One Game At A Time
The Manchester Monarchs have been fighting an uphill battle as they attempt to leap over a few teams to move into a playoff position for the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs. Currently four points out of a playoff position with just nine games remaining, the Monarchs will need a full team effort to accomplish their task of making it to the post-season.
The Monarchs are at full strength as left wing Tanner Pearson and right wing Stefan Legein, who each play a big role for Manchester, returned to the line-up last week after missing games due to injury and should help the team finish the regular season strong. Legein rejoined the Monarchs line-up on Friday, March 29. Pearson returned to the Monarchs line-up on Wednesday, March 27.
Pearson has picked up where he left off before missing a total of 11 games with an upper body injury. In two games since his return, Pearson has a goal and three assists for four points and a plus/minus of plus-3.
“It’s obviously tough being out,” said Pearson about the feeling players get when forced to miss games due to injury. “You get out of the line-up for a period of time and you almost start to think you’re not a part of the team. Not knowing what’s going on in the room and traveling with them on the road, that kind of stuff. It’s obviously nice to be back in the line-up and producing again.”
A first-round selection (30th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Pearson has had a solid rookie season tallying 14 goals and 25 assists for 39 points in 55 games. His production continues to be strong despite having to adjust multiple charges throughout the duration of the season. First, as a rookie adjusting to professional hockey and second, playing more minutes and in more situation after the NHL Lockout ended.
“I think it’s a little different coming into it, not knowing what you’re going to expect,” reflected Pearson. “But as the year has gone on and the more I played, I got more comfortable out there in all situations.”
Every game has playoff implications and there has been an increased intensity to their games as of late.
“No matter where you play or what level, I think the second half of the season is always so much more critical,” reasoned Pearson. “Each game takes more of a purpose to make it into the playoffs. We’re battling right now and hopefully we can sneak in.”
With only a hand full of games remaining, the Monarchs know they have their work cut out for them but it is important they remain focused on the next game.
“We have nine games left and four points out so we have to focus game-by-game and not look ahead to the next one and try to get the two points on hand this Friday.”