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From the Branches: The Leafs may decide if the Flyers or Red Wings make the playoffs

The NHL's regular season is almost over, but the battle for the last playoff spot is still on, and the Leafs will play a major role in it.

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Remember when Lupul played with Kasperi Kapanen's father?
Remember when Lupul played with Kasperi Kapanen's father?
Len Redkoles/Getty Images

One week from now the Leafs will be preparing for their final game of the regular season. For me, the season feels like it has passed by really fast, especially since the start of 2016. Even though the off-season will be excruciatingly long, I will be glad when the Leafs' 2015-16 season is officially over. We all knew this season would be one to forget, and, despite all the surprises and the exciting debuts of new players, I want to move on to the draft, and see what trades happen.

That being said, the battle is never over until it's over. From today through next Saturday the Leafs are squeezing in five games, including two games against teams in competition for the last wild card slot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers and Red Wings are tied for points, though, as of right now, the Flyers have squeezed into the last wild card slot on a tie breaker. The Leafs play the Red Wings today, and the Flyers next Thursday. A win and a loss, or a loss and a win, may actually decide who goes on to the post-season and who doesn't. Who do you want out? Vote in our poll below.

You can vote in the poll below to tell us who you want to win.

Now, if you want something to feel great about that isn't schadenfreude, how about the Marlies? Their season is also far from over. The AHL regular season goes through to April 17. In fact, they are playing the Grand Rapids Griffins today at 5pm EST, and I'll be there to recap it for you!

Speaking of the Marlies...

Toronto Marlies: Who is even on this team right now? - PPP
The Marlies roster is in flux right now, and this is your primer on who is on the team right now, and where they came from.

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for diving - PPP
Oops!

Women's World Championship

Women's World Championships: Day 3 recap and quarterfinal preview - PPP
Canada defeats Finland; US remains perfect; Switzerland heads to relegation vs. Japan.

Women's hockey worlds: Finland earns semifinal date with Canada - CBC
Canada will face Finland in the semifinal of the women's world hockey championship Sunday. The Finns downed the Czech Republic 5-0 in Friday's quarter-final to advance to the tournament's final four.

Laura Schuler wants a long run as Canadian women’s hockey coach - G&M
The 45-year-old from Toronto is the first alumnus to be Canada’s head coach at a world championship

Signings

Danny O'Regan signs with San Jose Sharks - Fear The Fin
Sharks sign Boston University forward to ELC deal.

Rangers sign undrafted free agent forward Adam Chapie - Blue Seat Blogs
UMass-Lowell forward Adam Chapie has inked a one-year ELC

McKenzie: Bruins sign Grzelcyk to a two-year deal - Stanley Cup of Chowder
REJOICE, for the Boston University Terrier is officially in the fold.

Other News

OWWWW!

Ray Emery signed by Flyers for remainder of season - Broad Street Hockey
"The veteran goalie will hopefully just ride the bench." [Species] No. He will hopefully flush your playoff hopes down the toilet.

Canadiens' AHL affiliate likely to miss playoffs for fifth consecutive year - EOTP
[Species] You mean NHL All-Star John Scott couldn't save them?

Devils' Tootoo, Merrill Out for Season - All About The Jersey
[Species] Linking this only for the shock value of reminding everyone Jordin Tootoo is still playing. We hear so much about the importance of "size," yet, 5 foot 9 inch Tootoo has 637 NHL games under his belt with only 63 goals. Apparently size doesn't matter?

NWHL Announces Restricted Free Agency Period and Draft Tax - Blueshirt Banter
The league released details regarding restricted free agency policies and draft tax consequences in a press release today.

Hayley Moore to continue as Boston Pride GM - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Here's to a great second season!

NWHL New Jersey Angels Not to Be - Today's Slapshot
Eagle-eyed fans of the NWHL immediately jumped to the conclusion there would be an NWHL expansion team in New Jersey.

Erik Karlsson on track to reach several exclusive NHL marks - CBC
The Senators won't compete in the playoffs, but fans have something, or someone, to cheer for. Erik Karlsson has an excellent chance to be the first defenceman in 30 years to finish in the top five in NHL scoring and the first since 1975 to lead the league in assists.

T-Mobile Arena gives us the concessions of our dreams - Las Vegas Weekly
"Artisanal ice and lounges devoted to fine tequila and whiskey cocktails, carts for customized poke and banh mi, a barbecue stand smoking meats in-house, a Goose Island craft bar, a grab-n-go for sushi and salads, even a gastropub (DeLucia recommends the duck-fat fries and sandwich of juicy, slow-roasted prime rib). Suites can tap the caviar side of things, whether it’s those prized fish eggs, a secret menu by Shake Shack, a playful dessert cart (think six-layer carrot cake and hand-dipped chocolate liqueur cups) or a one-on-one with Abou-Ganim to personalize the bar. And don’t forget the roving mojito cart and the Punch Girls armed with Champagne and crystal."