Toronto Raptors are going to need Norman Powell’s scoring in Game 5

The Toronto Raptors are set to play Game 5 against the Boston Celtics and they need everything they can get from someone who’s been way too quiet this series, Norman Powell. For the series, Norman Powell is shooting a very poor 33.33 (9/27) percent from the field. When teams are down 2-0 in the playoffs, only […]
Toronto Raptors are going to need Norman Powell’s scoring in Game 5 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

What to expect from Joseph Woll this summer

After three successful seasons as Boston College’s number one goalie, Joseph Woll turned pro after the conclusion of his Junior year in College. The 2019-20 season was Woll’s first taste of professional hockey. Ultimately, Woll’s season at a glance was far from ideal, but has provided the foundation for him to build upon as he tries to make his way to the NHL.
By the numbers

Not the greatest statistical line for Woll but context is key for him. Woll entered this season as the back-up to Kasimir Kaskisuo. When Kaskisuo went down late in the season, Woll was handed the starters gig. Woll played a lot of games down the stretch as head coach Greg Moore had no one else to turn to. The Marlies were also not very good this season, finishing near the bottom in their division.
What we’ve seen so far
Woll kicked off his pro career with a 23-save shutout against the Manitoba Moose. From there his season was like roller coaster ride, lots of ups and downs, peaks and valleys. Some of the lows include giving up seven and eight goals against to Charlotte in January …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

Takeaways from Toronto Raptors revenge win vs Boston Celtics

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Boston Celtics 113-97 on Friday night to split the home-and-home series. What did we take away from the game? Looking to make amends for their Christmas Day humbling, the Toronto Raptors were back in action against the Boston Celtics in the second half of their home-and-home series, emanating from the […]
Takeaways from Toronto Raptors revenge win vs Boston Celtics – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Takeaways from Toronto Raptors Christmas Day loss to Celtics

The Toronto Raptors were humbled by the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day. What were the biggest takeaways from the contest? The Toronto Raptors welcomed the Boston Celtics to Scotiabank Arena for a Christmas Day clash. Wednesday’s contest marked the beginning of a home-and-home series between the two teams. For the first time ever, Toronto was […]
Takeaways from Toronto Raptors Christmas Day loss to Celtics – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Gavin Axelrod / Raptors HQ

Blue Jays swept away by gritty Yankees in New York

Fresh off a slick showing against the Boston Red Sox, the Blue Jays, with some semblance of hope, cruised into New York City to face the division-leading New York Yankees in a mid-week, three-game series.
The first of many against the Yanks down the stretch, the Blue Jays were swept out of town after losing all three games, the last two of which only by a single run.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from this week’s showdown at Yankee Stadium:
The Good
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (7-for-14, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2B, 4 R) had a smashing set, while fellow youngsters Cavan Biggio (5-for-12, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2B) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (4-for-13, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, 2B) also had tremendous at-bats throughout. Randal Grichuk (5-for-13, RBI, 2B, 2 R, BB) was solid, as was Rowdy Tellez (3-for-12, 2B, R, 2 RBI), who showed some heart in some tough late-game plate appearances.
Elsewhere in the lineup, Freddy Galvis (4-for-13, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, SB) made some noise, with Danny Jansen (4-for-6, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 2B) putting together a reassuringly good stretch, breaking out in the finale.
On the mound, relievers Daniel Hudson (1.0 IP, H, 2 SO, 0 R) and David Phelps (1.0 …

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Author: Hayden Godfrey / Blue Jays Nation

Don’t overthink what could’ve been for these Leafs, and this city

Plain and simple, you hate to see it: the Boston Bruins are playing in the Stanley Cup Final, and currently hold a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues.
It sucks, and if you meet a Leafs fan who tells you otherwise, well, they’re probably lying to you. No one outside of Massachusetts wants another Boston championship. Sure, it’s been six years since the Bruins made the final. And it’s been eight since they’ve won it.
But we all know the success stories of the Red Sox and the Patriots and the Cel- well, the older versions of the Celtics and damn, hasn’t Boston had too much success for one city?
On this side of the border, the Toronto Raptors are now the first big-4 Toronto sports team since 1993 to make it to a final. It feels great if you’re a pretty casual fan, and it feels unbelievable if you’re a diehard. And despite whatever mentality you want to take into it or whatever Kevin Durant injury you want to point to, the Warriors are basically the real-life equivalent of the Monstars from Space Jam. Winning three rounds was a grind that took …

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Author: Adam Laskaris / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs are Canada’s team

Everybody is going to be watching Game 7 tonight in Boston. This is because it features Canada’s team.

