Winning can be dangerous. The Marlies have lived that phrase this season. It would be easy to chalk up the W’s and never look back but that isn’t the job for Sheldon Keefe. He is tasked with producing players who can and will play the organization’s chosen system. Each night they have flashes of complete dominance with that system and this talent. The last fifteen minutes of the 9-8 OT victory in St. John’s were a prime example. To be fair the Ice Caps and Marlies both traded learners in […]
‘Todd Crocker’s Blog’ Posts
If you’re listening in on the financial world or run in government circles the new fear is blockchains. These computer super get-togethers between a lot of people unknown to each other use open group trust in small bites to forge a larger societal trust. Online currencies are the harbingers in this field. The idea is it keeps everyone honest and makes the need for large overseers like banks and governments obsolete as everyone in the blockchain makes sure everyone else is keeping it on the up and up.
Goaltending is the […]
Finishing up the month of October and starting off November the Toronto Marlies have found out some things about themselves and like many other AHL teams it leads to more questions. Young players finding out what it is like to be a professional, treating the game as a full time job not just a dream is hard work. It isn’t good enough anymore to simply be talented. Skill can get you through almost any league until this one.
This past weekend the Grand Rapids Griffins rolled into Ricoh with only one […]
It turns out that having the depth the Marlies currently enjoy isn’t exactly the ‘nice problem to have’ you might think it to be. Sheldon Keefe has had to make some tough decisions regarding how to best get players in the lineup while figuring out who can fit best with whom. In a state of frenzy there are some tense fans ready to explode as they are finding out that number one draft picks and top players all took a seat at different times this weekend.
It is far easier when […]
The Marlies measured up against the Albany Devils twice this past weekend and for many of these young players they found out that the AHL is league to be respected or it will punish you. The first forty minutes of the weekend saw a host of veterans let these rookie players know that wearing the big boy pants isn’t as simple as just pulling them on and showing up.
Corey Tropp (148 NHL games) was the first punch thrown as he battled hard out front with Marlies captain Andrew Campbell. It […]
“With the Marlies we’ve had a great atmosphere and had winning teams the years I’ve been here…” that was Sam Carrick answering a question about a more positive mood at the Marlies that might have been trickling down with the changes in the organization. The history of the matter is that the Marlies have been erupting with that positive atmosphere since they went to the Calder Cup final four season ago. This season the Marlies have a very different team than those previous ones but expectations from fans and the […]
The Toronto Marlies had a team all along. They were waiting back at the Mastercard Centre while the Maple Leafs made decisions. This group, the one that came to Newfoundland to play three pre-season games against the Ice Caps, was never going to comprise even a quarter of that team.
“No one is going to be able to say after this that they didn’t get a fair look.” said Leafs Assistant GM Kyle Dubas. He was right. These were three games that gave the Ice Caps all they could handle from […]
Ardent Marlies fans will be forgiven for going owl this preseason. A whole lot of ‘who’ might be heard around your house. The Maple Leafs have decided to keep a lot of the bodies that will inhabit the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto as the Marlies came east for three games. While a lot of head scratching might be taking place from Leafs only followers, the method is reasonable.
There are already enough people who wonder why a league like this one needs a preseason anyway. Outside of the kinks that get […]
With a good portion of what will constitute the Toronto Marlies still practicing with the big club the first day of training camp could easily have been a pretty small group of well-intentioned players. However, with the single affiliation in Orlando the organization had a real opportunity to to see what kind of depth they will rely upon throughout this season from the ECHL.
It was a day that started with medicals and ended with a scrimmage. Some of the names didn’t see the first hour of practice were familiar once scrimmage started. Josh […]
Media Day is always an education in the interest people have in the Maple Leafs. It is overwhelming the first time you experience it from either side of the camera, microphone, or pencil. This year’s edition was a more than what they expected for a few more players than normal.
