Do not believe any Dave Nonis firings or surprise announcements that Mike Babcock wants to join the Leafs after this season. It's April Fools' Day, where your least favourite friends and family members turn your love and trust against you.
Lucky for you, this post is prank-free. I'll be spending the rest of the day trying to ruin any April Fools' jokes that I see, but I can't speak for the rest of the assholes out there. I hope that your day has no more shame than usual as a Leafs fan.
Morgan Rielly scored a real beaut last night that helped the Leafs top the Lightning 3-1. Our recap is here, and the Raw Charge one is here. (Part of the Raw Charge headline is "Lightning run into hot goaltender." Species?)
How good is Lawson Crouse? - The Leafs Nation
Brunt: Maple Leafs "least likeable group" ever - Sportsnet
"They are the least likable group of professional athletes I think I’ve ever been around. I don't know these guys. Just the way they play, outside of the arena, the way they come across – they come across as the opposite of plucky underdogs that are trying really, really hard even if they’re not quite good enough. This is talented guys who are getting paid enormous amounts of money who stopped trying a long time ago and are kind of laughing at everybody." (emphasis mine)
Maple Leafs' tank job has been remarkably successful - Mirtle
At least they're good at something.
Leafs top players trade value a key concern after ugly second half - Mirtle
Around the League
Alex Ovechkin hits 50, ties Bondra for franchise lead - Japer's Rink
So that Ovi is pretty good, eh? He's definitely in pretty good company for scoring at least 50 goals in a season six or more times.
Sports reaction to Indiana law a victory - Bruce Arthur
Sports are not, never have been, and never will be, outside of politics. Athletes should be a part of the effort in getting Indiana to repeal this horrific and discriminatory law.
Florida Panthers promotion seeks to fill open 'Traveling Jagrs' position - Puck Daddy
This audition is bigger than American Idol.
Price vs. Dubnyk: How NHL GMs overvalue goalies - Stephen Burtch
Good stuff as always from Burtch
If Blues falter, change at the top is needed - St. Louis Game Time
Stop the tanking: A draft proposal so crazy, it might work - The Faceoff Circle
@50_MissionCap has some ideas about how to alter the draft so teams like the Leafs can't do what they did this year
Lightning News Corner
I let Achariya post some Bolts news so that she feels better after how Vasilevskiy totally lost the game last night.
Jon Cooper Q&A | Hockey Central at Noon
Watch the snarkiest coach in the NHL be his lawyer self and take on the Sportsnet dudes. My favorite part: "I no longer have to get off the bus and pretend to stare at my phone so that the players lead me to the visitor's locker room."
Lightning continue to win despite spate of injuries | NHL.com
You know, except for last night.
Five reasons Lightning clinched playoff berth | NHL.com
Leafs should heed Yzerman's quick rebuild | Mirtle
"Even after a 3-1 loss to Toronto on Tuesday, the Lightning still sit near the top of the standings..." Aw, thanks, Mirtle.