The schedule oddities continue for the Maple Leafs with no game again today, you'll have to wait one more day until they travel to Ottawa to play the Senators.
Thankfully, there was a game in town last night and it was a win for the good guys. The Marlies defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 5-4 with Joe Blandisi scoring the OT goal. It was a nice punch the air moment for a team that needed one too. It's been a tough go for the team in recent weeks, losing six games in a row with their last win all the way back on November 18.
Here was the lineup for the Marlies for the game.
The Griffins had Michael Hutchinson in net. Yes, that Michael Hutchinson! The sometimes a Maple Leaf is continuing his journeyman career, now with the Griffins as his seventh AHL team, or possibly only the sixth if you want to think of the Ice Caps and Moose as the same team only rebranded when they moved from Newfoundland to Manitoba.
He's not the only familiar name. Joining him from the ranks of the ex-Leafs is Zach Aston-Reese who is a long way down from his time way back as one of the original Mark Donks playing with Sidney Crosby.
The game was actually went pretty well for the Marlies, with them scoring first and keeping ahead of the Griffins, scoring another each time they tied it up, though things went a bit off the rails in the third period when Zach Solow was ejected and took a five-minute major for elbowing, with Zach Aston-Reese (because of course it was him) scoring for the Griffins on their power play. However, the Marlies still came back to win it, and that's all that matters when it means you snap a long losing streak.
If you love seeing goals by our precious Leafs prospects, this game had them.
Dmitry Ovchinnikov scored his 7th goal in 13 games and it's a lovely crash the net style goal.
William Villeneuve scored his first of the season. He said he was mostly happy to simply have that box ticked on his to-do list for the season as he focuses on further development with the team staff. But it was still a great goal.
And Mikko Kokkonen added one too from the defence.
Also I have to remind everyone how much fun Denis Hildeby is.
Coach Gruden added an update on injured players noting Ryan Tverberg is "starting to skate and hopefully we see him in the lineup soon." As for Roni Hirvonen, he still "has to see the doctors," per Gruden, and it sounds to me unlikely we will see him play again for quite some time.
That's all for today as we await the Leafs to finally get back on the ice. Enjoy your Wednesday.