Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

Smoked in The Big Smoke — Pens LOSE 6-1

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The Toronto Marlies are not a team I would want to face in the playoffs. Reason? A result like you saw tonight, after watching them yesterday. They blast the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins 6-1 Wednesday.

This is the Toronto Marlies, a team that can look like the best team in the AHL one night and the worst team in the AHL the next. It’s a volatile problem to have playing in a volatile division such as the North Division, where you can go from second to sixth place in a weekend.

Louis Domingue, starting his sixth straight game, opposed Keith Petruzzelli.

Here’s how they lined up:

Lineup Notes: None for the Penguins, lots for Toronto.

First Period: No penalties, pretty even otherwise, until Josh Ho-Sang who was scratched last night did this:

That was disgusting. He takes it out of his own zone, splits two defenders in the neutral zone, then gets away from FOUR DEFENDERS and scores. Just wow.

Second Period: The Marlies continued to pummel Louis Domingue with goal after goal after goal. They scored three straight and outshot the Pens 2:1 with 16 shots to Wilkes-Barre’s 8. Domingue was keeping the Penguins in the game as best he could, but he was literally on an island out there. Toronto Marlies Head Coach Greg Moore’s 3,000 lineup changes seemed to be working. Here were all the goals.

That goal there was a power play goal.

Immediately after this goal, Michale Chaput came out and hit a post. It was something considering they were getting flattened in the period.

Then Toronto was called for a penalty, their first of the game, with :05 left in the period and Juuso Riikola unleashed a shot that Drew O’Connor got a piece of and it got past Petruzzelli to break up his shutout bid and Wilkes-Barre was on the board.

Third Period: Any faint hope of a Penguins comeback was smashed to bits when Nick Robertson found Josh Ho-Sang for yet another power play goal that made it 5-1.

This is silly. Ho-Sang is ALL ALONE right next to Domingue.

To make matters worse, the Marlies scored yet another power play goal when Bobby McMann scored this goal right here.

The Marlies called off the dogs after that.

Three Stars: 3) Josh Ho-Sang (two goals, assist) 2) Keith Petruzzelli (32 saves) 1) Nick Robertson (goal, three assists)

The Good: Moving on….

The Bad: Can’t go 2/5 on the penalty kill. But Toronto scored two power play goals in the third and the game was already decided, so it can’t be that.

Turning Point: Bobby McMann’s first goal, the one that made it 4-0, was the back breaker. The Pens could score one goal which leads to another which would then lead to another, but not a four goal deficit when the Marlies are a freight train running downhill.

Around the Division: Absolutely no help on the out of town scoreboard. Hershey wins 5-1 over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms….Bridgeport beats Utica 4-1.

None of anything else which follows matters, but Springfield beat Hartford 3-1.

Standings: Hershey in fifth with .557, Pens in sixth at .517 and Bridgeport in seventh at .500.

Who Plays Who: Hershey is in Providence Friday, Islanders are off.

Wheeling Update: Nailers are beat by the Indy Fuel 4-1.

Video Highlights: 

Pens are in Belleville Friday. More then.

Let’s Go Pens!

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