Games at hand. The amount of games a team has played can help determine where they end up in the standings. It played in Toronto’s favour, following a win on Sunday, as the Marlies jumped from 8th to 3rd in the Western Conference. This is why the point continues to be made – the stretch of 10 straight home games (now 8) carries a lot of weight for the Marlies because of how they are positioned in the standings. At 51 games played heading into this week, Toronto has 27 wins. That is the most wins with the fewest amount of games played. When Rochester comes to town on Wednesday, they will also own 51 games played and the mid-week match up could decide what team will be 3rd overall by the time the last buzzer sounds.
Drew MacIntyre will likely earn a shot at playing the team he spent last season with – the Rochester Americans – at some point this Marlies season, but it could arrive as early as Wednesday. MacIntyre has put together 3 solid outings for Toronto, collecting a win/loss/shootout loss and allowing only 1 goal against in 2 of the 3 games he has played. MacIntyre was limited to about 3 games a month while with the Amerks last year and ended up departing for the KHL at the start of this season. Now back after what he has termed “a humbling experience” he has displayed not only his veteran poise in goal, but his 1st class attitude around the rink. While I’m sure there is no “vendetta” against his old club, any athlete will tell you- it’s a shot they love to have – facing their prior club with a chance to earn a win.
On the dish 1st are the Rochester Americans. After the opening 5 battles of the season went the Marlies way, their division rival picked up their first win vs the Marlies in the 6th, which was also their only win in 10 straight attempts, dating back to last year. The Amerks are in action Tuesday vs the Syracuse Crunch and will try to avoid losing in a 3rd straight game. If that feat is achieved, it would place Rochester 1 point behind Toronto, entering Wednesday’s play.
Saturday and Sunday act as the 4th set of games in which Toronto plays the same team in 2 straight days. This time around it is the Binghamton Senators. Revenge is in order towards the farm affiliate of the Ottawa Senators, as Toronto try to even the season series at 2 wins a piece. Both clubs have been ravished, following the lockout and it is the B Sens who enter with 10 players on the current Ottawa NHL roster. It will be a 3 in 3 weekend for Bingo, as they start their cross conference trip in Hamilton on Friday.
Toronto have picked up 6 of a possible 10 points over there last 5 games and are on a crucial stretch of home games. With 17 wins at Ricoh thus far, another 3 in the books could jockey them into 2nd in the Western Conference.
Broadcast locations for the trio of games are as follows:
Wednesday 7pm vs Rochester – Rogers Cable TV and AHL Live
Saturday 3pm vs Binghamton – TSN 1050 AM Radio and Rogers Cable TV
*Sunday 3pm vs Binghamton – Leafs TV and AHL Live
*If you are in attendance Sunday, be sure to get out early and grab a limited edition Marlies Canadian Armed Forces Hat, as the club proudly salutes the great men and women that have served or are currently in duty for our country.
*Photo courtesy Christian at TSGPhoto.com*