Jerry D’Amigo, the owner of five goals in the Marlies three-game sweep of the Rochester Americans, has been on a goalscoring run before.
The first came at the 2010 World Juniors where he scored six goals and added six helpers in half a dozen games for Team USA.
Last season with the Kitchener Rangers D’Amigo scored six goals and added three more assists in seven playoff games.
D’Amigo, chosen in the sixth round of the 2009 draft has hit another jetstream. Ripping through one tournament is a curiosity. Two is a happening. Three is a pattern.
While the Marlies wait to start their second playoff round sometime next week, the five-foot-eleven, 215-pound leftwinger is relishing his status as man of the moment.
The 21-year-old D’Amigo scored 15 goals and added 26 assists while playing in every one of the Marlies 76 regular season games. He had one two-goal game. You have to admit, the kid has a sense of the occasion.
“At the World Junior there was a lot more media and attention,” he said, “but if we go to the finals I think it will be just as exciting.”
D’Amigo can skate at the NHL level. His defensive instincts are solid and he thrives on the penalty kill. His greatest gift is his ability to carry a moment.
“When I was at the World Junior I wanted to show that I was better than a sixth-round pick,” he said. “Here I had Burkie watching every game and I wanted to show that I deserved to be up with the Maple Leafs next year. That’s what keeps me going.”
This playoff is an audition for the Marlies. The team has been bolstered with the addition of Leaf regulars Jake Gardiner and Matt Frattin. The Marlies could well go deep into the spring and there will be jobs with the big club next fall. The men of the Marlies have earned a chance to boost their stock.
That’s what makes D’Amigo’s surge so noteworthy. He isn’t an important goalscorer but he scores important goals.
“I would love to be on the first line but I see myself as a guy who can help on the third line,” D’Amigo said. “I can kill penalties and get in on the forecheck. I will work hard. I know I haven’t got the touch of some of the guys on the first line. My goals and assists come from doing the gritty things not every player wants to do.
“In this game not everyone has to be a superstar. “
True enough but it helps if you can score like one when it matters most.