Second time’s the charm, right? The Toronto Marlies get a second crack at hoisting the Calder Cup tonight when they faceoff against the Texas Stars netminder Mike McKenna, three other guys, and a band of merry men for all the
Game 7 will be broadcast on the NHL Network, TSN2, and the Leafs Nation Network (formerly Leafs TV). You can buy the one-game pass on AHL Live, but, honestly, you’d have better luck with a potato. It will also be available on TSN 1050 radio which can be found on your car stereo or online.
Game 6 was a disaster for the hearts and minds of Marlies fans around the world (that is not hyperbole). After outshooting their opponent 45-24 in the game, including a stretch of play to end the first period that looked like below, the Marlies couldn’t get the bounces to go their way.
Marlies and Stars tied at 0-0 through twenty minutes in Game 6. Even-strength shot attempts were 38-13 Toronto; the Marlies took the last 26 shot attempts of the period if you include three taken on the powerplay. pic.twitter.com/ytEl5E2T1a— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) June 12, 2018
Fustrating as it might be, head coach Sheldon Keefe is subscribing to the belief in regression. Via our former overlord Scott Wheeler of The Athletic, Keefe mentioned needing the team to be relaxed after this morning’s skate. “There’s times around the net where there’s plays to be made, pucks lying around. It’s right there. When we’re on, we make plays and we score goals. We just have to get our guys to relax a little bit.”
It wasn’t just offense that was having an off-day for the Marlies. Defensively, the team looked like the Leafs trying to defend a two-on-one. Normally, the Marlies could get away with a few missed assignments and giveaways because they had Garret Sparks behind them to make the clutch, timely saves the team needed out of him. On Tuesday night, that was not the case. The second goal of Game 6 was Sparks’ own fault when he tried to play the puck, but the real deflating goal of the contest was when he failed to stop an Austin Fyten breakaway on a Colin Greening turnover.
Sparks has a penchant for turning around quickly, especially in the playoffs where he went on a nine-game winning streak following two successive losses on the road to the Utica Comets. Sparks made sure to tell reporters after the game that he is “extremely confident” in his ability to rebound for tonight’s game.
The lineups will most likely be the same as the last game. Travis Dermott has missed practices all week but he is expected to be in the lineup tonight. It would be a bold move by Sheldon Keefe to take out his struggling star defenseman for Andrew Nielsen, but stranger things have happened.
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