Watch Pascal Siakam throw down dunk after Shai Gilgeous-Alexander pass

Watch Pascal Siakam throw down dunk after Shai Gilgeous-Alexander pass

The Toronto Raptors managed to send a representative to All-Star weekend for the second time in as many years, as Pascal Siakam was named to the 2023 NBA All-Star Game roster as a replacement for Kevin Durant after he was traded out of the Eastern Conference. His numbers prove that he belongs in this elite […]
Watch Pascal Siakam throw down dunk after Shai Gilgeous-Alexander pass – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Historical figures give us insight into the Leafs

The All-Star break gives us a lot of time to take on some of our interests outside of hockey. As a history major (that has never once thought of using that education) I decided why not take the break from hockey to reach out to some of history’s greatest minds through the Historical Figures Chat app. Imagine what some of the greatest minds in history (and Richard Nixon) would have to say about the Maple Leafs. Here are some of the transcripts of those chats.
I decided to ease into it by reaching out to some hockey folks…

Now that sounds like a hockey player answer. We’re off to a good start. Some nice platitudes from Gordie have us off and running. Now let’s see what one of the greatest player/coaches in cinematic history has to say about the Leafs…

I would have expected something a little saltier from Reggie Dunlop and certainly would have demanded the Leafs to be a little tougher, but that does sound like a hockey answer still. Maybe we need to step away from hockey people and get some sage-like advice elsewhere. We’ll start with one of the greatest Dad’s in TV history…

I just want to give Uncle Phil a great big hug. I don’t know if this will fix the Leafs but it will certainly fix me.
Heading in a completely different direction when it comes to advice for the Leafs, I thought who could give the Leafs advice on how to cheat to get ahead. One name came to mind and while he was reluctant to help at first, he eventually caved…

I hate to say that I agree with Richard Nixon, but I kinda agree with Richard Nixon. If there aren’t some of MLSE’s brightest minds locked in dark rooms studying the hell out of the Bruins and Lightning by now, the Leafs might as well pack it in.
Now tactics are fun, but I want to know what the future holds in store for the Leafs and for that I reached out to history’s greatest predictor who wasn’t particularly forthcoming…

Less learned. If you want predictions you have to call a 900 number, you won’t get them for free through an app.
Maybe an outright prediction was too much ask for. Maybe reaching out to one of history’s greatest philosophers (that didn’t require additional credits to unlock) could inform us of what we can expect from the Leafs at the trade deadline…

This is truly inspiring and once again I am forced to agree with what I’m sure is a very accurate representation of Ioscrates feelings on ie hockey. It is important that the Leafs improve but not takeaway from who they are and what has been working for them. Introducing radical new elements into their lineup and creating potential weaknesses where they didn’t exist before is something that the Leafs need to consider at the trade deadline. Copy and paste this image into K …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs fall 5-2 to the Bruins. Boston snaps three game losing streak: Game Highlights

Leafs fall 5-2 to the Bruins. Boston snaps three game losing streak: Game Highlights

The Leafs head into the all-star break with 5-2 loss to the Bruins on Wednesday night. It was spirited battle between two for the league’s top teams but ultimately the Bruins ended their three game skid and beat the Leafs for the second straight time. Below are the highlights from the game.
Ilya Samsonov kept the game scoreless early stopping Connor Clifton on the breakaway…

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 2, 2023

Midway through the first Rasmus Sandin had a chance to put the Leafs up one but Linus Ullmark shut the door…

at that moment, Sandin’s eyes became dinner plates
good save by Ullmark
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 2, 2023

Late in the period David Pastrnak chipped the puck past Morgan Reilly to create a scoring chance. Samsonov continued his stellar play with a sprawling pad save…

his name is Ilya Samsonov
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 2, 2023

The Leafs got their first powerplay early in the second but it was the Bruins who struck first. Charlie Coyle found Derek Forbort all alone and he buried the shorty to make it 1-0…

Derek Forbort breaks the ice in the second period with this short-handed beauty.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 2, 2023

Toronto redeemed themselves on the powerplay a few minutes later. Samsonov made a heads up pass to Mitch Marner, catching the Bruins on a line change. Marner walked in and sniped it blocker side to make it 1-1…

Sammy serving, again 🍽
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 2, 2023

The game wouldn’t stay tied for long as Brandon Carlo flipped one past Samsonov with 7:27 to go in the second frame…

Brando brought it 💯
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 2, 2023

AJ Greer doubled the lead for Boston a couple minutes into the third. He fought off the David Kampf backcheck and wired a wrister top shelf to make it 3-1…

A top shelf tally by @ajgreer_10 extends the @NHLBruins lead. 🔝
📺: @Sportsnet ➡️ #NHLonSN
— NHL (@NHL) February 2, 2023

On the ensuing faceoff Wayne Simmonds tried to spark the boys by dropping the gloves with Greer. Simmonds absolutely teed off, land …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Raptors’ Scottie Barnes nabs deserved invite to NBA All-Star Weekend

