Tony Brown's Playoff Notebook (5.2.19)


Tony’s Playoff Notebook
Thursday, May 2nd
Practice – Coca-Cola Coliseum, Toronto, ON


After a 5-2 road loss to the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday in the first game of the best-of-seven North Division Finals, the Cleveland Monsters returned to Coca-Cola Coliseum on Thursday for an optional practice that saw about half of the Monsters’ 33 rostered players participate. Working with the Monsters coaching staff and Blue Jackets development coaches Chris Clark and Jim Corsi, Cleveland players ran through just under an hour of drills in preparation for Friday’s Game 2. Speaking prior to the skate, Monsters forwards Alex Broadhurst and Mark Letestu discussed Cleveland’s Game 1 performance.



  • 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.
  • 14 Monsters skaters and two goaltenders, Matiss Kivlenieks and Hayden Stewart, took to the ice Thursday for the Monsters’ optional skate.



Cleveland dropped the first game of the North Division Final on Wednesday despite holding 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the first and second periods. Three consecutive power-play goals in the middle frame turned the tide for the Marlies and on Thursday, both Broadhurst and Letestu spoke to the Monsters’ need to improve in all phases in Game 2.

Alex Broadhurst, F
“Honestly, I don’t think it was our best game…We started OK, we obviously had a lead a couple times early on. We were playing the right way, [we] gave up a few power-play goals and it kind of deflated us a bit and our bench got quiet and everybody stopped talking…We’re going treat today as a correction day, fix our mistakes and go from there.”

Mark Letestu, F
“It probably was a slow start for us, but sometimes that can be expected with the home team getting a push off the start, but we came out with the result we wanted being in the lead, but it’s pretty obvious we got into penalty trouble and a pretty effective power-play on their side was the difference in the hockey game.”

Alex Broadhurst, F
“The biggest thing we’ve talked about all year is communication and I think we got away from that a little bit…In that Syracuse series in the first round, I think we did a great job of it, we came back to the house and we were all one unit. Communication’s going to be key for us and just winning battles.”



On the heels of a 38-save shutout in his last outing, Cleveland’s series-clinching 3-0 home win over Syracuse in Game 4 of the North Division Semi-Final last Thursday, Monsters goaltender Brad Thiessen was stellar in defeat in Game 1, racking up 21 saves. On Thursday, Broadhurst and Letestu praised the steady play of their net-minder.

Alex Broadhurst, F
“He’s been unbelievable…Even the last 20 games of the season, to get us into this position to get in the playoffs, he’s been great for us, he’s been our wall.”

Mark Letestu, F
“He’s been a rock and that’s not only playoffs, but in the regular season…That’s one of the primary reasons we were able to get [into the Calder Cup Playoffs] and his play has continued over into the playoffs. Even the goals last night, it’s not something to fault the goaltender on…He’s given us a chance to win every night and I think that’s all you can expect out of your goaltender.”

Here’s your friendly broadcast reminder - be sure to join me and Jock Callander for Game 2 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 Friday, May 3rd at 7:00 pm EST on FOX Sports Ohio, Alt 99.1, AHLTV and the Monsters Hockey Network.