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From the Branches: Maple Leafs hope to turn things around vs Red Wings tonight

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The Leafs are back in action a after a rare weekend off.

2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Toronto Maple Leafs v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Leafs will be well rested for tonight’s game vs. the Red Wings. Coming off a bad road trip in California, the team had a rare weekend off to collect themselves from the three losses in a row.

While they’ve had time off, we’ve been busy. Catch up on some of our work in case you have missed it.

The optimist and pessimist takes on the state of the Leafs - Fulemin

How balanced is the Maple Leafs lineup? - Katya

Leafs prospects report: Good bye Nolan Vesey, is Bracco back-o? - ElSeldo

The Marlies had a busy weekend. Chris recapped the games vs. the IceCaps here. They also made a swap of defenders with the Solar Bears yesterday, bringing Brenden Miller north, and sending Ty Stanton south.

You may want to listen to tonight’s game on the radio, it will be Joe Bowen’s 3000th Leafs game. Love him or hate him (and I know we have that full range of opinions around here) 3,000 games over 35 years a major accomplishment.

The Star interviewed him here, and there’s some interesting answers from Bowen.

Q: What’s the worst rink to call a game in?
A: I’m embarrassed to say it, but the new one in Edmonton.

Bowen will be recognized during the game tonight, it’s unclear if there’s a pre-game ceremony or a video tribute during a commercial break. He is still calling the game tonight after all!

Don't take Mike Babcock to the track
His record on winning bets isn't great, and he doesn't pay up all that fast either.

Other News

A runaway freight-train Dustin Byfuglien hit three players at once into the boards last night, including on of his own. Everyone just looks stunned. I wonder if ti counts as three hits on the score sheet.

Artemi Panarin apologizes after racist comment in old video comes to light - Second City Hockey
The winger released a statement through the Blackhawks on Monday.

Blackhawks fans still not welcome in Nashville - OtF
One downside of the Blackhawks’ rise is that attending a game in Nashville remains a huge hassle.

Vegas Golden Knights sign first player in franchise history
Reid Duke is the first Vegas Golden Knight, and an obscure hockey trivia answer for generations to come.

Golden Knights targeting Marc-Andre Fleury? - PensBurgh
The NHL's newest franchise may be interested in starting out with the Penguins all-time best goalie.

Brawl between players, fans breaks out at N.B. junior hockey game - CTV
The player jumped over the penalty box glass and got involved in a fight in the stands, but some attendees say a group of fans had spat on the player, and poured beer over his head.

Video: St. Cloud State Defenseman Will Borgen Shoves Official - SBN College Hockey
“How to get suspended in 10 seconds.” At least the player in New Brunswick had an excuse for what he did.

Andong Song, first Chinese-born player drafted by NHL, commits to Cornell U - Color of Hockey
Song, a defenseman for Wisconsin’s Madison Capitols of the USHL, committed to the Ivy League university late last week.

And, finally, here’s Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bregevin trying to hide behind a plant. Perhaps he thought this was a joke? It actually looks quite sad.