The Toronto Marlies (18-9-1) take on the Grand Rapids Griffins (17-9-1) 7pm on TSN 1050 and AHL Live. Depending on how the Charlotte Checkers fare tonight, [more…]
On Saturday, I took in the Marlies 4-2 win against St. John’s with McKeen's Hockey pro scouting coordinator Gus Katsaros. First off, he’s an excellent hockey guy who you should follow on Twitter @KatsHockey, if you aren't already. More relevant to this piece, we discussed numerous Marlies and Leafs-related matters that I’ll go over here as points of discussion and analysis. [more…]
Watching the Marlies this year partially feels like watching a clock turning its hands back. It was on the first day of training camp that a brand new name appeared on the roster. While roster changes aren’t exactly an AHL novelty, seeing Paul Ranger’s name on a hockey jersey makes one take a quick peek towards the calendar.
If you did turn back the hands of time, Ranger would be a 25-year-old defenseman playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning. With a promising career ahead of him, he suddenly left the game many of us would pay to play. Personal reasons or a different motive entirely, it wasn’t quite clear why he left hockey only to find him himself coaching his hometown's bantam team in Whitby, Ontario. [more…]
The Marlies got the result they wanted in their home opener tonight at the Ricoh, finding all their goals on the powerplay in a 3-1 win over Rochester. A pretty dominant 40-minute performance by the Blue and White tonight with a slow second period in between. [more…]
From the Toronto Marlies:
The Toronto Marlies announced Thursday, the teamâ€™s 2012-13 opening day roster. The Marlies, who will begin their eighth season on Saturday, open with 24 skaters and three goaltenders.
Judging by the fact that James Mirtle (@mirtle) is trending in Toronto on twitter, it looks like he may have uncovered a nugget regarding tonight's heartbreaking overtime loss to Norfolk.
"So that Norfolk overtime goal should not have counted - what a mess this is going to be for the AHL."
"This particular offside rule is so unique even the Marlies and coach Dallas Eakins didn't catch it. Quote to come."
Eakins: "It's a real interesting one for the referees. The puck comes out, the puck's rimmed in..."
Eakins: "...there's a guy that's offside by about eight to 10 feet, the puck hits the stanchion but now he's onside, & it goes in your net."
The Toronto Marlies have a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semi-finals and look to deliver a "kill shot" to a team that had their number at the end of the regular season tonight in Abbotsford. The Marlies started the series well in game 1, but had a tough time beating Abbotsford's goaltender, Danny Taylor. Once the Marlies were able to crack Taylor, The Marlies have had a relatively easy time with the Heat in this series, easily picking apart a team that plays a very heavy trap system. Ben Scrivens has been the talk of this series and has played exceptionally well.
Line up notes
Jesse Blacker is back in the lineup, replacing Matt Lashoff. On forward, David Broll is out, Kelsey Wilson is replacing him. Joe Colborne is still out with a bad finger injury to his middle finger.
Abbotsford Heat's top regular season and playoff producers, Kris Kolanos, is back in after being a health scratch over 'internal issues'. That could be an interesting story to follow. [more…]
The Marlies took a commanding 3-1 lead over the Abbotsford Heat in their Western Conference Semifinal series with a 3-1 win last night. Toronto now sits one win away from the Conference Finals. The Marlies benefited from an unlikely source of offense in Greg Scott, who scored a natural hat trick including a great shot at even strength, a short handed goal, and an empty netter. Scott, who has posted a surprisingly productive 74 points in 130 games over the past two seasons, garnered Matt Mistele's attention in Game 2 as Matt praised his understated shot and energy level. With an '88 birthdate, he shouldn't be ruled out as a potential 4th line energy guy for the big club.
