I now hate Albany more than any other city in America (and Canada) !!
A brutally tough loss in overtime this evening, has the Toronto Marlies trailing the Albany Devils 2-1 in the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Not that my hatred for Albany is all on them, but they sure don’t help their case with the rat like behaviour they display on the ice.
Having said that, this loss rests squarely on the Special Teams performance who managed to go 0 for 8 on the powerplay and managed to give up TWO shorthanded goals in the process. If that wasn’t bad enough, the player who scored one of the shorties (Lappin) to tie the game, won this freakin’ game on the powerplay in extra time (Carrick penalty).
Antoine Bibeau certainly did his part between the pipes for the Marlies as the Devils team put 39 shots on the young goaltender. Positionally sound all evening long, and playing the puck like a third defenceman, Bibeau did everything that he could to get the Marlies a road victory but it was all for naught.
Scoring for the Toronto team was Josh Leivo, and William Nylander. Leivo tied the game at one goal apiece on a WEAK shot that managed to find its way through Scott Wedgewood, who started for the Devils again this evening.
After the Devils took yet another penalty, William Nylander gave the Marlies the lead and it appeared to be the game winning goal until the Marlies did the unthinkable. They drew another powerplay with just over a minute remaining in the game.
What came next feels like something only Leafs/Marlies fans can experience in life. After several scrambling moments in the middle of the rink and the Devils net empty, the Marlies failed to clear the puck (and had several chances to do so) until the frozen biscuit managed to make its way back to the point and was jammed home on a rebound. Toronto players were guilty of not manhandling the Devils players in order to ensure this doesn’t happen and it makes me sick to see how soft hockey can be played in the final minute of a playoffs game.
Stuart Percy led the way with a +2 on the evening, until he was destroyed in the corner (no call, not that the PP would have been successful) on a cross check from behind. Percy has had several concussions in his career and this one had the look of being exactly that. If Percy cannot play, will Andrew Nielsen or Travis Dermott get the call from Coach Sheldon Keefe? Unsure what decisions will be made at this point, but let us all hope that Stuart Percy is ok and not severely concussed as he appeared to be.
Marlies and the Devils get back to work on Tuesday May 10th at 7pm in Albany again. This might not be a must win game but it is as close as you can get.
Hang in there Marlies fans….this isn’t over, not by a longshot.