Toronto Marlies vs Chicago Wolves: Western Conference semi finals preview

Toronto Marlies vs Chicago Wolves: Western Conference semi finals preview

TORONTO – Bags are unpacked, skates are sharpened and jerseys have been hung.  Tonight, the Toronto Marlies open their 7 game 2nd round series against the Chicago Wolves (AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues).  Much like the Milwaukee Admirals were in round 1, the Wolves will be another challenge for a very dynamic Marlies squad.

 

TORONTO NOTES:

  • Powerplay: Spencer Abbott and Peter Holland are back and are both fully healthy.  At the team’s practice on Thursday, they joined Carter Ashton to re-form the team’s top line.  Abbott finished the season with 69 points in 64 games and was a key component of the Marlies powerplay all season long.  Toronto managed without him in round #1 but the powerplay took a hit, going 3/19.  While Steve Spott wasn’t necessarily disappointed with the success rate, he’s hoping that having Abbott back on the top unit will improve their odds.
  • Goaltending: Drew MacIntyre has been stellar (what else is new right?) and he doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down.  Toronto and Chicago faced each other twice this year, and Garret Sparks, the native of Illinois, started both games going 1-1.  The Marlies defence has been very strong this season but like any team, have their moments of weakness.  Toronto should keep in mind that the long lay-off could have created some rust for MacIntyre but I’d be surprised if his strong play stooped.
  • Gameplay: On Thursday, Steve Spott stressed the fact that his team can not get into a track-meet type of game.  The Marlies do have speed but are a very strategic team.  If Toronto want’s to win this series, avoiding a track-meet will be difficult but attainable.  The Marlies aren’t the type of team to win the track-meet type battles.  Keep to their game plan and they’ll do well.

Players to watch:

  • Sam Carrick: Carrick has been on a roll since the final few games of the regular season.  After battling a few injuries this season, the versatile forward was dominant in round 1 and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Carrick tallied three goals over three games in Round 1 against the Admirals and leads the team in goals scored.  He’s also 2nd on the team in SOG with 11
  • Spencer Abbott: Abbott has been itching to get back into the game and doesn’t appear that he’s missed a beat since being cleared for contact earlier this week.  It may take him a few shifts to get his stride back but rest assured he’ll be the dominant forward we saw all season long once he gets going.
  • Peter HollandWhen Holland is on, there’s very few team’s that can slow him down.  The NHL caliber forward is also playing his 1st game of the post-season tonight and look for him to use his skill level as a big advantage over the Wolves defensive core.

 

CHICAGO WOLVES:

  • Split the season series with the Marlies 1-1.
  • Chicago finished first in the Mid-West division and second overall in the Western Conference. Chicago and Rochester went the distance in round 1. The series was decided in Game 5 where the Americans fell 4-2.
  • Goaltending has been a large part of their success and that’s thanks to Jake Allen.  The AHL All-Star finished first in wins in the AHL with 33 but has been on a bit of a cold streak lately.
  • Former Marlie, Keith Aucoin plays for Chicago.
  • Another former Marlie, Christian Hanson is a member of the Wolves.
  • Dimitri Jaskin leads the league the AHL in points entering Friday’s contest, 7 points in 5 games.
1097 comments
TheHawk
TheHawk

Carlyle said the other day that he was in charge of the PK when he was an assistant in Washington, anyone want to hazard a guess on what the PK was like for those 2 years?

DeclanK
DeclanK moderator

New post up

TheCanucksnaphook
TheCanucksnaphook

Please (unless a major trade goes down) just play young cheap talent  that we already have.  Actual Cap Space breathing room is ok for  a change.

Cameron19
Cameron19

Despite all my objections, I think this team probably will try to sign Steve Ott and probably one other equally useless and over the hill UFA forward.

Jay_Berg
Jay_Berg

So basically we have a bunch of young talented players capable of stepping into a bunch of bottom 6 roles at entry level salaries that will fix our depth and salary cap issues EXCEPT in reality what will happen is this team will load up on overpaid vets because our offseason MO is to get tougher and improve leadership.

Yaaaaaaay

Jordan29
Jordan29

I say we give Clarkson one more season to play top 6, and if not then goodbye and bringup Leivo or someone younger.

