Just days after the previous game day blog discussing Marlies on the move up to the NHL and how quickly things can change, the roster has yet again been shaken up.
Although the circumstances are all completely unrelated, it almost seems like the Marlies cashed in on a two-for-one deal. Matt Frattin was recalled by the NHL Maple Leafs to replace the injured Joffrey Lupul, while Toronto’s AHL blue line has been bolstered with the returning of both Korbinian Holzer and Jake Gardiner. Frattin made haste with impression making up with the big club, notching a goal and three points Thursday night.
The Marlies hope Gardiner’s return comes with the same offensive flare.
The once Western Conference leaders have since slipped fifth. A recent road trip which saw the club manage only two wins in six contests allowed the Abbotsford Heat to overtake them for the division lead, and the Marlies fall to six points behind the conference leading Stars.
Toronto hopes their well documented strength at home can right the course and put the Marlies back on the winning track. Here are my notes ahead of Saturday’s game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins:
- Marlies have collected 27 of a possible 32 points on home ice this season
- Jake Gardiner will wear #6 as Tim Connolly dons what was Gardiner’s #19
- Connolly enters Saturday’s game having scored twice in as many games
- In the Marlies only other game this season against the Penguins, the boys in blue lost 2-1 with Will Acton scoring the team’s only goal
- The Penguins saw a five game winning streak come to an end Friday in Rochester
- Brad Thiessen has started seven of the last nine, but may give way to Jeff Zatkoff Saturday after allowing four goals on 18 shots on Friday
- Penguins rank 27th in road wins with only eight victories in 19 games away from home
- It’s pronounced WILKS-BARR
Tune into all the action starting at 5pm on Rogers TV in Toronto. The Marlies dynamic duo of Jon Abbott and Bob McGill will guide you through all the action on the ice. If internet is more your thing, AHL Live will also carry the game live. The audio feed is always free and video costs only a few dollars.
If you amidst the first 3000 fans through the gates, enjoy your pom-poms. Make sure you give me your best Bring It On impression with each of the Marlies goals scored Saturday.
Always remember to catch me on twitter (@chansler) as I try to bring you all the lineup news and notes ahead of puck drop.
11:31am :: The AHL announced captain Ryan Hamilton has been voted to the starting lineup of the 2013 AHL All-Star Game in Providence, Rhode Island. All-Star festivities kick off Sunday, January 26th with the skills competition.
2:36PM :: Coaches released the lineup as it should look ahead of tonight’s game… though things could always change ::
EXPECTED MARLIES LINEUP
IN GOAL: #1 Mark Owuya
Ashton – Colborne – D’Amigo
Hamilton – McKegg – Abbott
Deschamps – Connolly – Zigomanis
Devane – Crescenzi – Ross
Gardiner – Holzer
Mottau – Blacker
Yeo – Gysbers