Unfortunately, I don’t have a new storyline for you tonight. There isn’t anybody who had their coming out party, or is sliding into your stat sheet with a quiet streak. The Toronto Marlies are good right now, and they’re showing that off in a very obvious way. In last night’s case, it was a 6-1 win over the Binghamton Senators; a team that previously provided them their only significant loss of the season. Let’s look at the game that was.
William Nylander scored again? Wow, that’s really surprising. Okay, not really. This isn’t just a good shot for the AHL, this is an elite NHL release. It’s a shot that I’d expect out of a prime Alexander Semin, not out of a 19-year-old in the minors. After tonight’s game, Nylander moved up to 14 points in 12 games, good for 4th in the AHL and an 88 point pace over 76 games (getting closer to 100!).
Rinat Valiev is finally starting to pick up some points; that’s an assist in consecutive games for the rookie. He breaks into the zone with a controlled carry and makes the safe play by passing it to nearby Casey Bailey. Bailey finds Andrew Campbell, who at this rate might quintuple his career high in goals by the end of the year.
Guillaume Lepine tries to swing the momentum back in his team’s favour by dropping the gloves with Justin Johnson. He starts off well, but as you can see, is clearly unsuccessful in his endevours. I’m beginning to question the sanity of anybody who takes Johnson on; he looks like the real-life representation of a “heavy” from Nintendo Ice Hockey, and gets bonuses based on his teammates succeeding. I don’t think he’ll have much problem focusing his energy into making his punch-driven opponents regret their decisions.
Richard Panik was racking up a ton of assists to start his season and has now begun contributing to the scoresheet in a more direct matter. This goal is so ridiculously nonchalant, and it’s also his second as many games. It also comes just a minute after the scrap, so Lepine’s attempt at a momentum shifter didn’t quite work.
Zach Hyman may be the one outlier in the list of Toronto contributors in this game as he’s struggled a bit out of the gate. Prior to tonight, he had no goals to his name and three assists in ten games. Finally, though, he picks up his first professional tally with a nice move in front of the slot. I’ve still got some decent faith that he’ll pick up more of these throughout the year; when he turns on the jets, he’s one of the team’s shiftiest skaters.
This was a high event game, with both teams hitting the double digits in shots in all three periods. It was only a matter of time before the Senators managed to beat Garret Sparks, and they did with this extremely odd set of bounces in the third period. He did, however, manage to stop the other 34 shots, bringing his save percentage back up to 0.932.
TJ Brennan’s release on this shot is so quick that I had to slow down the clip to half-speed to effectively show it. It’s a great response to a faceoff win by Sam Carrick, who returned to the lineup after serving his three-game suspension.
If you thought the last goal was quick, Brennan’s second goal, which also came from the point just two and a half minutes later, was even worse. Binghamton’s cameraman isn’t even ready for it to come; before we get to see the far right point, the puck is already in the net. This goal bumps Brennan to 12 points in as many games, tying him for 7th in AHL scoring. Not bad for a defenceman.
In conclusion, the Toronto Marlies once again did all the things that many claimed that they expected them to do while making hyperbolic statements on social media. It’s a little early to say that this league is theirs for the taking, but with a goal differential of +22 at the 13 game mark, you begin to wonder.