As the American Hockey League season winds down, every game becomes paramount for the Monsters’ playoff hopes.
This weekend, the Monsters are back home for three games in three days.
The slate of games begins Friday night at 7 PM against the Manitoba Moose.
The Monsters and Moose face off again on Saturday night at 7 PM.
The Moose currently hold the worst record in the AHL, while the Monsters are in fourth place in the Central Division, which would earn them a playoff-berth if they can stay there.
It will be important for the Monsters to take care of business in these two games against Manitoba because on Sunday, the best team in the AHL comes to town; the Toronto Marlies.
The Marlies are 44-14-5-0 on the season, with a points percentage of .738.
The Monsters are 33-19-5-5 with .613 points percentage.
With only 14 games left, Lake Erie will look to keep their home ice advantage going strong, as the Monsters are 20-5-1-4 at the Q. That is the best home record of any team in the AHL.
As long as the Monsters stay in fourth place in the Central Division or better, they are guaranteed to make the AHL playoffs.
If they fall to fifth place in the division, they still could make the playoffs, but it would essentially be a wild card battle between the Monsters and whoever the fourth seed in the Pacific Division is. The team with the better record would get the final playoff seed.
So to avoid that scenario, let’s hope Lake Erie at least stays in the top four in the Central.
Another factor to consider is that if the Monsters stay in the top four in the Central, they would have a round one playoff series against another Central Division team.
If they were to end up getting in as the fifth seed, they would have a series against a Pacific Division team, which means more travel and a less familiar opponent.
We’re just under a month away from the playoffs, head down to the Q this weekend to support your Lake Erie Monsters in their quest for the Calder Cup!