'tsup with the Monsters?

'tsup with the Monsters?

  • I saw our Monster fan post and wondered what was up with them.

    Many important players and the coach from last year aren't there now.

    So what do we know about what's going on there this year?

  • Discussion
  • They are currently in 5th place, percentage points behind Iowa in fourth. Goaltending has been good to very good and their defense has been good. Last time I checked they were 7th in the league in goals allowed. That's the good part. Unfortunately they are dead last in goals scored. Sometimes it seem it is impossible for them to score, but that could be because they pass the puck a lot. I mean a lot, almost too much. I've seen them pass themselves out of a couple power plays, like they are afraid to shoot. They have lost a few 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 games. In fact, they were completely shut out in a weekend series against Iowa 3-0 (one empty net goal), and 1-0 in overtime. The second game was Brad Theissen's second straight game he didn't allow a goal in regulation. Bjorkstrand, Hannikienen, and Milano are their main scorers, but it really isn't saying much, Bjorkstrand and TJ Tynan are the leading point holders with 26, and don't show up on the leader board until the 107 rank. So if Columbus needs help scoring,which they seem to now, they aren't going to find it here. Korpisalo played well this weekend as both games went to a shootout against Manitoba, but Manitoba are tied with the Monsters for last in scoring so I don't know if Korpi played well or Manitoba can't score either. Jordan Maletta, who was signed as a free agent, has 15 points and is a scrappy player and very good on penalty kills, plays kind of like Sedlak is currently. I don't know if Columbus is wacthing him or not, but he may be a decent 4thliner. He plays hard. Other than that, not much here for Columbus to help them, unless they play better when they get called up.

  • Thanks for that....


    So without looking, the guys I expect to score there are Milano, Bjorkstrand and Zaar.


    Who else did you say?

  • Markus Hannikienen would be their only other scorer. The rest of the guys go awhile between goals. It is amazing they have the record they do, it's because of the goaltending and defense. I think Bjorkstrand just got called up so they won't have him for tomorrow mornings game.

  • Zaar just came back from injury after being out a month so it is good to have him back.

  • Just thinking out loud but can't but wonder if this is just a gap year. The CBJ filled the Monsters roster with UDFAs like Maletta and Salituro and had no promising offensive players ready for the pros.

    Gotta think Milano's play is a huge disappointment. Kid has mad offensive skills but can't put it all together.

    Maybe next year they get Kolesar and Kole and have to think Big Thurk and Abramov the year after that.

    There are good looking (at least) productive AHL guys in the pipeline. It's just this year was a patchwork.

  • I've said all year....well through the streak anyway.... we took the heart of the championship monster team away from them with Werenski, Anderson, (and to a lesser extent) Bjorkstrand, Korpi and Hannikinen here. I'd guess they also miss Bednar and the guy that went to the Avs with him.

    I agree with Dog about Milano. He should be stepping up now!

  • Milano is hard to figure out. He has a great shot and excellent passing skills, but it seems like he is his own worst enemy. He will stickhandle himself into turnovers. He passes up good shots to make the pass that ends up going the other way. If he scores on a bad angle shot from the corner, it seems his next 10 shots are from the corner. For his size, he gets knocked off the puck too easy. TJ Tynan is 20 pounds lighter and hits much harder than Sonny. Its almost like he shies away from contact. If he is to take the next step, in my opinion, he needs to be more physical and more decisive when it comes to taking shots. He could be a sniper and a goal scorer but he lacks the killer instinct.

  • https://www.nhl.com/bluejackets/news/goaltender-brad-thiessen-accepting-his-role-and-filling-in-nicely-for-cleveland-monsters/c-286982750


    This is on the cbj site.  It talks up thiessen and says Milano is a scoring leader: Sonny Milano(11-14-25),

  • Thanks for the link.

    As for Milano...its all relative. He's the leading goal scorer because Bjorkstrand is no longer with the team and the rest of the team is offensively handicapped. He's second on the team in points behind TJ Tynan.

    The problem is he has barely progressed offensively since last year.

    2015: 54 Games - 14 Gs (.259 GPG) and 31 Pts (.574 PPG)
    2016: 40 Games - 11 Gs (.275 GPG) and 25 Pts (.600 PPG)

    He's still not quite 21 years old so there's still time.

    Perhaps he should have stayed one more year in Canadian Juniors or perhaps gone to Boston College where he had originally committed. If the organization strong armed him into playing Juniors over NCAAs and then convinced him to leap to the AHL after one year, then they probably did him a disservice. He just wasn't fully baked when they took him out of the oven.

    He's been playing against men since he was nineteen and he clearly wasn't ready. He needed to play with kids longer to develop his game and strengthen his body. Instead he is overmatched physically in the AHL and doesn't have any chance to develop his game...its all about survival now.

    If my assumption is correct then sadly the organization broke him.

  • broke vs never was is a CBJ multipart drama... klesla was rushed and overcame it, somewhat; brule; picard; vorcek was rushed and has overcome it; etc.

    but with sonny, I'd just say a slight increase personally when the team is so not offensive,could be argued as more of a win.

    like you say, we have time.

