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Maple Leafs prospects recap: Timashov, Johnson have big nights.

From Pension Puppets

covering the kids from Jan 25-31st.

Let’s dive right into things, then I’ll think of something to say afterwards.

Ontario Hockey League

Mitch Marner/JJ Piccinich (F) – London Knights
January 29: Erie 6 at London 2
Marner: 0G, 2A, -2 / Piccinich: 0G, 0A, -1

January 30: London 3 at Windsor 8
Marner: 1G, 0A, -1 / Piccinich: 0G, 0A, -2
Week Totals: Marner 1G, 2A, -3 / Piccinich: 0G, 0A, -3

Travis Dermott (D) – Erie Otters
January 29: Erie 6 at London 2 0G, 0A, +1
January 31: Mississauga 1 at Erie 5 0G, 2A
Week Totals: 0G, 2A, +1

Nikita Korotselev (F) – Sarnia Sting
January 29: Flint 3 at Sarnia 4 Did Not Play
January 30: Sarnia 5 at Flint 2 Did Not Play
January 31: Sarnia 5 at Windsor 0 Did Not Play
Korostelev is still working off an injury suffered a few weeks ago.

Stephen Desrocher (D) – Kingston Frontenacs
January 29: Owen Sound 5 at Kingston 2
1G, 0A, -4
January 31: Kingston 2 at Peterborough 3 SO 0G, 1A, +1
Week Totals: 1G, 1A, -3

Jeremy Bracco (F) – Kitchener Rangers
January 29: Windsor 0 at Kitchener 2 1G, 0A, +1
January 30: Kitchener 2 at Saginaw 1 0G, 1A
January 31: Kitchener 6 at Sault Ste. Marie 6 0G, 0A, -2
Week Totals: 1G, 1A, -1

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Dmytro Timashov (F) – Shawinigan Cataractes
January 29: Chicoutimi 6 at Shawinigan 2
0G, 1A
January 31: Drummondville 4 at Shawinigan 5 OT 1G, 3A, +4
Week Totals: 1G, 4A, +4

Martins Dzierkals (F) – Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
January 30: Baie-Comeau 0 at  Rouyn-Noranda 4
0G, 0A, +1
January 31: Baie-Comeau 0 at  Rouyn-Noranda 4 1G, 0A
Week Totals: 1G, 0A, +1

Cody Donaghey (D) – Moncton Wildcats
January 30: Halifax 4 at Moncton 1
0G, 0A, -1
January 31: Acadie-Bathurst 2 at Moncton 0 No Points
Week Totals: 0G, 0A, -1

Western Hockey League

Andrew Nielsen (D)  – Lethbridge Hurricanes
January 29: Lethbridge 1 at Victoria 3
0G, 1A, -2
January 30: Lethbridge at Vancouver Did Not Play
Week Totals: 0G, 1A, -2

NCAA

Dominic Toninato / Tony Cameranesi (F) – U. Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs
January 29: UMD 3 at Northern Michigan 4
Toninato: 1G, 0A, +1 / Cameranesi: 0G, 1A
January 30: UMD 3 at Northern Michigan 1
Toninato: 1G, 0A, +1 / Cameranesi: 1G, 0A, +1
Week Totals: Toninato: 2G, 0A, +2 / Cameranesi: 1G, 1A, +1

Dakota Joshua (F) – Ohio State Buckeyes
January 29: Michigan State 4 at Ohio State 2
0G, 0A, -2
January 30: Michigan State 1 at Ohio State 2 0G, 1A
Week Totals: 0G, 1A, -2

Nolan Vesey (F) – U. Maine Black Bears
January 29: Maine 5 at Massachusetts 2
0G, 0A, +2
January 30: Maine 5 at Massachusetts 4 1G, 0A, -2
Week Totals: 1G, 0A

Europe

Andreas Johnson (F) – Frolunda, SHL
January 26: Frolunda 0 – HV71 2
No Points
January 28: Växjö 1 – Frolunda 3 1G, 1A
January 30: Frolunda 3 – Djurgården 2 0G, 2A, +1
Week Totals: 1G, 3A, +1

