TLN Three Stars: Matthews and Tavares each pot two as the Maple Leafs drop the Bruins 5-2

In what has become somewhat of a recurring theme this past week, the Maple Leafs rode contributions from their most important players to a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. While it may look lopsided, this one was a much tighter affair than the score would indicate. The Maple Leafs came out strong early, though it was ultimately the Bruins that would break the ice on a Taylor Hall Powerplay marker.

Taylor Hall makes it 1-0 Boston pic.twitter.com/MWPa1nnrS8
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 6, 2021

The Buds didn’t appear phased, however, which was nice to see given their long history of mental struggles against the Bruins, as John Tavares was credited with what was undeniably one of the strangest goals I have ever seen. 

MITCH MARNER
Passing play pays off pic.twitter.com/B9WN4wuPBm
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 6, 2021

Despite the net coming off its moorings, the review determined it was a good goal as the Buds would eventually head to the first intermission knotted up at 1-1.
The second period remained relatively quiet until late in the period when Matt Grzelcyk took a high sticking call, which quickly opened the floodgates. Auston Matthews quickly cashed in to break …

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Author: Jori Negin-Shecter / The Leafs Nation

Rejoice! The Leafs preseason is coming to an end tonight

I feel like it’s become a tired schtick to keep bagging on preseason games, especially when I know there’s a good chance I’ll end up watching anyway, but the last preseason game is usually the toughest to watch. With the regular season right around the corner gone is the excitement of just being happy there’s hockey on TV. Gone are the prospects and the pro tryout players who give you someone different to watch in a Leafs uniform, and left are the guys we’ll be seeing a ton of in the next 7-8 months.
The enticing part is this is the first time we’ll get to see something a bit closer to what the Leafs want their lineup to look like. There might still be some changes coming or a couple of looming decisions, but this is the group. They’ll be playing where they want them to be. If Kerfoot’s a center tonight, the plan is probably to have him as a center on Wednesday. If Rielly is with Brodie, guess what, the Rielly-Brodie pairing is still a thing.
As for getting one last look at the Senators before the regular season, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs assign Gogolev and Král to the Marlies

The Leafs’ plans continue to become clearer as we pass the midway point of the preseason. They have shifted to using what most presume to be their opening night forward lines and defensive pairs and have begun to trim their training camp roster. The team announced on Monday that they have assigned winger Pavel Gogolev and defenseman Filip Kral to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, marking their latest round of cuts. The team is expected to announce a larger group of cuts following Tuesday’s preseason matchup against Montreal.

Forward Pavel Gogolev and defenceman Filip Král have been assigned to the Toronto Marlies (AHL)
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) October 4, 2021

Gogolev played for the Marlies on an AHL contract last year, potting six goals and six assists in just 13 games. His play turned heads within the organization and he was rewarded with a three-year entry level contract during the offseason. He is expected to be an offensive contributor for the Marlies once again this season as he continues to refine his game and work towards pushing for NHL minutes.
The 2021 Top 20 Leafs Prospects: #15 Pavel Gogolev

Král spent last season playing in the Czech professional league and performed admirably against more mature …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The best free agent options for the Leafs are the RFAs who weren’t qualified

In the past few seasons the qualifying offer deadline has become an increasingly important day heading into free agency. The tougher guidelines around arbitration has forced some tough decisions on cash strapped or cap tight teams, and produced some of the most intriguing names in free agency. Today might be the best haul of unqualified free agents we’ve seen, and for a team like the Leafs that is wanting to remake their forward group, this is a potential windfall as some of these players address significant needs.
You can find the full list of RFAs who didn’t receive a qualifying offer at PuckPedia.
Let’s start with the name we’ve all heard way to much about over the past few years.
Nick Ritchie -W
You can’t teach size, and that’s been the drawing factor for many Leafs fans and for some time. He’s a beefy boy, with some hands, as he picked up 15 goals last season. That’s undoubtedly what the Bruins were worried about driving his arbitration case and why they had to cut him loose at the 11th hour heading into free agency.
Ritchie won’t come as cheap as his $1.5M …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 European prospects to take in NBA Draft second round

Toronto Raptors: 3 European prospects to take in NBA Draft second round

As the NBA has become more global, selecting international players in the draft has become less of a developmental lottery ticket and more of a way to build a championship team. With Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka all have prime roles on the Toronto Raptors’ first title team, Masai Ujiri and this organization […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 European prospects to take in NBA Draft second round – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Big Leaguers Wanted

It’s our right as fans to become sentimental about the teams we cheer for.

