Our beloved Monsters are on a bit of a slide lately for various reasons, this two-game set with the Flames is the last chance to appear competitive for the last playoff spot in the WC. 2 wins and hope is alive and ADK is eliminated.
- Duncan Siemens was called up to the Avalanche yesterday to replace Brad Stuart for the last game of the year. Not the optimal situation to make your NHL debut but it is what it is. See your future... be your future.
- Sam Henley remained on the injury list this week, now with LBI rather than UBI as initially reported, and Kenny Ryan missed both games due to illness.
- Young Roman Will was named to the ECHL's All-Rookie team this week. Well done!
- The newest installment of "Get to Know" is out, meet Gabe Beaupre and Trevor Cheek
- Former Monsters captain Bryan Lerg made his NHL debut the other day and scored the GWG and helped the Avs stay in the happy zone for this June's draft. Lerg's a good guy, very happy for him.
Lake Erie sits in their accustomed 12th place with 74 points and 5 games remaining. The only hope is to win out and get major help at this point. I'm not great at how tragic numbers are calculated, but it appears the Monsters is 3 right now - meaning 3 losses for LEM or wins by the 8th place team takes them out.
Recap - CHI/RCH
My main man Cole made the trek out to the airport for the Chicago game and posted a much better review than anything I have to say about it. Check it out here, with special in depth coverage of the Avs D prospects.
As far as Thursday's game against the Amerks goes, Monsters played 2 good periods then fell apart in the 3rd again, losing 5-1. If you're noticing a pattern lately, I'm right with you. That's 5 straight games LEM entered the 3rd period leading or close and ended up blowing it. 14 goals let up in the last 5 3rd periods. Absolutely horrifying.
A lot of this I put on the Coach for consistently dressing only 10 forwards and tiring them all out before the 3rd begins. I'll also put some of this on Craig Billington, the club GM among other things. It's now been several weeks with the Monsters badly needing forward replacements due to injury and callups and there has been absolutely no help. I can see why the Komets don't want to send anyone up, they're playing meaningful games and readying for a playoff run. Same goes for most ECHL teams at this point. But Biller couldn't come up with a single ATO from junior or the NCAA or PTO from anywhere else in the past 2 weeks? Seriously, let David Oliver make a few calls or something if you don't know what you're doing. It's just dumb to let your affiliate fester like this when you don't have to.
Maybe they just don't give a shit because the rumors are true and the Avs are affiliating elsewhere next season and don't want to help the Monsters in any way at all. I doubt it, that's incredibly unprofessional and not fair to your own prospects at the same time but maybe there's some bad blood. Who knows, it's probably just random bad fortune but it definitely doesn't look good from a distance.
Preview - Adirondack
The Flames sit 2 points ahead of Lake Erie in 11th place and have actually played worse in the last 10 games. This will be the 3rd and 4th meetings of the year between the 2 teams, Adirondack gave the Monsters a loss and a shootout loss at the Q back in November when the Flames were quite a bit better than right now.
Lines/pairs from Thursday night:
Scratched: Maggio, Beaupre, Corbett
Injured: Ryan (ill), Henley (LBI), Noreau (UBI)
With Siemens headed to Colorado for the weekend, Cody Corbett might get back in the lineup. Hopefully Kenny Ryan is over his illness, the Monsters have missed both he and Big Sam lately. Losing those 2 is one component of the poor 3rd period defensive showings in this week's games for sure. I'll also say that there's a good chance Sami starts tonight and Calvin on Sunday.
Monsters at Flames Saturday 7:00pm in the ET, radio on WHK
Monsters at Flames Sunday 5:00pm in the ET, radio on WKNR
A couple of badly needed practices then GRG on Thursday followed by a home & home with Hamilton to close out the regular season.
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Tonight's game will be finishing up just as Duncan is making his NHL debut but tomorrow the Avs are done and the Monsters continue. Stop by and hang out. I'll have all the updates and recaps here and on twitter. Enjoy!