John Tavares returns to the Leafs lineup tonight

What a different world we lived in last time John Tavares played a game for the Leafs.
Kanye West hadn’t yet released a gospel album, the Washington Nationals had never won a World Series, and there had yet to be a cat on the field during documented Monday Night Football history.
But since Oct.16, all those things have happened, and John Tavares has also seemingly recovered enough from a broken finger to play.

John Tavares says he will play tonight. #Leafs
— Joshua Clipperton (@JClipperton_CP) November 5, 2019

Tavares looks to be slotting in alongside his usual partner in Mitch Marner, and to start, Trevor Moore. I’d expect Ilya Mikheyev to get another look at that line at some point, but with Babcock’s lne blender, it’s tough to tell when exactly that will be.
Tavares has three goals and four assists in eight games this season.

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Author: Adam Laskaris / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays and Chase Anderson: A textbook example of incremental asset growth

The Blue Jays’ acquisition of right-handed starter Chase Anderson from the Milwaukee Brewers Monday is not going to be the difference between the team reaching the 81-win plateau or not next season, and it certainly won’t be the catalyst that ignites and accelerates the rebuild.  In fact, most fans likely won’t even be able to quantifiably recognize the effect Anderson will have on the club in 2020.
If this is the only thing the Blue Jays do this offseason, it’ll be a disappointing haul for sure. Luckily, this probably isn’t the only trade, move, or transaction that’ll materialize in the coming months.
Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins didn’t prove much with the swap. They still haven’t proven that they’re willing to spend on free-agent arms, nor have they proven that they’re committed to putting together a winning team in 2020.
What they have proved, however, is that they know how to trade up from the baseball equivalent of a paper clip, to say, a fountain pen-sized asset, for lack of a better analogy.
Really, if the front office was looking for a trade that would silence their critics, this wasn’t it. But, …

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Author: Hayden Godfrey / Blue Jays Nation

Maple Leafs Pregame #16: 5 Things to Watch against the Kings

No matter how much people try to get me to care what Drew Doughty thinks you won’t be successful and frankly it doesn’t really change the way I view a Tuesday night game against the Kings. Los Angeles is a terrible team and the Leafs need to continue getting their season on track. This a chance for an easier win and anything less than that will be met with disappointment.
Lineups

LW
C
RW
Forwards
ANDREAS JOHNSSON
Rating: 73.9#44 LW

AUSTON MATTHEWS
Rating: 80.1#7 C

WILLIAM NYLANDER
Rating: 73.5#44 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 75.83#15 FL1

ILYA MIKHEYEV
Rating: 74.4#34 LW

ALEXANDER KERFOOT
Rating: 72.7#92 C

MITCH MARNER
Rating: 78.6#12 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.25#7 FL2

TREVOR MOORE
Rating: 70.9#110 LW

JASON SPEZZA
Rating: 70.1#164 C

KASPERI KAPANEN
Rating: 72.8#54 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.24#24 FL3

DMYTRO TIMASHOV
Rating: 73.3#54 LW

NICK SHORE
Rating: 70.8#138 C

FREDERIK GAUTHIER
Rating: 68.8#114 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.95#12 FL4

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Defense
MORGAN RIELLY
Rating: 76.8#8 LD

CODY CECI
Rating: 71.7#83 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.24#18 DL1

JAKE MUZZIN
Rating: 75.2#18 LD

TYSON BARRIE
Rating: 75.5#20 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 75.38#2 DL2

TRAVIS DERMOTT
Rating: 72.9#65 LD

JUSTIN HOLL
Rating: 73.2#49 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 73.03#11 DL3

Well, I mean other than the fact that Tavares is healthy,and on a line with Moore and Marner, and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors top five performances from an exciting week two

Last week, the Toronto Raptors went 2-1 against three teams which made the playoffs last season. What five performances stood out the most? The Toronto Raptors didn’t blow anyone away with their performance last week. They finished 2-1, a respectable but not overwhelming figure. They also lost their primetime Eastern Conference rematch, against the Milwaukee […]
Toronto Raptors top five performances from an exciting week two – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Aditya Chandran / Raptors HQ

Leafs recalling Petan is significant

Here’s the thing, players shuffling back and forth between the Marlies and Leafs is pretty standard practice and doesn’t need to generate a whole lot of discussion. Last year if we say the tweet below, it would probably be met with a shoulder shrug and most of us would be able to carry on our day.

The @MapleLeafs have recalled forward Nic Petan from the @TorontoMarlies (AHL).
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) November 5, 2019
This year and current circumstances make this seemingly minor move much more significant.
#1. The Leafs are as healthy as they’ve been all season.

