The Toronto Marlies put up a great effort, but ended up losing 3-2 in the shootout to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. A game Islanders fans will surely yell at John Tavares about for years to come.
Michael Carcone and Dmytro Timashov scored for the Marlies, with Timashov scoring the lone goal for the Marlies in the shootout. It was a true beauty. Kasimir Kaskisuo wasn’t as busy as his counterpart at the other end of the ice, but he was very solid for the Marlies, stopping 32 of 34 for the shootout loss.
After the game, we got news that Calle Rosen and Andreas Borgman will be out for longer than expected, with the timetable showing more questions than answers.
Full quote from Keefe: “Yeah, no real progress (from them) on that part. We’re not expecting them back any time soon”— Mike Stephens (@mikeystephens81) March 10, 2019
Doesn’t look like those call up theories will come to fruition.
There haven’t been many big changes to the Marlies lineup in the past few games, other than some of the Newfoundland Growlers callups being thrown in on the third and fourth line. This game feature Growlers leading scorer Zach O’Brien on the third line wing. Kristians Rubins got a game in during the last road trip and looked good. He’s a 21-year-old LHD with size, good mobility, and a shot.
It appears that in the next few weeks that Maple Leafs top prospect Yegor Korshkov will be signing an NHL entry-level contract and joining the Toronto Marlies for the final bit of the season and playoffs. From everything I’ve heard and read Katya say on this site about Korshkov, he will be an instant contributor to the Marlies. His size and playmaking ability on the wing of Engvall would look really nice.
Nicholas Baptiste - Adam Brooks - Jeremy Bracco
Dmytro Timashov - Pierre Engvall - Michael Carcone
Tanner MacMaster - Josh Jooris - Zach O’Brien
Griffen Molino - Colin Greening - Rich Clune
Rasmus Sandin - Vincent LoVerde
Sam Jardine - Timothy Liljegren
Kristians Rubins - Jordan Subban
The beginning of the game was quite tame for both sides, shots were fairly even through the first 10 or so minutes. Then with about seven minutes left in the first, Carcone got away for a break, but he was hooked as he took the shot. The referees immediately called a penalty shot, that Carcone proceeded to not capitalize on.
Seconds later, Bracco took a slashing penalty in the offensive zone. The kill was, frankly, ferocious, with the two sides giving each other pretty hefty blows in the corner during a fight for the puck. Jooris threw some pretty vicious cross checks into the melee. Eventually, the puck got released and Mike Sislo loosed a wide open slapper in the slot that Kaskisuo impressively parried away.
With about 10 seconds left in the first, Tanner Fritz got called for closing his hand on the puck, a faceoff violation, in his own zone, sending the Marlies to the power play. Timashov got a shot off before the buzzer went, but that was all they could muster.
The first period was scoreless, with the Sound Tigers out-shooting the Marlies 10-12. The Marlies had good possession throughout the period — Sandin, Liljegren, and the pairing of Rubins and Subban were doing well to lead the transition from defense to offense — but Bridgeport always had the edge in shots.
The Toronto Marlies opened the scoring in the second period after getting into the offensive zone for a shift and causing absolute chaos. LoVerde got two big shots off that nearly went in. It was funny, on the second shot he took, he took a step forward and curled the puck to create space. You could see the confidence in LoVerde grow after he smelt blood on the first shot. Anyway, on the rebound created by the second shot, Carcone got a hold of the puck and got two rebound chances of his own, the second of which squeaked through the five hole of goaltender Jeremy Smith.
On the shift directly after the Marlies first goal, Greening nearly scored from the slot off a great rush by Molino, but the puck got stopped and cleared so the play went the other way with the Marlies in control. Unfortunately, Greening tried to make a pass to the other forwards in the neutral zone — who failed to track back — but got his pass deflected and right to Kieffer Bellows whose shot was buried home by Jeff Kubiak.
I’m not really sure what Carcone was trying to do in this moment, or why he thought it would be a good idea, but for some reason he decided to make an easily telegraphed behind the back pass on his backhand from the offensive blueline to Liljegren also at the offensive blueline. As expected, his reckless pass was immediately intercepted by Josh Ho-Sang, who went off for a breakaway that he buried.
It was a terrible miscalculation of judgement that simply can’t happen for a player who was being talked about during this game as a very underrated prospect in the Leafs system. Sometimes, I think Carcone — like Bracco or Subban — gets too fancy for his own good. He’s a player who has all the abilities to make great plays that push the puck in a positive direction without having to include that extra bit of flair. If he can pick his spots better in terms of showing off creativity, he could be a much more well-rounded player.
Josh Ho-Sang: Taker of Jocks™ pic.twitter.com/0Dv4tvSt4K— Mike Stephens (@mikeystephens81) March 10, 2019
Late in the period, the Marlies were creating absolute chaos in front of Smith’s net. Timashov, Sandin, Bracco, Carcone, and Brooks are all smaller-sized players with exceptional vision and playmaking ability. As a result, all of them love to pass up a shot in order to find a tap-in somewhere else. They almost feel like Arsenal FC from when I was growing up. Everyone in England complained that they could only score if a guy taps it into an empty net. Anyway, enjoy this comedic sketch that is the Marlies power play at work.
The Marlies had the edge in the second period, but mistakes cost them the potential to hold the lead heading into the third period. The Marlies out-shot the Sound Tigers 12-9 in the second and got the only power play of the period (which Timashov scored on).
This period was all Toronto. They had several amazing chances, including Baptiste centering a pass from the corner to Brooks that got stopped by the pad of Smith. The same type of play happened two more times, except with Timashov and MacMaster standing in front of the net. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t able to be solved in regulation.
The Marlies owned the third period. They out-shot the Sound Tigers 18-8 in the period for a three-period total of 40-29. They had all the chances in the world, but no finishing ability to bury the puck home and win the game. This was an area Mason Marchment, Chris Mueller, Sam Gagner, and Carl Grundstrom all excelled at and it carried the Marlies to many many wins. With all of them absent from the lineup for various reasons, that lack of high-end finishing has really started to hurt the Marlies.
Despite carrying possession for much of the overtime, the Marlies were only able to muster two shots in five minutes. They even had a power play drawn by Engvall in the last two minutes. Basically, the whole overtime looked something like Bracco holding the puck on a string but failing to get a shot off.
Jeremy Bracco went rover. pic.twitter.com/HhZRS9Eyg1— Mike Stephens (@mikeystephens81) March 10, 2019
After the five minutes were up, nothing was settled. Lots of credit goes to Kaskisuo in net for the Marlies, who had to make some pretty big stops at the other end in order to keep his team in the game.
Timashov got the shootout started and brought down the house with a move that can only be described as “The Kucherov.” He was the first skater to attempt a shot, but the only one to score for the Marlies. Both Subban and Bracco deked themselves into corners and failed to get Smith to bite. Kaskisuo stopped the first shot he faced, but gave up the next two.
Timashov just pulled this off in the shootout pic.twitter.com/DhZBhOFN79— Kevin Papetti (@KPapetti) March 10, 2019
After the Whistle
Here’s coach Sheldon Keefe with his update on the injured Marlies defensemen.
Vincent LoVerde liked what his team did, and the chances that they got, but he’s mentally moved on for Monday’s game against Belleville.
Jordan Subban was also happy with his team’s effort and is aware that if he and his team keeps playing the way they are, the results will come.
And here is the game highlights.