The Manchester Monarchs (8-1-1-2) are trapped in Newfoundland for two games against the Winnipeg Jets affiliate, the St. John's Ice Caps (5-6-1-0) this weekend. Somehow, these teams are in the same division.
This is my first post here at Jewels from the Crown! I'll be covering the Manchester Monarchs, providing updates and other news. Since this weekends games are in Newfoundland, I won't be able to provide decent coverage. But starting next week...I'll probably still be providing questionable coverage, but I'll try my best. I promise.
A little background about me: I've been a lifelong hockey/Bruins fan but only recently started covering teams for SB Nation blogs. I started covering the Providence Bruins after spending a lot of time there during the lockout. I am happy to join in coverage for the Manchester Monarchs, especially because I live very close to Manchester and they're a ridiculously good team.
Game Notes: Monarchs @ Ice Caps (Friday and Saturday, 6:30pm EST)
- The Manchester Monarchs, riding a 3 game winning streak, are currently in first place in the division, conference, and entire league. John's is close behind in second place in the division (8 points behind Manchester, and below .500. This division blows.)
- I could list the statistics available from the AHL website, but I'll just sum it all up by saying: the Monarchs are kicking every other team's ass in every single category and it's ridiculous.
- In two previous games this season, each team has one win. St John's handed Manchester their only regulation loss, but Manchester is unbeaten in regulation on the road.
- Special Teams: Manchester's power play is ranked 17th (17.0%); St. John's is 13th (17.7%). Manchester's penalty kill is ranked 8th (85.7%); St. John's is 24th (80.0%)
- The Ice Caps leaders are Eric O'Dell (6-5=11) and Jason Jaffray (5-5=10). The team's leading rookie and leading defenseman, Brenden Kitchon, has 2 goals and 6 assists.
With the tragic departure of Tyler Toffoli and Linden Vey to the Los Angeles Kings, the top two forwards in Manchester (also NHL worthy) are Tanner Pearson and Jordan Weal. Pearson's been getting a lot of praise lately. His coach, Mark Morris, described Pearson as the team's "spark plug" in the wake of Toffoli's and Vey's call-ups.
Coach Morris went on to say that Pearson may feel "a little bit slighted" for not getting the opportunity for call-up to LA, but praised him for being able to elevate not only his own play, but to make those around him better as well, including his linemates Nick Shore and Andy Andreoff.
- The Monarchs leading scorer is Brandon Kozun (2-11=13), followed by Jordan Weal (2-10=13).
- Martin Jones has played in all but one of Manchester's 12 games this season, which seems like a good idea since he is playing so well, but will probably burn him out sooner or later. The Ice Caps are doing the same with their goaltender, Eddie Pasquale.
- Jones stats: 8-1-2 (8 wins is the most in the league), 1 shutout, 2.02 GAA, .933 SV% (4th best in the AHL).
- Pasquale's stats: 5-5-0, 2.42 GAA, .925 SV%.
- Because both goaltenders have played in almost every game for his respective team, they are both league leaders in minutes played, shots faced, and saves made. Jones leads the league in minutes played (682:59), while Pasquale is in second place (595:56). Jones also leads the league with 322 total saves, followed by Pasquale in second place with 296 saves made.