Goal Analysis – Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets Play-In Game #5

Welcome to the beginning of the end!
Post-game highlights can be found here.
Blue Jackets 1st Goal – Zach Werenski (Unassisted)

Zach Werenski is the 5th @BlueJacketsNHL defenseman to score a goal with the team facing elimination. The others:
Kris Russell: Game 4 of 2009 CQFFedor Tyutin: Game 6 of 2014 R1Markus Nutivaara: Game 4 of 2017 R1Jack Johnson: Game 4 of 2017 R1#NHLStats #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/8tYqFsyiox
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 10, 2020

Blue Jackets dump the puck into the Leafs zone, Dermott retrieves the dump-in and reverses it to Hyman on the right wing boards. Hyman gets pressured by Jenner and the puck ends up on Werenski’s stick at the point. Werenski walks in and fires a wrist-shot on net that deflects off of Tyson Barrie’s glove and past Andersen.
The Blue Jackets trademark forecheck helps to create this goal. When Hyman receives the puck along the boards,he’s trying to skate with it back behind the Leafs net. Jenner hits Hyman, knocking the puck loose. Hyman actually regains control of the puck, but then whacks it up the boards to the point to Werenski.
As a minor hockey coach, one of my biggest pet …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

The Everything Leafs Podcast: The TOR vs CLB series preview

There’s only one week left before the beginning of the Leafs vs Blue Jackets. With that, Kevin Papetti and I break down the various aspects that will play a part in the outcome of this play-in series.
In addition, both Kevin and I wrote series previews on this matchup. Kevin’s can be found here. Mine can be found here.
Below, you can find the full itinerary for this episode.
0:50 Thoughts on Robertson and the lineup
3:30 General thoughts on the Blue Jackets
9:00 Comparing this Columbus roster to the 2018-2019 Blue Jackets
13:15 Similarities and Differences between Boston and Columbus
19:00 Looking at the most recent Leafs lines
26:03 Looking at Columbus’ lines
35:50 Final thoughts on the Leafs-Blue Jackets series
40:40 Predictions on the other play-in matchups
Where Can You Listen:


Apple Podcasts:
You can find us on twitter at:
Nick DeSouza: @NickDeSouza_
Kevin Papetti: @KPapetti

Stay safe and thanks for listening!

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Author: Nick DeSouza / The Leafs Nation

Introducing The Leafs Nation Return to Play Lineup

Back at the beginning of March I was handed the reins to this site as the managing editor. I was thrilled. I had big plans. I couldn’t wait to put my own stamp on a site that has hosted Hockey Operations folks like Cam Charron and many of the top hockey writers we read every day like Dom Luszczyszyn, Cat Silverman, and Ian Tullouch, all of whom have had bylines on this site. A site that I hope that can continue to be a launching pad for young writers and hockey folks. That was March 1st. By March 11th hockey was done indefinitely and we began a holding pattern in the hockey world, both anxiously waiting for it’s return and hoping the league would not be reckless in its actions to bring us back the sport we love.
By mid-June it became apparent that hockey would be returning, in some capacity, or at the very least the NHL and NHLPA were going to exhaust every resource in trying to bring a conclusion to the 2019-20 season. It was around that time we began restocking our roster with some of the most talented writers we could find …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Friday Future Stars: Will Nicholas Abruzzese be a Marlie next season?

The beginning of 2020 came with a lot of highs for Nicholas Abruzzese. He had a dominant freshman season at Harvard putting up 44 points in 31 games. He picked up the ECAC rookie of the year honours in the process. This following a 2019 when the overager was selected in the 4th round of the entry draft by the Leafs.
Now, like for the rest of us, the realities of 2020 have taken hold for Abruzzese and he’s in a situation where Harvard will not have their hockey team competing this fall and rather than a return to campus, Abruzzese will likely be taking online courses, without a venue to grow his game. This is an unfortunate situation for a player who has taken tremendous leaps over the past two seasons, and now might have to leap to his third league in three years.
From Nick Barden:
But there’s obviously more to Abruzzese than just points and rookie feats.
Particularly his on-ice awareness in impeccable as he can receive the puck and get it back off his stick to a wide-open player just as quick.
Not a playmaker like Mitch Marner, but his ability to do so …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors should target Victor Oladipo in the offseason

League insiders are beginning to believe that Victor Oladipo’s time in Indiana could be coming to an end. Oladipo is a near-perfect fit with the Toronto Raptors, should he be made available in the offseason. One of the biggest storylines of the NBA resumption is players deciding not to return to play. This is happening […]
Toronto Raptors should target Victor Oladipo in the offseason – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mark Birdsell / Raptors HQ

Hot Takes From the Farm: Week 19

The sun is beginning to set on the MiLB season, teams not bound for the playoffs (Dunedin, possibly Buffalo, possibly Lansing) have 15 more games to play before wrapping up for the year. That doesn’t mean we lack for news, though. The most significant item dropped just yesterday as we learned that Big Nate Pearson will move up to AAA to finish the year (along with CF Forrest Wall which is likely a result of Anthony Alford heading back to the IL).  The Bisons are just two games out of the division lead and if they make the playoffs, this is where you want Pearson to be. He looks set to reach 100 regular season innings, but one or more playoff starts (plus possibly an AFL assignment) can boost that some more. The more he accumulates this year, the greater the likelihood he gets fast tracked to Toronto next year.
Short Season
The GCL squad has 13 games left on their schedule over the next two weeks, including some double-headers necessary to make up the recent run of rainouts. As i write this on Sunday evening, the squad has managed to get in a game just once since Tuesday, a game in …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Unable to take advantage offensively, the Jays lose 4-1 to the Twins

An odd game from the beginning, the Toronto Blue Jays fell to the Minnesota Twins 4-1 in what should usually be a solid outing.
Even though the whole team was able to combine for eight hits, the Jays were unable to really make the most of it and left a total of 16 runners on base for the team. Getting the hits but not in the right situation they wanted to get more than the single run they acquired in the first inning.
Thornton had an overall solid outing but it was the relievers that really kept them within reaching distance. Elvis Luciano and Javy Guerra totalled for 3.1 innings and only allowed three hits between the both of them.
Most of the scoring came early for the Twins, as Nelson Cruz totalled two RBI on two separate hits through his first two at-bats — giving the Twins a 3-1 lead after three innings.
Leading the offence (like he has been for most of this season), Freddy Galvis was 2-for-4 with one strikeout and new addition Eric Sogard was 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. The only Jays that were left without at least a hit were Rowdy Tellez and Luke Maile.

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation