The Marlies played the dreaded three-in-three series this past weekend with a game in Rochester on Friday against the Americans, then games on Saturday and Sunday against the Comets. The good news is they won two of the three games; Saturday was the disappointing performance and loss. Sunday was a another win, but we couldn’t get to the game because of that annoying snow storm!
Things are still looking bright for the Marlies, despite now being chased in the North Division standings. The Marlies capped off the week with the hiring of a new head coach for the team, but also will see one of their players suspended for a game.
Here are the Division standings as of this morning. The Marlies sit comfortably at the top. Both the Rochester Amerks and the Belleville Senators have won eight of their last ten games and rocketed up the standings.
For the record, the number one teams in the other divisions are as follows:
- Atlantic Division: Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins)
- Central Division: Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators)
- Pacific Division: Tuscon Roadrunners (Arizona Coyotes)
The New Coach
Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas introduced Greg Moore as the new head coach of the Marlies, and replacement for Sheldon Keefe, on
Kyle Dubas introduced him at a press availability on Monday.
The new coach won’t be behind the bench today, as he’s working with Sheldon Keefe for a few weeks before he officially takes over.
Michael Hutchinson was recalled to the Maple Leafs leaving Kasimir Kaskisuo and Joseph Woll to handle the load for last weekend and the foreseeable future.
Martin Marincin joined the team for the weekend, but was recalled back to the Maple Leafs as they continue to shuffle players around in anticipation of the return of Mitchell Marner and juggling the related salary cap issues.
Joseph Duszak, Mac Hollowell, Matt Bradley, Justin Brazeau and Aaron Luchuk were all recalled from the Newfoundland Growlers for the three-in-three weekend and then promptly returned back to the ECHL. Aaron Luchuk is apparently attached to a yo-yo and has since been recalled back up to the Marlies again. He may be in the lineup to play in their game tonight because of Korshkov’s absence.
Nick Shore is on waivers as of yesterday and he could be assigned to the Marlies if he clears at noon today.
Last Weekend’s Games
The core members of the lines were kept together for all three games, with some of the Growlers players and less experienced Marlies substituting in for one of the three as needed to give someone a break. Three games in three days is gruelling enough, but this one featured the first game out of town, and the second was an early afternoon game starting only about 15 hours after the previous one had ended.
Here’s the scores and some highlights from the games.
Friday: Marlies @ Americans
Marlies win 3-2 in OT
GOAL— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) November 30, 2019
*insert Aberg goal gif here* (cause Twitter isn't working)
Pontus Aberg WINS IT in overtime! #MarliesLive
Saturday: Marlies vs. Comets
Marlies lose 4-3
If you want a highlight of why the lost, well, here it is.
Leave @SvenBaertschi all alone in front and this will happen.#UTIvsTOR pic.twitter.com/AKOKaOupCy— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) November 30, 2019
Timothy Liljegren commented “not our best game. I think Utica had, like, ten breakaways. Not our best game defensively.” He added ”I think we created some chances,” and they did. Tanner MacMaster sure looks great somehow deflecting in this shot.
Sunday: Marlies vs. Comets
Marlies win 5-3
Your highlight is the most classic of Jeremy Bracco and Adam Brooks little guy high speed two-on-one goals.
One thing which stuck out throughout these three games by both Hardev and myself was the high number of intercepted or broken passes in the offensive zone, with many leading to breakaway chances against the Marlies by their opponents. It’s something that probably needs to be cleaned up quickly buy the new coach. Liljegren seemed exasperated by it after Saturday’s game though his pairing with Rasmus Sandin had it happen to them, including one right in front of the net when they were setting up for a breakout with Utica on a change.
This is especially worrying since in regular game situations they are often letting their opponents get really close to the net for shots. Check out this shot location map form Saturday, with the Comets shots in gold. They expected Woll to bail them out a lot.
The Next Games
The Marlies will be in Rochester to play the Americans tonight at 7:00 p.m. and it will be the first game under their new head coach. Moore’s arrival happened so fast and has been such a whirlwind that I doubt he will make any major changes to be in effect this quickly. Tonight is a chance to see what they can do against a division rival. Hopefully they don’t disappoint him in his first game.
One thing we know for sure is Egor Korshkov will not be playing tonight because of a one game suspension.
The Marlies next games are on Saturday and Sunday at the Coliseum featuring a very rare visit to Toronto by the Central Division San Antonio Rampage (St. Louis Blues affiliates).
UPDATE: Mason Marchment is back!
After a long absence since playing the Maple Leafs pre-season game in Newfoundland almost three months ago, Mason Marchment has been reactivated from injured reserve and is ready to join the team.
Forward Mason Marchment has been activated from injured non-roster and loaned to the @TorontoMarlies. #LeafsForever— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) December 4, 2019
Now we await to see if Kalle Kossila and Ian Scott will ever appear.