Jesper Lindgren (D) – MODO, SHL
January 26: MODO 4 – Djurgården  1
Did Not Play
January 28: Rögle 2 – MODO 1 Did Not play
January 30: Färjestad 4 – MODO 1 Did Not Play

Pierre Engvall (D) – Mora IK, Allsvenskan
January 27: Mora 4 – IK Pantern 2
No Points
January 30: IK Oskarshamn 5 – Mora 2 No Points

Fabrice Herzog (F) – Zurich Lions, Swiss A
January 26: HC Fribourg-Gottéron 2 – Zurich 3
No Points
January 30: EHC Biel 6 – Zurich 5 OT No Points

Player League GP Points PPG NHLe Points
Mitch Marner (F) OHL 36 73 2.03 53.21
Andreas Johnson (F) SHL 39 35 0.90 44.15
Dmytro Timashov (F) QMJHL 38 69 1.82 38.71
Jeremy Bracco (F) OHL 36 48 1.33 34.99
Tony Cameranesi (F) NCAA-NCHC 23 24 1.04 35.08
JJ Piccinich (F) OHL 45 52 1.16 30.32
Martins Dzierkals (F) QMJHL 40 47 1.18 25.05
Travis Dermott (D) OHL 39 36 0.92 24.22
Andrew Nielsen (D) WHL 49 52 1.06 23.50
Fabrice Herzog (F) NLA 33 20 0.61 19.88
Nikita Korostelev (F) OHL 36 26 0.72 18.95
Dakota Joshua (F) NCAA-B10 18 10 0.56 15.94
Stephen Desrocher (D) OHL 50 29 0.58 15.22
Cody Donaghey (D) QMJHL 34 22 0.65 13.80
Dominic Toninato (F) NCAA-NCHC 25 11 0.44 14.79
Pierre Engvall (F) ALK 40 15 0.38 12.30
Jesper Lindgren (D) SHL 26 3 0.12 5.68
Nolan Vesey (F) NCAA-HE 25 4 0.16 4.85

Aside from Johnson’s night there wasn’t much coming out of Europe. Lindgren is off in the wind, Engvall and Herzog were shut out.  Everyone we have in the NCAA scored a goal, which I believe is the first time they all did in the same week.

Everyone else had some slower weeks, but still put up atleast a point. I haven’t found out why Nielsen didn’t play vs Vancouver, so that makes me think it’s a rest day.

We’re nearing the playoffs, and I’m excited to see what these kids can do. All CHL players are looking to make atleast the first round, so that will be a busy few weeks.

Source: Maple Leafs prospects recap: Timashov, Johnson have big nights.

The Marlies kept trying to lose and finally succeeded

From Pension Puppets

The Marlies scored one less goal than the Binghamton Senators in their last game before the All-Star break, the kind of lazy good-team problems the Maple Leafs are striving to acquire.

For the Marlies, it’s tough at the top, where the challenge for the rest of the regular season is to stay there.

I feel like I’ve said that before.

A tale of two teams

The Marlies are the top team in the AHL. I could enumerate the ways they are the best: the goals for, the goal differential, this percentage, that measure, this stat, that calculation, but they all come out the same. The Marlies are an elite team that’s had a lot of luck and have won the overwhelming majority of their games so far.

So far.

They have two and a half more months to play.

Frölunda, Andreas Johnson‘s team, is also atop their league and has an amazing goal differential; they shoot the puck like crazy and have four real lines that can all play at a high level. They are elite, lucky, and they’ve won the overwhelming majority of their games. And among that elite team, Johnson, at 21, and Artturi Lehkonen at 20 are the young stars that are working every day to get to the NHL.

The rest of the team may have once dreamed of it, some of them have tried and found their home in Sweden instead, and for them the league they play in is their league; the games are a point unto themselves; the championship is the reward at the end of the season, and leaving is not the mark of success.

