The Blue Jays Are Still Alive

Never in doubt, right?

The Blue Jays faced one hell of a mountain after dropping the series opener with the Yankees last night.
Down three games to New York in the standings with five games left, the Blue Jays went up against Gerrit Cole in a situation where losing would more than likely mean the end of their season.
Thanks to a strong start from Jose Berrios and a huge game from Bo Bichette, we’re still alive.
Things worth mentioning…
The bats started out hot, as George Springer led off with a double and Marcus Semien promptly smashed a two-run bomb. In the second, it was Santiago Espinal hitting a double and Bo Bichette knocking the dinger to make the game 4-0. Quite a start against Robbie Ray’s competition for the Cy Young Award!
Jose “Quality Start” Berrios did just about exactly what’d we’ve come to expect he’d do at this stage, which is go out and toss a quality start. Berrios was literally perfect through four innings, but the Yankees finally got to him in the fifth when Gleyber Torres hit a two-out double. Gio Urshela then hit a weak single and Brett Garder …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Canadian Federal Government close to approving reduction in quarantine time for NHL players

I guess there is no doubt that the NHL matters in Canada after this one, as it appears the league has successfully lobbied to reduce the quarantine time for players in advance of the April 12th trade deadline.

Federal government poised to approve a 7-day quarantine with extra testing for NHL players traded from American teams to Canadian teams before the April 12th trade deadline. Government source says all provinces with NHL teams have approved of the measures.
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) March 25, 2021

So first off, I can’t imagine anyone else on the other side of the border looking to come into Canada is particularly excited to see this news, but that’s without knowing any of the additional details. There are potentially additional testing requirements, and costs that are being absorbed by the team instead of the government that likely makes this move palatable for them to approve. Given that we’re not a political blog, none of us are epidemiologists, and the details are limited to the tweet above at this point, we’ll hold back any judgement on how this is playing out.
From a hockey perspective, there are numerous benefits to a team like the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Travis Dermott has paid his third pairing dues and is ready for more

It seems like a lot of people were wrong to doubt the strategy of trading down during the 2015 draft. That’s not to say that Travis Konecny wouldn’t also be a pleasure to have in a Leafs uniform right now, but the Leafs organization knew what they were doing when they had their eyes on Travis Dermott. He’s made the job to NHL regular, and either through merit or necessity it seems that we are going to have a very real conversation about whether Travis Dermott is a capable of being a top four defenseman on the Leafs next season.
Season recap
The 2018-19 season was the first “full” season in the NHL for Travis Dermott. I mean, 64 NHL games and 0 AHL games says it was a full NHL season, but 18 games missed due to injury is bound to cause concern.
Injuries aside, and hopefully they are for a good long time, Dermott was a third pairing guy for essentially the entire season, as you’d expect for a player that previously had 37 games to his name and is behind Rielly, Gardiner, and Muzzin on the left side of the defense depth chart. In this role Dermott excelled, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation