Raptors: Toronto taken down by 76ers as smaller lineup gets beat up

Raptors: Toronto taken down by 76ers as smaller lineup gets beat up

The Toronto Raptors were unable to come away victorious against the Philadelphia 76ers at a score of 109-102. The Raptors played with great determination and grit, and gave a performance that every Raptors fan can be proud of despite the result. Toronto played catchup from the very beginning of the game, and it was clear […]
Raptors: Toronto taken down by 76ers as smaller lineup gets beat up – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nickeem Khan / Raptors HQ

James Paxton signed with the Mariners and the Blue Jays are apparently focused on Taijuan Walker

We’re only a few days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. Will the Blue Jays add another starting pitcher before then?

The dream of bringing Big Maple home (to play games not in Canada) is dead for now. The Seattle Mariners signed James Paxton to a one-year deal worth $8,500,000 which features bonuses that could up his earnings to $10,000,000. That’s a pretty decent chunk of cash for a guy coming off of a 6.64 ERA season with significant injury history.
That leaves Jake Odorizzi and Taijuan Walker as the big-name free agent pitchers left on the market. According to Pat Pagazzo, a Mets and Yankees writer, the Blue Jays are focused on Walker more so than Odorizzi…

With Taijuan Walker & Jake Odorizzi left as the lone starting pitchers on the market, the #Mets have limited options and will have some competition if they’re thinking about Walker as I’ve been told the Blue Jays are focused on him as opposed to Odorizzi
— Pat Ragazzo (@ragazzoreport) February 14, 2021

I’m not sure how credible a source Ragazzo is, but, if we’ve learned anything this off-season, it’s that information can come from anywhere and the national-level …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

One trade the Toronto Raptors need to make ASAP

One trade the Toronto Raptors need to make ASAP

The Toronto Raptors are one trade away from being a team you’d hate to play against in the playoffs. When it comes to making a splash, the Toronto Raptors have been pretty active over the past few years. Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster haven’t been afraid to move a few pieces if it meant improving the […]
One trade the Toronto Raptors need to make ASAP – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Stephen Nixon / Raptors HQ

RUMOUR: Leafs interested in MacKenzie Weegar

We are still an hour and half away from all hell breaking loose and free agency opening up, but we have a new name (well not completely new) to add to the list of potential targets for the Leafs today.

And, one name that isn’t the biggest — but will is gaining traction — is FLA’s MacKenzie Weegar. Right-shot D who is arbitration eligible. I think there is interest, and he is exactly the type of player TOR would look at. Enjoy the day!
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 9, 2020

Wow. MacKenzie Weegar has been an analytics favourite, as well as a Leafs twitter favourite for a while based on his strong defensive numbers, and the Leafs appear to looking hard at the 6’0 right shooting defenseman from the Panthers. Given the fact that Florida added Nutivaara last night, it seems reasonable that they were preparing to move out Weegar and backfilling him early.
Weegar’s numbers are impressive:

He compares quite favourably to Jake Muzzin, and Weegar was regularly seeing top pairing minutes as the season ended for Florida last year.

Month
GP
G
A
PTS
PIM
S
S%
ATOI

October
13
3
6
9
11
29
10.3
20:36

November
5
0
1
1
4
5
0
18:14

December
10
0
2
2
7
12
0
19:01

February
13
2
2
4
9
19
10.5
20:20

March
4
2
0
2
2
12
16.7
22:58

via hockey-reference.com

He would certainly address …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

With the 44th overall pick the Leafs are proud to select…

We are now just a day away from the draft, and while the attention is always focused on the surefire first round prospects, every GM knows that finding NHL players beyond the first round is key to sustaining a successful organization. Over the last few weeks, the team at The Leafs Nation has been previewing potential options for the 15th overall pick but the Leafs have an opportunity to add another high end prospect to their system with the 44th pick as well.
Keep in mind that Toronto drafted Nick Robertson – arguably the top prospect in the organization – with the 53rd pick just last year, and he is already looking poised to be a contributor on the Leafs roster. Now, we shouldn’t expect every second round pick to break into the NHL so quickly but there should be plenty of talent and potential left on the board when it’s the Leafs’ turn to make their selection in the second round.
Many of the names on this list could be gone before the Leafs pick, but players slide down draft boards for a variety of reasons every year. Let’s take a look at some players ranked in the …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

2020 Playoff Preview: How do the Leafs match up against the Blue Jackets?

After months of waiting, we are only two weeks away from playoff hockey.
With that, it’s time to start analyzing the Leafs “first-round” opponent, The Columbus Blue Jackets. They finished the regular season with the same amount of points as the Leafs and were also hit hard by the injury bug this year. The break from hockey has allowed both teams to recover. Other than Columbus forward Josh Anderson, and Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson, both teams are at full-strength.
The similarities between these two teams end there.
In this playoff preview, I’ll showcase:

The major differences between the two by looking at the numbers, their lineup construction, and the systems that they implement.
The mini-battles to watch for and how both teams can be successful in each.
Predictions from the contributors of The Leafs Nation and The Everything Leafs Podcast.

