The Toronto Maple Leafs’ western Canada road trip sure went off course after blowing up the Edmonton Oilers three games in a row. The struggling Vancouver Canucks turned the tables and defeated the Leafs two games in a row, with last night’s being a somewhat stinging loss to watch unfold where the Thornton-Matthews-Marner line had an abnormally quiet night not getting their names in the boxscores at all. Here’s our recap of the game.

First line quiet as Canucks beat Leafs again

The Leafs remain first in the division for now, and have a few days to analyse what went wrong back home in Toronto. Next on the schedule is hosting the Winnipeg Jets for three games this week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Staying up late is not required! All of this week’s games start at 7:00 p.m. ET., and both of the mid-week games will be on TSN.

The Marlies lost their afternoon match against the Stockton Heat 4-3. They now have an even 6-6 record. We did get a nice ping goal from Alex Galchenyuk though.

After weeks of playing only the Heat and the Manitoba Moose, the Marlies finally get to move on to a new opponent this week in the Laval Rocket who arrive on Friday for a game at the Coliseum. The Marlies will then head over to Montreal to play them there next Sunday.

Marelis’ Coach Greg Moore mentioned yesterday that Nick Robertson’s absence from the past two games is for an oblique abdominal muscle injury, and they are monitoring it “day-to-day.”

Other News

No one seems happy with Tom Wilson’s seven game suspension. Washington Capitals fans naturally think it’s too many games while everyone else thinks seven games is far too short. No, that doesn’t somehow prove the Department of Player Safety got it right by some kind of average of the reactions. Wilson is reckless, always. It’s dangerous to let him out there and do this again and again and again and it has to stop. This really isn’t enough to do that. I fully expect him to be back after the seven games and to do something similar again this season even.

Here is the explanation from the league from someone speaking in a heavy, I dunno, New England accent?

It’s not often you get a great ping from the puck hitting the post on a goal, and it’s even less often you get a double ping. Connor McDavid did that last night. This is now a challenge to Matthews to get a triple post ping goal.

And how has John Tortorella not yet been fired as coach of the Blue Jackets.

Benning preaches more patience to already restless Canucks fanbase - Sportsnet
Nearly seven years into his tenure, Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning asked Friday for more patience from fans. His request was not favourably received.

Dylan Strome placed on IR - Second City Hockey
Strome hasn’t played since a Feb. 19 game against the Hurricanes and was placed in the concussion protocol a few days later.

Rangers alumni Mark Pavelich has passed away at 63 - Blueshirt Banter
Tragically, Pavelich struggled with mental illness towards the end of his life. His friends and family believe that his health deteriorated as a result of CTE caused by repeated blows to the head sustained during his hockey career. He was found dead in the state-operated mental health treatment facility.

Barry Beck blasts Rangers, John Davidson after Mark Pavelich death - NY Post
Former Rangers captain Barry Beck, in a blistering Facebook post, said the team and USA hockey were “accountable” for the death of Mark Pavelich.

NHL star's mom donates kidney to arena manager who let her boys skate extra hours - CBC
Bonnie O'Reilly, mother of NHL player Ryan O'Reilly and AHL star Cal O'Reilly, has donated one of her kidneys to the man who gave her boys extra ice time at the Seaforth, Ont., arena when they were young.

NHL players voice support for launching women's pro league - CBC
Commissioner Gary Bettman has previously said the league is open to establishing a league, but not at the expense of forcing an existing league like the NWHL out of business. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league's position hasn't changed.

Junior hockey coach's suspension for 'inappropriate' texts, emails to player not made public by team or league - CBC
Bernie Lynch was suspended without pay from his job as head coach of the Fort Frances Lakers, a Junior 'A' club in northwestern Ontario, and ordered to have no further contact with the players. But more than two months later, neither the team nor the league has publicly disclosed this.

Friends and family mourn Walter Gretzky at funeral in Brantford - The Star
Dozens of community members, including throngs of youngsters donning hockey uniforms, gathered outside St. Mark’s Anglican Church.

Today is Hockey Day in America so there is a large suite of matinee games today featuring US teams on the schedule to watch. The KHL playoffs continue as well and feature several Leafs prospects. If you are up early reading this and you can find a stream somewhere here are some details for today: the Leafs 2020 first round draft pick Rodion Amirov on Salavat Yulaev plays against Traktor (and ex-Leaf Pontus Aberg) at 6:30 a.m. ET.; Leafs 2018 draft pick Semyon Der-Arguchintsev on Torpedo plays against Ak Bars which is home to 2020 goalie draft pick Artur Akhtyamov at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Have a great end to the weekend, everyone! A new Back to Excited podcast with Arvind and Fulemin will be out later this morning.

Are you overreacting to the two losses against the Canucks?

Come on, everyone. We’re first in the division, we blew up the Oilers, who cares about the Canucks. It’s fine.66
I am so not overreacting. It was only two losses. Two losses... against the Canucks... The damn Canucks! We couldn’t even beat them! OMG! Matthews is injured too! It’s all happening again!62
I’m not overreacting. YOU ARE!51