Frölunda are showing the signs of a sluggish desire to just get on with it, get to the playoffs, get this year over, win the cup and turn the calendar to next year so they can do it again. They’ve dropped a couple of stinkers lately—big losses, a couple of shutouts where they just skated around bored for 60 minutes. They’ve won a couple like that too.

For Johnson, this is his last year there. He is proving himself, and wants to win, but he has his eyes on a higher goal.

They have a month and a half to go before the playoffs.

The Marlies have a lot more than two guys who are yearning to escape. They have nearly a roster full. They are more than just William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen, two guys who hope they will see the NHL this year and every year after.

There is Mark Arcobello, patiently scoring more and more and winning awards.

There is Nikita Soshnikov working on the bottom six and trying to prove what he can do, taking every chance to get on a better line and making the most of it.

There’s Connor Brown, doing a very good job of reminding everyone who he is with points in every game since he’s been back.

There is T.J. Brennan, ripping up the record books and rewriting them anew on this his fourth AHL team. On none of those has he been as dominate over three seasons as he has on the Marlies. He’s tasted the coffee in the NHL, but he’s never stuck, and it’s easy to just decide that’s it, he hasn’t got it, but if the 26-year-old defenceman leading the league in scoring isn’t up to it, are you sure all those kids are a lock?

There’s also Zach Hyman, who didn’t stick with the team that drafted him, nor did Brendan Leipsic or Scott Harrington. There’s a handful of Toronto draft picks in Josh Leivo, Viktor Loov, and Rinat Valiev. And all of them want out. They don’t want to ever again ride five hours home from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

And they’re collectively playing pretty bad hockey lately.

The Marlies roared along for the last few games, winning while being outshot and putting on a terrible power play and giving up a league-leading number of shorthanded goals. They have been winning by betting big, risking big, and outscoring their opponents with contemptuous ease.

Lately, the defence has been falling to ruins, the goalies have been working like single mothers with two jobs, and still they win.

Or they did.

An afternoon at the Ricoh Coliseum

Saturday afternoon in Toronto, on the afternoon after that ride home from Grand Rapids, they didn’t outscore their problems. Not quite.

They played the division basement-dweller Binghamton Senators, and they were each as bad as the other. They took 8 penalties each, scored five regulation goals each. They each had a short-handed goal, and the Senators won it on a goal on a breakaway in overtime after one of the Marlies blew a skate on the play in his own end and fell down. A fitting end to a game that cast no glory on anyone.

The Marlies outshot the Senators—they aren’t so far gone, they couldn’t do that—37-29, giving Garret Sparks a save percentage of .793.

They gave up so many odd man rushes, turnovers, easy giveaways, and I guess it was buy one get one free day at Ricoh?

This isn’t a one off aberration. They’ve been drifting in this direction for weeks, and some of that is injuries pulling the better guys out of the lineup, and some of it is just the difficulty you have when the team is so good they score more goals than even the good teams most of the time.

Bob McGill the Marlies colour commentator was wondering how you tell these guys to tighten it up, when they usually win even when they play so loose? A good question. Ask Alain Vigneault. Maybe he knows. Not that the Marlies are the hollow-cored New York Rangers. They usually do outshoot their opposition not just out-goal them.

Getting the Marlies back on track may be a harder task than Frölunda has with their team of slightly bored overachievers, however.

It’s not a terrible problem to have, being so good you’re struggling to execute your system well night after night, but it is a problem. And it’s a hell of a skill to bring to a team that’s never had this dilemma before if you learn the trick of it.

A cautionary tale

This is what Nate MacKinnon said about Jonathan Drouin recently:

“Our junior team, we lost five games all year, we had the puck the whole game,” MacKinnon said. “We were playing offense for two years, we didn’t really play any ‘D.’ So that’s tough. I don’t know you can really expect lockdown ‘D’ when you first come into the league. You can always work on your ‘D’ but you can’t just become an offensive force.”

And he’s not wrong. But where do you start to learn that more complete game? Something you can use when you don’t have a team of above average players every night. Something you can use to get yourself into a position to succeed when your coach hasn’t got the means to put you there. Something that will carry you when your cap-strapped team downgrades your linemates or your rebuilding team hasn’t got the horses to win much.

