With 43 games played, I’m officially tired of the regular season. I haven’t even fully watched a game I wasn’t recapping in the past week or two. I might for a bit again when Foligno joins the roster and Nylander returns, so I can see what a fully healthy group of skaters looks like. But other than that, it’s just waiting for the playoffs to come now. They’re likely going to win the division, and if they don’t they’re still going to make the playoffs. That’s what matters. That’s all we care about.
We’ve seen them play enough that we more or less know who they are this year. There’s some small changes around the margins with their trade deadline deals. We have some questions in net given our #1 goalie for the next while is a guy who’s never had an extended run as The Guy in the NHL before. But otherwise, we know that — on paper — they’re the best team in the division. We know and expect them to make a deep playoff run, and everything we watch them do in the regular season now is just trying to figure out what their chances of doing so are. So we’re just waiting to get to that point.
So for now, I’ve been spending some more time watching prospects — have something coming out later today on that, actually. I have watched a bit of the last two games to focus on Nick Robertson, I watched Ian Scott’s first start in the AHL, I saw William Villeneuve get three points for Saint John last night including this set up for a powerplay goal.
🚨PP GOAL🚨— Saint John Sea Dogs (@SJSeaDogs) April 13, 2021
Francis has his second of the night off a one-timer blast! | 5-1 pic.twitter.com/YTAe9URUBl
The novelty of playing only Canadian teams has worn off now too. Every time the Sens, Habs, Jets, Flames, Oilers, or Canucks come to town my first thought is “these assholes again?”
So bring on the playoffs already! We’re a month away from it. I think I’ll take up woodburning as a hobby to get me to that point.
ONTO THE LINKS
As you may expect the day after the trade deadline, there was a lot of stuff written yesterday worth sharing. Bear with me as I link to a bunch.
Grading the Leafs trade deadline | by Jon Steitzer at TLN
What do the new guys bring to the team? | by Scott Maxwell at TLN
Winners, losers and trade grades after the Maple Leafs add 6 players at the deadline | by James Mirtle at The Athletic
Hard to say goodbye to my 3 biggest cheerleaders!! They know Dad’s got a job to do for the @MapleLeafs! 🍁Can’t wait to get to work with my new teammates! 💪 See you soon #leafnation!! Hard to drop the Red but PUMPED to don the Blue and White!!!! Quarantine here I come! 😩. pic.twitter.com/k5XE8b13oq— Nick Foligno (@NickFoligno) April 13, 2021
AROUND THE HOCKEY WORLD
We all laughed and shook our heads at Buffalo for the return they got in the Taylor Hall trade, but some details emerged that they basically had to just take the best offer they could get from Boston.
I believe the Sabres had a better offer for Hall from a Western team but as Hall said, he really wanted to play in Boston.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 13, 2021
And that's absolutely his right with the full NMC. https://t.co/ofoSknV2nQ
The CHL announced that the Memorial Cup is cancelled for this season. #CancelCulture
Statement from the CHL / Déclaration de la LCH pic.twitter.com/1zlAIYj5j2— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) April 13, 2021