Defence falls flat, Toronto Marlies drop game #2 6-3

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Photo Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars

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.

GAME NOTES:

  • 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.

  • drummond

    Sooner or later Marlies had to fall and let´s not kid ourselves this Texas team is a damn good one. Getting out of Texas even despite facing 100+ shots is great. They have 3 games at home, in other words they have complete control of the series.

  • Great Dane

    drummond  Another clean sweep was not likely. However, they need to get the shoots against down and I am sure that Spott is working on that.

    Texas must have been very upset with the first game.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Seems like Holzer, in particular,  had a rough evening

  • Great Dane

    Finally some good news that Komorov is on the way back to the Leafs.

    If JVR and Kessel can bring in Stastny as well. Things would be a lot brighter.

  • Great Dane

    CanuckUKinToronto  Hi I will shoot you an email later this afternoon

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Since I retired I’ve pretty much ignored the markets. Used to dabble a bit and even tried forex for a bit . Could never get the hang of currency trading LOL. Good news on the Cannuck buck for hockey fans. Also revenues on theses series is going to be huge given the size of the markets still left in the race

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy Hahaha conspiracy theory’s. Love em   . If that was true they would have fixed it so LA and NY were in the final long before this . And its a no brainer from a financial perspective to have Toronto in the playoffs

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy I know lol. Honestly though. People may despise Bettman but the game of hockey has never been better especially financially. Just watch where player salaries are going to go in the next 5 yrs . From what I can gather it has a lot to do with the marketing skills of John Collins who came over from the NFL several yrs ago

  • Mind Bomb

    Good morning Folks

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb G’day mate

  • Mind Bomb

    Burtonboy Mind Bomb Sup BB

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb Burtonboy Same ol same ol . Retired life can be boring ya know

  • Mind Bomb

    Great Dane Morning GD, ? what did I miss, is Koro Back for sure ?

  • Mind Bomb

    Burtonboy Mind Bomb Nope net yet, 19 years 7months 2 days for me lol :)))

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb Great Dane I think he’s talking about the stuff Traikos was tweeting yesterday

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb Burtonboy Never wish your time away MB . It’s not what its cracked up to be . If my personal circumstance where different I would still be working doing consulting or contract work.

  • Mind Bomb

    Love this, TSN offseason Game plan for Dallas

    If the Stars are going to take a step forward, they could use another top-four defenceman, 

    This can be said for any Bubble team, and many others. We are in tough to find Dion a Partner

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb Hardest trade to make or player to acquire is a top 4 defenseman

  • Mind Bomb

    Burtonboy Mind Bomb I hear ya bro, its just the Alarm clock is really, really getting on my Nerves lol

  • Mind Bomb

    Burtonboy Mind Bomb Great Dane Ahh, got excited there for sure lol

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy Mind Bomb Thats why its impossible to imagine that the Leafs would have to retain salary on a Dion trade.  Of course, that would leave the Leafs without any top 2 dmen, and arguably only borderline top 4 dmen.

  • Jordan29

    So Komarov is obviously back. Hopefully just sign him to a 3-4 year deal at 1.5-2 and he can be the 4th line centre or 3rd line winger we needed last year. You have to imagine a Komarov-Bolland-Clarkson line would be great together

  • Jordan29

    That’s why Gunnarsson is also more valuable then people want to imagine. Not a true #2 but the fact he plays it and is not that bad is decent

  • Mind Bomb

    MaxwellHowe Burtonboy Mind Bomb Retain Salary is a Joke, A signed for control Minute muncher who’s contract will get better as the Cap goes up. 

    We could get a Shit ton for Dion

    Haters be dammed lol

  • Burtonboy

    Jordan29 Don’t count your chickens lol

  • Jordan29

    I’m pretty sure his agent and Nonis would have talked last year about him coming back after the cap was not so bad

  • Wendy Clarkson

    Burtonboy Mind Bomb But is he a top 2 defencemen or just play top 2 minutes. Personally for what he offers I don’t think that was a good contract. And beyond the contract deserving or not why would we offer Dion 7yrs and then Nonis say he is listening to offers on him. 