It’s not junior hockey, he’s right about that too.

For MacKinnon it was the NHL. He very much did it the hard way. But the New Toronto Maple Leafs don’t do things that way, they tell us. Not unless they have to, like they will with Mitch Marner.

So it had better be the AHL, the league most guys are trying to leave. And it better be now before they start leaving one way and another.

Nice problems to have

Sheldon Keefe has some things to accomplish. He’s got to bring Nylander back into the lineup; he’s got Connor Brown chomping at the bit to play—and he was as guilty as any guy out there of sloppy defensive errors. He might have Josh Leivo—who had as many shots on goal on Saturday as he had shots of any kind in 4 games for the Leafs—and who made a lot of sloppy definsive errors.

Keefe’s also got Mark Arcobello and T.J. Brennan, who need to see a carrot on the end of the stick or they might stop carrying the goal-scoring burden for the team most nights. (Between the pair of them they have 19% of the Marlies goals. Add in Nylander and Leivo, and you get to 34%. The offence isn’t quite so spread out on this team as we tell ourselves.)

Keefe’s got to get them all to tighten up and play better than they need to. And he has to convince them it’s for their own good. Because it is.

So far, he’s been very good at doing that. Let’s see if he can keep doing it once the All-Star Break is over.

Source: The Marlies kept trying to lose and finally succeeded

Andreas Johnson helps Frölunda to a win with a two-point night

From Pension Puppets

Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson had two play-making assists in the SHL tonight.

Andreas Johnson and the rest of his Frölunda team have been looking a little sluggish in their last few games. It’s tough at the top, where the challenge facing the team for the last few weeks of the regular season is to stay up there.

They had slipped to second place, but their 3-2 win today, coupled with Skellefteå’s loss, put them back in first place.

Johnson’s first assist came on the power play, and he was hanging in his usual spot, got the puck on the net and stepped back while his mates put it in.

His second was and even strength play where he skated the puck unopposed into the slot and got things rolling with a good pass.

After today’s action, Johnson had moved up to fifth in points and third in goals, one back of Joel Lundqvist.

Source: Andreas Johnson helps Frölunda to a win with a two-point night

Leafs prospect Andreas Johsnon with exciting game-winner.

From Pension Puppets

Andreas Johnson with another multi-point game today.

Andreas Johnson got a goal and an assist in today’s SHL action. His assist came on the power play to open the scoring in the first period as Frölunda went up 1-0 over Växjö Lakers. In the second he got the eventual game-winner at even strength. Frölunda took the game 3-1.

Johnson is now 8th in the league in points, tied for second in goals, one behind his teammate Joel Lundqvist, and he is second in both points and goals on the power play. He is still the only player in the top 10 getting it done in less than 16 minutes per game.

He’s got 14 more games to provide opportunities to move up the rankings before the playoffs start.

Classic assist on the powerplay:

Mad scramble goal where Johnson is the guy that ends up in the net:

Source: Leafs prospect Andreas Johsnon with exciting game-winner.

From the Branches: What are you expecting?

From Pension Puppets

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Harlem
By Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

From the Front Page and Stuff

Stars trade | PPP fanpost by a guy from Defending Big D
Phaneuf and Reimer for Ales Hemsky, Kari Lehtonen, Jamie Oleksiak, 2016 first and second rounders.

James van Riemsdyk, baseball player | PPP
Well, I mean, we all knew his skill didn’t stop at pucks.

Andreas Johnson with a slick interception and Mååååååååål! | PPP

WATCH: Piccinich finds Marner to give London 3-0 lead over Sarnia | PPP

WATCH: Marner scores second of the game against Sarnia | PPP

Recap: Canes 1, Reimer 0 (OT) | PPP
Reimer did everything but score.

Hockey 30 stories high: My night at Molson Canadian’s rooftop rink | El Sellout
I was invited to check out the Molson Canadian’s #AnythingForHockey rooftop rink and it was an unbelievable experience.

