If you have been following the Toronto Marlies closely this year, it may seem like tonight’s game against the Hamilton Bulldogs is already the 20th time these teams have met this season. Believe it or not, it’s only their seventh meeting in 2012-13.
The Marlies last took on their biggest rival just a week ago at the Air Canada Centre on Boxing Day. Toronto came away with a 3-2 victory in a game that set an indoor AHL attendance record in Canada with 18,800 fans on hand. The fact that it was a Mike Zigomanis bobblehead giveaway may have had something to do it, or NHL starved fans may have just been craving some holiday hockey.
Tonight’s game will feature two squads going in different directions. The Marlies now sit atop the Western Conference with at least a point in their last six games. The Bulldogs, however, only have a single win in their last eight contests and haven’t scored in over 120 minutes of action. Not to mention they currently occupy last spot in the entire American Hockey League.
Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri, and Korbinian Holzer will sit out because of injury, while Zigomanis checks back into the lineup for the first time since December 15th. Will Acton will be a healthy scratch.