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From the Branches: Saturday mourning

Our thoughts are with Paris.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

After a day like yesterday, it's hard to know how to approach daily routines like these links. On Friday the 13th, reality was just fine for hours until it really was not. In the borrowed words of Obi Wan, there was a great disturbance in the fabric of our existence on this planet, as if many voices suddenly cried out, and were suddenly silenced. How does reality snap back? Maybe it doesn't.

Here, at the very top of today's articles, is a link to the International Federation of Red Cross. Like when any shooting happens in the world today I feel a vast sense of helplessness. I don't know whether throwing money at the problem will accomplish anything at all, but I don't know what else to do. If you can think of other ways to reach out across national lines and express love, support, and hope, please suggest them. As Leafs fans at least hope is the one thing we have in great supply!

Speaking of the things that knit us together, I value these daily links as a place to gather our community, and I know that someone will be able to put these events into perspective for me, whether through wisdom, or wry humor, or a timely gif. For that, I thank you all, and I'm proud to be part of our small beacon of light on the internet.

Leafs Links

Garret Sparks creating ‘quiet excitement’ in Maple Leafs organization | Sportsnet
"Antoine’s up there right now, and we’re each others biggest assets in the sense that we’ll push each other until the end of time to get better, he says. "Two goalies the same age, with the same skill level, and we’re just going to keep battling each other. For eternity, it feels like."

Brendan Shanahan, The Russian 5, and the New Generation Maple Leafs – Part I: Shanny gets "puck possessed" | NNU
"Shanahan learned puck possession from the best – Scotty Bowman and the Russian 5."

Lamoriello on why Maple Leafs aren’t playing Corrado | Sportsnet
"Frankie’s a great kid. He's committed. He works hard every day," Lamoriello said. "His time will come, and then it will be up to him to make the most of that opportunity."

Tie Domi’s Shift Work a touching tale of others, but seldom of himself | PPP
Or, how Acha and Scott totally disagreed about the point of a book, but managed to write together anyway.

Pension Plan Puppets is now on Tumblr! | PPP
Because the internet is for cats, hockey gifs, and porn.

WATCH: Dermott assists on GWG over Russia, wears cam during practice | PPP

Former Leaf David Booth to the KHL | PPP

IceCaps clip Marlies in OT | The Telegram
"You wish every game could be like this one. That observation doesn’t have as much to do with the result, even though it was a thriller — a 3-2 overtime win by the St. John’s IceCaps (8-5-2) over the Toronto Marlies (10-4-0) — but more because of the electric atmosphere at Mile One Friday night."

Vancouver Canucks at Toronto Maple Leafs: Saturday game preview | Star

Other Hockey News

It's Time the NHL Took Violence Against Women Seriously | Huffington Post
This article is by my friend and SBN Devils blogger, Melissa Geschwind. It is an important continuation of the conversation. She discusses DV in general (Ribeiro, Voynov), and helps focus the call to action.

Canes' Noah Hanifin getting schooled on NHL life | ESPN
"I'm just focused on what I need to do because it's such a hard level. Everyone's different, and guys come into the league at 18 and they'll be ridiculous like Connor and Jack, but for me it's hard being an 18-year-old defenseman. It's pretty tough."

Breaking down the 5 best options to boost scoring in the NHL | CBS Sports
Number 6 involves Species' basement.

Updated (and honest) NHL 16 player ratings | Sports Illustrated
OK you assholes. Kessel has a "hot dogs per day" rating of 1?

The Hall of Fame's next generation | Dangle
Yzerman in glasses. * _ *

Cameo: In which a stray Achariya shows up in a Tampa Bay Lightning propaganda piece, at around the 25 second mark.

Game Recaps

There were four games last night; rather quiet compared to the 13 on the schedule for tonight.

Flames @ Capitals Game Recap - Matchsticks and Gasoline
The Calgary Flames just keep getting better during their road trip with a 3-2 OT win against the Washington Capitals.

Quick Bite: Sharks top Red Wings - Fear The Fin
Don't examine this picture too closely.

Islanders 4, Ducks 1: Frans Nielsen scores twice in Adam Pelech's NHL debut - Lighthouse Hockey
Frans Nielsen scored twice, Adam Pelech made his NHL debut, and the  Islanders found some offense in front of Thomas Greiss for the second time on a three-game trip with a 4-1 win over the Ducks.


In the end Columbus was of course destroyed by Pittsburgh.


Quick Thoughts: Blue Jackets 2, Penguins 1 - The Cannon
With Brandon Dubinsky out, the Blue Jackets come up big with a road win against Pittsburgh.