Raptors’ Scottie Barnes nabs deserved invite to NBA All-Star Weekend

The Toronto Raptors will officially be represented at All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City next month. While Pascal Siakam wasn’t named an All-Star starter for the Eastern Conference last week (but should be named a reserve on Thursday), Scottie Barnes will officially be participating in the festivities. On Tuesday afternoon, the NBA announced the 28 […]
Raptors’ Scottie Barnes nabs deserved invite to NBA All-Star Weekend – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Josh Paredes / Raptors HQ

3 Raptors who could be first-time All-Stars in 2022-23 season

3 Raptors who could be first-time All-Stars in 2022-23 season

The Toronto Raptors sent Fred VanVleet to the All-Star game last year after a breakout season that put him among the league’s top point guards. Between VanVleet and the dynamic frontcourt duo of Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes, it’s no wonder Toronto won 48 games last season. Even if you remove VanVleet from the picture, […]
3 Raptors who could be first-time All-Stars in 2022-23 season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Fortnight on the Farm, Vol. 7

At the All-star break (throughout the full season leagues) is not really “halfway home” – we did that two weeks ago – but because it’s unusually late in the month, you can look at performance in July as a decent sample and maybe jumping off to a larger one, but of course, in a few cases observations are sullied by having changed teams or been injured.

Buffalo Bisons
There’s hardly anything worth reporting about the Bisons pitching staff except that the guys you’ve seen in the majors – Thornton, Gage, Saucedo, Lawrence – are generally doing fine here if they are healthy. Even Thomas Hatch has had a couple of perfectly fine starts since that disaster against Tampa which, to be honest, doesn’t reflect his abilities.
Offensively the big story now, with due respect to more highly ranked prospects, is 1B Spencer Horwitz. In 11 games since his promotion, he has a .869 OPS. Gabby Moreno just got back, no sample to speak of. Samad Taylor came off the IL for one game this month and went right back on it. Otto Lopez and Jordan Groshans remain deeply unproductive.
New Hampshire  Fisher Cats
The rotation is where the names will catch your eye on this team. Yosver Zulueta, whom you’ll recall stumbled in his first AA outing, bounced back in an impressive outing this month, throwing 4 innings of 2 hit, 1 run ball, and striking out 8. He might well …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays wrap up the first half with late heroics against the Royals

Well, the movie has now reached the All-Star break scene. The Blue Jays finished the first half of the season with a 3-1 series win over the Kansas City Royals, with the final two wins coming in dramatic fashion.

Max Castillo got the nod on Saturday. He gave up three runs in three innings, but with the break approaching, John Schneider was able to unload the bullpen. Vinnie Pasquantino’s home run off of newly-named All-Star Jordan Romano in the 10th inning gave the Royals a 5-3 lead, but the Jays had answers. A double by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and a single by Raimel Tapia tied the game, allowing Teoscar Hernandez to single in the winning run.
The Jays bullpen went seven innings and only allowed one earned run (nice!). Whether Castillo earned another start or not becomes the question (or they could simply ~acquire another arm by trade~), but he still owns a 3.38 ERA during his time in the majors, which isn’t terrible.
Jays fans who also happened to be Peacock subscribers were in luck on Sunday as the Jays completed the series win. Alejandro Kirk hit a two-run home run in the 8th inning off of Wyatt Mills to give Toronto a 4-2 lead, allowing Romano to come in and slam the door …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Blue Jays CF George Springer opts out of all-star game

It turns out George Springer won’t be going to the all-star game.

The Athletic’s Kaitlyn McGrath reported Thursday that Springer has opted out of the midsummer classic in order to rest his elbow.

George Springer has decided to not play in the All-Star game. He’s going to use the time to rest his elbow. MLB will announce his replacement a little later this afternoon #BlueJays
— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) July 14, 2022

Springer has been dealing with some elbow issues all year long, and for the most part it’s been manageable. While he did get some imaging done after leaving a game against the White Sox in late June, Springer has been okay. He mentioned at the time the big issue was on swing and misses.
His numbers have slowly been dipping through the season, too. In April, he slashed .300/.360/.588 in 80 at-bats, but that line has fallen to .190/.261/.405 through 42 AB’s in July. There is some sample size issues there, but the numbers aren’t overly promising.
Springer’s played in all-star games in the past, so it makes sense he is opting out of this one in order to give himself a chance to really get some rest.
The Jays kick off a four-game set against the Kansas Royals minor league team Thursday and then Springer will have a chance at four days of rest. Toronto’s schedule picks back up next Friday with a three-game road trip to Boston.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at
PointsBet is live in Ontario. Get started here. …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 94: Winless in Seattle

The All-Star break can’t come soon enough.

The Blue Jays rolled into Seattle after a disappointing series in Oakland and things got even worse, as the Mariners pulled off a four-game sweep. Toronto is now tied with Seattle for the final Wild Card spot in the American League while the Baltimore Orioles are suddenly right on the heels thanks to an eight-game winning streak.
We talked about the mess that was the Seattle series, how the Blue Jays can pull themselves out of this funk, and whether or not firing Charlie Montoyo is the solution.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation