Toronto Six eliminated from the Isobel Cup Playoffs by the Boston Pride, in the semifinals, again

In a bit of sports deja vu, the Toronto Six suffer exactly the same fate they suffered last season. In the semi-finals game, they faced a lower-seeded Boston Pride team, who then beat them by 4 goals. Last year it was 6-2, this year it was 5-1.
Last year, Boston also went on to win the Isobel Cup, so we’ll see if that’s the case again.
The disappointment comes after losing the top seed to the Connecticut Whale, who were able to beat a 5th-seed Minnesota Whitecaps team to earn their spot in the Isobel Cup finals. There’s no saying that Toronto would have done the same, but I think everyone involved with the PHF would agree that Boston was the toughest team to face from the quarterfinals. If the Six had finished first, no matter what, they wouldn’t have had to face the Pride.
Boston continued its already dominant playoff run, after they beat the 6th-seed Buffalo Beauts 6-0 on Friday in the quarterfinal matchup. They clearly are showing an ability to turn something on come playoff time, which comes not just with experience in general, but experience together. Also, great coaching from Pau …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Leafs send Alex Biega to Nashville

Not exactly the breaking news anyone is looking for, but Alex Biega is on the move.

Biega to Nashville.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 21, 2022

The Leafs seemed like they were looking to move some of the Marlies defensemen, namely Menell and Duszak, but those deals are yet to materialize.
The return on Biega still isn’t known, but it is likely this move is about freeing up a contract space as the Leafs were getting close to the 50 max. That could prevent them from signing either Matthew Knies or Nick Abruzesse once their NCAA seasons come to a close. Or you know, they might be trying to make other deals today.
If you are expecting more than Future Considerations or a conditional seventh, prepare to be disappointed.
Biega played two games for the Leafs and was a -2 in those games. He averaged 13 minutes a night.
Goodbye Alex Biega. We’ll always remember that you were briefly here.
UPDATE:
It’s now being reported that it is indeed future considerations that the Leafs are receiving for Biega. I’d still say they came out on top in this move.

**Breaking News**
Alex Biega to @PredsNHL from @MapleLeafs for Future Considerations. @espn @NHLNetwork @TSNHockey #HockeyTwitter
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) March 21, 2022


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

There’s some reason for optimism one month into the Leafs season

The season has now been going on for exactly a month and that’s given us a reason to be a bit reflective on what we’ve seen so far. Right now the Leafs are sitting in a relatively comfortable spot in the standings, things have gone fairly well after what we’ll understate as a rocky start, and now that people you want to see getting points are getting points, and the Leafs have established themselves as a team that wins more frequently than it loses, we’ve earned an optimism post on TLN. Criticizing the Leafs is easy, and honestly this site wouldn’t have grown to where it is today without the opportunity to criticize the Leafs, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the things they do right as well.
Here are some of contributors thoughts on what has been the most pleasant surprise of the season so far?
Mark Norman:
For me it’s Jack Campbell picking up where he left off last season. I was worried about him coming down to earth but he seems to prefer playing in the stratosphere. He has played brilliantly, and has given cover to a few …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The TLN Three Stars: Take a deep breath, there’s always next game

New week, new mindset, new team, right? Not exactly. Coming off a rough 7-1 loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs were looking for redemption, and to finally bring an end to their losing streak. As the puck dropped against the Carolina Hurricanes, it looked like the Leafs were ready to go. An early goal by Auston Matthews gave us a promising start, but ye olde second period brought a multitude of problems. The Leafs struggled to get pucks to the net and had 0 shots on goal during a power play early in the period. Then it happened… Sebastian Aho opened the scoring for the Hurricanes, which was followed by two additional goals by Steven Lorentz and Nino Niederreiter. The third period looked a little better for the Leafs, but they were still unable to convert. Campbell left the net with the hopes that an additional Leaf would bring some much needed pressure on the ice, but Andrei Svechnikov had other plans as he scored the final goal of the night, making it 4-1, and another game lost by the Leafs.
Three Stars
3rd Star: The Fans
Yes, you. The dedicated and loyal fans of …

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Author: Roxanne Khasow / The Leafs Nation

John Tavares is back on the ice (Foligno too).

