Marlies: Joe Colborne Revisited

I’m not going to get into the individual breakdown of skills here for Colborne, I gave my thoughts as to what kind of player he was and how getting to the net. I pointed out in that post about the range in which Colborne was expected to develop.

As it stands now, if the Leafs are rolling with the ‘x’ first line center, Grabovski, Kadri down the middle on the first three lines, there’s not a likely spot on the parent club for Colborne. At this point, it’s likely that he is being groomed for a lower roster spot that ex-GM Brian Burke alluded to when he pointed out a ‘Steckel-like’ development.

His usage in the face off dot and as a penalty killer may suggest that he’s honing his defensive game to become a lower roster player, too.

His offensive game would have to be moved to the wing – which could still happen – so let’s focus on that for a moment.

Colborne’s had a good run since the NHL re-opened their doors. In the 18 games since, scoring five goals and 10 assists (18-5-10-15).

Let’s break that down.

In the table below, are the scoring plays for Colborne since Jan 12, while the Marlies were on the road taking on the St. John’s Ice Caps, where one game was postponed due to inclement weather.

The takeaway here is the amount of point amassed on the power play. Four of five goals and seven of 10 assists. That makes 73% of his point totals gained with the man-advantage.

While playing at even strength, he’s been on the ice with Ryan Hamilton combining for one point. Hamilton also had nine more points on the power play in which Colborne garnered a point.

Other even-strength linemates are interesting too. Kenny Ryan has struggled, and Carter Ashton isn’t a prime offensive weapon either, while Spencer Abbott is speedy and talented with imagination, balanced with Jamie Devane’s fisticuffs and physical play.

It’s not too inspiring to see the lack of production at even strength. It could also be an issue of lining up with less imaginative linemates weighing him down in an offensive role. 

Per Time Goals Assist1 Assist2 Type
3rd 4:37 J. Colborne  K. Aucoin R. Hamilton PP
2nd 4:28 J. Colborne  N. Deschamps S. Gysbers PP
2nd 16:02 J. Colborne  J. Gardiner T. Connolly PP
1st 19:59 J. Colborne  M. Zigomanis R. Hamilton PP
2nd 5:43 J. Colborne  S. Abbott M. Mottau  
1st 2:35 P. Ranger  J. Colborne M. Zigomanis PP
1st 8:47 K. Aucoin  J. Colborne S. Abbott PP
1st 10:22 S. Abbott  J. Colborne P. Ranger PP
2nd 9:22 T. Connolly  J. Colborne R. Hamilton PP
2nd 5:43 S. Abbott  M. Mottau J. Colborne PP
3rd 7:03 T. Connolly  J. Gardiner J. Colborne PP
2nd 7:11 C. Ashton  K. Ryan J. Colborne  
2nd 14:17 J. Blacker  J. Gardiner J. Colborne  
3rd 6:50 R. Hamilton  D. Yeo J. Colborne  
2nd 11:10 J. Gardiner  T. Connolly J. Colborne PP

The graph shows the splits of on-ice players for goals for and against.

An interesting note, while he’s amassed 15 points, he’s been on the ice for 15 goals against.

Three were empty net goals while the Marlies were looking for an equalizer, and only one as a penalty killer. There were 11 goals in 18 games have come at even strength.

Over the weekend of February 23 and 24th, the Marlies hosted the Milwaukee Admirals and the St. John’s IceCaps going 1-1 on the weekend. I felt that colborne showed the best and worst of his ability.  He lined with Carter Ashton and Tim Connolly.

He showed more of a defensive stand, especially on Sunday versus the IceCaps (Sunday AHL games are tough to read since it’s usually at the end of a series of games and the enthusiasm and vigor may dip.)

He supported down low as defensemen were battling in the corner. He was used the first unit penalty killer and much more involved in the defensive zone. On Sunday, he played three shifts before the game was four minutes old

Some other notes from the weekend:

  • Excellent follow-through taking his man deep below the goal line and supporting the defense and covering the front of the net while defensemen battled.

  • Falling back into a default of the holding a stick waist high.

  • He carried the puck a lot from the outside, not getting a lot of insight penetration.

  • Considering his wrist injury, he actually showed a lot of stick and arm strength. If there are any lingering issues in regards to that I think that this game puts the line that they are over. Multiple occasions featured tough battles that required stick and arm strength.

  • Followed up a neutral zone checking scenario by taking his man deep into the Marlies zone. It didn’t save the goal, but it took the man right out of the passing opportunities if he was not there.

  • Interesting to see Tim Connolly being used as a penalty killer.

  • Marlies defenses that a good job clearing pucks as well. The typical Sunday afternoon game. Both seemed seemed tentative. Almost as if they want to just get this game out of the way. They were both tied with scoring chances and three at the end of the first came out and recorded on each of the first couple of minutes of the second. Ever since an early penalty and the second by Marty’s number 27 Jesse blacker saltines adjustment skating around on the outside driving very little into the inside or creating scoring chances.

  • Colborne still bunny hops off his first few steps as he tries to gain acceleration. He’s also playing the point on the power play along with Jay Gardner.

  • Colborne was standing off of the goal line on the right side on the two-man advantage.

  • Colborne rotated between center wing, with Tim Connolly taking face-offs in the defensive zone.

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