action:article | category:SPORTS0702 | adString:SPORTS0702 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Hockey » Monarchs

February 15. 2014 8:19PM

Ian Clark's On Hockey: Toffoli displays maturity

MANCHESTER -- Breaking into the NHL isn't an easy process. It might be even harder in the Los Angeles Kings organization.

At 21 years old, Manchester Monarchs winger Tyler Toffoli is learning just how tough it is to stick in the NHL. Toffoli has been back and forth between L.A. and Manchester several times this season, logging 39 NHL games (10 goals, nine assists) and 16 with the Monarchs (13 goals, seven assists).

But you won't hear Toffoli complain.

"He's been great. He's a mature guy. You never hear him complain. He's of the understanding that this is the way (Kings general manager Dean Lombardi) does his business and he wants guys to earn it and I know (Kings coach Darryl Sutter) hasn't given him a ton of ice up until he got a chance to play with guys like (Anze) Kopitar," said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. "I thought he's handled it quite well. He's one of those guys where he's the least of my worries as far as him dragging his lip around. I don't think he'd do that. He has a real professional way about him."

Toffoli said he has accepted the back and forth as part of the process of becoming a full-time NHL player.

"It's tough having to travel and coming from L.A. to here or last time having to go all the way to St. John's, but you just have to deal with it. It's adversity and you've got to get better and it's part of the growing process," Toffoli said. "You can't complain that you're going back to L.A. or if you're coming back to help the guys here. You do whatever you can to help the team win on the scoresheet or whatever it is."

Toffoli also understands there are no free passes with Sutter, a no-nonsense coach who isn't shy about letting players (and everyone else) know when he is not happy with a player's performance. Toffoli has found himself in Sutter's doghouse this year.

"You've got to earn your ice time in L.A. There's a couple games where I won't play and I'm not playing very well and then when I'm on my game and working hard then Darryl lets me play and gives me the shifts. It's part of the learning process and to get me as good as I can be," Toffoli said. "They know and we know that I can be better and be more consistent so coming down here I've just got to work on everything. It's not one specific thing, it's just getting better and being consistent."

Toffoli was impressive on Friday night, recording a hat trick to lead the Monarchs to a 5-1 win over Worcester. It was Toffoli's fourth hat trick and set a franchise record. Teamed with former linemates Linden Vey (four assists in the game) and Tanner Pearson (goal) - both of whom have also been back and forth to L.A. this year - the line clicked again.

"They've had a lot of practice together over time and I think when they're all focused and when they're competing hard and (going) hard on pucks and making sure they're finishing checks and winning faceoffs, those little details for them really are accentuated with their ability to finish," Morris said. "If they don't have the puck they're going to be ineffective so we want them to be collectively good on the forecheck and defending. When they're doing those things we're going to play in the offensive end more often."

IceCaps in town today: After playing in Hartford Saturday night, the Monarchs return to Verizon Wireless Arena today for a 3 p.m. game with St. John's. The IceCaps are right behind Manchester in the Atlantic Division standings and are 6-3-0 against the Monarchs this season.

Morris said he expected Martin Jones to play all three games in net this weekend. With rookie J.F. Berube assigned to L.A. to keep the Kings at their required two goaltenders on the roster during the Olympic break, Jones should see all the action between the pipes.

- - - - - - - - -

Veteran forward Colin Fraser, recently sent to Manchester from L.A., is expected in town this week. The rumor is that Fraser had a previous commitment during the Olympic break and the Kings are allowing him to honor it.

Fraser's stay in Manchester is expected to be an extended one and with 358 NHL games on his resume, he should be a big help to the Monarchs.

"That's going to be an adjustment for him," Morris said of Fraser's return to the minors. "But at the same time, he's a character guy and just like (former Manchester captain) Marc-Andre Cliche, not known for a lot of scoring but he's a dependable player and I think having him around our team will be good because he's a pro."

Ian Clark covers pro hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is iclark@unionleader.com.


 NH Sports Angle Ľ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Itís show time in Chicago for Dartmouthís Hendricks

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

Lawyers try to bar Patriots from paying Hernandez $3.2M bonus

Pease Golf Course celebrates opening of lower nine holes

NFL rule could signal end of Justin Tuck signature facemask and that's a good thing according to UNH findings

NH man almost wins first $500k winner-takes-all open basketball tournament

Blue Jays move Dalton Pompey up to New Hampshire

Field set for 110th anniversary ĎClimb to the Clouds' car race

Contractors volunteer to complete renovations for 5th Annual Jericho ATV Festival

Dartmouth dismisses menís lacrosse coach

Jay Perrin looks to take his MMA career to the next level at Combat Zone 49

Dartmouth runner poised for long-term success on pro circuit

'Great Race' makes pit stop in Rochester

CHIP KELLY

Chip Kelly: Last practice not Fred Flintstone leaving work

Traffic jams expected with 30,000 fans at Epping dragway

Calgary Stampsí St. Pierre, complete with tattoos and plenty of brawn, not your typical NH wedding planner

Laconia man wins grueling 500-mile race in 9 days

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!