The Toronto Marlies obliterated the Texas Stars yesterday. They won 8-4, even accomplishing the rare feat of having an opponent goalie pulled from the net, and then his backup pulled from the net, and then the original goalie pulled for a second time with the backup going back in again. Landon Bow was not happy about that and there were loud crashing sounds down the tunnel when he left after snapping his stick in half on the way off the ice.

The Stars have lost 13 of 16 games this season, including 9 of their last 10 in regulation. They are a team in crisis, and I’m sure when they wake up this morning they will be grumpy about having to play the Marlies again today. I suspect the Maple Leafs are glad they don’t have to play again today.

The hockey season is often chopped up into three periods, like the game itself, with the playoffs as overtime. The first period is generally accepted to end at American Thanksgiving which is about 12 days away now. The historical stats show that teams who are in playoff slots at the end of November are very likely to be in a playoff slot at the end of the regular season in April.

The Leafs are not in a playoff slot right now.

And it’s a heck of a climb to get into one, especially considering they’ve played two or three more games than most other teams in the Conference.

If there was ever a time for a mental reset for the whole team, this coming week is that time, and that opportunity. The Leafs are going out west for a big road road-trip. According to last night’s broadcast they were flying out to Las Vegas right after the end of the game. They will play the Golden Knights on Tuesday, the Coyotes on Thursday, and the Avalanche on Saturday.

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

Toronto Maple Leafs get beat down by the Penguins; lose 6-1

The Marlies are playing today at 4:00 p.m. Remember that the Santa Claus parade is on at that time, so downtown is effectively split in half at University Avenue, with access across there restricted to going underneath it via the subway stations.

The content is the audience

Lost in the drama of last night’s game was the drama of the broadcast. During the first intermission segment which would normally have been Coaches Corner, Ron MacLean delivered a long and somewhat rambling apology for, well, everything.

How we all take his apology is based on our own point of view. The content of a TV show like Hockey Night in Canada, and especially a segment like Coaches Corner is us. We are the content of the show. That’s not some new age media idea. It’s actually a pretty old one from University of Toronto professor Marshall McLuhan in the 60’s, and it’s one that Rogers completely forgot.

Don Cherry was an open can of gasoline left out; only a single spark away from blowing up Coaches Corner. And then it finally happened and Ron somehow seems to be stunned he didn’t see that coming despite the fact he says he had to make a regular effort to mentally check on what Don was saying live on the air to see if there would be a fire to quickly smother.

The content of his apology was that he’s sorry that he did not smother the fire this time.

What is to come of the first intermission segment still sounds to be totally up in the air.

Other News

Believe it or not, there were things happening in the world of Hockey outside of the Leafs and Toronto last night!

Let’s close out this FTB with some laughs.

Andrew Hammond was hamburgled of a goalie goal, and the AHL goal judges have a hair-trigger on the red light.

Sometimes Tom Wilson does some good things.

And who doesn’t want to see him punch Brad Marchand in the face?

Darcy Kuemper jumps out of the crease and mixes it up in a line brawl.

Have a good day all. Cat GIFs are strongly encouraged in the comments.