Monday Manchester update

From Don:

Brady Murray scored two goals, Teddy Purcell, Brian Boyle and David Meckler added one goal each, and the Monarchs increased their hold on the final playoff spot in the AHL’s Eastern Conference by five points, as the team defeated the Hershey Bears last night 5-2. Goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 31 of 33 shots to improve his record to 8-8-0 on the season. The Monarchs currently have 79 points with only six games left to play – including the final three games of the season against the league’s best team, the Providence Bruins (107 points). The Monarchs (35-30-5-4) look to maintain or extend their five point lead over the Springfield Falcons on Wednesday night at home against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

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Harrold happy to be here

From Don:


Peter Harrold went from being “the” guy on defense for the Manchester Monarchs, to adding some necessary depth on the Kings’ blue line. The 24-year old says he has made the transition, but is still learning the NHL brand of hockey.

“It’s a pretty big transition, I mean the game is so much faster here,” Harrold said. “I think I’m fitting in pretty well and learning more and more every day. It’s important to try and get better every day.”

Still, it is kind of strange going from being the quarterback of the Monarchs’ power play to suddenly being a depth player for the Kings.

“It’s no problem for me. Obviously you want to get to the point where you can be on the power play at this level, but you have to crawl before you can walk,” he said. “I’m trying to learn a little more each and every day and when you watch those guys on the power play and try to pick up on the little things that they do so that when I get my chance I know what to do.”

Odds are that the depleted defensive unit at Manchester will get an infusion should Harrold be reassigned to the Monarchs following the conclusion of the Kings’ season.

“They haven’t talked to me about it yet, but I’d like to go back. I like playing in the playoffs and as soon as the season is done here, I hope they send me back,” Harrold said. “I pay a lot of attention to what is going on in Manchester. They’re my friends that played there all year and most of last year, so I’d love to go down there and help them in the playoffs.”

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Monday practice report

Here’s what went on in El Segundo today, courtesy of Don…


Goalie Dan Cloutier returned to the ice today and pronounced himself fit to play. Cloutier faced shots and appeared to show no issues with mobility as a result of the groin strain that kept him out of action over the weekend. “I feel good, I’m just not sure if I’ll be playing in San Jose,” Cloutier said.

Coach Marc Crawford was unsure about the health of his beleaguered goaltender, and says it will be the training staff who ultimately makes the decision concerning Cloutier’s availability.

“We’re not 100% sure about Dan. He tried it today, but whether or not he can be a guy who is ready to play tomorrow, that’s another question,” he said.

Rookie Erik Ersberg who has started the last five games for the Kings is likely to be in net tomorrow in San Jose.

“I think we are definitely looking at playing Erik tomorrow regardless, because I just don’t think Dan is ready, and we’ll probably have a decision to make if Dan continues to improve,” Crawford said. “The trainers are going to make the decision here now if they feel he is going to be at least good enough to be an option for us tomorrow and is capable of playing. We’ll deal with that as it moves along. I guess you’ll have your answer later on if we call someone up.”

And what about the possibility of not calling anyone up, declaring Cloutier fit to play and both goalies go down (hey, it could happen); who is the Kings’ emergency back-up goalie?

“We don’t have one,” Crawford said. “The trainer Corey Osmak always plays in net when we need someone. He plays in Osmak-ian fashion,” he joked.

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Cammalleri speaks

Don Fulton talked to Michael Cammalleri at practice today…


Forward Michael Cammalleri has had a difficult season, to say the least.

Following his much-publicized arbitration hearing and, ultimately, the ruling in favor of the Kings, the 25-year-old winger has struggled to regain his 2006-2007 numbers that saw him net career highs in goals (34) and points (80). This season he has tallied 19 goals and 27 assists in 60 games, and most of his drop-off can be attributed to missing the entire month of January with a nagging rib injury.

Cammalleri answered a few questions about his disappointing season today:

Q: There’s a perception from some people that the arbitration process and ruling has negatively impacted your game.

Cammalleri: I don’t think the actual hearing had any negative impact. It’s obviously been a tough year for me personally for different reasons. I’m not going to sit here and say the arbitration process is the reason why.

Q: There’s another perception that from last year to this year you have turned into a selfish player.

Cammalleri: I don’t know where that comes from. I wouldn’t give much credit to hearing that. The game is still fun, and obviously it has been a frustrating year, but I still have fun playing the game. It’s been frustrating because we haven’t been able to win as many games as I thought we could have, but I don’t think by any means that it is a selfish moment or anything like that. I just wanted us to do a little bit better as a team.

Q: Has this been your most frustrating year ever in organized hockey?

Cammalleri: It has been a tough year, but you live and you learn, and I’ve kind of been able to analyze some things for myself and for the team. You just get better from the experience, so it doesn’t worry me too much.

Q: Are you 100% back from your injury?

Cammalleri: I feel really good. It is one of those injuries that I don’t think will heal all the way until I get a full summer off. It definitely feels a lot better than it did.

Q: If you had to wager a guess; are you a member of the Los Angeles Kings next season?

Cammalleri: I would think so. My contract says that I am and I haven’t heard otherwise.

Q: Do you want to be back?

Cammalleri: I definitely want to be a King. It will be interesting to see what we do.

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