Game 7s are fun. The Toronto Marlies will be playing in one as they came away with a big 3-1 Game 6 win over the Texas Stars last night. Carter Ashton scored two goals and Drew MacIntyre was his usual impeccable self, stopping 36 shots. Jeff Veillette has the recap and gets you ready for the big tilt at 8:30 Eastern Time on LeafsTV tonight.
Speaking of that MacIntyre guy, he’s been really good this entire playoffs, and is surely turning heads around the National Hockey League. Could he grab that number-two goaltending job on the Toronto Maple Leafs if they part ways with James Reimer? If it comes to that, it’s not the worst idea in the world. Kyle Cicerella has more.
The Marlies have good hockey players all over their lineup, which probably explains why they are making this deep playoff run. But, as Michael Traikos of the National Post cautions, Leafs fans shouldn’t have their expectations too high for the NHL contributions of Peter Holland, Jerry D’Amigo, Carter Ashton, et al.
By the way, I’m perfectly OK with that. The Leafs don’t need more top-six wingers (one more would be nice, but not imperative), but they do need to fill out their bottom six. That’s what some of these players should be able to bring to the team next year, if management ever realizes they need competent hockey players on the fourth line and not glorified trashcans with fists.
That leads us to the New York Rangers, who are basically the anti-Leafs in that they roll all four lines and don’t play their top line to the point of exhaustion. The Los Angeles Kings are similar in that regard, and they both happen to be playing for the Stanley Cup starting tomorrow night. Justin Bourne of theScore writes about the importance of resting your star forwards and getting contributions from every line.
Here’s one for the Mikhail Grabovski Is The Greatest files: He signed with a professional soccer team in his native Belarus, where he’ll begin play in July. I can’t really think of a better way to spend your offseason. Ian Oland of Russian Machine Never Breaks has the story.