Manchester Monarchs vs. Springfield Falcons: After Going 2-0-2, Atlantic Battle Still Tight

So hot right now - Bruce Bennett

The division lead could change tonight.

After a packed 4-game schedule last week -- including, as the Union Leader pointed out, 3 games in 48 hours -- the Monarchs are still on top of the Atlantic, at least for the time being. That could change by the end of the night, as Manchester faces a very talented Springfield team. The Sharks lost to Syracuse to remain in second place; they take on Portland tonight.

The Monarchs followed up their hot start to the season by stumbling a bit. What happened? Two factors: 1) a spate of injuries, particularly on the defense; and 2), a lot of players are searching for consistency. That's no surprise for such a young team. Muzzin is back, but I suspect the second point will be an ongoing struggle this season.

The Pearson-Vey-Toffoli line has been hot. Earlier, Morris generally put those three players with a more experienced pro like Cliche to show them the ropes in the defensive zone. Vey has improved in that area, but he knows it's still something he has to work on. For now, Morris is trusting them to play together and likes their chemistry:

"They're generating a lot of our offense right now. They're guys that are extremely gifted and when they have the puck on their stick they're certainly fun to watch," Morris said. "They seem to enjoy playing with one another and you've got guys that are good around the net on that line and it's great to see those guys developing that chemistry this early in their careers." Union Leader

Lineup Notes: Dwight King is back from a shoulder injury. McElhinney is in goal for the Falcons, Jones for Manchester. Cliche will center King and Nolan.

Listen live at Monarchs Radio.

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