TORONTO– Only five games remain in the regular season for the Toronto Marlies including three games in three days this weekend.
They will head to Grand Rapids to face the Griffins on Friday night before returning to Toronto on Saturday to host the Griffins in their final meeting of the season. Toronto will then entertain the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday in the final regular-season game at the Ricoh Coliseum.
Here’s are some notes and ramblings.
This will be the seventh weekend this season that Toronto plays three games in three days. So far they are 11-7-0 when they play three times in as many days…..The Marlies clinched first place in the North Division on Tuesday when the Rochester Americans fell to the Abbotsford Heat. The loss for Rochester secures Toronto’s first division title since 2007-08 and no worse then third spot in Western Conference playoff seedings…..Spencer Abbott, who signed last week with Toronto after finishing the year at the University of Maine, said that when he narrowed his choices of teams to sign with it came down to the Leafs and Calgary. Being from Hamilton, Ontario, he said, had a big part in the reason as to why he chose Toronto…..Jussi Rynnas is one of three goaltenders whose contract expires at the end of the season. While Jonas Gustavsson becomes a UFA, Ben Scrivens and Rynnas are RFA. Rynnas said after Wednesday’s practice that the Leafs and him have not talked yet about a contract for next season…..Josh Leivo has joined the Marlies after his junior club, the Sudbury Wolves, were eliminated from OHL playoffs. Also joining the Marlies, after his Mississauga Majors were eliminated from playoffs, is last year’s 25th overall pick, Stuart Percy. Percy said he recieved the phone call late Tuesday to come out for Wednesday’s practice…..Garret Sparks of the OHL Guelph Storm and Josh Nicholls of the WHL Saskatoon Blades, also bowed out in first-round action and could join the Marlies but it is unknown if that will happen…..Other Leafs’ prospects still in playoff action are Brad Ross-Portland Winterhawks, Sam Carrick-Brampton Battalion, Andrew Crescenzi-Kitchener Rangers, Greg McKegg-London Knights and Jamie Devane-Plymouth Whalers…..Ben Scrivens has had a week of achievements. First he was named AHL goaltender of the month after going 6-3-0 with a 1.40 GAA and .952 SV% along with three shutouts, then he was also selected by the Marlies as their IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the local community and charitable organizations.
Depending on how long Joe Colborne stays with the big club, seeing a Joey Crabb-Colborne-Matt Frattin line would be interesting. Colborne had chemistry with both of them, at separate times, this season while playing with the Marlies…..Before his call-up, Colborne was in his worst scoring drought of the season. Just two assists in his last 19 games has dropped him to sixth in prospect scoring. Marcel Mueller, Greg Scott, Jerry D’Amigo, Carter Ashton and Nazem Kadri all have passed him in the stats chart…..Right now, Ryan Hamilton (23), Ashton (20) and Scott (20) are the only members of the Marlies who have hit the 20 goal mark. If Mike Zigomanis (19) and Kadri (17) can hit it, that would be the most amount of 20-goal scorers the Marlies have had in one season since 2005-06 when they had seven…..Juraj Mikus went the first 49 games of the season without a goal, and also had a 34-game pointless streak that ended in February, but he has silently crept up the AHL leader board and sits eighth with a plus-22…..13 men have suited up on the Marlies blue line and they are a combined plus-66. In fact, the only minus player of any defenceman to play this season for the Marlies was Keith Aulie at minus-8…..Dale Mitchell, who was traded away to the Anaheim Ducks organization on trade-deadline day for Mark Fraser, has been reunited in the ECHL with the Leafs affiliate, the Reading Royals. Ducks farm club, the Syracuse Crunch, loaned him to the Royals for their playoff run after he suited up in only two games for the Crunch…..The Marlies are the third-most penalized team of any Western Conference club who currently qualifies for the post-season. Fortunately their penalty kill continues to dominate at an 87.1% efficiency, which is best in the entire league…..The Marlies are scoring 2.89 goals-per game and are on pace for 217 goals, which is 11 fewer than last season when they missed the playoffs. The big difference is that this year they are on pace to allow 46 fewer goals against…..Brian Burke’s first move as GM of the Leafs was trading for Brad May. His second move; acquiring Ryan Hamilton from the Minnestoa Wild for Robbie Earl.