The Toronto Marlies begin their playoff chase next week and I for one plan to journey down to the Ricoh Coliseum to see what is shaking.
My reasons are both complex and startingly simple. There are precisely 10. Here they are.
Ricoh Coliseum has what may be the world’s largest puck sticking out of an end wall. Would have liked to have seen who fired that sucker.
Justin Pogge is coming off his second and most successful AHL season, With a .908 save percentage and a 2.34 goals against, you can make a great argument that Pogge is NHL ready after only two seasons. You decide.
You can get tickets to My Fair Lady on the Marlies website. Try that trick on the Leafs site.
Jiri Tlusty had a four-point night (two goals, two assists) in his first game back with the Marlies. Tlusty is a magician with the puck and his tenure (games) in the NHL left him prepared to dazzle in the AHL.
The roster is well-stocked with young players who made cameos with the Leafs this season including Alex Foster, Kris Newbury, Robbie Earl and Staffan Kronwall.
The Marlies have plenty of stories. Kronwall’s Dad worked for ABBA as a business manager until his mother insisted he quit to be closer to his kids. Foster spent his younger years in Detroit, where his dad, Dwight, played for the Red Wings. Dwight would hector a Red Wings rookie into babysitting Alex. The rookie’s name was Steve Yzerman who would park his Ferrari in the driveway and watch television with the kids.
No Aki Berg.
Marlies stand 48-20-3 and have 103 points. That’s the third best record in the American League.
The Marlies come at you in waves. They have 11 players in double figures for goalscoring.