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From the Branches: We can lose Auston Matthews but we cannot lose our goalie

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Did anyone else’s heart stop for a second last night or was that just me?

Goalie Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs is congratulated by teammate Morgan Reilly #44 after defeating the Minnesota Wild 
Morgan Reilly checks the structural integrity of his goalie.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The Leafs won last night, yay! I didn’t see the whole game because I was watching Canada lose to Team USA 4-2 at Four Nations Cup but from what I did see, it wasn’t their best game. Also, Freddie better be okay for this weekend, that weird arm thing looked nasty.

ICYMI

Leafs vs. Wild Recap: Frederik The Great - Acting the Fulemin
Toronto wins 4-2 with some stellar work from Freddie Andersen.

How well are the Leafs players shooting the puck this year? - KatyaKnappe
Who has been shooting the puck, who hasn’t, and who’s getting dangerous chances when they do.

Maple Leafs by the numbers: 59-55 - ElSeldo
This post shows that quantity does not equal quality

NHL Network to air 9 AHL games, and wow, they like the Marlies - Katya
American viewers with NHL network and some free afternoons can watch AHL hockey on TV.

Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Merging CWHL and NWHL would not be easy - Nafio and Baseball Annie
I am so tired of the “we need one league” narrative, especially when it comes along with language that boils down to “if those two harpies would stop being petty, power-hungry bitches, we could solve everything”. Welcome to the real world: things are more complicated than that.

Other stuff

Canada opens Karjala Cup with win over Switzerland - Article - TSN
Team Canada scored three unanswered goals in the second period to beat Switzerland 3-2 to open the Karjala Cup in Biel, Switzerland as Canada continues to prepare for the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang this February.

U.S. beats Canada in physical affair at Four Nations Cup - CBC Sports - Road to the Olympic Games winter sports
Kendall Coyne and Megan Bozek each had a goal and an assist and the United States women's hockey team beat Canada 4-2 on Wednesday night in a physical game at the Four Nations Cup.

National Hockey League partners with Fanatics to launch e-commerce platform - The Globe and Mail
I assume Seldo will be reviewing the new site, NHLShop.ca, when it debuts next year

Forget the 30 goals, T.J. Oshie earned his contract in the Capitals’ locker room - The Washington Post
His rare combination of charisma, skill and a blue-collar approach to the game made Oshie a priority even in an extremely complicated offseason for Washington.

Change of direction paying off for New Jersey Devils | Toronto Star
By shifting from defensive style to a faster and more aggressive brand of hockey, Devils have got off to a strong start.

Finally, for those of you who like goalie masks, a unique one from Smile Japan’s goalie, Nana Fujimoto