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State of the Monsters Address: Three Games in a Row Makes One Sleepy

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Photo Credit: John Saraya/Cleveland Monsters

The Cleveland Monsters had quite the busy weekend playing an aggressive back-to-back-to-back schedule.

On Thursday, February 28th the Monsters started out strong scoring two goals in the first 4:31 of the game. Unfortunately, the Laval Rocket got the best of them and ended up pulling away with the 5-4 win.

The next night the Monsters ran away with the 4-1 win over the Rocket. After this huge win,the Monsters hopped on the bus and traveled to Canada where they would take on the Toronto Marlies at 5pm. The tight turnaround did the Monsters no favors and they fell just short of a comeback.

Scratches

Alex Broadhurst, Nathan Gerbe, Calvin Thurkauf, Justin Wade, Maxime Fortier, and Sonny Milano .

Justin Wade and Maxime Fortier are the only ones who were health scratches.

Forwards

Two-Way Contract

Paul Bittner

Paul Bitter did a lot of great defensive work this past weekend. He also constantly forced turnovers.

Zac Dalpe

Zac Dalpe is hands down the best player on the team. He excels at calling plays and is fantastic on the power play.

Maxime Fortier

Maxime Fortier did not play well on Thursday. He missed passes and his shooting/passing accuracy was way off. Towards the end of the game, Fortier laid some good hits on the Rocket.

After being scratched on Friday, Fortier played a rather quiet game on Saturday against the Marlies. In fact, the whole fourth line was quiet on Saturday.

Mark Letestu

Mark Letestu worked hard to set up plays last weekend. He also spent a lot of time talking with DeSalvo on the ice.

On Friday, despite pulling out all the tricks in his bag, Letestu could not get past Michael McNiven. Despite arriving in Toronto in the early hours of the morning, he was quite the quick shooter on Saturday.

Justin Scott

On Thursday and Friday, Justin Scott fired off a lot of shots and was great with battles along the boards. The only downfall to Scott's game on Thursday and Friday was how hard he tried to score. The extra pressure he put on himself made for slightly frantic play.

He aggressively attacked the net on Saturday giving the netminder a workout.

Kole Sherwood

Kole Sherwood continues to play a patient and smart game. He came up big by foiling a big breakaway by Jordan Subban in Saturday’s game.

Kevin Stenlund

Kevin Stenlund has not been as loud as the past few weeks.

His control of the puck has been on point. It was nice to see Stenlund play a more defensive game on Friday against the Rocket.

Stenlund was out with an injury on Saturday.

Sam Vigneault

Sam Vigneault has been getting quicker with every game. However, he’s been flying under the radar a lot. I often forget he’s out on the ice.

AHL Only Contract

Dan DeSalvo

Dan DeSalvo was easily rattled by the Laval Rocket. When on the power play even the goalie manhandled him.

He also struggled with picking up rebounds, calling plays, and shooting accuracy.

DeSalvo still can’t convert breakaways into goals.

If he can fix a few of these things, DeSalvo's game will change immensely.

Brett Gallant

Brett Gallant made a few key rookie mistakes on Thursday. He then played very quietly the rest of the weekend.

The highlight of the weekend for Gallant was watching the Rocket and Marlies get frustrated with the fact he was not going to play into their aggressive play.

Nikita Korostelev

Nikita Korostelev had multiple turnovers during the weekend due to the fact he couldn’t keep his stick down. Also, he struggled to pick up rebounds.

I will give him some credit for trying to knock Tom Sestito over on Saturday. Pretty ballsy move.

Miles Koules

Miles Koules had a rough Thursday night. He just seemed off and wasn’t zipping across the ice like he normally does. When Friday night rolled around he was back to his old self.

On Saturday night, Koules was bumped up a line. Boy was he on fire. It’s unfortunate his linemates, Ryan MacInnis and Nikita Korostelev, couldn’t help him out.

Defense

Two-Way Contract

Gabriel Carlsson

Gabriel Carlsson spent the weekend cleaning up forwards from the crease and played as an extension of Jean-Francois Berube and Brad Thiessen.

Adam Clendening

Adam Clendening talks a lot with Koules on the ice. Before faceoffs you can tell they are discussing possible plays and their outcome.

Ryan Collins

Ryan Collins played well on Thursday and Friday. He constantly closed up holes and handled anyone who got too close to Berube and Thiessen. He was having a blast kicking members of the ROcket out the crease. The icing on the cake was Collins’ rebound goal in Thursday’s game.

A much different Collins appeared in Saturday’s game against the Marlies. He had a turnover along the boards which led to a goal. He played a very sleepy game of hockey.

Tommy Cross

Tommy Cross spent the weekend throwing people out of the crease. He also called a few key plays which led to goals.

Dillon Simpson

Dillon Simpson was appropriately aggressive. He spent the weekend throwing his body in front of shots. One of which bounced off the side of his face.

Doyle Somerby

Doyle Somerby played well on Thursday and Friday. He laid on the ground to block shocks. As well as, got under the oppositions skin. Saturday was much different. He was lethargic, fumbled the puck a lot, and made a plethora of questionable passes.

Goaltenders

Two-Way Contract

Jean-Francois Berube

Jean-Francois Berube spent Thursday night laying it all out there against the Rocket. He snatched pucks out of the air and made some big saves on point blank shots.

AHL Only Contract

Brad Thiessen

Brad Thiessen played some pretty ballsy hockey on Friday and Saturday. Only backfired once on Friday night. A phenomenal use of his legs allowed Thiessen to make slick kicks saves.