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.
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.
Toronto Marlies defeat the Oklahoma City Barons 6-5 in OT
The Toronto Marlies defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 6-5 in what was a wild, high-scoring affair.
Toronto Marlies vs Oklahoma City Baron’s Highlights
Nicolas Deschamps Goal
Kenny Ryan Goal
Greg Scott Goal
Jake Gardiner OT Winner
Mike Zigomanis Goal
Korbinian Holzer’s Huge Hit
Jake Gardiner Interview
For a more detailed account, here is a live blog transcript from the Edmonton Journal.
9:37Â â€“ That didnâ€™t take long. 1-0 Marlies on a soft goal on Roy. The Baronsâ€™ defenceman (didnâ€™t see who it was for sure) couldnâ€™t get over to cut off the Marliesâ€™ Will Acton, and he fired a hard shot from the far side of the left wing that squeezed between Royâ€™s arm and body.
9:39Â â€“ No replay on the goal, so Iâ€™ll try to go back and look at it at the intermission.
9:45Â - Magnus Paajarvi drew a penalty with some good work in the corner, and this first power play shift has been a shooting gallery; no goals yet but Hall and Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins keep getting shots from good areas.
9:47Â â€“ No goal on the power play. Nelson went right to the fourth line for the shift after the man advantage ended â€“ with veteran Dane Byers alongside defensive forwards Chris VandeVelde and Tanner House, this seems to be his preferred line for defensive matchups when an opportunity (own zone draws late in the third, after power plays, etc.) arises. Theyâ€™ve had a strong game so far and do a nice job covering the Kadri line.
9:50Â â€“ Hybrid icing call on a long Teubert dump. I really like this rule â€“ it makes the game go by quicker (it eliminates all those long skates back to the red line) and removes those ugly plays where everybody knows one guy will get there first so the other guy just goes for a hard hit on a player in a vulnerable spot. A faster game, less injury risk, and they donâ€™t blow the whistle when the other team can negate the icing. This is an excellent rule change.
9:52Â â€“ Marincin takes a nice shot at point blank range off a nice setup by Chris VandeVelde.
9:54Â â€“ Magnus Paajarvi generates all sorts of trouble on a 2-on-2 rush, going wide around the Marlies defender and then cutting in; heâ€™s an ice fit with Hartikainen because even though Paajarviâ€™s initial shot was weak Hartikainenâ€™s presence in the crease made it exponentially more dangerous. Hartikainen with a nice chance off the rebound too, which Rynnas was equal too.
9:54Â â€“ Nugent-Hopkins rings a shot off the post.
9:56Â â€“ Mark Arcobello bails out Alex Plante. Plante had two strides on the forechecking Marlies forward racing for a loose puck, but got beat; Arcobello came in and turned the 1-on-1 battle into a 2-on-1, which got the puck moving the other way.
9:59Â â€“ Entering the offensive zone, Chris VandeVelde flipped the puck high and over to Tanner House. Even though it was a difficult pass to intercept, Nazem Kadri (impressively) batted it out of the air and went the other way. Without missing a beat, VandeVelde wheeled and caught up with him by center ice, pinning him against the boards and preventing a rush the other way. A small play, to be sure, but impressive hand/eye coordination by Kadri and a very nice recovery for VandeVelde.
10:02Â â€“ The Marliesâ€™ Aucoin snuck behind the Schultz/Marincin pairing andÂ receivedÂ a breakout pass, but Schultz wheeled back and cut him off before anything could happen. A good play for Schultz, who I think was the defenceman who misplayed Aucoin on the first goal.
10:03Â â€“ Teubertâ€™s stick breaks, and chaos ensues around the crease. Itâ€™s now 2-0 Marlies on the play. As with the first goal, I believe I caught what happened but Iâ€™ll wait until the end of the period to confirm.
10:04Â â€“ A hard shot from the slot off a weird bounce beats Roy cleanly. That will do it for Roy, who had a clear look at the shot and really should have had it. 3-0 Marlies.
10:05Â â€“ This is turning into a rout. There was a long shot from the point that Danis kicked out, but the defence failed to adequately cover the crease and a Marlies forward scored from point blank range. 4-0 Marlies.
10:07Â â€“ Jake Gardiner rushes in on left wing and Colten Teubert canâ€™t keep up, so he goes for the bear hug. The Marlies head to the power play.
