So there have been twelve games since I last reported from the Jungle, and in those games, they have a record of 7-4-0-1. It should be noted that the last two losses were in shootouts; something they have actually been pretty solid on this season. Do you know what I call that? Some serious mojo. Kickin’ ass and takin’ names. Laying the smacketh down on all their roody-poo candy-asses. Showing those prehistoric bitches how we do things downtown.
Okay, I’ll stop with the quotes. You get my point.
Things are going great for the Monarchs right now. There’s really no better way to say it. They’re still leading the eastern conference and the victories are piling up. In the five seasons that I’ve been a season ticket holder, this may be the best season start I have ever witnessed first-hand. Even with a couple of our resident hotshots — Vey and Toffoli — doing time up in LA along with our ever-vigilant net-minder Jonesey (congrats on the 4-0 record, by the way), the guys down in Manchester are keeping a great season rolling.
Anyone who knows anything about hockey knows that it’s first and foremost, a team sport; it takes a team to win and it takes a team to lose. Sure, a great goalie can steal a game for you here and there, but in the end everyone has jobs to do. Hockey is a game of mistakes; whoever makes fewer mistakes usually wins. In the case of the Monarchs, they’re not making a ton — at least not costly — and that’s a good thing. But that isn’t to say there aren’t standout players right now. That’s kind of what I wanted to share some quips about.
I’ve been asked by a few people how Nic Deslauriers has been doing since switching from D to Left Wing. In a word? Awesome! He’s still right where he needs to be on the forecheck, he’s playing physical, dropping the gloves when an opposing skater’s getting out of line, getting timely looks at the net, and much to fans’ delight, finding the back of it when it counts. The best and most recent example was the game on Black Friday that went into OT; D-Lo was the guy who ended it in extraordinary fashion. Check out the highlights for yourselves.
The guys pig-piled on him after he scored the GWG like they had just won a conference championship. It was a sight to see, and the thunderous roar of applause and cheers from the crowd echoed the on-ice sentiment.
Another guy who has been really stepping up is young goaltender, Jean-Francois Berube. I had the pleasure of seeing him play in two or three games a couple of seasons ago. Back then, he was pretty green. I really felt like if the D weren’t working extra hard to keep the rubber off of him, the opponents would have been scoring at-will.
The JF who is in net right now? The guy’s a monster. He’s got great rebound control, he’s keeping his eyes on the puck, and no matter how close that little fucker is to crossing the goal line, he never gives up. I see in him what I loved about watching Peter Mannino (now in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) play last season. He has no quit and he doesn’t take any shit; he doesn’t hesitate to jab a player trying to screen him or push him around.
I’m also loving seeing young forward Jordan Weal show just how much his game has developed since last season. He is much more confident with the puck and doesn’t seem afraid to deke and dangle around pesky defenders. Some of the goals he’s gotten have left me in awe. How he sees the openings that he does is beyond me. Goalie hugging the post? Short-side top-shelf all day.
What’s even better is he’s giving other guys on his line chances with great passes. Kozun, Deslauriers and several others have all been beneficiaries of his vision.
I could easily go on for days about contributions from other guys on the team. Sometimes it’s tough when I’m in the stands watching the game to really keep tabs on what any specific players are doing well. The fact that I can call out those three — or possibly many others — says what needs to be said.
This weekend the guys are playing two away and one at home against the Worcester Sharks, Adirondack Phantoms and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Will they continue their winning ways? Here’s hoping.
Go Monarchs (and Kings!)
Categories: L.A. Kings News