It’s often hard to figure out what a team’s identity is at the start of a season. That’s especially true in the AHL, as teams hit the ground with limited group practice time, the uncertainty of who should be on their core roster from leagues above and below, and as you find out which players are quickest to find their own form.
Certainly, the Toronto Marlies are hoping that what’s transpired for them out of the gate is not what they’ll be carrying throughout the year. For the third consecutive game, the team not only lost in regulation but did so while absorbing an outpour of opposing offence, conceding seven goals to the Utica Comets on Saturday.
(The Marlies have not posted their full highlights yet. The Timashov goal was my favourite, so this will be the placeholder for now)
Carl Grundstrom – Chris Mueller – Sam Gagner
Dmytro Timashov – Adam Cracknell – Trevor Moore
Pierre Engvall – Josh Jooris – Jeremy Bracco
Emerson Clark – Colin Greening – JJ Piccinich
Calle Rosen – Timothy Liljegren
Andreas Borgman – Vincent LoVerde
Andrew Nielsen – Jordan Subban
Powerplay 1: Timashov – Gagner – Bracco – Nielsen – Liljegren
Powerplay 2: Engvall – Cracknell – Moore – Rosen – Subban
Colin Greening and Emerson Clark also received late-game powerplay time.
Penalty Kill Forwards: Greening, Jooris, Moore, Cracknell, Engvall, Timashov
Penalty Kill Defencemen: Rosen, Liljegren, Borgman, LoVerde
Scratches: Adam Brooks, Rich Clune, Mason Marchment, Carl Grundstrom, Chris Mueller, Sam Jardine, Rasmus Sandin
- The numbers strongly lean towards Trevor Moore being the best player on the ice tonight, and I think it’s hard to disagree with that. Besides putting points on the board and getting a shade under 60% of the shart of the shots tonight, Moore was carrying the puck with his usual poise and finding opportunities for his teammates. I felt that Dmytro Timashov was similarly dynamic, and he was rewarded with a goal for his efforts (assisted by Moore, no less).
- The Marlies had a significantly different looking forward group from a line perspective today, thanks to two absences. Chris Mueller missed today’s game as a result of his injury suffered in the third period of Monday’s game against Cleveland, and Carl Grundstrom was sick. Because of this, Toronto went with 11 forwards and 7 defencemen, bringing the speedy Griffen Molino back into the lineup and adding Kyle Cumiskey, who the team had invited to camp on a PTO earlier this month.
- Jeremy Bracco was a bit worse for wear after getting clipped by a high stick in the back half of the game. While he ended up with stitches and the start of a black eye, he still finished the game and picked up the Marlies’ second goal.
- Andrew Nielsen has left a lot to be desired over these first few games, but there was a silver lining in how he played in the third period. While the two assists certainly give an exclamation point to that statement, it was also a frame where he was making wise passes and not slipping into poor defensive position. It would be nice to see the 2015 draft pick regain some of the momentum he had in his rookie season two years ago; we’ll have to see if he can follow up that positive ending tomorrow.
- There is some concern about the Marlies’ goaltending thus far, and it’s justifiable; Kasimir Kaskisuo conceded six goals in 24 shots today, a performance that saw him pulled before the half-way point and gave him eleven against in his last 82 minutes of hockey. Jeff Glass was fine in relief, but also only faced eleven after the Comets slowed down their game down. I will say this; it’s very early, and goalies tend to take time to warm up in every league. I don’t expect this to be a duo that dominates in the same way that Sparks & Pickard did last year, but I’ll need more than three games to start declaring a crisis of non-depth.
- Toronto’s next game comes tomorrow against the very same Utica Comets, in the very same Coca-Cola Coliseum.
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