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From the Branches: Maple Leafs on Bear Patrol tonight

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Maple Leafs vs. Bruins on Hockey Night in Canada

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Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images

The Maple Leafs are still on the road tonight, but will at least be playing hockey at a decent hour, not starting a game at 9:30. Tonight they play our old friends the Boston Bruins. This would be a really good time to snap the losing streak. I hope you’ve all paid the Bear Tax.

The Marlies are hosting the Syracuse Crunch for a weekend back-to-back. They have played the Crunch twice so far this season, and lost both games 5-4. The last game was the one where Kasperi Kapanen was injured in a questionable hit. This is the first time they have played here at Ricoh, so maybe the Marlies can win with the home

Back in Toronto, Griffith aspires to brush off in-betweener tag - Toronto Sun
'Obviously, you don’t want that tag. I don’t think anybody does'

Mackenzie Hughes scores Auston Matthews-approved birdie - CBC
Maple Leafs jersey brings good fortune to Canadian golfer.

Should the Leafs look at a specialty stick to gain a unique edge? - The Athletic
There may not be a more inefficient tool in pro sports than the new-age hockey stick.

The Furies are playing today in Montreal.

Other News

PHIL!

He got the OT winner too.

Coyotes, ASU arena partnership dead. What comes next? - Five for Howling
Let another offseason of speculation begin.

Bell Media adopts new tactics in bid to lure Super Bowl viewers - G&M
Bell Media is offering sad contests and prizes no one wants in a desperate attempt to hang on to viewers because their Super Bowl commercials are so awful.

Is It Time To Bring Back The Hartford Whalers? - FiveThirtyEight
The state of Connecticut is pursuing the New York Islanders, who are in danger of being kicked out of their woefully inadequate arena at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Is this a head-shot? No penalty called on the play.

Should NHL referees be able to curse at coaches, players? - CBC
The debate was re-opened last week when NHL referee Frederick L'Ecuyer was caught swearing at a yet-to-be identified player with an open microphone.

Eichel takes a selective approach to endorsement deals - Buffalo News
An interesting look at the business side of being a star player.