It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
When you look at the stats, things couldn’t be better for the Marlies. They have the league’s best record over the past 10, capturing 17 of a possible 20 points. Goal scoring has come with apparent ease, notching three or more in 10 of the last 11. Goaltender has secured four consecutive wins while Jussi Rynnas is yet to lose in regulation.
At the same time, the the bumps and bruises to the Toronto club seem to be adding up. Jake Gardiner missed the team’s annual Boxing Day games as he remains out of the lineup with an upper body injury. Mike Zigomanis too missed the team’s big win over Hamilton at ACC. While Nazem Kadri rejoined the team on December 26th, he suffered a nasty hit in the middle frame. The team’s coach provided an injury update by twitter.
Kadri reported today with no headaches. Was put thru a nasty bike ride and finished with no issues. Rib inj has flared back up. He is out.
— Dallas Eakins (@dallaseakins) December 27, 2012
So now, the team heads to Grand Rapids for a pair of games. Looking at the Midwest Division leaders hoping for a couple wins, four points, and a strong run at both the conference and the league’s first place position.
Here are my notes ahead of Friday’s game:
- The Marlies have collected at least a point in six straight games
- The juggling of the AHL’s top scorers continues as Keith Aucoin now ranks fifth overall (one point out of third) and third in assists (two shy of first)
- Following a sell-out crowd of 18,800 at ACC on Boxing Day, the Toronto Marlies now rank second in the league with an average attendance of 7,025
- Grand Rapids has won their past three straight and five of their last seven
- Gustav Nyquist, the Griffins leading scorer with 25 points, is a former teammate of the Marlies Spencer Abbott at the University of Maine
TSN 1050 continues their unparalleled covered of the Toronto Marlies tonight in Grand Rapids. Tune your radio dial to the friendly voice of Jon Abbott as he brings you the call starting at 7pm. Alternatively, if the internet is more your kind of thing you can catch all the action on AHL Live. The audio feed is always free and video costs only a few dollars.
As always, catch me on twitter (@chansler) as I try to bring you all the lineup news and notes ahead of the game. Starting a few minutes after 7pm #MarliesLive kicks off on twitter – the team’s in-game chat. On Boxing Day #MarliesLive trended worldwide. Let’s try to hit that mark once more, shall we?
Following the Marlies morning skate it was determined Ben Scrivens will start in goal and Dylan Yeo will be the team’s healthy scratch on defense. Decisions on the forwards and line combinations will be made ahead of game time.
EXPECTED MARLIES LINEUP
IN GOAL: #30 Ben Scrivens
Hamilton – Aucoin – Abbott
Ashton – Colborne – Scott
D’Amigo – McKegg – Frattin