Report from the Rock: News and notes for the upcoming Newfoundland Growlers season

Welcome to the first ever Report from the Rock, The Leafs Nation’s comprehensive coverage, news and notes about the Newfoundland Growlers, the ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’ll be taking on the role of TLN’s chief Growlers correspondent for the upcoming season, and hope you’ll all follow along on this journey and enjoy the ride.
Two big pieces of news to touch on this time, so let’s dive right in.
On May 11th, just a few days before the Leafs embarked on the journey towards the most embarrassing playoff collapse in franchise history, the Newfoundland Growlers’ social media accounts announced a long-awaited update. The Newfoundland Growlers will end the longest offseason in history on October 21st against the Trois-Rivieres Lions, a new expansion team that has signed an agreement to become the Montreal Canadiens ECHL affiliate.
The full Growlers schedule for the 2021-22 season can be found here, but here’s a quick rundown of some of the highlights:
The Growlers will play a 72 game season that will feature 6 homestands of 6 games each. Many of these homestands will feature feature three games in three nights, so for any of you out in the …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Trading for Seth Jones would be a terrible idea

Ever since the Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs on Monday, I’ve been seeing a lot of how they should explore bringing in Seth Jones, especially since he’s made it clear with Columbus that he’s going to free agency when his contract expires. Whether that’s because he has an issue with the team, or he just wants to cash in and this is his best opportunity to do so, I’m not sure, but he’s been the talk of the town ever since.
Now, on the surface, I get why the Leafs are getting linked to him. They’ve always been in need of right shot defensemen, and Jones is supposedly a very good one. He has 286 points in 580 games, has had votes for the Norris in each of the last four seasons, and will probably get some more this season. He’s highly regarded by most people in hockey, and with the Leafs in crisis and potentially (but not likely) moving out someone in the core, they might have the pieces to make it work.
But, bringing in Jones would be a terrible idea for the Leafs. It’s an opinion that a lot …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors draft: Raps scouting Australian point guard Josh Giddey

Toronto Raptors draft: Raps scouting Australian point guard Josh Giddey

The Toronto Raptors draft is coming ever closer after a consistent winner like Toronto was knocked out of the postseason picture by a very unlucky season. With their best draft pick in years, the Raptors might need to look overseas to find their next star, as Australia’s Josh Giddey continues to impress. Giddey, a 6-8 […]
Toronto Raptors draft: Raps scouting Australian point guard Josh Giddey – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Weird Weekend in Dunedin! The bats finally wake up, Tanner Roark gets relegated to the ‘pen, and more!

Has there ever been a more welcomed rain-out in Blue Jays history?

The Blue Jays series with the Angels came to an end early on Sunday when the finale got postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a double-header when Toronto heads out west in August, but the Blue Jays will play as the home team on the road.
Now, look, you generally don’t wish for a Sunday afternoon baseball game to get rained out, but I don’t think many of us wanted to see what happened when Tanner Roark went up against Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon. That simply wouldn’t have ended well and the baseball gods spared us.
Also, shortly after it was announced that Sunday’s game would be postponed, we learned that the Blue Jays are activating Robbie Ray from the 10-day Injured List and that be taking Roark’s spot in the rotation.
This news is certainly surprising but in a good way. Roark, as we know, had a nightmare season in 2020 but there was some reason to believe that it was the result of not having a normal spring training to get warmed …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs look to keep up hot streak against slumping Flames

If there was ever a game with two teams going in different directions, this is it.
The Toronto Maple Leafs currently find themselves on a 5-0-1 stretch, or as Pierre LeBrun would call it, a “lossless” streak. In fact, the last time the Leafs lost in regulation was against the Flames, and also Frederik Andersen’s last game before his injury. And they haven’t just been getting by during this stretch, they’ve been outright dominating their opponents, with a 62.61% xGF% in that span. The last time the Leafs had a game with less than a 58% xGF% was March 14th against the Ottawa Senators.
The Calgary Flames have not been doing that. After a solid 3-1-1 start after hiring Darryl Sutter, the Flames have gone 2-7 and made it highly unlikely that they get into the playoffs, and extremely disappointing result for a team that was, on paper, the second best in the division. During that nine game stretch, they have a 46.85% xGF%, which definitely won’t cut it. They’ve struggled to find their consistency all season, and it’s a big reason why they’re 16-19-3 on the season.
Will that decide the outcome …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Is OG Anunoby or Norman Powell more valuable?