10:08Â â€“ Thatâ€™s it for the first. Now Iâ€™ll try and get replays and more detailed descriptions of the scoring plays.
10:09Â â€“ Eberle calls the first period â€œembarrassing,â€ and says the Barons are â€œgetting beat all over the ice.â€
10:15Â â€“ Reviewing the 1-0 goal. All three Barons forwards (Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Hall) were trapped deep as the play started back toward the Barons zone; this left Justin Schultz and Martin Marincin facing a 3-on-2 rush. Nugent-Hopkins got back to the zone in time to do something but floated ineffectually rather than picking a check. Schultz cheated to the middle to handle the puck carrier and gave Will Acton lots of room on his side of the ice, and then couldnâ€™t get back in time to prevent a good shot. Roy should have had it â€“ it was a shot from a good area, but it wasnâ€™t especially hard or fast and he had a clear look, but there was lots of blame to go around on the play.
10:20Â â€“ Reviewing the 2-0 goal. This was just an ugly, ugly sequence as the Baronsâ€™ NHL line was thoroughly outworked for the entire shift leading up to the goal. On the goal itself, Colten Teubert got caught running around a bit, but then took Paul Ranger behind the net, which should have been fine because three Barons â€“ Taylor Fedun, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins â€“ were clustered in the crease area versus just two Marlies. Fedun took his man away at the side of the net, but Nugent-Hopkins and Hall watched from the crease area as a totally ignored Nicolas Deschamps took the Ranger pass and scored from right in front of Roy. No chance for the goaltender here; this one is on the forwards (and to a lesser extent Teubert).
10:24Â â€“ Reviewing the 3-0 goal. This one is on Curtis Hamilton. Alex Plante lumbered around ineffectively â€“ Mark Arcobello beat him to a loose puck at the back of the net and played it up to Hamilton, who had time to do something with the puck. Instead, Hamilton allowed the puck to be taken off his stick by Kenny Ryan, Plante closed the gap with Ryan too slowly to be able to do anything, and Ryan beat Roy cleanly. Roy had a good look at the shot, but itâ€™s hard to put a lot of blame on him for that one.
10:30Â â€“ Reviewing the 4-0 goal. This essentially comes about after Justin Schultz is left in a 2-on-1 situation in front of the crease. Martin Marincin and Chris VandeVelde were both patrolling the area right in front of Yann Danis moments earlier, where they bumped into each other accidentally. Both responded to the bump by moving away from the net and into the slot. Schultz took Joe Colborne right in front of the net (Schultz has shifted to the left side of the net here, though heâ€™s the right side defenceman, because heâ€™s the only guy back for the Barons), but that left Greg Scott alone almost n the blue paint; when the point shot crept through there was nothing anybody could do to stop him. Schultz was tied up with Colborne; both Marincin and VandeVelde had been pulled forward when the puck went to the point. Danis is pretty much blameless on the play, Schultz deserves some fire for committing to Colborne with nobody else around, but Marincin gets most of the blame for leaving his position to wander around aimlessly. The bump with VandeVelde seemed to throw him and VandeVelde is far from perfect here, but Marincin getting sucked into no-manâ€™s land is the biggest problem.
10:33Â â€“ Nugent-Hopkins stopped on a backhand shot; I still donâ€™t know how that didnâ€™t go in. It was a bit of a sloppy shift for the Oilers line but they created a glorious opportunity off a broken play there.
10:35Â â€“ Yann Danis stops Joe Colborne at point blank range; Colborne snuck in behind Plante and Danis was forced to make a great save.
10:36Â â€“ Justin Schultz with a nice pokecheck on a Kenny Ryan rush; Ryan fell flat on his backside and the puck went out of danger.
10:38Â â€“ Teemu Hartikainen draws a tripping penalty with a partial break where he bulled toward the middle of the ice.
10:40Â â€“ A great shot by Schultz leads to a rebound; Jordan Eberle skates in tight with the puck but Rynnas manages to stop him. Once again, the Oklahoma power play looks great but they arenâ€™t quite able to score.
10:46Â â€“ 3-on-2 rush for Toronto. Marincin made a great play to knock the puck away, but the trailer picked it up and got a good shot anyway. Marincin didnâ€™t like the way the Marlies rushed the net after Danis made the save, and took a penalty for going after one Marlies forward (didnâ€™t catch the number).
