Toronto may have attained their 30th victory of the season but were far from their best in all three outings this past week.
A combined shot total of 66 is it’s own story as Toronto consistently struggled to generate much offensively, and were shutout for the first time this season.
The power play wasn’t able to bail the Marlies out like it has in previous week’s – just one for eleven and was especially impotent during the two reverses.
Toronto continue to lead the season series 5-4 against St. John’s after a splitting a pair of game but are 2-3 against the IceCaps on home ice.
The Marlies record against the Rochester Americans is now a mystifying 2-5-1, with the Amerks having taken points in all but one of the eight meetings between the teams this year.
Two straight Toronto losses has allowed North Division rivals to play catch up and just five points separates the teams placed 2-5.
Toronto sits in third place with just a cushion of three points over St. John’s in 5th, and both teams having sixteen games remaining in their schedule.
Saturday, March 04, 2017 St. John’s IceCaps 1 @ Toronto Marlies 3
Toronto resumed winning ways thanks to an accomplished performance from Antoine Bibeau.
The goaltender made 26 saves, of which at least a handful were gilt edge chances for the visiting IceCaps. The Marlies penalty kill was perfect through six attempts, Trevor Moore netted once on the power play and a quick double strike in the middle frame proved the difference.
Sunday, March 05, 2017 St. John’s IceCaps 3 @ Toronto Marlies 0
The Toronto Marlies were shutout for the first time this season after producing an uninspired performance full of individual errors.
The first period was an even affair until Toronto gift wrapped the visitors a pair of goals inside ninety seconds. Unable to score on a two minute 5-on-3 power play, the Marlies rarely troubled goaltender Yann Danis, who was only called upon to make 24 saves in recording his first clean sheet of the year.
Wednesday, March 08, 2017 Toronto Marlies 3 @ Rochester Americans 4
A dysfunctional performance saw the Marlies once again lose to the Rochester Americans this season.
After trailing twice, Toronto took the lead just 22 seconds into the third period but it lasted just five minutes. In a game littered with individual mistakes, once came back to bite the road team in the final ninety seconds as Rochester netted the game winner inside the final ninety seconds.
Antoine Bibeau took all three starts, making his 100th regular season appearance on Sunday.
An integral part of the victory having made 26 saves, the Quebec native could barely be blamed for the two losses though he’ll likely be disappointed with the game winner in Rochester.
Brett Findlay returned to action and was the Marlies leading points scorer the past week with three assists.
Mike Sislo made his Marlies debut over the weekend and scored his first goal Wednesday. He appears to be lacking confidence after struggling to put up offensive numbers with San Antonio.
Tony Cameranesi broke a nine game pointless streak with his fourth goal of the season on Saturday, but has since been reassigned to Orlando.
Tobias Lindberg made his return from injury on Saturday but was then unable to stay in the line-up Wednesday- cited as being injured once more.
Justin Holl missed the last two games due to an undetermined injury.
Defenseman Ty Stanton was reassigned to Orlando while Brenden Miller came back the other way.
Toronto signed goaltender J.P. Anderson to a PTO as cover for Garret Sparks, who hasn’t dressed since February 25.
William Wrenn has been signed to a Standard Player Contract after previously playing on a PTO.
Toronto acquired Cal O’Reilly on AHL trade deadline day (Wednesday).
It’s a loan move for the remainder of the season and a much needed upgrade at the centre position.
O’Reilly is said to have been unhappy in Rochester this season and his contract with Buffalo is up this summer.
The veteran of over 500 AHL games is eligible for the post-season.