January 11, 2014
TORONTO- Peter Holland only needed two shifts in his first game with the Marlies to make an impression on his new teammates.
Holland scored a power-play goal just 3:02 into the first period on Friday as Toronto edged the host St. John’s IceCaps 3-2 in AHL action.
“Peter Holland got our game puck,” Marlies head coach Steve Spott told LeafsTV post game. “He was great.”
“It was nice (to score) and kind of settle me down a bit,” said Holland.
On Saturday Holland added two more goals for the Marlies as they dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to the IceCaps in the second half of a back-to-back in St. John’s.
Both goals came in the third period when Toronto was trailing and the second one forced extra time.
The 22-year-old, who was acquired by Toronto in November in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks, was demoted on Jan. 7 after playing 22 games with the Maple Leafs.
While he showed the potential to play in a top-six role, a game with two goals and an assist in 19:22 of ice time against the Blackhawks on Dec.14, he was being used on the fourth line and logged just 4:30 of ice time on seven shifts in his final game.
With the Marlies the fourth line is not an option as they have needed a player with his offensive talent ever since Trevor Smith was recalled in November.
Understanding Holland’s skill set, Spott didn’t hesitate to insert him on the top line with Wade MacLeod and Spencer Abbott. In two games together the three have combined for four goals and eight points.
“He played very well with Wade and Spencer Abbott,” Spott said Friday. “That was a good line for us.”
“It’s definitely easier (to come down) when you’re playing with guys like that,” added Holland. “It’s not easy to create chemistry right away but those guys made it easy.”
As long as Holland is with the Marlies, he will play in the top six and be relied on to score.
It’s the role he’s best suited for as he’s proven his ability to produce already, scoring 50 goals and 114 points in 129 games with the Ducks’ minor-league system prior to joining Toronto.
“Obviously you like to get on the score sheet, being on the top six it’s definitely a role to help the team to produce offensively,” said Holland.
If the Leafs choose to bring up Holland again this season, they will have to take into account that if he plays 25 games that the 2014 third-round pick given to Anaheim in the November trade will become a second-round pick.
*Updated January 12, 2014 with added information