Eastern Conference Preview: Toronto Marlies
Between the 66 meetings between these two teams in years past, the Cleveland Monsters and Toronto Marlies are well-familiar on the ice. This season, however, the Monsters will square off with a defending Calder Cup champion Toronto team. Led by Head Coach Sheldon Keefe, the Marlies steam-rolled through the AHL Playoffs, defeating the Utica Comets in five games, the Syracuse Crunch in four, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in four, and the Texas Stars in seven total games, ultimately earning the organization’s first Calder Cup championship in franchise history.
The Marlies will stop at Quicken Loans Arena four times throughout the 2018-19 season, while the Monsters make four visits of their own to the Ricoh Coliseum. These teams first met October 12th, 2007, in Toronto, Ont., with the most recent clash also at Ricoh Coliseum on April 8th, 2016 - a 4-3 overtime loss for the Monsters.
The Monsters current all-time leader in games played, wins, saves and minutes played by a goaltender, Calvin Pickard, is under contract for the Marlies for the 2018-19 season and will visit The Q for the first time since the Monsters’ NHL affiliation changed from the Colorado Avalanche to the Columbus Blue Jackets prior to the 2015-16 season.