Last night, the Toronto Marlies lost game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals in a way that could make just about anyone’s heart break. Heck, even Habs or Sens fans would be upset with this, if they actually had hearts or souls to break. Jon Cooper, the head coach of the Norfolk Admirals, had this to say in his post-game press conference:
"I’m sick to my stomach for Scrivens. That was a tough break for the kid. But I’d obviously rather go in our favour instead of theirs."
In ovetime, on a shoot-in that was clearly offside, the puck took an odd bounce off a stanchion, and careened into an empty net, while playoff hero Ben Scrivens was out of his cage, waiting to corral the puck for his defenders. Check out the Game In Six here.
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"I would rather someone take a pair of steel-toed boots and hit me in a delicate region than lose like that" Dallas Eakins said after the game.
Although no one from the Marlies contested the goal at the time, it was unclear whether or not the goal should have stood under league rules.
Later, our dear friend James Mirtle confirmed via the league’s head office that the goal should not have counted. Unfortunate that such a call cannot be overturned.
To be honest, the Marlies were not the better team last night. Norfolk out-shot Toronto 31-21, and were dominant through the third and overtime periods. Of course, that doesn’t take much of the sting off of such a loss, but Leafs fans can still take heart in the good performances of players like Scrivens.
If there is something to be learned from this unfortunate situation, it’s that goalies should never play the puck if it’s being dumped in off the glass. If Scrivens waits this one out, he’s in his crease for an easy stop, and the play keeps on rolling. That said, I’m not exactly convinced that there is a whole lot more that Scivens can learn from playing in the AHL. He’s probably about as ready for the big league as he’s going to be.
As an aside, the goaltending situation in Toronto is becoming increasingly difficult to judge. Personally, I’d love to see both James Reimer and Ben Scrivens handed a decent amount of starts next season, but watching a team be torpedoed by terrible netminding is getting awfully old as well. Ultimately, I want competent goaltending, and I’m less keen on seeing a youngster shine than I am seeing a playoff game.
I will be attending the Marlies’ next game in Toronto on Saturday. Here’s hoping they can stave off elimination for at least another game.