Welcome to Spring! Well, not quite yet if you are reading this shortly after the time it’s published. The Vernal Equinox happens today in Toronto a few minutes before 5:30 p.m..
As always, the arrival of Spring means we’re probably in for terrible weather. Indeed, the long range forecast shows a potential seven straight days with at least some rain and/or snow for each starting Wednesday, so enjoy the sun today while it lasts.
The Leafs will conveniently be gone for all that bad weather, though they certainly won’t have a light work schedule. It’s four games in six days again, but this time they are all on the road.
This is the second last big road trip of the season—there is one more at the very end of the season but it’s only three games of which two are in Florida, which is basically an end of season vacation, right?
That being said, it is going to be an exhausting final push to the end of the season for the team, which will be worrisome as the now almost inevitable first-round match-up against the Bolts is going to be a highly physical battle.
Back to this week, here are the upcoming games:
- Tuesday 7:30 p.m. @ New York Islanders
- Thursday 7:00 p.m. @ Florida Panthers
- Saturday 7:00 p.m. @ Carolina Hurricanes
- Sunday 6:00 p.m. @ Nashville Predators (note that weird early start time) /
That’s a lot of exhausting flights and travel for in a short period of time. Good luck to the Leafs with that.
The arrival of spring also means talk about the playoffs, and the Toronto Marlies have officially clinched a spot to chase the Calder Cup once again, despite messy back-to-back losses this weekend to the Charlotte Checkers (Florida Panthers affiliates).
We’ll have more on the Marlies and the AHL playoffs in a separate article later this morning, but here’s a fun, and also the only goal of the weekend as an appetizer, scored by Pontus Holmberg who is of course angling for a full-time spot on the Leafs next season:
PONTUS WITH THE RIP 🚀 pic.twitter.com/4HBU9aS5yP— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) March 18, 2023
Our Back to Excited podcast published episode #199 yesterday. We’re so looking forward to episode #200 in the very near future.
Back to Excited Episode 199: Thoughts on Newly Acquired Players
Jack Eichel got a Hat Trick for the Vegas Golden Knights yesterday, but the best part was him digging through the clean-up crew’s bin on the ice to find one that he liked and keep it for himself.
Finnish women’s hockey star Jenni Hiirikoski has announced she is OK after being cut in the neck with a skate blade in a horrifying moment earlier in the weekend. From the translation, the cut was severe but ultimately not as bad as it looked on camera where blood was spurting out. She is now already out of the hospital.
Jenni har precis postat ett inlägg på sin Instagram: jenni_hiirikoski. Ge henne gärna en like för att visa ditt stöd för vår fantastiska lagkapten! pic.twitter.com/9UPXNsKBVr— Luleå Hockey (@LuleaHockey) March 19, 2023
I have thoughts about James Reimer’s homophobic fail this weekend, a fail which he compounded with every additional statement and clarification, particularly the one dragging Nazem Kadri into it, plus all the bizarre media reactions to the fiasco and how the whole NHL seems paralyzed over how to handle all of this, but I won’t be able to assemble those thoughts into something coherent for you to read for a few more days, so in the meantime here’s a legitimately nice gesture as a palette cleanser.
Both teams wearing mismatch socks in support of the Rock Your Socks initiative and World Down Syndrome Day this Tuesday, March 21st. pic.twitter.com/1TETlK2RjG— Calgary Hitmen (@WHLHitmen) March 19, 2023