Jason Shaya's 10 Thoughts
During the season, Checkers broadcaster Jason Shaya checks in each week with his 10 Thoughts - a series of observations about the team and the hockey world in general.

1) It looks like Checkers forward Brendan Woods sustained an injury that may sideline him for this week. We don't have a final report yet on the severity. I assume if Woods can't play, we will see Erik Karlsson make his season debut tomorrow.

2) Michael Leighton earned his 47th career AHL shutout Saturday, which added to his all-time record. In the final two minutes of the game on Saturday, Leighton had to make five or six saves on very good chances. It seems that shutouts never come easy but Leighton makes them look as if they are routine.

3) There probably isn't a better player in the AHL than Derek Ryan. He has points in all but one game this season and has totaled 10 (6g, 4a) in six games. In my opinion, during the two games at home this past weekend against Grand Rapids, Ryan was playing at a level that exceeded even last season's dominating performance.

4) The Islanders are carrying three goaltenders this season again and I am sure none of the three goalies are happy about it. Since there are only two nets and one practice, no team should ever carry more than two goalies at a time. It's a recipe for discontent.

5) Detroit plays in Philadelphia tonight. The last time they won in that building was Game 2 of the Finals in 1997. They’ve gone 0-11 since then. After tonight, 0-12.

6) You want to figure out what teams will make the playoffs? Always look at the goals against. Scoring is nice but if you can't defend, you'll never make it. Charlotte is tied for 4th in the Conference with 17 allowed in six games. That averages to 2.8 and I expect that number to decrease by at least half a goal per game in the next month with the young defensemen getting more comfortable.

7) Cam Ward and Eddie Lack aren't where they want to be currently. If Michael Leighton continues to impress in Charlotte, do the Canes give him a look?

8) I counted only six players in Rockford's current lineup of 25 players that were drafted by Chicago. Of those 25, 13 were never drafted. That's pretty unusual for an AHL team.

9) Pregame show for both games is at 6:45 this week and the puck drops at 7. I'll be there in my new broadcast position high in the rafters for the call both nights. I have to thank the hard working people at Bojangles’ Coliseum for doing an incredible job getting the arena ready for opening weekend. It went off without a hitch and everyone except Grand Rapids left happy.

10) Wishing former Checkers great, Zac Dalpe, a speedy recovery from knee surgery. In better news for the Dalpe family, we recently found out that he is engaged and expecting his first child. I couldn't be happier for one of the best guys in the business. Best of luck to one of the funniest kids I've ever met who happens to be one heck of a hockey player.