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From The Branches: Maple Leafs Face Capitals

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Washington comes to Mr. Smith (and his team)

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Morning, all! It's Saturday, and I'm still shaking off my Thanksgiving food coma. I have eaten half my weight in pumpkin pie and homemade rolls over the past 48 hours, and feel vaguely like a hibernating bear rising from her den to make bad Jimmy Stewart jokes at you all. Anyone eat good food on Thursday? Anyone buy anything fun yesterday? If you're Canadian, on a scale of one to ten, how tired are you of hearing about a holiday you celebrated in October?

The Marlies lost to the Syracuse Crunch in OT last night, and they'll have an opportunity to redeem themselves against the Utica Comets this afternoon at 1:30, at Ricoh Coliseum.

The Maple Leafs face the Capitals at 7pm tonight. Will Auston Matthews (fresh off an A+ on his report card) feel rested from his Thanksgiving celebrations/gluttony and start a goal streak, instead of a goalless streak? Tune in to find out!

In Case You Missed It:

Toronto Maple Leafs First Term Report Card: The Forwards - Pension Plan Puppets
Grades! Rankings! Babbling!

Toronto prospects on the Marlies - Pension Plan Puppets
A look at that other batch of Leafs prospects we sometimes forget are still prospects.

Other Matters of Note:

Toronto Maple Leafs struggle on defence – and solutions - The Globe and Mail
Team is trying to go from last place to a playoff contender, a leap of more than 25 points that few other clubs have made.

2016 World Cup of Hockey reportedly did not bring in much cash for NHL players - SBNation.com
The event reportedly didn’t meet half of its expected revenue.

Let’s Not Have Another John Scott Please - Arctic Ice Hockey
John Scott’s All-Star Game couldn’t have been a better example of catching lightning in a bottle if he was playing for the Lightning

Down Goes Brown Grab Bag: A Thanksgiving USA Hockey Roast, and How to Make the Expansion Draft Fun | VICE Sports
Sean McIndoe chooses the holiday to settle the already settled USA vs. Canada hockey debate, has an expansion draft idea, and remembers Gretzky's time on the cartoon show ProStars.

It’s a long, long NHL season before Vegas Golden Knights pick players - The Globe and Mail
Golden Knights are deep in preparation for June draft, but other NHL teams are more concerned with winning now than covering their assets

Penguins jerseys: Yellow alternates for Stadium Series announced - PensBurgh
These manage to be only the second-worst yellow jerseys I've seen this season (what up, LA Kings!)