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From the Branches: Maple Leafs start the new year on a winning streak

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The Leafs have won five in a row. Can they make it six tonight?

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Washington Capitals v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

That was quite the game last night. The Czechs gave the Canadian boys a scare, but they pulled through and advanced to the semi-final, which will be against Sweden on Thursday at 7:30PM.


What are your thoughts on who will win that match? Vote in the poll below.


Meanwhile, the Leafs are back in action tonight playing the Capitals in Washington DC. The last meeting between these two teams was on November 26, which the Leafs won 4-2, and included a Matt Martin breakaway goal on Braden Holtby. Yes, that happened.

On the line is a winning streak that has reached five games. A sixth win tonight against the Capitals will put the team one point behind Boston with three games in hand, and Ottawa with an equal number of games played. Neither of those teams are playing tonight.

The Marlies are also in action tonight, starting a back-to-back against the Manitoba Moose. They will be playing with a slightly different lineup now including Byron Froese, back from the Leafs; Tony Camaranesi, called up from Orlando; and Frank Corrado, who was assigned on a conditioning stint.

Mason Marchment heads down from the Marlies to the Solar Bears to join them on their Western Conference road trip. And what a road trip! The Solar Bears will play three games starting Friday in Denver, and then are off to Alaska! ECHL teams rarely play opposite conferences, so for many on the team this will be their first trip to Anchorage play against the Aces.

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Another game to monitor tonight is the Blue Jackets vs. Oilers, also at 7:00 EST. The Blue Jackets winning streak is up to 15 games after they ended the Wild’s 12 game win streak last weekend.

Sam Gagner makes the comeback of the year with the Blue Jackets - G&M
There are 19 different individual awards listed in the NHL’s official guide and record book, but none for comeback player of the year. Too bad, because while there may be lots of viable candidates this year, few would qualify the way the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Sam Gagner does.

Welcome to the 2017 work year, everyone!