Monarchs Hockey Is Back
For the last week, the Manchester Monarchs have been putting in extra on-ice practices and difficult off-ice workouts as the start of the 2012-13 season is about to get underway. There has been a lot of teaching and learning in this season’s Training Camp as the Monarchs have adopted Darryl Sutter’s system that helped the Los Angeles Kings storm through the playoffs and win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
“It has been really good for everyone,” said Monarchs defenseman Thomas Hickey. “A lot of new stuff and things to go over but I think everyday we have had a couple key topics that we want to focus on and have done a really good job with them. The last couple days have been about our game as a whole and putting it all together and get on the right page.”
The Monarchs will tryout their new system for the first time in exhibition games this weekend as they play the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday, October 5 and play two games against the Portland Pirates in a VIP Cup preview on Sunday, October 7 and Monday, October 8.
“There are going to be mistakes out there by first year guys and by guys that have been here for a while in this new system,” stated Hickey. “It is a good time to get the kinks out and a good time to make some mistakes and we will have time to go over (aspects of the game) before we play those next two exhibition games. (These games) are really important to get a few new things in place. There are a couple new rules so it is a good time to get those worked out.”
When the Sound Tigers come to town on Friday, former Monarchs Assistant Coach Scott Pellerin will be coaching in his first game as the new Head Coach of the New York Islanders affiliate.
“Yes I am (excited to see Pellerin),” said Hickey. “I really am. We are all really excited for Pelley. We are expecting a ‘sneaky’ offense. I think he knows what that means. We have to be on our toes. He is a smart guy and he will have his guys ready to play so it will be fun.”
While it will be nice to see the former Assistant Coach that called Manchester home for the last six seasons, it will take some getting used to seeing him on the opponent’s bench.
“It will be a little bit of a different look,” said Monarchs right wing Linden Vey. “We are so used to having him behind us. He is a great guy and was a good coach for the organization. I think he does a great job. He was big for me last year. He helped me a lot and I wish him the best of luck but hopefully not too much against us.”
The Monarchs are wise to not wish too much luck for any of their opponents as tight playoffs races go down to the final days of the regular season with every standings point making a difference. Something last year’s squad knows all to well. Include the new VIP Cup rivalry series that the Pirates and Monarchs will be competing for and the exhibition games may be able to help them prepare to play against their opponents when they meet in the regular season.
“When you see a team a lot you get to know their style of play and what their tendencies are,” said Vey. “It makes it easier to prepare for games and to know what to expect. It is a new season and there will be a lot of new faces on every team and it is one of the best times of the year and I am looking forward to start the season.”
Hickey is also anxious to play some games and is also looking forward to competing against another team.
“You can practice all you want but you can really show what you can do in a game and we are all excited to get out there and play.”
Monarchs fans can attend Friday’s game at Sullivan Arena and Monday’s game at the ICENTER in Salem for free if you are a Monarchs Ticket Package Holder or for a small donation to the Monarchs Care Foundation. Sunday’s game is in Portland, Maine at the Portland Ice Arena.