Monarchs Look For Vey-cant Spot In Playoffs
This hockey season has been abnormal compared to seasons past. Despite the American Hockey League starting as scheduled in October, the NHL Lockout carried on into the middle of January causing multiple changes to AHL rosters across the league just as teams started to settle into their identities. The Manchester Monarchs are no different, having five players from this season’s roster currently playing for the Los Angeles Kings. The Monarchs were then faced with injuries to multiple members of theie roster. Through all of it, Manchester has remained in the hunt for the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs. They enter this weekend in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and just two points behind the eighth seeded team for the final playoff position.
“I think this year it’s been a weird year,” said Monarchs center Linden Vey who leads the Monarchs with 59 points this season. “With the lockout and so many players going up and down, we’ve had a stretch here with bad injuries and we are just starting to get healthy which is a good thing going into the last 10 games of the regular season.”
Even with all of the influx and “chaos” surrounding the team, Vey has found consistency in his second professional season.
“With this being my second year in the league, I think you have that much more experience,” said Vey of his consistency of his play this season. “The coaches have given me a lot more opportunity this year because of the injuries and guys going up to L.A. For me, I know my job is just to contribute offensively and we have been doing that for the most part. My linemates and I, Andy (Andreoff) and (Tanner) Pearson have got a lot of chemistry going and we just have to keep things going the last 10 games here.”
Vey has had chemistry no matter who his linemates have been. Vey’s primary linemates this season had been left wing Tanner Pearson and right wing Tyler Toffoli. For the last few weeks, Toffoli has been suiting up for the Kings and Pearson was sidelined with an upper body injury. Vey did not skip a beat and has 41 assists this season which rank third among AHL skaters. Vey also has 18 goals which is only one shy of his mark last season with the Monarchs. Last Sunday, Vey tallied his 100th professional point. He also appeared in his 100th professional game in February.
“I think it’s always nice when you get personal recognition like that,” said Vey on hearing about his accomplishments. “It’s something you don’t really look at too much and to be honest, I didn’t even know that I had 100 points; I haven’t looked too much. Obviously, anytime when you get something like that it’s pretty special.”
Vey is quick to deflect any credit for team success as he believes the credit for that can be given to goaltender Martin Jones who has shouldered the load in the Monarchs crease for much of the season.
“The last 10-15 games since (Peter) Mannino went down, he’s been rock solid and he’s the reason why we are winning games of late,” said Vey. “I think you look back during the whole season and he’s been consistent, a guy that makes big saves for us. He is definitely going to have to continue the way he is if we want to make the playoffs.”
Vey and Jones look to continue their strong season as they help to bring the Monarchs into the playoffs for the 11th time in 12 seasons.