It feels like the start of the regular season all over again as the Maple Leafs continued their recent road warrior act by beating the San Jose Sharks 4-2 last night.
Goaltender James Reimer made a fourth consecutive win possible with a solid second period that saw him make 21 saves and keep the game close until the Toronto offence finally showed up in the final stanza.
If you're a Leaf fan, it has been a fun road trip to watch with the team skating well and playing with a lot of emotion. Marlies regulars Darryl Boyce, Joey Crabb and Reimer have injected some enthusiasm into the big club, while Phil Kessel is on one of those streaks where he shows how gifted he really is.
Mirtle will be talking Maple Leafs live at noon ET on globesports.com. Hope you can join us.
Until then, the links:
Assistant coach Tim Hunter tells Eric Duhatschek there are encouraging signs for the Leafs.
Professor Mirtle hands out his midseason marks. Brett Lebda and John Mitchell fail.
Toronto Star reporter Kevin McGran talks to Phil Kessel about being selected for the all-star game.
Apparently James Reimer is freaking out Star blogger Vinay Menon.
Reimer tells AM640's Jonas Siegel that working with Francois Allaire has been vital to his game.
It should be noted that Pension Plan Puppets have dubbed Reimer "Optimus Reim" after yet another strong performance.
Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons on the difficulty of building a winning hockey team.
Crash the Crease argues Mikhail Grabovski has been out performing Evgeni Malkin and Alex Semin.
Joey Crabb is an AHL all-star pick. The Marlies are really hurting with Finger, Scott, Hodgman, Hamilton, Kadri, Caputi, Hanson and Foster all out with injuries.