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From the Branches: When Matthews meets McDavid

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Pucks fly!

World Cup Of Hockey 2016 - Team North America v Sweden Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Good morning! My other blue team has been sucking of late, so here I am to anticipate the joy of Auston Matthews playing against Connor McDavid. Woo, this’ll be a fun night of hockey!

The Leafs

Views from the Excel sheet: Why Minnesota Wild have been lucky and Toronto Maple Leafs should soon improve | National Post — Lowest PDO? Leafs make the list at 27th luckiest.

Maple Leafs’ AHL Defensive Depth | THW — "Let’s take a look at what defensemen are the next wave because the current one isn’t doing so well right now."

Don Cherry praises Talbot, says Maple Leafs miss Reimer | Sportsnet — FUNNY, THOSE GOALTENDERS, THEY GO ALONG THREE, FOUR YEARS AND THEY’RE MEDIOCRE, THEN BANG, ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY TURN INTO SOMETHING

Post-game Thoughts: Tired Maple Leafs Put Together Sloppy Effort in Loss | Tip of the Tower — "The ice at the Barclays Centre, widely regarded as one of the worst playing surfaces in the league, was horrendous on Sunday night." Oh good.

Game Day: Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs | Edmonton Journal

The League

For this meal, a power play was the best option | Boston Globe -- “Part of an occasional series about Globe reporter Fluto Shinzawa’s culinary experiences on the hockey beat.” Red Wings are served up!

NHL players celebrate Halloween | NHL -- Prince K. Subban and more.

Argument against paying junior hockey players evokes another league that fought compensation -- the NHL | National Post — “The [outside junior hockey] game, at New Era Field in Orchard Park — normally the Buffalo Bills’ sadness factory — could have as many as 70,000 fans in attendance, making massive piles of money for the tournament organizers. As is custom in junior hockey, none of that will be shared with the players.”

Shea Weber thriving in first month with Canadiens | Tennessean — “I’m just so happy for him," said Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who was Weber's longest-tenured teammate before the trade. "I’m not surprised. I guess that’s the best way to put it. ... I’m never surprised when I hear or see him score or get points because he’s a top player in this league, and top players have that quality."

Meet Jonathan Marchessault, the NHL’s best bargain | Sportsnet — "Squished between Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko on the league’s leaderboard, the 5-foot-9 Florida Panthers centre would’ve painted you a liar if you told him he’d have three goals and five assists through six games and be on pace for a 110-point campaign in the NHL."

How Angela Gorgone became the NHL’s first female AGM | THN — “As a youngster growing up in Long Island, Gorgone watched games with a loose-leaf binder, keeping track of the score and statistics. When it came time to prepare for college, she faced a quandary. ‘They don’t make a school where you go there to become the GM of a hockey team,’ Gorgone said. ‘So that was my dilemma.’”

Judge to dismiss charges against Sabres’ Evander Kane | Edmonton Sun

Craig Anderson shuts out Oilers after revealing wife’s cancer fight | Puck Daddy — Sniffle

Red Wings' Steve Ott receives max fine for spearing Bruins' Zdeno Chara | CBS Sports — One man speared Chara and lived to tell the tale.

Islanders put Jaroslav Halak on trade block after agent's criticism | CBS Sports — Allan Walsh is at it again.