The Toronto Marlies are looking to get back to playing better hockey after two games in which they were soundly outshot and outplayed, but relied on opportunistic goal scoring and fantastic goaltending from Drew MacIntyre.
In Games 1 and 2, the Marlies were pulled away from playing their game and spent a lot of time in between the dots loosely defending the neutral zone and home plate areas, as opposed to forcing battles to the boards, where they excel. Getting back to basic hockey and executing simple plays with better accuracy; including making sure there is ample support for the defence from the forwards by providing backside pressure, simple (short) tape-to-tape passes on breakouts and through the neutral zone and using soft, smart dumps to use the Toronto Marlies considerable physical makeup to their advantage.
Followers of the Maple Leafs will notice the same wide open points (which generate rebounds and second chance oppurtunities) with the Marlies, and they will more-than-likely be outshot in the series regularly, but hopefully they can whether the storm and receive the same excellent goaltending they have been from Drew MacIntyre.
Lineup changes for The Marlies: Tyler Biggs and Andrew Macwilliam are in, Jerred Smithson / Dylan Yeo are out. Steve Spott obviously looking to add some more snarl to the lineup in attempts to keeping what was a chippy affair the last game under wraps, to augment the forecheck (Biggs) and keep Texas Stars’ East-West forwards honest (MacWilliam).