Now 13 games into the new season, the defending Calder Cup Champions are looking to return to their winning ways of last year.
The team is evolving with a new head coach in John Madden and the addition of a few new faces after forwards Josh Anderson, Lukas Sedlak, and defenseman Zach Werenski headed to Columbus to join the Blue Jackets.
Here's the latest on the Monsters...
The Monsters are currently 5-7-0-1, putting them at sixth in the Central Division. They've been solid at home, going 4-2-0-0, but road games have been a struggle in the early going.
The good news is that six of the next nine games keep Cleveland on home ice, and the Monsters have also recently welcomed back goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (groin), and defenseman Dillon Heatherington was assigned to the squad Wednesday after healing a broken wrist.
There's a lot of hockey left to play in the AHL season, and many of the Monsters players are proving to carry over their quality of play from last season:
- Markus Hannikainen is the tied for second in total points (5-3-8) which is good enough for eighth in the league. All eight of Hannikainen's points have come at even strength and have been primary points - coming either as a goal or a first assist - which ranks as third best in the league at 5v5.
- Sonny Milano has been traveling between the Monsters and Blue Jackets. But even with six games played, he's second among all Cleveland players with .33 goals per game in all situations.
- Daniel Zaar, who led the team in shot attempts last season, is again in front with 42 shots in 13 games. He's struggled this year with a 4.76% shooting percentage, but looking at his regular season numbers last year (10.1 sh%), that is bound to rebound in the 22-year-old forward's favor soon.
- Goaltender Anton Forsberg finished last regular season with a .914 save percentage in 41 games. In 10 games played this year, Forsberg has the 13th-best save percentage in the AHL (92.1%), while facing the eighth highest total of shot attempts against (279).
- Don't sleep on center Alex Broadhurst. He's leading the Monsters in points (4-7-11) and has the second-most primary points (7). Broadhurst is almost halfway to his goal total of last season (10) with 63 games to go.
- Justin Scott leads the group of Monsters' rookies in points (3-3-6) in 13 games, putting him at 25th among all AHL rookies, and 21st among all AHL rookie forwards.
- Oliver Bjorkstrand has three goals and one assist in 11 games. He's netting .36 points per game compared to his season average last year of .57.
- Cody Goloubef has bolstered the Cleveland blue line and aided the offense with seven points (two goals, five assists) in 11 games this season, good enough for third on the roster in points per game (.64).
- Dillon Heatherington (3-16-19 last year) should see game action soon after re-joining the team.
Next up, the Monsters host the division-leading Milwaukee Admirals at The Q at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17.
*all data via prospect-stats.com unless otherwise stated