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From the Branches: Only two more sleeps to the Christmas break

The Maple Leafs will squeeze in two games in the two days before Santa

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Maple Leafs are making a last minute swing through the mid-west before heading back home for Christmas. Tomorrow they will play the Avalanche, who had a disastrous outing last night. The score was only 2-0, but the game was totally lopsided with the Avs making only 18 SOG, letting the Wild jump up to an 8 game win streak.

There was also this:

Make sure you check out Clube asking Kappy 20 questions here. William Nylander makes a cameo!

A bad night for goalies

Tuuka Rask was pulled after letting in 3 goals on 13 shots. The third goal was by Kulemin. My favourite part of this video is how he still has zero emotional reaction to scoring beyond his standard Kulemin face.

Jonathan Bernier’s face took a big hit from Brendan Gallagher’s ass, which I imagine stank horribly because he’s a Hab.

Roberto Luongo had a stick pass through his mask and hit him in the nose.

Poor Scott Darling suffered the indignity of being scored on by the SNES two times in only 10 seconds.

Jimmy Howard was helped of the ice from the Detroit net, seemingly in great pain, after a collision with the Bolts Erik Condra.

Then Ben Bishop was also injured in that same game, falling awkwardly while making a save. No word yet on how serious it may be but it comes at a bad time for the Bolts who, unbelievably, are now out of a playoff spot, even the Wild Card spots.

[Well, actually: Bishop was hurt first off a shot from Red Wing Nick Jensen. At some point after that, Nick Jensen plowed into Jimmy Howard and took him out of the game. Basically it was a two-goalie night for Jensen. — Acha]

In fact, they are only four points ahead of the Leafs, and the Leafs have two games in hand! That rule about “25% of the way through the season is a great predictor of the post-season” may go out the window this time.

Finally, the Penguins humiliated Rangers backup Antti Rantaa by scoring on him 7 times. One of them was a great PP goal by PHIL!

Other News

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Sabres send Alexander Nylander to play for Team Sweden at the World Juniors - Die by the Blade
The Nylander with the better abs is off to play with Tre Kronor.

Bolts draftee Mathieu Joseph to play for Canada - Color of Hockey
Joseph, 19, will represent Canada for the first time at any level internationally.

Let’s Go Shopping! - Fear the Fin
Gift ideas for everybody on your shopping list