Two games left in the regular season, and TSN has chosen to bless us with an article about Patrick Marleau’s second-intermission ice baths. Praise be. I needed some weirdness in my life.

Eleven minutes.

That’s how long Patrick Marleau says it takes him to undress, jump in the cold tub, get dressed again and be ready to head back to the ice. He has this routine​ timed to the minute because he’s done it in the second intermission in every game for the last eight years.

I’m imagining some curious teammate in San Jose standing by with a stopwatch as Marleau performs the fastest, chilliest quick-change act in hockey. Sometimes it takes me more than eleven minutes just to zip myself into a dress, and I don’t have to mess around with full-body protective gear and lace into skates.

“I thought he was nuts,” admitted defenceman Morgan Rielly, “but he’s been around enough to know what works for him.”

Even Marleau’s teammates think this is weird. That’s significant, because hockey players are generally weird, in a variety of different and fascinating ways that frequently go unremarked upon. Sometimes, I think we all lose sight of that.

The best part of this article, by far, is Mitch Marner admitting that he tried the cold bath thing a couple times, decided getting in and out of his equipment was too much work, and has instead moved on to the grown-up version of his junior-hockey routine of eating a whole bag of Skittles.

As for the 20-year-old Marner, he said he has his own way of getting jacked up for the third. He guzzles a can of the energy drink Red Bull every second intermission.

Marner has a gift for being delightfully, endearingly, boyishly predictable.

The Maple Leafs play the New Jersey Devils tonight in their second-to-last game of the regular season. We’ll have a preview up later this morning; until then, occupy yourselves with some non-bath-related news stories:


Come From Away Hockey - Pension Plan Puppets
Hi, I'm Aki from St. John's.

Toronto Maple Leaf prospects: What’s next for Keaton Middleton? - Pension Plan Puppets
The towering defender’s rights will expire this summer.

2018 NHL playoff races: avoiding the Leafs and sinking to the bottom - Pension Plan Puppets
Boston and Tampa remain undecided on who gets the Leafs and who gets a wildcard team. Last place is also up for grabs, and the Panthers are not out of it yet.

Stuff We Didn’t Write

Stanley Cup saying goodbye to some NHL legends' names | CBC Sports
The names of the Hockey Hall of Famers and other players who won NHL championships from 1954-65, including Gordie Howe, are being stripped off the Stanley Cup this spring to create room for others.

Montreal Canadiens: The next step for Rinat Valiev
The Montreal Canadiens chose to return Rinat Valiev to the Laval Rocket where he can get back on track and prove he's worth investing in.

College hockey - Previewing the 2018 Frozen Four's players to watch and keys for each team
The puck drops on the Frozen Four this weekend in St. Paul, as Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Minnesota-Duluth battle for a national title. Chris Peters previews the teams ahead of the action, looking at players to watch and how each team stacks up.

Maple Leafs Prospect Report: Which Marlies can make the NHL jump? -
Toronto's strong pipeline of prospects is the envy of the NHL, even after graduating a few excellent players the past couple of seasons. Luke Fox takes a look at the candidates who could possibly make the jump to the NHL in 2018-19.

World Championship: Ryan Pulock to Join Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle for Team Canada - Lighthouse Hockey
The Islanders’ Americans, however, may all have other things to do.

Injured Dermott likely to play in Maple Leafs’ regular-season finale | Toronto Sun
Expect to see Maple Leafs rookie defenceman Travis Dermott one more time in the 2017-18 regular season.Dermott participated for approximately 20 minutes of practice on Wednesday at the MasterCard Centre before departing, Leafs coach Mike Babcock said.

Andersen searching for his game as postseason nears - Article - TSN
It’s the time of year in the National Hockey League when playoff-bound players want nothing more than to be at the top of their game. And that’s exactly what can make a stretch like the last four weeks so frustrating for Frederik Andersen.

Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly give Maple Leafs a 50-50 shot | Toronto Star
Duo is the Leafs’ first defensive pairing since Kaberle and McCabe to get 50 points in the same season.

And Now, For A Draft Lottery Update

Dahlin’s still going to go to Edmonton, because numbers are meaningless and life is a hellscape. Go Leafs Go.