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From the Branches: Penultimate day of the year

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Few leaves left in the book of 2015. What will 2016 bring?

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Who will be in the lineup when the 2016-2017 season starts?

Leafs Links

Recap: Isles 6, Leafs 3, MOVING ON | PPP
"Things got off to a Jonathan Bernier start for the Leafs this evening, as the Islanders scored on just their second shot of the night. Brock Nelson (who was a big factor in the last Leafs-Islanders game) angled Peter Holland off the puck and slid home a shot five-hole."

Canada 3 vs Switzerland 2 (SO) World Juniors Recap: Marner, Dermott scoreless for first time | PPP
Team Switzerland, losers to Denmark earlier in the tournament, gave Canada all they could handle in a 3-2 shootout loss.

Russia defeats Belarus fresh off their win over Finland | PPP
"Belarus vs. Russia was an uneven contest between neighbours that ended in a score of 4-1 but revealed a lot about the strength of Russia."

ESPN picks best contest designs for new Toronto Maple Leafs jersey | PPP
"The Toronto Maple Leafs are getting a new logo and uniform set for 2016, and would you look at that: 2016 is only a few days away."

Tyler Bozak named NHL's third star of the week | PPP
"Bozak was a huge part of that this past week. His four goals - including a hat trick in the third period of a 7-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche - and assist for five points were the second-most any NHL player scored over the past week."

Maple Leafs’ dreary loss to Islanders reinforces need to stick with rebuild | Globe and Mail
"Despite the Toronto Maple Leafs’ recent run of competence, Tuesday’s 6-3 loss to the New York Islanders was as dreary an exercise as anything perpetrated on the fans during last season’s apocalypse."

Maple Leafs-Penguins Preview | Fox Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs shaping the future of the franchise around Mike Babcock: Post Sports’ People of 2015 | National Post
"What happened was, the night before we had a plan going to bed," Babcock said. "When the computer went off at 3:32 in the morning, my daughter was finishing her paper and going and printing paper, and then I didn’t sleep again and by morning I had a different plan."

Stingrays send Orlando to fifth straight loss | Don Money
"For several weeks, Orlando Solar Bears head coach Anthony Noreen has been stressing "keeping to the system" and that wins and losses are not as important at this point in the season. right now even one win by any means would be a welcome sight."

Other Hockey Links

Panthers' on-ice success is attracting more fans | NHL
Disagree: I think it's all Jagr.

NHL has had an instant classic since going outdoors in 2008 | Washington Times
"We got it in Buffalo because no one was willing to take the risk," the Sabres former managing partner said. "There was a lot of trepidation. Could we sell out? What would the weather be like? Could we actually build the ice?"

Women's hockey leagues embrace their small piece of NHL's Winter Classic | Canadian Press
"Women's hockey has reached another milestone with its inclusion in the NHL's annual outdoor game, albeit in a limited format."

The Ben Scrivens trade is more proof Marc Bergevin is the NHL's savviest GM | SBN
"It might not look like much, but Scrivens could be a great pickup."

Darnell Nurse tussles with Milan Lucic for first NHL fight (Video) | Puck Daddy
Hellooooooooooooooooooo Nurse.

Erik Karlsson, Ryan Getzlaf and the NHL's 6 most stunning stats so far | CBS Sports
You'll never believe what you're about to see! OK so you will.

Recaps

So I um woke up at 2 AM and wrote something in the editor's chatroom, and it woke up Species. So IF I can get back into his good graces, maybe he'll give us his usual awesome recaps. Please, Species?

[Species: Only because you asked so nicely]

It appears the Christmas hangover is continuing with many of last night's games ending with lopsided scores. There was no greater gong show that the Bruins defeating the Senators 7-3. The game took quite a nasty turn and the Department of Player Safety has already confirmed they will take a close look at some events.

The worst team in the league defeated the top team in the league in a 6-3 blowout. I guess the Blue Jackets were really happy about doing that.

Ben Scrivens made his debut for Vomit City, and got rolled by the Panthers. Jagr inched closer to the number 3 spot on the all-time goals list.

Scrivens' solid debut spoiled - Eyes On The Prize
The Canadiens finally broke their losing streak in Tampa, but failed to build on that against the other Florida team.

Chicago scores 3 power play goals in 7-5 win - Second City Hockey
The Blackhawks dominated with the extra man, leading them to a win over the Coyotes

1 Minute and 36 Seconds - The Copper & Blue
After playing a great first period the Oilers started the second period flat and allowed the Los Angeles Kings to score 3 goals in a minute 36. The third goal would end up being the game winner.

GAMER: Ducks 1 at Flames 0 - Anaheim Wins Ugly To Snap Flames Home Win Streak - Anaheim Calling
The Ducks dedicated themselves defensively to smother the Flames and earn a critical pair of Pacific Division points. Shawn Horcoff's second period goal was all Anaheim needed to snap Calgary's franchise record tying 11 game home winning streak.

Wings Clipped By Jets 4-1 - Arctic Ice Hockey
Still undefeated without Scheifele!

Predators Vs. Blues Recap: Two Goal Leads *Ping* Are The *Ping* Worst. - St. Louis Game Time
NBCSN, now with extra PING.

Bruins Beat Up on Senators - Silver Seven
It was a typical battle in Bean town, with the Bruins bringing out their dirty and dominant play. The Senators were badly embarrassed tonight.

Jackets Explode For 6-3 Win Over Stars - The Cannon
After a rough weekend following the holiday break, the Blue Jackets took on the best team in the NHL...and blew their doors off? Sure, why not.