Trade Him Or Keep Him: Tyler Bozak | PPP

Tim Horton, Turk Broda, Dave Keon added to Legends Row | PPP

Leafs News

Toronto Maple Leafs: Dion Phaneuf Rumours Re-emerge | Tip of the Tower
“Trade rumours surrounding Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf have once again re-emerged. But according to a report, Phaneuf is unlikely to waive his limited no-trade clause.”

James Reimer’s future with Maple Leafs far from certain | Sportsnet
“Ninety-one different men have tended goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs over the years, but only a handful have done so as long as James Reimer.”

James van Riemsdyk remains with Maple Leafs for now | Fansided
“TSN 1050 in Toronto makes a mistake quoting James van Riemsdyk trade”

Maple Leafs’ Rielly making strides: Coach Babcock | Toronto Sun
“Head coach Mike Babcock was singing the young defenceman’s praises after Toronto’s game-day skate on Thursday.”

Things are actually going kind of well for the Toronto Maple Leafs (despite their record) | National Post
My, what optimism!

Dave Keon ending Maple Leafs exile, set to be honoured | Sportsnet
“The fence has finally been mended between the Maple Leafs and their biggest legend.”

Other Hockey News & Recaps

Denna Laing honored by Bruins in touching pregame ceremony (Video) | Yahoo

Return to Panthers revitalizing, perspective-changing for Luongo | ESPN
“It is a glorious, sunny day in the twilight of Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo’s career. Or maybe “twilight” isn’t quite the right term currently for of one of the game’s most successful, highest-profile netminders.”

Devils Beat Sens 6-3 | SSS
The Ottawa Senators entered play a single point behind the New Jersey Devils for the final play-off spot in the East.

Canucks leave Boston smiling after winning 4-2 | NucksMisconduct
“Daniel Sedin scored goal number 347 and 348 to become the Canucks all-time goal scoring leader as the Canucks beat Boston.”

Lightning win 7th straight, end Blackhawks’ 12-game streak | Puck Daddy
YEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

Flyers vs Penguins recap: Flyers win streak against the Pens ends (and it stunk) | BSH
“Flyers fall to the Penguins, 4-3. It was theeeee wooooorst.” — the URL alone is worth reading.

Penguins vs. Flyers recap: Kessel, Crosby lead Pens to win over Philly | Pensburgh
“The Pittsburgh Penguins overcome a 2-0 deficit to score 4 straight goals and hold off the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 to win an important divisional matchup.”

Highlight Recap, Game #48: Flames at Blue Jackets | JacketsCannon
“First we lost Bobrovsky, then we lost the game.”

Matt Hendricks blocks shot with d*** | Sportsnet
Katya, another story for our file!

Counting seashells with Trocheck and Ekblad | ESPN
“I posed naked on the beach, covered in seashells.” — Aaron Ekblad. I’m not joking, he said that.

Source: From the Branches: What are you expecting?

Andreas Johnson with a slick interception and Mååååååååål!

From Pension Puppets

All on his own at even strength, Johnson got it done.

Andreas Johnson got a sweet goal today in Frölunda’s easy 2-0 win over Brynäs. The team sits in first place in the SHL, 3 points up on Skellefteå.

Johnson is now seventh in points in the league and fourth in goals, second in power play goals. He is the only player in the top 10 in points who plays less than 16 minutes on average per game and he’s keeping pace between his top line teammates above and Artturi Lehkonen just below.

Source: Andreas Johnson with a slick interception and Mååååååååål!

From the Branches – 500

From Pension Puppets

Ovi did what he does best – and other news in the NHL.

On the Front Page

Recap: Seven different Sharks rain down on us – Pension Plan Puppets

These sharks of yours have no etiquette.

Swedish TV interviews Maple Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson – Pension Plan Puppets
Johnson speaks of his current success and more hopefully in the future with the Leafs.

Canada vs. Russia: A Rinkside Pictorial – Pension Plan Puppets
Singjay went to the Women’s WJC and shared his photos of the game.

