Ian Clark's On Hockey: Monarchs players captivated by Olympic action
MANCHESTER -- From keeping their own games sharp to keeping an eye on Los Angeles Kings teammates in the Olympics, Manchester Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones and scoring phenom Tyler Toffoli have been busy.
Jones, who will be headed back to the Kings soon to resume his role as Jonathan Quick's backup, helped the Manchester Monarchs complete a three-game weekend sweep with a 4-3 shootout win over St. John's Sunday. Jones won all three games over the past three days.
Meanwhile Toffoli, who is likely headed back to Los Angeles as well, continued his prolific scoring over the weekend. Toffoli recorded a hat trick in Friday's win over Worcester, scored two more in Saturday's win at Hartford and finished with two assists on Sunday.
But as busy as the duo are, they are still keeping up with the Olympics and L.A. teammates Quick (a former Monarch serving as Team USA goalie), Dustin Brown (another former Monarch on Team USA), Slava Voynov (yet another former Monarch playing in Sochi with Russia), Anze Kopitar (Slovenia) and Team Canada representatives Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter.
Hailing from North Vancouver, British Columbia, Jones is firmly in the Team Canada camp, but has enjoyed watching fellow Kings goalie Quick play well in getting the U.S. through to the next round.
And Doughty had a big day on Sunday, scoring both goals — including the game-winner in overtime — to lead Canada past Finland 2-1.
"I try and watch it a little bit and I've got the DVR at home so I've been recording it. Watching Quickie is awesome and Doughty is playing so well," Jones said. "It's fun to see those guys do well and I'm definitely cheering for Canada."
Toffoli, another Canadian from Scarborough, Ontario, is also catching up via social media.
"When you wake up you check or you look at Twitter and see what's going on. I try to watch as much as I can," Toffoli said. "It's a huge deal for everyone there, not just the guys from L.A. Carts and Dewy came out with a big win today and Quickie and Brownie and everyone has been playing well. I'm really happy for them and hopefully when I see them again I can hear some stories and see how it goes."
With continued speculation as to whether the professional players will continue to be available to play in the Olympics, Jones said he hasn't given that much thought but would obviously love to represent Canada some day.
"It's a pretty special tournament and it would be fun to be a part of that," Jones said.
"I think everybody dreams of that," he said. "We'll see, maybe in the future."
As for predictions as to which teams will earn what medals, Jones put on his diplomat hat.
"It's pretty competitive," he said. "I don't think I can make any predictions."
Ian Clark covers pro hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.