Goaltender Ben Scrivens has allowed three goals against in his last three games despite facing 95 Abbotsford shots to the Marlies' 72 in that span (last night the Marlies were outshot 38-17). It's a tough situation the Leafs are in here as the pending restricted free agent, who boasted the league's lowest goals against average in the 2011-12 Â regular season, is providing ample proof he's above the competition. Ideally Scrivens stays with the Leafs, despite no guarantee of increased NHLÂ opportunity,Â in order to continue to work with long-time mentor Francois Allaire throughout the season (he's repeatedly credited Allaire for helping him get settled down into this playoff run). Scrivens is 25-years-old however, and beyond thinking about his own career and desire to take the next step, would not be waiver exempt under a new deal. His trade value to the Leafs may prove too useful to risk losing him for nothing. [more…]
If you haven't been able to get to a game at Ricoh and don't have local Toronto Rogers TV, [more…]
Game 1 of the AHL Western Conference semifinals kicks off this evening with a well rested Toronto Marlies taking on the Abbotsford Heat. With the Marlies fresh off a sweep of division rivals, the Rochester Americans, they will need all the rest they can get. Should the series go beyond 5 games, both teams will have traveled across the country 3 times between Ontario and British Columbia. The series will be a 2-3-2 setup, with the Marlies having home ice advantage.
The Marlies went 2-1-1 against the Heat this season, but the Heat have won the teamâ€™s two most recent meetings.
But Toronto Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins says he won't make too many changes to the team's gameplan. [more…]
The Marlies found out their second round opponent for the Western Conference semifinals last night after the San Antonio Rampage upset the Chicago Wolves 3-2 in their quarterfinal series. First-placed Oklahoma City will play the sixth-seeded Rampage while the Marlies have drawn the fourth-placed Abbotsford Heat, who also swept their first round series over Milwaukee. Game 1 goes Tuesday, May 1st at the Ricoh Coliseum. The Marlies went 2-1-1 against the Heat this season, but the Heat have won the team's two most recent meetings. Abbotsford is currently riding a 10-game winning streak, with goaltender Danny Taylor winning his last eight. The playoff format now shifts to best-of-seven for the semifinals onwards.
The announcement and full second round schedule from the Marlies:
A proud member of the American Hockey League, the Toronto Marlies announced today that they will play the Abbotsford Heat, AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, in their second round best-of-seven Calder Cup Playoff series. Abbotsford finished second in the West Division and fourth in the Western Conference with 92 points. The Marlies posted a record of 2-1-1-0 against the Heat during the 2011/12 regular season.
Toronto will play host to games one, two, six, and seven at Ricoh Coliseum. The following are the confirmed dates and times for the series (all times eastern):
Game 1 â€“ Tuesday, May 1st: Abbotsford at Toronto 7:00 p.m. (Rogers TV â€“ Cable 10/63, AM 640)
Game 2 â€“ Thursday, May 3rd: Abbotsford at Toronto 7:00 p.m. (Rogers TV â€“ Cable 10/63, AM 640)
Game 3 â€“ Saturday, May 5th: Toronto at Abbotsford 10:00 p.m. (AM 640)
Game 4 â€“ Tuesday, May 8th: Toronto at Abbotsford 10:00 p.m. (AM 640)
*Game 5 â€“ Wednesday, May 9th: Toronto at Abbotsford 10:00 p.m. (AM 640)
*Game 6 â€“ Saturday, May 12th: Abbotsford at Toronto 3:00 p.m. (Rogers TV â€“ Cable 10/63, AM 640)
*Game 7 â€“ Sunday, May 13th: Abbotsford at Toronto 3:00 p.m. (Rogers TV â€“ Cable 10/63, AM 640)
Second round playoff tickets are on sale now, call the teamâ€™s ticket line at 416-597-PUCK (7825) or visit marlies.ca to get yours today.
For the first time ever, the Toronto Marlies have swept a playoff opponent.
Give the players and coaching staff full credit, too. Sometimes when a team mounts a big lead in a series it rests on its laurels, relaxes a little, and takes the pedal off the gas just a tad, enough for the opposition to maybe take a game or two. But the Marlies came out like a team who had no interest in playing any more games than they had to against Rochester. They clearly wanted to end the series last night and were very business like in their efforts to do so.
Here are some notes from the game, which I watched online via AHL Live.
- With Carter Ashton hurt, Jerry D'Amigo was bumped up to the second line to play with Joe Colborne and Matt Frattin, while Marcel Mueller slotted in D'Amigo's old spot with Nicholas Deschamps and Phillippe Dupuis. Otherwise, the rest of the roster remained the same as it has for the first two games. [more…]