Bonjour de Toronto!
Ok… I know this is about as French-speaking a city as Harrisburg is. I was just in a happy mood this morning since this is the first time in three years that we are in Ontario to play a hockey game, and not transfer to another plane.
The beautiful, historic Ricoh Coliseum is our venue tonight, the home of the Toronto Marlies.
The league-leading Toronto Marlies, that is.
One curious note that I found while preparing for this one about our hosts is not the fact that they have 41 wins, it’s the fact that they have nine regulation losses and four in overtime. That’s 13 total losses. Six of those – almost half – have been at the hands of the St. John’s IceCaps. Two have come from the Binghamton Senators, and one each from the Albany Devils, Lake Erie Monsters, Manitoba Moose, Utica Comets and Syracuse Crunch.
Seven teams have managed to beat the Marlies, some how, some way. SEVEN.
The Bears will try to make it eight. And if they can – and if Portland can defeat Wilkes-Barre/Scranton – there will be a new Atlantic Division leader.
Lineup-wise, Chris Brown will make his return – which I know will make many of our fans happy. Brown is a good man and certainly deserves more permanent time. But let me show you this, since he plays predominantly on the right side:
Riley Barber: 18-23-41
Sean Collins: 12-18-30
Garrett Mitchell: 8-11-19
Dustin Gazley: 10-14-24
That is the point production of the four right wingers that have been playing that position. I ask: who do you take out? Keep in mind the other characteristics that all of these guys bring to the table.