3 Raptors who must step up after OG Anunoby finger injury

3 Raptors who must step up after OG Anunoby finger injury

The Toronto Raptors are already feeling the sting of losing OG Anunoby for an extended period. His two-way skill has been sorely missed, as teams like the Hawks and Hornets blew this squad out of the water after returning from the All-Star break. Things went from bad to worse on Thursday night. Not only was […]
3 Raptors who must step up after OG Anunoby finger injury – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafsnation Power Rankings: Week 7

What’s up Leafsnation! How are we feeling? Week 7 of the NHL is officially in the books! There were a lot of positive takeaways from the Toronto Maple Leafs this week but here are my top three moments:
3- California Sweep
The Toronto Maple Leafs are on serious fire right now after winning all three of their games in California this week and also getting the dub last Sunday in Long Island. Can someone say, road warriors?
How about we throw a franchise record in there, too!

Maple Leafs set a franchise record with 7 straight road wins. Outscore opponents 18-4 on this four-game trip. Never trailed once.
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) November 29, 2021

 
Right now the Maple Leafs are sitting at the top of the Atlantic Division with a 16-6-1 record and fans across the country are loving every second of it. 

Leafs sweep their 4 game road trip outscoring their opponents 18-4. Currently 1st place in the Atlantic with 33 pts. #LeafsForever
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) November 29, 2021

Trivia time… What team is tied for 1st in the NHL AND is first in the Atlantic?
— Toronto Leaf Head – Will never bag it (@JoeShedler) November 29, 2021

The start of the season was a little scary …

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Author: Caroline Szwed / The Leafs Nation

Down the Stretch They Come

As play began on August 13, Jays World was feeling pretty good about the prospect of watching our heroes make the playoffs in October. Toronto was 16-10 since the break, 29-17 over the previous (almost) eight weeks – the best record in the AL over that period – and George Springer had come back just as that turnaround was beginning and was as hot as any hitter in the game.

Looking ahead, it was easy to be excited about a schedule that promised as much as 10 wins in 15 even before you get to beat up on Baltimore. They were a mere 2 games out of the second Wild Card slot, and a half-game away from passing the Hated Yankees. It was a great time to make hay and a horrible time to go cold, and yet…here we are.
The Yankees went on a ridiculous 13 game win streak while the Jays stumbled to only six wins in that 15 with a barely-there offense most nights even though the starting pitching mostly delivered. Toronto lost EIGHT GAMES in the standings vs the Yankees in little more than two weeks. This little ill-time slumped has moved the Jays from the heart of the wild card race to …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Our playlist for dealing with the Leafs

Our playlist for dealing with the Leafs

To say we’ve been feeling down around these parts is probably an understatement. We’re having a rough couple of weeks coming to terms with not only the Leafs loss, but the fact that the sweeping changes we want to see are very unlikely to happen. I know I’ve ate my feelings, drank my feelings, and rode my bike out into the woods to dance out my feelings. While I recommend all those coping mechanisms, the ones that we as a TLN team can collectively work through together is feeling our feelings through music. It’s for that reason that we’ve put together a playlist of songs based on the question: What song are you listening to in order to cope with the Leafs losing? 
Here’s our playlist:
Ryan Hobart:
As it was a rainy day today, and the Leafs are not in the playoffs anymore, I was self-medicating by listening to Taylor Swift’s latest new album, Evermore. While listening to Tis the Damn Season, it seemed to really answer some feelings I had. The Toronto Maple Leafs are my ‘babe for the weekend’, and there are so many different ways this season could have …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Bold Take: Zach Hyman’s next contract isn’t going to be $7M a year

How’s it going folks? Feeling alright? I just wanted to pop by and remind you that just because someone throws out a ridiculous number for Zach Hyman’s next contract doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to be paid that number. I get that some of you were hurt by the Nylander contract, and some of us were certainly hurt by the Marner contract, and a lucky few are mad about every contract paid to the Leafs big four forwards, but the Hyman situation is likely going to be different, and we may have the pandemic and the resulting flat cap to thank for that.

