Marlies trying to impress Leaf bosses

Nazem Kadri scored the Marlies only goal in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Tuesday...

Nazem Kadri scored the Marlies only goal in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Tuesday night. (QMI Agency file photo)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:10 AM ET

TORONTO - That hackneyed Marlies motto proclaiming “every game is a tryout” suddenly has meaning for potential Maple Leafs on the farm.

The parent team, which opens training camp Sunday, has a pretty good book on which farmhands have played well halfway through the AHL season.

But starting with Tuesday night’s 2-1 overtime loss in Hamilton against the Bulldogs, those on the bubble will try and catch management’s eye with second efforts on everything from blocking shots, to back-checking to body language.

Nazem Kadri, fighting through hip injury problems the past few weeks, had the Toronto goal, while Jussi Rynnas was strong again in goal, though Ben Scrivens is still going to get the first chance to challenge James Reimer for the No. 1 job with the Leafs.

Jake Gardiner, once he gets through the last of whiplash/concussion issues, will get one of coach Randy Carlyle’s 30 or less roster spots, more if the NHL expands the minimum roster beyond 23 by one or two.


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