Thursday, April 23, 2009

Even More Maple Leafs In The Playoffs!

Some of the Maple Leafs are still playing playoff hockey. 11 players who dressed for the big club this season will be lacing up their skates for the Marlies tonight in their pivotal Game Five match-up against the Manitoba Moose. Any Leaf fans attending the game will be automatically familiar with about half the Marlies playoff line-up, which features a combined total experience of 205 NHL games with the Leafs this year.

Jonas Frogren
The Viking returns from a knee-injury suffered March 7th against Edmonton. I like Frogren a lot, but the NHL has banged him up a bit in his first season, and getting a chance to help the Marlies in the playoffs may be an opportunity for him to show Burke what kind of physical resilience he has.

41 games with the Leafs. 1G 6A 7P, 28PiM.
Played in his first game with the Marlies Tuesday night without impacting on the scoresheet.

Justin Pogge
The upcoming games in this series are a big test for Pogge. If the Marlies can upset the Moose and Pogge can get them into the next round it will be hugely beneficial to his confidence. On the other hand, should they lose 2 out of their next 3 games and have their season end, Pogge will be back to square one, with little or no progression to show for the year.

7 games with the Leafs. 1-4-1, 4.36GAA, .844 SV%.
53 games with the Marlies. 26-21-5, 2.70GAA,, .895SV%.
After 4 playoff games, Pogge is 2 wins, 2 losses, 2.70GAA and .911 SV%.

Ryan Hollweg
Hollweg made a name for himself early on this season by hitting opponents from behind and then getting beat up. His AHL stats are pretty much the same as his NHL stats.

25 games with the Leafs. oG 2A 2P, 38PiM.
28 games with the Marlies. 2G 1A 3P, 34PiM.
No points in 4 playoff games and 6 penalty minutes.

Ben Ondrus
To be honest, I don't think I could really tell the difference between Ondrus, Sifers, or Oreskovic if they weren't wearing uniforms with numbers and their names on the backs. I think Sifers is the one I like but  maybe it's Oreskovic. They all have decent numbers at the AHL level but none of them managed to make a significant impact with the Leafs. Ondrus distinguished himself slightly from the other 2 by dropping the gloves more often, while Oreskovic can play a solid, stay-at-home physical game.

11 games with the Leafs. 0G 0A 0P, 38PiM. 
57 games with the Marlies. 10G 7A 17P, 83PiM.
No points in 4 playoff games. 2 penalty minutes.

Jamie Sifers
23 games with the Leafs. 0G 2A 2P, 18PiM.
43 games with the Marlies. 4G 16A 20P, 47PiM.
Appeared in 2 playoff games so far, with no points and 2 penalty minutes.

Phil Oreskovic
10 games with the Leafs. 1G 1A 2P, 21PiM.
65 games with the Marlies. 1G 10A 11P, 103PiM.
No points in the playoffs after 4 games and 12 penalty minutes.

Andre Deveaux
I liked Deveaux at first but NHL competition seemed to wear him down after 20 games. I remember he gave a good effort though as the Leafs were desperate for some toughness before the arrival of May. His numbers for the Marlies are pretty good for a tough guy, but he has to be careful not to hurt his own team at important times. Tuesday night in Game Four, Deveaux was singled out by the coach for undisciplined penalties.

21 games with the Leafs. 0G 1A 1P, 75PiM.
38 games with the Marlies. 14G 11A 25P, 114PiM.
3 assists in 4 playoff games and 12 penalty minutes.

Jeremy Williams
Williams is a natural goal-scorer but for some reason he's been unable to convince Toronto management that he belongs on the big club. Injury trouble has slowed him down a bit this season, and so far he's yet to hit the back of the net in the playoffs. Heading into tonight's important match, Williams' confidence might also be hurt by his own "dumb mistakes" in Game Four.

11 games with the Leafs. 5G 2A 7P, 2PiM.
46 games with the Marlies. 27G 13A 40P, 29PiM.
1 assist and 4 penalty minutes after 4 playoff games.

Tim Stapleton
Stapleton looks like a nice kid. Scored a beauty shoot-out goal when he was up for his brief stay with the Leafs. He can certainly score in the AHL, but so far in the playoffs is having a quiet series with just one goal and no assists.

4 games with the Leafs. 1G 0A 1P, 0PiM.
70 games with the Marlies. 28G 51A 79P, 26PiM.
1 goal no assists and 2 penalty minutes in 4 playoff games.

Jiri Tlusty
Tlusty was up with the Leafs for the first 14 games of the season and did absolutely nothing for 11 games, then had his first 3 assists all at once in a 6-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, assisting on all 3 goals for Jason Blake's hat-trick against his former coach. Tlusty earned another assist in the very next game and then played one more game for the Leafs and that was it. He has since spent the rest of the season developing with the Marlies, and has become one of their key contributors, averaging a point per game.

14 games with the Leafs. 0G 4A 4P, 0PiM.
66 games with the Marlies. 25G 41A 66P, 26PiM.
In 4 playoff games, 1 goal, 2 assists for 3 points, and zero penalty minutes.

Anton Stralman
Stralman was with the Leafs for nearly half the season, and played pretty well. Nothing spectacular, but he didn't stand out as particularly weak or vulnerable either. His stats aren't bad considering he should still be developing and getting better, and of all the defenceman on the Marlies, Stralman could have the inside track on a permanent job next season with the Maple Leafs.

38 games with the Leafs. 1G 12A 13P, 20PiM.
36 games with the Marlies. 7G 9A 16P, 24PiM.
After 4 playoff games, 2 assists and zero penalty minutes.

So there may be only a couple games left for the Marlies and tonight might be the last home game of the year. If you're in Toronto, I urge you to see what you can do to get down to the Ricoh and cheer on our beloved Blue and White. Wear your Leaf jersey. After all, 11 of these guys have worn Leaf jerseys this season too.


Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

General, I am really, really excited to see Tlusty with the Leafs next season. If this guy can continue to develop, who's to say he can't become a Parise-type player? He's bigger and stronger than Zac, and he can skate, too. Tlusty has the potential to really help turn this franchise around. I really can't wait.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

Oh, and I mention Parise not for any real reason particularly. He was drafted 17th overall by NJ (they really know how to do that whole drafting thing), and has become an elite player. Parise spent the lockout year in the AHL, and put up 58 points in 73 games. Solid, but no indication that he'd rip up the NHL. So, he just blossomed.

Tlusty was drafted 13th overall, and I'm just excited as hell after seeing what he did in the AHL this year. Hopefully he can blossom much like Parise did.

general borschevsky said...

Always a pleasure when you drop by, eyebleaf. Parise is a very good player and a good comparison that I hadn't thought of. If Tlusty can find that kind of consitency at the NHL level it would be very exciting for Leaf fans.


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