Pair of quick goals delivers another Marlies loss

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From repeating forces, to division leaders, to still above 0.500, to starting to run out of rope before this becomes a disaster… the Toronto Marlies are in bad shape right now. Once again, the team succumbed to defeat on Friday night, falling 4-2 to the Albany Devils.

What’s unfortunate about tonight’s effort, in particular, is that Toronto actually had an early lead in this one. Just 2:48 into the first period, a give and go by Travis Dermott and Rich Clune eventually led to a wide open shot for Colin Greening, who buried his fifth of the season. But that only lasted ten minutes. With Milan Michalek in the box for a trip, John Quenneville inevitably put Albany back at an even score with just one of the Devils’ 16 first-period shots. 

Also, this scary moment went down involving Reece Scarlett’s skate and Viktor Loov’s face:


Toronto had a better second period, edging their opponents out in shots, and were eventually rewarded for their efforts with a powerplay goal of their own; for the second consecutive game, Brendan Leipsic and Kasperi Kapanen found their way to the scoreboard, this time by setting up Andrew Neilsen for a point shot. But then this happened, in the span of a few seconds.


Look, I can’t totally throw Jhonas Enroth under the bus here. Toronto were outshot 35-24 in this one, overwhelmed in the first and third periods, and he still ended the game with a save percentage above 0.900. But things still aren’t looking good for the veteran netminder, who is trying to claw his way back into the NHL. Brian Sexton’s goal came 57 seconds after Nielsen’s, and Quenneville’s second came 52 after that. Toronto’s chances of victory were almost entirely deflated at that point, and capped off with a literal last-second empty netter.

The Marlies’ record falls to 13-15-1-1 on the season, good for a points percentage of 0.467; that’s 10th in the Eastern Conference, or about six points out of a playoff spot. Their goal differential is also now in the red, slipping to -1.  Their next pair of games come on January 3rd and 4th in Winnipeg against the Manitoba moose.