Manchester wrapup

In a rough end to a weird series, Manchester blew a 2-0 lead last night, lost in overtime and got swept by Providence in the first-round AHL series. Don Fulton did a recap and also caught up with Monarchs coach Mark Morris this morning…

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Manchester lost last night, 3-2 in overtime, dropping its series to Providence in four games.

The Monarchs held a 2-0 lead heading into the third period on goals from David Meckler -on an assist from Oscar Moller, his first point in the AHL – and a late second period goal from Brady Murray. But the Bruins scored two goals in the third to tie the game, and tallied the game-winner only 46 seconds into overtime to end Manchester’s season. Jonathan Bernier took the loss for Manchester, stopping 24 of 27 shots.

Three of the four games in the series were decided in overtime.

Coach Mark Morris spoke this morning about the series and the season…..

On Providence:

“We certainly faced a formidable opponent in Providence and we found out why they are a first place team. They are very thorough. We found out that their experience on the back end and their quickness were the difference-makers in the series.”

On the reality of losing the series:

“I think my son put it best when he called me after the game and said, ‘Dad, come to the realization that you’ve lost three overtime games to the first place team in the American Hockey League,’ and at that point it really starts to sink in and you start to accept losing. By the same token I thought our team came a long way this year. Looking at the youth in our lineup and the progress that we made.”

On getting into the post season due to the efforts of young players:

“One of our key guys that got us into position, Brian Boyle was not with us when we needed him most. He was such a big factor on power plays and was our top center. That had some barring on the series. He had a great season, as did Ted Purcell and Matt Moulson and Gabe Gautier. Those guys were our front runners, and quietly David Meckler contributed 23 goals. We you see that kind of production from first and second year players, you know you are headed in the right direction.”

On the residual sting of the Game 3 loss:

“We had those two goals taken away the other night, and in our opinion they were both legit. The fact of the matter is we weren’t credited with them and we spent a lot of time in the penalty box, and we withstood the barrage and still we were right there when the game was on the line, but it just didn’t work out for us.”

On the playoffs and the season:

“If you left it out on the ice you can hold your head high. From the standpoint of helping the Kings getting their organization moving in the right direction I think we made strides toward that end, but nobody likes to lose. It has been a very rewarding year in a lot of ways, we turned a lot of heads. Every game was a struggle both physically and mentally, but our guys battled every night.”

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  • anthony

    Tough loss.
    Coach Morris made a terrible decision to start Bernier over Quick.

    Quick ended the season with a strong performance.
    He was one of the reasons why Manchester had a late run and finally made the playoffs. He took over after Ersberg was recalled and did an oustanding job.

    His one playoff game that he did play, he only gave up one goal.

    Bernier was just recently signed and not to used to the AHL system. He should have been backing up Quick. He had no business starting 3 out of 4 games.

    Another stat that caught my attention was Purcell and Moulson were both Minus-9 and Harrold was a Minus-8. These players better work on that stat if they want to make it big in the NHL.
    We have enough MINUS players on the Kings roster as is.

  • king genius

    so much for creating a winning atmosphere within the organization.

  • nykingfan

    Why wouldn’t you want Bernier starting in goal? The whole idea is to get him ready for next season’s battle to make the Kings. He gains absolutely nothing from sitting on the bench backing up Quick.
    In the grand scheme of things, I could care less whether they won or lost. It was all about getting “future Kings” the experience they will need when it comes time for them to play in the NHL and in the playoffs. Winning is nice, but not at the expense of getting playoff experience. If winning was that important, they would have gone with a more veteran team in Manchester. Doing so would do nothing for the team we all care about…the Kings!

  • Tami

    I think the boys should be proud of themselves. They battled to make it into the playoffs and even though they didn’t win a game, they were right there with the number 1 team in the league. I don’t think there is anything to criticize.

  • dominic lavoie

    Anthony,

    I don’t think anybody is questioning the performance of Quick or Bernier. They both played well and who is to say how many goals Quick would have given up in the games Bernier played?