Raptors: Is OG Anunoby or Norman Powell more valuable?

One of the greatest trades that the Toronto Raptors ever pulled off was trading fan-favorite, Greivis Vasquez, to the Milwaukee Bucks for two draft picks. One of the draft picks from the Bucks was a 2015 second-round pick, which the Raptors used to select UCLA stud Norman Powell. The other draft pick was the 2017 […]
Raptors: Is OG Anunoby or Norman Powell more valuable? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ

Simmonds sparks comeback, Leafs defeat Habs 5-4 in Overtime

Game Recap

Oh boy did I ever miss hockey.
The Leafs kicked off this unique 2021 NHL season in classic Leafs fashion, coming from behind to win 5-4 in Overtime.
Nick Suzuki scored the first goal of the game on the powerplay, after Zach Bogosian went to the box for Tripping. William Nylander responded with a goal right at the end of the powerplay to make it 1-1. Josh Anderson would score with 23 seconds remaining in the first period to make it 2-1 for the Habs.
In the second period, Tomas Tatar added to their lead courtesy of another powerplay goal.  Wayne Simmonds decided the team needed a spark, and fought Ben Chiarot in-front of the net. The Leafs took notice, with Nylander (second of the game) and John Tavares scoring on an elongated powerplay.
Josh Anderson would score early on in the third period to regain the lead for the Habs, but Jimmy Vesey scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf, tying the game at four apiece.
In overtime, both teams had ample opportunity to score, but Morgan Rielly would cap off the comeback on a two-on-one with Tavares, giving the Leafs their first win of the season.
Most …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

Leafs by the Numbers: Jack Campbell

Ever since the departure of Curtis McElhinney via the waiver wire, Leafs fans had been clamouring for a reliable backup to help ease Frederik Andersen’s workload. With the likes of Garret Sparks, Michael Hutchinson, and Kasimir Kaskisuo among others not providing enough faith in management to give them anything more than the occasional start on back-to-backs, it reinforced the notion that it was either Andersen or nothing.
It came to a head during the 2019-20 season when Andersen had a down year and Hutchinson did not play well enough to minimize the damage. This is why Kyle Dubas decided to pull the trigger on a trade to bring in a new option as the backup in Jack Campbell. His stint with the Leafs has only barely begun but he’s won over a lot of fans not just with his interactions with the media and teammates, but with his on-ice performance.
That’s why Campbell’s number is 6.
It’s how many games Campbell has played for the Leafs since being acquired in the deal with the L.A. Kings, which led to a goalie controversy regarding whether he should have gotten more compared to Andersen. Talk about a …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

‘Staturday’ Weekly Column #1: Where do we start? Analytics Primer, Part 1

Have you ever wanted to learn more about analytics in hockey? Have you ever been curious about what stories might lie in data about your favourite hockey team that you may not be aware of? If so, welcome to Staturday!
This is the initial post of this now weekly column. The goal is to find interesting stories in the publicly available data about the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Six, Team Canada, or any of the other teams this site has the pleasure of covering.
What data do we use?
Primarily, publicly available hockey “advanced” statistics are based on shot attempts (aka Corsi). This is the base data set. There’s no reason to limit the discussion to this though. We can also talk about player production (we’ll get to the many ways we can look at this), shot location, passing data, zone entry data, time-on-ice, who the player is playing with or against, and even luck. We can also do fancier things, like putting some or all of these different stats into a model to give us a more nuanced answer.
Shot Attempts
To summarize, shot attempts were traditionally broken into two types of statistics: Corsi (all shot attempts, …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors biggest Eastern Conference foes for 2021

Toronto Raptors biggest Eastern Conference foes for 2021

The NBA Eastern Conference is stronger than ever. Who are the Toronto Raptors strongest Eastern opponents for this upcoming season? The Toronto Raptors indubitably took a step back in free agency. Re-signing Fred VanVleet was a huge move for this organizations future. The losses of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, on the other hand, will surely be felt. […]
Toronto Raptors biggest Eastern Conference foes for 2021 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