Yeah, veiled Avengers reference. Well, not even veiled. Actually not even one of my better Mashup headlines, but very little happened in the NHL that was Leaf-related yesterday, and now we all have to pay the price.

The Marlies begin their AHL Western Conference series against the Oklahoma City Barons tonight as the road team. Our own Anthony Petrielli has extensively commented on the Marlies’ playoff drive to this point here, and has a convenient release prepared summarizing all the pertinent series preview-type information. Here’s a quick, copied extracted executive summary of the things they think you should know:

(Links after the jump)

– Toronto has posted a record of 7-1 in the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Marlies are the only team in the playoffs with one loss. (Sweet!)
– Mike Zigomanis ranks second (tie) in AHL powerplay goals (3). (Don Cherry rests his case!)
– The Marlies have surrendered just four goals in their last four road games. (Ben Scrivens makes his case!)
– Matt Frattin and Jerry D’Amigo rank first (tie) in AHL playoff game winning goals (2). (Future clutch-ness! We need that!)
– Toronto and Oklahoma City are the only two playoff teams to remain undefeated on the road this post-season. (I don’t have one for this!)
– Toronto continues to lead the AHL in penalty kill percentage (97.2%), surrendering just two powerplay goals against in its last 10 games. (Bizarro world, and Dallas Eakins is Superman!)
– The Marlies rank third in post-season attendance, averaging 6,310 fans per home game at Ricoh Coliseum. (And 6,310 looks empty! Seriously!)
– Jerry D’Amigo ranks first (tie) in AHL playoff goals (6). D’Amigo also leads the league in post-season plus/minus rating (+10). (This will not translate to the NHL, but it’s awesome!)
– Rogers TV will broadcast all Toronto home games in round three, while Leafs TV will air live coverage of the road games from Oklahoma City. (What, you’re gonna watch “LAWRIE SMASH!” instead? Another Avengers reference. I’m sorry.)

Enjoy your Thursday morning links!

– Manhattan was beaten by the Shore last night, as the New Jersey Devils evened the Eastern Conference Finals at one game a piece. Which annoys me, because at this point, I’m really just cheering for any outcome in the East that shakes Zach Parise loose.

-In what might be one of the most terrifying “total formalities” ever, the NHL declared it’s intent to eradicate/change the CBA to the NHLPA Wednesday, paving the way for the next round of negotiations and a probably-inevitable lockout because rich people are greedy. No, really. I know saying that is immensely shortsighted, oversimplified, and neglects real issues that need to be discussed – but [censored], I’m going to be irate if there’s not hockey this fall.

-Over at Leafs Nation, our own Ryan Fancey wonders what might happen to Colby Armstrong this summer. It is just so unbelievably hard for me to want that guy on a plane out of Toronto, despite pragmatically knowing that if Burke is a smart GM, he’ll find some way to put him on a plane out of Toronto.

-ISS is tinkering with their top predraft rankings again, which is something you should read about now, because you’re going to spend most of June furiously debating whether they’re at all accurate.

-Alex Semin’s agent says his client’s done in Washington, paving the way for a path to unrestricted free agency this July. I did not know this, but over the past six seasons, Semin’s ranked 15th overall amongst NHL goal scorers with 187. Which makes him, I guess, one of the most talented players ever on the list of those who will inevitably be overpaid by a secretly reluctant General Manager. wants you to know the Leafs’ annual equipment sale is May 26th at RealSports. You can buy authentic Leafs gear – if you’re a fan – or actual game-used equipment – if you’re weird like that.