Photo: The Star

The NHL said f*ck you and dumped us, knowing we’ll take it back later Who needs the NHL? The Marlies are back and with their new jerseys look more like the Leafs than ever before.

The Marlies drop the puck on their 2012-13 campaign at 5 p.m. this afternoon. Joe Bowen and the gang will be calling the game on Sportsnet One. Their opponent is the Rochester Americans, who are playing their second game in under 24 hours after beating the Syracuse Crunch 6-5 last night. The defending Western Conference champions should be fired up for their home opener, hopefully giving us an edge heading into this one.

Ten things to look out for this Marlies season, starting tonight (+ the lineup after the jump)…

1) Will the additions of Gardiner and Kostka help the Marlies turn their powerplay around this season?
2) Will the Marlies‘ PK, led by Jerry D’Amigo and Ben Scrivens, continue to be gangbusters?
3) Will we begin to see evidence of Eakins adopting the “Carlyle defensive system?” (Might be best to stick with whatever system kept the Marlies near the top in goals against, but in terms of organizational continuity..)
4) Can a healthy Joe Colborne get his 2012 back on track after a great end to 2011? Will Colborne, Kadri and, with some time and patience once he returns, Frattin dominate and prove they’re in the wrong league?
5) How do the rookies in McKegg and Ross fare in their transition to the pro game?
6) How is Kadri’s speed, strength and conditioning? Can we see his body fat percentage through his equipment?
7) Who becomes number three on the Leafs‘ goaltending depth chart (Owuya or Rynnas)?
8) Where do Holzer, Ranger and Kostka stack up on the D depth chart? Who might be in line for some big league appearances when the NHL comes back?
9) When Jamie Devane plays, can he do more than smash face? (To his credit, he does this well). How does #87 Leo Komarov look as an agitator and player?
10) Just how consistently perfect is Eakins’ hair?

We’ll begin to answer all that and more starting this evening. Let’s go Marlies.

Your lineup:

Ashton — Aucoin — Kadri
Komarov — Colborne — Deschamps
Hamilton — Zigomanis — McKegg
D—Amigo — Acton — Scott

Gardiner — Kostka
Fraser — Holzer
Ranger — Blacker

Starting Goalie: Ben Scrivens

We should see Dallas Eakins roll his four lines as all are more than capable of a regular shift. One last note: Carter Ashton (didn’t mention him in the 10 Qs) will get a nice opportunity playing alongside Kadri and Aucoin. We’ll see if he can bring some physicality and net presence to that unit.