10:48Â â€“ The Barons are out shooting Toronto 18-13 heading into this penalty kill.
10:52Â â€“ Magnus Paajarvi just playing keep away in a now 4-on-4 situation. Goes for a skate here, a skate there, doesnâ€™t allow the Marlies the puck but doesnâ€™t do much with the possession either.
10:56Â â€“ A little bit of revenge for the Baronsâ€™ NHL line. A gorgeous passing play on the power play makes it 4-1 Marlies.
10:56Â â€“ Hall finished the play off; primary assists go to Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle. The nicest goal of the morning.
11:02Â â€“ That was a much better second period, although there were some ugly moments. The game is now 4-1 Marlies. Things seem heated between the teams â€“ Iâ€™m not sure if itâ€™s a product of the score (guys like Hall are involved in hostilities) or last yearâ€™s playoffs.
11:06Â â€“ Reviewing the 4-1 goal. Just nice puck movement all the way around; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made the final pass to a streaking Hall in front of the net and Hall just touched the puck home for a goal. Whatever else can be said about the NHL kids in this game, theyâ€™ve been superb on the power play.
11:23Â â€“ Some faceoff statistics, courtesy of the Barons play-by-play crew: Chris VandeVelde has gone 6-for-9, Nugent-Hopkins 4-for-9, Arcobello 9-for-14 and Lander 7-for-11.
11:24Â â€“ Tyler Pitlick with a nice rush down the left wing; it was a solid play and he blew by Paul Ranger but he couldnâ€™t quite cut into the middle for a scoring chance. He did manage to draw a penalty, though.
11:26Â â€“ A weird start to the power play; the Barons couldnâ€™t gain the zone and seemed out of sync in their own end. Ultimately the puck wobbled into the offensive zone and goaltender Jussi Rynnas came way, way, way out of his net to freeze it.
11:28Â â€“ Mark Arcobello with a goal to make it 4-2 with just a second left on the power play. Tyler Pitlick made a nice pass to Martin Marincin on the side boards; Marincin took a hard shot and Arcobello was in place to put the rebound home.
11:29Â â€“ Marincin took three shots in maybe thirty seconds to close out the power play there, all of them good shots to take. It will be interesting to see what he can do running the first unit once Schultz is promoted to the NHL.
11:31Â â€“ Odd play. Nugent-Hopkins loses the draw (just outside the blue line) cleanly to Acton, who wins it back to the defenceman Mike Kostka, who promptly ices it.
11:32Â â€“ The Barons are going on the penalty kill. Taylor Hall got his stick in Joe Colborneâ€™s skates as the latter attempted to exit his own end with the puck, resulting in a tripping minor.
11:34Â â€“ 5-2 Marlies. A point shot on the power play was tipped in front of the net; not much else to say about that one.
11:37Â â€“ Lander with a quick stick to break up a hard pass. Landerâ€™s line is the only one that hasnâ€™t been scored against today.
11:40Â â€“ Hall is frustrated. He tried to split the Paul Ranger/Dylan Yeo pairing and couldnâ€™t quite do it; he ended up on his back. As he got back up he punched at Ranger. No penalty on the play, but the frustration was obvious.
11:42Â â€“ Another scrum in front of the net, as the line of Paajarvi, Lander and Hartikainen mix it up yet again. Theyâ€™ve easily been that Baronsâ€™ best even-strength line on the game.
11:43Â â€“ Great pass from Nugent-Hopkins to Eberle; Eberle fired the puck quickly and it went off first goaltender Jussi Rynnas and then the crossbar before heading over the glass.
11:48Â â€“ The Barons were headed to the power play, and with the goalie pulled for the extra man defenceman Jordan Henry tried to carry the puck into the Marlies zone. As he pulled up to the blue line, Marlies rearguard Korbinian Holzer hammered Henry with a hip check; Henry went down and stayed down for a minute. Predictably a scrum ensued, as Dane Byers went after Holzer immediately. Henry looks okay; it was a big, tough, clean check by Holzer.
11:50Â â€“ Barons power play results. It looks like Mike Zigomanis took the initial minor, and that Byers and Mark Fraser will both be penalized. Interestingly Byers is sitting in the box, but it seems that Fraser has been ejected from the game.
