2, Bridgeport 1The next night’s contest in Bridgeport was a similarly defense-fueled battle. The Checkers again fell in an early hole when the Sound Tigers struck just two minutes into the contest, but the visitors would erase that advantage before the end of the frame thanks to a tally from Julien Gauthier. Charlotte kept that momentum rolling early in the second as Gauthier netted his second of the night to push the visitors on top. Things would slow down from there, and the Checkers defense locked the Sound Tigers up for the remainder of regulation, pulling off the 2-1 win. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 21 of the 22 shots he was faced with to pick up his AHL-best 24th victory of the season. Full recap The busy weekend’s finale featured even fewer fireworks than the night before. Despite firing 39 shots on goal over the course of the game, the Checkers couldn’t find a way past Bridgeport netminder Kristers Gudlevskis. Jeremy Smith was similarly strong in the Charlotte crease, but a defensive zone turnover early in the second ended up in the back of the Checkers’ net and ended up as the difference, clinching the Sound Tigers’ 1-0 win. Full recap
Three Stars Of The Week
Jeremy Smith0-1-0, 1.01 GAA, .957 SV%
Janne Kuokkanen0g, 2a
Julien Gauthier2g, 0a
THREE-IN-THREEThe Checkers completed their third three-in-three of the season this past weekend. They went 1-2-0 over that stretch, their worst showing in said scenario this season, to move their overall record to 4-4-1 in three-in-threes. Charlotte has had the most success in the third games, going 2-1-0, while they have struggled the most in the openers, logging a 1-2-0 record.
The Checkers have one more three-in-three left on their slate, coming this weekend with three contests in three different cities.
SCORING DROUGHTThe Checkers’ offense have spent much of this season as one of the AHL’s most prolific, but the production has slowed as of late. The team totaled just two goals over their three games this weekend, including getting shut out twice. In fact, since averaging over five goals a game over six contests earlier this month, the Checkers are averaging 1.33 goals per game over the last eight and have registered more than two tallies just once over that stretch.
MISSING PIECESThe Checkers have been propelled all season by the high-flying trio of Andrew Miller, Lucas Wallmark and Valentin Zykov. Their impact on the team has become even more evident when they have been out of the lineup.
Andrew Miller suffered an injury last weekend and will be out for a month. Charlotte’s first three contests without their top scorer – who was leading the AHL in points at the time of his injury – came this past weekend, when the Checkers went 1-3-0 and totaled just three goals. Meanwhile, Lucas Wallmark has bounced between the AHL and NHL several times this season. While the second-year pro has been in Carolina, the Checkers have gone 7-15-1 while averaging 2.30 goals per game.
The biggest blow thus far, however, has been when the team is missing any two of the three top liners. The Checkers are 3-5-1 in those situations while averaging 2.22 goals per game, including being held to one or fewer goals in five of those nine contests.
ROAD WOESWhile they have seen great success at Bojangles’ Coliseum this season, the Checkers have struggled away from home. They are 13-14-0-2 on the road, the only team currently in an Eastern Conference playoff spot to log a road record below .500.
The Checkers have been a different team on both sides of the puck on the road. Offensively, the team has boasted a top-five attack overall all year and has been even better at home, averaging 3.71 goals per game, but they have put up just 2.90 goals per game on the road. Defensively, the Checkers have allowed just 2.61 goals per game on home ice, an average that would place them in the top five league-wide, while surrendering 3.10 goals per game away from home. Even their special teams have sagged on the road, with the power-play operating at a 25.2 percent clip at home and a 14.3 mark away.
NED STAYS HOTAlex Nedeljkovic continues to be a strong presence between the pipes for Charlotte this season. After backstopping the team to a 2-1 victory in Bridgeport Saturday, Nedeljkovic now has 24 wins on the year. That mark is not only good enough to lead the AHL, but it puts the young netminder just three shy of tying John Muse for the franchise single-season record.
Nedeljkovic, who has allowed a total of six goals in his last six games – including three shutouts – has won six of his last seven appearances.
- Valentin Zykov leads the lead in goals (25), power-play goals (14), ranks third in shooting percentage (26.3) and is tied for fourth in the AHL in game-winning goals (5)
- Andrew Miller is tied for second in the league lead in points (51) and is tied for third in the league in assists (36)
- Warren Foegele leads AHL rookies and is tied for third overall in goals (23), is tied for the league lead in shorthanded points (6) and goals (4), is tied for second in the AHL in game-winning goals, is tied for sixth among league rookies in scoring (37), ranks fourth among rookies in shooting percentage (18.7) and ranks fourth among rookies in plus-minus (+19)
- Clark Bishop is tied for the league lead in shorthanded assists (3) and is tied for third in shorthanded points (5)
- Philip Samuelsson ranks third in the league in plus-minus (+30)
- Roland McKeown is tied for fifth in the AHL in plus-minus (+27)
- Alex Nedeljkovic leads the league in wins (24), ranks second in shutouts (5), ranks third in minutes played (2,158) and ranks 11th in goals-against average (2.42)
- Aleksi Saarela is tied for third among AHL rookies in power-play goals (8)
- Trevor Carrick is tied for fourth in the AHL in power-play assists (16), tied for seventh among lague defensemen in assists (23), ranks 11th among blue liners in scoring (28) and ranks fifth among defensemen in power-play points (18)
- Andrew Miller missed four game starting 2/18
- Jake Chelios missed two games starting 2/24
- Feb. 24: (D) Tyler Ganly recalled by Charlotte (AHL)
- Feb. 23: (C) Lucas Wallmark recalled by Carolina (NHL)
- Feb. 22: (RW) Josh Jooris recalled by Carolina (NHL)
By the Numbers
|CATEGORY||RECORD||AHL RANK||LAST WEEK|
|Goals per game||3.30||5th||3rd|
|Shots per game||29.72||19th||21st|
|Goals allowed per game||2.86||t-12th||15th|
|Shots allowed per game||26.65||3rd||3rd|
|Penalty minutes per game||12.46||10th||10th|
|Points||Andrew Miller (51), Valentin Zykov (41), Warren Foegele (37)|
|Goals||Valentin Zykov (25), Warren Foegele (23), Aleksi Saarela (19)|
|Assists||Andrew Miller (36), Trevor Carrick (23), Janne Kuokkanen (22)|
|Power play goals||Valentin Zykov (14), Aleksi Saarela (8), Andrew Poturalski (5)|
|Shorthanded goals||Warren Foegele (4), Nicolas Roy, Clark Bishop (2)|
|Game-winning goals||Warren Foegele (6), Valentin Zykov, Andrew Poturalski (5)|
|Shots on goal||Warren Foegele (123), Trevor Carrick (117), Aleksi Saarela (115)|
|Penalty minutes||Trevor Carrick (77), Josiah Didier (56), Zack Stortini (55)|
|Plus/minus||Philip Samuelsson (+30), Roland McKeown (+27), Warren Foegele (+19)|
|Wins||Alex Nedeljkovic (24)|
|Goals-against average||Alex Nedeljkovic (2.42)|
|Save percentage||Alex Nedeljkovic (.905)|