A week of contracts, pastures new, goals, injuries and controversy for the Toronto Marlies.
Wednesday night saw a 3-1 reverse inflicted by the Syracuse Crunch at Ricoh Coliseum.
Despite a dominant first period performance, Toronto had nothing to show (score tied 1-1) for that display and the Crunch would come back to largely dominant the game, backed yup with an impressive game plan and some excellent netminding from Andrei Vasilevskiy.
The Soshnikov-Gauthier-Clune yet again impressed, combining for the solitary goal, and on Thursday Rich Clune deservedly signed an NHL contract with the Maple Leafs and called up.
On the other side of the coin was Marc Arcobello, sent down to make way for Clune, after failing to score for the Leafs, though not the only one falling short in that regard.
Friday night saw a chance for a little redemption. The Grand Rapids Griffins defeated Toronto back in round one of the playoffs last season after coming back from 0-2 in the series.
The Marlies certainly went about their business with gusto, scoring early and often. Garret Sparks was excellent between the pipes, no more so than during a spell of the middle frame where three straight penalties saw his team down by two men for an elongated period of play.
A 6-1 victory included 38 saves for Sparks, four assists for Panik, a pair of assists for Frattin and a brace of goals for Nylander. The only mark on the card was the incident involving Bertuzzi going after Kapanen late in the game, of which the latter wanted no part of and was fortunate not to be hurt after being punched and then slew-footed to the ice in a heap. The AHL would suspend Sam Carrick and Tyler Bertuzzi for three and two games respectively.
My opinion on that can be found here: http://wp.me/p2gDti-ky
A visit to Albany on Sunday afternoon marked the beginning of the “Royal Road-Trip” with the Winter Fair coming to the Exhibition Grounds.
Marc Arcobello would make his debut and boy did he do it with a bang. Tying up the game late in the opening period, there would be no more scoring in regulation. It took 20 seconds of overtime hockey for Arcobello to win the game for his new team, a spectacular solo effort that began from inside the Marlies blueline.
Andrew Campbell marked the Albany game with his fourth goal of the campaign, a season career high for him. It was also his 500th professional game.
Connor Brown sustained a broken bone in his ankle during the win over Grand Rapids, which occurred when blocking a shot. He’s out indefinitely at this point.
Defenseman Frank Corrado’s conditioning loan with the Marlies expires on Wednesday, though I believe he’s eligible to play in the game that day. The Maple Leafs will need to make a decision on what happens with him. He has three assists in six games, and shown some offensive prowess.
William Nylander is team leader with nine points at PPG pace (19th in the AHL).
Leivo, Brennan and Panik all have seven points.
Brendan Leipsic tallied his first goal of the season on Sunday, taking his tally to six points.
Garret Sparks improved his record to 2-2 and his statistics took a huge lead upwards after the impressive performance against Grand Rapids.
Antoine Bibeau may have lost his first game of the season to Syracuse but is still 5-1 to begin the season.
Four points from a possible six, see’s the Marlies head the North Division on the same number of points at St. Johns Icecaps, who have played one more game.
Three of Toronto’s games have been tied after regulation and on each occasion they’ve gained the extra point. Two overtime wins and a single shootout success.
This week will see the Marlies visit Hartford, a team also having a good start to the season with a 6-3-1-0 record and currently sit third in the Atlantic Division (Eastern Conference).
It’s then off to Utica and Binghamton, ranked sixth and seventh respectively in the North Division
Both teams have winning records at home so are not to be underestimated despite struggling early this season.
Wed, Nov 4, 2015 Toronto at Hartford 11:00 am EST
Fri, Nov 6, 2015 Toronto at Utica 7:00 pm EST
Sat, Nov 7, 2015 Toronto at Binghamton 7:05 pm EST