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From the Branches: Maple Leafs first Stanley Cup Playoff game is Thursday

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Leafs will have a big challenge facing the Capitals

NHL: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Due to technical difficulties, there was a delay in harvesting links for you this morning. We have now got the kittens back under control at the ranch by giving them little toy mouse that makes crinkly noises when they bat it.

We now resume our regular FTB!

PLAYOFFS!

The Maple Leafs will be playing the Capitals, and the first game is this Thursday!

Yes. it is OK to get excited about a first round match-up in a league where most teams make it to the playoffs anyway. Get into the spirit of things. Live in the moment. Get it?

To kick-off our coverage we are very proud to have a Pension Plan Puppets Playoff Podcast, the first edition featuring Eric Duhatschek from the Globe and Mail.

Give it a listen right now!

Capitals-Maple Leafs: By the Numbers - Japers Rick
A statistical look at the season series between the Capitals and the Leafs

The Leafs closed out the regular season with a 3-2 loss Sunday to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Chris has your game recap here.

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Bryan Bickell ends NHL career in perfect fashion - SCC
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