AGD: Marlies Re-match

Kent Wilson
December 09 2012 01:06PM

 

Time: 1:00om MST

Location: Ricoh Coliseum Toronto

Broadcast: teamradio.ca

The last time these two teams met, the Marlies handed the Heat their worst defeat of the season so far (5-0). After a so-so start, Toronto has been climbing up the standings and currently sit tied for 3rd in Western Conference with 27 points, just four back of Abbotsford.

They have been paced by the play of AHL veteran Keith Aucoin and former first rounder Nazem Kadri. The latter struggled to put up points to start the season, but has really come on lately and certainly looked like one of the best played on the ice against the Heat last time these clubs clashed. Kadri has four goals and six points in his last four games.

As for the Heat, they have hit a bit of skid for the first time this year, losing three of three games to start December, being shut-out in two of them. Ironically, Abbotsford controlled the shot clock against the San Antonio Rampage in each of the last two games, but struggled to put pucks behind the resurgent Jacob Markstrom.

The Lineup

Max Reinhart has moved up the rotation a bit in the absence of guys lik Walter and Baertschi and has finally getting some pucks on net. He managed 11 shots in two games versus San Antonio and was apparently far more involved in the offensive zone that earlier in the year. I still think Reinhart is in for a longer apprenticeship in the AHL, but he needs to at least show some indications of prowess lest he get bumped form the line-up altogether.

He will apparently play with Ben walter who makes his return to the line-up today. That should be a top-six trio for sure.

  • Olson - Street - Kolanos
  • Laing - Byron - Nemisz
  • Horak - Reinhart - Walter
  • Bancks - Estoclet - Ruesegger

  • Brodie - Piskula
  • Breen - McCarthy
  • McKelvie - Callahan

  • Brust

Last game was a disaster for the ever sinking Leland Irving. He allowed three goals on eight shots against, lowering his save percentage to just .884 this year. Almost any goalie can struggle through a five game stretch like that, but the bad news for Irving is he's fighting for playing time and credibility on a team and in an organization that increasingly has more and better options.

The Opposition

The Marlies top line has been red hot and has provided the majority of the club's offense lately, so that is who the Heat will have to worry about the most this afternoon. Jake Gardiner is out with an "upper body" injury.

  • Ross - Kadri - Frattin
  • McKegg - Colborne - Ashton
  • Hamilton - Aucoin - Abbott
  • Ryan - Zigomanis - Scott

  • Ranger - Kostka
  • Blacker - Yeo
  • Fraser- Holzer

  • Scrivens

On the other hand, Joe Colborne is suffering through a terrible slump. With one goal and six points in 19 games, he is 17th on the team in scoring. He has just one point is his last 10 games and has managed just 29 shots on net so far this year. Although he probably isn't a true 3% shooter, those numbers are still very worrisome for the former 15th overall pick, even if you assume he's had some bad luck in terms of pucks finding twine: with with an average 12% shooting % this year, he'd still only have about 3 goals so far.

Something has gone terribly awry for the 22 year old native Calgarian. He's young enough to figure things out, of course, but he's not so young that a full season of these sorts of results won't do real damage to his stock in the Toronto organization.

Sum it Up

The Marlies are a tough opponent. They have some good names at all levels of the depth chart, including guys like Kadri and Aucoin as well as veterans such as Mike Zigomanis, Matt Frattin and Paul Ranger. The Heat more or less controlled the flow of play, though nott he score, against the Rampage recently, but it's going to be a lot harder to keep the puck in the offensive zone today in Toronto. Here's hoping the team can re-discover its scoring touch.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#2 jeremywilhelm
December 09 2012, 02:08PM
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Without Bartschi, the Heat are essentially as offensively starved as they were last year. Kinda boring to watch, but effective in their ability to get the puck on net, just not in it.

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#3 jeremywilhelm
December 09 2012, 02:21PM
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Reino makes it 1-0, kid has woken up, beauty shot after getting wide open in the slot.

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#4 CFan in Vic
December 09 2012, 02:22PM
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Reinhart with his 2nd! 1-0 second period.

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#5 jeremywilhelm
December 09 2012, 02:33PM
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Heat make it 2-0 on a Brodie goal.

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#6 thymebalm
December 09 2012, 02:34PM
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2 zip now. Brodie maybe?

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#8 jeremywilhelm
December 09 2012, 03:37PM
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Brutal. 2-2. Should only be 2-1, Marlies first goal was on a clearly offside play.

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#9 jeremywilhelm
December 09 2012, 03:47PM
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Holy sh!t, Horak just absolutely laid a dman out who coughed up the puck, brodie fires the puck and Horak puts it in the net.

Wow.

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#10 jeremywilhelm
December 09 2012, 03:54PM
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Heat win 3-2. The Marlies were dominated for 50 minutes but got two weak goals to tie it up in the third until Roman Horak decided to make himself known and put up 3 points on the afternoon.

Kadri was a useless tit, and that made the game enjoyable for me.

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#12 jeremywilhelm
December 09 2012, 04:54PM
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@Kent Wilson

Invisible. Who knows what damage was done to the kids confidence and physically when the Marlies had him play 40+ games with a broken wrist.

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#13 Baalzamon
December 09 2012, 06:49PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

So does Colborne look as bad as his numbers?

maybe he was taken out of college too early..?

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