Rowdy Tellez is, by all accounts, a person to become sentimental about.
We all know his story — losing his mother to cancer only weeks before his big league debut. There might not have been a dry eye in the fanbase, watching his father celebrate his major league firsts. Through that, we developed a bond with Rowdy the person as much as Rowdy the player. That’s fine. There is nothing wrong with that.

Rowdy, the player, earned favour with the fans with a path through the minors of promising power potential and some mammoth home runs when he arrived on the scene in Toronto. Over the course of his 219 game tenure in Toronto, he had several extended periods where he appeared as though he might have turned the corner and become a serviceable left-handed power threat in the Blue Jays lineup, but each time, an even longer streak of poor discipline and ugly plate appearances was sure to follow.
The legacy Rowdy leaves behind in Toronto is one of a replacement-level offensive player with below-average defence. But that doesn’t mean that’s all he’ …

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Author: DeuceDoucette / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby is ready to be a primary scoring option

Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby is ready to be a primary scoring option

It has become apparent this season that Toronto Raptors stud OG Anunoby has what it takes to be a high-caliber player within the NBA. The 23-year-old forward has demonstrated since his rookie season that his defensive skills are at an All-NBA Defensive Team level, but his offence has taken time to develop. This season however, […]
Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby is ready to be a primary scoring option – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Matthew Eichhorn / Raptors HQ

Will the disappointing Raptors bench turn it around in the second half?

Will the disappointing Raptors bench turn it around in the second half?

The Toronto Raptors have become one of the most consistent teams in the league over the last decade despite, for the most part, a lack of star power. In order to accomplish those goals, both Dwane Casey and Nick Nurse have been able to make Toronto one of the deepest teams in the league. The […]
Will the disappointing Raptors bench turn it around in the second half? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Can Canada’s own Elijah Fisher save Toronto basketball?

Can Canada’s own Elijah Fisher save Toronto basketball?

Canada has slowly become a hub for NBA talent Toronto saw the odd Todd MacCulloch or Jamaal Magloire slip through the cracks, but the city wasn’t turning out lottery prospects left and right for the last few decades. In the year 2021, however, Canada is the second-highest exporter of NBA talent, and the players coming into […]
Can Canada’s own Elijah Fisher save Toronto basketball? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Jack Campbell out for weeks, Joseph Woll recalled to the taxi squad

Leafs’ fans worst fears have become a reality as Jack Campbell is going to be missing time due to an injury suffered during Sunday’s win over the Calgary Flames.

Leafs have recalled Joseph Woll to join the taxi squad.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) January 26, 2021

Due to Campbell being out of commission for the time being, Michael Hutchinson is back to being the Leafs’ backup goalie. Joseph Woll was brought up to the taxi squad as a result of the move.
Late in the game against the Flames, Campbell was in discomfort after Matthew Tkachuk appeared to fall on him during a scramble in the crease. Campbell was in serious discomfort but stayed in the game for the final few minutes to close out the win.

Matthew Tkachuk Jack Campbell#hfhits
You be the judge. pic.twitter.com/THJMop3AF5
— hockeyfights (@hockeyfights) January 25, 2021

Campbell has a 2-0-0 record along with a .920 SV% and a 2.00 GAA in his two starts. Hutchinson, who split last season between the Leafs and the Colorado Avalance, posted a 5-9-1 record, a .888 SV%, and a 3.47 GAA in 16 games during the 2019-20 campaign.
It’s times like this where Leafs fans really miss having Aaron Dell …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation