Matthews invisible against Montreal once again as Leafs win season opener

On May 31st, the Leafs showed up to the Scotiabank Arena to play an all-important Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens, only to not show up at all, and lose the game.
Four and a half months later, they started off tonight’s game with the exact same effort, but at least learned from their mistakes and managed to win their first game of the season for the fifth season in a row.
Like I said, the Leafs came out flat, but that seems to be a common recurrence in this current era of the Leafs, so I don’t think too many people were concerned just yet. And of course, the Montreal Canadiens opened the scoring as well, as Jonathan Drouin scored a feel-good goal that I don’t think any fan was too mad at after returning from his leave of absence to improve his mental health. But, that’s also pretty common for the Leafs, so once again, fans weren’t too concerned.
Once the halfway point of the first period was reached, the Leafs seemed to find their feet and put in a much stronger effort for the remainder of the period, even getting a couple opportunities …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 bench players with the most to gain in preseason

Toronto Raptors: 3 bench players with the most to gain in preseason

The Toronto Raptors returned to Scotiabank Arena for the first time in almost two years, and they punctuated an emotional night by handling the rival Philadelphia 76ers. This would’ve been impossible without some standout performances from some of the prospective bench players. While Scottie Barnes stole the show, and OG Anunoby helped lead the Raptors […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 bench players with the most to gain in preseason – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs glide back into the W column with a 4-3 OT win over the Jets

As the puck dropped at Scotiabank Arena for the second game in the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets series, you could tell that the Leafs were waiting to get this game going and break their losing streak. With an early chance by Mitch Marner, and a breakaway by William Nylander, the boys in blue were clearly ready to go. A good look by Joe Thornton and Auston Matthews, and then by Pierre Engvall, but nothing was able to make it past Connor Hellebuyck, just yet.
With just under four minutes to go in the first period, the Leafs turnover the puck, as Pierre-Luc Dubois tipped it out of the air, held on, and passed to Nikolaj Ehlers, who got it past Frederik Andersen, which gave the Jets a 1-0 lead.
As the puck dropped for the second period, the Leafs were buzzing around the ice. Just over three minutes into the period, the Leafs made a play around the boards, from TJ Brodie to Matthews, who tried to get the puck through the traffic at the front of the net. Marner picked up the rebound and got the puck to the back of the net, tying the game, at 1 …

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Author: Roxanne Khasow / The Leafs Nation

Why the Toronto Raptors succeed but the Toronto Maple Leafs struggle

The tenants of Scotiabank Arena have had remarkably different seasons. There are distinct reasons why the Toronto Raptors have succeeded when the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t. The Toronto Raptors on-court play has been a pleasant surprise as they defend their title. Though many fans counted the team out when Kawhi Leonard packed his bags for […]
Why the Toronto Raptors succeed but the Toronto Maple Leafs struggle – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jeff Borsuk / Raptors HQ

Listen to That’s A Rap #36: Post-Game 2 vs. Warriors Reaction

Before shifting the focus to Oracle Arena, listen as the boys break down Game Two of the NBA Finals. We’ve seen this before.
Golden State fans will point to the 18-0 run to start the second half. Raptor fans have several reference points. Whether it’s Game 1 in Milwaukee (outplaying the favourite for three quarters) or Game 1 vs. Orlando (defensive lapses + incredible comeback + back-breaking three in the final seconds), the Raptors have some recent history of bouncing back.
Before looking forward to Game Three, we broke down what went right and what officiating call went wrong.

On The Latest Episode:
Horrible officiating is often the scapegoat for a losing team. However, as is usually the case with games refereed by Tony Brothers, the questionable calls happened to both teams. Where the game was really lost, was the third quarter. A combination of turnovers and missed open shots conjured up memories of recent playoff losses.
It wasn’t all gloom in Scotiabank Arena, as it was Toronto that played with more urgency. Most hustle stats favoured the home team — offensive rebounds, turnovers, and, very obviously, second-chance points.
The 18-0 run was deflating and the Warriors used their championship mettle to …

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Author: JayRosales / Raptors HQ

Welcome to the Jurassic Kingdom, America

Scotiabank Arena hit another level last night for Game 1 of the NBA Finals. And it’s time everyone realized Toronto is a basketball city like no other. The crowd in Scotiabank Arena was on-point the entire game. Deafening chants of “Let’s Go Raptors” — at one point mercifully overwhelming Game Ops’ asinine insistence of trying to make “This is Our House” happen — shook the building.
The cries of “De-Fense” came at exactly the right moment. Chants of “Danny”, “Freddy”, and “Lowry” rocked down from the upper bowl. The inevitable ‘M-V-P’ for Kawhi was heard too. Really all that was missing was a bespoke celebration for Pascal Siakam (I humbly suggest “Spi-cy, P!” to the tune of “Let’s Go Raptors”).
Even the “Ref, You Suck!” chants were on point, in that, for a game that was pretty damn well-officiated, they were largely left out of the proceedings.
It was a pump your fist, pound the railing, bounce-on-the-balls-of-your-feet-for-the-eternity-it-takes-a-Danny-Green-corner-three-to-splash-through-the-bucket, high-five your neighbour, and tell-the-guy-behind-you-who-was-bringing-the-bad-energy-into-the-building-to-stop-being-a-jinx kinda night.
It was sublime. It was breathtaking. It was also familiar.
For anyone who has been in the ACC/Scotiabank Arena, or hell even the old Skydome, during a big game it was something you had heard …

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Author: ConorMcCreery / Raptors HQ