You can blink now, the Toronto Maple Leafs proved yesterday they are indeed the Leafs we expect them to be. Much of the feelings from after the loss on Thursday have been washed away, though there is still lingering concern about how bad the injury is to John Tavares.

Here’s a link to our recap of last night’s game and the latest news on JT.

Maple Leafs respond strong with 5-1 win to even series
Kyle Dubas updates regarding John Tavares

If I had to pick out some moments from the highlight reels of last night’s game it’s for sure the Rasmus Sandin, After seeing him play on the Marlies for two seasons, I had a good feeling he was going to mature into a nice defenceman for the Leafs. First, there’s his power play goal.

Then there’s his bee stinger hits for which he’s quickly becoming famous, or infamous from the Habs point of view.

I wonder who should get credit for his growth on the team?

Top 25 Under 25: Rasmus Sandin is still the Leafs top prospect at #4

Other Playoffs News

Wins today by the Avalanche over the Blues and the Bruins over the Capitals would make both those teams the first to advance on to the second round. The Capitals getting eliminated so fast will be quite a surprise to me, not so much the Blues though.

The Lightning went up 3-1 in their series against the Panthers yesterday. The Panthers are clearly getting very frustrated at the possibility of being swept here, with Duclair aggressively attacking Kucherov who we all know was out with a major injury almost the whole season.

NHL: Lightning unhappy after Nikita Kucherov leaves with injury - Y Sports
The sense of unruly officiating has been building up through missed calls and inconsistency across the eight playoff series. Even earlier in this match, Kucherov was involved in a confusing penalty after getting pushed into Panthers netminder Sergei Bobrovsky.

Late tonight, the Oilers play the Jets, and oh wow are the Oilers in trouble! They have lost the first two games of this series so far. I assume the fact they have scored only one single goal in those two games combined is half the reason for that; the other half being Connor Hellybuyck in net for the Jets. Connor McDavid, the greatest contemporary generational talent in the league, the guy who will undoubtedly walk away from the NHL Awards this summer with multiple personal achievement trophies, may once again be denied any playoff advancement. This will be quite a game to watch. It starts at 7:30 p.m. ET on CBC.

If you are looking for a non-NHL diversion today, the IIHF Men’s World Championship continues. The Leafs Swedish prospects are playing this morning at 9:15 a.m. ET against Belarus. Canada is playing the USA later at 1:15 p.m., though if you haven’t been following this tournament you should know the USA team looks like a real hockey team while Canada looks like a team that would lose to some country like Latvia, and oh yeah, they actually did lose to Latvia 2-0 on Friday. Watch at your own risk of a loss of national pride. The game is on TSN1 and TSN3.

‘We all lost something.’ The impact of the OHL’s cancelled season - The Star
“It’s a big part of our community’s fabric,” said Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley. “Not having the team play leaves us emotionally bankrupt.” In North Bay, the $5-million loss without Battalion hockey also hurt local businesses and restaurants. In Sault Ste. Marie, the GFL Memorial Gardens, home of the Soo Greyhounds, lost $800,000 in revenue, forcing part-time concessions staff to be laid off.

Have you ever wondered about the story behind the Leafs vs. Canadiens mural at College subway station? Wonder no more.

Finally, here’s an interview with Nick Robertson talking about his family and Filipino heritage.

Arvind and Fulemin will have another episode of our Back To Excited podcast out later this morning, and it will go over every detail of both Game #1 and Game #2.

Enjoy your Sunday. The Leafs start back-to-back games in Montreal tomorrow night!