Coming off a shootout victory over Hamilton last Friday night, the beloved Monsters [3-3-0] find themselves enjoying the wonders of air travel rather than the usual bus on their way to British Columbia to play a 2-game series against the Abbotsford Heat [3-3-1]. This is a homecoming for 3 Monsters, Stef Elliott and David Van der Gulik grew up in the area and Mark Olver was born there. Lake Erie split a pair with the Heat to open the season.
This week's news starts off with a 2-part interview with David Oliver, Director of AHL Operations for the Monsters, previewing the season and discussing the team and it's improved relations with the Avs. Nice to get some insight from a guy that does a lot behind the scenes and has input into who gets sent up when the Avs need a player.
On Wednesday, Doug Plagens caught up with Paul Carey, Brad Malone and Stefan Elliott after practice to get their thoughts on the weekend series coming up.
And in case you missed it, Joey Hishon made his season debut last game and had an assist as well as the game-winning goal in the shootout. David Van der Gulik is close to making his first start of the year, perhaps in his home town of Abbotsford. Daniel Maggio and Gabriel Desjardins remain out with Upper Body Injuries. I haven't heard anything about Desjardins, but Maggio spoke to some fans this week and said he was still a few weeks away.
This should be a good benchmark series for Lake Erie. They are coming in on a two-game win streak after playing the worst game imaginable, and now face a team they've played before for the first time this year. When they leave BC on Sunday, Coach Chynoweth and the staff should have a good idea of which players work best together, and in what roles. Going forward, we should see the team settling into a situation they never really had last year, consistent lines and defense pairings leading to consistent play.
Friday: Game 1 vs the Heat in Abbotsford 10:00pm, radio on WHKW
Saturday: Game 2 also in Abbotsford 10:00pm, radio on WHKW
Preview from lakeeriemonsters.com not available at press time
Preview by the opposition from the Heat's website
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I will update Friday's game as it happens, here and on twitter. Saturday might be another story due to the late start and whatnot, but there will be recaps and links in the morning for sure.
Our main man Meursy has a bit of inspiration we can all take to heart this week:
We fall so that we can learn to pick ourselves back up— Garrett Meurs (@garrettmeurs) October 20, 2013