It’s first look time for the other half of the Leafs roster tonight

Saturday night’s game was a chance for a lot of Leafs fans to regain some optimism in the Leafs team, it was also a chance for a lot of others to shrug their shoulders and say “it’s the preseason, it doesn’t mean anything.” Ultimately the latter is more correct, but admittedly watching any hockey is often better than watching no hockey, and seeing new Leafs for the first time and watching them play well certainly doesn’t hurt anything.
In that spirit the Leafs are back at it tonight, and again there seem to be a few new faces in the lineup…

#Leafs lines at morning skate (at MTL tonight):
Ritchie-Brooks-MarnerGusev-Kampf-KaseMikheyev-Semyonov-SimmondsSeney-SDA-AndersonDouglas
Rielly-DermottDahlstrom-HollRubins-MenellKivihalme-Villenueve
CampbellMrazek
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 27, 2021

So our first look at Nick Ritchie on what we’ll generously call the Adam Brooks line. We’ll get to see an entire line of newbies as Gusev-Kampf-Kase take the ice, and arguably that line might be the highlight of the night as it’s hard to know what to expect of any of them as Kase has been hurt, Kampf we are told is better than his Blackhawk days, and Gusev is here on a PTO.
Ilya …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays split with the Twins, New York swept Boston, and now there’s zero room for error in the upcoming Yankees series

The Blue Jays were gifted a chance to finish the season very strong thanks to a weak schedule in their final 10 games.

They squeaked out one win at The Trop last week, which is understandable given the Rays are the best team in the American League and playing there is a nightmare, and then began that aforementioned “easy” stretch, which features seven of 10 games against the Twins and Orioles.
Things didn’t go as planned.
The bats completely disappeared on Thursday and Friday, as the Blue Jays managed to just score three runs in total on the Twins, a team with dreadful pitching, in the first two games of the series. Steven Matz had a poor start on Thursday and then Thomas Hatch got smacked around on and then the team wasted a pretty good outing from Jose Berrios on Friday.
Sitting in must-win situations on Saturday and Sunday, the Blue Jays did manage to come through.
Robbie Ray didn’t have his best stuff but managed to toss six innings of one-run ball and the offence finally arrived with six runs. Alek Manoah put together a solid start on Sunday, going five-and-two-thirds innings allowing two earned runs, and a …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors land No. 4 pick in 2021 NBA Draft: Reaction and Analysis

Toronto Raptors land No. 4 pick in 2021 NBA Draft: Reaction and Analysis

With a 7.5% chance at the No. 1 pick and the seventh-best odds overall, Toronto Raptors were crossing their fingers to move up in the 2021 NBA Draft. A big year as far as retooling goes for this franchise, landing a top pick is the first and most important step to rebuilding a playoff team. […]
Toronto Raptors land No. 4 pick in 2021 NBA Draft: Reaction and Analysis – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

The TLN Three Stars: Toronto Maple Leafs fail to advance with game 5 OT loss to Montreal

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a rare chance to close out a playoff series, and an opportunity to advance to the second round for the first time since 2004. Despite the opportunity, the team failed to deliver on the killer instinct that has seemed to elude the franchise for over a decade, falling 4-3 to the Montreal Canadiens less than a minute into overtime.
While the game ended up being far closer than the initial 3-0 lead Montreal took early in the second period, the Toronto Maple Leafs seemed to lack the urgency that a Montreal Canadiens team fighting for their season was showing throughout the contest. Though the team was able to tie the game and force overtime, the zamboni had barely left the ice before a brutal Alex Galchenyuk giveaway led to a Montreal Candiens two-man breakaway that led to the winning goal by Nick Suzuki.
Now the teams return back to Montreal, where the Bell Centre will be the first NHL arena in Canada to host fans all season. Toronto will have to silence the crowd, or be forced to bring it back home for a dreaded game seven.
3rd Star: Morgan Rielly and TJ Brodie
The Leafs …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

The Tanner Roark era has come to an end

There’s a pretty good chance we’ve seen Tanner Roark throw his last pitch in a Blue Jays uniform.

