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Thursday FTB: Back in Action Against the Jets

The Leafs beat Paul Maurice and the Panthers on Tuesday, can they do it to Maurice’s ex-team tonight?

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning everyone!

The Leafs are back in action tonight to face the Jets. After facing Paul Maurice’s current team on Tuesday, who are surprisingly floundering, we’re facing Paul Maurice’s former team tonight, who are surprisingly good this year. The Leafs’ last few games against the Jets have been pretty notable, so some people are quite excited for this game. I’m just going to leave this here, though:

We’ll have a preview out for you later today.

In case you missed it, on Tuesday Fulemin and Arvind released an episode of Back to Excited focused on Dubas’ summer acquisitions. Check it out here:

Yesterday, the Leafs announced that they’re sending Holmberg down to the Marlies. As much as Holmberg’s been very good this season, the Leafs have a lot of capable bottom six players, and Holmberg is waiver-exempt. Note here also that the Leafs may plan to have Holmberg down for the whole road trip, but the first two games are in Belleville, so Holmberg won’t be far from Toronto until the Marlies head to Laval on Saturday. Either way, I expect we’ll see more of Holmberg this season at some point.

In last night’s game against Belleville, the Marlies won 6-5 in a shootout. Holmberg had a goal too, so hopefully he’ll bring some of the NHLer confidence back to his game on the Marlies — he wasn’t brought up for his scoring in his first stint, but he’s certainly got offensive potential in an AHL context:

Moving to around the NHL, this is a pretty unfortunate lineup decision for Ottawa last night — apparently #fireDJ was trending on twitter because of it. For what it’s worth, the Sens did win the game.

And it’s been a rough season for the Habs, and it looks even rougher with their injury list.

I can’t imagine Habs fans are all that happy to see the first overall pick from last season on the injured list for that long so early into his career. That said, it’s probably better for the Habs to be losing than winning at this point, and Slaf might’ve been helping them do that:

And to end the FTB, I found this CBC article interesting, given that I didn’t know that any NHL teams were starting games with land acknowledgements. At the same time, I’m also frankly pretty surprised it’s taken this long.

As it is, the Flames are the only Canadian team who don’t start games with land acknowledgements, but four teams — Leafs included — only started the practice last season. I found this quote from the article a bit telling on land acknowledgements:

Starting games with a one-minute statement is a low bar, and it’s clear there are major limitations of a 120 word pre-written statement — especially if it’s seen as an end in and of itself — but reaching out to local Indigenous people and asking how best to acknowledging them should be the bare minimum for settler institutions running events on stolen land, even hockey teams. It’s good to see that Canadian teams are starting to at least think about these things, and hopefully these acknowledgements do actually make a difference for Indigenous communities and fans. As much as it’s only a short statement, I appreciated reading the acknowledgement that MLSE had written for their events, and I learned a bit about the land from it:

Relatedly, the Leafs’ Indigenous Celebration game last week was another example of making a relatively small effort for the Leafs that was nonetheless a good step. As a part of that celebration and in recognition of that step, Wiikwemkoong women made beadwork medallions for each of the Leafs players. You can read more about that work and the significance of the medallions here:

Let’s hope to see more games and celebrations like this in the future!

Have a great Thursday everyone!