There are a few things one can take away from the Lake Erie Monsters two and one start. First, their young goaltenders looked very solid in their three outings. Sami Aittokallio stopped 29 of 30 shots in his debut in a Monsters Sweater. Calvin Pickard had a little rougher go of it in his first game of the year with a 3 – 2 loss against the Oklahoma City Barrons. He however followed up that game with a spectacular 40 save shutout on the road against the Toronto Marlies. These two goaltenders will be a solid tandem that can backstop this team. Now 3 games don’t make a season but if this performance level can be maintained , the goalie situation here in Cleveland will be nothing to worry about.
Next item to get to is how well the team is skating and the speed at which they maintain throughout the game. As a whole the Monsters kept up the tempo across all three games. There was a jump to their game and also a focus on a very offensive minded attack. This was not to say they didn’t have their issues either. Starting with Saturdays game against Oklahoma , the Monsters took a massive amount of penalties , most were a result of undisciplined play. Fortunately the teams penalty kill was up to the job, but you can’t expect them to bail you out all season.
Overall this young team will be well on its way if they can keep up their high tempo level of play and solid goaltending. One benefit of the lockout will be barring injuries , this will be the lineup we will be seeing and they will be able to gel and have a good working chemistry.
The Monsters start a 3 game road trip Saturday October 20th at the Oklahoma City Barrons. Puck drop is 8 pm EST and can be heard on the Monsters radio network or on AHL live.