I also hate the idea of Ott, but I think him on the wing is less dangerous, and his hits are what we need

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FORWARDS
James Van Riemsdyk ($4.250m) / Tyler Bozak ($4.200m) / Phil Kessel ($8.000m) 
Joffrey Lupul ($5.250m) / Nazem Kadri ($2.900m) / David Clarkson ($5.250m) 
Steve Ott ($3.000m) / Dave Bolland ($4.250m) / Leo Komarov ($1.600m) 
Jamie Devane ($0.700m) / Peter Holland ($0.800m) / Jerry D'Amigo ($0.700m) 
Troy Bodie ($0.600m) / 
DEFENSEMEN
Dion Phaneuf ($7.000m) / Matt Niskanen ($5.500m) 
Jake Gardiner ($2.250m) / Morgan Rielly ($0.894m) 
Carl Gunnarsson ($3.150m) / Cody Franson ($3.000m) 
Petter Granberg ($0.800m) / 
GOALTENDERS
Jonathan Bernier ($2.900m) 
Al Montoya ($1.000m) 
BUYOUTS
Mike Komisarek ($0.000m) 
Mikhail Grabovski ($0.000m) 
BURIED
Tim Gleason ($3.075m) 
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $71,069,167; BONUSES: $950,000
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $30,833

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@Jay_Berg

list the young talented players who are ready to steop into bottom 6 roles.

then look at the lineup and tell me if we're built for Ron Wilson hockey, or Randy Carlyle hockey.

if you don't want a team that plays liek the Bruins then by all means, rush the kids along and let them work out their kinks in the NHL.

but remember what it looks like when a player makes a mistake and it generates a goal against.  you can't move to trade that kid away and declare him a bust.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Jay_Berg  Gonna lock them into long term deals, too. Need more "Carlyle Players". lol

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@Jordan29

Niskanen has a lot of skill, but he'd help settle things down defensively much the same as Brennan would

dlb Mad
dlb Mad

@Jordan29

i liked Ott until i started hearing other fans say he only shows up when he plays Toronto haha

.JVR.
.JVR.

@Jordan29  

I want Komarov back too, but I doubt he'll sign for that 

Bon Scott was a Leaf fan
Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

@Jordan29  

How do you intend on saying goodbye to Clarkson if he doesn't work out??

Edit - Are you going to give him a cinnamon bun and send him on his way??

Cameron19
Cameron19

@dlb yeh @Jay_Berg  Why do people think there is such a thing as "Carlyle hockey" and that the current team isn't playing it?  Our roster plays Carlyle hockey. This is exactly what the Ducks looked like playing his system, too. At no point will a Carlyle team look anything like the Bruins. This is a total fallacy.

Jordan29
Jordan29

@TheCanucksnaphook @Jordan29  For sure if a UFA like Stastny can be signed, or if you use Reimer, Holland, something to trade for another centre. But if not I think you go with that

Jay_Berg
Jay_Berg

Sure hope so because he seems like someone we would give a dumbass contract to.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@dlb yeh @Cameron19  You didn't watch the train wreck the Anaheim. But even during his contender years, his team never looked like the Bruins. 

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A key conflict for Carlyle is that he personally likes big, strong, slow players - but that his systems generally favor speedy players. He had his most success when Selanne and McDonald were destroying teams off the rush and Niedermayer was roaming all over the place - yet he preached about all the stuff that would make you think he likes gronks more

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Similarly, he wanted bigger, stronger D-men, and Murray kept trying to find them, but of course the players who succeeded under him were Fowler and Visnovsky - small speedsters. It's a recurring pattern. I don't think he understands his own values system. 

.JVR.
.JVR.

@Cameron19

And because he figured he'd have a better chance at the Finnish Olympic team if he was getting more icetime in the KHL.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Mitch_S2 @Cameron19 @.JVR.  They had to make a new rule about wearing NHL gear. So he just wears his Marlies gear now. 

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Anyways, this whole money angle is a silly one in my opinion. He obviously enjoyed the NHL lifestyle a lot more than the KHL. It came out that he wasn't really making 3M there, but probably closer to 2M. And the only reason he left in the first place was ice time. 

Cameron19
Cameron19

@.JVR. @Cameron19  Is that why he wears Maple Leaf gear all day long and says he can't wait to return to the NHL? lol

.JVR.
.JVR.

@Cameron19

He played for Buffalo for the majority of the season, so that -40 means fuck all and who did he play with on the top PP there?  


I figure Komarov will want atleast the same as he got in the KHL or he'll just stay there.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@.JVR. @Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  Ott was a minus 40 this year, lol. He had top PP time and had 23 points. He looked awful in St.Louis. He'll be incredibly lucky to get 3 million. Komarov signed for 2 million in the KHL, so why he would be worth 3M here is beyond me. Expect 1.5M or less. 

.JVR.
.JVR.

@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

You're right that he won't get it from us, but there are lots of other suckers out there.

He's a UFA now and he'll get what he's looking for.


Also, a guy like Steve Ott will get alot more than $3 million as an UFA

Jordan29
Jordan29

@.JVR. @rustynail  the rumor was nonis offered 1.4 and he wanted a bit more. I doubt he gets close to 2 mil

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Jordan29 @rustynail @Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  In my opinion, Steve Ott's time in the NHL is almost done. He is stupid and takes far too many penalties. He somehow managed to be a minus 12 in just 23 games with St.Louis -  a team full of plus players. i don't understand what anyone sees in him. Just hot garbage in my opinion.