TLN Three Stars: Leafs somehow don’t lose to the league’s worst team, plan the parade!

Well that was a rollercoaster.
After a couple straight beatings at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Carolina Hurricanes, the Leafs came out of the gate with another flat effort against Chicago, allowing two goals in the first, only to make a nice comeback thanks to backhanders from John Tavares and David Kampf, and a nice breakaway goal from William Nylander to win the game in overtime. It was far from perfect, and it’s still pretty sad that they barely beat a team without a win, but they managed to come out without being their first win, so that’s a plus.
Here’s to hope.
Three Stars
3rd Star: William Nylander
Even when the team was dead, you could still see William flying out there, even getting a little bit physical when it seemed like the team didn’t have a spark. It wasn’t his best night analytically, with only 50.68% of the expected goals at even strength, but he seemed like one of the few Leafs with life, and it paid off with the OT winner.
2nd Star: David Kampf
IT FEELS SO NICE TO SEE LEAFS SCORE AGAINST THEIR FORMER TEAMS! Kampf was a …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Winners and Losers from exhilarating win over Pacers

Raptors: Winners and Losers from exhilarating win over Pacers

The Toronto Raptors needed to wake up after two tough home losses, as the prospect of falling to 1-4 on the season was unacceptable for Nick Nurse and this team. Luckily, Toronto was able to get back on the right track thanks to veterans like Fred VanVleet and rookies like Scottie Barnes and Dalano Banton. […]
Raptors: Winners and Losers from exhilarating win over Pacers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Goran Dragic’s struggles could hurt his trade value

Raptors: Goran Dragic’s struggles could hurt his trade value

From the moment he was acquired by the Toronto Raptors as part of the Kyle Lowry deal, the assumption has been that Goran Dragic would not stay in Canada for very long. It just didn’t make a lot of sense from either side’s perspective for a 35-year-old veteran looking for one last shot at a […]
Raptors: Goran Dragic’s struggles could hurt his trade value – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Brian Swane / Raptors HQ

Report from the Rock: Drama boils over and the city wins, for now

It’s a dark day for sports fans in the city of St. John’s. Perhaps the darkest it has seen since the day it was announced that the St. John’s Maple Leafs were leaving town… or the day it was announced that the St. John’s Fog Devils were ceasing operations… or the day that the St. John’s Ice Caps got relocat- wait, I’m sensing a pattern here.
This morning it was announced that St. John’s city council and the St. John’s Sports and Entertainment committee, which manages the Growlers home arena (formerly Mile One Centre, recently renamed to Mary Brown’s Centre… yes the chicken franchise) have evicted the Newfoundland Growlers just nine days before their home opener, citing accusations of disrespectful workplace conduct towards the staff of the arena.
I wanted to write about the Growlers’ 4-0 record to start the season, the stellar play of prospects like Keith Petruzzelli, Noel Hoefenmayer and Ryan Chyzowski, and how much I was looking forward to the home opener for the opportunity to cover a game in-person for the first time, but instead we have to talk about this crap, so let’s get into …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

It’s Leafs vs Blackhawks and really what else is there to say?

The Leafs play the Blackhawks tonight and frankly, it’s a little bit difficult to decide what the focus is here.
Sure, yes, the Leafs are in a tailspin and things seem pretty dire and if they lose tonight there might be some big changes coming. But on the flip side – the Blackhawks organization as a whole is a tire fire, and not just because of their hockey performance.
It feels somewhat reductive to discuss the hockey of it all at this moment in the NHL, with what is happening in and around the Blackhawks bringing to light, once again, how toxic and dangerous hockey culture is and can be. I can’t in good conscience write a pre-game post about the Blackhawks without acknowledging that the organization actively, intentionally, covered up sexual assault and in doing so allowed a predator to continue to work with young men.
However, this is a pre-game post, and not an article about that (though those will be plentiful, and necessary.) So now that it has been mentioned, we turn to the hockey.
The Blackhawks are 0-5-1. The Leafs are 2-4-1. Both are bad. The Leafs are very marginally less bad, but …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Yuta Watanabe must replace Svi Mykhailiuk when healthy

Raptors: Yuta Watanabe must replace Svi Mykhailiuk when healthy

The Toronto Raptors are very clearly pumped up about the idea of unleashing a new and improved Yuta Watanabe on the NBA, but an injury sustained in the preseason has made it impossible for him to debut thus far. The Raptors have resorted to the likes of Svi Mykhailiuk to fill the void. While they […]
Raptors: Yuta Watanabe must replace Svi Mykhailiuk when healthy – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Finding the next Robbie Ray

We don’t have any idea how the off-season is going shake out but it is entirely possible the Blue Jays enter next season without their ace Robbie Ray.
Ray, the likely American League Cy Young Award winner, is in line for a big payday, potentially as high as the 6-year, $140 million deal Patrick Corbin signed with the Washington Nationals. If the Blue Jays are unable to bring Ray back (and even if they are), they need to find the next version of Robbie Ray.

This is easier said than done of course. Nobody expected Ray to have the season that he did. He was coming off his worst season, and one of the worst seasons in baseball. His 2017 success was well in the rear-view mirror. However, he was only 28 and still had that good strikeout stuff. The Blue Jays took a chance, got Ray’s mechanics sorted out, got him throwing harder, got him throwing strikes, and the rest as they say is history.
What follows, is three pitchers in their late 20’s who have had some success in the past, but who struggled majorly in 2021. All three are free agents and given the seasons they had are likely …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Pacers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Oct. 27

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Pacers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Oct. 27

The Toronto Raptors are sliding right now, as Nick Nurse’s offense has ground to a halt while their defense remains just a bit inconsistent right now. The latest Raptors odds have given them basically a 50/50 chance of reversing that trend against a team with plenty of offensive firepower. The squad will take on an […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Pacers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Oct. 27 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 3 players who must improve on offense quickly

Toronto Raptors: 3 players who must improve on offense quickly

The Toronto Raptors have started the season off at 1-3, with a loss to the Chicago Bulls stinging even more after such a furious, encouraging comeback that fell short. The biggest concern has been a very lackluster showing on the offensive end of the floor. The performances of players like OG Anunoby have been let […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 players who must improve on offense quickly – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Nick Nurse’s quote on Malachi Flynn’s minutes isn’t satisfying

Raptors: Nick Nurse’s quote on Malachi Flynn’s minutes isn’t satisfying

The Toronto Raptors have seen a handful of young players, Scottie Barnes chief among them, put together some very impressive performances this season. Unfortunately, 2020 first-round pick Malachi Flynn has not been one of them, as Raptors coach Nick Nurse has stuck him on the bench. Flynn has only played in one game this season, […]
Raptors: Nick Nurse’s quote on Malachi Flynn’s minutes isn’t satisfying – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