    The one thing I would have prefered is to have Quick and Bernier both play twice. He was as responsible as anyone for the team making the playoffs and I have to wonder the impact it had on the team to have Bernier sweep in at the end and get the majority of the playoff starts.

    I realize Bernier is the heir apparent in Los Angeles but Quick has the potential to also play goal in the NHL and I would like to see him get his chance with the Kings. If he is jettisoned in the offseason because of the perceived log jam in the system I will not be pleased.

    I want at least another year of Quick, Bernier, Ersberg, Taylor and Zatkoff in the organization before we start sending people elsewhere.

  • anthony

    What happens if Quick or Zatkoff put on a stronger performance in training camp and prove to be better than Bernier.

    Do you still go with Bernier because he was DL’s 1st round pick and the heir to the goalie throne?

  • Mark

    I don’t think we should treat any of our goalies as if they are the heir apparent; give them time. We’ve shipped off enough goalies that have become legit 1b’s elsewhere.

    Also, I’m all for looking for the silver lining in the clouds, but am I the only one disturbed by this quote?

    “Come to the realization that you’ve lost three overtime games to the first place team in the American Hockey League,’ and at that point it really starts to sink in and YOU START TO ACCEPT LOSING.”

  • Darren

    Coach Morris has no say on what goalie starts. It comes from Deano/Hexy

  • cob

    Purcell with an embarrassing -9 in the series. This is troubling because Purcell is as useful as Cammalleri is in the defensive zone. How many more defensive liabilities do we need on this team.

  • Anonymous

    To Anthony’s and Cob’s point on Purcell/Moulson +/-, I have never seen such bad luck in a single series, D shattered stick on slapshot in first game, Prov takes it down ice and scores. Shot deflects off 3 pairs of skates then in the net on another, an empty net goal against in game 2. Shot from behind net in game 3. Thought Moulson looked a little off his game. Turns out he’s been playing with fractured ribs since first period in first game of series. With Boyle out, Gauthier coming back after serious injury… 3 OT games. I agree with Morris. Lousy result but Monarchs can hold their heads high after this series.

  • Maverick

    @Anthony

    It depends on how you look at it. You can look at it as a fan or as management. The Kings are trying to build their youth. These are all unproven prospects and you cannot afford to be a fan and play someone just because you like them or as a favor.

    Bernier has been scouted as the Franchise #1 and all the confidence for now is in him. DL wants the kid to go through as many trials as he can before training camp because he is expected to be competing for a spot and Quick is expected to be down for more seasoning. Of course Quick can earn the job if he stands on his head in camp and somehow proves himself above all others.

    But we have to look at this rationally, the chances of that are slim to none. DL cannot afford to be a fan, he has to do what he thinks is best for player development and the franchise, no matter how unfair it may seem to some.

  • dominic lavoie

    Anthony,

    If Quick and/or Zatkoff both outperform Bernier than he is sent down to Manchester and battles with one of the other two for the #1 spot down there.

    We have essentially eight spots for goaltenders in the pro ranks. There is plenty of room for everyone.

  • anthhony

    Good point Dominic

    But do you think Zatkoff, Bernier, Taylor, or Quick, all signed contracts to play in the ECHL and AHL.

    Bernier will not be a happy camper if he’s demoted to the minors.

    I say, trade one of them in a package deal with Lord Cammi or Lubo-cookie and bring in a kick-ass D-man.

  • dominic lavoie

    Anthony,

    Bernier will not be happy but the guy needs to earn his spot. He was able to earn the number one job last year – if he can’t earn it this year that is not the team’s fault. As DL as said it is not good to just pencil people into a spot – it has to be earned. Patrick O’Sullivan was probably not happy about going to the minors last season but it did him a world of good.

    I agree that at some point you package one of the goaltenders for another asset but in the case of Zatkoff and Quick it is to early to really know what we have. Quick exceeded expectations this year (started in the ECHL) and deserves a look.

    My points are that competition is a good thing and we shouldn’t trade a goalie until we have a better sense of what we got. I do appreciate your posts however…

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