Leafs trio benched for Marlies

Nazem Kadri (Pictured), Joe Colborne and defenceman Mark Fraser were all listed as healthy...

Nazem Kadri (Pictured), Joe Colborne and defenceman Mark Fraser were all listed as healthy scratches for the game Friday night against the Texas Stars. (QMI Agency)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:17 PM ET

AUSTIN - Nazem Kadri and a couple of other high profile Marlies found themselves with extra time to see the state capitol on Friday.

Kadri, Joe Colborne and defenceman Mark Fraser were all listed to be healthy scratches for the game against the Texas Stars. Goalie Ben Scrivens also sat in favour of Jussi Rynnas, but that appeared to be a pre-determined call by coach Dallas Eakins as the Marlies play three in three nights.

After Thursday’s 6-4 win in Houston, Eakins was critical of linemates Kadri and Colborne, two Leaf prospects who were a combined minus three and stranded up ice on a least one goal. Kadri, the former first round pick, has no goals and three assists in nine games and still has puck control issues.

Big Colborne is also scoreless in nine, with four helpers.

“Colborne’s line looked like it had nothing going tonight,” Eakins said. “With this many players (the Marlies have four extra forwards because of the NHL lockout), it’s a constant flow of who is going in, who is going out. Other nights it will be (a fatigue issue) where we’re not going to be playing you three in three.”

It was a performance problem with the duo as well as Fraser, whose late roughing penalty, second minor of the game, might have negated Toronto’s four-goal third period comeback. Fraser, who signed a two-way Leaf deal this summer, is usually inseparable from Korbinian Holzer as a blueline tandem.

As per team, policy, none of the three were permitted to talk before the game once they became scratches.

“(Kadri and Colborne) are not playing up to their capabilities and everybody has seen that so far,” assistant coach Gord Dineen said Friday morning. “We’re trying to keep energy in our lineup. Maybe it’s good sometimes to sit up there and watch.

“We’re in a situation with three in three and good options sitting in the stands. The guys in the stands are not up there because they’ve played poorly. We have tough decisions to make every night and it’s a chance for them to show what they can do.”

Forwards Brad Ross, Kenny Ryan and Jerry D’Amigo had sat Thursday, with Matt Frattin not quite ready to return from knee surgery. Simon Gysbers likely goes back in for Fraser.

Scrivens was shaky at times on Thursday amid his generally slow start to the season. But he made nine third-period saves, while he and Mike Zigomanis made huge plays to kill an 89-second 5-on-3 for Houston.

lance.hornby@sunmedia.ca


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