The team announced today that Roark had been designated for assignment. This comes as Teoscar Hernandez was reinstated from the COVID list, which meant the team needed to remove somebody from the 40-man roster to make room for him.
The fact that the Blue Jays opted to DFA Roark despite the fact that they don’t even know who their starting pitcher is going to be on either Saturday or Sunday sort of speaks volumes about how they view him at this point. Roark made just one start, got shelled, was relegated to the bullpen, and made just two appearances.
There are a lot of teams out there with injuries so maybe somebody will make a deal for Roark. Obviously, nobody is going to straight-up claim him and take on his albatross salary, but the Blue Jays could possibly eat his money and get a scratch ticket from the bottom of somebody’s farm system.
Regardless, the Roark era, more than likely, is over with the Blue Jays. He pitched 54 2/3 innings and allowed 41 earned runs. It was ugly.
Sail on, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs Hockey: How it’s possible to lead the division and still have no confidence in this team

I’ve had the chance to get a good night’s sleep on last night’s game. It was necessary. For the first time in almost a year (51 weeks to be exact) I found myself in a situation where I couldn’t just laugh off the loss and accept that things like that happen. The thing is, these things don’t happen except to the Leafs. Teams don’t lose 6-5 after having a 5-1 lead against the worst team in the NHL. Team’s don’t lose to emergency back up goaltenders, especially ones on their own payroll, and while we’re at it, other teams don’t blow 4-1 leads in a game seven. These are things that only the Leafs are capable of. While they don’t have a Stanley Cup banner, perhaps Toronto needs to start putting up banners for spectacular losses, because they are absolutely amazing.
It’s because of this tendency to fail spectacularly that I don’t think it’s possible to ever feel confidence in the Leafs. They’ve built one of the best offensive cores in the league with Matthews, Marner, Tavares, they’ve seeming addressed their defensive issues, and for …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Looks like Timashov is off the team

In the last chance to waive someone pre trade deadline, the Leafs have decided to waive Dmytro Timashov.

The move allows the Leafs to add to the roster without demoting one of Engvall, Liljegren, or Sandin. And if claimed, Timashov would be eligible to play in the playoffs for the team that takes him.
Timashov had requested a trade at the end of December and has been a frequent healthy scratch under Sheldon Keefe. He seemed to be appreciated by Mike Babcock previously, and while no one wanted to give up assets for him, I don’t doubt that someone will claim him or that he could be flipped for a different AHLer.
This is a fairy insignificant move, and an expected one, but it could signal further moves for the Leafs in the next 27 hours.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors look for another win in Orlando for Game 4: Preview, start time, and more

The Raptors have a chance to take the first commanding 3-1 lead they’ve ever had in a playoff series. It’s almost time for Game 4 against the Magic in Orlando. Kawhi Leonard followed his 37 points on 15-of-22 shooting with a 16 point outing, shooting an abysmal 5-of-19 from the field. With numbers like that from Toronto’s top guy, it should be next to impossible to win a playoff game on the road. However, something special happened.
Pascal Siakam, who many thought would struggle in this series due to the length of Magic players Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon, put up a show-stopping 30 points and 11 rebounds. In a season of continuous improvement from Siakam, he took over in the third quarter and made some big shots. Specifically, after Orlando took their first lead of the game just under the 7-minute mark, Siakam answered with a crowd silencing corner 3. Toronto would quickly go on a 16-0 run, capped off by a wonderful up-and-under move by Siakam against former Raptor Terrence Ross.
After the impressive performance, Danny Green was surprised to know Siakam had only been playing organized basketball for 7 years.

Reporter to Siakam: “You’ve only been playing basketball for seven years…” …

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Author: Zakaria Abdulle / Raptors HQ

LGD: On the Road Again

There was almost no chance that the Leafs were going to avoid having to play at TD Garden more than twice in the first round. With a low probability for a sweep and home ice advantage for Boston, Toronto’s team knew that they’d have to head into enemy territory more often than not as the first round went on.
The good news is that the Leafs have avoided the kind of decimation that two teams have already faced this spring, outlasting both the Tampa Bay Lightning (lmao!) and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the wake of a pair of early first-round sweeps.
The bad news, though, is that it looks to be another long and bloody series between the divisional rivals – so even if Toronto comes out of this all-too-crucial game triumphant, they’ll have less energy to spare than they’d like.
It’s a 2-2 tied series, and we’re here for Game 5.
THE LEAFS

Leafs lines at morning skate
Hyman-Tavares-MarnerJohnsson-Matthews-Kapanen Marleau-Nylander-Brown Ennis- -MoorePetan
Rielly-Hainsey Muzzin-Zaitsev Gardiner-Dermott Rosen-Marincin Holl-Ozhiganov
Andersen Hutchinson
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 19, 2019

As mentioned by The Toronto Sun, there have been 293 recorded hits so far across just four games this series. That’s over 70 …

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Author: Cat Silverman / The Leafs Nation