Toronto Marlies Report: February 5-9

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Photo: Marlies.ca

Your Toronto Marlies came into this week with three games on the schedule against the San Antonio Rampage (Florida), the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit), and the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal).  The Marlies were looking to bounce back after two previous up-and-down weeks. They did just that, winning 2 out of 3 games this weekend and nearly pulling off the come-back in the last game of the set.

A report on the loss to Utica on Sunday and today’s win over Texas will be posted in the next few days.

Game Summaries:

Marlies (5)(SO) vs Rampage (4)
Marlies Goal Scorers: D’amigo (2), Holzer, Ross
Marlies Assists: Abbott (2), McKegg (2), Brennan (2), Kozun

The extra-noisy school day game at the Ricoh was a rematch game after the Marlies won last week in San Antonio 4-3 in OT. Dylan Yeo, Cody Wade McLeod, David Broll and Josh Leivo (hip-pointer) were the scratches in this one while Mike Duco and Kory Nagy got a chance to play. The Marlies came out with some jump after two weeks of bad starts. They were on the body early, and quick on the forecheck. The first goal came around the eight-minute mark, when D’Amigo and Abbott executed a beautiful give-and-go play off the rush to score. The Rampage responded quickly after the Marlies struggled to chip the puck out of their zone. The Rampage forced a turnover and scored to tie the game at 1s. The Baby Buds continued attacking, though, creating some great scoring chances and generating a powerplay to end the period.

An action-packed second period was almost as active as the kids in the building. The Marlboroughs started the period with a PP and converted off a point-shot deflected in by D’Amigo, his second of the game. Duco scrapped Petrovic almost immediately after the goal after a Petrovc hit on Kenny Ryan, earning Duco the the instigator penalty. Four seconds into the ensuing kill, the Rampage scored off a well-executed face-off play and tied the game at 2-2. In the latter half of the period, the Rampage scored an odd goal after Toronto got lost in coverage due to some hesitation, giving San Antonio its first lead of the game at 3-2. Petrovic got into another tussle after this goal, this time dropping them with Sam Carrick. You’ll remember Petrovic as the defenceman on Florida last season who got into it with Nazem Kadri, leading to Mark Fraser getting ejected. In the TV time-out after the fight, MacIntyre got replaced by Sparks; I’m not sure why, but it may have been due to injury. Either way, all the action seemed to put the momentum back in Toronto’s favour as the Greg McKegg line responded with a 40-second offensive zone cycle shift that ended with a Korbinian Holzer goal from the point. The second period ended tied at 3s.

The Rampage got the scoring started in the third period with a shorthanded goal off a well-executed 2 on 1 play to go up 4-3.  The much-maligned Brad Ross tied it back up for the Marlies with a hard shot on the powerplay after taking a crisp pass from TJ Brennan. That would be all the scoring in regulation as this game went to OT at 4-4.

No goal in OT meant the game was to be decided in a shootout. D’Amigo’s pretty goal as the 6th shooter was the decisive tally and  a good way to cap off a solid night for Jerry.

Marlies (4) vs Griffins (1)
Marlies Goal Scorers: Brennan, Leivo, Kozun, D’amigo
Marlies Assists: D’Amigo, Abbott, MacWilliam (2), Nagy, Ross, Kozun, Brennan

It looks as if the Marlies are getting back on track with regards to starting games properly. They killed off a penalty, and had generated some good chances on two of their own PPs. Although Toronto didn`t score, they had some dangerous chances including a Ross breakaway and a Brennan shot that struck the post. Macintyre flashed his skill as well, making a save on a Griffin breakaway to finish off a scoreless first period.

Toronto came out firing in the second 20 with some quick-strike offence, scoring two goals in under five minutes off the sticks of Brennan and Leivo. It was a positive to see Leivo come out and score after being sidelined with a hip injury for seven games. He hasn`t lost the hands, that`s for sure. Abbott left the game in this period looking injured. The Marlies went to second intermission with a 2-0 lead.

The Marlies came out in the third period looking a little dopey. The Griffins got on the board early as Kevin Marshall didn`t take his man`s stick in front of the net; the pass went to said Griffin player, who scored to make it 2-1. Toronto recovered, capitalizing on a Grand Rapids pinch as Kozun sniped on a wicked shot to make it 3-1 Marlies. The Griffins pulled their goalie early, around the three-minute mark, and the Marlies eventually took advantage as the empty-net specialist Jerry D’Amigo scored the Marlies’ fourth of the night. Toronto beat the defending Calder Cup champs by a final score of 4-1 in a convincing victory.

