Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Toronto Marlies

Toronto Marlies

Toronto Marlies news, opinion and analysis from Maple Leafs Hotstove. Weekly roundups, playoff coverage and more from Alec Brownscombe, Adam Nightingale and Anthony Petrielli.
Jim Hughes

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MLHS' Alec Brownscombe recently caught up with Director of Player Development Jim Hughes to check in on the progress of the younger Maple Leafs. Hughes and Claude Loiselle had recently traveled to the World Juniors together to take in Frederik Gauthier and Andreas Johnson's performances for Team Canada and Team Sweden respectively, as well as one viewing of Fabrice Herzog for Team Switzerland. On Connor Brown's eye-popping production: JH: In Connor’s case, the goals and assists are in a lot of ways just the result of his whole makeup. He loves the game, he works extremely hard day in day out, he’s...

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The Marlies came into the past weekend facing a back to back set against the St. John’s Ice Caps on the road.  Since our last Marlies report (Dec. 7), the Marlies have won seven of 11 games, including the AHL Outdoor Classic and a previous home win against the Ice Caps (3-2W) on December 15. The Marlies came into the weekend looking to take as many points as possible; this was the beginning of a 7-game road trip, and in a tough North Division starting a long road trip with some points in the bank is crucial for morale. A...

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As those who could tolerate  the Fox Sports commentators and the poor camera angles can attest to, the Marlies staged a late comeback effort to win 4-3 in shootout over the Grand Rapids Griffins in the Hockeytown Winter Festival Outdoor game. The Marlies sit 17-10-3 at the 30-game pole and now lead the North Division by three points over Hamilton with three games in hand. This Marlies team is interesting to watch, in the sense that there is a contradistinction between their style of play and that of the big club. Aside from Spencer Abott, who at least to me...

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MLHS is pleased to have Daniel Kovalevsky, better known as Pent_House around these parts, contributing some Marlies writings going forward. A pivotal match against the Montreal Canadien’s AHL affiliate, The Hamilton Bull-Dogs, awaited the Marlies at the Ricoh on Saturday, as these divisional foes met up for their 5th of 12 regular season contests. Along with being the Battle of Ontario in the AHL, this game was important for the Marlies as these teams are divisional rivals in a tightly-grouped North Division, with the 4th place Bulldogs only 2 points behind the 1st place Marlies. The Marlies came into the game...

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The Toronto Marlies defeated the Charlotte Checkers, AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, by a score of 3-2 Tuesday night at Ricoh Coliseum. Rasmus Rissanen opened the scoring for the Checkers at 11:02 of the first period. The Marlies would tie the game on Brad Ross’ first goal of the season at 14:30. Josh Leivo notched the lone second period goal on a powerplay at 5:36. The two teams traded goals in the final frame, with Brett Sutter scoring at 2:17 and Troy Bodie tallying the game winning goal at 13:26. The Marlies return to the ice on Saturday, November 23...

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Courtesy of the Toronto Marlies: "The Marlies posted a record of 1-0-1-0 in two games this past week. On Friday night, Toronto traveled down the QEW for their third meeting of the season against the Hamilton Bulldogs, AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens. Despite Josh Leivo scoring his first goal of the season just over five minutes into the game, the Marlies were defeated 2-1 in overtime. Martin St. Pierre tallied both goals for the Bulldogs, while goaltender Drew MacIntyre stopped 35 of 37 shots in the loss. In their second game of the week, the Marlies defeated the...

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The Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, defeated the Toronto Marlies by a score of 3-2 Wednesday night at Ricoh Coliseum. Greg McKegg’s second goal of the season opened the scoring at 4:18 of the first period. The Marlies would take a 2-0 lead on Carter Ashton’s second goal in as many games. Rockford tied the game at two on goals from both Alex and Terry Broadhurst before the end of the period. Jeremy Morin notched his 4th goal of the season with under six minutes remaining in regulation to give the IceHogs their 5th victory of the...

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The Leafs are officially in the midst of their first losing "streak" of the season. Tuesday's contest sees the 7-1 Anaheim Ducks visit town, which will be another difficult test for a Leafs team who have yet to really hit their stride despite being 6-3 on the season. The Ducks shellacked the Stars 6-3 last night, and Getzlaf, Perry, Jakub Silfverberg, Selanne and Mathieu Perreault, who is getting a chance to center their second line, are all off to hot starts. While the hope will be that the return of Kulemin and Clarkson from injury and suspension will help the...

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Steve Spott's team is off to a surprising start (in a good way) to their 2013-14 season. Here's your update courtesy of the Marlies: "The Toronto Marlies pushed their unbeaten streak to three games with a 6-3 victory over the St. John’s IceCaps, AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, on Saturday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum. After earning AHL Player of the Week honours for the period ending October 6, T.J. Brennan added his second hat trick of the season this week. John-Michael Liles, Wade MacLeod and Stefan Legein recorded the other Toronto goals. Captain Trevor Smith and assistant captain...

Jim Hughes

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Alec Brownscombe caught up with Director of Player Development Jim Hughes to touch base on the performances and progress of the younger members of the Leaf organization after the completion of 2013 training camp. Alec Brownscombe: If you can make a general comment, were you happy with the training camp - dating back to the rookie tourney - in terms of what you saw on display from the younger members of the organization? Jim Hughes: Yeah, I think we’re all really happy with the forward transition from the prospect camp, to the rookie camp, to the NHL camp. We’re all happy...

