Welcome to the first installment of the Farmclub Friday Report. This report is a special edition, Wednesday report. Contained in this, and each Farmclub Friday Report from now on, will be news about the Colorado Avalanche farm clubs and how the prospects in the system are doing.
The Lake Erie Monsters are currently sitting in 11th place in the Western Conference of the AHL. Even though that sounds like they are a ways out of the playoffs, they are actually only 4 points out of 6th place in the West. So the Monsters are in a similar boat as their NHL club when entering the stretch, meaning the playoffs are more than attainable.
In the last three games the Monsters are 1-1-0-1 with the overtime loss coming on February 25 to the Rochester Americans. This game was the second of a road back-to-back series. The first game of the back-to-back was against the Grand Rapids Griffins in which the Griffins took it to Lake Erie, shelling them 6-1.
Going into Rochester, Lake Erie was already shell-shocked, but came out fighting. Evan Brophey scored his team-leading 15th goal and goaltender Gerald Coleman stopped 24 out of 27 shots he faced in 65 minutes of play. But all of that is overshadowed by the epic shootout that took place after the overtime session. Lake Erie and Rochester went 15 shootout rounds, one shy of the AHL record.
With the NHL trade deadline now in the past, Lake Erie will have some new faces in their lineup shortly. Two names that will become familiar quickly are Mike Connolly and Michael Sgarbossa. These two men were acquired, along with Jamie McGinn, in the deadline day trade that sent Winnik and Galiardi to San Jose. These two new faces will hone their craft with Lake Erie and should be seen wearing the “Burgundy and Blue” in no time at all.
I, for one, am glad that Lake Erie is in the same playoff race as the Avalanche are right now. This means that each club, on both levels, will be playing with the mentality of “every game counts.” It gets tough when one club is out of the playoff race completely because the clubs do not get all they can, sometimes, out of players. The month of March proves to be every hockey fan’s dream now with the Monsters and Avalanche looking to make their respective runs. The games in March will have more of that playoff type feel to them and will only be that much more enjoyable for all hockey fans.
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