 

Marlies (3) vs Bulldogs (4)
Marlies Goal Scorers: D’amigo, McKegg (2)
Marlies Assists: Leivo, Nagy, Smithson, Kozun, D’amigo, Brennan

Toronto came out strong in the first couple shifts of the tenth game this season against Hamilton. Some great forechecking work by Kozun, Nagy and Leivo led to a D’Amigo goal and a 1-0 lead for Toronto. The Bulldogs responded quickly with a great individual effort from Jared Tinordi and a conversion on a 5-on-3 powerplay. The Marlies went to the dressing down 2-1 after the first frame.

The Baby Buds had a glorious opportunity to get back in this game when D’Amigo was run from behind viciously while the Marlies were already on the powerplay. Toronto wound up with almost a minute of 5-on-3 time and another four minutes and change of 5-on-4 time. Unfortunately, the Marlies  neither scored or generated many shots on goal, a turning point for the worse in this game. Hamilton earned a power-play of their own shortly thereafter, resulting from a MacWilliam holding call. In the latter half of the penalty, the Bulldogs scored off the rush when an innocent shot ricocheted off MacIntyre’s arm into the air and into the net, a goal McIntyre should’ve prevented. It was 3-1 for Hamilton after two periods.

At the beginning of this period, Andrighetto of the Bulldogs made an amazing play to expand the Bulldogs’ lead. Starting in his own zone, he dangled around Kozun, gained speed through the neutral zone, dangled around MacWilliam, and scored short side on MacIntyre. Hamilton took a tripping penalty about five minutes into the period, marking the beginning of an attempted Toronto comeback. The Marlies would convert nine seconds into the powerplay, when a Brennan shot was deflected and McKegg was there to put the rebound in top-shelf and make it 4-2. The Marlies started gaining some momentum; at about the mid-way mark of the period, Ross charged half way across the ice and almost took Dumont’s head off. After a Dumont and Ross fight ensued, it was easy to see the Marlies were energed as they continued to press. With 1:20 left in the game and the goalie pulled, D’Amigo fired a shot into a huge crowd by the net, where four Marlies were positioned, and McKegg was in the right spot again to deposit the rebound. Unfortunately 4-3 was as close as Toronto would get, as Hamilton held  for dear life and took a 4-3 final.

 

Notes:

  • I spoke about Brad Ross’ struggles last week. Well, he stepped up his game this week. He played a top-6 role for most of this week and picked up two points in three games (1G, 1A). His goal against the Rampage showed off a good shot. Trailing on the rush, Brennan found him with a nice pass before Ross scored from well out. He had a few more good chances in that game and could have added to his account. In the Grand Rapids game, Ross had a breakaway chance where he showed some speed but couldn’t convert. He was throwing the body all week, almost obliterating Dumont in the Hamilton game, just nearly missing on the hit. He dropped the gloves after that as well, something I like to see out of Ross. Further evidence of his agitation game: He drew three opposition penalties over the three games. His most exemplary work came in the Hamilton game, in the first period during a scrum; he gave a Bulldog a cheap-shot punch that infuriated him and drew a retaliatory penalty. This is what Ross is about: PK, hitting, fighting, a bit of offense, and some agitation. He`s now at seven points in 39GP (5G, 2A), which are not impressive numbers for the second-year Marlie, but if he brings a consistent effort like he did this week he could easily turn his year around.

  • Petter Granberg surprised me by joining the rush in the first period of the Rampage game. Biggs passed to Ryan on the wing; Ryan drove the net and threw a shot off the goalie`s pads, and the rebound went straight to Granberg who nearly scored. I`d like to see more of that from Granberg. He was his usual solid defensive self, and he had several big hits over the week. He`s got 2G and 2A in 47GP so far, and an impressive +16, but I think there`s a little more offence in him than he`s shown to date. I think we might see some more points as he gains more confidence in his game.

  • In my last report, I talked about the Marlie, previously one of the better starting teams in the league,  having bad starts for two weeks straight. Toronto scored first in all 3 games this week, and generally looked to have way more energy from puck drop. They forechecked well and got on the body early, a key part of their game.