Statistical overview:

Toronto

Columbus

5v5 Offence

 

60.19 (4th)

CF/60

54.1 (23rd)

2.74 (8th)

GF/60

2.16 (28th)

2.47 (3rd)

xGF/60

2.20 (24th)

8.57 (11th)

Sh%

6.80 (28th)

5v5 Defence

 

55.5 (13th)

CA/60

56.06 (17th)

2.73 (27th)

GA/60

2.11 (5th)

2.32 (18th)

xGA/60

2.04 (3rd)

Special Teams

 

23.1 (6th)

PP%

16.40 (27th)

77.70 (21st)

PK%

81.70 (12th)

It’s clear that these teams are polar opposites. The Blue Jackets are …

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Author: Nick DeSouza / The Leafs Nation

Weekly Power Rankings: Who Should Win the Draft Lottery

It might still be over a week away, but it’s time weigh in on who as Leafs fans we should want to see win the draft lottery. For those who aren’t familiar with the format this year, the NHL will be drawing for the top three spots in the draft, and in addition to the seven teams that were so beyond crappy the NHL couldn’t justify having them play again this year, the eight teams that lose in the playoff play-in round will also be eligible for a spot, with the odds as follows:
1. Red Wings – 18.5%
2. Senators – 13.5%
3. Senators (via San Jose) – 11.5%
4. Kings – 9.5%
5. Ducks – 8.5%
6. Devils – 7.5%
7. Sabres – 6.5%
Play-in odds:
8. Team A – 6%
9. Team B – 5%
10. Team C – 3.5%
11. Team D – 3%
12. Team E – 2.5%
13. Team F – 2%
14. Team G – 1.5%
15. Team H – 1%
Cool.
So in the grandest tradition, we’ll rank those teams by how much we as Leafs fans want to see them win the lottery.
8. The Buffalo Sabres
Shocked, that we aren’t going with the Senators at the lowest spot? Don’t be. The Senators will continue to collapse into themselves like …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Worst Leafs Trades Since 1967 Countdown – No. 2: Giving away their 1991 first-round pick

There are multiple examples of the Leafs trading away their first-round pick way too early and it blowing up in their face. It’s amazing that the organization didn’t learn its lesson after the 1991 debacle.

In 2009, the Leafs gave up two unprotected first-round picks for Phil Kessel, which ended up being Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton. At least Kessel was a great player in Toronto, so you can argue the merit of the deal. There’s also the re-acquisition of Wendel Clark, which resulted in Toronto giving the Islanders the pick they used on Roberto Luongo.
But before both of those deals came the infamous Tom Kurvers acquisition, far and away the worst deal of them all.
In the late-80s, the Leafs appeared to be turning the corner from the laughingstock they had become at the beginning of the decade. A young core of players like Wendel Clark, Vincent Damphousse, and Ed Olczyk helped Toronto to three-consecutive playoff appearances (and two series victories) between 1986 and 1988.
The 1988-89 season was a step backwards as the team would miss the playoffs after posting a paltry 28-46-6 record. The following off-season, general manager Gord Stellick would resign …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Top three Chris Boucher games of 2019-20

Chris Boucher finally clawed away into a stacked Toronto Raptors rotation in the 2019-20 NBA season, but what were his three best games of the season? Chris Boucher hasn’t been in the NBA long and has only spent over a season and a half with the Toronto Raptors, but it looks as if he has […]
Toronto Raptors: Top three Chris Boucher games of 2019-20 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Looking for this year’s Daniel Hudson

The Toronto Blue Jays are just weeks away from starting their 2020 season at home against the Boston Red Sox. But, their team is still not set and with an opening in the bullpen, so could there be a late spring training signing like last season when they signed Daniel Hudson?
Toronto signed Hudson on March 25 just three days before the season kicked off on March 28. Hudson had success for the club pitching in 48 innings with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.271 WHIP. He was a valuable part of the back end of the Blue Jays bullpen and was traded in July at the deadline for pitching prospect Kyle Johnston who is now Toronto’s 29th best prospect. The right-hander projects as an MLB reliever where we could see him in the big leagues in the next year or two.
Now, with several MLB relievers still searching for homes could Ross Atkins look to sign another veteran and flip them at the deadline as they did with Daniel Hudson? There are options for that to happen and something the Blue Jays should look to do as they continue to stockpile prospects and improve their system.
One name that made sense for that …

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Author: Cole Shelton / Blue Jays Nation