Manchester, part 1 of 2 (edited)

Will add some thoughts on this at home; got a ride I don’t want to keep waiting too long, and don’t forget, rematch tomorrow (with a Sacred Heart bonus thereafter). But:

–Trevor Gillies didn’t play most of the last two periods. He went headlong into the boards after missing a check on Jake Muzzin. Brent Thompson said they’ll have him evaluated by their doctors when they get home.

–So does that mean Justin DiBenedetto tomorrow? Thompson said he hoped but wasn’t committing to it.

–The primary reason is probably “logistics,” the secondary is “2-1 in the shootout,” but it’s still not right that Anders Nilsson doesn’t wind up as a star of the game. Made some crazy saves, right up until Kozun with 3.2 seconds to go.


More later. In the meantime: Holy cro.


The promised “more later,” which won’t be as much as I’d like, because (a) darn it, part 2 of 2 is in about an hour and a half 12 hours, and (2) my notebook is sitting in the car, so happy paraphrasing:

One thing Thompson mentioned was that he’d like to see the team get in shooting lanes more. Well and good that Nilsson made every save but one, but if they could even have prevented some of those, it might’ve made it easier on them. That said, they blocked a lot of shots, and Manchester may’ve blocked even more. I think the Monarchs blocked three or four just on the first shift of that overtime power play. (Would love a semi-official count tonight of both scoring chances and blocked shots.)

Thompson thought they moved the puck well enough on the power play. It certainly jump-started the second period, from a period they were doing well in to certainly their best stretch of the game. It also did well enough in overtime, but the Monarchs had to have blocked four or five shots in those two minutes. Aaron Ness talked about the power-play work they’re doing in practice, and now they just have to get that going in games as well.

One thing they’d like to change is puck possession. That is, they’d like more of it. The Monarchs had too many stretches where they controlled the puck and wore Bridgeport down. It didn’t lead to many goals, or even multiple goals, but it’s risky.

Thought it was one of Backman’s better games. In addition to the continuing PK work, he was using his speed well, getting the puck in and deep, backchecking smartly.

That’s the highlights of what I remembered. If I get in the car tomorrow, that is today, and see anything that jumps out, I’ll try to mention it.

Michael Fornabaio