MLHS member “Dangle_My_Berries” was in attendance at Ricoh Colesium yesterday as the Marlies took a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference Finals series with a 5-3 win over Oklahoma City. He has some thoughts for us:
“The game had a good hop to it from the get go, with everyone finishing their checks. It didn’t seem like there was much time and space available. OKC took momentum from the start of the game peppering Scrivens with some solid scoring chances but the keeper looked solid from the get go. After they shook off the rust a little bit Marlies started to push back, scoring some timely PP goals, and the team did a good job of gaining the zone and cycling the puck for offensive chances. Their PK is very effective as they pressure the puck holder and force mistakes.
Jake Gardiner – an unreal skater and you can’t really appreciate it until you see him live, he uses his edges so well. Felt as if he had a decent game but made some mistakes as the game went on (wiffed on some passes). He cut down the wing and put a solid shot on net to help set up one of the goals.
Matt Frattin – likes to hit people and he uses his body well. His wrist shot is quick and heavy and he looks to use his body to shield the puck. The goal he scored just inside the blue line was Ovi-esque; single man rush into the zone and he used the defender as a screen, ripped a solid wrist-shot on net, completely beating Danis.
Holzer and Fraser – both look very composed on the back end, very reliable in their own zone, and used their bodies to gain position and clear the puck from danger. Both look capable of playing a lower pairing in the NHL putting in reliable minutes.
Scrivens – live Scrivens challenges shooters well and has a calm about him very similar to Ryan Miller. Gets across the net well. He’s actually a very good puck handler and looks to make outlet passes when possible. Looked good from the start and made some timely saves later on.
Deschamps – to me, doesn’t get enough praise, he’s a solid player that jams well playing along side Philippe Dupuis. Didn’t notice him a lot tonight but still contributed with some smart plays.
Kadri – unfortunately, I didn’t see enough of him to say much of anything. [Editor's Note: he left the game injured. No word yet on the extent of the injury].
D’Amigo – The guy is like a dog on bone with the puck, his forecheck and puck pressure is excellent. He had a couple of solid chances to score and he likes to use his body and hit. Very fast and skates well, I see that he could be ready for a 3rd line role. He was good on the pk as well, pressuring the carrier and winning puck battles.
Lashoff – had a good game, made some nice crisp outlet passes, dependable but still getting back into the swing of things I think.
Abbott – took a couple shifts, didn’t play enough to make any observation, took an offensive zone face-off, and I was kind of surprised when I saw him out there.
Greg Scott – had a good game, solid forechecker like D’Amigo and seems to find himself in good spots for scoring chances. Don’t think many people look at him often but he does have some offensive instincts.
Rosehill – played with a little too much intensity and got zinged by the zebras for some (late) hits. Liked his in your face play but wasn’t helping sitting in the box.
Mikus – another one of those dependable defenseman plays similar to Gunnarsson but uses his body a little more, hunted down the puck well and won a bunch of puck battles in their own zone.
Towards the end of the game, as the Marlies were looking to hold the lead, they fell back on what looked like a 1-4 formation that saw the majority of the team stacked at the blue-line with one rover pressuring the puck carrier. It worked for a little bit until OKC put some crisp passes together and caught everyone a little off guard. Nice to see they have a specific defensive posture they use when they try and close out a game.
Just another note – The Marlies play a very support based game, with very few over the top stretch passes to exit the zone. Especially in their own end the forwards collapse back enough to give the D a decently close pass to start the break out. When they break out of their own end the wingers gain the offensive zone quickly by stopping up just inside or (depending on what forwards out there).
All in all, a very well played game. The Marlies PK is a real asset to them, they play a good physical game and aren’t afraid to mix it up.”