Morning Mashup: The heat is on

Morning Mashup: The heat is on

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Photo: Darryl Dyck/AP Photo

To describe, in a word, last night’s results on the out of town scoreboard  as far as the Leafs‘ playoff bid is concerned – painful. Winnipeg beat Boston, Washington beat Florida, and New Jersey beat Anaheim. While Pierre Gauthier began the selling process yesterday with the shipping out of Hal Gill, the Canadiens beat Buffalo, too.

The situation is now this; the ninth-placed Capitals are one point behind the Leafs with a game in hand. New Jersey has distanced themselves from the fringe thanks to a 7-1-2 stretch over their last ten, now sitting six points ahead of the Leafs with a game in hand. 10th-placed Winnipeg has not gone away, winning their last two and now sit two points back, albeit with two less games to play. 7th-placed Ottawa does not play this weekend, but have won their last two as well, putting them four ahead of the Leafs. The Leafs must win both games in hand to get even on points with the Senators.

This all comes as the Leafs endure an extremely tough test tonight. That is a visit to Rogers Arena to play the 36-15-6 Vancouver Canucks, who are 8-0-2 in their last ten and haven’t lost at home in regulation since January 15. After a four game losing streak was ended by a not-all-too convincing overtime win in Edmonton, the Leafs will have to start playing better hockey or they will soon find themselves behind the playoff eight ball.

In other action, the Leafs will be hoping for a Philadelphia win over Pittsburgh (1 p.m. game), and a Tampa Bay victory over Washington tonight.

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LEAFS LINKS:

Schenn returns, Reimer starts
Luke Schenn draws in beside Jake Gardiner as Mike Komisarek sits out tonight in Vancouver. Wilson’s still trying to get Reimer going despite arguably being the Leafs’ second best next to Gustavsson since returning from concussion.

The Eastern Conference Standings after last night’s results
Still hanging onto eighth, but that could change tonight.

Talented Jake Gardiner may have to go
That’s a misleading title meant to hook the reader, but it looks like any package for Rick Nash starts with Jake Gardiner.

Franson gets the nod from former team
The Vancouver Giants honoured Cody Franson with an induction into their ring of honour and a bobblehead night on Friday. Franson won the Memorial Cup with the Giants in 2007.

Maple Leafs in for the long haul
Sounding like we’ll see what the current group is made of.

The Star had some kids do their own winter classic jersey mock ups
Nothing says classic Leafs like the old purple, orange, yellow and green. But seriously, given the league uses the event to market for new American fans, this kid might be onto something.

Ruff year for Buffalo
Lindy Ruff facepalm.

Who remembers Felix Potvin, hero of Leaf surge in 1993-94?
From Michael Langlois at VLM.

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GAME DAY RECIPE:
from Jason Kelly (aka Ensign)

For this weeks recipe I decided to go with something for the BBQ, mainly so Doorman would be happy! I have a basic but excellent recipe for home made burgers with a little bit of a kick. I’ve also added a side broccoli salad recipes so there’s something to serve on the side.

Burgers
2 pounds of extra lean ground burger (I use bison or deer but beef is fine)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons of whole grain dijon mustard
3 tablespoons of sriracha sauce (a chile hot sauce) adjust volume for the desired amount of kick
1 teaspoon of crushed chilli flakes
1 chopped onion
whole wheat bread crumbs as needed

It’s simple; mix all the ingredients with the exception of the bread crumbs until well mixed. Add bread crumbs and mix into the meat until the consistency is stiff enough to maintain a ball shape. I usually add it by the tablespoon and find just under a quarter cup is the right amount, but it depends on how wet the meat is. Divide the meat into 8 equal sections (half the ball of meat.. then keep halfing the parts). This makes 8 1/4 ounce burgers. Cook on LOW heat on a greased bbq grill until burgers are cooked medium. Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to cook burger meat until its well done… it just makes a hockey puck. Don’t rush flipping the burgers as they will fall apart. Serve with whatever toppings you want.

Broccoli Salad
1/2 cup of sliced almonds
6 cups of broccoli florettes
2 cups of red grapes (seedless)
1/4 cup of green onion
6 strips of cooked bacon chopped

Sauce:
1 cup of celery chopped
1 cup of low fat mayo
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of white vinegar

Toast the almonds in a nonstick frying pan over low heat until lightly browned then remove and set to the side (careful not to burn the almonds). Cut each grape in half and place in a bowl with broccoli, green onion, celery and bacon. Mix sugar, mayo and vinegar in a bowl and pour over salad mix. Stir until well mixed. Add almonds right before serving and stir (if the almonds are added early, they’ll get soggy).

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]

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