Our beloved Monsters [12-10-1] travel to Central New York this week for 2 games against the Amerks [10-10-4], one indoor & one outdoor, and a Sunday afternoon tilt versus the Comets [6-14-2] in Utica. Considering what the healthy portion of the roster looks like right now, this is some tough sledding. Be that as it may, the points are crucial so it's time to make the best of it.
As I'm sure you're aware of by now, Mike Sgarbossa (ankle) and Duncan Siemens (knee) have been laid up for a while with no obvious return date reported. Karl Stollery took a vicious hit against the Amerks a few weeks ago and hasn't been seen since. Then David Van der Gulik went down. Then Gil Desbiens last Thursday. Then Joey Hishon and Gabe Desjardins on Friday. Sunday's depleted lineup sported 8 defensemen just to fill it out.
The Monsters have been gradually calling up everyone they can get their hands on from CHL affiliate Denver. Dan Maggio was called up to replace Stollery a couple of weeks ago. Lee Moffie and Vincent Arseneau were called up last week, although Moffie was just sent back down. Monday they called up Michael Schumacher, who appeared in one game for LE in the beginning of the year, and Cam Reid, who attended training camp but started the year with the Cutthroats.
Cam Reid was drafted in the 7th round by Nashville in 2009 and spent last year playing for Milwaukee (AHL) and ended up with 19 points in 54 games. This year with our beloved Cutthroats, he's racked up 4G/8A in 18 games. I'm excited to see how he does for Lake Erie, he was one of the few Camp invitees that seemed to have any potential. At 6'3 and 205 lbs., he's got good size and can bring a little scoring. With some luck here, he can play himself into an AHL contract.
Michael Schumacher is tall (6'5) and can score from the front of the net. He's 2nd in the CHL in power play goals with 6 and is third in rookie scoring with 8G/10A in 21 games. The Kings gave up on their 2011 7th rd pick from Sweden, but he's definitely got some potential and at only 20 years old looks like a worthwhile project.
Brett Clark made his Monsters debut Sunday afternoon and contributed an assist in the 2nd period. Now that he's had some practice and some time to grasp the system, I expect he'll bring some steady veteran play to a defense that lacks exactly that.
With all these injuries and call-ups and PTO signings, I have the LEM at 12 healthy forwards, 7 healthy D and 2 healthy goalies, although it's been a while since we've seen Sami. Hopefully someone recovers to give a little margin for error, a couple of pile-ups tonight and we're looking at another mess like Sunday. I don't want to read too much into Lee Moffie getting sent back down, but Stollery coming back would be fantastic for the team.
As pictured above, the Lake Erie Ugly Holiday Jerseys tickled the fancy of quite a few of our loyal MHH posters. It's going to be tough to get one, you pretty much have to go to the game to bid and the prices we've seen are up there. Hopefully, the LEM staff can see their way to make some replicas available in the team store at some point.
On the lighter side, another Getting to know... segment this week with Stef Elliott, who has the same nickname as my own beloved Shepherd Mix (Elly), and Rubik's Cube ace Colin Smith.
Monsters at Amerks Wednesday 7:05pm, radio on WHKW
Coming up: Frozen Frontier on Friday, at Utica on Sunday afternoon
AHL standings - LEM tied with Toronto for 2nd in the North Division
Preview from lakeeriemonsters.com
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Like creepy midgets in your music videos? Well PGT has you covered this week with "Hall of the Mountain King" by Savatage. Money.
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I'll be here with updates and tweets during the game as usual. There will be a special Monsters Desk article coming up for Friday's Frozen Frontier outdoor game against the Amerks. Start planning your watch party now! The Avalanche are off and the game should be widely available on Fox SportsTime Ohio and AHL Live! for only 6 bucks. Do it!
Meursy returns this week with more twitter gold, and we kid because we care. Garrett's had a solid rookie season so far, playing tough top-6 minutes lately and was even spotted on the PK last weekend.
The grass is green because the yellow sun travels through the blue sky an turns the grass green, thank you grade one colour wheel— Garrett Meurs (@garrettmeurs) December 10, 2013