American League Preview: Nobody knows where the Red Sox Rollercoaster Ride is going to go next

The Boston Red Sox have truly been baseball’s biggest enigma over the past decade.

When you expect them to be good, they’re bad. Think about that ‘Best Team Ever’ Boston Herald cover from January of 2011. The team went on to win just 69 games that season, finishing dead last in the American League East.
But when you expect them to be bad, they’re good. The season after that implosion, the Red Sox stormed back and won the World Series with an incredibly random collection of bargain-bin players.
And then there’s last year’s team. Boston traded away Mookie Betts ahead of the COVID-shortened 2020 season and predictably laid an egg, going 24-36. The expectation was that it would take them a few years to turn things around and they came into the 2021 season with lower odds to make the playoffs than the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Instead, the Red Sox put together a 92-70 record and reached the American League Championship Series. In very 2013 Sox fashion, their WAR leader was Enrique Hernandez, a player they signed out of the bargain bin the previous winter.
Of course, the big addition for Boston between 2020 and 2021 wasn’t Hernandez, it was actually the return of Alex Cora, who was suspended for the 2020 season because of his role in the Houston Astros cheating scandal. You can do the math in your head on what’s more than likely going on here.
Anyways, what’s next? The Sox have expectations this year, so is it time for another implosion? Or can Cora squ …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Maple Leafs meet the challenge of physical Bruins but lose three players to injury

BOSTON – It had been 889 days since the Toronto Maple Leafs last visited TD Garden, but it was as tough a place to play as they remembered.
Even though the Boston Bruins didn’t hurt them in the standings, their physicality took its toll on the Leafs.
The Maple Leafs defeated the Bruins 6-4 on Tuesday and while they managed to hang on for an important win in a heated race atop the Atlantic Division, they lost three players to injury.
Petr Mrazek suffered his third groin injury of the season early in the period. It’s unclear the exact moment the goaltender was hurt, but after what appeared to be a routine save, he motioned to the bench and began to stretch his legs. When the faceoff came back to his own end on the next play, he was unable to continue and immediately left to the dressing room.
“We don’t know the severity of it and we’ll get a greater sense of what the situation is in the coming days,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

Nick Abruzzese skates with Maple Leafs, will get a chance to play ‘in the near future’

BOSTON — Newly signed Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nick Abruzzese will make his debut at some point. It just won’t happen on Tuesday when the team hosts the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
There was some initial buzz that it might happen when the 22-year-old skated in line rushes on the fourth line during the team’s morning skate. But Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe explained that the extra reps were just a way to get the forward settled into the group.
“We’ll see where he’s at and where our team and our lineup is at but he’s going to get in here in the near future,” Keefe said.
Wearing the number 26, Abruzzese put on skates for the first time since his Harvard Crimson were eliminated by Minnesota State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Regionals on Thursday.
Exactly how much Abruzzese will play with the Leafs remains to be seen but the forward will be on the roster for the remainder of the season.
“I guess just try to help the team in whatever capacity I can,” Abruzzese said. “Obviously, they’re having a great year and there’s some pretty big aspirations. Whatever way I can …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

PHF Weekend Recap: 2 OT wins over the Boston Pride keep the Toronto Six in the league lead, barely

The Toronto Six faced the Boston Pride this weekend for the PHF’s Rivalry Weekend series, exemplifying that the Toronto/Boston competition exists in this league too. This was also Toronto’s last home stint of the season, as they approach the end of the season next weekend.
Going into the weekend, the Six held a 3-point lead over the Connecticut Whale for the league lead. They’ll face the Whale next weekend in what will undoubtedly be an intense pair of games to decide the regular season leader going into the Isobel Cup playoffs the weekend after. The Whale were also on a 10 game winning streak, which they extended to 12 games. The last game they lost was against Toronto and they haven’t faced Toronto since. All indications point to Toronto being the best team in the league at the end of the regular season this year, but, focusing back on this weekend, the two games against Boston were important to give the Six a chance at holding their league lead.
This weekend was the debut for a new forward for the Toronto Six, as they announced that they had signed Randi Marcon to a Professional Tryout Agreement (PTO) allowing her to play and practice with the Six but for a short just a duration. Usually, this is used for one of two reasons: a fill-in player to get past inj …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 28

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 28

The Toronto Raptors have already taken on the Boston Celtics twice in the 2021-22 season, and both meetings have resulted in one side getting blown out. Despite Toronto’s poor West Coast trip, the latest Raptors odds are suggesting that they could be in for a victory in this contest. The first time these two teams […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 28 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs look to extend streak against surging LA Kings

After not blowing a 4-1 lead to the Boston Bruins on Saturday (and avoiding the re-traumatization of a legion of fans), the Leafs are sitting pretty with a five game win streak. All of the top-end players are performing, the defence has been solid, and while there are legitimate concerns about secondary scoring from depth players, the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking like the team we all thought they’d be.
The opponent in tonight’s matchup, for the first time since March 5th 2020, is the LA Kings. After a six game losing streak just after the start of the season, the Kings roll into Toronto sporting a four game win streak of their own, so someone’s run of wins will end tonight. Currently wracked with a long list of injured players, and a few players in COVID protocol, the Kings do not look scary on paper, but however, keep in mind that this is Trevor Moore’s first game back in Toronto since being traded to LA.

Money on the board tonight?
Trevor Moore: “Yeah, for sure”
— Mike Stephens (@mikeystephens81) November 8, 2021

You want more potential storylines for tonight? This is Phillip Danault’s return to Scotiabank Arena for …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

A Look At The Blue Jays’ 40-Man Roster Crunch

Want to talk about the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros playing in the American League Championship Series? Neither do I!

There ain’t much going on around these parts right now as we wait for the post-season to conclude and for the off-season to get rolling, so let’s take a look ahead at one of the interesting situations Toronto will be dealing with — the 40-man roster crunch.
As with last winter (and, well, with just about every winter when you have a deep prospect pool), the Blue Jays have a handful of interesting prospects who will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft come December. They added Gabe Moreno, Riley Adams, Ty Tice, Josh Palacios, and Otto Lopez to the 40-man ahead of last year’s draft, who might they add this year?
Here are some names worth considering…
RHP Eric Pardinho: Back in 2017, the Blue Jays inked Pardinho as an international free agent out of Brazil to a deal with a $1.4 million signing bonus. He was a top-100 prospect coming into 2019 but injuries have massively stunted his development. Pardinho, who turns 21 in January, pitched just three innings in 2021. This would almost be an Elvis Luciano situation for somebody …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 most surprising players after 3 preseason games

Toronto Raptors: 3 most surprising players after 3 preseason games

With their 113-111 road loss to the Boston Celtics on Saturday night at TD Garden, the Toronto Raptors are now more than halfway through their 2021 NBA preseason schedule: three games down, two to go. The Raptors are 1-2, including a 123-107 win over the 76ers at Scotiabank Arena on Monday, and a 125-113 loss […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 most surprising players after 3 preseason games – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Brian Swane / Raptors HQ

BJN Radio Ep. 16 – The arrival of The Big Man

Alek Maonah has arrived!

After dropping six games in a row to Boston and Tampa, the Blue Jays rolled into Yankee Stadium on their coldest stretch of the season badly in need of a win.
Steven Matz pitched a gem on Tuesday and then Alek Manoah, the team’s No. 5 prospect, was supposed to follow it up on Wednesday, but the weather in New York didn’t allow for it. Instead, we had to wait until Thursday afternoon for Manoah to make his big-league debut but it was worth it.
We talked about Manoah’s excellent start and the Blue Jays now maybe having something close to an actual starting rotation. After that, we looked ahead to the upcoming series in Cleveland and took a loop around the Majors, touching on disasters in Chicago and Pittsburgh.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

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