The road heavy month of November is almost complete, but it allows me to bring you an interesting edition of the Pre Game Meal blog. So, let’s go!
The best part, first. That’s how it was for our actual meals during the three game road trip through the Eastern Conference. The opening stop was in Binghamton, New York. A short cry Johnstown, which is the more accurate hometown of Marlies forward Jerry D’amigo and his family operated restaurant, Red’s Kettle Inn. Thanks to the generosity of his parents (Pete and Gina) the entire Marlies team and staff were treated to an American Thanksgiving meal while on the road. Not only was the spread fantastic, but the company was even better. Especially enjoying the festivities were the group of American’s on the team who had a chance to spend the holiday with their extended family! You can check out the behind the scenes footage from that dinner during a special feature on Leafs TV: Snapshots. It airs Friday November 30th at 6pm.
Last season Dallas Eakins and his coaching staff helped guide the Toronto Marlies into the Calder Cup finals. It was the longest playoff run for the team while holding their Toronto title and it also represented another huge hockey milestone for the city. The Marlies became the first Toronto based hockey team to play into the month of June. While the club fell short of their ultimate goal of returning a championship to the city, it was a run many soon won’t forget.
This year presents another group of reachable milestones for a group of Marlies in their AHL careers. Coach Eakins would like to hit his before this weekend ends. He is one win shy of becoming the Toronto franchise leader in all-time wins by a head coach, with 124. With a victory in one of the three games to be played he will surpass Greg Gilbert in that category.
Here’s hoping after all is said and done we are talking about number 126 next Tuesday!
The Marlies open the 3 game in 3 day stretch back on the road, this time in Rochester. It marks the first of a home and home with the division rival Americans. It will complete the three game home stand for the New York based club, who picked up a 5-2 win over Albany on the weekend and play San Antonio at home on Wednesday night. Rochester has improved in the goals produced category, which includes putting up (5) or more in five of the club’s nine wins this season. Stopping the puck, however, continues to be almost solely on the shoulders of David Leggio. He has played 14 of the team’s 16 games and may appear in both games vs Toronto this weekend.
Lake Erie provides the competition on Sunday. The Monsters are also a divisional foe and have played well away from home this year. Of the 10 wins on record, 8 have come on road, including a 4-0 win over Toronto near the beginning of the season. Colorado’s farm team boasts one of the league’s top scoring rookies forwards in Mike Sgarbossa. The native of nearby Campbellville has 17 points, with 8 goals and has acted as an early boost to their offence.
Toronto will enter the weekend hungry after playing well over the last three games, but dropping all three on the road. In games against Binghamton, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hershey, Toronto fired a total 122 shots at their opponents. However, the Marlies were outscored 9-5 over that run. Toronto also needs to continue to find wins against divisional opponents, which each team the face represent this weekend. It is possible all three of these teams could be separated by 3 points or fewer in the standings when the puck drops before each game.
You can stay up to date with your Marlies news broadcast weekdays 6pm on Marlies today on Leafs TV. I will also do my best to provide team notes on twitter @HockeyAbbs and audio versions of the games are listed below:
Friday 7:05 from Rochester TSN 1050.ca and AHL Live
Saturday 7pm at Ricoh vs Rochester TSN 1050 on your am radio and AHL Live
Sunday 3pm at Ricoh vs Lake Erie TSN 1050 on your am radio and AHL Live
I hope you ingested all of this Marlies info and I’ll be back next week with a new menu! Have a great hockey weekend.