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From the Branches: Elimination night for the Sound Tigers

Will Bridgeport steal back a game to force the series to four?

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I'm going to hazard a guess: No.

Toronto Marlies News

Playoff Platoon: A Look at the Toronto Marlies Goaltending Situation | MLHS
"Could one of the Toronto Marlies’ perceived weakness heading into the post-season actually turn into one of their greatest strengths?"

Connor Brown drives Toronto Marlies success against Bridgeport | Toronto Star
"When the Toronto Marlies were on their heels early in Games 1 and 2 in Bridgeport, it was Connor Brown who came through, finding that little bit extra to calm everybody down."

AHL Playoffs Roundup: Marlies almost flawless | Sportsnet
Some first-round series have gone as expected with the overwhelmingly favoured Toronto Marlies cruising to two road wins in Connecticut in their matchup with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Marlies say they won't forget last season's playoff meltdown | Toronto Sun
"To be up two games and lose three in a row is disappointing to say the least," said centre Sam Carrick of what happened last April against Grand Rapids.

Sound Tigers’ Collberg finds his game in playoffs | CT Post
"Playing on the third line, mostly against the Toronto Marlies’ top line, Collberg had a couple of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ best scoring scoring chances in their two playoff losses last weekend at home."

Auston Matthews News

Two sleeps until the draft lottery, and I know that all the focus has shifted to Laine and Puljujarvi, so I'm here to recenter it on noted American big-bodied playmaker Auston "Papi" Matthews. I've been reading up on him for the past few days, so I thought I'd share the best articles that I've found about him.

Introducing Auston Matthews -- Video | Fox Sports
I had this video embedded but it autoplayed, so here's a link to it instead.

Auston Matthews gets the 'T.O. talk' | Toronto Sun
"The bright lights and big city aren’t going to bother him," Crawford said in a phone interview. "He knows he’s most likely going to Canada (The Leafs, Oilers, Canucks, Flames, Jets and Habs will total 66% of the possible ping-pong ball combinations) and we’ve had the talk about going to Toronto.

From Arizona to Switzerland, Auston Matthews' life shaped by family | ESPN
Such is life for a family from Scottsdale that finds itself at the eye of a tantalizing hockey storm, one that will carry into next summer and beyond and has tossed the family topsy-turvy into separate realities in Zurich and also the scorching heat of the Arizona desert.

Matthews navigating Swiss life with assist from mom | NHL
When Auston Matthews' mother isn't making arrangements to watch her son play in some sold-out hockey arena in Switzerland, she's either helping him with schoolwork or providing a home-cooked meal. "I cook every day; typically breakfast and dinner," Ema Matthews told NHL.com. "I don't have to make lunch that much as Auston will go out with teammates after practice.

Scottsdale's Auston Matthews continues to impress hockey world | AZ Central Sports
"Auston Matthews managed to cram into one season what many don't accomplish in an entire career."

Matthews again tops NHL Central Scouting list of prospects | Toronto Sun
"NHL Central Scouting divides its rankings into North American and European skaters and does the same for goalies. Matthews, who was born in Arizona but played in the Swiss league this season, was named as the top European, followed by wingers Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi. Most believe that will be the draft order June 24 in Buffalo."

Scouts make Kopitar and Toews comparisons with Auston Matthews | Puck Daddy
"If Auston Matthews was slightly older, last year’s generational NHL Draft wouldn’t have been just between Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel for the No. 1 overall pick. According to scouts, Matthews’ all-around headiness and offensive nature at center would have vaulted him into the conversation for the top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft."

Draft Prospect Watch: Auston Matthews | TLN
"When we talk about strengths and weaknesses in Matthews game, one of those lists is much longer than the other - that comes with the territory of being the best player available."

Patrik Laine's case for first overall | HEOTP
Whatever, no.

Here, watch for yourself:

Playoffs

Nashville Predators 2, Anaheim Ducks 1: Goose > Ducks, Preds Advance | OTF
The Predators win their first game 7 in franchise history. What, like it was hard?

It's a shame the 2nd round hasn't started yet because I really want to see how the Bolts do against the Islanders.

What do you mean there was a game last night? I remember nothing.

NOTHING.