Dog and Poni Show
What? You were expecting Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin to top the leading scorers in March? Well then. You’d be wrong … sort of. AO actually was tied at the top with another player.
Yes, Sid the Kid (11-6-12-18) ranked near the top of the list, tied with Ottawa’s Jason Spezza (14-8-10-18). Meanwhile, the Great 8, (12-8-11-19) scored two more than Sid, and two more than the NHL scoring leader for the month of March.
Scoring in March was actually UP across the NHL.
And led by none other than Toronto winger, Alexei Ponikarovsky (12-6-13-19). On the strength of two four-point outings, on consecutive Saturday nights, and two independent point streaks, (four and five game streaks) gave the winger the crown for most points in the NHL this March. On top of the scoring, he was a plus-4. Great drive, willingly getting to dirty areas on the ice after the trade deadline has been an excellent lead up to his April 9 birthday (same as Dale Mitchell), where he turns 29.
Unfortunately, he started the month of March pointless in Toronto’s 3-2 win over the Flyers last night.
Leafs pivot, Mikhail Grabovski (12-5-9-14) ranked 22nd overall in March scoring at a better than point per game pace, despite being pointless in the first four games of the month, and having his five-game point streak end as the calendar flipped from March to April (he fired five shots on goal, two shy of the season-high, seven back in October.
Jason Blake fired 53 shots on goal in 12 March contests, good enough for 7th overall, behind the likes of Ovechkin (67), Zach Parise (62), Eric Staal (58), Jeff Carter (57), Johan Franzen (56) and Patrick Kane (55).
The not-so-good news … Blake only lit the lamp three times.
I like the relation of the name Schenn with ‘chien’ the French word for Dog, so I label him the ‘Big Dog’.
Well, the big dog may be headed to the World Championships donning a Team Canada sweater. The issue of eligibility to play in the AHL is one of the more frequent questions I receive, especially in regards to Schenn’s availability to play for the Toronto Marlies should they make the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs.
He is ineligible.
Under the current agreement between the CHL and AHL, players must be either 20 years old, or, have played four years of junior to be eligible to play in the AHL. Players must play a minimum of 25 games in order to qualify for an official season ‘played.’
Asti’d Gros Chien played three seasons in Kelowna of the Western Hockey League and made the Leafs as an 18-year-old.
Should the Leafs be out of the playoff running next season, and the Marlies make a run, it’s almost sure that he’ll be included in the Marlies Clear Day Roster. That is, if he plays in the AHL for part of the season. That is still not guaranteed as the youngster has made a good impression thus far this season and proven beyond a doubt to be a cornerstone of the franchise.