Ian Clark's On Hockey: Newest Monarchs making impact
MANCHESTER -- Not bad, new guys. Not bad.
A pair of players made their Manchester Monarchs debut in a 4-2 win over Adirondack Friday night. Manchester beat Providence, 4-2, on Saturday and will host Hartford today at 3 p.m.
Forward James Livingston made a splash with a crunching check that cracked the glass on Friday night, then scored twice in Saturday's win. Defenseman Brayden McNabb recorded an assist and logged power play time.
"I liked their games," Monarchs head coach Mark Morris said. "McNabb's got good poise with the puck and a real strong stick. Livingston is a workhorse. Strong on the puck. He's very reliable. He killed some penalties for us and did a nice job there. I think they're pretty good additions and I'm excited to see them play more."
Livingston came over from the San Jose organization. He had played 53 games with the Worcester Sharks, scoring four goals and adding 11 assists. Coming over from a division rival has not been a tough transition, Livingston said.
"I know most of the guys from playing against them if nothing else," he said. "I'm sure half the time most of them wanted to put me in the second row (with a hit), but now that I'm here everyone is really welcoming. It's been really good so far and I'm enjoying the ride."
Livingston's trade from Worcester made for an unusual situation. A fan favorite with the Sharks, Livingston was immortalized in plastic for "James Livingston Bobblehead Night" in Worcester on Saturday.
"I was flattered to be chosen to make a bobblehead of me. It was a little awkward being traded (a few days) before it was going to happen, but I guess that's the business," he said. "It's unfortunate they're out a couple bobbleheads."
Livingston got off on the right foot in Manchester, burying Phantom Oliver Lauridsen with a body check that cracked the glass in the right corner of the Manchester zone less than five minutes into Friday's game. He later fought Phantoms tough guy Brandon Manning.
"That's what I am, a hard forechecking guy and I try to bring my energy and some grit to the lineup," Livingston said. "I was happy to land a big hit there and I had a little scrap there."
As for McNabb, the defenseman was acquired in the trade with Buffalo that sent Nick Deslauriers to the Sabres (more on that later). McNabb has played 12 games with Buffalo this season and another 38 with the Sabres' AHL affiliate in Rochester.
"It took a little adjusting, getting to know everyone and how they are as a player," McNabb said. "It will come here pretty quick with these (three games) this weekend."
McNabb picked up an assist on Friday with a nice cross-ice pass to Nick Shore for a goal. He said it was a nice bonus coming from a struggling organization in Buffalo to one having success at both the AHL and NHL levels.
"It's a nice change coming from Buffalo to L.A. and Manchester, both winning organizations," McNabb said. "It's fun that way and I just want to help any way I can and fit in."
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Buffa-DLO: It didn't take long for Deslauriers to get into game action with the Sabres. Deslauriers played on the top line in a 2-0 loss to Florida on Friday, logging 15:08 of ice time. He also registered four shots, four hits and even played on the power play unit.
Ian Clark covers pro hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.