It’s the first official holiday long weekend on the Ontario calendar but the Leafs won’t be getting time off to enjoy it. They have two games scheduled this weekend starting with a rematch against the Montreal Canadiens tonight, and followed by the Ottawa Senators in Toronto on Monday, which will be the first of three games in a row against them.
The Habs are on a two game skid, losing to the Leafs on Tuesday, and then losing to the Oilers on Thursday. It would be great to send the Montreal media into a full blown meltdown with another Leafs win tonight!
Here’s our preview of tonight’s game:
Meanwhile, the Toronto Marlies are getting ready to play their first game of the season.
The Marlies have committed to start on a long road trip since the protocols referred to in the above Tweet from the Minister are only being approved now. Their schedule begins with four games over five days in Winnipeg against the Manitoba Moose starting Monday; then there’s four games in six days against the Stockton Heat in Calgary. Yes, that team is still called the Stockton Heat despite relocating from Stockton, California to Calgary for this season. The team itself has suggested a name change, but of a slightly different kind.
We are now the Stockton Cold.— Stockton (considerably less warm) Heat (@AHLHeat) February 11, 2021
(Yes we still use Fahrenheit) pic.twitter.com/fTtTEQj0db
Today’s is also the NHL’s Hockey Day in Canada which means the CBC will be airing all of today’s Canadian North Division games, and it will have significant extra coverage, including reports and mini-documentaries about the state of the game in the country. It all starts early at 2:00 p.m. ET, with the first game at 3:00 p.m., and it continues with the Leafs game at 7:00 all the way through until the late game ends at 1:00 a.m. tomorrow with only a short 30 minute interruption for the news.
Is Freddie the best goalie in the North? - Katya
I think we know where to look for the worst goalie in this division [LOLSNES], but what about the best? Is it Frederik Andersen? Probably not, but he's pretty close.
The Rangers and the Bruins played a raucous game last night last night that started off hilariously in the pre-game warmup where Brad Marchand and Mika Zibanejad refused to leave the ice last. They finally settled it with a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. I am not joking. That’s actually how they did it.
Once the actual game was going, the real fights started.
The Bruins eventually won the game 1-0, which normally, I would care about, but it’s 2021, and they are now the Metropolitan Division’s problem, not ours.
Ron Hextall and the curious case of departed Flyers - Broad Street Hockey
To paraphrase Bill Withers, ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone.
Pucks shatter, blades break: Alberta players brave cold for 252-hour hockey game - CBC
“Brent Saik laughs when asked how 40 players in the world's longest hockey game are handling the bitter cold on an outdoor rink.”
Islanders agree to terms with Robin Salo on Entry Level Contract - Lighthouse Hockey
The defenceman was taken in the second round of the 2017 draft. [SPECIES: I find it interesting they finally signed him after holding on to his rights for almost four years. Vladislav Kara, there’s still hope for you to one day be on the Leafs!]
Wild will reportedly resume play on Tuesday - Hockey Wilderness
The Minnesota Wild have been on hiatus due to an outbreak, but they will reportedly play their first game back on Tuesday.
Burke makes first waves about potential desire to increase Penguins physicality - PensBurgh
You knew it wouldn’t take long for Brian Burke to say what he was going to say in his new job as the President of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Congrats on 50, Mats!
Finally, a happy birthday to Mats Sundin! He’s 50 years old today. I bet he could still make the Leafs fourth line. Maybe even the third right now...
In any case, here’s some great moments.