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From The Branches: The Return of Randy

Carlyle's Ducks come to Toronto, and other links for your Monday

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Shawn Coates-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, PPP! It's the Monday before Christmas and I have done absolutely none of my Christmas shopping, so I hope those of you who celebrate said holiday are smarter than me on that front. I am, however, open to giving makeup-related Christmas gift advice for any (other) members of the PPP commentariat who desire it. If my knowledge can be used for the greater good, I am here.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are playing the Anaheim Formerly-Mighty Ducks tonight, in their last home game of 2016. It starts at 7:30pm, and in honor of that, today's links have a distinctly Carlylesian bent. I made sure to also include a good quote from Paul Coffey about Jaromir Jagr's butt, to make it up to you.

Maple Leafs News

Carlyle: I was never told why I was fired by Leafs |
I don't even have a joke here. It speaks for itself.

Randy Carlyle recalls his coaching journey in Toronto - LA Times
Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle wasn’t feeling too sentimental when he walked out of Air Canada Centre on Sunday.

Randy Carlyle focused in Toronto return
When Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle walked into Air Canada Centre on Sunday with his team in town to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday, his initial reaction was not one of nostalgia or reflection.

Ducks coach Carlyle craves win in return to Toronto - Yahoo Sports Canada
"Craves" is an interesting verb choice to use here, Associated Press.

Penguins goaltender Marc-André Fleury ‘got lucky’ in overtime loss to Maple Leafs – The Athletic
It happened in an instant, so quickly that the broadcast camera panned away to follow the puck before anyone in the arena knew what happened to Marc-André Fleury.

Maple Leafs manage rare feat in containing Penguins captain Sidney Crosby |
"Let's not kid ourselves, Crosby, he might go the odd night without hurting you badly," Babcock said. "But let's not get carried away."

Nikita Zaitsev scored his first NHL goal - and his family, in Toronto, watched it from a bar - Pension Plan Puppets
The timing was perfect. The location, just slightly off.

Around the League

Jaromir Jagr quietly closes in on second place in NHL career scoring - The Globe and Mail
"Whenever people talk about Jagr, they talk about his size, the size of his butt, the length of his stick and his hands, but the thing that always got me early on was his work ethic," said Paul Coffey, who played with Jagr in Pittsburgh at the start of his career, but was also Messier’s teammate for close to a decade in Edmonton.

Blue Jackets' Tortorella Becomes First USA-Born Coach With 500 Wins
Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella became the first USA-born head coach in hockey to win 500 games on Sunday.

From Afar, an Extra Set of Eyes to Spot Concussions in the N.H.L. - The New York Times
Players and coaches are still growing accustomed to the latest change to the league’s concussion protocol, adding New York-based spotters to in-arena ones.

"Please Like My Sport" - Hockey's self-destructive inferiority complex. - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Penny Oleksiak's a hockey fan, but hockey's treatment of her is the latest example of the sport's own ugly inferiority complex.