Photo courtesy of Christian at TSGphoto.com
The Toronto Marlies came into this January 30 – February 1 stretch with a three-game road trip on tap in the southern states. The Marlies squared off with the Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton), San Antonio Rampage (Florida), and the Texas Stars (Dallas).
This was a week to forget for the Marlies, who won one of three games and suffered a 6-0 blowout in one of the losses.
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.
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.
It is a little ironic that Dave Nonis left Vancouver this past weekend with an eerily similar problem to the one he faced while GM of the Canucks.
You’ve got to love the sight of the NHL standings this Friday evening, but the top of the OHL player scoring table is looking pretty Leafy as well in the early season.
The Leafs kicked off preseason with a 4-3 win over the Flyers.
Of course, you shouldn’t read too far into game one of the preseason with only three or four regulars playing for the Leafs, but it is fun to get a look at the likes of Gauthier, Rielly, Leivo and other youth playing all situations hockey at a higher level.
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:
Jim Hughes (Photo: MapleLeafsHotStove)
MLHS’ Alec Brownscombe caught up with Leafs Director of Player Development Jim Hughes this morning to talk about some of the younger Maple Leafs. While much of the Leafs scouting staff heads to Bratislava next week for the Ivan Hlinka U18 tournament, Hughes will be taking in the World Junior exhibition games in Lake Placid. Dominic Toninato will participating for Team USA while Ryan Rupert, Matt Finn, Morgan Rielly and Frederik Gauthier will be playing for Canada.
Welcome back to the Master Card Centre of Excellence!
I was pleased to be back watching anything affiliated with the Maple Leafs. I was crushed after Game 7, but it all felt okay being back at the rink on this extremely hot summer day in Toronto.
Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images
The CHL Playoffs are just getting underway — unfortunately for most of the Leafs’ prospects, they’re also wrapping up.
Photo: National Post
Earlier this week, the Leafs director of amateur scouting, Dave Morrison, took some time out of his schedule to talk to me.
We ended up speaking for nearly an hour and we went over so much that I decided to break it down by section and quote him where appropriate. So with that, please do not misconstrue anything said below and contact me for clarification if you are unsure about anything.
With all that out of the way, here are the highlights from our chat:
After being away from his teammates for both the World Junior Championships and the Leafs’ pre-season camp, Morgan Rielly returned to Moose Jaw and the Warriors returned to the win column for the first time since his departure.
Welcome back, Josh Leivo.
After missing time with a concussion, Leivo returned to the Sudbury Wolves lineup last week and he did so with a vengeance. The Wolves had 3 games in 3 nights this weekend and Leivo put up 2 goals and 5 assists. Leivo now has 34 points in 29 games on a pretty weak Sudbury team.
Brought to you by Blue Chip Prospects
Really exciting night for Leafs fans on a day that was otherwise full of depressing lockout news.
We had a shift-by-shift look at Josh Leivo and one of his goals from Saturday up on the site yesterday. On Sunday, Leivo went out and scored a hat trick for the Sudbury Wolves, leading them over the 67′s and earning him OHL’s Player of the Week honours in the process. His performance included two brilliant individual efforts that really wowed onlookers. Leivo also scored twice on the Thursday against Peterborough.
It’s important to temper expectations and keep the odds in mind of these mid to lower round picks (Leivo was a third in 2011) becoming NHLers let alone higher end ones, but this is a prospect I’m getting pretty excited about. His combination of size and a gifted set of hands is intriguing.The fact that he’s willing to drop the gloves and work hard killing penalties just about completes the Leafs fan wet dream.
Always be weary of the big picture when a 19-year-old posts big junior numbers, but you never know; Leivo was a late birthday and perhaps the Leafs found a player here who needed the extra time beyond his draft season to really harness the tools at his disposal.
From the OHL:
Update: Josh Leivo led his Sudbury Wolves over the Ottawa 67′ers with a hat trick Sunday afternoon, including two brilliant individual efforts. We’ll scour the web for some video and post the highlights. Great display of skill.
MLHS user “J” attended the Sudbury Wolves win over the Kingston Frotenacs last night and tracked Josh Leivo’s shifts on video as well as his game-tying goal (his fourth of the season).
From J: “Leivo did not disappoint as he finished the night with the game tying goal and was a constant force to reckoned with. He made quite a few nice passes that could have easily been goals had other players finished the play.
He played on the 2nd line 5-5. He was on the second powerplay unit as well as the 2nd penalty killing unit. Notable:there were quite a few (6) Frontenac powerplays and they failed to take advantage.
I was able to take a few pictures and I taped most of his shifts. Check out his hard work on the PK and goal at the end of the video: