Auston Matthews named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award

Wow! I can’t believe the guy nominated for the Hart is up for the Ted Lindsay. Shocking but true but the guy who was nominated for the NHL’s MVP Award is also up for the most outstanding player. That player, of course, is Auston Matthews.
The Ted Lindsay is slightly different in how it operates in that the Hart is decided on by the Pro Hockey Writers Association, and it’s the membership of the NHLPA that votes on the Lindsay.
The award also produced another name to the mix when it comes to Matthews’ fellow finalists. Connor McDavid is still there, but the NHLPA put Roman Josi in the mix as the third candidate instead of Igor Shesterkin. That’s keeping it fresh.
Interestingly for all the noise about Jonathan Huberdeau, he didn’t find his way into the top three on either award, and it’s probably not surprising that the award nominees consist of the Rocket Richard winner, the Art Ross winner, the likely Vezina winner (for the Hart), and the likely Norris winner (for the Ted Lindsay.)
It seems like the competition will be tight, but Auston has to be considered a favourite for both given how he plays a more complete game than McDavid and accomplished a very rare …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Nate Pearson has mono and will be out for “a while”

Nate Pearson can’t catch a break.

Last year, the fireballer suffered an injury in spring training and didn’t return until May. A week later, he came up and got rocked in his first outing with the Blue Jays, got sent down, took a few weeks to find his groove, and then got injured again. Pearson would wind up missing a month of action mid-season and finished 2021 pitching out of the bullpen.
This year, Pearson was limited to just two outings in Grapefruit play due to an illness. Charlie Montoyo confirmed on Tuesday that Pearson won’t start the season with the Blue Jays as he’ll miss an extended period of time due to a bout with mono.

Nate Pearson has mono and will be out “for a while” Charlie Montoyo says. Hard to put a timeline on that. #BlueJays
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) April 5, 2022

It’s difficult to put a timetable on a return from mono, which results in people feeling extreme fatigue, fever, and body aches for usually about two-to-four weeks, though some continue to feel symptoms of the illness for months.
Pearson, who turns 26 in August, figured to be a part of the Blue Jays bullpen this season, either as a high-leverage reliever or a hybrid type who could pitch multiple innings after an opener. While he’s struggled when taking on a starter’s load, the hope was that Pearson could thrive by taking on fewer innings.
It’s difficult to say what the right move is with Pearson. The upside is so incredibly high but various issues always seem to get …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Michael Bunting very well could be a 26-year old rookie of the year

I honestly can’t seem to stop myself from writing about Michael Bunting. His season has been more impressive than anyone could have imagined. The way that he has fit in with Mitchell Marner and Auston Matthews has been quite something to watch, especially after the last couple of years of failed options there (Joe Thornton and Nick Ritchie come to mind in particular).
An unexpected cherry that could be added to the top of this season for Bunting is the Calder Memorial Trophy, the NHL’s rookie of the year award.
When one thinks of a rookie, we typically think of someone who is just a few years removed from junior or college hockey, not someone like Bunting who is in their 7th year of pro hockey. But, eligibility rules are what they are, and Bunting is eligible for the Calder this year. Barely.
The cutoff is that you have to have not yet played 25 NHL games in a single season, or more than 6 games in two different seasons. He played 21 games for Arizona last year, and 5 in the 2018-19 season, spending the 2020-21 season in the AHL. So, one game more in 2018-19 and he’s not a rookie this year. Wild, right?
It gets wilder. There’s a …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: Something Something 3-1 Lead

You can take the Leafs out of the road trip, but you can’t take the road trip out of the Leafs.
Much like we seem to be getting all too familiar with, the Leafs took another 3-1 lead in the first period, only to blow it, but thankfully they’d hold on and win it in the shootout. It was a stain on an otherwise great game for the Leafs, which saw them absolutely walk all over the Ducks from a possession standpoint, doubling them in shots throughout the game, and getting a bunch of highlight reel plays going, even though they could only produce on the power play or the shootout. That just goes to show how great John Gibson was in the game, and made it a tough win still for the Leafs.
Three Stars
Third Star: William Nylander
Elite third liner William Nylander was one of many players to feast on the power play tonight, putting up a goal and an assist on the power paly for a couple of points, and also had plenty of other great opportunities to add more, but was robbed by Gibson.
Second Star: Mitch Marner
Mitch extended his goal streak to four games with an absolute bomb from the blue line, and also had a nice set …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays’ newest reclamation project: Carl Edwards Jr.

The Blue Jays can’t seem to go a week without someone going down with an injury.

Last week we saw Rowdy Tellez slip on home plate and be forced to leave the game and Ryan Borucki was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left flexor strain. Borucki brings the number of pitchers on the IL for the Blue Jays up to eight (nine if you include Kirby Yates). Jordan Romano also seemed to be dealing with an issue during Sunday’s game but he hasn’t been placed on the IL, knock on wood.
With all these pitchers missing time, the Blue Jays have had to scramble to find arms to cover all these innings. We have seen waiver claims like Anthony Castro and Joel Payamps pitching well in high-leverage situations. A.J. Cole re-signed to a minor league deal this off-season picked up a save. Jeremy Beasley and Travis Bergen both acquired in separate trades from the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash have pitched in some key spots.
The Blue Jays have typically had a very strong bullpen under Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins and this season is no exception. They do a really good job at …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

A Kyle Lowry sign-and trade has to net these pieces for the Toronto Raptors

A Kyle Lowry sign-and trade has to net these pieces for the Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors apparently can’t escape trade rumors after the trade deadline, as the possibility a Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade is apparently starting to materialize. Lowry is an impending free agent, and teams like the Philadelphia 76ers might be able to rope him in with this maneuver. Sam Amick of The Athletic is reporting that Lowry, […]
A Kyle Lowry sign-and trade has to net these pieces for the Toronto Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: 3 Kyle Lowry trades that send him to the Heat, Clippers, and 76ers

A Kyle Lowry sign-and trade has to net these pieces for the Toronto Raptors

Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors can’t seem to squash the Kyle Lowry trade rumors, as the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Clippers are all interested in acquiring the veteran floor general, with the 76ers in particular high on Lowry’s list of potential destinations.  Lowry is averaging […]
Raptors: 3 Kyle Lowry trades that send him to the Heat, Clippers, and 76ers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Three New Year’s Resolutions for 2021

Toronto Raptors: Three New Year’s Resolutions for 2021

Although we can’t predict how the season will go based on five games alone, something’s gotta give if the Toronto Raptors want to proper in 2021. The Toronto Raptors were starting to look a little more familiar following their victory against the New York Knicks on Dec. 31, but it doesn’t change the fact that it […]
Toronto Raptors: Three New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jessica Aldos / Raptors HQ

Aaron Dell makes things interesting in net for the Leafs

It can’t be a coincidence that not 10 hours have gone by since The Leafs Nation posted an article on third string goalies and highlighting Aaron Dell as the superior option that the Leafs went out and signed Aaron Dell to a one year $800k contract.
Wait, I’m being told it can absolutely be considered a coincidence, or at the very least us stating the obvious doesn’t count as some brilliant insight that Kyle Dubas couldn’t do without.
Anyways, Aaron Dell was far and away the best free agent goaltender available. You could make a case that he was a better option than guys like Braden Holtby or Henrik Lundqvist (at this stage of their careers) and stating that he is better than Mike Smith again feels like stating the obvious, but nevertheless it’s enjoyable that the Leafs third string goaltender is better than the first string guy on the Oilers.
At a quick glance, this was excellent business by Kyle Dubas, and after years of having nowhere to look after Andersen, the Leafs find themselves three deep with quality NHL netminders. Dell is probably a cut above being a third string guy, and there in …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Yankees believe Sahlen Field’s lighting is the reason they allowed the Blue Jays to score 10 runs in one inning

The Yankees can’t accept that the Blue Jays are New York’s best team.

On Monday night, the Blue Jays hosted the Yankees at Sahlen Field in Buffalo for the first time this season. After going down 6-2, the Jays exploded for a 10-run sixth inning to run away with the victory and extend their lead on the Yanks to two games in the standings.
After the game, the Yankees suggested that the reason for their implosion simply came down to the fact that the lightning in Buffalo made it difficult for the pitchers to see which signs were being put down…
“A lot of it had to do with he had a tough time seeing the signs,” Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka said on a Zoom call, when asked following the game about his pitchers’ struggles. “It’s pretty dark there. Once it really got dark, yeah.
Naturally, if you can’t see the sign your catcher puts down, you just lay a soft meatball down the middle of the plate, which is surely what happened when Danny Jansen sent a pitch from Adam Ottavino into space for a grand …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation