Niemelä finds twine, help on the way for Minten & Voit, Woll stays hot: Leafs Prospect Roundup

<div>Niemelä finds twine, help on the way for Minten & Voit, Woll stays hot: Leafs Prospect Roundup</div>

The Leafs picked up a convincing road win against Philadelphia in their 41st game of the campaign on Sunday night, marking the official halfway point in the regular season. Most of the prospects we’ve been following here each week are also gearing up for the stretch drive of the season, making it an ideal time to take a look at the bigger picture that is the Leafs’ prospect pipeline.
Later today, we will be kicking off TLN’s 2022-23 Midseason Leafs Prospect Rankings by profiling a few honorable mentions who just missed out on cracking the organization’s top-20 prospects. The rest of the week will feature a countdown of the top-20 so with plenty of prospect coverage on the way, this week’s Leafs Prospect Roundup will be a quick hit edition.
Let’s get to it.
Matt Knies and the Minnesota Golden Gophers split a weekend set against fellow Leafs prospect Veeti Miettinen and the St. Cloud State Huskies. Knies had his usual center back by his side as Logan Cooley returned from the World Juniors, and after being held off the scoreboard in a shutout loss on Saturday, they teamed up to give the Gophers an early lead on Sunday. Knies posted up in front of the net on the powerplay …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Donovan Mitchell has lame excuse for Raptors beating Cavs three times

Donovan Mitchell has lame excuse for Raptors beating Cavs three times

While the Toronto Raptors may be a measly 12-18 against every team in the league not named the Cleveland Cavaliers, they are a perfect 3-0 against a squad that can legitimately be considered one of the best in the Eastern Conference. Who could have figured? After breaking out of their shooting slump, the Raptors had […]
Donovan Mitchell has lame excuse for Raptors beating Cavs three times – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Maple Leafs dominate Penguins on Hockey Night: Leafs Rundown

Maple Leafs dominate Penguins on Hockey Night: Leafs Rundown

It feels like games against the Penguins are always slightly cursed, but this one worked out pretty well. The Leafs kept the pressure on the Penguins, earning a 4-1 win.
From that first early goal on, the Leafs were healthily in charge of this game. Here are some thoughts on the game.
Behind The Net
No, not the ancient, now defunct stats website. This is to do with the success Toronto had tonight forcing the Penguins defenders to face the wrong way. Twice they capitalized with a pass behind them that scored on Casey DeSmith. First on goal #2 by Pontus Holmberg, and again on goal #3 by William Nylander:

PONTUS HOLMBERG 🚨
WHAT A SHOT! TOP CORNER! pic.twitter.com/T3x8A8IOAQ
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 27, 2022

WILLIAM NYLANDER 🚨
IT’S 3-0! pic.twitter.com/UP2bygPzcb
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 27, 2022

Källgren performance
The Swedish 3rd string goalie has been filling in with the Leafs a lot this season, with injuries to both Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov. It’s not often that the 3rd stringer has the most starts, 2 months into the season, but with his 9th start for the Maple Leafs tonight, Källgren has that strange honour.
The netminder has only had 2 “quality starts”, plus a third excellent performance in relief against Boston; the remainder have been well below average. This 1-goal-against performance Pittsburgh is definitely a boon to his season stats. He did only face [SHOTS HOW MANY???] in this one, but this is an undeniable success.
No defenders, no problem
With 3 of the Leafs’ apparent top 4 defenders out on injured reserve at the moment, it would be expected that the team would struggle defensively. And certainly, the team’s shooting stats have taken a hit in that regard. In the last 2 games, the Leafs allowed a lot more even strength shot attempts against than normal, ~63 per 60 minutes, versus ~53 per 60 minutes for the previous 20 games. That’s a small sample to be sure …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

3 ways Raptors have benefitted from the Kyle Lowry trade

3 ways Raptors have benefitted from the Kyle Lowry trade

Every Toronto Raptors game against the Miami Heat for the next couple of seasons is going to be an emotional affair, as seeing Kyle Lowry in those vibrant City Edition uniforms is always going to be an unusual sight. Seeing the GROAT with Miami across his chest just looks wrong. Lowry appeared ready to move […]
3 ways Raptors have benefitted from the Kyle Lowry trade – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

3 Draft Day Scottie Barnes takes that were laughably wrong

3 Draft Day Scottie Barnes takes that were laughably wrong

The Toronto Raptors went against the grain in the 2021 NBA Draft, as they selected Florida State forward Scottie Barnes when everyone expected them to take Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs. Following the departure of Kyle Lowry, many assumed Toronto would try to draft the best available backcourt player to fill the void. Many had […]
3 Draft Day Scottie Barnes takes that were laughably wrong – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

That was not Next Level

After going 6-1 on a critical road trip against the Yankees and the Red Sox, the Blue Jays were welcomed home to a 12-0 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels. It was quite the outburst for the Halos, as they had only pushed across seven runs during their previous 12 games.

The first three innings of the game were the big difference tonight. The Angels were able to mix hitting Mitch White pretty hard with some poor Blue Jays defense to score seven runs between the 2nd and 3rd innings.
White escaped a base-loaded jam in the 1st inning (an inning that featured an error from Vladimir Guerrero Jr.), and in search of a quick second inning, he would load the bases once again. With runners on first and second, Andrew Velazquez bunted sharply towards Guerrero. Vladdy fielded the ball, thought about throwing to second or third to get a lead runner, but thought too long, as Velazquez reached first in time before Guerrero could make a decision. Instead of having an out with two runners on, there were no outs and loaded bases.
One batter later, David Fletcher scorched a ball off the fence that would score two runs. Fletcher nearly missed a grand slam by about two feet, as h …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 102: The rain saves the Blue Jays from a possible sweep in Baltimore

So much for all of those easy wins against the Trash Birds!

The Blue Jays rolled into Baltimore this week and dropped two games to the Orioles. The first was the result of a poor Yusei Kikuchi start and then the second one was the rest of a late-game bullpen meltdown. The sweep was avoided as the skies opened up and the third game was postponed due to rain.
In this episode of BJN Radio, we talked about the surprisingly good Orioles, Blue Jay Murder Ryan Mountcastle, potentially going with a six-man rotation once Ross Stripling is back from injury, and a whole bunch more!
You can listen to the episode here…
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 93: Mid-Season Report Cards!

That’s not how you’d like a series against the worst team in baseball to go!

The Blue Jays rolled into Oakland and dropped two of three against the A’s as Alek Manoah and Yusei Kikuchi struggled and the bats went silent.
Now that we’ve just gone through the mid-way point of the season, we did report cards for five aspects of the team: starting pitching, the bullpen, offence, defence, and organizational depth.
After that, we looked ahead to the four-game set coming up with the Mariners, which will feature a lot of Western Canadian fans making the trip to Seattle.
You can listen to the episode here…
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation