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From the Branches: Jackets cannonball start of second half of Leafs' season

The Leafs enter the second half of the season on a tough loss to The Blue Jackets.

"That's that Species guy isn't it? Call security!"
"That's that Species guy isn't it? Call security!"
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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Recap: Blue Jackets 3, Leafs 1 - Pension Plan Puppets
The Blue Jackets' young goaltender Korpisalo was the difference in this one as the Leafs peppered him with 42 pucks.

Highlight Recap, Game #45: Jackets at Maple Leafs - The Cannon
♪ ♫ Wins never go out of style, wins never go out of style. ♪ ♫

Phaneuf: ‘We’re going in the right direction’ - Article - TSN
"The biggest thing that I notice right now is that from day one of training camp to now, knowing our system and what is expected and being familiar with what Mike asks of our group. I use that and I say that and I’ll use an example just of one thing: practice habits. If you watch us at the start of the year coming out of training camp – when we cut down to our team – if you watched the practice then and then you watched the practice now, I think you’d see our practice habits are a lot better, which, in turn, turns over to the game."

John Tory gives Justin Trudeau Leafs jersey but is ambushed by socks - Pension Plan Puppets
Habs socks: an affront to us all.

Maple Leafs prospect recap: Timashov shows off in Shawinigan - Pension Plan Puppets
Recapping prospect action from January 4-10.

Women's World Juniors Day 4: Quater Finals completed - Pension Plan Puppets
After the preliminary round was over on Monday night we had our playoff matches and the two teams who would play to stay in the main group. Yesterday the teams began their march to Gold, or struggle to survive.

Last Night's Other Games

Bennett Scores First NHL Hat Trick - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Bennett notched his first hat trick, Raymond scored, and the Flames lit the Panthers up with a 6-0 shutout.

Andersen wins, Anderson loses as Ducks beat Sens 4-1 - Silver Seven
The Senators suffered a collapse in the final five minutes and lost 4-1 to the Anaheim Ducks.

Onward and forward - Broad Street Hockey
Facing a 2-1 deficit entering the third period, the Flyers used a dominant performance from their top line to claw back and steal a 3-2 victory over the Bruins.

Other News

Caption: "I can't believe I paid that much to sit behind this dumbass".

Farnham Suspended Four Games for Violent Hit on Jaskin - All About The Jersey
In last night's 2-5 loss to St. Louis, Bobby Farnham launched into a defensless Dmitrij Jaskin. He received a major penalty and a misconduct in the game. Today, the NHL Department of Player Safety tacked on a four game suspension for the hit.

Tyler Myers will not face suspension for Tommy Wingels hit - Fear The Fin
Myers, unprovoked, goes after the head of an unsuspecting player with his stick. Again, in a league that allegedly cares about the safety of its players, this should be an automatic suspension.

Bettman on the beard, the Canadian dollar, expansion plans - Article - TSN
LAWLESS: Mrs. Bettman likes it? BETTMAN: Actually to the contrary, but we'll deal with that.

Raffi Torres assigned to Barracuda - Fear The Fin
Raffi Torres is coming off a 41 game suspension for his preseason hit on Jakob Silfverberg. He also appears to have recovered from knee surgery, hence the conditioning stint. For better or worse we're likely to see him back with the Sharks soon.

How to Be (and Not to Be) a Dallas Stars Fan: Latest Updates to the Official Guide - Defending Big D
We've added some updates to the official Fan Handbook (Fandbook?) for the 16th edition. Please take a moment to peruse these helpful instructions.

The special teams of the Flyers probably aren't this bad - Broad Street Hockey
Not only have the Flyers underperformed relative to their shot/chance metrics on special teams, they have probably been the most unlucky team in the league thus far in 2015-16.

The New York Rangers Have An Accountability Problem - Blueshirt Banter
Alain Vigneault has fostered an environment that lacks any true accountability.

Coyotes claim Kevin Connauton off waivers from Columbus Blue Jackets - Five For Howling
Coyotes make their second waiver claim of the year Kevin Connauton.

Cody Hodgson placed on waivers - On the Forecheck
Thus ends the journey of Hodgson in Nashville. When he was signed in the summer following a buyout from Buffalo, the hope was he could regain some semblance of play that allowed him to be drafted 10th overall in 2008, and put up 20 goals in 2013-14. For only $1.05 million dollars, the reward far outweighed the risks.

Reports: Kopitar, Kings Nearing Agreement on $80 Million Contract - Jewels From The Crown
Not final, but according to Bob McKenzie, the term/money are just about set.

Denis Potvin Apologizes to Sedins - Florida Panthers - News
Brief statement addresses his bizarre insult: "Normally they only use those fingers to lick the peanut butter off of their bread."

A Postgame Melee Broke Out, And Florida’s Announcer Had Some Bizarre Insults For Vancouver – UPROXX
The Sedins are pointing fingers now … Normally they only use those fingers to lick the peanut butter off of their bread.

Blues Owner Tom Stillman On St. Louis: "I Guess I Don't Understand Wanting To Be Anywhere Else" - St. Louis Game Time
The Blues' owner understands what it means to be a good corporate citizen.

WATCH: Anthony Rizzo plays Shoot the Puck, is terrible - Second City Hockey
Bless him; more importantly, bless his baseball abilities.

ESPN leaves LA Kings out of Los Angeles champs montage - Puck Daddy
It’s no secret where the NHL is on ESPN’s pecking order, at least on the television side. At last check, it still ranks somewhere between Texas Hold’em and fantasy MMA.

Grabovski and Kulemin embrace the hipster lifestyle in skinny jeans, kimonos and vintage gear - Lighthouse Hockey
WARNING: There's a good chance that seeing Grabovski in a silk robe and Kulemin destroying a pair of skinny jeans might change your perception of reality.

Why the Original Adam Banks Was Fired - SB Nation College Hockey
What were those incidents that got the original Adam Banks fired? Twenty-two years later, Mighty Ducks podcast Quack Attack Pod--which is a real thing, and is awesome--has gotten to the bottom of the story.