It's that time of the season now. There's only 15 days until the Leafs play game #82 and their regular season ends and we all are frustrated because "BUT I WANT THE PLAYOFFS NOW!"

Unfortunately, you have to wait two more weeks and nine more games for playoffs, the first of those nine games being tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who coincidentally will also be the team the Leafs play in their final regular season game in Tampa on April 17.

We'll have our preview of tonight's game out later this morning, though early word is that Morgan Rielly will be back for this game, though Mitch Marner may need more time.

The Marlies have one of their legendary school day games this morning at 11:00 a.m.. The team is still sitting at fourth place in the North Division, and with only nine games left (including this morning's games) every win gets them a needed bump up the standings to get to third and avoid the play-in round.

In an unexpected turn of events, the Cleveland Monsters (Columbus Blue Jackets affiliates) have gone from dominating the division to losing five straight games, so while unlikely, the window is still open for the Marlies to move up even higher than third place, though that is a steep slope to climb with much work to do to make it there. Step one is beating the Thunderbirds today who are the Florida Panthers affiliates, and are presently second last in the Atlantic Division. Here are the North Division standings:

We are still processing the unfortunate news that the Newfoundland Growlers have suddenly ceased operation after an ECHL board meeting yesterday. The ownership group, Deacon Sports and Entertainment, was unable to find a buyer for the team, however they did find one, so far anonymous, to acquire their other ECHL team in Trois-Rivières. For now though, this means yet another end to pro-hockey being played in Newfoundland.

Newfoundland Growlers cease operations
A really sad day for the Leafs organization.

The Women's World Championship begins today, hosted nearby in Utica. You can watch the games on TSN, and checking the schedule I see some are on TSN3 and others on TSN4, with replays on TSN5, so you better check your cable guide to find them. Canada's first game isn't until tomorrow against Finland with a 7:00 p.m. start. For more information on the tournament check out our guide here:

2024 IIHF Women’s Worlds
Women’s Worlds starts tomorrow.

Toronto PWHL GM Gina Kingsbury is the GM for Team Canada this year. Here's a video preview from CBC on the tournament.

Canada looking for revenge against U.S. at women’s hockey worlds
Host Rob Pizzo is joined by Karissa Donkin to preview the upcoming IIHF women’s hockey world championship in Utica, New York.

Other News

Would you like some Leafs prospects playoff game GIFS? OF COURSE YOU DO!

The Knights won this game to take a 3-0 series lead against Flint.

This goal by Kressler helped seal the Ottawa win and a 2-1 series lead over Brantford.

The full rundown from yesterday:

  • Akhtyamov stopped 30 of 32 shots, Neftyanik won 3-2 and took a 1-0 series lead in the semi finals.
  • Cowan had a goal and 6 shots, London won 4-3 in overtime to take a 3-0 series lead over Flint.
  • Kressler scored two goals, Ottawa won 5-2 and took a 2-1 series lead over Brantford.
  • Minten was held pointless, Lisowsky had one secondary assist on the OT winner; Saskatoon won 4-3 in overtime and took a 2-1 series lead.
  • Chadwick had a secondary assist, Lethbridge lost 5-3 and are down 3-0 in their series against Swift Current.

Finally, I leave you with this trivia from last night's Panthers broadcast.