Monsters back in action vs Penguins

The Cleveland Monsters are back on the ice as they are set to take on the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

It was a relatively unpleasant set of games this past weekend for the Cleveland Monsters, luckily they have a chance to put that all behind them. Cleveland is on the road to take on the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. The Monsters have six points though five games which has them at the top of the division, so things are not quite at Threat Level Midnight. This Penguins team that has seven in four games with two of their three wins coming in regulation will not be an easy task.

Cleveland has a clear advantage in the goals scored department as their 21 goals in five games has them at just over four goals per game. Meanwhile Wilkes-Barre Scranton’s 11 is just under three per contest. The Penguins do hold the advantage when it comes to goals allowed, just 10 to Cleveland’s 20, a 2.5 to 4 ratio. It is an extremely small sample size at the moment, but it is something to note as an early season trend for both teams.

Comparing points leaders

The Monsters have played one more game and have been part of goal scoring extravaganzas on a nightly basis. These two factors five Cleveland a bit of an advantage when looking at the points leaders for each team.

Alexander Nylander is Wilkes-Barre Scanton’s points leader with five. Nylander’s three goals is a team-high with his two assists ranking second with three others (Sam Houde, Xavier Ouellet, Drew O’Connor). It is defenseman Ty Smith who is the Penguins assist leader with three on the year.

Cleveland has five players who have more points than Nylander this year. Emil Bemstorm (9), Kirill Marchneko (7), Brendan Guance (7), Trey Fix-Wolansky (6), and Carson Meyer (6) all have more points than the Penguins so far this season. Bemstrom is the Monsters assist leader with five while he is tied with Marchenko for the team lead in goals scored (4).

Goaltending goes to the Penguins

Jet Greaves has started the majority of the games in net for the Monsters (4), allowing 17 goals with a save percentage of just 0.867. Greaves also has five saves on seven shootout goal attempts. Pavel Cajan has started on game with three goals allowed on 30 attempts.

Wilkes-Barre Scranton’s Dustin Tokarski has been stout in his first three appearances. Tokarski has saved 75 of 80 shots on goal, a 0.938 save percentage and 1.63 goals against average. Filip Lindberg has also allowed five goals, but this is on 44 shots. Lindberg’s 2.93 GAA is better than both of Cleveland’s goaltenders while his 0.866 is slightly worse. The rookie netminder has also stopped all three shootout attempts faced.

Goals in bunches are needed or another road loss appears inevitable

If Cleveland is going to win they are going to have to buck two trends. The Monsters must be able to score in bunches against the Penguins goaltenders. They also must find a way to win in regulation. Going to yet another overtime game or shootout does not seem like it will be a fruitful endeavor. It is going to be about attacking the net, scoring early and often. If not a second consecutive road loss could be in the cards.

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