Leafs by the Numbers: Zach Hyman

Zach Hyman proved everyone wrong. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. He was a 5th round (123rd overall) pick in the 2010 draft who wasn’t really thought of, at the time, as anything special. Acquired by the Leafs from the Panthers in 2015, Hyman has become one of the team’s most invaluable players.
Workhorse. Reliable. Consistent. Gives it his all, every game.

Zach Hyman is a one-man army pic.twitter.com/9bkS9m0Aft
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 6, 2020

These are just a few of the phrases used to describe Hyman on the ice over the last couple seasons – especially the 2019-2020 shortened season, where he was on track for some of his best play ever. On a team plagued by inconsistency, unreliability, and often apparent lack of motivation, Hyman stands out as an exception. He has regularly played on the top line alongside players like Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander, surpassing expectations and cementing his role as one of the team’s most important guys. He battles for the puck, he gets in the corners, he’s always there.
And he’s the unofficial Leafs king of empty-net goals.
Zach Hyman’s number …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: A Christmas Wishlist of what needs to be done in 2021

Toronto Raptors: A Christmas Wishlist of what needs to be done in 2021

2020 has been a rough year for everyone, but through it all the Toronto Raptors have consistently performed well. From being second place in the Eastern Conference last season to reaching the semifinals in the playoffs last season with the recent departures of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Although it doesn’t feel as Christmas day […]
Toronto Raptors: A Christmas Wishlist of what needs to be done in 2021 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Zelniker / Raptors HQ

The NHL wants you to binge hockey

Exciting news everyone, from noon until past midnight (or 10am to 11pm for us Mountain timers) you’ll have the opportunity to do nothing but watch hockey.
From Bob McKenzie:
The plan is to play three games a day both in Edmonton and Toronto and the timetable template in local times is to schedule those games at noon, 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Now, keep in mind the two-hour time difference between Edmonton and Toronto. It means basically there’s going to be six games a day spread out over a 15-hour window, if not longer.
That sounds damn good to me and having games in other time zones is paying off.
Of course the immediate question is what about Overtime and Bob McKenzie’s thoughts are:
In the preliminary round, when you’ve got four placement teams in the East and the West – the top four teams in each conference – playing seeding games, there isn’t unlimited overtime. So, what they will do there, they’ll just use regular season overtime and shootout. They would put those games in the 4:00 spot to try and make up time if the first game …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Were the Maple Leafs ever at full capacity this season?

Remember the good old days, when everyone was marvelling at how consistently healthy the Leafs were? It wouldn’t be unreasonable for some to believe the ever-competitive Leafs GM Kyle Dubas exploited another market inefficiency and invested in the NHL’s first Team Shaman, but in reality the Leafs’ injury fortunes were likely the result of a combination of luck, the team’s revered Sports Science & Performance division, and the team’s low-contact style of play. The numbers bear out this last point: Leafs have the third-lowest road hits-per-game since 2016-17 (road stats used here because some home arenas, like Scotiabank Arena, can sometimes be a little overzealous with their counting). Deep down Leafs fans knew that the Hockey Gods would rebalance the scales with a plague of injuries at some point. Enter the 2019-20 season, one of the most tumultuous this franchise has seen in over a decade, both due to off-ice distractions and on-ice performance issues.
The damage was early and often:

Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott missed the first 19 and 14 games of the season respectively following offseason surgeries.
John Tavares missed seven games with a broken finger, and it took months …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Should the Maple Leafs Re-sign Jeremy Bracco?

Remember when everyone in Leafs land was trying to put together a package for a top pairing right-shot defenseman? Remember when Jeremy Bracco was usually at the forefront of those trade proposals? It’s crazy how much can change in a year. Bracco went from having one of the best offensive seasons in Toronto Marlies history, to becoming an afterthought when discussing the team’s top prospects.
At season’s end (whenever that is), Bracco will be a Restricted Free Agent and in need of a new contract. The 2020-21 season will see Bracco become waiver eligible for the first time which means the clock is ticking on Bracco taking that next step to becoming an NHLer.
For those who have not kept up to date with Bracco, let’s take a look at his progression over the course of his Entry-Level contract.

Year
Team
League
GP
G
A
P
PIM
+/-
SH
S%

2017-18
Toronto Marlies
AHL
50
6
26
32
10
6
71
8.5%

2018-19
Toronto Marlies
AHL
75
22
57
79
16
1
129
17.1%

2019-20
Toronto Marlies
AHL
44
4
30
34
2
-10
58
6.9%

Looking solely at Bracco’s boxcar stats, Bracco’s breakout season in 2018-19 coincided with a massive spike in his shooting percentage. That season, Bracco recorded 129 shots …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

Absolutely, The Leaf’s Madness Bracket is live

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey over the weekend to help build out our bracket for Absolutely, The Leaf’s Madness. I think I’ve learned a lot about Leafs Nation in the process, but the main thing is that crowd sourcing led to a pretty solid looking bracket.

