CHARLOTTE - The Charlotte Checkers ended the regular season with seven straight wins and points in 10 straight games (9-0-1). They were the hottest team in the American Hockey League.
But that was then, and this is now: when the Checkers begin their first-round Calder Cup Playoff series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at home on Friday night, everything resets to zero.
"We wanted to be peaking at the right time, and that's the playoff time. We had a good run coming down the stretch," Checkers head coach Mike Vellucci said. "We had a good season so far, but like I said all week, it means nothing right now. It's a new season. You play all year to get to the playoffs, and then it's a clean slate."
"You've got to leave the season behind, but when you finish well, you get some confidence going as a group and you get greedy to win," defenseman Roland McKeown said. "I want to continue that, and we all do, as well."