EA Sports reveals details about new NHL 21 video game

Although the Stanley Cup playoffs are currently underway in the middle of August for the first time, in any other year, we would be in the middle of the offseason right now. On top of all the signings and moves that come with the offseason, hockey fans also use this time to look forward to the annual reveal of the newest EA Sports NHL video game.
Regardless of the fact that the hockey season is still going on, EA Sports has revealed their first trailer for their new NHL 21 video game, and it looks great.
Last year, Toronto Maple Leafs star centre Auston Matthews had the honour to grace the cover of NHL 20. This year, Washington Capitals star captain Alex Ovechkin will be the cover athlete. This is his second time on an EA Sports video game cover, after he was the cover athlete for NHL 07 as well. Check out the trailer below:

The short trailer mainly highlights Ovechkin as the cover star, but also showcases some new improvements, including updated graphics, new moves such as the “Michigan goal,” popularized by Andrei Svechnikov and Nikita Kucherov’s “no move” move, and a tease at an …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

Mark Shapiro: No Blue Jays have tested positive for COVID-19, the organization’s plan for stadium staff, and more!

Mark Shapiro, who’s currently under self-isolation at home in Toronto, did a conference call on Sunday in order to give media an update as to where the Blue Jays are at when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The important notes…
No Blue Jays (players or staff) have been tested positive for COVID-19 as of right now. So that’s good!
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Shun Yamaguchi, and Rafael Dolis are the only three big-leaguers left at camp in Dunedin. They can’t leave right now due to immigration complications. Beyond them, 30 minor-leaguers remain because there’s nowhere for them to go. 18 of those players are from Venezuela. It seems everyone else has gone home.
Game-day stadium staff were placed on temporary layoff to give them access to Employment Insurance. Apparently, ownership is committing money beyond the $30 million ($1 million per team) that Major League Baseball announced to support these employees. The Blue Jays have a plan in place through April and are working on the next phase.
There isn’t much of a sense of what’ll happen until the infection curve begins to flatten. This could get really, really bad (my words, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: How Stanley Johnson can earn minutes

The Toronto Raptors are currently without a number of key players. This presents an opportunity for Stanley Johnson, but how can he earn the minutes? The Toronto Raptors have been riddled with injuries throughout the entire season. They are currently without Matt Thomas, Norman Powell, Marc Gasol, and Pascal Siakam and are desperately searching for […]
Toronto Raptors: How Stanley Johnson can earn minutes – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Justin Johnson / Raptors HQ

Babcock’s Expectations For His Fourth Line are Clear. Who Can Meet Them?

The Toronto Maple Leafs currently sit five days out from their home opener on October 2nd with what appears to be one vacant roster spot remaining: fourth-line left wing. Naturally, the coming week will be pretty vital in figuring out which candidate seems fit to fill it, with the most important (and for some players, final) showcase taking place in Detroit later tonight.
Set to ice their “Bubble Lineup” for one last litmus test, Mike Babcock has made his expectations abundantly clear to his remaining roster hopefuls. And to properly communicate them, I’ll let him tell you himself.

Mike Babcock on the fourth line candidates playing tonight in Detroit: “I want them to play 20 minutes tonight, but I want them to play like they’re on the fourth line. So if you get out there and you start toe-dragging and turning the puck over – wrong answer.”
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) September 27, 2019

That last sentence is particularly intriguing. Babcock’s comments this morning, like pretty much everything he says to the media, were likely directed at a few players in specific. Players like Dmytro Timashov, for example.
When praising the 22-year-old for unexpectedly forcing his way into the roster conversation with …

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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation

Marcus Stroman has been traded to the Mets

According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, who is currently at the Rogers Centre covering the final game of the series against the Blue Jays, Marcus Stroman has been traded to the New York Mets.

Some chatter going around Rogers Centre – UNCONFIRMED – that #BlueJays have traded Stroman to #Mets. That’s all I’ve got.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 28, 2019

Stroman, 28, was linked to the Mets when Ken Rosenthal put out a weird tweet and scenario that would see other starter trade chip Noah Syndergaard going to the San Diego Padres. Then would see the Mets using some of those assets acquired from the Padres for Stroman from Toronto.
Topkin got the first hit, but later Jon Morosi and Jeff Passan has confirmed the trade.
Details to follow.

