Toronto Marlies power play not looking good so far

Shootout loss to Grand Rapids after 0-6 on extra chances

Toronto Marlies continue to struggle on their power play, managing just four goals out of 39 extra man opportunities in the last five games.

The blue and white were not able to capitalize on six shorthanded chances in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday at the Ricoh Coliseum.

Head couch Dallas Eakins says it is still early to criticize their strategy.

“We are trying some new guys out there and it’s a process so there’s some stuff in the video that we can go over next week,” he said, in a post-game media scrum outside the Marlies dressing room.

“Like always, mistakes turn into positives,” he said. “It [the lack of power play success] turns into a great teaching tool and we will get those covered and get things going like we did in the past couple of years.”

Starting goalie Jussi Rynnas was riding on a shutout streak from the night before against the Hamilton Bulldogs. That  lasted just over 80 minutes before Grand Rapid’s Gustav Nyquist tied the game 1-1.

“I don’t care about that,” Rynnas said in the dressing room afterwards. “I try to save every goal but every shot that comes, its impossible to save them all.

“I know that at some point they [other teams] have to score so I just focus on the next shot and try to make the next save.”

Mike Kostka was one of the goal scorers for Toronto. It increased his points to five and moves him ahead of Jake Gardiner, becoming the leader in points for the team.

“I feel good, I feel comfortable,” Kostka said. “I trained real hard this summer so I came in with confidence but that was built through my preparation.

“But our main goal is to win games.”

After playing three games in a row this weekend, including a home-and-series against the Hamilton Bulldogs that resulted in a win and a loss, the Marlies head off to Hamilton again to start an eight-game road trip.

The Royal Winter Fair takes over the building until Nov. 11.

“I wish we could play every game at home,” Eakins said. “But I think it would be good to get going. We got a couple days off for rest and then we’re going to have a real hard training week and get ready for those road games.”

Toronto has only played one game away so far in Hamilton where they lost 4-1 on Friday and will be looking for their first win on the road starting Oct. 26 against the Bulldogs once again.

The Marlies will return home to play their Ontario rivals on Nov. 17, wrapping up the second home-and home series between the two teams this season.