This Maple Leafs team is built different

The term ‘built different’ is one I don’t particularly like to use personally. The origins of the saying are unclear, but it has gained traction in recent years as a meme used to describe how someone is uniquely different. And it is most often overused by people who frequent the gym or create TikToks, sometimes both.
One story that has been bubbling under the surface of this Leafs season is becoming clear: this Toronto Maple Leafs team is built different from those we’ve seen in years past.
Recent slide and disturbing trend of blowing leads aside, the Leafs have been playing at a near-historic pace this entire season. They have found ways to win games despite missing many key players at various points of the year. More so than in any season in this current era of Leafs hockey, the team appears to have 100% bought in to the vision of management and coaching. There are no spare parts on this team taking up space, even players that have been highly criticized in past seasons like Pierre Engvall and Ilya Mikheyev have adapted and become key contributors.
Beyond strict on-ice performance, the attitudes of the players on the team have clearly shifted. The first time I really noticed t …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Raptors draft: Matthew Hurt has plenty of value in NBA Draft second round

Raptors draft: Matthew Hurt has plenty of value in NBA Draft second round

The Toronto Raptors draft could go in several different directions early in the draft given the lack of consistency outside of the top five prospects, and they could be equally as surprising with two of their second-round picks. If a few lucky breaks go Toronto’s way, they could end up drafting former Duke stud Matthew […]
Raptors draft: Matthew Hurt has plenty of value in NBA Draft second round – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher’s roster designation provides challenge for Nick Nurse

Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher’s roster designation provides challenge for Nick Nurse

The Toronto Raptors are in the process of trying out a bunch of different lineups as they try to figure out what works and what doesn’t near the tail end of this cursed season. While power forward Chris Boucher has been one of the pleasant surprises this year, he has come with some flaws that […]
Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher’s roster designation provides challenge for Nick Nurse – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

It’s time for the Toronto Raptors to sell high on Norman Powell

It’s time for the Toronto Raptors to sell high on Norman Powell

The Toronto Raptors’ recent resurgence is related to a lot of different factors. It is safe to assume that a transition to Tampa Bay this season wasn’t an easy move for many parties involved and a slow start was understandable. Nick Nurse and the coaching staff have also coached this team back into competitiveness, and Norman […]
It’s time for the Toronto Raptors to sell high on Norman Powell – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ

The Jets’ bus arrives in Toronto for the week

In a season that only features six different opponents, the Leafs find themselves facing a team that they haven’t seen since the fourth game of the season. That outing went quite well for the Leafs, and helped build some confidence on the roster that has carried Toronto pretty darn well through the first half of the season. Now here we are, closing out the final games of the first half this week exclusively against the Jets, and these teams will face each other six additional times after this week. Considering the Jets have moved into the second spot in the division (based on points percentage), this will make for some interesting hockey tonight.
The Jets are a different team than the last time the Leafs saw them in the sense that Pierre Luc Dubois is a very different player than Patrik Laine. Dubois was a big part of the challenges the Leafs faced against Columbus over the summer, and now they get to see him at the low point of their season, that’s right, the Leafs low point is having two regulation losses in a row. This is almost impossible to fathom when looking at the past 15 years …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors rumors: Should Norman Powell get moved at the Trade Deadline?

The Toronto Raptors could go in several different directions before the trade deadline on March 25, but they lack a ton of pieces that could be moved in hypothetical trades due to how much money Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry are owed. One of the Raptors besides those two that could potentially be on the […]
Raptors rumors: Should Norman Powell get moved at the Trade Deadline? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Success in 2021 hinges on improved offense

Toronto Raptors: Success in 2021 hinges on improved offense

The Toronto Raptors are a different team from last season when they finished 13th overall offensively. The changes to their roster this off-season don’t immediately appear to address their middling offensive struggles, but improvement could come from within the existing roster. The Toronto Raptors had a splendid 2019/20 season in attempting to defend their 2019 […]
Toronto Raptors: Success in 2021 hinges on improved offense – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Andreas Johnsson and Timothy Liljegren hit the ice for the first time

Following an extended absence from both for different reasons, Andreas Johnsson and Timothy Liljegren have made their debut appearance at the 2020 Training Camp.

Andreas Johnsson (knee) and Timothy Liljegren (unfit) are on the ice ahead of #Leafs training camp sessions today pic.twitter.com/QNdEMz5R7E
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 22, 2020

This is a positive sight no matter how you slice it because it indicates that both players are now one step closer to making their return to the lineup. It remains to be seen how impeding their reinsertion into the lineup will be, but it’s an encouraging development regardless.
Johnsson is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered back in February. Based on his six-month recovery timeline, that would project his return to the first or second round of the actual playoffs.
Liljegren has yet to skate with the rest of the group since the start of camp as he was deemed “unfit to play” and removed from the Phase 3 roster. As a result, Mac Hollowell has taken over his place in the lineup. Kristen Shilton reported on July 14 that Liljegren was in attendance for practice but was talking to a medical …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays could capitalize from MLB’s shortened draft

The Major League Baseball draft is going to be a lot different this year than it usually is.

On June 10th and 11th, the draft will be held remotely, and it’ll only go for five rounds instead of the usual 40. After that, all of the players not selected in the five rounds will be eligible to sign with any team they choose, but with a max signing bonus of $20,000.
Ultimately, the overarching uncertainty of the COVID-19 landscape pushed MLB to shrink its draft. The biggest reason this happened, of course, is cash, as teams only have to worry about signing bonuses for a handful of players rather than adding a whole new crop of players to their system.
And then there’s also the issue of those systems. We don’t know if or when MLB games will be played this year, let alone minor league games. If there’s nowhere to send your 12th-round draft selection to play, there isn’t going to be an appetite to throw that player a signing bonus. Even if the player was only going to get $30k as their bonus, which seems like a pittance for an …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Why the Toronto Raptors succeed but the Toronto Maple Leafs struggle

The tenants of Scotiabank Arena have had remarkably different seasons. There are distinct reasons why the Toronto Raptors have succeeded when the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t. The Toronto Raptors on-court play has been a pleasant surprise as they defend their title. Though many fans counted the team out when Kawhi Leonard packed his bags for […]
Why the Toronto Raptors succeed but the Toronto Maple Leafs struggle – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jeff Borsuk / Raptors HQ