TORONTO – After a big 5-1 win on Friday against the Texas Stars, the Toronto Marlies knew they had to improve on their 50-shots-against performance in game #2 on Monday night or else risk dropping their first game of the 2014 post season.
The first period started well for Toronto. After a Texas turnover inside the Marlies blueline in a 4-on-4 situation, Jerry D’Amigo picked up the puck and went barrelling down the ice and snapped a quick wrist shot over the glove of Christopher Nilstorp for his fourth of the post-season and a 1-0 Marlie lead.
The first period in game #2 was much like the one in game #1: A lot of back and forth action and once again it was the high-powered offense of the Stars leading the shots 7-1 midway through the frame. That wasn’t a good sign of what was to come and sure enough the Stars broke through with the Marlies on the PK. Korbinian Holzer made a no-look backhanded pass that landed on the stick of Chris Mueller, who made a perfect pass to Orangeville, Ontario native Brett Ritchie. Ritchie put his second of the post-season past a sprawling Drew MacIntyre to even things up at 1-1. Despite out-shooting Toronto 18-7 in the period, the score was tied at 1-1 as the two teams broke for the first intermission.
For the first time in the playoffs, the Marlies fell behind in the second period. Just over eight minutes played in the second, after a great toe save by Nilstorp on Peter Holland, the Stars grabbed the go-ahead goal. After the ensuing face-off, Mike Hedden sped past Korbinian Holzer, broke in on MacIntyre and was denied, but Scott Glennie was right on the door-step to tap home a juicy rebound for his second of the post-season, giving the Stars a 2-1 lead.
Toronto’s Josh Leivo answered right back with less than 10 minutes to go in the period on a power-play, batting home a rebound off a Spencer Abbott wrist shot for his third of the playoffs.
Before the period was out, Texas once again restored the upper-hand; Kevin Henderson out-muscled Trevor Smith behind the Toronto net and made a great pass to Brett Ritchie, who was left all alone in the slot to fire his second of the game past MacIntyre for a 3-2 Stars lead.
The second-period onslaught of scoring continued, as the Marlies continued to play catch up. Peter Holland picked up a loose puck in front of the net after coming off the half wall and dropping a slick back pass to Holzer for a point shot. Holland lifted the rebound over Nilstorp, who was down and out in his crease, tying things at three a piece.
Texas would once again restore the lead the period was out. With 1:01 remaining, Dylan Yeo and Trevor Smith got caught out of position which allowed Brendan Ranford to walk in and send a cross-crease feed to Chris Mueller for his fifth of the post-season. It was 4-3 Stars after two as the Marlies were in unfamiliar territory this playoff, sitting on the wrong end of the scoreline after 40.
Toronto were playing catch-up the entire night, and were never in control. In the third period, Toronto battled but couldn’t come up with a third reply after falling behind 4-3. The Marlies had their chances as the pushback was there, but Nilstorp stood strong. With just over five minutes left to play in the 3rd, the Stars pulled away. Scott Glennie found the back of the net for his 2nd of the game and 3rd of the playoffs, notching the back-breaker 5-3 goal. Travis Morin added an empty netter to make it a 6-3 final.
- The Scott Glennie goal in the second period ended a 512:05-long streak of never trailing for the Marlies. A remarkable feat and one bound to come to an end at some point.
- 102 shots against in two games – definitely some concern here. Toronto again got into the ‘track meet’ style of game again at times on Monday and are unlikely to win this series if it continues. The Texas speed up front has been giving the Marlies’ defence issues.
- Marlies’ discipline wasn’t what it needed to be tonight, giving up seven powerplay opportunities. Even if they only gave up one PP goal, it hurts flow and momentum and means a lot of work for MacIntyre.
- Steve Spott said that there wasn’t anything to like structure wise after game #1 and there were times in game #2 where the same mistakes recurred. Defensive zone coverage issues need to be addressed because this Stars team is too potent for MacIntyre to do it alone.
- Brad Ross drew into the lineup in an attempt to shake things up. He finished the night with 1 shot on goal.
- Peter Holland now has 6 goals in 6 games. Jerry D’Amigo is up to 13 points in 9 playoff games with his nice shot on the 1-0 goal.
- This is the first bit of adversity this Marlies team will undergo in these playoffs. Learning experiences here for the fledgling youth. Let’s hope it was the wake up call the team needed in time for the home leg of the series.
Stick tap to 100 Degree Hockey for the featured photo. Check out their site for the Texas perspective on the Western Conference Final series.
If you could add one player to this team that played for the Leafs in the last ten years who would it be? This player would be just joining the team in their prime in this scenario
CANT PICK SUNDIN
@Bruffins Ron Francis.
@Xxxxxnew and a centreman to boot.
@Xxxxxnew Yup, he was one hell of the player, if healthy he and Mats they would tear the league apart.
