The Marlies introduced 2 new players recently, thanks to a pair of trades, each have made found a way to settle in quickly.The pair are tied together through Kenny Ryan tallies.
Kevin Marshall was acquired in a trade from Washington/Hershey that sent Nicholas Deschamps to the Capitals/Bears. Marshall earned his 1st point in his 1st game wearing a Marlies uniform, off an assist on a Kenny Ryan goal. Marshall now has 3 points (1g,2a) in his 3 games in a Marlies uniform. Marshall is a Boucherville, Quebec native.
Ryan Lasch was acquired from Anaheim/Norfolk in a trade that saw David Steckle move on from the Leafs organization. Lasch followed in the footsteps of Marshall and earned an assist in his 1st game in a Marlies uniform off a 1st period goal from…you guessed it….Kenny Ryan. Lasch previously played 19 games in Norfolk this year. The Lake Forest, California native has played 2 games with Toronto thus far.
At the time of this post, while in Chicago, the Marlies have 13 forwards and 10 defencemen available for the game on Friday (pending further changes). Newcomers include the arrivals of
# 44 Morgan Rielly: Toronto’s most recent 1st round pick (5th overall) played 42 more games in the WHL this year, than last, after recovering from a knee injury. Rielly finished top 5 among WHL defencemen in scoring, recording 54 points in 60 games. The Moose Jaw blue-liner was recognized as the WHL’s Eastern Conference Defenceman of the year. He is expected to make his pro debut Friday vs the Wolves.
# 2 Mike Komisarek: The veteran blue-liner arrives with 94 regular season AHL games under his belt, previously with Hamilton, which included 23 in the playoffs during the 2002-2003 Calder Cup Final run by the Bulldogs. He has played over 500 games in the NHL between Montreal and Toronto. The former 1st round pick (7th overall) is in his 11th pro season.
# 5 Korbinian Holzer: After playing 2 NHL games with Toronto in 2010-2011, Holzer was recalled this season by the Leas and collected 22 games of NHL experience. Holzer had the joy of recording his 1st NHL goal over this time and had 3 points to go along with 28 penalty minutes. He returns to the Marlies after playing 34 games to start this season in the AHL. Holzer had 8 points and was a (+) 9 over that time.
The Marlies also graduated 2 players to the Leafs this week: Forward Ryan Hamilton and Defenceman Jake Gardiner.
Toronto continues down a 7 game road journey, spanning 14 days and 4 states. After back to back wins in Cleveland, the Marlies have now stretched their winning streak to a season high 5 games. The Marlies now head through the Midwest division, with stops in Chicago, Milwaukee and Peoria over 3 straight days of play.
Chicago has dropped their last 3 games and 4 of their last 5. The Wolves are chasing down Grand Rapids for top spot in their division, but residing at 67 points, both Milwaukee/Rockford are 1 point back and Peoria 3 points back. While the Wolves are like many other teams, in that every point becomes a crucial one, so too are they effected by roster changes. Andrew Gordon, Jordan Schroeder, Steve Pinizzottto and Andrew Ebbett have all been recalled by Vancouver this month.
Milwaukee are chasing down the Wolves, as mentioned, for a higher seed in the Western Conference. At the time of this post, the Admirals are 10th. The Predators farm club have been hot lately, having won 4 straight games and 5 of their last 6. Helping to lead the recent victory charge is goaltender Magnus Hellberg. He has wins in his last 3 straight starts and has only lost twice since the beginning of February.
Peoria was caught in a down swing when the Marlies last met the Blues affiliate. Including the loss to the Marlies, the Rivermen had dropped 3 straight and 4 of their last 5 during that stretch. However, they have recently turned it around and made a push in the conference, resting 4 points out of the playoff picture. With 3 straight wins at the time of this post, things have begun to head in a positive direction, but the club also has 63 games played, which means they are running out of real estate quickly. Adam Cracknell scored a pair of goals in his 1st game back, after being re-assigned by the Blues and TJ Hensick, along with Sergey Andronov have a combined 9 points in their last 3 games.
Log onto theahl.com and tune into AHL Live for coverage of the 3 straight games through the Midwest Division.
Friday 8:30 pm vs the Chicago Wolves/Saturday 8pm vs Milwaukee/Sunday 6pm vs Peoria
Catch the blog again next week, as the club prepares to finish the 7 game road trip with stops in Rockford and Rochester.
*photo courtesy of Graig Abel