Today's AHL matchup is being aired live on CBC nationally. Hopefully Glenn Healy isn't sitting in on this one. The Marlies look to continue their recent dominance of the Moose, as they have won 3 in a row over their North Division opposition.
The Moose have now only won 2 in their last 9 games, and are in a pretty serious tail spin. Their offense has dried up, and they don't seem to have the parts to fix it with the likes of Hodgson unavailable. Sergei Shirokov and Bill Sweatt lead the way up front for Manitoba, and Shirokov only has 1 goal in the last month. He has 9 assists in that stretch though so he's still contributing. Sweatt only has 1 goal and 2 assists in his last 10 games, so his dry spell may have more to do with the team's struggles. Pay attention as he may look to break out of his slump in a strong way.
Jonas Gustavsson gets yet another start between the pipes for the Marlies as Dallas Eakins looks to get his game going:
"I’m happy with the games I get here and hopefully I can bring it if I’m going to play up in the NHL. But right now, it just feels good to get a couple starts, play with the Marlies for a short while and help the team improve in the standings."
-Jonas Gustavsson after yesterday's 3-1 victory
The Monster is now 3-0-1 with a 1.17 GAA and .950 SV%. That's the highest SV% registered by any goalie in the AHL this season (admittedly in only 4 games). He's probably a bit beyond the AHL at this point, but it's good to see him get his confidence back.
We'll also see if Nazem Kadri and Joe Colborne can continue their strong play up front. After his goal and assist yesterday, Kadri now has 6 goals and 5 assists for 11 points in 11 games in the month of February. Colborne has cooled off on the scoring front, but he registed an assist on Hanson's empty netter yesterday. He now has 3 goals and 4 points since coming over from Providence in the Kaberle trade. The assist was his first assist in February, and his only one in the past 12 games. For a passing, skilled C, that's a little worrying, but if he can hook up with Kadri on the PP that should help his numbers out a bunch. Providence wasn't particularly intimidating from an offensive standpoint, but the Marlies lead the North Division in goals for.
Let's keep the push for the Calder Cup playoffs alive, and hope for another W against division rivals Manitoba!