Joel Embiid complaining about Raptors fans is incredibly weak

Joel Embiid complaining about Raptors fans is incredibly weak

The Toronto Raptors put up a very tough fight against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers in their first-round playoff series. Still, Toronto’s lack of depth and Philadelphia’s star power were enough to push Philly to the second round. Embiid was too dominant for a beat-up Raptors squad to corral. The end of the series has […]
Joel Embiid complaining about Raptors fans is incredibly weak – 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 vs. Lightning: Leafs edge the Lightning when it comes to the forward group

The Leafs can go up against most forward groups in the league and end up feeling pretty good about how they measure up to the opposition. Tampa Bay is one of the few teams in the league that does warrant a bit of a closer look, and depending on which group is clicking at the moment either one of these teams could feel they have the best group.
Given that we’re already pretty familiar with who the Leafs have, let’s start by diving into what makes the Tampa group so special.
From a high end production standpoint it was Steven Stamkos taking the reigns this season from Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov. Stamkos found his way over the 40 goal mark again, and crossed the 100 point mark, tying Auston Matthews for 6th in the league in scoring at 106 points, albeit Stamkos played 81 games.
Looking at who is next on the weapons list you have Nikita Kucherov who missed a substantial amount of time again this season and was held to just 69 nice points. The interesting aspect there is he put up those numbers in just 47 games. If he had been healthy he would have been scoring at a McDavid pace.
The next player …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Fred VanVleet injury update: Raptors star out for Game 5 vs. 76ers

Fred VanVleet injury update: Raptors star out for Game 5 vs. 76ers

The Toronto Raptors are hanging on by a thread against the Philadelphia 76ers, as Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam are doing everything that they can to escape an early exit at the hands of Joel Embiid and their division rivals. VanVleet hasn’t had the best series against such a quality opponent. VanVleet averaged 13.8 points […]
Fred VanVleet injury update: Raptors star out for Game 5 vs. 76ers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Pierre Engvall has catapulted himself as an invaluable option in the top-nine

During Sunday night’s game against the Islanders, Alex Kerfoot became the seventh player on the Leafs to hit the 50-point plateau.
As a result, the Leafs are now tied for second in the NHL alongside the Avalanche for teams with players recording reaching the half-century mark for scoring with only the Blues ahead with eight. It shows that not only does Toronto have one of the best offensive teams in the league this season, but it is also a balanced attack across the board. It is evident by the fact that there are 12 Leafs with at least 10 goals or more on the campaign.
For a team that has yet to find a playoff run where both the primary and secondary scoring options have found life at the same time, it’s an encouraging trend to see some balance down the stretch. So it is no surprise to see that beyond Kerfoot, the rest of the pack are fairly close together in terms of point totals.
Leading that group and sitting seventh on the team in scoring is a player who could become an x-factor if the Leafs want any chance at playoff success: Pierre Engvall.

Career highs set by Pierre Engvall this season:
•Goals: 14•Assists: 17•Points: 31•Shots: 141•Shorthanded goals: 2•Power-play goals: 1•5-on-5 …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Bluelines: Getting back in the win column

Tuesday night was the right night to bet against the Leafs, but with an actual playoff calibre opponent, and two of the greatest goal scorers in NHL history going up against each other, it’s time to expect more from the Leafs again.
The Leafs are -165 to win
With Orlov and Kuznetsov out tonight for the Capitals, the Leafs as favourites isn’t a tough decision. With Campbell back in net, the Leafs are definitely upgrading from Kallgren, which helps as well.
Let’s see the goalscoring race in action
Matthews is usually a lock to score, especially if he didn’t have one in the last game. And that Alex Ovechkin guy isn’t a bad goal scorer either. If you want to count on both of them scoring it pays at +250, if you want to go big with it, Matthews and Ovechkin both scoring first for their teams pays at +2000.
Take the over
Neither team has had great goaltending this season and both teams love to score. If you want to take the over on 7.5 goals and the Leafs to win, it pays at +250, a nice step up from the -165 on the Leafs winning or the over on 6.5 which pays at -131.
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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Scottie Barnes closes Rookie of the Year gap with Evan Mobley

