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FTB: The Marlies head west

Mid-west that is.

Toronto Marlies vs Utica Comets
Joey Anderson (right) comes together with Joseph Blandisi, after Anderson nets his 2nd goal of the day. Toronto Marlies vs Utica Comets during 3rd period play AHL regular season action at Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto.
Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images

It’s a gross windy and rainy morning in Toronto, a reflection of the Maple Leafs 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers last night, with ex-Leaf Jimmy Vesey scoring twice. That always happens with those ex-Leafs, eh?

The Leafs next game is tomorrow night against the Washington Capitals on Hockey Night in Canada (yes, it is back on CBC this week).

We’ll also be watching out for this developing story today:

The Toronto Marlies are making a road trip to the AHL Western Conference, heading around to the other side of Lake Michigan for two games this weekend. Inter-Conference play is becoming more common in the AHL as they enact a plan to gradually shift to an NHL-style schedule where each of the 32 teams play each other at least once every season.

The Admirals sit in first place in the Central Division. Notable on their roster is goalie Yaroslav Askarov who was picked 11th overall by the Predators in the 2020 draft. He’s had a great start to his first pro-season in North America, playing in 17 of their 24 games so far, his workload has been pretty high. Note there is no confirmation yet he will actually start that game on Saturday.

Another fun note for Friday’s game in Rockford, IL is at the “BMO Center”. Canada’s banking influence extends an impressive amount across a vast swath of the USA now. The next phase is to begin spelling it “centre,” and they won’t even notice the change until it’s too late and they add the letter “u” to all manner of wourds.

Other News

The St. Louis Blues took a very rare penalty before their game even started last night.

That’s Craig Berube coaching the Blues with responsibility for that unforced error. I have seen this happen a few times in the AHL, including one time to Sheldon Keefe coaching the Marlies, but when you reach the NHL you really shouldn’t be making mistakes as simple as ticking the wrong boxes on your official lineup cards. It wasn’t even the only screwup on the Blues bench last night; they were twice hit with a penalty for too many men on the ice during the game. The Oilers scored (Zach Hyman!) on the power play awarded for the start the game, but despite the mass confusion from the coaching staff, the Blues eventually won the game in a shootout (LOLOILERS).

Alex Ovechkin trademarks 'THE GR8 CHASE' amid Gretzky pursuit - ESPN
The first phase of Ovechkin's "THE GR8 CHASE" rollout includes licensed products that will be available as soon as the Capitals' next home game as it now seems inevitable he will actually pass Wayne Gretzky’s “no one will ever reach this again” record for career goals.

Brampton to host IIHF Women's World Championship - TSN
Brampton, Ont., was announced as the next host of the international tournament by Hockey Canada and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association on Thursday. The CAA Centre will host the international tournament from April 5 to 16.

Ryan Reynolds will become 'frothy, rabies-infused' Sens fan if he's part of successful bid - CBC
Ryan Reynolds told a school radio club if he is part of a successful bid to buy the Ottawa Senators, his fandom for the team will reach unexpected heights.

NHL Team Values 2022 - Forbes
[SPECIES: Forbes released its annual NHL team valuation list and the Leafs sat second again, with an increase in total franchise value to US$2.0 billion.]