Leafs Links

Embarrassing blowout loss highlights what Maple Leafs still lack – Mirtle

Morin scores first goal in the Leafs organization as Marlies finish first half of season with victory | The LeafsNation
Jeffler’s game recap

LFR9 – Game 40 – FISH – Tor 0, SJ 7 | The LeafsNation
Do you want to hear Dangle yell? Of course you do.

Around the NHL

Ovechkin scored 500

Then he scored 501

Vancouver Canucks exploring trade options for Chris Higgins
Kind of weird how they announced this, no?

Connor McDavid of Edmonton Oilers out until at least NHL All-Star break
It’s really gonna be depressing when they add one of Matthews, Laine, or Pusdajgskdghsakdj

NHL – Storylines to watch in second half of the season
From Scott Burnside

Notebook: Trade rumors begin to swirl following Jones-Johansen swap – SI.com

NHL Roundtable: SI.com

How much is Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning worth? – SI.com
From DoHA. Haven’t read it, so no idea if this is as bad as their previous work.

Parents of frozen puddle goalie call outpouring of support ‘humbling’ – CBC
The father of 12-year-old Markus Stewart said he feels “a little bit guilty” about the many offers to help his son, who was captured on video practicing hockey on a frozen puddle in Abbotsford, B.C.

Source: From the Branches – 500

From the Branches: Canada wins at WWJ

From Pension Puppets

Canada WWJ team celebrates its goal. – Singjay

Day 2 of the WWJ ended with Canada beating the Czechs 11-0 to make a run for first place in their group.

Our own Phylliskessel was on CentreIce TSN690 today talking to HEOTP’s Robyn Flynn. UPDATE: The live spot is now over but we will get a link to a recording up soon.

El Seldo’s been reporting for us on the WWJ, and his daily recaps of each and every game are some dedicated work. He reported on Canada’s win yesterday as well as the rest of the tournament, and his piece (with the assistance of all of Gunnar’s gifs) is an excellent read. Day 2: Recap: Canada 11 – Czechs 0 | PPP

Leafs News

Swedish TV interviews Maple Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson | PPP
Johnson speaks of his current success and more hopefully in the future with the Leafs.

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson has a three-point day | PPP

Canada vs. Russia: A Rinkside Pictorial | PPP

Kyle Dubas talks analytics and development, Toronto Marlies shut out the Moose 3-0 | PPP

Report: Concussion takes Nylander’s potential call-up ‘off the table’ | The Score
“That’s all off the table right now,” Cox said. “I think he’s going to miss a month or more when it’s all said and done.” Nylander apparently returned to Toronto on Wednesday and has embarked on his return-to-play concussion protocol.

2015 Draft Day: How Mark Hunter and Kyle Dubas may have outplayed the league | MLHS

Winnik really likes Thornton’s beard | R/Leafs

Jeremy Bracco, kitchener vs. hamilton to put kitchener up 1-0 | R/Leafs

Other News

Lawyers in concussion case want to unseal NHL records | Star Tribune
Former players are suing the league in Minneapolis over the brain damage they suffered.

Call her Denna | SCOC
In which I talk about my dad’s paraplegia and what might be next for Denna and her family.

After John Scott vote, NHL will limit All-Star Game fan influence: Report | Puck Daddy
“You’re going to see a situation where the League decides if it’s going to be that the fans just have a portion of the vote – not all of the captaincy votes – or could it just be that there’s a list online that you’re going to be able to vote from. I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re not going to see the same kind of all out voting that we saw this year and what it resulted in with the captaincies.”

Recaps

Caps Earn Two the Hard Way, Beat Rangers, 4-3 (OT) – Japers’ Rink
The Capitals visited Madison Square Garden looking to put more distance between themselves and the Rangers. For 40 minutes, it looked as if the would. Hockey games, however, are 60-minutes long.

Flyers 4, Islanders 0: 10 things we learned from an afternoon treat – Broad Street Hockey
Back home in Philadelphia, the Flyers systematically took apart an undermanned Islanders squad. Which players particularly stood out?

Senators Defeat Boston Bruins 2-1 in Overtime – Silver Seven
Stone had the OT winner as Ottawa beat the Bruins in Marchand’s first game back from suspension.

