CLEVELAND MONSTERS AHL HOCKEY CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS 2019

Tony Brown's Playoff Notebook (4.30.19)

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Tony’s Playoff Notebook
Tuesday, April 30th
Practice – Coca-Cola Coliseum, Toronto, ON

Just one day removed from the start of the best-of-seven North Division Final, the Monsters invaded the home ice of their second-round opponents, Toronto’s Coca-Cola Coliseum, on Tuesday for one final tune-up practice prior to Game 1. Following a five-plus hour bus ride, the Monsters took to the ice to “flush out the legs” as Cleveland defenseman Tommy Cross put it prior to practice time, as we spoke to Cross and right wing Kole Sherwood before the team stepped onto the ice.

 

PRACTICE NOTES:

  • 27 Monsters players made the trip to Toronto for Games 1 and 2, with the exceptions being forwards Nathan Gerbe and Maxime Fortier, defensemen Desmond Bergin and Michael Prapavessis, and goaltender Jean-Francois Berube.
  • Everyone on the trip, including defenseman Garret Cockerill, who was injured for Games 3 and 4 of the North Division Semi-Final, were full participants in Tuesday’s skate.

 

BATTLING THE BUILDUP

While the Monsters have enjoyed and endured a six-day gap between Game 4 of the North Division Semis and Game 1 of their second-round series vs. the Marlies, Toronto will have gone seven days between games after completing a first-round sweep of Rochester last Wednesday. Cross told us this morning that the anticipation can be tough to ignore.

Tommy Cross, D
“Come the regular season, a lot of time you have five or six days in between games and it’s not a big deal, you kind of welcome it and I think this time of year, you’re anxious to get the next series going…but it can be advantageous in resting up. It’s the same for [Toronto], both teams should be good to go.”

 

MATCHING UP VS. THE MARLIES

After a wild eight-game season series vs. the Marlies in which the Monsters compiled a 5-1-2-0 record, Cleveland has balanced the lessons learned in the matchup over the course of the season against the impulse to turn the page come the start of a new series. Both Cross and Sherwood touched on that balancing act on Tuesday.

Kole Sherwood, RW
“You always want to I guess [predict] what the other team has coming, but we’re just worried about ourselves right now and with our game plan, we’re confident and we’ll be successful…Just working as a five-man unit. Coach always talks about a five-man connection, just sticking with the system and everyone buying in, no one doing their own thing.”

Tommy Cross, D
“If you look at the results from the past two weeks, them beating a really good Rochester team and us beating a really good Syracuse team, I think that’s more telling of where both clubs are at. Obviously in the regular season we played them a lot, but those games are from a long time ago. We know both teams are playing well and we’re excited to go head-to-head.”

Here’s your friendly broadcast reminder - be sure to join me for Game 1 of the best-of-seven game North Division Final as we’ll bring you every second of the action, live from Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto, on Wednesday, May 1st at 7:00 pm EST on FOX Sports Ohio, Alt 99.1, AHLTV and the Monsters Hockey Network.