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From the Branches: Ovechkin and Crosby are now BFFs

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I’m glad the All-Star Game happened for this alone, okay?

2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game - Atlantic vs. Metropolitan Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

All-Star Game Fallout

Thoughts on the All-Star Game | PPP
“I would never in a million years pay for an ASG ticket to watch players phone it in like this.”

Adventures at the "They're just showing off, really" competion | PPP fanpost by IceDesert!
“Auston Matthews hung out with Frans Nielson while he was sitting on the bench, and was chatting with Kyle Okposo and John Tavares at one point. He seemed a little nervous, but was grinning pretty much every time I could see his face.”

Auston Matthews has positive learning experience at NHL All-Star Game | Puck Daddy
In which Puck Daddy learns that sticking “Auston Matthews” into a headline is great SEO.

Alex Ovechkin meets Snoop Dogg at the All-Star Game | CSN Midatlantic
“Ovechkin met one of his most famous fans, Snoop Dogg.” Who wouldn’t smile at that? Ovi needs all the joy he can get in his Cupless life.

Nervous Matthews bonds with Crosby during NHL all-star skills competition | Toronto Sun
D’awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. “So there he was, for all to see, the normally sure-handed Matthews, dipsy doodling his way around weighted pucks. Suddenly he lost control. Seconds later, he did it again. ‘I was nervous,’ Matthews laughed afterward. ‘But it was a great experience.’”

NHL All-Star Game: Will the third time be the L.A. charm | Ms. Helene Elliott
A deep-dive into the history of the All-Star Game in Los Angeles by the best LA Kings writer.

Justin Bieber, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr among highlights of All-Star weekend | ESPN
Lurking in this gallery is a great picture of Matthews facing down Crosby, AND Carleton battling with a wacky looking goaltender.

NHL All-Star Weekend's biggest surprise has been Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby's bromance | USA Today
“On Friday night, Crosby and Ovechkin palled around at the NHL’s Top 100 Ceremony and even took a picture with Ovechkin’s dad.”

The Metropolitan Division defeats the Pacific: A recap of the 2017 NHL All-Star Game | Raw Charge
This lovely guy at my Other Site wrote a serious recap of this game. Bless him.

What do you like, dislike most about NHL All-Star Game? | Puck Daddy
“How long before the 3-on-3 gets killed because the players didn’t like looking gassed by the third game?”

NHL won’t be in 2018 Olympics barring ‘game-changer’ | Puck Daddy
“If the status quo remains, I don’t expect us to be in the Olympics,” said deputy commissioner Bill Daly. “As of right now, there’s not a will [to participate].”

Players hoping NHL comes around on 2018 Olympics decision | Sportsnet
Yeaaaaah. "I would love to go there (again)," said Sergei Bobrovsky, the Columbus Blue Jackets netminder who represented Russia on home soil in 2014. "I think still it's the biggest competition in the world, one of the big ones at least."

The Leafs

Analyzing the Value of Morgan Rielly | Editor in Leaf
“In the first game without Rielly, the Leafs faced the Rangers and lost 5-2. They out-possessed the Rangers, but an inordinate amount of their shots were blocked or missed the net (half!) Frank Corrado stepped in for Rielly and wasn’t bad – 52% CF. The real problem was that Babcock was forced to give Hunwick and Polak each over 20 minutes of ice-time, which is about an extra 2.5 minutes each.”

Maple Leafs mid-season prospects power ranking | Scott’s been cheating on us with The Athletic
It’s almost like we ALL have side-pieces nowadays. Scott is unfairly biased toward Kapanen, too. It’s okay that he’s wrong.

Toronto Maple Leafs Rumors: Shattenkirk Would Consider TO Extension | Editor in Leaf
“According to Craig Custance of ESPN, the thought of potentially joining the Toronto Maple Leafs is warming up to Kevin Shattenkirk.”

Solar Bears find silver lining in OT loss | Don Money
"Berehowsky and most of the Sunday afternoon crowd had to be extremely happy with the way the Solar Bears started out. Bringing a let’s hit them hard and fast attitude out of the locker room, Orlando hit the ice flying from the opening face-off."

Nazem Kadri is exactly what the Leafs need him to be | Cat Silverman for Fan Rag Sports
Interesting, Silverman’s writing here, eh? Cool. “Perceptions can be a funny, fickle thing. They can be hard to shake and they can leave a player either undervalued or overhyped long after his reputation is due to change. At this point, it’s worth considering that with Kadri.”