11:51Â â€“ Byers and Fraser both got roughing minors and 10 minute misconducts.
11:52Â â€“ Carter Ashton, killing the penalty, takes a hooking minor. Lengthy 5-on-3 coming up.
11:53Â â€“ Eberle robbed at the side of the net by Jussi Rynnas; the 5-on-3 is nearly over.
11:54Â â€“ Rynnas tried to head to create a break by asking for water prior to the Marliesâ€™ defensive zone draw; a little transparent perhaps but the sort of thing that needs to be tried.
11:54Â â€“ Another 5-on-3. The Marlies take a bench minor; it isnâ€™t clear why but the commentators are guessing that Dallas Eakins is getting it for yapping at the referees. Apparently Eakins has been tossed from the game.
11:55Â â€“ It looked like Nugent-Hopkins had just scored; it will probably be reviewed but the referee waved it off immediately.
11:57Â â€“ 3:16 left in the game, and the Barons have a two-man advantage for almost a full minute yet. The Nugent-Hopkins shot is till under review; the AHL live feed has yet to supply a replay. The Nugent-Hopkins shot is ruled a goal, making it 5-3 and giving the Barons a 5-on-4 power play.
11:58Â â€“ The Nugent-Hopkins goal was a nice shot from the side of the net with the 5-on-3 advantage; it must have just squeaked across the line.
12:00Â â€“ The Barons pull their goalie and score on the 6-on-4 advantage. They shave enough time to tie this game. Eberle tallied his seventh of the year with a hard low shot through a crowd.
12:02Â â€“ 5-5! With the goalie pulled the Barons score again, with Nugent-Hopkins slapping the puck over the line on a broken play.
12:06Â â€“ A deflected shot goes high and catches Paul Ranger, who is lying on the ice and in some difficulty. The score is still 5-5; overtime coming up.
12:10Â â€“ Back and forth here in the extra frame, but no great chances so far.
12:12Â â€“ Shout-out to the Cult of Hockey on the Baronsâ€™ official feed. Right now theyâ€™re reveling in the fact that colour guy Doug Sauterâ€™s prediction â€“ that Toronto might blow this 4-0 lead â€“ turned out to be true. Absolutely need to enjoy that kind of prediction!
12:13Â â€“ Barons on the 4-on-3 penalty kill now. VandeVelde, House and Teubert out for Oklahoma.
12:15Â â€“ Danis makes a big save after Colten Teubert failed to clear the puck; finally the penalty killers get a break.
12:16Â â€“ Lander gets a quick cameo, and then Nelson goes right back to VandeVelde and House.
12:17Â â€“ Jake Gardiner scores moments after the penalty to Alex Plante (hooking) expires; the Marlies walk away with a 6-5 win despite blowing a 5-2 lead in just over three minutes in the third period.
Day Two of on-ice participation is now in the books .. the sessions all had a purpose, as camp not only winds down, but clear decisions need to be made on who will remain with the main roster and who will be going to the Marlies or back to their original junior team.
A breakdown of the drills and more observations from the intra squad game after the jump.
Sunday Training Camp Day 2 practice
Teams A and B practiced with Team A on the main ice. (Breakdown of teams is here.
The drills weren’t very different from the previous days, they all focused on a real-game situation and the coaching staff made variations along the way.
Matt Fratin, seen here hosting McNaughton Cup (WCHA Regular Season Title) is a breakout candidate for 2010-2011
At this time last year, Jerry D’Amigo was a little known Maple Leafs’ draftee who had been passed over 157 times by other clubs only a few months before. After a banner year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the NCAA and a brilliant run at the World Juniors, the not even 20 year old D’Amigo currently finds himself with an NHL contract, an invite to training camp, and a legitimate shot at making his dreams come true as soon as this fall. That was last year. Now let’s take a look at some of the names that could be making some serious headway up the Leafs’ organizational depth charts in 2010-2011.
The following is an up to the minute, live game blog of tonight’s rookie tournament game featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Â Remember to hit refresh to see the absolute latest updates.
The Toronto Maple Leafs will host their rookie tournament this year in London, Ontario from September 11th to the 14th, and Maple Leafs Hot Stove will have unprecedented, wall-to-wall coverage of the event.
Join us here for live game blogs, game previews, game reviews, exclusive interviews, and more! Â Today, we will look at the top ten Leafs players who will be worth paying extra close attention to at this weekend’s event.