Full complement of players for #Leafs practice today, and everyone is wearing their normally coloured sweater.
This is a first.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) November 4, 2019
Yep. While Zach Hyman likely isn’t returning to action tonight, he’s healthy enough to lose the non-contact jersey and his return should be expected in the next few games. Hyman joining the lineup at the very least the means the Leafs would be at 24 players, and one would need to be sent down. Why recall someone just to put yourself over by one?
#2. The cap implications of Hyman returning don’t make it a simple drop …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Finding the Upside in Chase Anderson

The Blue Jays acquired Chase Anderson from the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday. Anderson comes to Toronto as a reliable innings eater, throwing around 140-150 innings with an ERA around four each season. He brings with him a five pitch mix, most notably an elite changeup. 

Using Fangraphs Pitch Type Linear Weights Anderon’s changeup has been worth 28.6 runs above average since he joined the league in 2014, a total that places him 18th in the league. He threw the change 23.3% of the time last season, his second most used pitch behind his four-seamer (41.7%). It was his most effective pitch last season, batters hit just .188 and had a 31.2 whiff rate, both tops among his five pitches.


Source. 
There are two things that make this pitch so effective. It’s spin and movement. Anderson’s changeup has an average spin rate of 2311 rpm’s, per Baseball Savant, which ranked 14th among pitchers who threw at least 250 changeups. All that spin keeps the pitch on the same plane, Anderson’s pitch had three inches less drop and 9% less drop than similar changeups. This movement is similar to …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Jose Calderon calls it quits but won’t be forgotten

On Monday, José Calderon announced his plan to retire after14 seasons in the NBA, eight of which were spent with the Toronto Raptors. How will he be remembered up north? The word “magical” comes to mind when I think back to José Calderon’s eight seasons as a member of the Toronto Raptors. He was never […]
Toronto Raptors: Jose Calderon calls it quits but won’t be forgotten – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jordan Skuse / Raptors HQ

Blue Jays remove Devon Travis and Ryan Tepera from the 40-man roster

With Monday being the deadline to reinstate players from the 60-day Injured List, the Blue Jays were forced to make some difficult roster decisions. They needed to free up two spots on the 40-man in order to fit Lourdes Gurriel, Ryan Borucki, Tim Mayza, Matt Shoemaker, Devon Travis, and the newly-acquired Chase Anderson on the roster.

The two players that ended up being casualties of the roster shuffle were Devon Travis and Ryan Tepera. The Jays, of course, had already dropped depth relievers Buddy Boshers, Ryan Dull, and Brock Stewart from the 40-man roster last week.

Both Travis and Tepera were eligible for arbitration. MLB Trade Rumors projected Travis at $1.95m and Tepera at $1.6m
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) November 4, 2019

Moving on from Travis really isn’t a surprise. Though there was always loads of potential in his bat, Travis just simply couldn’t stay healthy. He missed all of the 2019 season due to a knee injury suffered during spring training. I hope he gets a fresh start somewhere and can manage to resurrect his career. He’s always been a very likable player and it’s heartbreaking to witness what he’s been through since breaking into the league in 2015.


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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: 905 preview, who and what to watch for this season

Despite a major departure, the Toronto Raptors largely stayed the same. But not the Raptors 905, who will start 2019-20 with a brand new team. Let’s take a look at who and what to watch out for this coming season. The Raptors 905 didn’t quite reach the same heights as the Raptors last season, but […]
Toronto Raptors: 905 preview, who and what to watch for this season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Go Paolo / Raptors HQ

2 Guys and a Goalie pres. by Odds Shark Ep. 14

Welcome to “2 Guys and a Goalie,” starring Dustin Nielson, Joaquin Gage, and Matt Kassian and presented by Odds Shark, Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken, and Sports Clips Haircuts. The show focuses on stories, notes, transactions, and everything else happening all around the NHL and the world of hockey.
Gager’s finally back from Mexico!
Unfortunately, we had some issues streaming the show today, but it will be available through YouTube!
The rundown of what the boys chatted out:
Taylor Hall’s comments and what his future might be with the New Jersey Devils
Quinn Hughes’ injury for the Vancouver Canucks
Milan Lucic’s two game suspension
They bite into another Popeyes Poll Question
Play another round of Keep It or Clip It
And they preview the Edmonton Oilers against the Arizona Coyotes
Watch 2 Guys and a Goalie every Monday and Thursday on Facebook Live starting at 2pm EST.
And make sure to tune in live and comment during the show and have the guys read your questions!

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Author: Nation World HQ / The Leafs Nation