  • After last nights Monsters game I hope for Columbus' sake that this is just an off year. Since Hannikienen was called up, there is nothing here. They had their first two goal lead in what seems like a month, and lost it in a minute. Right now I don'tsee anything promising, which at this point of the season development wise, the job for this year has been done and the players they were counting on making the jump are all in Columbus as of now. Bjorksrand and Markus are up for injuries, but will probably be ready for next year when Columbus purges the older guys. I seriously wonder if Madden is the coach to develop their talent, but there isn't a whole lot left this year. Hopefully next year the talent is better and we can see if he is a good coach, but it really seems this team lacks in fundamentals. I just can't tell if it is coaching or serious lack of talent.

  • Thinking back to all the players I have watched during my lifetime, John Madden was one of those guys who always played the game the right way. I don't know how that translates to coaching but I have faith he'll be fine.

    I truly think there is a lack of offensive skill on this team. Next year should see an infusion of talent...at least a couple of kids with real promise!

  • The Monsters haven't been playing very well, losing 3-0 tonight before closing to 3-2 to end the second. Sonny Milano scored the second goal, he was below the goal line in the corner and picked the top corner off the goalies shoulder. If you get a chance to search it on their site later, in the highlights it is worth a look. Unfortunatly when he scores like this it seems he keeps trying to score like this for a few games. It was really a nice goal though.

  • After winning 5 straight the Monsters are tied with Charlotte for the fourth playoff spot in the division. Tuesday and Thursday games against Charlotte could put them in a good position for a 5 game road trip. With 10 games left they are pretty much all must wins. Forsberg was player of the week with 108 saves on 110 shots in 3 games. Need the defense to step it up and help him out. Milano, Craig, Tynan, Moutrey, and Hannikeinen have all been playing well. Hope they can pull it off.

  • Seems like a lot of smoke and mirrors.

  • Thanks for the update, Monster Man!


    I saw that Forsberg was AHL's star of the week.


    Did they flip a switch, or what?



  • http://www.clevelandmonsters.com/team/news/anton-forsberg-named-ccmahl-player-week

    I still think Forsberg is the hockey equivalent of a 4AAA player.

  • I agree...very good for AHL but not quite NHL. Of course he is still young enough...can take goalies till 24 or 25 to really know what you have in them. That said I suspect Korpi and Elvis are ahead of him on the organizational chart in terms of potential.

  • Looks like Monsters could get some D help leading up to stretch run and playoffs. 2105 1st round pick Gabriel Carlsson is hoping for a call from Columbus because he wants to keep playing this year and supposedly the CBJ are trying to sign 2014 2nd round pick (and MN Golden Gopher) Ryan Collins.

    Both are big boyz!

    Carlsson is just 20 years old, 6'2" 180 Lbs. He must be a defensive defensemen because he has just 3 Gs and 13 Pts in 85 Games over the last two years in the SHL (Swedish Elite League). Again, former first rounder so the team must have liked him a lot in his draft year.

    The scouting on him said: high hockey IQ, good passer (and in transition), tall and lanky, physical along boards and clearing guys out in front of thenet and responsible in own end. Negative is really not an offensive threat.

    Collins is almost 21 years old and is 6'5" 212 Lbs. He just finished his Junior season at Minnesota and as a former mid-2nd round pick it seems he has disappointed. Also not an offensive guy with just 3 Gs and 21 Pts in 91 Games over three college seasons.

    The scouting on him said: Classic shutdown defenseman. Likes to push forwards to the outside and keep the middle clean, blocks shots. Same as Carlsson...no offense to get excited about.

    Both need to improve their skating.

  • with Heatherington gone, the only D prospect I can think of for the Monsters is Kukan....

  • Blake Siebenaler? Don't forget in addition to those Collins and Carlsson we also have Gavrikov in the KHL and last year's 2nd Rounder Andrew Peeke who is still in the Frozen Four as a freshman with Notre Dame.

    Sounds like people really like Gavrikov.

  • Kukan is probably the main prospect here right now on defense. Siebenaler is ok, but I think he is a converted forward, he filled in at wing a few games this year because of injury, but I don't know if Columbus is watching him. Kukan had a nice game last night, 3 assists, and I like how he brings the puck up. Last year he would bring it up and take the shot but this year he seems to stop at the blue line and dump it or try to pass it. I think he should take it deeper and sometimes shoot because I think that is the kind of defencemen that Columbus wants. He has played pretty well this year overall, but there is no room on the parent club this year.

  • According to Siebenaler's HF page, he played Forward for his HS hockey team in Indiana but once he transitioned to the Junior Barons in Cleveland he made the switch to defense.

    Sounds like he was considered a very offensive minded d-man so perhaps he could swing both ways.


  • Maybe. He doesn't suck at D, and he played well at forward. He could be a utility guy.

  • ...a utility guy! Like sProut, who played both F and D!?!?!?!?

    Jamie Heward and Paul Popovich also come to mind.

    ...and Siebenaler is from Indiana? I'll have to look that up as I'm also from Indiana.