  • Jerry D’Amigo has been heating up recently, looking like a player who is determined to receive another recall after a 19-game cup of coffee with the Leafs. He put up four goals and two assists in three games this week. That gave him 11G and 6A for 17 Points in 31GP this season with the Marlies, on pace for 25+ goals and 40+ points over a full season. He’s firmly a top-6 player now in the AHL, and plays in all situations. He’s out there in front of the net on the PP, he’s been one of the best PK players in the league for a few years, he can shut down good players, he protects leads, and he’s a leader. His give-and-go goal with Abbott against the Rampage was a great play, and he was flying in that game and shooting the puck with confidence. To cap it off D’Amigo added the winner in the shoot-out. Some people might look at the empty net goals as a knock on him, but I love it. To be out there in those situations shows the coach’s trust in him, and he’s fast enough to capitalize on those chances. He also took a heavy hit from behind in the Hamilton game, a play that should be reviewed for suspension, and still came back to chip in on the 4-3 goal.

  • Something I noticed, and liked, about the Marlies’ penalty kill: They hold their blueline with all four PKers standing up and making it difficult for the opposing PP to gain a zone entry. If the other team has trouble getting into the zone and setting up, it greatly diminishes their chances of scoring and churns time off the clock. It’s something the Leafs should look at as it seems the opposition gains the zone at will against them.

  • It looks like Greg McKegg is becoming comfortable now in his second season as the no.1 centre and go-to guy for offence on this team. He had a good offensive week, putting up 2G and 2A. He now sits at 11G and 19A for 30Pts in 38 GP, fourth in team scoring with all the players above him playing significantly more games. He’s got good hands and can dangle – although not like Kadri, for example – but his strength is more as a possession player on the cycle. He’s got a lot of poise with the puck, he shields it well, and he always keeps his feet moving with it. He draws opposing players to him to create space; his linemates benefit from his vision and smooth passes. When he wants to score, he goes to the net and posts up, looking for rebounds and utilizing his hard shot. He’s not a flashy player, but he’s an effective offensive player. Lots of talent.

  • Speaking of McKegg, his line had a particularly good shift in the Rampage game when they were down 3-2 in the second period. After some fights and a goalie change, they had a 40-second offensive-zone cycle-shift that tied the game at 3-3 and completely changed the momentum of the game. It was probably the best shift I’ve seen from the Marlies all season. MacWilliam got the first chance when he came down the slot and received a perfect pass from McKegg. McKegg recovered the puck and dished to Kozun, who did a complete lap around the zone with the puck and dropped the puck back to Holzer, who came on from the bench and got a hard shot on net. McKegg again recovered the puck behind the net, brought it back up to the half-boards, and dished to Holzer at the blue-line; Holzer walked the line and let a shot off, with Duco in-front of the net screening, resulting in a goal.

  • Besides being a young team, it’s impressive that the Marlies are where they are in the standings considering their schedule so far. They’ve played 28 games on the road and only 20 at home. They’ve only got 11 road games left this season and are now 3 games into a 10-game homestand. This sets them up well to take a run at the conference title, creating a tough atmosphere at home down the stretch. They can gain a lot of confidence heading into the playoffs, where home-ice advantage is so important.

  • It was nice to Drew MacIntyre bounce-back in the Grand Rapids game after a couple losses, getting pulled once. He’s crucial to everything the Marlies want to accomplish this season, and he needs to be feeling confident.

  • It was good to see Josh Leivo make an impact this weekend after missing 7 games due to a hip injury. His goal against Grand Rapids was a goal-scorers goal and he was buzzing in the Hamilton game. The Marlies need his offence.

  • Another note on Granberg: He’s a real pain in the ass in front of the net. He battles hard, cross checks like an animal, and makes opposing forwards earn their ice.

  • Brandon Kozun is so fast…. I think he might even be faster than Raymond. I lost count how many times he took laps in the offensive zone with puck, and he finally scored a 5 on 5 goal. The more I watch him, the more I like the trade.

  • Kory Nagy and Mike Duco have been solid foot soldiers for this team when called upon. Both players got into the line-up this week and were effective. Nagy picked up two assists this week and one was without a stick. Duco created offence screening goalies and dropped the gloves, too. Not bad for some PTO depth guys.

