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From the Branches: Easter and stuff

Brunch and hockey.

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As the site's resident Buddhist, I realized that I knew nothing about Easter, so I read up on it. I consulted the Golden Bough to learn more about your Christian customs, and it had this to say:

In many parts of [the world] a bonfire is also kindled, by means of the new fire, on some open space near the church. It is consecrated, and the people bring sticks of oak, walnut, and beech, which they char in the fire, and then take home with them. Some of these charred sticks are thereupon burned at home in a newly-kindled fire, with a prayer that God will preserve the homestead from fire, lightning, and hail. Thus every house receives "new fire."

So good luck on this day in which you gain "new fire," Christians! Sounds nice, and sometimes necessary. Much like the enormous tire fire of the last Leafs season, may the charred sticks of the rebuild create a new fire that will burn, uh... OK this metaphor is toast.

Leafs News

Nazem Kadri may be earning reputation with officials | Sportsnet
"Kadri has long been one of the NHL’s best players at drawing penalties but suddenly the calls have dried up. It’s reasonable to believe his reputation might have something to do with it."

Toronto Maple Leafs Free Agency Beyond Stamkos | Editor in Leaf
Here are 3 options that could fit the Toronto Maple Leafs free agency beyond Stamkos. (You won't believe #2!)

A closer look at Maple Leafs’ Jonathan Bernier’s game in 2016 | Sportsnet
"Bernier has had an erratic season from a production standpoint, opening the 2015-16 campaign in rough fashion with a 3.02 goals-against average and a troubling sub-.900 (.899 to be exact) save percentage over the month of October."

What should Leafs do next year? And what's this about 'loaning' players to Marlies? | Toronto Star
Questions that anybody in this community could probably answer for them.

Toronto Marlies sink St. John's Ice Caps, 5-3 | Us
T. J. Brennan picks up four points, and Shane Conacher makes his pro-hockey debut in today's Marlies win at the ACC.

Recap: Bruins 3, Leafs 1 | Us again
And stuff.

Shane Conacher signs ATO with Toronto Marlies | Even more of this very site
After three seasons at Canisius College, he's going pro.

Cute thing from yesterday's Bruins game thread:
"We did learn that William Nylander has a damn fine head of hair, and also might do stunts for former Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm Joffrey Baratheon."

Other Hockey News

Gretzky gives Bieber a jersey; therefore, Canada has to keep singer | Puck Daddy
"At Wayne Gretzky's Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas, the prophecy foretold by the elders came true as Justin Bieber, in town for his "The Purpose Tour," met up with Gretzky and received a gift. It was an Oilers jersey with the No. 6 on the back."

The Stanley Cup-Lacking All-Star Team: Western Conference | THW
"And among the current crop of NHL stars, there are several players who have put together fantastic careers but lack the one distinction that matters the most. Today, let’s celebrate their anguish and put together an All-Star team of the best active players in the Western Conference who have yet to win the Stanley Cup."

The Stanley Cup-Lacking All-Star Team: Eastern Conference | THW
"The guys below are a mix of MVP’s and scoring leaders. Norris Trophy-winners and Vezina Trophy-winners. Perennial All-Stars and franchise cornerstones. And the great irony is each one of them would likely trade all the individual accolades for a single Stanley Cup ring."

Phil Kessel - Steven Stamkos - Alex Ovechkin
Erik Karlsson - Dion Phaneuf
Henrik Lundqvist

Swedish Defenseman Linus Hultstrom to Sign With Florida: Report | THW
"The 23-year-old isn’t a big player, but is a good skater with a solid shot and offensive instincts. He’s been an asset for Djurgardens on the power play, but could probably use a little tightening of the screws defensively."

NHL top rookie candidates for Calder Trophy | Chicago Tribune
Who is surprised that a Chicago writer picked Panarin over McD?

NHL Playoff Death Watch: Saturday is going to be bonkers | Puck Daddy
I can never figure this stuff out, so I'm happy that PD is doing it for me.

Are any of the NHL's trade deadline deals making an impact? | CBS Sports
Now that we've had a couple of weeks since the trade deadline, let's take a look at some of the deals that were made and who is getting a return on their investment.

Holtby eyes Brodeur's single-season wins record | NBC Sports
"Braden Holtby earned his third shutout and 45th win of the 2015-16 season. With that, Holtby is really creeping on Martin Brodeur’s single-season record for goalie wins at 48."

Happy Easter!