And here you thought a magazine couldn't have add-on features.
Midway through the month of July, I had the privilege of chatting with Dave Poulin, Vice President of Hockey Operations with the Toronto Maple Leafs, for an article appearing in Maple Leafs Annual.
Having a professional background in publishing, I was not the least surprised that limitations on available space, plus design and layout constraints, resulted in the necessity to crop certain parts of the interview.
With the Annual due to hit stores next week, I thought I’d share a few of the “lost excerpts” from the cutting room floor in which Poulin offers his thoughts on the progress of the Toronto Marlies, as well as the emergence of the NCAA as a growing prospect pipeline.
Think of it as the equivalent of a “DVD extra” to your copy of MLA.
Brian Burke must have felt a lot like the eponymous Old Mother Hubbard when he first reached into the Leafs prospects cupboard. Of course, unlike the elderly dog-mistreating crone of the rhyme, Burke already knew what lay in stock prior to his arrival in Leafs country. In short: a few notable exceptions to a decade of draft property mismanagement.
Subsequently, the draft of 2009 looked to be a vital cornerstone in Brian Burkeâ€™s rebuild. The first chance for the Leafs to restock in a new, finally directed era.
In continuing with our preparation for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, which takes place June 25th – 26th at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, today’s draft primer will profile right winger Brett Bulmer from the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. Bulmer is quickly climbing up draftboards across the NHL after coming out of nowhere to have a very productive season out west. The intriguing combination of skating ability, size and offensive upside could see him go pretty high on draft day.
After stockpiling up on picks during the past couple drafts as well as cornering the European and college free agent markets, the Maple Leafs’ farm system is beginning to reap the rewards of unprecedented depth and talent. In the first installment of our MLHS “Prospect Season in Review” series, I’ll be taking a look at three of the team’s top prospects: Kenny Ryan, James Reimer, and Joel Champagne.
While Hockey’s Future has yet to release their top 10 organizational prospect rankings, the highly-respected source for prospect information has released their 11-20 and 21-30 lists. To the pleasant surprise of many, the Leafs aren’t on either of them.
Adding to the joy, division rivals Buffalo, Montreal and Ottawa have all already appeared in the 13th, 16th and 21st positions respectively.
Next up on the Tuesday Prospect Report is the player some are familiar with, mostly from playing with Dale Mitchell, and some dude named Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires. You’ll be able to catch the Spits taking on the Kitchener Rangers in the third round of the OHL playoffs.
Kenny Ryan was the Leafs 50th overall selection in Round 2 of the 2009 NHL entry draft. The six-foot, 209-pound winger is likely headed back to Windsor next season. But here’s your first focused glimpse into his game.
Prior to the lockout, undrafted college free agents were a rare, straight to NHL commodity. Either serving out their apprenticeships as minor league signees or plying their trade overseas, few players transitioned directly from the ranks of college hockey to the NHL without enduring prolonged development curves. However, in a post-lockout landscape where GMâ€™s clutch their most valued assets and superstars to their clubs with dynasty length deals, and where dollars and ice time are apportioned in equilibrium, graduate aged (or younger) players progressing from the NCAA as free agents are providing comparatively cheap labour in an increasingly scrutinized marketplace.
Not too surprisingly, considering both his hockey heritage as a former captain of the Providence College Friars and his somewhat condensed timetable for rebuilding the Leafs, Brian Burke has been one of the first to plunder the verdant college market in recent seasons, in turn providing a quantum shift from the conventional dominance of the CHL at the junior level.
Remember Jimmy Hayes?Â He was the Leafs 2nd round pick in 2008, a burgeoning power forward who struggled last season in his freshman campaign with the Boston College Eagles as he adjusted to the NCAA game.
Consider those struggles a thing of the past.
Hayes was fantastic in the Hockey East Championship this past week as his team captured their ninth tournament victory, an NCAA record.Â Oh, and you may be interested to know that his 2 goals and 5 assists (in 4 games) led all tournament point-getters.
Leafs prospect Nazem Kadri has successfully passed the first hurdle en route to a possible World Juniors roster spot, by earning an invite to the final selection camp earlier today. The roster currently encompasses 36 invitees in total, a number which Team Canada Head Coach Willie Desjardins will have to narrow down to 22 by the end of camp.