Friedman breaks down the Leafs

Tomorrow we’re treated to the end of year press conference from Dubas, Keefe, and Shanahan. As a bit of an appetizer, tonight we have Elliotte Friedman breaking down the Leafs heading into their extended off season. Of course we have some thoughts on his thoughts too. You can find Friedman’s full article here.
I’m going to start this week’s blog with a personal belief: I think GM Kyle Dubas’s plan was to give Toronto’s “Big Four” (

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Mitchell Marner
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” data-toggle=”tooltip” data-placement=”auto” data-html=”true” data-trigger=”hover click focus”>Mitch Marner, 

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Auston …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs change up the lines for their last scrimmage

The Leafs, along with the other 11 Eastern Conference teams, will soon be heading into the bubble with the play-in round near. For their final scrimmage before the move, they made some adjustments to their scrimmage lines.

Team White:Nylander-Matthews-HymanEngvall-Kerfoot-KapanenAgostino-Brooks-Malgin
44-8323-9448-32
31
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 23, 2020

Given that Team Matthews was extremely stacked for the first few scrimmage games, it makes sense why the lines were balanced out for the last tune-up. Even still, there are a few lines here that look intriguing.
It’s not the first time they have been paired at camp, but the Nylander-Matthews-Hyman line gets back together. The three have shown chemistry over the last few seasons so it makes sense why Sheldon Keefe went back with this trio.
John Tavares and Mitch Marner are reunited, with Ilya Mikheyev joining them to make a solid line. Tavares and Marner meshed well together during the 2018-19 campaign and Mikheyev was having a fine rookie season before an injury sidelined him for months.
Pierre Engvall returns to the projected third-line alongside Alexander Kerfoot and Kasperi Kapanen. Meanwhile, Nick Robertson now slots in with Jason Spezza and Kyle Clifford. While Robertson has made great improvements …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

5 Thoughts on another game getting goalied for the Leafs

It’s not often that a game against an out of conference non-playoff team could be considered a must win game, but after only getting one point in the first two games on what should’ve been an easy California road trip, the Leafs find themselves needing the two points tonight. Let’s look at some of the biggest points of the game.
Welcome Back Cody Ceci
I’m not going to lie, I completely forgot Cody Ceci was a thing on this team. Not going to lie though, when I heard he wasn’t coming back, I wasn’t in complete dismay.
Ok, hold your boos. I remembered him having solid stats, and considering that Timothy Liljegren was starting to falter, he was probably a better replacement for the time being. But, I forgot about one big thing with Ceci.

Rowney banks in the rebound. 1-0 Ducks. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/gJiR6sojvl
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) March 7, 2020

Cody, baby, what in the sweet hell are you doing? Actually, that’s an easy answer. Nothing, you’re doing nothing.
Somebody teach Marner how to shoot a puck
This is weird …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Grades from Toronto Raptors beatdown of New Orleans Pelicans

The Toronto Raptors started their Western Conference road trip with a convincing victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. How did everyone grade in the win? While the Toronto Raptors walked away from the Smoothie King Center with a fairly comfortable victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, it wasn’t without concern. The Raptors lost both Kyle […]
Grades from Toronto Raptors beatdown of New Orleans Pelicans – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Will Serge Ibaka play more power forward for the Toronto Raptors?

A few teams in the Eastern Conference have eyes on bigger line-ups this year. Could this see Serge Ibaka play more power forward for the Toronto Raptors? Like fashion, basketball is all about trends. Eventually, teams all end up doing the same thing in search of success. Watching one team gain traction with a style […]
Will Serge Ibaka play more power forward for the Toronto Raptors? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Can the Toronto Raptors win the Eastern Conference?

