While tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Admirals hasn’t finished yet, the out-of-town scoreboard has done the damage required to send the Toronto Marlies to the Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Lake Erie Monsters, who were eliminated from contention with a loss last night, defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs by a score of 6-3 this evening. As such, Toronto’s long-time rivals are now incapable of earning more than 82 pionts, which is one fewer than the Marlies had going into tonight.
After a putrid 5-12-2 start to the season, the Marlies have been one of the AHL’s hottest teams in the past few months. The additions of William Nylander, TJ Brennan, Byron Froese, and Brandon Leipsic have certainly helped the team out a bunch; while solid goaltending and surprising contribution across the board has put them over the top.
The Marlies could theoretically finish as high as sixth place in the Western Conference, though this will probably change by the time you read this. While they won’t win the North Division for the first time since 2012, this will be Toronto’s fourth consecutive playoff appearance.
“The Marlies were a team that many wrote off and left for dead at many different points this season.” said Leafs assistant General Manager Kyle Dubas. “What the entire group has been able to accomplish, working its way from last place back to a playoff spot, with the youngest roster in the American Hockey League, has been wonderful to watch. As exciting as this has been to watch for management, it should serve to excite the city of Toronto and Maple Leaf fans everywhere knowing what this group of young Maple Leaf prospects were able to accomplish this spring”.
The Calder Cup Playoffs begin on April 20th.
Photo courtesy of Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com