The NHL Draft: Consolidated Rankings, Where the Leafs sit, and introducing the Hunter Score

Salt, meet wound. After an incredibly disappointing post season that saw the Leafs in their traditional role of watching the second round from their comfort of their own homes, we now need to address the fact that the Leafs are heading into the NHL Entry Draft with only 3 draft picks and most significantly, without a first round pick. Draft experts will provide some comforting knowledge that this isn’t a particularly high end draft. It’s not a draft that is overwhelmingly deep, and of course with COVID, there are entire leagues like the OHL that didn’t play and others that played shortened schedules in bizarre circumstances. Still the seven regular season games and four post season games of Nick Foligno that resulted in 5 assists and 0 parades probably is creating a nice bitter feeling at the moment.
Still, it’s foolish to completely dismiss any conversation of the entry draft because we don’t particularly like the way the Leafs are situated heading into it. Last year the Leafs also looked to be without a first round pick, and low and behold, the Kapanen trade brought a first back into the mix and Rodion Amirov into our lives. The …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Top 5 most disappointing seasons in franchise history

Toronto Raptors: Top 5 most disappointing seasons in franchise history

To have a disappointing season, you must first have expectations. This was something that Toronto Raptors fans did not have much of in the past, but over the course of the last decade, expectations have been high each year as the Raptors continued to grow and find success along the way. A shining example of […]
Toronto Raptors: Top 5 most disappointing seasons in franchise history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Matthew Eichhorn / Raptors HQ

Leafs Practice Notes: Hyman out a minimum of two weeks, Mikheyev questionable, Sandin & Andersen return to practice

The Leafs returned to practice on Monday following a disappointing overtime loss to the embattled Vancouver Canucks who were playing their first game since March 24th due to a COVID outbreak. Losing out on the extra point in overtime seemed rather insignificant, however, as Zach Hyman was also lost to injury after taking a brutal knee on knee hit from Alexander Edler who earned a two game suspension for his troubles.
Sheldon Keefe revealed after practice that Hyman has suffered a sprained MCL that will keep him on the shelf for at least two weeks. Given the fact that he has already had this knee surgically repaired once, and how the hit looked, it could have been a lot worse.

TOR head coach Sheldon Keefe says Zach Hyman has a sprained MCL. Out at least two weeks. Probably as good news as they could get.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 19, 2021

Some alarm bells went off when William Nylander stepped onto the ice for practice in a grey sweater typically reserved for extras or members of the taxi squad, with Pierre Engvall and Adam Brooks shedding grey for regular white practice sweaters. Nylander ended up skating in his usual spot alongside John …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Baylor guard Davion Mitchell scouting report: Could the Raptors be a fit?

Baylor guard Davion Mitchell scouting report: Could the Raptors be a fit?

As the Toronto Raptors continue to trudge through a disappointing season, they can take solace in knowing that this summer’s NBA Draft is deep with talent that can make an impact on their roster, regardless of position. One name to keep an eye on should the Raptors find themselves outside of the top five is […]
Baylor guard Davion Mitchell scouting report: Could the Raptors be a fit? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Kartik Rudra / Raptors HQ

Why is Teoscar Hernández Striking out so much?

The Blue Jays record of 3-4 feels a little disappointing after they took two of three from the Yankees in New York to start the year. The pitching and defence which was of concern for everyone, has been solid, it’s the offense or lack thereof that has hurt them.

Blue Jays batters set a franchise record for the most strikeouts thru the first 7 games of a season (72)
They struck out 71 times thru the first 7 games of 2016.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) April 9, 2021

The Blue Jays aren’t quite as bad as Baltimore who lead the league with 91 strikeouts, but for a team that wants to contend they need to improve. It would be one thing if Gerrit Cole got them for 12 strikeouts in the opener, you could tip your cap to one of the best pitchers in the league. But seeing the hitters get mowed down by arms like Dane Dunning and Kyle Gibson is slightly alarming.
The biggest culprit of this is Teoscar Hernández. Hernández has struck out 14 times this season, tied with Tyler O’Neill and Miguel Sano for the league lead. Teoscar has had 29 plate appearances and has struck out in just under half of them. Hernández is …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Jumbo Joe gets his first as a Leaf in 3-2 win

After a disappointing first game in Ottawa, the Leafs looked to bounce back and get a win on the first Hockey Night in Canada of the season. Jack Campbell and Nick Robertson replaced Frederik Andersen and Alexander Barabonov, so maybe a bit of deck chair shuffling will change the momentum.
The Leafs came out in the first period with a very similar performance to last night’s first, as they did a good job maintaining possession and creating scoring chances. Unfortunately, hockey is a cruel mistress sometimes, as midway through the first period, a Nikita Zaitsev shot went straight at teammate Nick Paul, who then gets the loose puck past Jack Campbell to give the Sens a one goal lead.

