Comparing the Leafs special teams to see if it can be the key to playoff success

After getting absolutely destroyed by Buffalo on Tuesday night, it wouldn’t hurt to feel a little good about something, so it’s time to talk about special teams. Or at least comparing them to the rest of the league to feel better about the Leafs.
Heading into Tuesday night the Leafs were pretty close to 30%, at 29.4% success rate on the powerplay. This is 3% higher than the next closest team. For all our complaints about the powerplay, it’s absolutely been a bright spot for the Leafs, and if there isn’t an erosion of penalties come playoff time (gulp) it’s a great advantage for Toronto to have in the postseason.
As for the penalty kill, it’s a little worse, and comes in at 6th in the league, but you’ll see, it’s actually better than when you factor in a few extra details in a little bit. The Leafs are the best of the Atlantic teams when it comes to the penalty kill, and perhaps this is an argument for Toronto to want a penalty laden first round.
One of the measures for success used around the NHL as a predictor of how good a team really is in the combination of PP+PK to give an overall score, so I t …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Friedman: Joseph Duszak looking to move on from the Leafs organization

I know you read that headline and were absolutely heartbroken. And by heartbroken I mean you shrugged and prepared to go about your day as usual. The fact that you clicked to read more is a commitment to how much knowledge you are willing to consume about the Leafs, so kudos to you. What a fan.
Anyways, here’s what Elliotte Friedman had to say about Joseph Duszak in 32 Thoughts this week (Thank you, GM):
16. Quote of the week: One executive, asked if he thought Nick Robertson is getting a showcase in Toronto, replied, “There’s 20 scouts watching the Marlies every night.” He’s not someone I know real well, but AHL Toronto defenceman Joseph Duszak is looking for a new start. He’s got 37 points (32 of them assists) in 37 games. I didn’t see it, but he also played one game at forward.
So, as our own Nick Barden can testify, there isn’t any shortage of scouts at Marlies games. The fact that most teams employ scouts that live in the GTA for the purposes of watching a ton of OHL games certainly makes it easy to ask them to check out the odd AHL game as well. It’s not a bad little hub for pro scouti …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors blame game: Who gets most blame for recent struggles?

Raptors blame game: Who gets most blame for recent struggles?

The Toronto Raptors have been absolutely pitiful in the second half, as their 2-5 start has almost extinguished the possibility of the team earning the No. 6 seed and avoiding the play-in tournament. From an aesthetic point of view, this has been some of the most putrid basketball we’ve seen all year long. Not only […]
Raptors blame game: Who gets most blame for recent struggles? – 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 most concerning stats in Wizards loss

Toronto Raptors: 3 most concerning stats in Wizards loss

The Toronto Raptors got absolutely blown to smithereens by the Washington Wizards on opening night, as OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and the rest of the squad looked totally overwhelmed on the offensive end, as they only mustered 83 points despite a solid offensive quarter in the fourth. Holding a team that features Bradley Beal and […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 most concerning stats in Wizards loss – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Minor League Review: The Florida Complex League

While I absolutely love the Toronto Blue Jays, I’ve always been interested in the sustainability of a sports team. One championship isn’t enough, give me six in a span of ten years. In baseball, sustainability comes from an organization’s ability to scout. The Blue Jays have been able to do just that.

In a series of five articles, I’ll be covering prospects from all the minor league affiliates of the Toronto Blue Jays, including the summer league teams, which is the topic of this article. I will be using both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America’s list of top prospects, however, a lot of the players mentioned in these articles will not be ranked. With that being said, I believe these are prospects that Blue Jays fans should keep an eye on.
Unlike every other article in this series, this article will cover both the “embryo” Blue Jays in Florida as well as the Dominican Republic.
Florida Complex League’s top prospects:
Starting with the Florida Complex League Blue Jays, let’s look at the players on Pipeline’s top 30 that played for their rookie team in Florida.
Estiven Machado:
18-year-old Estiven Machado is the Blue …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Leafs Nation Welcomes The Six Nation

