MGD: Let the Games Begin

Jeff Veillette
April 23 2016 12:33PM

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Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com

Winning 54 games is great and all, but you know what would be really nice? Winning 69 games. The Toronto Marlies will begin their push towards the Calder Cup tonight when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in Game 1 of their first-round series. Here's what you need to know.

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Series Preview: Toronto Marlies vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Jeff Veillette
April 22 2016 09:22AM

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Photo of Garret Sparks via Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com. Photo of Christopher Gibson via HartfordWolfPack.com

It's time for the Toronto Marlies to start playing meaningful hockey again. If we're being honest about things, the team has been able to coast with a minimum required effort since taking over the first seed from Wilkes-Barre in mid-December. "Typical Marlies Hockey" began to form, where the team appeared to spend 45 minutes experimenting with new ideas before securing the a win, no matter what the score was when they flipped the switch. They come into the playoffs as arguably the best team in AHL history; certainly, they have the third-best record of all time.

But none of that matters if they can't execute. Remember, this is the same team that was the hottest team in the AHL heading into last year's playoffs, only to get reverse swept by the Grand Rapids Griffins. This year, they'll kick things off against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in what should be an interesting series.

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Does Nazem Kadri make an impact on the game with his penalties?

Jeff Veillette
April 21 2016 10:24AM

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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski /USA TODAY SPORTS

Nazem Kadri is going to get paid, and paid in a fashion that works out pretty well for both sides. The 25-year-old centre was locked down to a 6-year, $27 million contract last week, a move so shrewd that even Kadri's biggest critics mostly applauded the decision.

But before that all went down, I spent some time wondering what secondary components of his game would be considered valuable to the team. With all the controversy regarding referees "putting away their whistles" and Kadri getting fined for embellishment in early April, I decided to look at the impact that the "pest" side of his game was having on the games themselves.

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How the 2015/16 Marlies have set the bar for AHL teams moving forward

Jeff Veillette
April 20 2016 06:59AM

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Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com

Many thought that the Toronto Marlies were going to be a contender in the American Hockey League this year, but not many expected them to be this good. I predicted in October that they'd be able to dominate the league and were probably going to score the most goals in the AHL, but a 0.750 record? That's practically unprecedented. 

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Marlies close off regular season with pair of victories

Jeff Veillette
April 17 2016 08:15PM

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Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com

With neither team having anything to lose or gain, this weekend's regular season finale series against the Rochester Americans was a bit of an interesting one for the Toronto Marlies. They couldn't fall below the one seed; Rochester couldn't rise into the playoffs. Despite that, both teams looked to end things off on a high note, and it was ultimately the superpower that saw success in both games.

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