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From the Branches: Another scheduling change

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Plus, Auston Matthews’s video game self-insert.

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

An Auston-Matthews-less Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Winnipeg Jets last night, a state that was hopefully an aberration, as day-to-day can mean anything from “the player’s mustache was urgently in need of grooming” to “his leg was not totally severed from his body.”

Speaking of Auston, this is, possibly, the least surprising fact I’ve ever learned about Auston Matthews. Between this and the mustache tie clip, I’m unwillingly charmed by his commitment to making his facial hair into a personality. The mustache has grown on me, like some kind of fungus. By now, I’m fully convinced it’s a good look.

In scheduling news, there were more announcements of the situation with the Vancouver Canucks yesterday—namely, rescheduling their games on Friday and Saturday. A postponement of only two days, followed by a back-to-back, seems almost sadistic. Whether this is the permanent solution is anyone’s guess, but this does mean that unless there’s another schedule adjustment today, the Toronto Maple Leafs won’t be on Hockey Night in Canada this Saturday.

ICYMI

Maple Leafs sign drafted prospect Rodion Amirov - Pension Plan Puppets
Last summer’s top round pick has been signed to an ELC

Mikko Kokkonen signs PTO with the Marlies - Pension Plan Puppets
The 2019 third round pick also signed a new Liiga contract

Careless hockey from Leafs in loss to Jets - Pension Plan Puppets
Campbell gets pulled for the first time as a Leaf, Robertson gets first point.

Stuff We Didn’t Write

OHL season benched until further notice as Ontario struggles with COVID-19 - QP Briefing
The OHL and the province had reached an agreement on a return to play but within two days Ontario’s worsening health crisis nixed that path.

The Curious case of Benjamin Hutton and what he brings to the Leafs
It seems like @Ben Hutton becoming a Leaf has been a long time in the making.

Preds Sign Goalie Tomas Vomacka to Entry-Level Deal - On the Forecheck
The UCONN goaltender signed his first professional deal on Thursday.

The Dispatch: Sweden 2021 Draft special with WJC coach Tomas Montén - Eyes On The Prize
A look at the top prospects from Sweden.

NHL postpones Friday's Canucks-Oilers game as Vancouver recovers from outbreak
The Vancouver Canucks' matchup Friday against the Edmonton Oilers has been postponed as the team continues to recover from its outbreak of COVID-19.

Ontario’s sport minister: OHL return to play would be ‘irresponsible’ right now | The Star
Ontario’s minister of sport says it would be “irresponsible” to approve a return to play for the Ontario Hockey League right now.

Saint Nick: Looking Back on Backstrom’s Impact, 1,000 Games Later - Japers' Rink
Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin and more reflect on the 33-year-old’s career as he hits the historic milestone.

The Canadiens’ rollercoaster performances are Dominique Ducharme’s problem to solve - Eyes On The Prize
Coaching isn’t easy, and Ducharme’s biggest challenge is to get the players to perform.

Flyers coach Alain Vigneault is no longer pushing the right buttons - Broad Street Hockey
It’s been a rough season for everyone involved, including the head coach.

Video Analysis: Erik Gustafsson’s high-risk brand of hockey - Eyes On The Prize
The new acquisition has offence on his mind at all times, even in his own zone.

The Bruins just may find themselves in their tightest playoff race in years. - Stanley Cup of Chowder
40 games into the season, things are getting tight in the East Division

What is a reasonable expectation for Jeff Carter? - PensBurgh
There is always a high bar set for trade deadline acquisitions, and sometimes it is difficult to reach.