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The Leafs wrapped up what was a pretty good weekend by imploding in the third period and losing handily, but that doesn’t take away from some of the positives that were shown overall. There were some youngsters who had good weekends, others who had very good weekends, and a few who struggled. In other news, the Leafs also have a new player coming to training camp in Mason Raymond. You know hockey is back when there are actual relevant games and players to talk about all of a sudden. Here are some scattered thoughts on the weekend that was: -...

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Welcome to the Battle of Ontario edition of our Rookie Tournament coverage. As we all know, Ottawa sucks and while I have no idea who will dress for the Baby Leafs tonight at this point, I can't imagine that we'll have any problem walking all over them; their parents probably won't even watch out of shame and embarrassment. The Leafs have won both of their games in the tourney so far and the players who you'd expect to standout have done just that.  Brad Ross, Morgan Rielly, Stuart Percy, Petter Granberg, and Josh Leivo (before his injury) have all been great and Zach Yuen turned a...

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So with Rielly, Leivo, MacWilliam, McKegg, and Sparks all sitting this game out and Finn leaving mysteriously after a period of play, you might have guessed that this would be a tough one for the Leafs rookies but you'd be wrong. Stuart Percy was the best player on the ice, and Brad Ross was the best forward for either team pacing the Leafs to a 4-3 shootout win over a Penguins team with no competent forwards. Zachary Yuen was probably the game's biggest surprise.  He had a solid game in every respect and almost certainly opened some eyes with his performance...

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Here we go again. With Brian Burke back in the news, it's fitting that his greatest contribution to the Maple Leafs -- a rebuilt farm system -- take center stage in the days leading up to actual meaningful hockey.  The Baby Leafs have a gold-plated defense group and a forward contingent that breaks down fairly nicely into scoring lines and checking lines; the lines should pretty much roll themselves. With players like Morgan Rielly trying to make an impact prior to the start of Leafs camp, and guys like Leivo, Biggs, and Percy looking to solidify key roles with the Marlies, the...

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HOCKEY. The Maple Leafs' annual Rookie Tournament is upon us. Toronto hosts Chicago Jr. tonight at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario. Toronto Maple Leafs new and 'not-so-old' will have a chance to display their talents for the Maple Leafs Brass in what should be an entertaining tilt of careful pre-pre-season stepping and spirited verbal jousting. For all your basic rookie tournament info needs, the Leafs' official website pretty much has you covered. View the roster and schedule breakdown. Read the primer for tonight's game, which includes broadcast details. Or watch an interview with Marlies coach Steve Spott in which he talks...

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Hockey is officially back! Well, sort of. Today kicks off the Leafs annual rookie tournament, which is really a great opportunity for the kids in the organization to make an impression. It was only two years ago that Jake Gardiner and Matt Frattin both carried the momentum of strong rookie tournaments through training camp and preseason as both at least somewhat unexpectedly made the team to start the season. This September, players such as Petter Granberg, Andrew MacWilliam and even Morgan Rielly will be trying to do the same. On the whole, the Leafs are dressing a rather experienced team...

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MLHS’s Michael Stephens conducted an in-person interview with Steve Spott, head coach of the Toronto Marlies, at the Mastercard Centre earlier this week. Spott touched on a wide variety of Marlies-centric stuff, including the biggest challenges facing the team headed into the new season and the  opportunities the Leafs prospects will be embarking on in the 2013-14 campaign. Here’s a handy list of links to all the other Summer Interviews: Greg Cronin Dave Morrison Dave Poulin Jim Hughes Scott Gordon Garth Malarchuk   Michael Stephens: As a Toronto boy you must be excited to be back here coaching for the Marlies.  What’s the experience been like so far? Steve...

Morgan Rielly

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Headlined by first round draft selections Tyler Biggs (2011), Stuart Percy (2011), Morgan Rielly (2012) and Frederik Gauthier (2013), the Maple Leafs' 2013 prospect tourney roster features one member from the 2008 (Andrew MacWilliam) and 2009 (Jamie Devane) draft classes and then four prospects from each subsequent draft class since 2010. Representing the 2010 class are Carrick, McKegg, Ross, Granberg; the 2011 representatives include Biggs, Percy, Broll and Leivo; Rupert, Rielly, Brown and Finn are the 2012 draftees who are participating; New Leafs Antoine Bibeau, Fabrice Herzog, Carter Verhaeghe and Frederik Gauthier are the four prospects involved from the recent 2013...

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The Toronto Marlies are poised to announce the hiring of Steve Spott as head coach, replacing Dallas Eakins who departed for the Edmonton Oilers. While many candidates were rumored to be in the mix, it appears Spott gets the nod for his reputation as a developmental coach, something Eakins was well respected for, and certainly a top priority quality needed from the new bench boss. Starting his professional coaching career Seneca College and later moving on to Junior A, Spott spent 11 years as an Assistant Coach under Pete DeBoer both in Plymouth and Kitchener. When DeBoer left...

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Thanks to MLHS user "JVR" for submitting the following report after taking in the Marlies' final game of the season at the Ricoh last night: I was (un)fortunate enough to be at the Ricoh Coliseum to watch the Marlies take on the Griffins in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Toronto got off to a good start, as Joe Colborne hit Carter Ashton with a pass in the neutral zone and he walked over the blueline, putting a wrist shot between Petr Mrazek's legs 4 minutes and 15 seconds into the game. Moments later, Drew MacIntyre made two huge saves to...