@Bruffins Alex Mogilny just for his sarcastic comments such as
"Don't forget, in Russia we never had to do interviews. I never had to deal with a reporter. To me, it was a bizarre thing, people sticking microphones in your face and asking sometimes really dumb questions where they knew the answer already. I could never understand that. I still don't get it, though. After the game, you guys ask me questions. Then, the next morning, you come in and ask me the same question again. Why do you do that? What's changed from the night before? Nothing's changed."
@Bruffins Yuskevich would be nice, weird pick but we need D and he'd be a perfect #2.
@Bruffins It's a little over 10 years ago, but this guy: http://www.downgoesbrown.com/2009/12/markov-salutes-jagr.html
@CanuckUKinToronto I wonder why Rogers and Bell don't invest a bit of money to give the Marlies some HD coverage. Makes it hard to watch the games on TV/laptops. I'm considering season tickets for next year.
@CanuckUKinToronto I always keep an eye on Broll, Leivo , Granberg, Holland , Ashton, and Damigo Those are the guys i see filling rolls eventually. Some of them next year!
@CanuckUKinToronto LMAO, I cant believe you are complaining about Marlies playoff coverage. Have you ever watched a game on AHL Live?
Pretty fitting image for this series. Toews one of the only guys on the Hawks to actually show up for the games.
@RandomScrub They miss Bolland lolololol
Didn't realize Stepan was skating. Perhaps he may be back for the next game. Which will be Game 1 of the cup finals.
@RandomScrub I think he plays tonight.
A thought - these guys run the best Leafs site on the internet with amazing content, give us as open of a forum as I've ever seen to discuss the team and sport and occasionally, if done tastefully, our personal lives and interests.
And ask nothing of us in return except for a little respect...
It's a shame these episodes even have to take place.
@BigTO A lot of comments here would not fly on TSN boards, HFboards, etc. We let more go than pretty well everyone.
@BigTO Not to mention very easy to reach and they respond to almost everything.
When was the last time an MSM stiff (with a couple of exceptions) ever took the time to reply to you on Twitter?
The main reason I see people getting banned is the refusal to just let things go . Share your opinion by all means and have a debate if you want but don't flood the board with your own pet peeves day in day out .
@Burtonboy But what's the alternative? Spend $150 an hour on a shrink??!!
My opinion on all this is AP can do no wrong in my books. And Alec is the godfather and you don't want to be screwing around with the godfather or you end up swimming with the fishies.
@dlb Reggie At least they don't need a goalie to defend golf holes
@dlb Reggie In blowout fashion I hope as well.
@TheCanucksnaphook Get a stress ball!
Belfour, you seem like a good guy/girl, but if you want to know why you were banned, this is why:
You constantly posted pictures of half naked women on this site (and we know you aren't the only one), and how many times have we asked? Then you blatantly change your pic to one as basically a slap in the face.
Yesterday you were on the boards and posted this "Just watched Auschwitz documentary, man that was fucked up! Thank the heavens for the women and men who fought to rescue all those Jews. "
We constantly have to delete inappropriate postings like this from you and it's just not worth the time.
Others are hopping in and wondering "Will I be next?" Well, do you post pictures of women in revealing bikinis? Do you make comments like the one I just posted above? No? You probably don't need to worry.
Stick to hockey comments, don't fight, don't be annoying. It's pretty simple. This site is massive and yet we don't impose commenting rules which would be very easy for us to do at this point. But we haven't, and we'd rather not, but posting inappropriate pictures, swearing like sailors non-stop, random inappropriate comments? It gets to a point (to be clear- on individuals, hopefully not on imposing commenting rules).
It's not an old boys club. Fenton, no offence, but I probably disagree with the vast majority of what you say, but he seeks out where the conversation is going, stays on topic, provides his opinion, and backs it with (slanted, lol) facts. Is Fenton banned because of his controversial opinion? No. Because he's not inappropriate.
I'll probably regret posting this, but oh well. Didn't want people kept in the dark.
@dlb Reggie it's a pretty insane thing to come and post on a Leaf forum, no?
@Anthony Petrielli Umm. AP...look at ShotgunCharlie and tell me that avatar isn't worse than Belfour's.
Edit: I agree with most of what you said anyways. Just that point stuck out to me.
@Anthony Petrielli Well Said
@Anthony Petrielli Thanks for addressing the issue....it was needed in order to move on......GO MARLIES GO!!! :)
@dlb Reggie As a member of the tribe, the term "Jew" isn't derogatory. Sometimes how it's used is - but then again anything can be used in a derogatory way.
I'm in no way commenting on this specific instance, just answering your sorta question.
@Anthony Petrielli This was needed . Its not setting rules but more or less laying out some guidelines. BTW I'll try to knock off swearing :)
@dlb Reggie Just about steering conversations in wrong directions or bad directions.
Guys that come on here and want to debate trading Phaneuf EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. are just as bad.
(Not trying to steer this towards other unrelated TV shows; just agreeing that "Jew" is not a derogatory term. Charlie's right: say anything with a sneer and it'll sound bad.)