The Toronto Raptors were Eastern Conference champions only one season ago. Can they prevail as back-to-back winners this year? Champions of not only the Eastern Conference but the entire NBA. Last season turned out to be a historic season for the Toronto Raptors, winning their first-ever Larry O’Brien trophy and cementing their status as one […]
Can the Toronto Raptors win the Eastern Conference? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Three things the Toronto Raptors must accomplish to gain homecourt advantage

The Eastern Conference has improved this year and the competition is fierce. What three things do the Toronto Raptors need to gain homecourt advantage? One season on from winning their first-ever NBA title, the Toronto Raptors are back at it again. This time, there’s no Kawhi Leonard and no Danny Green. The stakes aren’t as […]
Three things the Toronto Raptors must accomplish to gain homecourt advantage – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Marlies Approach “Do or Die” Game 6 in Charlotte

As the Toronto Marlies, down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals, approach Game 6 against the Charlotte Checkers, there is no shortage of confidence within the Leafs’ AHL affiliate.
“We got confidence in this group,” Trevor Moore told reporters after the Marlies’ 4-1 loss in Game 5. “We really believe that we can win two games in Charlotte.”
These Marlies–who battled everything from call-ups, injuries and departures throughout the 2018-2019 regular season, only to go on an improbable 7-0-0-0 through the first two rounds of the playoffs— are no strangers to adversity. The Marlies have thrived off being the underdog during this years’ playoffs and as their backs are pressed up against the wall, they’re focused on winning two straight games, rather than losing one and packing it in for the summer.
“We can’t look past this game,” said Adam Brooks. ” [It’s about] just going out and make sure you do your job every shift. It might be cliché but you’ve just got to control what you can control.”
Comprised of a nucleus that features 12 returning players from last years’ championship run, many of these Marlies have been here before.
“I just think we care …

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Author: Jacob Stoller / The Leafs Nation

Raptors hunt for control of the series in Game 5 vs. the Bucks: Preview, start time, and more

It’s down to a best-of-3 series in the Eastern Conference Finals. Can the Raptors take a commanding lead against the Bucks before heading home? “The Toronto Raptors are two wins away from the NBA Finals”
When Matt Devlin uttered those words after a Game 4 walloping of the Milwaukee Bucks that evened the Eastern Conference Finals at two games apiece, I felt the crushing weight of nearly 25 years of Raptors fandom begin to roll off of my shoulders. Of course as a Raptors fan, that weight immediately began to calcify around my ankles, not yet ready to leave the body. The grip of Raptors failures both in the distant and not-so-distant past feels like it will never truly release the tormented fan base until the team wins a championship; but with Toronto being this close to the pinnacle of the NBA season, we should allow ourselves to bask in the glorious glow of this incredible accomplishment.
And what an accomplishment this series and playoff run has been! Kawhi Leonard is a Raptor. The defense has been suffocating and championship-level. The offense, though sputtering for larger spurts than one would like, is alive and kicking. Moreover, Kyle Lowry continues to show …

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Author: Mitch Orsatti / Raptors HQ

Raptors vs. Bucks Game 2 Thread: Updates, TV info, and more

The Raptors are in a hole to start the Eastern Conference Finals, but Game 2 offers them a chance to get back on even footing with the Bucks. Let’s watch. Though it feels hard to say this after Wednesday’s Game 1, the Raptors are not in a terrible spot for tonight’s Game 2. Yes, the winner of the opening game is often favoured in a playoff series, and the Milwaukee Bucks have proven themselves to be nigh invincible for most of the season, making it hard to envision even a modest comeback. But it’s not all bad news.
For one, Kyle Lowry made the Bucks pay for treating him lightly. We know it is unlikely we’ll see another 30-piece from Lowry, but it is equally unlikely that Milwaukee’s guards will let him roam as easily, which could open things up elsewhere on the floor. For two, despite Toronto’s exhaustion down the stretch, the Raps still found ways to keep the Bucks on their heels on defense, and limited some of what they wanted to do as a team. For three, as with Lowry, it feels unlikely we’ll see Brook Lopez go off for 29 points again. …

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