Can the Raptors contend Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet at the helm?

Can the Raptors contend Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet at the helm?

The 2021-22 NBA season has come to a close for the Toronto Raptors, as they lost in the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers in six games. Despite their surprising run to the postseason, speculation has begun to surround the Raptors’ star duo of Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam. In the […]
Can the Raptors contend Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet at the helm? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Matthew Eichhorn / Raptors HQ

Evaluating the Leafs trade deadline

Trade Deadline season has come to a close. For better or worse this is the Leafs’ team we will be living and dying by come the playoffs. It’s worth remembering that this was very much billed as the last stand for this core, and Dubas wanted a final kick at the can with this group to show that they can make it beyond the first round.
In that sense, we probably shouldn’t be surprised that changes were kept to a minimum. It’s also interesting that really only Dermott found himself as a 2020-21 team member on the way out. Nick Ritchie departing and the attempted waiving of Petr Mrazek were attempts at undoing the worst aspects of the last offseason.
In a sense, we can already say that Ondrej Kase, Michael Bunting, and David Kampf have already taken huge steps to improve the Leafs. The addition of Ilya Lyubushkin also seemed like a positive. So here we are with Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell in the fold. Neither addressed the goaltending question mark. Giordano is another left-side defender, and Blackwell might get his shot with Tavares and Nylander, but he’s not a bona fide top-six forward by any means. That begs the questions:
What did yo …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 best roster moves the Raptors have made in 2021-22 season

3 best roster moves the Raptors have made in 2021-22 season

The Toronto Raptors might be in a very close fight for their playoff survival, but they should be commended for even making it this far. After last year’s nightmare in Tampa, many expected them to once again be fighting for a lottery spot and rebuilding 2022 and beyond next season. Rather than capitulate under those […]
3 best roster moves the Raptors have made in 2021-22 season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Marlies report cards: Forwards

The Toronto Marlies 35-game season came to a close on May 20th. It was an eventful last few weeks as the team played their final 13 games in the last 20 days of their season, due to AHL COVID-19 protocols.
No playoffs, no Calder Cup — nothing.
I’d suppose the correct word for this season was bizarre, but I don’t even think that’s the right word — let’s just say it was an unorthodox year. The Leafs’ AHL affiliate finished fourth in a five-team Canadian Division with a 16-17-0-2 record.
As it is now the end of their season, that means it’s report cards time.
Throughout this article, I’ll be grading many of the forwards who played for Toronto this season, which will involve the rookies, veterans and some late newcomers who joined the team this year.
The Toronto Offense – B
The team had an up and down season which brought a lot of adversity to the hockey club. There were some stretches that had them look like one of the best teams in the AHL, and then other times where their inexperience appeared a little bit. For a lot of the season, Toronto’s lineup …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

3 Maple Leafs that need to produce in game 6 against the Canadiens

3 Maple Leafs that need to produce in game 6 against the Canadiens

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a huge opportunity to close out the series against Montreal in game 5 on Thursday night on home ice. However, as we all know by now, they just fell short and lost 4-3 in overtime after being down 3-0 in the second period and slowly crawled their way back to tie the game and gave a lot of fans hope. Although it was heartbreaking to see them lose a close game in overtime that would’ve seen Toronto win their first playoff series since 2004, they are right back at it tonight in Montreal for game 6 and fans are definitely feeling a bunch of emotions right now, that’s for sure.
With game 6 being tonight, there are some certain players on the Maple Leafs that I think need to step up in this game to help secure a victory for Toronto. I’m not saying these three individuals have been downright garbage this series, but there are two players who haven’t really been playing up to their standards and are just waiting for a breakout game to happen for them. If there was a certain game for these two guys to step up and lead the …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

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

Toronto Raptors: The wheel of potential Kyle Lowry destinations

Toronto Raptors: The wheel of potential Kyle Lowry destinations

The 2020-21 season has finally come to a close, and with it the eighth year of Kyle Lowry’s contractual obligations to the Toronto Raptors. Drafted in 2006 and logging over 30,000 career minutes, the 35-year-old Lowry is still far from washed up. He’s still one of the 10 or so best point guards in the […]
Toronto Raptors: The wheel of potential Kyle Lowry destinations – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 3 free agents who could help the frontcourt

Toronto Raptors: 3 free agents who could help the frontcourt

Now that the Toronto Raptors can finally close the book on what was a lost 2021 season, it’s time for the team to set its sights on ways to improve. Raptors free agency promises to be a doozy of an experience for Masai Ujiri. There was certainly a sense of disappointment surrounding the Raptors on […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 free agents who could help the frontcourt – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Eddie Huband / Raptors HQ

Raptors depth chart: Best lineup for 2020-21 playoff push

Raptors depth chart: Best lineup for 2020-21 playoff push

The Toronto Raptors being anywhere close to the postseason has to be one of the most unlikely stories of the first third of the 2020-21 NBA season, as the Raptors started off the season winning just two of their first 10 games, showing exactly how much this team missed Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka in […]
Raptors depth chart: Best lineup for 2020-21 playoff push – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Jack Campbell is a very good person – Rate That Leafs Game

After another close game for the Toronto Maple Leafs, I can comfortably say they won. I say it comfortably because the game is over and the stress is gone.
It started with more penalties from Toronto, which they now have 26 of this season (5th most in the NHL). The game ended with Jack Campbell looking like he was going to miss some time. He reassured everyone after the game though, saying he was just fine.
He didn’t look fine.
Campbell even went on to say some nice words about Matthew Tkachuk after he fell on the goaltender before the game was over. Also, do the Maple Leafs need to bring Zach Hyman back into the top-six? Maybe.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation