After making some ill-advised comments on his goalie Facebook group last week, it was announced on Saturday that Marlies goaltender, Garret Sparks would be suspended indefinitely.
Sparks had some terse words for a fellow facebook user, and defended a verbal attack on a disabled person. These comments were not received well by Social Media, and eventually Leafs management.
Full details on the story from Kristen Shilton of TSN, who talked to Head Coach Sheldon Keefe, post game on Saturday.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) November 27, 2016
Prior to those comments, the Marlies played their first of four games this season at the Air Canada Centre, by facing the Utica Comets.
With a solid, and boisterous crowd of 8700 fans, the Marlies jumped out to an early lead and never really looked back.
Tobias Lindberg opened the scoring by going directly to the net (into the crease in fact) to tap home a pass from Colin Smith after an excellent zone entry.
Trevor Moore made it 2-0 for the home team after jumping on a puck from Milan Michalek. The Marlies dominated the play (and shots on goal) until Brendan Leipsic scored his 6th of the season to make it 3-0.
Utica would eventually score a goal to make it 3-1 but First Star of the game Colin Smith scored in the third period for his 3rd point game and to put this one out of reach of a comeback for Utica.
Jeff Glass got his first start since joining the Leafs Organization (after returning from the KHL this summer) and looked very comfortable between the pipes. Early in the game, he appeared to be a bit nervous and tight but eventually settled into a good rhythm and was positionally sound all afternoon.
Will be interesting to see what path the Marlies choose between the pipes for the rest of the season.
“It’s a super talented group and we’ve got a ton of skill and we’re really well coached. I think that we’ve got potential to do really good things this year, so that’s why I’m happy to be a part of this and contribute any way I can. When the guys are moving, they’re moving really fast. They’ve got a lot of skill and it’s fun to watch.”
Jeff Glass, Marlies Goaltender
On Friday evening the Toronto Marlies took to the road to Syracuse to visit the Crunch.
Kasperi Kapanen continues to play strong hockey for the Marlies this season by opening the scoring with his 9th of the season. He must be considered if any scoring help is needed for the NHL Leafs, but a solid year in the AHL will truly serve him best moving forward in his career.
Goals by Byron Froese and Colin Greening gave the Marlies a 3-0 lead but a failure to put Syracuse away even further would cost them two points in this game.
The Marlies lost the lead, and eventually the game in overtime, by not adhering to solid defensive play, and allowing Syracuse any dream of coming back. These are lessons that are painfully learned in the NHL as well as the AHL. It is a ton more appealing to win hockey games, as opposed to sitting on a bus back from ‘Murica after choking on a large lead. That just will not sit well beside your chick’n parm.
After giving up 5 goals on 33 shots, Antoine Bibeau’s statistics have come back to earth. The hot start to the season has cooled off to tepid and its a situation that will be continually monitored by Marlies management.
Is Sparks a vital part moving forward? Can Bibeau gain consistency of high levels of play? Is the journeyman, Jeff Glass going to be the calming influence the Marlies need between the pipes?
Lots of fun as always around the Marlies at the ACC from a personal perspective. Hearing that Sparks has been suspended early on Saturday but having to wait until later that day to discuss it, is one of the fun aspects of behind the scenes. Also, running into Todd Crocker and McGill again is worth the price of admission. So many MSM faces that I respect were around the ACC, one day I will talk to Elliotte. Guy exudes class even in the buffet line in the media room. I am fortunate to get an opportunity to see so much of it from a fans perspective if you ever have any questions please feel free to ask.
On a further personal note, I was finally given my full-time media credentials for the Marlies. While we have only had access for just over a year, I will continue to commute into Toronto to help paint a picture of the youth of this organization, and what goes on around the rink.
Thanks as always for your support…..CoCo OUT !