Exactly a week ago we were witness to a very disturbing looking injury to John Tavares. After being kneed by Ben Chiarot, Corey Perry’s knee caught John Tavares head on the way to the ice. This was followed by a jaw dropping scene as Tavares’ head fell back after an attempt to get up and then he was stretchered off the ice. A chilling moment, and one that certainly impacted the team, and led them to a very firm stance that Tavares would be out indefinitely and they were going to make sure his wishes and the wishes of his family were respected. All of this seemed like we’d be lucky to see him again in the fall.
Since that time, Tavares has been facetiming with his teammates, and visiting the Leafs practice facility while the rest of the team dominated Montreal for him. All signs on Tavares have been encouraging, and both the player and the team seem to be committed to making sure he’s 100% before returning.
That’s why today is certainly provided us a shock…

John Tavares is back on the ice at Scotiabank Arena. pic.twitter.com/yB2Lauyn82
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 27, 2021



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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher rips NBA on Instagram for Sixth Man snub

Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher rips NBA on Instagram for Sixth Man snub

The Toronto Raptors weren’t exactly expected to sweep the awards this season due to their poor record, but Chris Boucher could’ve at least given the raptors a puncher’s chance at taking home the Sixth Man of the Year award. Boucher, who has improved dramatically since arriving in Toronto following some G League stints, averaged 13.6 […]
Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher rips NBA on Instagram for Sixth Man snub – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Aaron Dell era is over, the Jason Spezza era continues in Toronto.

It went exactly as expected. Aaron Dell was claimed off of waivers today at noon.

Devils claim Dell…
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) January 18, 2021

So the good news here is that Dell didn’t go to Scotia North Division opponent that needed a goaltender (read: the Oilers.) The fact that Dell went to New Jersey meant that he wound up exactly were he was expected to be after Corey Crawford announced his retirement and a capable backup was required for Mackenzie Blackwood. Previously the Devils had claimed Eric Comrie off of waivers, but Dell would certainly be an upgrade. It remains to be seen if they’ll move forward with three goaltenders, or if Comrie will be on waivers later this week. He could be an interesting depth option, although we can definitely see the challenge in getting third string goaltenders to the taxi squad at the moment. In that regard, Michael Hutchinson is a solid safety net for the Leafs, as he’s at least on par with most of the third string options around the league. It’s just unfortunate that goaltending depth will no longer be a position of strength for the Leafs.

Jason Spezza clears waivers – he’ll be …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Robertson on WJC roster, high-danger Hallander, overpowering Ovchinnikov

We might not know exactly when we’ll see the Maple Leafs playing hockey again, but the organization is sure to be well represented at the upcoming World Junior Championships. Despite having no players suiting up for the Canadian squad, the Leafs could have anywhere from six to eight players representing their respective countries in the tournament.
Most of those players have found their way onto TheLeafsNation’s top 20 prospects ranking, which is set to begin winding down with the top five prospects in the organization next week so make sure to keep following along as we complete our countdown. Until then, let’s check out some of the latest news and highlights from the Leafs prospect pool.
Nick Robertson – LW – Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Robertson has his sights set on a spot in the Leafs’ opening night lineup, but with more questions than answers regarding the 2020-2021 NHL season right now, he will shift his focus towards representing his country at the upcoming World Junior Championships after being named to USA’s preliminary roster. Whether he remains with the team through camp and into the tournament will depend largely on when NHL training camps finally get going, as the …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Teoscar Hernandez’s dingers aren’t enough to overcome Hyun Jin Ryu’s struggles, Blue Jays split the series in Washington

That isn’t exactly the result you’d like to have heading into a four-day break. The Blue Jays got dropped by the Nationals 6-4 in the finale, resulting in a series split. Off to… uhh… the hotel, for a few more days? And then Atlanta? Maybe? I don’t know.

Things worth mentioning…

As the headline suggests, Hyun Jin Ryu didn’t have his best day today. He looked good in the first inning, especially on this absurd curveball that struck out Adam Eaton, but Ryu struggled as the game went along. He wasn’t able to locate his cutter or command the zone and his velocity was down from where you’d expect it to be. All told, he went four-and-one-third, allowing five earned runs on nine hits while striking out five.
Something seems to be up with Ryu. Could it be the short training camp before the season resulting in him not having a feel for his breaking pitches? Was it the heat today in Washington? Who knows. But the declined velocity is a tad worrying.

Ryu’s hardest pitches today vs. on opening day: pic.twitter.com/VZnUfhuVV4
& …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs prospect changes KHL teams

Okay, so it’s not exactly big news, but it’s something that happened to a Leafs prospect, so here it is if you are interested…

Confirmed: Semyon Kizimov (F) | Lada Togliatti -> Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod | https://t.co/okirlmzAhx #KHL
— EP Transfers (@ep_transfers) June 29, 2020
Official Announcement translated via google:
Hockey club “Lada” made an exchange with the Nizhny Novgorod “Torpedo”. Tolyatti club received monetary compensation for the rights to Semyon Kizimov .
For two seasons in the “Lada” Kizimov played in 103 matches, gaining 27 (9 + 18) points.
So, yeah, that happened.
There wasn’t any danger of Semyon Kizimov being brought over to the Leafs or Marlies anytime soon, and perhaps this will get the 20 year old winger playing in the KHL sooner rather than later, as he has spent the past two seasons in the second tier VHL in Russia.
Kizimov has always been a bit of a long shot prospect for the Leafs, but given their ability to find Russian talent of late it’s hard to completely discard the idea that long shots like Kizimov and Kara might someday be players that we …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation