Joe Colborne is 1 point away from 30 this season and has been one of the most productive Marlies since the new year. Totalling 12 points in January, the big centre has followed that effort up with 7 points, thus far, in February. He enters this weekend’s play off a 3 point performance in Syracuse, which saw him tally 2 goals in regulation and one more in the shootout. The Calgary native is only 10 points behind his Marlie career high of 39 and 14 points in rears of staking a new AHL career high. Currently leading his team with 20 assists, Joe has become a vital part of the offensive structure the Marlies hope to carry into a successful second half.
The Toronto Marlies appeared in only 5 shootout games last year, in a campaign that saw them play in (38) one goal finishes during the regular season. This year the Marlies have already played in 6 shootout finishes, including back to back shootout results heading into the weekend. Joe Colborne leads the way as the Marlies top one on one producer, with 3 goals on 5 shootout attempts. Overall, it has been a “playoff like” stretch as of late, with 5 straight games decided by 1 goal. In the last three games, Toronto have picked up 4 of a possible 6 points.
This weekend features a first and last appearance, plus and old rival. First up, on Saturday, the Milwaukee Admirals are in town. The farm affiliate of the Predators remains largely untouched, despite Nashville resuming NHL play. Although losing Jonathan Blum and Ryan Ellis on the blue-line and Gabriel Bourque up front, the core of the development unit still exists for this Wisconsin team. Austin Watson and Michael Latta are within striking distance of the 30 point plateau and are chasing down fellow forwards Chris Mueller and Taylor Beck who lead the team in goals (Mueller) and points (Beck). In a tough division with Grand Rapids ahead of them by a considerable amount, the Admirals have put together a push with 4 wins in their last 6 games. However, 2 of their last 3 have been losses and in those defeats they have given up 15 goals against total.
On Sunday it will be an all-Canadian battle as the St. John’s IceCaps come to Ricoh. Like Milwaukee, St. John’s finds themselves out of the playoff picture. A club last year, who challenged for top spot in the Eastern Conference, is now at the bottom of their Atlantic Divison. That said, the Jets farm team are only 6 points out of a playoff spot and found some offence of late, winning 2 of their last 3 and scoring 10 goals total in those wins. Winnipeg dipped into their AHL talent pool with names top defensive names like Postma and Redmond long gone and now recently so to is starting goaltender Eddie Pasquale.
The game broadcasts can be found: Saturday vs Milwaukee 3pm on TSN 1050 AM Radio and Leafs TV/Sunday 3pm vs ST. John’s on Leafs TV
Enjoy the games, and I’ll write you all next week!