Hockey is as physical a game as any of the major sports. The life of a minor league hockey player is far from glamorous. Picture a group of early-to-mid-twenties guys travelling from city to city to play ten games in 19 days, changing cities nine times. Long bus rides, far from five-star hotels, no home cooked meals. And then go out and bust your tail for the hopes of some day reaching the NHL, and the chance to live out a dream of playing professional hockey.
That’s what the Monsters just went through from December 31 until January 18. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t all pretty, but the young bunch with a couple veterans proved their toughness on the trip. The Monsters went 3-5-1-1 on the 10-game trip, and enter Wednesday night with a record of 20-14-3-3 overall on the season.
That record puts them at fifth place in the Central Division of the Western Conference, and although the playoffs are a couple months away, it should be noted that in order to qualify for the playoffs, the Monsters must stay at worst above fifth place in the division. If they can finish the season with a top four seed in the division, they are guaranteed a spot. Otherwise, the fifth seed in the Central is a bit of a wild card. As of right now, the Monsters are better than the third and fourth place team in the Pacific Division, which puts the Monsters in as a wild card.
The Monsters return home after that brutal trip and take on the Grand Rapids Griffins Wednesday night at the Q. Face-off is set for 7 pm.
The Monsters have been almost unbeatable at home this season, with a record of 11-3-0-2 in 16 contests. There have been great crowds this season, with numbers of attendances eclipsing 11, even 12 thousand fans.
Let’s welcome back our Lake Erie Monsters from their long road trip as they kick off a five-game home stand, with an opportunity to gain some ground in the standings after holding their ground on the road.