The main regional matchups will get underway on Wednesday, and we’ll do our best to keep voting every weekday for the next couple of weeks, but you’ll notice that there are three play-ins on the bracket, and those will get underway tomorrow.
Play-ins
Your Grandpa’s Leafs Region
Frank Mahovlich is awaiting his first round rival, and he’ll be facing off against either Hap Day or Bobby Baun
Hap Day has pretty much filled every role you could possibly ask a player, coach, executive to fill and he’s won in each of those roles.
He goes up against the Stanley Cup legend that is Bobby Baun. Since I was a child I heard the tale of Baun recovering from an injury to return and score the game winning goal for the Leafs, and while it may …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Injury updates on your favourite wounded Leafs and Cody Ceci

Good news for everyone who doesn’t see Martin Marincin as the long term solution to the blue line woes, help is on the way…

Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci are on track to return at some point next week, according to Sheldon Keefe.
The #leafs also believe Ilya Mikheyev will play again this season, although his timeline is a little longer than Rielly and Ceci.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 2, 2020
Now, there are two very different elements to that improved defense. First, the return of Morgan Rielly brings in a veteran capable of playing top four minutes, albeit with some defensive deficiencies, but ultimately the Leafs are getting back a top pairing caliber defenseman next week, which is awesome.
The Leafs will also be getting back Cody Ceci, which is nice too, I think.
The Leafs have a tough schedule next week, with Tampa on Tuesday, Nashville on Thursday, and Boston on Saturday. None of those are easy games, but let’s face it, Tampa and Nashville haunt our dreams, so help there is what we need the most, and if the Leafs don’t have the warm bodies for Tampa, it seems like they …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

A pair of Leafs make Craig Button’s top prospect list

Sweet, sweet validation. It’s what everyone craves. How else would we know that Rasmus Sandin and Nick Robertson are good unless someone puts numbers next to their name?
In what I’m sure will be a flood of World Juniors related takes, Craig Button has released his list of top NHL affiliated prospects today, and shockingly everyone who had a good World Junior tournament is ranked at the top.
Drop the smugness and tell me where he ranked them
Button placed Rasmus Sandin as the 6th best NHL affiliated prospect and Nick Robertson at 17. Sandin, who was ranked last year as well, jumped 20 spots from 26th on the list, and Button made the following comments on him…
The 19-year-old opened the season by playing in six games for the Leafs before being sent back to the AHL Marlies. He was also a huge part of Sweden’s run to a bronze medal at the World Juniors, serving as an alternate captian and scoring 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in seven games.
Sandin makes plays in every single area of the game and in all situations. He mixes an exceptional hockey IQ with a lightning-quick processor.


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Mix ‘N Match D: Which pairings make sense?

YOU GET A NEW PARTNER. YOU GET A NEW PARTNER. EVERYONE IS GETTING A NEW PARTNER!!!

Exciting times on the Leafs blue line. Gone are Nikita Zaitsev, Ron Hainsey, Igor Ozhiganov, Jake Gardiner, and much less ceremoniously Andreas Borgman and Calle Rosen. There are a lot of new faces too. Tyson Barrie, Cody Ceci, Jordan Schmaltz, Kevin Gravel, and (sigh) Ben Harpur. Perhaps the most amazing part of all of this that Martin Marincin and Justin Holl are still here, and could legitimately be the third pairing until Travis Dermott returns.
It’s wild times, and it’s time to play defensive pairing mix and match…
So let’s start with what’s likely to happen and what’s been speculated all along…

If you’re the type of person who reads into the possibly irrelevant things that take place during informal summer skates (and, really, who isn’t?), Morgan Rielly is out there with Cody Ceci, while Jake Muzzin and Tyson Barrie are paired up
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 3, 2019
Yep. Things don’t look any brighter for ol’ Morgan Rielly, who is still drawing in with an unfortunate pairing, while Jake Muzzin continues to hit the jackpot when …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: The original Dino jersey finally returns

In a decision that everyone has been waiting for, the Toronto Raptors have finally brought back one of the greatest jerseys in the history of the sport, the Dino jersey. Throwbacks are sometimes call-backs to out of date, and out of touch times, or for teams that are trying to remain relevant by clinging to […]
Toronto Raptors: The original Dino jersey finally returns – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