It’s that time of year.

We all start becoming a little extra careful.

We begin monitoring our sleep, making sure to get the full eight hours; we take in more than the required liquids on a daily basis; and start protecting ourselves a little better when we head into the corners to retrieve a loose puck.

It’s November, the injury bug is running rampant and the Marlies have not been spared.

Matt Lashoff is recovering at home in Toronto after being the recipient of a big hit in Cleveland. Keith Aulie has watched the last three games in suit and tie after a collision with a member of the Texas Stars tenderized his ribs. The following tilt in San Antonio saw a shot-block from Luca Caputi’s hand; a body part most necessary to continued to play. Darryl Boyce also left the game when his back started ‘acting up.’

Not even Joe Colborne, with his league leading 19 points, can keep himself out of what Dallas Eakins has nicknamed the M*A*S*H ward. The giant centre missed Tuesday’s game with an undisclosed lower-body injury, his first absence of the season.

Trying to describe the Marlies present injury woes only reminds me of the tale of a man in a pile of leaves named Russel.

I was once told one of the most powerful motivational tools a coach has is the “against all odds” mentality.

Well Marlies, beating the league’s top team, the Houston Aeros, on Saturday by a 6-2 margin with a netminder starting in his first AHL game certainly was against all odds. You do know how to impress.

Kenny Ryan’s entrance back into the lineup brought his first professional goal; Greg Scott scored a shorthanded ditty on a breakaway (how does that even happen); and had it not been for the final 13 seconds, Mark Owuya would’ve finished his first game with only a single goal against. Not that two goals is anything to shake a stick at.

Oh, and the Marlies managed to play one of the most impressive games of keep-away I’ve seen since the grade eight’s refused to return my basketball in elementary school.


With three days between games – hockey’s version of Buckley’s for the injured – the Marlies (and all of us) hope to see a couple familiar faces back on the ice. Eakins made a point of noting on twitter that Aulie, Boyce, Caputi and Colborne are all day-to-day.

Time to rest up, heal up and squash this nasty bug.

Your buddy,

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