FanPost

Monarchs @ Bears - ECF Preview


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I've gone 'round the hockeysphere and collected a few links for tonight's game:

 

The AHL's official playoff primer.

A series preview from the Bears' official blogger.

5 reasons the Bears will prevail, 2 reasons they might not.

The Bears don't make the web pages of the Los Angeles Times very often, but they did today.

Goalie duel!  Fortunately, the Bears have two scouts:

"Obviously, [Jonathan Bernier is] a great goalie," Neuvirth said. "He’s had a good year. He’s a top player for them. You’ve got to put some traffic in front of him."

Bears centerman Mathieu Perreault, whose Acadie-Bathurst team played against Bernier a lot in the QMJHL, agreed.

"If we let him see every shot, he’s going to stop them all," Perreault said. "When he sees it, he sees really good. We’re going to have to put some traffic and be in front of him.

"I would compare him to Neuvy kind of as a goalie. He’s kind of a standup goalie. He gets rattled if we can get some traffic. If we can get in his bubble, he gets really rattled. So maybe that’s something we will try to do."

Per Monarchsblogger Ian Clark the Manchester Monarchs' "prize" for reaching the Eastern Conference finals is a date with defending champion Hershey ... though I don't think it's Bryan Helmer's 146 NHL games that will be the Monarchs' biggest hurdle.

He also notes:

The Monarchs will be without enforcer Kevin Westgarth and alternate captain Marc-Andre Cliche. Both forwards' seasons ended with injuries in the Worcester series.

The Manchester Monarchs Examiner has these game notes:

The Monarchs enter the series having won eight of 10 playoff games this season, and 16 of their last 20 games dating back to the regular season.

Leading the way have been Bud Holloway, who tied an AHL record with six game-winning goals, and goalie Jonathan Bernier.

Bernier's 1.48 goals-against average in the playoffs is tops among goalies who have played more than five games.

"Hershey has been sitting there and waiting for the longest time," Manchester coach Mark Morris said after his team knocked out Worcester on Friday. "No doubt they had people here and had us scouted."

Coach Morris is correct - assistant Coach Troy Mann drew the Manchester scouting assignment as he and Coach French each broke down four Monarchs-Sharks games.

The series will provide Massachusetts natives Keith Aucoin, Chris Bourque and John Carlson a bit of a homecoming, and Grant Lewis played in college in New Hampshire at Dartmouth.

It’s also going to be logistically more convenient for Nova Scotia natives Gordon and Joudrey. Both have family members who plan to attend the series.

"It’s a much shorter trip to there," Joudrey said, "than it is to Pa. here."

Gordon said his mother, Brenda, is coming to see him play for just the second time since he was 8.

"It’s going to be cool," Gordon said.

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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