  • A couple things hurt the Marlies against Hamilton. For one, three Hamilton goals were the result of bad neutral zone play. On all three goals, Hamilton was allowed to move freely through the neutral zone and gain speed to attack the blue line and net. The team needs to do a better job of slowing their opponents through the neutral zone and protecting their blue-line. The physical game wasn’t there as it usually is, either. I’m not sure what the cause of that was, but Sam Carrick not being in the line-up could have been partly to blame. Finally, not scoring on a 5 on 3 or a five-minute penalty hurt their chances; if they scored in those situations they probably would have walked away with at least a point in that game.

  • Optimustic

    Love McKegg this year, glad to see him stepping up.   The team resembles the Leafs in a lot of ways;  not only the uniforms and the colours, but the way that they disappear for large stretches of the game, only to win it in a couple of minutes.  Two much needed points today as Rochester is now 6 points back with a game in hand instead of 4 points.  MacIntyre has been very good in most of the games I’ve watched as well.

  • wiski

    Good job kurwa, the coach said something about having some tough decisions this week, who do you think gets moved down and out?

  • wendelsfist

    From the other thread, Connor Brown is a RW whose will translate into top 6 or bust. It will take a few years to see how he develops . Best case Brown plays the second line RW after the Kessel line so maybe Kadri/Brown combo.    That leaves Clarkson as the third line RW.

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    wendelsfist  he seems to be highly motivated, we’ll know for sure by how dedicated he is to his offseason regiment. Hoping to see him bulk up and impress at training camp

  • Optimustic

    Let’s see,  on TSN-2 we have “An all access look at life with the Montreal Canadians” and on another station we have ” Meet The Fockers”   –  Same thing isn’t it?

  • Bobsyouruncle

    From last thread. 
    Bruffins wrote:  
    “Nothing will change my opinion of Crosby being the best in the world but he hasn’t had one solid Olympic game in both tournaments so far”   
    Crosby hasn’t been the 2 point a game player we might expect to see but he has done more than just score the golden goal. 
    Only 4 or 5 players had more points in 2010. Crosby was 7 points in 7 games. Assisted on all 3 Iginla goals in game 1.  
    Only player to score in the shoot-out in game 2.  
    Did I mention the Golden Goal?  lol  
    He hasn’t been quite what we hoped or expected but he hasn’t been invisible like some imply. imo

  • wiski

    Bobsyouruncle  Shoulda gave Toews the C 😉

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    whens the next US game?

  • wiski

    Dangle_My_Berries  Wednesday

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/THNMattLarkin https://twitter.com/THNMattLarkin/status/434701400699068417
    I once asked Datsyuk about Shea Weber. Datsyuk’s response: “He defenseman. He my nightmare.”

  • Bobsyouruncle

    wiski  Like the Leafs should give it to Lupul? ; )

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    wiski  ask Brizzy about nightmares….

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    wiski Dangle_My_Berries  thank you sir

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Awesome writeup, Daniel.  I’m hoping D’Amigo gets another look see.

  • wiski

    Dangle_My_Berries wiski  Yanks and Canada play at the same time unfortunately 
    http://olympics.cbc.ca/hockey/event/men/index.html

  • Cameron19

    Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXwC3TgEhBI&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DmXwC3TgEhBI&app=desktop

    And the subsequent story: the family wants to charge the ref with assault. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/hockey-player-12-hurt-in-scuffle-involving-referee-coach-1.2540097

  • Bobsyouruncle

    wiski  Not a big Crosby fan or a hater. Wouldn’t bother me if Toews was picked either. Just win baby. 
    GO CANADA GO!!! 
    (And Phuck Phook and his inbred band of America boosting, hater types)

  • wiski

    Cameron19  Psycho mom lol

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    https://twitter.com/LeafsNews/status/435557046608728064

  • Burtonboy

    I’m guessing the Leafs will be back at practice on Wednesday as well.

    https://twitter.com/LavoieRenaud https://twitter.com/LavoieRenaud/status/435576952276414464
    Practice will resume Wednesday for the Canadiens.Michael Bournival (concussion) does not have the green light as we speak.

  • Bobsyouruncle

    Bruffins Yeah I know the popular narative. On top of what I said earlier Crosby also scored a goal to bring Canada within 1 of the U.S. (4-3) in the round robin and give Canada a chance to tie with 3 minutes left.