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation

Series Preview: Time to pounce on the Rays

The Blue Jays currently have a golden opportunity to take advantage of the Rays during this three-game series. As it stands, the Rays are currently 0.5 games back of the second wild-card spot in the AL. They also just lost their ace pitcher until mid-September. Which means the Rays are down to just one reliable starting pitcher.
So, it appears that the Blue Jays can put the Rays in a really tough spot with a series win. The Blue Jays could also look very different following this weekend series. With the trade deadline taking place on Wednesday, the Blue Jays front office will likely have a very busy weekend. Hopefully, this current Blue Jays roster can put together one more successful series, before players start to be shipped off to further this rebuild.
Friday at 7:07 ET
Jacob Waguespack has earned another start with the Blue Jays following his latest-outing. The 25-year-old started his 2nd-career game in the majors against the Tigers and pitched a career-high five and 1/3 innings. Waguespack surrendered just three runs on nine hits and also tied his career-high with seven strikeouts.
The Rays have struggled to remain disciplined at the plate coming out of the all-star break. As …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors have too much money invested in centers

The Toronto Raptors currently have one of the highest payrolls in the NBA. A lot of that is down to the money that they have invested in the center position, which might just be too much. An NBA title wouldn’t have been possible for the Toronto Raptors without the help of a lot of players, […]
Toronto Raptors have too much money invested in centers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Series Preview: Partying like it’s 1993

The Blue Jays are currently being overshadowed by the NBA champions, Toronto Raptors. However, their parade will likely help bring some cheerful fans into the Rogers Centre during the opener of this four-game series. It also helps that the Blue Jays’ bats finally woke up in their finale against the Astros.
The team that shared their stadium with the Raptors for many years, recorded five home runs last game against the Astros. This Angels pitching staff has surrendered the 5th-most home runs in the AL so far this month. Which means there should be a lot of souvenirs for the celebrating fans in the stands.
Monday at 7:07 ET
Surprisingly, Edwin Jackson was actually able to earn a victory even with his remaining days numbered with the Blue Jays. The German-born pitcher pitched five-innings against the Orioles, and gave up a season-low four hits and two runs. This was also the first-time the Blue Jays used an opener in front of Jackson this season, and it may have actually helped him be more effective in this start.
However, Jackson was going against an awful Trash Birds lineup, that currently creates little to no offense. Which can’t be said about this …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Series Preview: A key series for the Tank Effort

Currently, nothing feels worse right now for the city of Toronto. As they just missed out on their opportunity to win a championship in sport that has never been won north of the border before. But, the news gets even worse for the Toronto sports world.
The Blue Jays have been the worst-team in the entire league since May 27. Since that date, this team has been swept in three of their last four series. The Blue Jays have also lost ten of their last twelve games, and currently sit just three wins above the Orioles, or as we call them here,”The Trash Birds”.
Now it’s also not like the Orioles are coming into this three-game series doing much better than the Blue Jays. They have lost eight of their last eleven games, and this team has been held to two runs or fewer in seven of their last eleven games as well. While their isn’t much to get excited about for this series, at least these two teams will be able to battle it out for the worse record in the entire league.
Tuesday at 7:05 ET
This will be Trent Thornton’s first-opportunity to face the Trash …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Series Preview: Where did the offense go?

The Blue Jays are currently on a five-game losing streak entering this series against the White Sox, and it has been extremely ugly over that stretch. This team has produced just three runs over their last four games. While they have also surrendered a total of 30 runs over that same span.
However, this offense may be able to turn things around a little bit during this upcoming series against the other team from Chicago that most people don’t even really care about. The White Sox pitching staff currently owns the 2nd-worst team-ERA in the AL. They have the highest opponents BA in the AL at .274, and they’re also tied for the most amount of free bases awarded in the AL as well. So this series should provide the Blue Jays a great chance to show exactly how bad this White Sox team is during this three-game series.
Friday at 7:07 ET
So apparently the Blue Jays can’t catch a break when it comes to untimely injuries this season. Clay Buchholz was suppose to open this series for the Blue Jays. But then it was announced earlier this morning, or late last night depending on what time you get …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation