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From the Branches: Flames Come To Toronto

Nerdy JvR, playoff confidence, and a very important poll with your morning links

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John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

This wasn't a great weekend for hockey teams from Toronto.

Yesterday afternoon, the Toronto Furies lost 5-0 to the Calgary Inferno, with Emerance Maschmeyer coasting to her first CWHL shutout. She made a few good stops on Natalie Spooner (who else?), but the real work was done at the other end of the ice by Sonja van der Bliek, who had a better game than a 5-0 score might suggest.

Also yesterday afternoon, the Marlies, a hockey team from Toronto, won a game! They beat Springfield 2-1. Unfortunately, they might have lost Brendan Leipsic, who left the game after a hit to the head. Fingers crossed that it looked worse than it was.

Tonight, the Maple Leafs play the Flames at 7:30 pm ET. The Flames are coming off a 7-3 loss on Saturday, to the disappointingly competent Oilers. Let's hope that the Leafs can further shred their confidence.

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Maple Leafs News

No detail too small for van Riemsdyk, Leafs' hockey nerd -
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Marner always ready to assist | Toronto Maple Leafs | Sports | Toronto Sun
Mitch Marner doesn’t spend hours during his free time poring over National Hockey League statistics, but he knows where he stands among other rookies during the 2016-17 season.

Leafs confident they'll survive bad bounces amid playoff push -
All that stood between the Toronto Maple Leafs and a textbook finish Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators was an unfortunate bounce. [Warning for autoplay, again]

Maple Leafs' key cog Leo Komarov turns 30 | Toronto Maple Leafs | Sports | Toron
In Toronto’s season of the rookie and this lunar year of the rooster, a 30-year-old Maple Leaf is a rare bird indeed.

When Hap Day and Red Horner grappled at Maple Leaf Gardens | Toronto Star
Revisiting the time that Hockey Hall of Famers Red Horner and Hap Day went all-out in a charity wrestling match.

News About Less-Cool Teams

For Flames captain Mark Giordano, every trip to Air Canada Centre is ‘special’ | Calgary Herald
TORONTO — The locals were still standing, anxious for another opportunity to salute their star on a milestone night. Mats Sundin, then face of the franchise and fan favourite for the Toronto Maple Leafs, would be the first star, a no-brainer.

By the Numbers: Sebastian Aho Shines Through Skid - Canes Country
Rookie forward Sebastian Aho has demonstrated an ability to be a productive player even when the Hurricanes aren’t at their best.

No rookie blues for Flames’ audacious forward Matthew Tkachuk - The Globe and Mail
He’s just 19, but the Calgary Flames’ bold forward is more than happy to go toe-to-toe with the big boys.

Tomas Hertl is skating, taking contact in practice - Fear The Fin
The Czech forward may be nearing a return.

Yesterday, And Today - The Copper & Blue
How close are the Oilers to playing bonus games in April?

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Nazem Kadri’s cat has an Instagram - Pension Plan Puppets
The Leafs have the best cats in the league.