The Toronto Marlies needed Game 1 to be a serious wake up call. Winning 5-1 is nice, but if you replay a game where you get outshot 50-19 a hundred times, I doubt you get many more wins, let alone by four goals. They needed to take more control of tonight’s game, and they needed to be more disciplined to keep themselves from being on the penalty kill for a significant chunk of it. To there credit, there were a few moments where that happened, but for the bulk of it, the team repeated their issues. This time, they weren’t bailed out by miraculous goaltending, and lost their first game of the playoffs.
The start of this game showcased the Marlies having the opposite of control and discipline. Within six minutes, both Greg McKegg and Dylan Yeo headed to the box and put Toronto on the penalty kill. In between the two disadvantages, however, Jerry D’Amigo streaked into the offensive zone and scored his fifth of the playoffs to open the scoring. It was Toronto’s only shot in the first ten minutes, while the Stars put a whopping 12 on net. The game eventually began to even up, but just as it did, Petter Granberg effectively punched Mike Hedden and got sent to the box for elbowing. On this penalty kill, Brett Ritchie tied the game for Texas, easily putting in a cross crease wrister. A few minutes later, Carter Ashton put his team down a man once again with some extra-curricular shoving, but it didn’t turn into anything before the buzzer.
The Marlies did a bit better in terms of getting to the net in the second period, but still found themselves chasing the Stars. Just before the midway mark, Scott Glennie put in a gimme that put the blue and white behind for the first time in the entire playoffs. That only lasted about six minutes, however, as Josh Leivo converted on a scramble to tie the game back up. This was just the beginning for a back and forth second period, as Ritchie added his second of the night three minutes later, Peter Holland almost immediately responded, only to be one-upped by Chris Mueller. The clock ran out with the Marlies trailing for the first time in 28 periods.
With six minutes remaining in the third period, Glennie returned to the score sheet, scoring his third of the night on Texas’s third immediate attempt at a sprawling MacIntyre. It was an exclamation point on another Stars-controlled period. MacIntyre headed for the bench with three minutes to go in regulation, but Toronto failed to convert. Travis Morin added an empty netter to seal the deal.
- Drew MacIntyre looked very good once again. I’m not exactly sure what he could have done on any of those goals. All five of them were scored from the slot, with the first three of those being products of cross-crease passes. He ended up with 46 saves on 51 shots. I don’t know if MacIntyre or Spott is going to be the one most disappointed in the defensive effort tonight.
- Jerry D’Amigo is just racking up points out there. He’s now up to 5 goals and 13 points in nine games, or a point for every million hairs in his beard.
- That’s a whopping 102 shots against in two games. I don’t think there’s a single person that will consider that excusable, and needs to change as soon as possible if they want to win the series.
- Toronto’s playoff “lead or tie” streak lasted 512:05, ending with the first Glennie goal. It was their first time trailing since Josh Leivo tied the April 19th game against Rochester at 5:32 into the third period.
- Discipline, discipline, discipline. These guys are facing the least penalized team at this level, and one that is deadly on the powerplay. Giving them opportunities isn’t the best plan. I get there’s a bit of attempted intimidation going on, but at least from from my perspective, it isn’t doing a ton for them.
- Now, on the subject of how the special teams performed, Toronto went 1 for 5 on the powerplay, and killed 6 of 7 powerplays. So, not terrible, but the powerplay couldn’t retain much zone time and the penalty kill barely escaped. Putting yourself into a position where you spend an extra ten minutes in the defensive zone is never good.
- Game three is at Ricoh Coliseum. It’s a 7PM start, and it’s $5 beer night. If hockey isn’t enough incentive for you to show up, and this doesn’t help, I don’t know what to tell you.
Photo courtesy of @TexasStars