Last night, the Marlies played the B-Sens, and Eugene Melnyk was in the rink, so the Sens loaded the team up with Filip Chlapik, Andreas Englund and Christian Wolanin. Some or all of those players will be teleported back to Ottawa to re-join the NHL team for tonight’s game. This bit of business by the number one team in the North division was for naught, as the Marlies beat them 4-2, largely on the strength of one dominating period where they scored two goals to the Sens one. Sorry, Eugene.
Late in the game, Adam Brooks did indeed get in a fight with the 6-2 Christian Wolanin who is in the NHL about half the time. Brooks started it, filled the guy in (technically — Wolanin never got a shot in, but Brooks is a flyweight) and is now the team enforcer.
The Marlies are suffering from the same curse that has befallen the Leafs with Nic Petan, Teemu Kivihalme, Kalle Kossila, Rich Clune and Jesper Lindgren all in some state of too hurt to play. Jeremy Bracco remains out for “personal reasons” and no, no one has explained that.
While that was going on, the Newfoundland Growlers made history:
Because of the travel constraints home games for them are usually back-to-backs against the same team, so doing this is doubly impressive.
In roster moves yesterday, Michael Hutchinson was sent to the Marlies along with Pontus Aberg. The Leafs have decided to play with Martin Marincin as the only extra. No word if they plan to call someone up for the Sunday game, but something has to happen to add an extra forward long term.
Announced yesterday, the game that was forfeited when Rob Davison became ill has been un-forfeited and will be rescheduled:
Here is an update on the Toronto-Texas #AHL game on January 10th that was forfeited by the Marlies after assistant coach Rob Davison's health emergency.— PATRICK WILLIAMS (@pwilliamsNHL) February 15, 2020
The AHL board of governors voted today to rescind that forfeit. pic.twitter.com/uWdgrj5jKB
That reversal of a loss actually moved the Marlies up in the standings and the win put them in a playoff spot. They are in a tough, tough fight, though, and need to win a lot more often down the stretch than they have been lately.
If you missed the (bad) news, Andreas Johnsson will have knee surgery and be out 8 weeks. That takes him beyond the end of the regular season, so there is some cap space there for the Leafs. However, the tagging room issue will affect their ability to add a player who is not on an expiring contract. Even Cap Friendly is cagey about the amount of room they have right now because this business is complicated:
However, unless it's a dollar in dollar out transaction at the deadline, the #Leafs current tagging space limitations will make it very difficult for the club to acquire a player that is not a rental on an expiring contract. https://t.co/WKMYdmZaVD— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 14, 2020
Tag, you’re it: Jake Muzzin might be the next Maple Leafs player to get an extension - Pension Plan Puppets
But a thorny part of the CBA might delay this deal until March 1.
In other news:
Edmonton’s Zack Kassian has been suspended for seven games for Kicking Tampa Bay’s Erik Cernak. https://t.co/8pSlqHoL7q— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 15, 2020
The new guy helped Pittsburgh beat the Habs:
Penguins/Montreal Recap: Zuckin’ A, man. Zucker’s first two goals in Pittsburgh lead to win - PensBurgh
Great night for Jason Zucker, who scores two goals as the Penguins defeat the Montreal Canadiens
Oh, and speaking of the Wild, they fired Bruce Baudreau because their goalies are bad. They had no one lined up to replace him, and while they look at first glance like they’re out of the playoff race, if Edmonton sinks like a stone, they might get in. If they had a goalie, that is. Or a coach.
Maple Leafs Trade Tiers: How does Johnsson injury alter team's plans? - Sportsnet.ca
Sportsnet is breaking down what each Canadian club has to work with as they head toward the NHL Trade Deadline, sorting each roster into Trade Tiers to hash out who’s safe, who’s available, and who’s likely on the move. Next up: the Maple Leafs.
How much ice time can Matthews and Marner handle? The Leafs are about to find out | The Star
With Andreas Johnsson joining Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci on the long-term shelf, the Leafs’ high-octane offence will be leaning on the tandem of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner even more. It’s been working so far.
Okay, that’s way, way too much news for a Saturday morning. Everything happened on a Friday for some reason. We’ll have a preview for you later on today, and stay warm, everyone.
There’s some news hidden in this recap:
Recap: Leafs play just as well as they need to to beat the Senators 4-2 - Pension Plan Puppets
Marcus Hogberg found the Leafs offence too high a hill to climb and was pulled after three goals. Campbell was solid.
Hell Is Bad Goaltending - Pension Plan Puppets
And we can’t leave.
GAME RECAP: Oilers 4, Panthers 1. - The Copper & Blue
Big performances from Mikko Koskinen and the Kailer Yamamoto, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl line power Oilers to huge win in Florida.