Tale of the Stick Tape
6’4 (not including 11′ stick)
Toronto – NHL
2016/17 25gms 1g 6a 7pts +3
Advanced stats per @HockeyAnalysis
Where to begin with Martin Marincin. Originally a 2nd round pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft by the Edmonton Oilers, Marincin was acquired by Toronto for a 4th round pick in 2015. Polarizing is the word oft used to describe players who are appreciated by one group and criticized by the other, and by definition that might as well make Marty the North Bean Pole. Marincin has long been a point of reference in the analytics community as a defenseman who doesn’t always pass the eye test but has strong underlying numbers. What the numbers show is that Marincin consistently is on the ice for more shots for and goals for than against. His long stick makes entry into the zone extremely difficult. With the importance of the neutral zone today I think that’s one area Marincin doesn’t get his recognition by detractors. It’s a low event area of course but breaking up plays under attack is a nice attribute. And I should mention Babcock called Marincin the team’s best penalty killer. He’s shown at times like the end of 2015/16 and at times in the playoffs this year the dude can play. But, and here’s the but, there’s more to the numbers. So that was the good.
For the Leafs #52, to be quite honest, well there’s a bit of a rain cloud following him around. We talk about luck a lot these days and bad luck sticks close to the Czech born blueliner. After a while it’s more than chance. There’s a propensity to make the wrong play at an inopportune juncture and eventually it becomes intrinsic. That’s the fear here and as for the stupidly named “eye test”, Marincin’s intensity level can bring tears to them. There’s a frustration about him that’s hard to ignore. You can’t deny no matter who you are there’s a softness to his play. Now could Marincin develop into a quality player the coach says when he has his confidence is a fine defender? Maybe. But at this point are the Leafs really going wait to see? It’s go time right now for the franchise and yes, Marincin’s numbers are whatever they are, good. But what isn’t all that grand is his vibe in general. The Buds are measuring at a record high in the mojo department and Marincin is a little lacking, everyone’s not warm. I’m trolling a few of you with the mojo stuff but not necessarily. There were two plays in Game 6 you can’t hide behind. Could’ve happened to anyone. But it didn’t. So what’s the feeling in the room? Is this gonna be a guy players end up rolling there eyes at if turnovers mount? What’s the coach’s thoughts, is he willing to keep working with the lanky Marincin. It’s hard to shake your previous errors sometimes and I hope that he does get the clouds away because there’s decent qualities. If he plays well people will come around. On the flip side, when do you cut bait and just kinda go in another direction. If you’ve seen enough of him in Toronto you are more than entitled. I’m where I should be here as moderator, right on the fence. Do you keep him around as good depth with still a chance to toughen up a bit and settle into a shutdown type role, or do you just say fuck it I’ve had my fill with Marty. Beauty of this is it’s up to you.
Toronto – AHL
72gms 8 g 11 a 19 pts +5
Justin Holl kind of just showed up. A free agent out of Chicago, Holl came in without the usual hooplah of pretty much anyone who signs here whether we know anything or not. Case in point Andreas Borgman’s lopsided win in the weekend matchup. It’s also a little surprising Holl hasn’t been found on the radar around here considering it was likely Kyle Dubas who recognized his possible worth. At LeafsHub we are lucky to have @SkateLaceBite at the Ricoh covering the Marlies and spending time close to the team. There’s no over-analyzed report on Holl. He’s a simple player who skates and closes well. Not a puck mover by offensive definition but he can skate it out and gets it going up ice. The mistakes are there but really @SkateLaceBite’s brass tacks summary is just that it was a slow start to the season and Holl seemed to find his game in the second half. Keefe increased his minutes and responsibility so with that he improved his play. Usually how it works when some confidence is shown your way. It’s kind of the chicken/egg thing, which comes first. You earn the coach’s and then find your own. So is Holl earning more that just Keefe’s trust.
There’s an intrigue when watching Holl. What puts him in even better standing? That right shot of his. It’s just hard to find right shot D whether dynamic or just plain get the job done. You wonder if all he needs is a chance to play in a bottom end role to stay in one. There’s also those around the organization who feel Holl is in fact impressing the right people as alluded to above, hence the uptake in usage with the Marlies. The time is now to find out what you have in him. Is he NHL capable? The preseason should tell us early if he’s getting a serious look or not. Then his game will have to talk. Has his solid play late for the Marlies enough to move him past Marincin on the depth chart? I believe that’s a stretch but the longer you ponder, is it really? I’m not so sure. I guess that’s for you to decide.
Who is higher on your Leafs D depth chart? Martin Marincin or Justin Holl
Voting now open at @JudeMac_17 & @LeafsHub