Hurricanes 4, Blue Jacket 3 – (OT) – Canes Country
Jordan Staal wins game in overtime for Carolina

Overturned Stars goal bails out Mike Reilly and the Wild – Hockey Wilderness
Mike Reilly and the Wild were bailed out by the referees decision to disallow the Dallas Stars early goal.

Lightning roll by Canucks with 3-2 overtime win to get back in playoff contention – Raw Charge
Coming off an exciting victory the night before, the Lightning continued their momentum and picked up another pair of much needed points.

To Live and Die in L.A. – St. Louis Game Time
Myriad of injuries continue to pile up but Elliott steals a win in LA

Louis Domingue earns second shutout, Coyotes win 4-0 – Five For Howling
The Coyotes start off their homestand on a high note with a 4-0 drubbing of the Predators.

Source: From the Branches: Canada wins at WWJ

Swedish TV interviews Maple Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson

From Pension Puppets

Johnson speaks of his current success and more hopefully in the future with the Leafs.

Thanks to Patrik B of Habs Eyes on the Prize for translating this television interview with Andreas Johnson, Maple Leafs prospect and left wing on Frölunda of the SHL, after his three-point game.

Interview

Host: You are behind half of the goals in today’s game; you seem to be an a roll again.

AJ: It felt better today. We had good some good power in the line, we like playing together, and today we found good solutions to the situations that arose. But also the whole team played well out there so it created opportunities.

Expert (Petter Rönnberg former goalie): I remember when I played, and we were two- or three-nil up, every coach I had stood there saying, “Control the game, stay calm, defend well, stay focused.”  But you guys, you just keep rolling; you never stop if you are three- or four-nil up, doesn’t matter.

AJ: We have been talking a lot about that the three years that I have been here; we have to continue to play. It’s because of that play that we are three goals up, so we can’t just stop. It’s better to continue and have them make a mistake so we can score number four instead.

Other Expert (Niklas Wikegård former coach): I have a personal question for you, but after a few years in the SHL, and I know there are matches to go—and you will fight with Skellefteå all the way for the league lead and then in the playoffs—but if we look forward, you are there to win the championship (Le Mat Trophy). It’s is far off, but do you feel that you have taken a step forward with each season toward being ready for a deep playoff run?

AJ: I already felt last year that I had more to give in the playoffs than the year before. Two years ago, I felt flat after half the season, and in the playoffs I barely played. My second season, I felt much more responsible. I had better stamina, and I could go on much longer, playing the whole season and the playoffs. But I got injured last year in the playoffs. It would have been nice to play two full playoff rounds at least, but I still feel that I have grown. I feel I can control the play rather than the play controlling me.

NW: Great answer and a great explanation. Thank you!

AJ: Thank you!

Profile

As you can see from his career stats below, Johnson is putting up points at a much higher rate than last year. Frölunda, who are running away with the SHL hand-in-hand with Skellefteå are surely going to want more than 8 games and 4 points out of Johnson this year.

He has an opportunity in the remaining couple dozen games of the regular season plus the playoffs to make a statement about how much he has progressed.

Barely below him on the depth chart is Artturi Lehkonen, a Montréal prospect who has signed a one-year extension with Frölunda. Johnson is expected to be in the Toronto Maple Leafs camp next year, and will at least play for the Marlies if all goes well.

Johnson’s job is two-fold: he needs to be good enough to keep getting more icetime and opportunities than Lehkonen, and he needs to be better enough than he was last year to get the attention of the Maple Leafs brass who are busy with other concerns closer to home.

If he comes into camp next year with good buzz, the very hard job of making an impression gets easier.

Source: Swedish TV interviews Maple Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson has a three-point day

From Pension Puppets

Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson had a three-point game as Frölunda took on Färjestad and scorched them 6-0.

Johnson opened the scoring with an even strength goal (see below), added an assist and capped his day off with a beautiful power play goal.

Johnson now sits 8th in points in the SHL, 5th in goals, and first in power play points.

Take a deeper dive into into the first half of Johnson’s very good year.

Source: Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson has a three-point day