The Maple Leafs brutally crushed the Canucks again last night with a second win in their three game series in Toronto. The final game is tomorrow night. After that, the Leafs will finally move on and make a quick trip to Montreal to play the Canadiens on Wednesday.

If you don’t recall, after moving from the Capitals to the Canucks, Holtby moved his family north to Canada but hit a snag crossing the border. While he had obtained a permit from the Canadian government to import his pet turtles, he didn’t know he also needed a permit form the US government to export them out of the country. Essentially, he was stuck at customs on the Canada-US border holding them in his hands for hours while waiting to get the needed documents. All of that work only to have Auston Matthews score on him over and over this season. He should have stayed in the US.

Here’s our recap of last night’s game.

Leafs rail on Canucks for ninth win of the season

Let’s watch this clip of Auston Matthews’ second goal of the game one more time, and Holtby’s comical reaction.

The North Division is rapidly turning into a battle for the fourth playoff spot. The Leafs, Habs, and Jets appear to have a lock on the first three spots (though the Jets could still flake out); the Flames, Oilers, and Canucks have been left behind to battle it out for the final spot. It will be fun to watch them wear each other down and leave us primed to take them out in the first round. They’re already doing it.

Clearly, the Shanaplan is akin to the Dominion’s strategy to take over the Alpha Quadrant by making the existing powers all fight each other into the ground so they can swoop in and conquer it with little formal resistance. I always suspected Brendan Shanahan and Kyle Dubas were Founders. Now we know for sure.

“The Leafs don’t worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow. They’re thinking long term. They’re thinking about what’s going to happen a year from now, a decade, a century!”

Here are the North Division standings as of this morning, sorted by points percentage.

The next episode of Back to Excited will be out later this morning.

Other News

Canadian-based NHL players thankful for North Division - CBC Sports
At one point this week, five NHL teams in the U.S. were sitting idle because of the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

NHL Re-Schedules 13 Devils Games; Season to Resume Feb. 11 - All About The Jersey
Impressively, the NHL schedule-makers found a way to fit all of the changes in with the Devils’ season still ending on May 8 as originally planned back in January.

Vers une prolongation de contrat pour Marc Bergevin? - JDM
[SPECIES: Tabarnak!]

Oh, and I think there’s some other big sports event tonight... but I can’t quite remember what that is. Oh well. If it were something anyone here cared about, I’m sure I would remember! All I do know is all the games on today’s NHL schedule are early afternoon matinees. There’s not a single game scheduled for prime-time. I wonder why?

Do the Leafs get the Canucks coach fired with a win on Monday?

Wait, they haven’t fired him yet?238