Tonight marks the first game of the season for the Lake Erie Monsters. The team looks to try and get that franchise first, playoff spot by getting a win tonight. The team looks solid this year with some players coming back for another season including both goaltenders Jason Bacashihua and John Grahame.
Last season ended badly for the Monsters who looked to get that playoff spot by just needing one win in the last five games of the season. They could not accomplish this and fell off the map with a loss to the Abbottsford Heat to end the season.
The team will work on improving and need help. Last year the Monsters saw a key player named Brandon Yip start with them but end up in Colorado by years end. Yip has been a fan favorite in Colorado and has won a starting position with the team.
Another former Monster who is up in the big times is, Phillipe Dupois who played well here in Cleveland and loved it here as well. The fans had lot to cheer about from this guy as he created scoring chances as well as getting close to setting a points record for the team.
A big pick up this year for the Monsters was center Julian Talbot, he was seen playing the last few years in Peiora for the Rivermen. Look for him to lead the team and create scoring chances.
For the Monsters to have success they need to rely on their top line. Look for Matt Ford to have a break out season on the wing.
The blue line is stacked with many players, some are above average but young and unheard of. Look for leadership and skill to be key this season. With all the other teams in the league picking up some players and retaining others, it looks to be a tough league.
In my opinion I think the Monsters will fight to the death and get that final playoff spot. It looks to be a great year. With the Parent club Colorado Avalanche being picked as a threat in the Western Conference of the NHL, the Monsters are sure to get some help from them as well as from their new partnering club from the CHL the Tulsa Oilers.
First game for the Monsters is tonight at 7:30pm against Syracuse.
Look for breakdowns of not only the team but the games as well from me as the season goes along.