Scottie Barnes closes Rookie of the Year gap with Evan Mobley

The Toronto Raptors‘ matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers was more than just a mano-a-mano duel for the right to avoid the play-in tournament. It was proof that the two most worthy candidates for Rookie of the Year are Raptors forward Scottie Barnes and Cavs big man Evan Mobley. The Raptors managed to pull out a […]
Scottie Barnes closes Rookie of the Year gap with Evan Mobley – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Craig Morgan and Elliotte Friedman reporting Ilya Lyubushkin to be traded, Maple Leafs are a possible destination

If a high-scoring game against St. Louis isn’t enough to get you excited on a Saturday night, there is the potential for a Leafs trade following the game.

No Lyubushkin for ARIZ tonight. Something to keep an eye on. I think TOR among teams interested…possible Nick Ritchie fit? https://t.co/LY1S5kxU9j
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 20, 2022

Even if you aren’t sold on Lyubushkin (we’ll get to why you should be later) the deal could potentially involve the Leafs ridding themselves of Nick Ritchie’s contract. Since Ritchie has been demoted to the AHL, the move of Lyubushkin for Ritchie would essentially be a wash money-wise, and it would just come down to what Toronto needs to add to make the trade appealing to the Coyotes.

Can confirm Elliott’s report.Per league source, a deal appears to be close which is why Ilya Lyubushkin is being held out.Several teams have shown interest. https://t.co/cAaoC6fl6B
— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) February 20, 2022

Craig is very close to the Coyotes, and the fact that there isn’t a team associated with the trade just yet means I’ll possibly be updating this post a few times while things get figured out.
As for why we like Lyubushkin, well let’s start with the fact he’s big, he hits, he blocks shots, and he shoots right. He doesn’t cost a lot of money ($1.35M/yr), and he likes your haircut.
Beyond that, here are some of his numbers:

(Via The Athletic)

(Via Evolving Hockey)
So yeah, he’s definitely a shutdown defenseman, but a very successful one considering the team he plays for.
Earlier this season I wrote about how Lyubushkin was one of the stronger rental options for the Leafs to consider, with the acknowledgment that he’s going to earn his keep in his own zone:
Speaking of Bogosian replacement, here’s Ilya Lyubushkin. There’s really no reason for him to even play with a stick, he’s on the ice to hit, block shots, and play reliable positionable hockey in his own zone. Of course, all of this has come with a bit more sheltering than what was given to Miller, Py …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 ways the Raptors can win games with so many inactive players

3 ways the Raptors can win games with so many inactive players

The Toronto Raptors fell in defeat against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but one could hardly fault them for that result. 10 players were in the league’s health and safety protocols, meaning that Nick Nurse had to entrust Svi Mykhailiuk, Yuta Watanabe, and a bunch of players on 10-day contracts to lead this team. While scoring 99 […]
3 ways the Raptors can win games with so many inactive players – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Warriors Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 18

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Warriors Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 18

The Toronto Raptors lost a heartbreaker against the Nets despite the fact that COVID-19 protocols left Brooklyn with only a handful of healthy players in that game. At least the latest Raptors odds have Toronto picking up a victory against one of the very best teams in the league. Toronto will welcome the Golden State […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Warriors Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 18 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

TLN Trivia: Can you name the first Leafs player from these countries?

The Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 victory on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets may seem like a random middle of the year regular-season game (which it is), but there was actually some history made during the game.
In making his NHL debut, Kristians Rubins became the first Latvian player to ever appear in a game with the Maple Leafs. Anytime a player plays in their first NHL game it is a big occasion for them, but I’m sure there were plenty of Latvian hockey fans that made sure to tune in to this one to support one of their promising up and coming defencemen.

Rubins says there was a big watch party in Latvia at 2 a.m. tonight for his NHL debut.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) December 8, 2021

With Rubins making Latvia the newest country to debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs, there’s no better time to take a look back at the others who became the first to represent their nation over the history of the franchise. Ranging from 1973 until the most recent debut prior to Rubins in 2015, today’s TLN Trivia is both a test of your Leafs history knowledge and a little geography.
As always, be sure …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation