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From the Branches: In praise of Auston Matthews’ sass

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He’s not answering your dumb question again.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve known for a while that despite the best efforts of whoever did his media training, Auston Matthews has a personality. (I mean, on top of the clothes, and the increasingly sassy goal celebrations, this is his reaction to winning a video game tournament. He’s a treasure.) This season, his third in the NHL, he’s leveled up—he’s started backtalking reporters in scrums, and it’s wonderful.

Watching this clip, you really get the sense that Auston is relishing that nine goals in five games means no one can tell him shit. And he’s right! Please continue this behavior, Auston—both the goal-scoring and the sass. They’re both good for you, and we support it.

Also, in fun Leafs affiliate news, the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers won their first game yesterday!

Congratulations to them and their truly excellent logo.

On to today’s links:

ICYMI

Toronto Furies 2018-19 CWHL season preview: A new day dawns - Pension Plan Puppets
With lots of additions this offseason, is Toronto playoff-bound?

Toronto Maple Leafs fans to the rest of the NHL: We’re sorry - Pension Plan Puppets
An apology to every NHL team from deep in our hearts.

The five at a time process for the Maple Leafs: Episode One - Pension Plan Puppets
The days of shooting for six points in each five-game segment are gone. What’s the new goal?

Stuff We Didn’t Write

Capitals’ Kuznetsov slowly finding the spotlight | The Star
Kuzy is consistently one of the best quotes in the NHL, and this article is no exception.

Little Caesars Arena’s new seats are a black eye for Red Wings - Winging It In Motown
If you build it, they will come, supposedly.

Can Kyle Palmieri Break Through to the League's Top Tier of Goal-Scorers This Season? - All About The Jersey
Kyle Palmieri has been a consistent producer of goals since his arrival in New Jersey and finds himself in the upper reaches of NHL goal-scorers over the past three years. Can he turn in a career year and break into the elite level of scorers in the league?

This week in Gritty - from loathsome to lovable - Broad Street Hockey
Has anyone seen Phil Kessel lately?

Detroit Red Wings to Retire Red Kelly’s No. 4 - Winging It In Motown
Leonard "Red" Kelly spent parts of 13 seasons with the Red Wings, winning four Stanley Cups, earning three Lady Byng Trophies and claiming the Norris Trophy in 1954

What options do the Canadiens have with Nikita Scherbak? - Eyes On The Prize
The Canadiens need to find room for the young Russian. Somewhere.

The Maple Leafs are on Hockey Night In Canada tonight playing the Capitals. The game starts at 7pm, and we’ll have a preview up later today. Go Leafs Go.