With Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren playing full-time on the Toronto Maple Leafs, there were some big shoes to fill at the top of the Marlies defensive depth chart. Filip Král has done a great job on the left side of the first pair so far this season. Kristiāns Rubīns has been there too, but in more of a defensive role, especially when Alex Biega was suspended.
One defenseman from last season that caught my eye was Noel Hoefenmayer. The big rangey quarterback showed poised and a capacity to play defensive hockey — parts of the game that almost seem alien to the likes of Duszak, Menell, and Hollowell. Hoefenmayer was just called up to the Marlies from the Newfoundland Growlers — where he was a point per game — at a time in the season where Rubīns has been moving between the Marlies and Leafs (possibly to become the 7D following a trade?). I hope Hoefenmayer finds his way into a regular roster spot because I think he’s a defenseman that can push for the NHL someday.
The Marlies also called up Matthew Hellickson who only got one game with the Growlers after being sent down earlier in the season. Hellickson is still riding on his rookie camp performance in my eyes simply because he’s only played three games. At 23, he should be in the AHL and making moves there if he’s going to make a difference. I’m doing my best to be patient.
News: The Marlies have recalled defencemen Matthew Hellickson and Noel Hoefenmayer from the @NLGrowlers (ECHL). #MarliesLive pic.twitter.com/NjBe42Uode— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) November 8, 2021
The Leafs themselves lost 5-1 to the Los Angeles Kings in a performance and result that showed very little growth from the 7-1 Pittsburgh Penguins loss almost two weeks ago.
Maple Leafs win streak ends at five, lose to Kings 5-1 | by: Seldo
Jack Campbell won second star of the week, a result that was soured by a poor performance against his former team.
Leon Draisaitl (@EdmontonOilers), Jack Campbell (@MapleLeafs) and John Gibson (@AnaheimDucks) named NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Nov. 7. #NHLStats: https://t.co/btYnrPFMM5 pic.twitter.com/0cEwidaEst— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 8, 2021
This article by The Chaotic Neutral Zone talks about “fragility” in hockey and not only what people mean when they say it but what they’re implying when they do so as well. It focuses on the Montreal Canadiens but I would definitely give it a read.
“I’m not sure when the media decided to settle on the term “fragile” to describe the Montreal Canadiens. The word has spread like a meme among them; all of a sudden it’s everywhere. The Sportsnet commentators introduced it early last night, before the team was even losing, and it came up consistently in the postgame questions, such that every player had to respond to it. In his post about the game, Arpon Basu asserted that the evidence for the Habs’ fragility was “overwhelming”. “Fragile”, it seems, is going to be the new cross this team has to bear, as if the losing itself wasn’t unpleasant enough.”
On Fragility (Game 13) | by: E at The Chaotic Neutral Zone
What does it mean for a hockey team to be "fragile"?https://t.co/0AYsz8Ak3O— E.E. (@theory_of_ice) November 8, 2021
This goal, though eerily similar to Trevor Moore’s goal on Timothy Liljegren, was my favourite of the night. K’Andre Miller just flying through three zones and making MacKenzie Weegar look silly.
K'Andre Miller did THAT to MacKenzie Weegar https://t.co/1ayINa5BDb— Hardev (@HardevLad) November 9, 2021
And finally, it looks like the Ottawa Senators are dealing with COVID-19 outbreak within their team.
Roster update: The #Sens have placed forwards Connor Brown and Dylan Gambrell in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.— Sens Communications (@Media_Sens) November 8, 2021
In related moves, the team has recalled forwards Scott Sabourin and Egor Sokolov from @BellevilleSens.