Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com
The Toronto Marlies continued their utter domination of the American Hockey League this week, winning three consecutive games against Syracuse and Utica to bolster their near-0.800 record. At this point, domination has evolved from a surprise to an expectation. It’s always nice to see an individual have a stretch where they take over, though; much like Mark Arcobello had this week. His efforts were so above and beyond that they earned him player of the week honours from the league.
Arcobello started his week off with a first-star performance against the Syracuse Crunch, in which he scored two game-equalizing goals in the third period to go with an assist on Viktor Loov’s first-period tally. He followed this up with a goal and an assist in both Saturday and Sunday’s games against the Utica Comets. In total, he finished the five-day stretch up with four goals, three assists, ten shots, and a +6 rating.
Arcobello’s performance this week provides him some serious ground in the American Hockey League scoring race. While Marlies defenceman TJ Brennan continues to lead all skaters with 42 points in 43 games, he hasn’t quite scored at Arcobello’s pace. The 27-year-old’s 37 points in 30 games put him firmly in the 5th position despite playing fewer games than almost everybody else in the top 15. The only exception to the rule is 11th place William Nylander, who led the league with 34 points in 27 games when he last played suited up.
This surge of secondary offence from Arcobello likely benefits both the team and himself. Along with giving them a third elite scoring option at this level, it also serves as a reminder to every NHL team that the native of Milford, Connecticut might still have something to contribute to them. While he’s been pointless in the eleven games that he’s played with the Leafs this year, he’s both been the victim of some bad puck luck and placed in more defensively driven situations. We are, after all, talking about a player who is a year removed from scoring 17 goals across multiple bottom-feeder NHL teams. Continued success might be the key for him getting another shot, whether it’s with the Leafs, via trade, or next season through free agency.
Arcobello is the second Marlies player to receive Player of the Week honours this season, following in the footsteps of Garret Sparks, who was given the nod in November. This is just the second time in the eleven season history of the Marlies that the team has had multiple winners; Nazem Kadri and Drew MacIntyre were both recognized in 2012/13. It’s also not the first time that Arcobello has won it; he was also recognised in March of 2014 as a member of the Oklahoma City Barons.
Other Marlies to win the award include Jiri Tlusty, Tim Stapleton, Alex Foster, Jussi Rynnas, Joey Crabb, TJ Brennan, and Brendan Leipsic. As is tradition, Arcobello will receive a nice piece of etched crystal on January 30th before the Marlies take on the Binghamton Senators.