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From the branches: The Leafs top two points leaders are defenceman

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Morgan Rielly and Dion Phaneuf lead the Leafs in points

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Leafs News

Dion Phaneuf is one point behind the Leafs leader with 9 points.

Let me repeat that. Phaneuf is one off the Leafs points leader. Has that ever happened before? Is that better or worse than potassium benzoate?

Morgan Rielly has 9 10. Together with Phaneuf they are the top two point earners on the team. No other team has two defencemen at the top as of Sunday.

Today is another game day; The Leafs will play the red hot Stars in Dallas, and by red hot I am talking about their scoring, which is second in the league, not the actual players. With Benn, Seguin, Sharp, and Spezza The Stars have unsurprisingly been on fire this season and lead the Western Conference. At 24 points they are behind in the league only by the Habs, with 27 points. The Stars have lost only 3 of their 15 games to date.

One of those three losses was to James Reimer and the Maple Leafs.

Will tonight be a repeat? Will Seguin and Benn finally admit their hot burning love to each other? Find out what I think in the game preview this afternoon!

Notez Bien: Tonight is the Leafs first 'late' game of the season. Puck drop is 8:30PM EST and it is a Sportsnet 'regional' game, meaning blackouts are in effect.

Last Night's Games

There was actually only one game last night: Ducks vs. Coyotes

Coyotes @ Ducks instant recap: Downing the Ducks - Five For Howling
The Coyotes fought back from a 2-0 deficit to win 4-3 in overtime against the Anaheim Ducks.

The Ducks lost after a hilarious flub by in overtime Ryan Getzlaf.

I guess that was karmic realignment for this.

Other News

Mystery team pursuing Patrick Marleau - Fear The Fin
Hockey Night in Canada is reporting a team is making a move to acquire Marleau.

North Dakota and Minnesota Considering Game in Las Vegas For Some Reason - SB Nation College Hockey
North Dakota and Minnesota are considering a game in Las Vegas in 2018.

Ask The MSM Andi Petrillo @AndiPetrillo Toronto Sports Media Blog
Coming this weekend, 20 questions with Andi Petrillo!

Chris Pronger: This Bud's for you big guy, salute! - St. Louis Game Time
He was one of the best to ever wear the Blue Note and tonight he went into the Hall of Fame.

Evgeny Svechnikov pays it back | The Chronicle Herald
Svechnikov never debated what he would do with the money he earned from his NHL entry-level deal with the Detroit Red Wings. When the three-year contract was finalized in October, he sent his signing bonus straight to his parents, Elena and Igor Svechnikov, who live in Kazan, Russia.

The NFL's Chickenhawk Celebrations, From Some Veterans' Points of View - The Atlantic
James Fallows and The Atlantic's staff have written some great updates on the US DoD's pay for patriotism events.

Beaulieu's lack of suspension may set a dangerous precedent - Eyes On The Prize
Ya, but it was Rinaldo so...

From the editor's desk: Should the Arizona Coyotes buy out Mike Smith's contract? - Five For Howling
After another rough outing, should the Arizona Coyotes consider cutting Mike Smith lose?

HHOF Ring Ceremony 2015 Video - NHL VideoCenter
Inductees Chris Pronger, Niklas Lidstrom, Angela Ruggiero, Phil Housley, Bill Hay, and Peter Karmanos Jr. receive their rings ahead of the induction ceremony.

Russia faces ban from athletics for widespread doping offences | Reuters
Russia could be banned from international athletics, including the 2016 Olympic Games, after an anti-doping commission report on Monday alleged widespread corruption and collusion that added up to a state-sponsored drugs culture in a sporting superpower.

Russian doping scandal: Athletics Australia calls for Olympic ban, Tallent says he was robbed in London - ABC News
Athletics Australia backs the world anti-doping body's call for Russia to be banned from the next Olympics, as walker Jared Tallent says he was robbed finishing second behind a banned Russian at the London Olympics.