I never really liked road games.
I understand they’re necessary but there’s nothing that can compare to rolling into a familiar rink, getting some fresh popcorn and taking in some afternoon puck. However, if you were to look outside my window right now you would get why I’m thankful the Marlies are closing out 2012 in Grand Rapids.
Yepp, I said it. Closing out 2012. It’s the last game for the Marlies in the calendar year.
I’m almost sad to see it go. Think of all the incredible things that 2012 has brought us. And so instead of my usual game notes, ahead of tonight’s game against the Griffins I bring you some of the highlights of 2012 (also, the game notes haven’t changed that much since last night’s game against the same club):
- A division title
- The league’s top goaltender in Ben Scrivens, presented with an award for best goals against average at the end of the 2011/12 season
- Not only a playoff berth – the first in three seasons – but a run right to the Calder Cup finals
- Then, when a certain defenceman dealt the team a crushing blow with an odd goal in game three, the Marlies went out and acquired him during the summer only to have him rank among the top rear guards in the league this season
- Dallas Eakins became the most winningest coach in Maple Leafs AHL affiliate history while Keith Aucoin has moved up to 10th all-time in AHL scoring
- For the first time in team history, the Marlies rank second in the league in attendance
- Toronto has strung together an impressive streak where they have not lost in regulation in seven straight games
- The Marlies once again lead their division, and with a win against Grand Rapids on Saturday could take top spot in the conference
If you want to tune into tonight’s game against the Griffins, be sure to catch all the action starting at 7pm on TSN 1050 as they continue their unparalleled coverage of our beloved AHL club. AHL Live is also home to all 76 regular season games for the Marlies. The audio feed is always free, and video costs only a few dollars.
#MarliesLive will kick off a few minutes after 7 on twitter, so make sure to do all your thumb exercises ahead of time.
And as always, find me on twitter (@chansler) as I’ll do my best to provide all the lineup news and notes as they become available.
Jussi Rynnas is expected to get the start in goal tonight. There may be some movement amongst the skaters, but firm lineups won’t be available until closer to game time.
Dylan Yeo will cycle back into active duty replacing Paul Ranger for Saturday’s game marking only the fifth game missed by the Whitby born rear guard. Nicolas Deschamps also returns after sitting out on Friday, Kenny Ryan expected to sit in his place.
EXPECTED MARLIES LINEUP
IN GOAL: #40 Jussi Rynnas
Hamilton – Aucoin – Abbott
Ashton – Colborne – Scott
D’Amigo – McKegg – Frattin
Ross – Acton – Deschamps
Yeo – Kostka
Fraser – Holzer
Gysbers – Blacker