Paul opens the scoring off the rebound pic.twitter.com/cUzlibyyZ6
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 17, 2021

It seemed like we were in for another rough night against the Sens, but thankfully a one goal lead is very easy to give up. Four minutes later, Mitch Marner makes a great play to corral a TJ Brodie stretch pass, skates the puck into the offensive zone and drops it for Joe Thornton, who walks in and fires it past Matt Murray to tie the …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Alright, let’s try this Battle of Ontario thing again

The Leafs look to rebound from a disappointing loss to the Ottawa Senators last night, with a win from this home-and-home series. Ottawa surprised Toronto and took control of the game from the Leafs in the second period, and got themselves a win out of it. Tonight, the Leafs will want to prove why a majority of people have them winning the North division this year, especially against a Sens team that many had finishing last.
It was a tale of two teams last night, as the Leafs were playing like an elite team playing a lottery team for the first half of the game, as they had 71.58% of the expected goals in the first, and at one point had 85% in the second. However, in the second half, they just gave up, as they finished the second with 46.98% of the expected goals, and had only 8.4% of them in the third. That’s right, 8.4%, a grand total of 0.08 expect goals. They played really bad.
They also didn’t get much help from Frederik Andersen in net. He let in a couple of stinkers again, and looked like he was swimming in his crease for quite a bit of the game. He …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Ranking all 33 of William Nylander’s goals from the 2019-20 season

After a disappointing 2018-19 season, Nylander broke out in a big way last season for the Leafs, silencing the haters the best he possibly could. Not only did he rebound from eight goals with a 31 goal regular season, he did so by scoring goals in a new way: being a powerhouse in front of the net.
Not only did that give him lots of opportunities to produce at even strength with Matthews or Tavares, it also gave him more power play time with the top unit, and just like that, goals galore.
So, let’s reminisce on a fantastic season for Willy by not only seeing every goal from the season, but also ranking them, just to see which one was truly the best.
33. Goal #15 vs. New Jersey (Dec. 27)
I mean, he didn’t even score this one, so it’s a very easy last place.
32. Goal #10 vs. Detroit (Nov. 27)
Whenever someone says Nylander needs to get into the dirty areas, feel free to show them this. Within the massive pile of bodies, he managed to spot the puck and give it a tiny little shove to get it in the net. It’s a greasy one, and while it …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Separating emotion from reality in another lost season for the Leafs

Well, here we are again. Lamenting another disappointing finish to a Leafs season in which they failed to live up to the lofty expectations bestowed upon them.

The repeated failures are enough to wear on anybody that cares about this franchise, whether it be the die hard fan base or the people within the organization. Hockey is an emotional game for all parties involved and it’s only natural to have emotional reactions to what happens on the ice in any given moment.
All the reasons we love this sport and love this team are the same reasons it can hurt so much when things don’t go our way, and reacting to those ups and downs is what being a sports fan is all about. But it can’t be that way for the people entrusted with running the organization, namely Kyle Dubas.

If you’ve been scrolling through social media at all since the Leafs season came to an end, you’ve seen fans offer up just about every member of the current roster as some sort of sacrificial lamb in their fantasy trade proposals. An argument can be made for moving almost …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Babs will be back next year

After a disappointing outing in the playoffs, many (including myself) we’re maybe calling for his job to be questioned. And with Edmonton’s recent hiring of Ken Holland, there was question that he might try and bring Babcock with him in a “parting of ways” scenario. Well, we finally have our answer.

Mike Babcock will be back as head coach in TOR. Leaf GM Kyle Dubas, when asked about Babcock’s status:
“We’re all in on Mike and Mike is all in on us. We’ve had productive management meetings as an organization and Mike and I have had some really good meetings as well…
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 6, 2019

And honestly, this is probably a smart move for Dubas. While I do think that Babs is a bit behind the times, and is incredibly stubborn (so much that it probably cost us a couple of playoff series wins against the Bruins), but it probably wouldn’t have been a good move on Dubas’ part to can him after he was the GM for one season.
If that were the case, this is suddenly a really reactionary move, and puts Dubas on the hot seat already if the Leafs …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation