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Tuesday’s FTB: Boxing Day edition

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Boxing Day means hockey is back!

Toronto Maple Leafs v St. Louis Blues Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

I place this here solely so you can pedantically argue about the origins of the term Boxing Day.

Much more important than holidays that aren’t for retail workers is the return of hockey to North American screens.

Boxing Day Classic

The Marlies take on the Belleville Senators at 3 p.m. today at the ACC. There were still lots of tickets available yesterday, and it’s the cheap way to experience the ACC if you’ve never been. The Marlies are one of the hottest teams in the AHL, and even without some of their top players who are off being Leafs or Swedish junior stars, they are a stacked team.

The game is available streaming on AHLLive in Potato Vision or on Leafs TV (They call this Leafs Nation Network now) in decent quality.

As announced today, Kasperi Kapanen is back on the Marlies roster:

And now the Habs just give us guys? This isn’t the first time the Marlies have used the nearest ECHL team as a handy place to put an excess player, but I think it might be the first time they’ve reciprocated.

What’s weird about this is that the Marlies just sent Sam Jardine back to Orlando. And with Marincin and Liljegren off the roster, and Dermott hurt, they still needed a guy? Welcome, Habs-adjacent fellow, to the Marlies.

Spengler Cup

The Spengler gets going today, and you can see the former Leafs players on Team Canada here:

And you can track the rosters at Elite Prospects. One of the traditions of the Spengler is players are loaned into teams, sometimes old stars or old friends of the current players or just guys who want to play some fun hockey for a few days in Davos. TSN 2 has some games today.

9:00 a.m. Dinamo Riga plays Team Switzerland

2:00 p.m Mountfield HK vs Team Canada

Mountfield HK is a Czech team you’ll find on EP listed as HK Hradec Kralove.

TSN is skipping the action tomorrow, but they pick it up again on Thursday.


We’ll have a post up later this morning outlining the schedule and TV options for today’s games. The first game is on at noon.

The little one is the captain and goal machine, Lias Andersson. The tall one is goalie Olle Eriksson Ek, and the wide one is defender Jacob Moverare. They’ll look nice wearing medals in a few days.

Leftover Turkey Sandwiches

Holiday things you might have missed.

New addition to the annual family Christmas photo

A post shared by Matt Martin (@mattymarts17) on

My love for Zaitsev’s deadpan fake of Russian incomprehension knows no bounds. (It’s Zed, though.)

Tip toein..#AllConferenceDanceTeam

A post shared by Connor Carrick (@connorcarrick) on


Goalie Points Above Expected (PAX) - CrowdScout Game Theory
A look at how goalies contribute to winning games, factoring in the goal support they receive and quality of chances against.

I found this fascinating and nicely mathy. It has charts that are easy to understand if you just want the results of the idea.

Revolutionizing the game of hockey: who will be next? Elite Prospects
In a sport that is always changing, the only constant you can rely on is just that: change. Whether it be goaltenders first starting to wear protective masks and bigger pads, or skaters transitioning from stiff wooden sticks to flexible composites – hockey has always been a sport that isn’t afraid to evolve. A sport that isn’t afraid to push its boundaries and challenge previously conceived notions on how the game “should” be played.

EP is starting to do regular hockey writing and some of it is very interesting. This article asks if anyone can change the game like Bobby Orr did.

Realizing He ‘Used to Be Good,’ Don Cherry Recalibrates His Rancor -
He was at risk of becoming a dinosaur, droning on about hockey’s best pugilists when the N.H.L. was turning toward more skill and speed.

After careful introspection, and inspiration from his wife, Cherry, 83, has roared back to being Canada’s Lion in Winter and hockey’s most outspoken voice, well into his fourth decade as a broadcaster.

Two more days until the Leafs play in Arizona. They are practicing in Arizona on the 27th, so we shouldn’t expect news on the team until then.

Happy Boxing Day, everyone!