The Marlies played last night in Utica and it was a zoo of a game. Three fights (which is almost unheard of in the AHL now) a goal called back for no apparent reason, refs who didn’t seem to know the basics, and Mason Marchment serving four consecutive minutes for having thoughts on some of the preceding stuff.

There was no sign of Egor Korshkov, who left the last game injured, and then this happened:

Then Ben Harpur stayed gone after his fight. He’s not terribly useful, but he’s big enough to play the depth role in the AHL. He might have just hurt his hand, though.

The debacle began in the second period when the Marlies gave up four goals in about three minutes to make it 5-1 Utica. They had a lot of time to get back on track, and they got three official goals back over the rest of the game, but they picked fighting and taking penalties instead of scoring for the third period. It really did look like a game where a head coach was necessary.

Marchment also had an assist on the goal that was called back and scored the Marlies goal to make it 5-3. He’s had games like this before, and he needs to be reined in, but no one is really holding the reins right now. They got it to 5-4, but then there was only four minutes left after all the penalties, and it wasn’t enough.

Greg Moore is set to join the team when he comes back from the Leafs road trip where he’s been busy learning all about activated D. Please never activate Ben Harpur, okay?

The Marlies are a frustrating and fairly unrewarding team to watch right now even when they win. I can only imagine how much less fun they’ll be when Rasmus Sandin goes off to the WJC. There’s not a lot of prospects there, and a lot of AHL-level grinders who have some skills, and are guys who play with verve (usually a little more controlled verve) but the team feels empty of skill at the moment.

If you want to catch up on the European prospects, you can do that here:

Maple Leafs European Prospect Report: Kara steals the show - Pension Plan Puppets
The European leagues are taking a break, and it’s long past time we caught up with what’s going on there.

Don’t forget the Leafs actually play today, just not until 9 p.m. so that’s virtually tomorrow.

Another one bites the dust:

So, since all the NHL does now is fire guys, who is the next coach that’s getting the axe?

Who is the next coach to be fired?

Dan Bylsma of the Red Wings37
No wait, their coach is Jeff Blashill65
Or is it? I can’t tell them apart52
Peter Laviolette of Nashville137
Whoever that guy is coaching the Rangers34
Craig Berube when St. Louis’s PDO bubble bursts28