Around the NHL: Comparing NHL teams to Formula 1 teams

I’m definitely not alone in saying that Formula 1 has recently swept me off my feet and captivated me as one of my new favourite sports. After a friend told me to watch the Drive to Survive Netflix series, it timed perfectly with the start of the 2021 season in Bahrain. One exciting race later, and I was in.
Now, I’m not the only one, a lot of the sports world, and even non-sports fans have been enjoying the drama of the sport, and how it extends beyond race day. If you’re like me as well, the meme content that comes out of every race weekend is second to none, in my humble opinion.
One of the most interesting aspects of the sport is the fact that there are still teams, even though the drivers on the same team are still competing against each other, and sometimes it’s even hyper focused on their teammates because they’re the only other driver on the track that’s in the exact same car as you. It’d be like if NHL teams had the Stanley Cup playoffs, except the only person that actually gets the Cup is the MVP of …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: Rie-demption

It’s definitely not an exaggeration to say that Morgan Rielly has garnered his fair share of critics.
And to an extent, rightfully so. With the improvements the blueline has seen over the last few years, Rielly has become arguably the worst defenseman in his own end, which is a problem for a player playing a position that more or less requires that. But, his offensive impact has gotten a bit overlooked as well, something that has always made his play worth it overall.
Tonight, we got the best of both worlds. With Nick Suzuki rushing down the ice, Rielly hesitated to cover him and pressure him, giving him time to snipe a shot past Jack Campbell. Campbell probably could’ve been better at stopping it, but that didn’t excuse another lackluster defensive play from Rielly.
But, he reminded us why we’ve loved him for all these years, as only a few minutes later, he connected on a great feed from Mitch Marner and fired it past Carey Price to give the Leafs a 2-1 lead, a score that would hold for the rest of the game.
Not a perfect game from Rielly, but he reminded us again …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

George Springer homers twice, Blue Jays pull off comeback, but Alejandro Kirk and Tommy Milone wind up on the Injured List

That was definitely the most exciting game of the Blue Jays’ season this far. It looks like this team is finally rolling.

The Braves went up 4-0 early on the power of a grand slam off of Tommy Milone but the Blue Jays kept battling back. George Springer homered twice, the team put together a sixth-inning rally, and then Randel Grichuk hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning to complete the comeback. What a blast that was to watch.
Things worth mentioning…

Saturday night felt like the true arrival of George Springer. He had a goose egg in his first game, got on base a few times in his second, but exploded in his third. Springer grounded out in the first inning and appeared to re-aggravate his injury as he hobbled to first base. Despite that, Springer stayed in the game and was key to the comeback effort. He hit a two-run dinger to cut Atlanta’s early lead to 4-2 and then hit the game-tying homer in the seventh inning. Springer is now 3-for-12 with a couple of dingers and three walks as a Blue Jay. Let’s just hope he can stay on the field.

George Springer …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Welcoming the distraction of Leafs hockey and looking at the roster by the numbers

Here we are, hours from the start of the new, shortened, and definitely weird NHL season. It’s kicking off with empty arenas, new divisional alignments, and already one team in the midst of a COVID outbreak that has sidelined 17 of their players, and led to an immediate postponement of games. Still, it’s hard to be anything other than excited about hockey right now, even if it is a selfish feeling, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that a nightly distraction of Auston Matthews chasing the Rocket Richard Award, seeing a legend like Joe Thornton in a Leafs uniform, or having Wayne Simmonds punch in the mouth is something that we need.
Of course sports are more than just a distraction, but it’s not unfair to say we missed the distracting part. Knowing that I’ll be able to sit on the phone with my father for three hours, trying to watch a game together, but largely just listening to him talk about how players get too cute with the puck, is comforting. Having this site fill up with pre and post game articles instead of offseason profiles and trade speculation will be nice too.


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Stories of the Year: Professional Women’s Hockey Comes (Back) to Toronto

If you’re a TLN reader at all, you definitely know by now that we’ve launched an exciting partnership with the Toronto Six – the newest team in the NWHL, and the only Canadian franchise. While we’re thrilled to bring you exciting content and coverage of the team’s inaugural season, there’s more to it than just hockey coverage. The establishment of a Toronto-based NWHL team is logical, necessary, and important.
Leafs fans often proudly joke (and other teams’ fans often derisively joke) that Toronto is the centre of the hockey universe. But the fact is, that’s more or less true. Toronto is home of the Hockey Hall of Fame, the NHL’s “situation room”, and one of the most prominent Original Six teams in the league. The Toronto hockey fanbase is so deeply established and embedded in Toronto life, that the waiting list for Leafs season tickets (if one can afford them) is twenty years long.
Hockey and Toronto are synonymous. And bringing an NWHL team to the city further cements that. After the CWHL folded, and following the lengthy discussions about the creation of one women’s league, the launch of the Toronto Six signifies …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: VanVleet has been good, but he can be much better

VanVleet has definitely gotten better with the Toronto Raptors over the years, but there is still one area of his game that needs a lot of work. Fred VanVleet does a lot of things right. He can shoot, pass, play defense, and can be plugged into any situation. He played a big part in the […]
Toronto Raptors: VanVleet has been good, but he can be much better – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Prospects make us feel good, right? Let’s see how they are doing…

So the first quarter of the season definitely could have gone a lot better. I don’t feel I’m too bold by saying that. And you know, the fact that the Leafs likely won’t even have a first round draft pick to show for this season if they don’t make the playoffs, well, that’s not lost on me either (of course the pick they sent to Carolina is top 10 protected, so if they do really bad they’ll have something.)
Yeah, that will be two years without a first round pick, and that isn’t ideal, but what we can enjoy is a quick trip around the world to check in on the prospects the Leafs do have that aren’t currently playing on the Marlies or Growlers…
Europe
Mikko Kokkonen-D
I’m starting with Mikko because I really like him. A lot of the things that went right with drafting Rasmus Sandin I feel could go right with Kokkonen, although maybe not on as skilled a scale. Kokkonen isn’t either a offensive dynamo or a shutdown guy. He’s the guy you happily trot out in a Carl Gunnarsson fashion and enjoy a stable …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation