In their third year under Greg Moore’s leadership, the Toronto Marlies are starting to build some consistency as they seek the first playoff spot since they made the AHL Conference Finals in 2018-19.
Under the 37-year old’s command, the Marlies have become among the AHL’s top-10 scoring teams in each of their three seasons.
So what makes this offence so consistent?
“I think it’s just giving the players the ability to make some reads,” Marlies assistant coach A.J. MacLean said, in a scrum on Tuesday. “Historically, in hockey, you kind of have your structure, and that’s how it goes with Greg.
“He is really good at letting guys see opportunities to make plays and also making them think a little bit more than just ‘this is my spot, this is where I go.'”
The high-scoring record doesn’t happen by chance.
Moore has already proven to be a tremendous offensive mind handling the USHL’s Chicago Steel. In his first season ever as a head coach, his club set the franchise record for goals scored in a single season (243).
In order to guarantee the system’s effectiveness here in Toronto, Moore is trying to optimize all the tools he has.
“He does a really good job with video and talking to the players,” MacLean said, standing in for the boss whose wife had a baby boy the night before. “At practice, we have some unique drills from time to time to allow players to be put in situations where they have to make tough reads.”
One of the players who benefited the most from this Marlies’ high-powered offensive style is center Brett Seney. The five-year AHL veteran is having the best season of his pro career as he leads the team in total points (46).
“This aggressive, fast-paced, in-your-face hockey suited more my game,” Seney said. “Coach Moore puts a system in place where it lets guys be creative in the offensive zone and at the same time, in other areas like our D zone and the neutral zone, it’s more or less like ‘let’s just get behind and use our speed.’
“So I think it’s about playing within the system and also the system suiting our team.”
But hockey is more than a game of X’s and O’s. A team sport needs chemistry between teammates – and that’s exactly what Seney is thankful for.
“I got to give a lot of credit to my line that’s been with me over the year — especially Joey (Anderson). I’ve been playing a lot with him, and we have a pretty good connection. The two of us were able to find each other at the rink.”