Much like the parent Maple Leafs, the Marlies will look back ruefully at a bad start and a poor powerplay in assessing the damage of a playoff-less 2010-11 season. With AHL playoff seeding decided by divisional rankings, the Marlies started out the season by losing eight of nine to divisional opponents. In a season in which they lost 22 games by one-goal, a second-from-bottom powerplay firing at a measly 13.1% clip was undoubtedly another nail in the Marlies coffin.
While it’s never used as an excuse, the turnover the Marlies experienced as a result of ongoing chances with the parent club had its undeniable imapct. While Ben Scrivens helped provide really solid goaltending in Reimer’s absence, Nazem Kadri was recalled at the wrong time from the Marlies perspective as they lost their best offensive performer at a critical juncture. The graduation of Darryl Boyce and Joey Crabb around the 35 game mark saw two experienced forwards lost for the remainder of the season.
It’s for these reasons you cannot take the result of the season with too much disappointment. From Dave Nonis’ and Dallas Eakin’s perspective, it’s about developing players into pros and provided there has been steps forward in this regard, the playoffs are but a nice bonus. With the emergence of the names mentioned above, it attests to this farm system doing just that and a pretty damn good job of it.
Your weekly Marlies release:
“The Marlies dropped three games last week and were eliminated from the playoffsÂ Wednesday morning by the Syracuse Crunch. Ryan Hamilton extended his goal scoring streak to three games in the loss to the Crunch, but it wasnâ€™t enough for the Marlies to overcome Syracuseâ€™s three-goal, third period.
On Saturday, the Lake Erie Monsters blanked the Marlies 2-0 at Ricoh Coliseum. Jason Bacashihua made 21 saves for the shutout; while Ben Scrivens turned aside 22 saves on 23
shots. Ben Walterâ€™s first period goal held up to be the game winner.
The Marlies fell to the Manitoba Moose on Sunday, 3-2 in front of 7,779 fan at Ricoh Coliseum. Joe Colborne and Ryan Hamilton both netted goals for the Marlies in the loss.
– Ryan Hamilton has recorded a goal in four of the Marlies past five games. During the five game span, Hamilton has recorded six goals.
– Torontoâ€™s penalty killing unit continues to be solid through the first 77 games this season, ranking first in the AHL with an 86.7% success rate. Toronto has allowed only 13 power play goals over their past 31 games.
– Ben Scrivens has appeared in 15 straight games for the Marlies and has posted a 5-8-2 record with a 2.10 goals against average and 0.929 save percentage during that span. Scrivens ranks fifth (tie) in the AHL this season in save percentage (0.926) and seventh in goals against average (2.25).
– The Marlies 20 road victories currently rank first (tie) in the North Division and sixth (tie) in the AHL. Toronto will play their final road game on Wednesday night in Cleveland
– Mike Zigomanis paces the Marlies in scoring this season with 47 points (14 goals, 33 assists). Zigomanis also leads the team with 18 power play points.
– Joe Colborne scored his team leading 20th goal of the season on Sunday afternoon against the Moose. Colborne ranks 13 th (tie) in the AHL in rookie scoring with 40 points.
– Alex Foster has registered an assist in four of his past five games. The Marlies captain ranks second on the clubâ€™s all time points list with 148.
– The Marlies reassigned Matt Caruana to the Reading Royals on Tuesday morning. In 33 games this season, Caruana posted six goals and four assists, including three power play tallies with the Marlies.
The Marlies play their final road game of the season on Wednesday night in Cleveland against the Lake Erie Monsters. The Marlies lost to their division rivals on Saturday, 2-0 and have only won once in their first seven meetings. The Monsters have won 10 of their past 12 games overall.
The Marlies host the Rochester Americans on Saturday afternoon. The Amerks rank seventh in the North Division with a record of 21-36-5-4 for 71 points. Toronto holds a record of 3-3-0-1 against Rochester this season. The Americans have posted just two wins over their previous 10
On Sunday the Marlies close out their 2010-11 regular season with a tilt against the Heat.
Toronto has a record of 3-4-0-0 against Abbotsford this season. The Heat have won three straight games and are three points out of a playoff spot.
The Reading Royals closed out their 2010-11 regular season with a 44-23-2-3 record which ranked first in the Atlantic Division. The Royals won four of their final five games of the season.
Reading will host Cincinnati in game one of the playoffs on Tuesday night.”