    To me this is Nonis saying he made a mistake on the contract. Something has to be said about the mistakes Nonis is making. Clearly the team was better with what they had in Macarthur and Grabo then Clarkson and Bolland. And now there is the Dion Issue. All this controversy over Dion was started because of Nonis comments about listening to offers, to me that shows no faith in your captain and you are basically forcing him out of town. 

    Now they wont make a trade and come out with a statement saying they have full faith in his abilities

  • Mind Bomb

    Jordan29 Nonis may be saving his cap for Raymond though, Our Gm still has to be smart enough to put the ink on the Paper

  • JMAC17

    Mind Bomb Jordan29 Please no Raymond

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb Jordan29 Man you really need to forget Nonis . Shanny calls all the shots now

  • Loric76

    Burtonboy Mind Bomb Jordan29 ya but Nonis wipes his ass

  • Loric76

    Morning turkeys

  • Mind Bomb

    Wendy Clarkson Burtonboy Mind Bomb Morning Wendy, I dis-agree on Dion. But agree on the rest, Nonis has a big year coming up if he wants to remain GM

  • Burtonboy

    Loric76 Burtonboy Mind Bomb Jordan29 Arse wipes don’t make decisions

  • maple1967leafs

    Loric76 mornin

  • Wendy Clarkson

    Mind Bomb Wendy Clarkson Burtonboy I don’t hate Dion by the way, I just don’t love him as much as you guys clearly do. I was completely against trading Dion until mention of a 1st Overall pick was mentioned and I always said I wouldn’t trade Dion or Phil unless it was for a huge package and to me the number one overall prize is a huge package.

  • Mind Bomb

    Burtonboy Mind Bomb Jordan29 I dont know what to believe BB, am I pining my Hopes on a Rookie Pres, making decisions over his GM’s Head ?

    Thats not a Comfortable feeling :)

  • Mind Bomb

    Loric76 Morning Lor

  • maple1967leafs

    Jordan29 That pic is from the Olympics

  • Loric76

    Burtonboy Loric76 Mind Bomb Jordan29 Sure they do.  Have to pick the appropriate paper, chose whether to wipe forwards or backwards, etc.  It’s a tough job lol

  • Mind Bomb

    Wendy Clarkson Mind Bomb Burtonboy Aye and your entitled to your Opinion, I believe your Valuation is off, is all

  • Wendy Clarkson

    Mind Bomb Jordan29 If Raymond is back next year I’m calling for Nonis head. What a waste of space that little dweeb is

  • Mind Bomb

    CanuckUKinToronto Mind Bomb Burtonboy Jordan29 Morning Nuckles, bottom Line, Change is needed, but we have the same Coach and GM, colour me skeptical :)

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb Burtonboy Jordan29 I have no problem with Shanny making those decisions . He knows more about what it takes to win and what type of player it takes to do that then all those guys in that front office combined

  • Loric76

    I think we’re going to see bigger changes than Raymond and Komorov.  Not sure what yet, but this won’t be a simple re-tweak.

  • Mind Bomb

    Wendy Clarkson Mind Bomb Jordan29 Nonis likes him, was the only one to our knowledge to offer Raymond a Try out, then Raymond Delivers on the score sheet, its not out of the realm of possibility that Nonis rewards him with a contract.

    I wouldnt, Nonis might , 

    But then BB’s comment gets me thinking, Would Shanny ?, I doubt it.

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/BradyAndWalker https://twitter.com/BradyAndWalker/status/471262139681079296
    Dave Bolland will join https://twitter.com/hashtag/BradyAndWalker?src=hash at 8:22 to share his thoughts on the season and his future in Toronto http://t.co/8oRSrbtQWL

  • Loric76

    “How’s it going Dave?”
    “Pretty good, I’ve been house shopping in Florida”

  • Burtonboy

    Loric76 This might be worth listening too.

  • Mind Bomb

    Burtonboy Mind Bomb Jordan29 I hope BB, but until I see positive proof, then I am a Skeptic, Everyone fell for Timmy L’s sales pitch, now he wants out. Are we Shanny’s training ground ? What is Shanny’s carreer agenda