As predicted, Louis Domingue stole a game his team had zero business winning and gives them another chance at the Calder Cup. However, the Monarchs weren't totally blameless and had a few defensive errors in the most Los Angeles Kings game ever.
Francis Wathier delivered the blow with 2.9 seconds remaining in regulation while Kevin Gravel, Derek Forbort and Brian O'Neill left the slot open to chase a harmless Portland player.
And for the third game in a row, Sheng Peng was kind enough to share his feelings on the game with me.
- Adrian Kempe is reminiscent of Dustin Brown circa '03 when he (Brown) was 18. Not style but insofar as already NHL-size/speed. But how far will his hands take him?
- Domingue was excellent & reason why POR still playing.
- MCH wasn't perfect but definitely outplayed POR.
- On the GWG, Forbort, Gravel and O'Neill got beat to the puck by one forechecker (Brendan Shinnimin), then both Jordan Weal and O'Neill lost Wathier in slot.
So, no, the Monarchs weren't perfect but they definitely deserved to win this. However, the game winner was symptomatic of a larger problem of the team's defense:
Far too many shots from the point have beaten Berube this series. Far, far too many.— Andy Tonge (@AndyTonge1) April 26, 2015
I'm not sure if that's so much a comment on J.F. Berube as it is on the Monarchs allowing a lot of shots from the point. Either way, they're very Kings-like in allowing a silly amount of tip-ins and shots from the point and slot.
Manchester Monarchs 15 Playoffs Individual Stats
|14||David Van der Gulik||LW||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0.0|
Jordan Weal has been absolute money in this series. He got the brief go-ahead goal for the Monarchs and is definitely out to prove something. I almost wish Darryl Sutter was in Manchester to see what he's missing out on. Don't expect to see Weal associated with the Kings come September.
Michael Mersch has continued his torrid scoring streak and got the game-tying goal on an extended 5-on-3 power play.
The Monarchs' special teams was pretty bad tonight. I know they scored 5-on-3 but they were on at least one man advantage for well over two minutes. The PK was good as it finally didn't allow a goal.
However, Henrik Samuelsson continues to be a pain in the ass for the Monarchs and they still haven't really contained him. They'll get another crack at limiting him and Shinnimin's opportunities.
Manchester Monarchs 15 Playoffs Schedule
* If necessary
The Monarchs will have a few days to rest and get back on track. Head Coach Mike Stothers will need to be careful with some of the young players who are getting weary of Portland's dirty play and who were demoralized by today's loss. Tonge believes with the strong leadership in the room they'll be able to manage to overcome the disappointing results and get a win on Thursday.