Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!

It was an ugly loss last night against the Lightning, something you don't want to see so late in the season.

Recap: Leafs start out hot, let their worst selves play the 2nd
Bright side: the power play is getting better.

Tampa is the only team that can worry the Leafs in the standings; they're only four points back of Toronto and the final Atlantic playoff spot. Washington has the second wildcard spot, but is 13 points back and no threat right now.

So, the Leafs have two weeks to outplay the Lightning until their rematch in the final game of the season on April 17th.

Knock on wood they won't have a real challenge until they play Florida on the 16th, as they have two games against the Devils, one against the Penguins, one against Detroit, and one against Montréal in between.

Those should all be wins. We'll see. Montréal is up first on Saturday night.

To tide you over on this gap day, here's some news.

The Women's World Championships are happening now in Utica, New York. Team USA is making some history.

Laila Edwards becomes first Black woman to play for USA at women’s worlds
Having a Black woman representing Team USA in international competition is a long-awaited first.

Canada has their first game tonight against Finland at 7PM.

Team Canada relying on veterans as it looks to regain women’s hockey world championship | CBC Sports
Canadian GM Gina Kingsbury didn’t see a need for major changes to the team that lost the final to the U.S. last year. She thinks the team had a strong performance in 2023, even if it didn’t result in a championship.

Auston Matthews continued to make history for the Leafs.

Matthews needs 74 points to pass George Armstrong (713) for 5th all time.

If he scores four more goals this season, he'll pass Dave Keon (366) third in all time goals..

Toronto Maple Leafs ‑ All‑Time NHL Leaders
Toronto Maple Leafs all-time stats, scoring leaders and demographics breakdown in the NHL. Toronto Maple Leafs player nationalities, age distributions and draft rounds in the NHL.

Ah, good. The Rangers are acting like it's the 70s.

Line brawl opens Rangers-Devils tilt after Rempe, MacDermid start –

The top draft prospect has a name headline writers dream of.

Which bottom-10 NHL teams need to win the Macklin Celebrini lottery most?
Celebrini is the top prospect available in the upcoming draft — and some teams could use him more than others.

I'm not saying he has no responsibility in this but, the Growlers had to pay visiting teams travel costs, so the ECHL bears some responsibility for this too.

Dean McDonald blames chaos with city as St. John’s loses fourth hockey team
Mary Brown’s Centre has lost its fourth hockey team after the ECHL terminated the Newfoundland Growlers. Former owner Dean McDonald addressed the media Wednesday, citing chaos in dealings with the City of St. John’s as the reason for the team’s collapse. NTV’s Becky Daley reports.

An absolutely infuriating story.

New Hamburg hockey player’s suspension for defending himself against racial slur unfair, mom says | CBC News
The family of a 16-year-old hockey player from New Hamburg, Ont., was called a Black racial slur during a game on March 7, says his mom. He responded by calling the other player a racist and swearing. Both players were suspended.

Finally, a story that popped up as a I searched for news, so congratulations to The Heritage Roofing Storm for winning the Kootenay Rec Hockey championship!

Heritage Roofing Storm capture first Rec Hockey Championship - The Nelson Daily
The Heritage Roofing Storm broke through a long drought to capture the 2024 Kootenay Rec Hockey League Championship recently at the NDCC Arena. The Storm, playing in the Rec Hockey league since 2015, swept the Backroads Bears 3-2 in the best-of-three final series to claim the title. The Storm won the opener 5-1 on goals […]

Enjoy your day everyone!