With the Kings officially out of the playoffs, we’ll try to shift some of our focus to the minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. Stacked with Kings prospects and youngsters, including Azevedo, Bernier, Hickey,Voynov, Moller, Martinez, Loktionov, Lewis, Cliche and more, the Monarchs are set to make a good run in the playoffs. It’s an opportunity for some of these future Kings to get some playoff experience and learn how to win games.
So far this season they seem to be doing just that. They performed admirably in the regular season, despite being devastated by injuries and call-ups. Bernier has been a rock in goal, and lead the Monarchs to a sweep of the Portland Pirates and into the Second Round against the Worchester Sharks. Game one was set for Sunday and they unfortunately fell short, losing 4-3 in the series opener. The Sharks came into the series as the #2 seed in the East, and looked like they’d be a tough challenge. The Monarchs followed the Kings lead and coughed up a lead with a terrible third period to lose game 1.
Tonight was game 2, and after a poor start to the series, the Monarchs bounced back with a 3-2 win in overtime. The winning goal in OT was scored by Bud Holloway, who has proven himself this postseason to be a player that thrives in the clutch. In fact, Holloway has scored EVERY game winning goal in the playoffs this season. That’s five games that he has personally been responsible for the winning goal. It’s an incredible feat, though if the Monarchs are going to contend they’ll need some offense from other areas.
The other goals came from Corey Elkins and Justin Azevedo. With the series even 1-1, it has become a five game series, and the Monarchs are poised to take the win home and move on to the Conference Final. Way to go Monarchs!
On another note, what about those Capitals? Damn, losing to the Canadians? Is Halak talented? Of course, but they should have handled that team with no problem. Things are going to change in Washington, that’s for sure. And you’d better believe the rest of the Eastern Conference is breathing a little easier with that giant out of the race.