Preview: Cleveland Looks to Start 2018 on a Positive Note
Cleveland Monsters at Rockford IceHogs
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2017
BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, Illinois
8:00 pm EST
Radio: 99x(99.1); 99x Online
Twitter: @goicehogs , @Monstershockey
Cleveland Monsters; 9-15-3-2, 23 points, .397 win%, 7th Central, 15th West
Rockford IceHogs; 18-13-1-1, 38 points, .576 win%, 2nd Central, 6th West
The Cleveland Monsters are looking to kick off 2018 with a win over the Rockford IceHogs. Thus far, they have split the season series 1-1.
Both teams ended December with losses. However, the Monsters are more than likely the hungriest of the two squads. They are currently riding a four-game lose streak and have won only two of their last 10 games.
The Monsters' special teams have a chance to shine tonight. Both Cleveland and Rockford sit at the bottom of the leaderboard on the power play with 11.4% (RFD) and 11.3% (CLE). They also sit close to the bottom of the board on the penalty kill, 79.3% (RFD) and 78.8% (CLE). If the Monsters' special teams can spot the breakdown within the IceHogs' special teams, they will capitalize on the opponents weakness and the game will definitely swing in Cleveland's favor.
With the loss of Zac Dalpe to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Monsters will be down another offensive generator. All of the forwards need to step up from now until the end of the season. If everyone is creating offense whether it's shots on goals, causing takeaways, and pulling plays out of thin air, the Monsters will turn this season around.
Most importantly, the Monsters need to calm down. They have a bad habit of playing frantic hockey when things start to get away from them. When frantic hockey play begins the game gets even further out of their hands. Clear minds and confidence will be key to a successful road trip.
10/7/2017 – Rockford (4) at Cleveland (0) – recap
10/31/2017 – Rockford (2) at Cleveland (3) – preview - recap