  • wiski

    Bobsyouruncle wiski  I feel the same take em of leave’m. He does seem like a whiner though, what problem did he has with Temu last game, the old guy is a class act. lol

  • Shift_Disturber1

    wiski Cameron19  That “mom” is where a lot of that whole set of problems begins

  • Cameron19

    Shift_Disturber1 wiski Cameron19  It sounds like there might have been a race element in play, too. Reservation parents probably more than a little overprotective about the way a white city referee handles their kids. 

    Could not be more obvious that the ref slips and brings the kid down by accident though. And she was freaking out before he even did anything.

  • Cloud09

    Burtonboy  That’s good to hear. The sooner the NHL comes back the better.

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    Cloud09 Burtonboy  i hated that there was no hockey saturday night

  • Cloud09

    The_Polish_Cannon Cloud09 Burtonboy  Not being able to watch games since they are on during the day is what make me want the Leafs back.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Cameron19 Shift_Disturber1wiski  Yes, my thoughts exactly.(not sure about the race part but the rest)

    Similar thing happened to my kid as he and another were jawing each other last year. The ref came flying in to separate them so nothing would get going and he pretty much bowled over my kid (I’m am laughing now as I was on the bench at the time) completely by accident. I know my son was a little pissed off about it but w/e. The ref immediately went over and put his hand out to help him up and apologized. He also came over to the bench (and was likely relieved to see we were having a chuckle) and apologized. It was a clear accident.

    I think that mother running her mouth and that kids actions +the (likely) dad as coach coming off the bench speaks volumes about that situation. This is Peewee hockey for crying out loud. 

    Anyone hear the little kid in the stands cursing as well?

  • wiski

    DeclanK  Could have swore I posted that earlier, weird

  • wiski

    Shift_Disturber1 Cameron19 wiski  We’re talking about millions of dollars here 😉

  • Shift_Disturber1

    MikeGartner11 Cameron19Shift_Disturber1wiski  Cam, I see where you got that “race” part now that i browsed the youtube page/comments.
    I remember that incident last year in the playoffs with the parents in the stands and that being part of the issue as well.

  • Black_Hawk

    DeclanK  awesome

  • Black_Hawk

    DeclanK  is there a live interview?

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    wiski DeclanK  Or that the tweet you posted was posted after this one. Weird.

  • Bring the Cup Home

    McKegg and Leivo.   This dynamic duo is something to watch out for next season.  I think they’re both poised for stellar seasons next year and will each get over a PPG with one of them at least translating into a top 6 player in the NHL.  Most likely Leivo.  I see him filling our 2nd line RW slot within about 2 – 3 years time.

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23FunnyLife&src=hash Fire! http://t.co/0osd2Lx0L3

  • Shift_Disturber1

    MikeGartner11 Cameron19Shift_Disturber1wiski 
    This one :

    Six Nations at Tweed Bantam C Hockey Finals Parent Fight in the Stands 23 March 2013 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdub1GS6CbI

    Again the parents, supposed “grown ups”, supposed “teachers, leaders and models” for their kids. Pathetic. Cheer the good plays and shut the fuck up otherwise.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    wiski   Wonder when it’s last pressure test was? ;P

  • wiski

    Any news at all about how Bolland in doing with the nights?

  • wiski

    MikeGartner11 wiski  Hope he’s ready for practice on the 19th.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Cameron19  Brutal, ref did nothing wrong.

  • Black_Hawk

    Shift_Disturber1 MikeGartner11 Cameron19 wiski  holy shit thats fucken sad. Grow the fuck up ppl. Seriously if you cant enjoy kids hockey you are messed up

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/Matt_Frattin https://twitter.com/Matt_Frattin/status/435586802938703873
    Can’t beat Turks and Caicos https://twitter.com/PCaripan http://t.co/FgaWnLnt0i

  • Black_Hawk

    wiski  now we see why his game went south lol

  • wiski

    Black_Hawk wiski  Ya but does she 😉

  • MLHS_Luke

    wiski  wtf He’s been a King for how many months and his background setting on Twitter is him as a Leaf?

  • wiski

    MLHS_Luke wiski  That’s where the heart is I guess

  • Pent_House

    wiski  I’m going to have a little something about that in my next report

  • Pent_House

    Bring the Cup Home  McKegg might come close to PPG by the end of this season, he’s closing in.

  • wiski

    Pent_House wiski  Good looking forward to it