I picture a director with his black and white striped clapper in hand. Written on it are the words ‘Toronto vs Hamilton’ and the man in charge yells “take seven” before bringing forth a sound from the instrument worthy of its name.

It is one week to the day since these two clubs last met, a game far more one-sided than the 3-2 score let on. Toronto scored three consecutive goals before allowing one against. A fluke shot with a second left then banked in past Scrivens giving the Bulldogs their second score of the game, but it had long since been over. All the while the Marlies had set a new attendance record for an AHL game held indoors in Canada with 18,800 bodies at Air Canada Centre.

Toronto opens the new year with the conference’s best record, a coach destined to lead this years All-Star West team, and a pair of home games on the docket before hitting the road for six straight. Every game seems to be the team’s biggest yet of the season.

So without any more jabbering, here are my notes ahead of the game:

  • The Marlies have collected at least a point in six straight games
  • Ryan Hamilton has six goals and nine points over the past seven games
  • Jake Gardiner and Mike Zigomanis have not played since before Christmas, while Nazem Kadri’s last game was against the Bulldogs on Boxing Day
  • Hamilton has managed only a single win over the past eight
  • The Bulldogs have been shutout for 120:30 straight minutes of hockey
  • Over the past five games, Hamilton has scored five goals within either the opening or closing two minutes of a period – very impressive given the fact they were shutout for two of those games
  • The Bulldogs are in the league’s basement while the Marlies are second only to Syracuse

The Marlies continue their high definition coverage of all home games with Wednesday’s contest broadcast on Rogers TV. Tune into all the action as Jon Abbott and Bob McGill call the play starting with puck drop at 7pm. If the airwaves are more your style, TSN 1050 will carry the game. And if you’re anything like me and you like the comfort of your laptop, the game will be on AHL Live. The audio feed is always free and video costs only a few dollars.

Catch me on twitter (@chansler) as I’ll post lineup news and notes as they become available.

***

Mike Zigomanis will return to action Wednesday for the first time since December 15th. Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri will sit as well as Korbinian Holzer. Will Acton will be the team’s healthy scratch, only the hard-nosed centre’s third time out of the lineup this season.

***

Ben Scrivens is expected to start in goal.

EXPECTED MARLIES LINEUP

IN GOAL: #30 Ben Scrivens

FOWARD LINES
Hamilton – Aucoin – Abbott
D’Amigo – Zigomanis – Scott
Ashton – Colborne – Ryan
Deschamps – McKegg – Frattin

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Ranger – Kostka
Fraser – Blacker
Yeo – Gysbers

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