I don’t think that this member of the Toronto Marlies is very happy. First off, he got a penalty. Secondly, the penalty box man clearly is doing some sort of dark magic, stripping the name off the back of his jersey and swapping all of his equipment with painfully generic goods. But mostly, he got a penalty.
Whoever this totally not-a-member-of-Charlotte-Game-Ops player is, they’re probably feeling pretty mixed about these two games.
The first game of this back-to-back was the only one played in the AHL on Thursday night, and it was one that landed in Toronto’s favour. Josh Leivo opened the scoring late in the first period, and though Zach Boychuk tied it up, Connor Brown and Carter Ashton also scored to set the blue and white apart. Victor Loov added an empty netter in the game’s dying minutes.
On Friday, both teams opted for different goaltenders; a battle of Christopher GIbson and John Muse instead of Antoine Bibeau and former Marlies starter Drew MacIntyre. Toronto actually played one of the best games I’ve seen them play this season, outshooting Charlotte 37-22. However, only Connor Brown was able to find the back of the net for Toronto as the game took the exact opposite turn of the night before, with Charlotte scoring the first, third, and fourth goals before adding a last-minute empty netter.
I’m going to go with Connor Brown and Josh Leivo. They were the only two to get on the score sheet in both games, and they were pretty active in both games. Brown took a total of five shots and scored two goals, while Leivo hit the net a whopping eleven times and tallied a goal and two helpers.
A single game mini-Warrior can also be given to Carter Ashton for Thursday; he scored his first “legitimate” goal of the season and looked pretty good on the whole.
Antoine Bibeau made 28 saves on 29 shots Thursday, whereas Christopher Gibson stopped 18 of 21 on Friday. They’re back to a two way battle for supremecy, with Garret Sparks returning to the ECHL. If small samples make a difference, Bibeau gets a boost.
“DID WILLIAM NYLANDER PLAY THOUGH???” has been asked a lot on Twitter. He’s not expected to make his debut until the Marlies head to Hamilton. We’re still in the pre-Snizzbone era.
Tonight’s loss was the first point-less game for the Marlies in ten outings. They’re getting dangerously close to a playoff spot now.
The Marlies were a combined one for six on the powerplay and four for six on the penalty kill. Tonight’s game was particularly bad, as they went two for three on the kill and were blanked in four opportunities.
Tyler Biggs fought Keegan Lowe tonight. This explains why Brian Burke drafted him all those years ago.
The Marlies return to the ice on Friday, against Hamilton. It’ll be in Hamilton, but they’ll be back home the following day.