The Reign didn’t practice Monday, probably a wise decision after a stretch of three games in three days in Bakersfield that saw its share of injuries and illness sweep through the team.
For tomorrow’s notebook Jordan Morrison discussed his recent hot streak – 14 points in his last nine games, and 29 points in his last 29. He’s a natural center and simply wasn’t as comfortable playing the wing; he believes switching back to the middle was the key to his turnaround.
That raised an interesting point: There are a lot of natural centers on this team who have played a ton of wing this season. Aaron Lewadniuk, C.J. Stretch, Justin Taylor, Brett O’Malley and Michael Pelech come to mind. Shawn Collymore has basically split the season at center and left wing and it hasn’t seemed to affect his production. Other natural centers have filtered through the roster – Jon Francisco, Tim Kraus, Pierre-Andre Bureau, Luke Popko – and probably all of them had to shift over at some point. Dusty Collins may be the only natural center who never seems to move.
That might help explain why the team has been better at faceoffs this season. At the same time, Morrison acknowledged that switching from center to wing isn’t necessarily easy, especially for a rookie transitioning from junior to pro.
More on that in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin. A few more tidbits from my interview this morning with Karl Taylor:
• D-man Pat Bowen was scratched Friday and Saturday because he was ill. O’Malley was dealing with a lower-body injury Sunday.
• On going 1-1-1 in Bakersfield, Taylor said “we wanted to get 4 or 5 points. It’s an improvement. We’ve been playing better lately. Is it enough? Time will tell. We’ve got a hole to climb out of. We’re probably going to need some help.”
• Regarding the ridiculous 157-81 disparity in shots over the three games, Taylor was blunt: “Their shot clock guy was not very good. We were outshot, but the shot clock was skewed. Friday night, the scoring chances were even. Saturday it got away from us late. The shots we were giving up were mostly perimeter shots Friday.”
• Taylor estimated that he needed seven stitches to close the wound inflicted by the puck that hit him in the head late in Sunday’s game.