Five wins in a row for the Maple Leafs.

Whew. Take a moment to let that one sink in. That’s what came out of last night’s 2-1 win over the New York Rangers. Here’s our recap of the game:

Game 18 Recap: Maple Leafs hold on to beat the Rangers

Next up is a back-to-back weekend of hockey. The first game is here in Toronto against the Penguins who obliterated the Canadiens 6-0 last night, though they haven’t had a great start to the year. You may recall the last time the Leafs and Penguins played each other it was that extremely embarrassing 7-1 loss during the Leafs’ big skid in October.

After the Penguins, the Leafs go to Long Island, though I have given up tracking where the Islanders actually play. I think they are at their new new arena in Queens or something? Either way, they have also had a bad start to their season, sitting last in the Metropolitan division.

So this weekend should be a piece of cake for the Leafs, right?

Meanwhile in Finland, the prospects are doing well.

Other News

We all love those stories where the new to the NHL guy pays to fly all his friends and family to a game. This time, something went awry. Riley Tufte was scratched at the last moment by coach Rick Bowness after he had already spent thousands of dollars to fly in and get tickets for his friends and family to see him play in his home state. It gets worse when you check the final score and see they all had to watch his team lose 7-2 to the Minnesota Wild.

Stars rookie Riley Tufte a late healthy scratch in first NHL game back home
“When we left here this morning, he was playing,” Bowness said. “I can’t do anything about that. I get here at 4 o’clock, they’re telling me these guys are in now. It changes everything. This morning, Riley was playing. I can’t do anything about that.” [SPECIES: who is telling the Stars’ head coach who to scratch and who to play?]

Brouwer announces retirement after 14-year NHL career - NHL
Troy Brouwer, who played with the Blues in 2015-16 and again in 2019-20, has announced his retirement after a 14-year NHL career.

Quebec premier announces plan to boost number of Quebecers in NHL - CBC
Having francophone hockey players in the NHL has been a longstanding symbol of Quebec pride, so faced with diminishing numbers Premier François Legault has formed a committee of experts to raise interest in the game.

Bathurst reaches bailout deal to keep Titan hockey team in city - CBC
The move to support the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team follows relocation speculation, changes in ownership and poor attendance in recent years. This summer, the ownership group announced it was facing financial pressure and needed to consider selling the franchise.

Benning points finger at star players in bizarre press conference - Nucks Misconduct
Another day where GM Jim Benning makes Canucks’ fans want to pull out their hair.