A few items before the links.

  • Great Spring weather with playoff hockey in the air; the only way it gets any better is if the Leafs are playing instead of firing people. MLHS commenter Luke_R has set up a playoff bracket challenge for us; come compete for bragging rights.
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  • The Bruins have fired Peter Chiarelli. Chiarelli did some great things to create the Bruins’ window for contention and he can ultimately rest his head on his Cup ring, but he definitely had a bad couple of years that precipitated the closure of that window and steered the Bruins away from sustained success.
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  • From the outside looking in, Chiarelli would want nothing to do with the Leafs management setup, but he’s also now unemployed. You never know. The Leafs will probably talk to him, because why not.
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  • Jake Gardiner is headed to the World Championships to represent Team USA:

Wednesday Links:

  • Evan Dorey: Toronto Maple Leafs’ Scoring Chance Tracking – Season Recap (MLHS)
    These are ES chance numbers; you can see that Horachek and Carlyle were broadly similar in the first two periods, and it’s only the third period where Toronto improved under Horachek. As mentioned above, this is likely down to score effects as much as any form of improvement in play.
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  • Alec Brownscombe: Maple Leafs GM Search: A look at Julien BriseBois (MLHS)
    BriseBois’ role in Tampa is impressive in that he has been responsible for a lot of areas within the Lightning’s hockey operations. His legal background prepared him to handle arbitration, contract negotiation and the CBA side of things; he’s the GM of the Syracuse Crunch – and Norfolk Admirals before them – and he does analytics work for Steve Yzerman. He also manages the salary cap.
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  • Kyle Cicerella: Byron Froese, the catalyst behind Toronto’s top-scoring line (Kyle The Reporter)
    The 24-year-old bounced on different lines as he adjusted to Toronto but has found stability with wingers Matt Frattin and William Nylander—which has been a positive for all three forwards.
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  • MLHS: Marlies two points away from clinching playoff spot after win over Iowa (Maple Leafs Hot Stove)
    The Marlies will have a three-game set this Friday-Saturday-Sunday in need of at least two of six points to clinch a playoff in the Calder Cup playoffs.
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  • Tim Rosenthal: Breaking — Bruins relieve GM Peter Chiarelli of his duties (Bruins Daily)
    His loyality was also shown when he signed key cogs like Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask and Zdeno Chara to multi-year contract extensions. At the same time, he also was too loyal to third and fourth liners like Gregory Campbell, Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille and countless others by signing them to questionable extensions. That, combined with the questionable trades of Boychuk and Tyler Seguin in the last couple of years, ultimately led to the Bruins’ front office making this decision.
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  • Macko and Cauz: Jonas Siegel and James Mirtle on Hour 3 (TSN 1050)
    In the third hour of Macko & Cauz, the boys are joined by TSN’s Maple Leaf Reporter Jonas Siegel and TSN’s Hockey Analytics host James Mirtle to discuss the Leafs
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  • Scott Wheeler: Freddie Gauthier dominant in QMJHL playoffs (Pension Plan Puppets)
    Known for his defensive awareness, and strength on faceoffs, it was Gauthier’s offensive decision-making, skating (he’s much lighter on his feet than in years past) and strength that stood out in my fifth viewing in the last two years.
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