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Monday, May 19, 2008

Marlies back against the wall--- again

You need to wonder who will receive the MVP, if the series between the Toronto Marlies and the Chicago Wolves ended today. Offensively, Jason Krog has scored five goals, driving the Marlies goalie from the net in game two and leading the league in post season scoring.

On the other hand, defensively, the Marlies can’t seem to figure out Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec has only allowed two goals in the last three games, going four periods at present without letting anything in.

This is a team game, of course, and the Wolves have been hot both offensively and defensively since game seven win against the Rockford IceHogs. They’ve taken advantage of the Marlies lack of discipline with power play goals and just grinding the Marlies down. A great example of that was the third period of the second game. A new goalie in net, the Wolves didn’t test him with an offensive effort, but rather ground the offensive edge of the Marlies for 20 frustrating minutes.

The Marlies didn’t help things either, allowing further Wolves power plays in the third period, which basically took any oxygen out of the effort of the to even score. In the final moments of the second and third periods, it looked as if the Marlies were completely out of gas, playing a defensive game as if they were on the penalty kill.

The Marlies’ back is against the wall now, behind 2-0 and heading home. They haven’t played particularly well at home in the post season, dropping two games in a row to the Syracuse Crunch in the previous series. They had to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win that series. And that showed heart, but maybe it was also the end of the string for this team. Maybe the win against the Crunch was the final hurrah.

If they drop the Tuesday night game, in Toronto, to the Wolves, it will be statistically impossible for them to come back. Even a win on Tuesday must be matched by a big effort on Wednesday for the Marlies to have a hope of winning this series.

It is early yet, but this just doesn’t look good for the Marlies.

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