Friday, January 17, 2014

Greetings from Time Warner Cable Arena

Just killing some time before the Charlotte Checkers host the first of two games against the Western Division-leading Texas Stars here at Time Warner Cable Arena at 7 p.m. tonight.

Saturday's contest will mark the official midway point of the season (game 38 of 76). With a win tonight, the Checkers would enter the second half with a .500 record (18-18-1).

If you haven't noticed my name in the Charlotte Observer before, there's a good reason. I started here just a few months ago after working for the Boston Globe for the past four years. While in Boston, I was lucky enough to cover everything from Bill Belichick's awkward press conferences to a Bruins Stanley Cup Final.

That said, it was time for me to try something new and the Queen City has graciously taken me in. Being from New England, I'm enjoying the warm weather and barbecue. I should probably apologize now for the continual Parks and Recreation references and how many times you'll be reading the term "wicked wrister" in the next few months. If I'm not home, chances are you'll find me at the rink, the French Quarter, or annoying the nice people over at Not Just Coffee.

The plan for the second half of this season is to do a lot of blogging (covering Checkers games, injuries, transactions, etc.) along with weekly features. The Observer has always emphasized the importance of speed and accuracy with its blogs and my goal is to continue with that tradition in mind here.

I'm always open to suggestions, so feel free to email ( or @sethlakso) with whatever you have.

As for the Checkers, they'll need to go something in the neighborhood of 24-11-5 the rest of the season to reach 88 points (the average amount of points it has taken to make the Western Conference playoffs over the past two seasons).

Before you dismiss that as impossible, remember that through 38 games last season, Charlotte -- with largely the same roster they have now -- went 22-11-5. (Hat tip to Checker's team writer Paul Branecky for doing the math)

Currently, the Checkers roster has five players who have seen time in Raleigh this season. (Zach Boychuk, Chris Terry, Brett Sutter, and Aaron Palushaj). They're a fun group to watch and I hope that comes across in my writing as the season continues to unfold.

I stole the general format for this introduction from the Globe's Red Sox writer, Peter Abraham, who, whether he knows it or not, has had a huge impact on how I write and what it means to be a sports journalist.

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment away, and please check back often. I'll toss up a preview for tonight's game in just a little bit.


ChasingCheckers said...

There are much better bars than the French Quarter... walk a few steps down the courtyard to Hooligans and you'll often find me! They have the NHL tv package (which I don't) so it's a good place to catch games.

Just found this and trying to catch up on it. See you Thursday!