As the door slid down on the truck and the equipment maestros adjusted to their suits for the charter flight to Halifax where training camp would open the word came to them that some unpacking would have to be done. A […]
There is a simple solution to rampant raccoon growth and morning neighbourhood traffic snarls. Garbage pick up and school starting times can be moved ahead to past nine and ten o’clock. Leaving garbage out at night for early morning pick up makes little sense to the homeowner devising ways to keep food waste out of the hands of the masked munchers. Those often stopping lumbering trucks and school buses also make for creative tight street driving solutions that pockmark cities each day.
As the Rookie Tournament fades away this year one […]
When Darrell Huff wrote his timeless book How To Lie with Statistics he targeted the folks in advertising and business negotiations who played fast and loose with math. He explained how tricky it is to follow the numbers and how most, if not all, of us get tripped up regularly by nuances in crunching.
The Toronto Marlies have hired a new coach whose numbers simply cannot be confused in any fashion. 54 wins last season with his Sault St Marie Greyhounds. In case you don’t follow Junior hockey closely that number […]
Back when there wasn’t hardly an Internet and Leafs prospect Lonny Bohonos was in the league’s top ten in scoring, there was an Empire Division. It was not named after the apple (created in Cornell, NY) or the Romans. (though the Marlies will see plenty of Syracuse and Utica, and pass Rome and Troy in their travels next year) It was so named because New York’s nickname is the Empire State. You might know this because they built a building around this theme somewhere downstate. The Marlies will join this […]
After a first round exit that saw them give up a two game advantage, many comments have been thrown about that give people who actually saw games this year a case of the head shakes. This Marlies team has been highly successful these past four years. Four straight years of playoffs. If that isn’t the right direction, your expectations of how the AHL works is unrealistic.Wins are not the number one priority; they are a by-product of total player development. This organization has done as good a job as most […]
Matt Frattin. This is the turning point. No one knows it yet. It is late December and when Frattin arrives to the Marlies it is with the information from the folks up top that he won’t be coming back for a while. At first Frattin is all business. No one is ever puppies and picnics when they get sent down. The coaching staff with the Marlies is wondering whether the Frattin they know will come back or is this a different one. Has this new situation challenged him past the […]
Hamilton provided fans immediately with toughness when they first arrived on the scene. I was the Director of Operations for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at the time and along with Norm Miller who ended up being the colour voice of the Dogs on local TV. We decided that if we thought folks should buy our season tickets we should do the same for the new hockey team. My name was put on the tickets and as such it also ended up on a plaque in the rink as founder. Yep, voice […]
On December 1st of 2014 you could hear rumblings about whether the Leafs choice for their Marlies coaching was the right one. The team had five wins in two months and didn’t seem to have much in the way of possibilities for more. Emergency, urgency and panic comes easily to some critics but inside the Marlies room not one blaring horn, not one wailing siren, not even a screaming hysterical mob. Mathematically, the history of making playoffs when a team gets that far behind is near zero. In recent history […]
It isn’t often Gord Dineen has to speak to the entire bus without relying on the front folks to pass it along to the people in the back somewhat accurately. That changes when there can be no mistake about the information and no kidding around.
Moments earlier Ben Simon called up the Marlies one of the most dominant player last season for the Marlies and a larger reason they went to the Conference finals, Spencer Abbott. You don’t spent hardly anytime in sports before you realize these are moments when you […]
Sitting with Troy Bodie in San Antonio eating breakfast on the famous Riverwalk, the conversation is about the food and the unique setting. It doesn’t stroll too far into hockey before it comes back to the burritos and bets that were won wading into the waist deep water. The Manitoba bred Bodie who can play at times like like someone just backed into his car on a snowy day, is smiling. Not because he isn’t where he hopes to be, in the NHL, but because this is another day in […]
The Marlies get on the bus in a frigid Utica parking lot. Not even the usual autograph collectors are out to pad their online sales inventory. Casey the bus driver has the wheels ready and sneakers skid across the slick snow searching for the steady first step of the ride home. The stinging wind slaps the skin rudely after a 5-2 loss to a team that just called up a guy with 313 AHL games in his stick.
Prospects. It seems like a simple bit of business to name who is […]