The Leafs aren’t Canada’s team simply because they’re the only Canadian team left in the playoffs and Canada’s Stanley Cup hopes rest on their shoulders. The Leafs are Canada’s team because everyone cares about them. Everyone. 
This is a debate we have every year when there’s only one Canadian team left. When the Oilers went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006, Oilers fans liked to refer to themselves as Canada’s team. They were a shocking an endearing underdog who perfectly represented Canada. But Flames fans didn’t feel that way. Oilers fans also didn’t feel that way when the Flames went to the Final in a similar underdog Cinderella run a couple of years earlier.
There was also Ottawa in 2007, Vancouver in 2011, and Winnipeg in 2018 who went on extended playoff runs. None of those teams perfectly embodied the advent of being Canada’s team quite like the Leafs do. There just wasn’t the same focus of conversation around those teams like there is with the Leafs right now.
No other team can get …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Are you ready for Playoff Patrick?

So far in this year’s playoffs series with the Boston Bruins, we haven’t seen much out of Patrick Marleau. He has just the one assist so far, from the Game 1 rout of Boston by Toronto.
Last year we saw a lot more of out of him, and many fans aren’t expecting much out of him this time around. He has aged, and his play hasn’t been what we saw last year. His role has transitioned to a bottom-six veteran scorer. He has the skill to finish the play, but not the jump to get there, or so some would assume.
It’s important to remember, though, that there are a lot of reasons for hope that this will change.
The Past
In the 2018 playoffs, Patrick Marleau was able to score in bunches at the most opportune times. He had two goals in a critical Game 3, where the Leafs were down 2-0 in the series. He also scored two goals in the most critical game of the year, on the brink of elimination in Game 7.

Digest those highlights and remind yourself of this critical fact: Patrick Marleau is a hall-of-fame-worthy offensive talent. He’s scored 72 goals in 186 …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Game 5 Thoughts: Clutch and Complete Leafs Win In Boston

Going back to Boston after dropping Wednesday’s Game 4 at home could have gone one of two ways for the Leafs. They could have walked out of Boston down 3-2 in their first-round series, staring down elimination and hoping to force a 7th game, or they could have left the Boston Bruins on the brink as the series heads back to Toronto.
Tonight, the Leafs proved that they’re good enough to push the Bruins to the brink. And here they are, after a clutch 2-1 victory, up 3-2 and heading back home for a 3pm date with the Bruins on Sunday afternoon, where they’ll look to slay the dragon for good.
Let’s have a look at how things went down.
The Goals
Let’s do things a little differently, and fast forward to the magic the Leafs conjured up in the final frame of this game.

We finally have the icebreaker. Hyman takes a hit and Matthews blasts it in the slot. 1-0 Leafs. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/Fm7bQUb23e
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) April 20, 2019
New dad Jake Muzzin used his Dad Strength to find Auston Matthews with the cross-ice pass, and Matthews made no mistake, …

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Author: ThatsKappy / The Leafs Nation

Game Four Thoughts: The Bruins steal one in Toronto

The Boston Bruins have won game four to tie the series up at two. For the Leafs, these are the types of games that could haunt you if you don’t end up advancing to the next round. They could have taken hold of the series but instead, are entering a best-of-three, where the Bruins have home-ice advantage.
At first glance, you could say that the Leafs were unlucky and that would be true to a certain extent. At 5v5, shot attempts were 70 to 43 for the Leafs, and they were clearly the better team for the majority of the game. As we look into this further, there are some ongoing issues that resurfaced last night and it ultimately cost the Leafs. In this article, I will touch upon some of the major talking points of game four along with some ways the Leafs can win two of the remaining three games.
The Bruins kept the Leafs to the outside
Despite having 27 more shot attempts than the Bruins, the Leafs only had two more slot-shots.

The puck seemed to be in the Bruins’ end of the ice most of the night, but the Leafs couldn’t generate more quality looks than the …

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Author: Nick DeSouza / The Leafs Nation