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From the Branches: God Jul, Nylander!

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How to celebrate Jul like a Nylander.

Bronze Medal - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

Okay, y’all. It’s Christmas eve, which is a big deal to our Swede, so here are a few pointers on how to properly celebrate the holiday with him:

(1) Swedes are very musical, even the ones that play hockey. Put on a few of these Swedish Christmas songs while you open presents a day early!

(2) Practice the Christmas greeting: God jul och gott nytt år! (Merry Christmas and happy new year!) The pronounciation is: “God yule och god neet or.” Then watch the annual royal family Christmas video. This year, it features the Swedish royals trekking through the woods.

(3) Make a Julbord, a large table of food to browse. Traditional Swedish items to serve at Jul include glögg (mulled wine), knäckebröd (salmon, potatoes, and crispy bread), gravlax (salmon cured in sugar, salt, and dill), lutfisk (dried cod in sauce), janssons frestelse (potato and cream casserole), prinskorv (sausage), and of course, sill (pickled herring).

(4) Watch the traditional Swedish Jul cartoon, “Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul,” or “Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas.” No joke, it plays every year on Christmas Eve at 3 PM.

(5) After you exchange presents, eat a bowl of risgrynsgröt, or rice pudding. Here’s a recipe.

(6) And don’t forget to put out your straw goat! Goats protect the Christmas tree. (But just remember: the goat burns on New Year’s Eve.)

Classic fika selfie

A photo posted by William Nylander (@williamnylander) on

Awright. Thank you for your smiling face, Nylander! God Jul!

ICYMI

Maple Leafs game recap: Leafs 4 @ Coyotes 1

Auston Matthews’ homecoming

Leafs News

An inside look at the sports-mad Nylander household | Toronto Sun

It's well after midnight in Stockholm and Michael Nylander is sitting in his living room.

On one side of him is a television. On the other, a computer. Both have live hockey games on their screens and, for the next three hours, Nylander’s eyes will be darting back and forth.

One game features his son William, 20, a rookie forward with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The second is showing an American Hockey League contest involving the Rochester Americans, the team of his other boy, 18-year-old Buffalo Sabres prospect Alex.

Komarov nets pair as Maple Leafs best Coyotes | Sportsnet
"Doan and Matthews, the first overall pick in the draft, started the game on opposite sides of the face-off circle, an early matchup of mentor and mentee. Matthews, who grew up and played youth hockey in Scottsdale, struck on his second shift of the night."

Big win for Maple Leafs in Auston Matthews' return to desert home | Toronto Sun
“I didn’t have many nerves, I just wanted to come here in play,” Matthews said after the game. “(Getting the assist on the opening goal) just gives you the confidence going forward. To produce on the scoresheet helped get us going.”

Shane Doan records 400th career goal as Arizona Coyotes fall 4-1 to Toronto Maple Leafs | Five for Howling
“The Arizona Coyotes have developed the unfortunate habit of losing Shane Doan’s milestone games this year.”

Leafs Notebook – Selling at the Deadline & A Holiday Wishlist – December 23 | MLHS
“As a young, growing team that is currently in sixth place in the Atlantic — albeit it with games in hand on the teams in fourth and fifth, as well as the third best goal differential in the division — the Leafs are not yet ready to be buyers. But they do have the ability to be power brokers this deadline, and that potentially benefits the club in more than one way.”

A Very NHL Christmas

The Night Before (NHL) Christmas | SCOC
“With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, Chowder has a Christmas message for all hockey fans this Christmas Eve.”

Here’s what every NHL team would look like in a ‘Christmas Day’ uniform | Fox Sports
"I decided to explore what the NHL's Christmas Day uniforms might look like. Instead of overloading on green and red, the NHL could potentially dream of a cream Christmas and bring a retro feel to their unforms."

The Airing of NHL Grievances | Big Bad Blog
"In line with Festivus traditions, and before we get to the Feats of Strength, it’s time for the Airing of Grievances (NHL style). I got a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re going to hear about it."

NHL used to be busy on Christmas | NHL.com
"It's a time when you're not really in the mood to play hockey," said Goring, now an analyst on New York Islanders telecasts. "You grow up as kids; the 24th, 25th, even Boxing Day in Canada is the 26th. It's a time to relax and enjoy what you did the night before, recover from what you did the night before. When you grow up with that concept, it's tough to get yourself in the mood."

NHL Christmas Day games weren’t all winter classics | Toronto Star
"NHL scheduled games on the holiday from 1920 to 1971, with Leafs often in the spotlight."

What every NHL team wants for Christmas this year | Fan Rag Sports
"Tampa Bay Lightning: Some sort of anti-injury ward for Steven Stamkos. The all-world forward has had his fair share of odd injuries, and the Lightning clearly miss him up front." -- Fair enough.

Christmas movies as NHL players | The Comeback Blog
"What’s the best cold-weather sport? It’s hockey. What’s the best cold-weather movie genre? It’s Christmas movies. What’s the best sports content one can consume during the cold-weather months and specifically the holiday season?"

Halloween came early

A photo posted by William Nylander (@williamnylander) on