From the Marlies:
“The Toronto Marlies announced today that they will open the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs at Ricoh Coliseum on Thursday, April 19 at 7:00 pm. The Marlies will faceoff against the Rochester Americans, AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, in a best-of-five series. Toronto won seven of 10 games against the Americans during the regular season.
Toronto will host game two of the first round series on Saturday, April 21st at 3:00 p.m. at Ricoh Coliseum. Games three and four (if necessary) will be played at Rochesterâ€™s Blue Cross Arena on Monday, April 23rd at 7:05 pm, and Wednesday, April 25th at 7:05 pm, respectively. Game five (if necessary) will be back in Toronto at Ricoh Coliseum on Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 pm.
The Marlies clinched the North Division title on Wednesday, April 4th and finished second overall in the AHLâ€™s Western Conference with 96 points (44-24-5-3). This marks the second time in the last five seasons that the Marlies have won the Sam Pollock Trophy as North Division champions.
For playoff ticket information, visit marlies.ca or call the teamâ€™s ticket line at 416-597-PUCK. “
In other Marlies news, starter Ben Scrivens collected another piece of silverware this month:
The American Hockey League announced today that Ben Scrivens of the Toronto Marlies is the recipient of the Harry â€œHapâ€ Holmes Memorial Award for the 2011-12 season. Since 1972, the award has been presented to the goaltender(s) with at least 25 games played on the team which allows the fewest goals in the regular season.
Toronto surrendered a league-low 175 goals in 2011-12, finishing its regular season on Sunday afternoon with a record of 44-24-5-3 and 96 points â€“ the second-best finish in franchise history. Under the guidance of head coach Dallas Eakins, the North Division champions will be the second seed in the Western Conference in the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs.
In his second professional season, Scrivens posted a 22-15-1 record and four shutouts in 39 appearances for the Marlies, leading the AHL with a 2.04 goals-against average and ranking fifth with a .926 save percentage. Scrivens also made his National Hockey League debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2011-12, going 4-5-2 in 12 outings.
Also contributing to the Marliesâ€™ goaltending success in 2011-12 were Jussi Rynnas, who went 11-9-1 (2.55, .910) with three shutouts in 22 games, and Mark Owuya, who was 11-5-1 (1.94, .929) with two shutouts in 19 games.
The Harry â€œHapâ€ Holmes Memorial Award, which was first awarded in 1948 to the goaltender with the best goals-against average in the AHL, is named for Hockey Hall of Famer Harry â€œHapâ€ Holmes, a prominent figure in early professional hockey and an outstanding goaltender of his time. Previous winners or co-winners of the award include Gil Mayer (1951, â€™53, â€™54, â€™55, â€™56), Johnny Bower (1957, â€™58), Marcel Paille (1961, â€™62), Gerry Cheevers (1965), Gilles Villemure (1969, â€™70), Pete Peeters (1979), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Olaf Kolzig (1994), Mike Dunham (1995), Manny Legace (1996), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (1998), Martin Biron (1999), Joey MacDonald (2003), Jason LaBarbera (2005, 2007), Dany Sabourin (2006), Cory Schneider (2009), Cedrick Desjardins (2010), Curtis Sanford (2010) and Brad Thiessen (2011).
Eakins being targeted by Calgary?
Unfortunately a deep Marlies run probably pushes Eakins closer and closer to the door.
Leafs need to make a move for the first overall pick
Traikos advocates for a trade with Edmonton for the #1 pick. To me it’s the first draft in a while without a clear number one, and therefore it’s probably not worth it. All depending on the price of course.
Leafs Nation Podcast: Lotto Pick Edition
Always a good listen. Guest Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus has some draft insights worth checking out.
Carkner gets one game for assault.
Carkner says he expected Boyle to defend himself, and apparently didn’t realize he wasn’t until after punching him repeatedly in the face when down and helpless.
Hagelin gets three
Didn’t think this was anywhere near as bad as Carkner’s beat down, and it came from a player with no history of dirty hits. Beats me.
James Neal goes head hunting (twice on the same shift).
Good time to send a message in a playoff getting out of control with dirty hits. However, Neal is a good player so nothing will likely come of it.
Review of the 3rd installment of the Battle of Pennsylvania
A gongshow by all definitions, and we just can’t look away.