Bears v. Monarchs 1/24
January 26, 2009 | Filed in: AHL, Manchester Monarchs, bear awards, da b'ars

With the NHL taking a weekend off, what’s a hockey blogger to do? Well, drive to Hershey to watch Caps Jersey Night, of course!
I took Steph along with me (not to be confused with Steph, or as I’ve started referring to her, The Party Queen of Detroit) and we partook of the night’s festivities in fine fashion.

Perhaps most amusing were the two people behind us that didn’t seem to realize that although it was Caps Jersey Night, the team playing in front of them were NOT, in fact, the Washington Capitals. A few times, they cheered on Steckel (39: Brennan) and Bradley (10: Gordon) as well as Green (??) and Ovechkin (??!!?)

I am not Don Cherry, as you’ve all probably figured out. I do like a good hockey fight, but I don’t like seeing anyone seriously injured at the end of it. Coming off of the fight against Garrett Klotz, I was hoping that Kevin Westgarth would at the very least hold himself back for maybe a game or so, but instead he came out swinging again in the first period, taking on Bears resident heavyweight Kip Brennan before having a questionable altercation with Amadio partway through the first. With Amadio, Westgarth caught him over in front of the boards, and from section 110, it looked eerily similar to the events that dropped Garrett Klotz. Amadio wasn’t trying to fight back, but wound up helmetless and a little shaken up to one end of the Bears bench afterwards. Needless to say, Westgarth got the seat for roughing, but I can’t help but think maybe he should get a little EXTRA time off to think about his game if he’s going to keep that sort of crap up.

This was a pretty chippy game in general, with Beagle and Brennan both dropping the gloves and Sloan getting called on a roughing penalty.This makes it two fights in two games for Beagle now, and during the jersey auction, Gordon announced that they were changing his name to “Beagle the Butcher” in honor of the blood spatter he left after the fight with Piskula.

Neuvrith was in goal, as Machesney tweaked his groin that morning, and while it was a good showing overall, there’s something intangible about him that hasn’t seemed to click in entirely yet. While he reined in any desires he had to go on Conklinesque walkabout for the most part, there seemed to be a lot more scrambling for position than there is with Varlamov or even Machesney.

Three stars from me:
Giroux: That goal was sick- for those of you who missed it, it was a breakaway with one Monarch trailing, and somehow Giroux managed to pull over to the goalie’s left and put it in right behind the opposite goalpost. The angle was such that if I hadn’t seen it live, I wouldn’t have believed it was possible.
Beagle: Good to see him back in condition to fight and to play. He’s a good solid Brooks Laich-esque puck handling body who’s not afraid to get in there and stick up for himself and others. I’m still hoping he gets his shot at the big show.
Lepisto: Two assists on two goals, he seems to have gained his confidence back from the bashing he got at the hands of the Caps fans the last time he was called up.

All content © 2008