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Toronto Maple Leafs News & Notes: January 23, 2013

The Toronto Maple Leafs have firmly entrenched themselves into the playoff picture with their current six-game winning streak. James Mirtle takes a look at how the Leafs (and most of the Eastern Conference) have improved their play lately, and how many points it will likely take to make the post-season.

The Leafs made a minor trade yesterday, shipping 21-year-old centre Andrew Crescenzi to the Los Angeles Kings for 23-year-old right-winger Brandon Kozun. As Justin Fisher writes, this trade looks like a big win for the Leafs because Kozun is a three-time 20-goal scorer in the AHL while Crescenzi only has five points in 49 AHL games so far in his career.

The Leafs are actually playing semi-decent (I’m not going to do anything crazy like anoint them soon-to-be Cup champions…yet) hockey nowadays, so we might as well all focus our attention on the sad plight of the Edmonton Oilers. PPP takes us through some of the recent hilarious antics of their sorry management team.

By the way, if you’re looking for more thorough roasting of Daryl Katz, Kevin Lowe, et al, check out Copper ‘n Blue. They do great work.

If you missed it, goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Peter Budaj tried to fight each other in the Pittsburgh Penguins-Montreal Canadiens game last night. Unfortunately, the officials stopped the whole proceedings before they really got started. Greg Wyshynski has the video and analysis.

Dallas Stars winger Valeri Nichushkin is turning heads as an extremely skilled and big 18-year-old. Dave Lozo has a great piece on the struggles and triumphs he’s faced as a Russian teenager playing in the NHL.

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Tags: Andrew Crescenzi Brandon Kozun Marc-Andre Fleury Peter Budaj Toronto Maple Leafs Valeri Nichushkin

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