The Leafs Nation is absolutely thrilled to announce that we will be officially partnering with The Toronto Six to bring you complete, in-depth coverage of Toronto’s newest hockey franchise. We hope to make TLN your premiere source for Six news, features, player profiles and interviews, practice and game coverage, and more.
TLN, along with The Toronto Six, is committed to growing the game of hockey. We are so excited that Toronto now has a women’s hockey team, and we couldn’t be more honoured to be partnering with them to introduce our readers to the players, coaching staff, and management. We hope to cover not only the hockey side – which we will cover, thoroughly – but also take a deeper look at who these women are, what drives them, and the impact they are making both on and off the ice.
While the season ramps up, we will bring you content including player profiles and interviews, interactive social media events, and giveaways. When COVID allows, we will have all of your practice and game content right here.
Our entire team is excited to work on this new content, but in particular, yours truly (Mer), Marsha, and Ryan can’t …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

The Trevor Bauer Discussion Needs Nuance – Rosie DiManno Used None of it

Barring an absolutely bizarre outcome, Trevor Bauer is going to win the Cy Young award this year in the National League, and rightfully so, as the 29-year-old was dominating in his short 2020 season.

A 1.73 ERA with a 36% K% and a 6.1% BB% while allowing 9 home runs in 73 innings is immaculate, and Bauer deserves to be recognized for those accomplishments. He is also a free agent this off-season, and if you’re reading this, you’re well aware that the Blue Jays, like virtually every team in baseball, have an acute need for high-end starting pitching. Naturally, there will be articles clamoring for the two to get together.
Rosie Dimanno of the Toronto Star kicked things off with one yesterday, but completely missed the mark. I won’t quote from the piece here, but go read it before continuing on in this article.
The article she wrote was just weird on many levels. From the title “The Blue Jays need Trevor Bauer, baseball’s outrage king. It’s a pitch worth making on so many levels”, one would think DiManno was prepared to address the real question of grappling with Bauer’s excellent on the field results but questionable morality off of …

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Author: Gideon Turk / Blue Jays Nation

Grades from Toronto Raptors blowout win against Utah Jazz

The Toronto Raptors absolutely dominated the Utah Jazz on Sunday evening, effectively ending the contest before halftime. Who played well individually? There are a few games every season when things just click for a team. They see a matchup they like offensively (Pascal Siakam vs Royce O’Neale), they have a great defensive gameplan (face-guarding Donovan […]
Grades from Toronto Raptors blowout win against Utah Jazz – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Bossetti / Raptors HQ

Blue Jays slip up late, still split set in Baltimore

After an absolutely ludicrous trade deadline that surprised even the most in-the-know baseball fans, it’s only fitting that the next series the Blue Jays played was the exact opposite. Though somewhat exciting in the way of offence, this weekend’s four-game series in Baltimore was more or less underwhelming in most respects.
Still, here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from a long battle at Camden:
The Good
Bo Bichette (5-for-14, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 2B) had a great series in his first career trip to Baltimore, while Randal Grichuk (6-for-13, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Brandon Drury (3-for-11, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB), and Freddy Galvis (5-for-12, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB, 4 R) all were productive against the lowly O’s.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (10-for-17, 4 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, BB) was exceptional, hitting everything in sight, while Teoscar Hernandez (4-for-13, 2 R, RBI, BB, 6 SO) and Reese McGuire (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) were helpful supporting members.
On the mound, relievers Wilmer Font (2.0 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 2 SO), Ken Giles (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, BB, SO), Justin Shafer (1.0 IP, H, BB, 0 H/ER), Derek Law (3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 2 SO, SV), and Tim Mayza (1.1 IP, H, 0 R/ER, …

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Author: Hayden Godfrey / Blue Jays Nation

Game 3 Turning Point: The Raptors give it all away — again

Thanks to absolutely terrified play from most of the team, Toronto lost Game 3 in truly horrifying fashion. The turning point? It may have happened before this game even started. It’s perhaps a cop out to suggest that the turning point of Game 3 in the playoff series between the Raptors and 76ers happened before tip-off, or the day before yesterday, or perhaps somewhere back in Game 2. There’s even a compelling case to be made it happened back in 2001 or 1995 or, like, at the dawn of time when an asteroid hit the Earth. That’s not the point of this column though; it’s supposed to be about something that happened within the 48-minute span of a specific basketball game.
And yet, we just can’t help getting sucked into this existential abyss again. The Raptors were up 1-0 in their second round series against the Sixers after stringing together five straight strong playoff games. (Yes, they mostly came against the Orlando Magic, but they still count.) They had found a variety of ways to win, everyone was doing their part, and they truly looked like a well-oiled machine ready to take on the world. After Toronto’s whip-ass play …

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