JD Bunkis is suggesting $7M per for Zach Hyman. What in the fuck?!
— Jesse Turner (@Jessturr) March 10, 2021

So there’s the tweet that seems to be getting legs. I think it’s largely based off the fact that there is a large portion of the Leafs fan population that believes that Hyman’s contributions are equal to or greater than William Nylander’s. While I’ve got plenty of time for hearing about the merits of Hyman, I think we can begin with pumping the breaks on the idea that they are …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Simmonds could be out six weeks per Elliotte Friedman

Well it may be Superbowl Sunday, but it’s certainly not feeling too super at the moment, as we get our first hint at the extent of Wayne Simmonds injury.

Not liking what I’m hearing on Wayne Simmonds. Could be six weeks…just brutal, was having such a strong season in return home.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 7, 2021

So that’s not particularly good. Especially on a team that is already down Nick Robertson, Joe Thornton, Jack Campbell, and possibly Travis Dermott. The Leafs seem to be picking up exactly where they left off on the injury front, and Simmonds injury will require him going on the LTIR which will further impact the Leafs ability to add players towards the trade deadline.
As for the biggest part of this, it’s Simmonds absence. He’s had 5 goals so far this season, and has looked right at home in his net presence power play specialist role, and given the Leafs an intimidating protector they’ve sorely lacked in the past few seasons. He’s not a simple call someone up to replace him type of replacement, though I’d assume Joey Anderson could find his way into the lineup and the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays are apparently interested in George Springer and Jackie Bradley Jr.

I have a feeling we’re going to see a lot of ‘The Blue Jays have shown interest in _________’ this winter.

Most recently, the said-to-be-very-aggressive Blue Jays have reportedly shown interest in the two top centre fielders on the free-agent market, George Springer and Jackie Bradley Jr. Jon Heyman talked about it on MLB Network’s Big Time Baseball on Monday and Tim Kelly of WEEI (a Boston radio station) pointed it out.
Anyways, this type of report is no surprise because, through the first couple weeks of the off-season, all we’ve heard is that the Blue Jays have been aggressive and that they’re poised for a big splash. Both of these free agents are names who makes all kinds of sense for the team to add because of the glaring hole at centre field.
As of right now, Randal Grichuk is the team’s centre fielder. He had a decent offensive season in 2020, slashing a .273/.312/.481 line (112 wRC+) with 12 home runs across 231 plate appearances. His defensive metrics suggest that he was poor in centre field but, personally, I figure the eye-test says otherwise. Grichuk, bat and glove considered, is a fine centre fielder, but he isn’t great.


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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Relive Vince Carter’s iconic dunk in bobblehead form

Twenty years ago (anyone else feeling old?), Vince Carter dropped an iconic dunk in the dunk contest. So Toronto Raptors fans are going to love this bobblehead. You know what? Let’s party like it’s 2000. When Vince Carter was on the Toronto Raptors and regularly putting opposing players on posters. When he was dominating the […]
Toronto Raptors: Relive Vince Carter’s iconic dunk in bobblehead form – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nathan Cunningham / Raptors HQ

The NHL’s salary cap could remain stagnant for the next three seasons

The NHL will be feeling the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic for years to come.

The league saw a massive revenue shortfall for 2019-20 as the league was forced to cancel a month’s worth of regular-season games in the wake of the pandemic back in March. Having a playoff tournament this summer will help the league offset some of those losses, but there’s still a considerable amount of damage to compensate for.
The NHL is a very gate-driven league in terms of generating revenue. Having a TV-only playoff will bring in cash, but nowhere near the amount that a regular playoff would for the league. Also, it doesn’t seem likely that fans will be filling up stadiums anytime soon, so the league is going to be looking at many TV-only games in 2020-21 as well.
There’s a handful of dominos to fall as a result of this economic catastrophe, but the big one that fans will care about is the salary cap.
The salary cap is grown at a massive rate since being implemented after the 2004-05 lockout. Back then, the ceiling was at $39 million. It’s grown all the way …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Trading Kadri hurts, but it makes sense in the end

It’s starting to become a familiar feeling for Toronto sports fans. Letting go and making peace with the fact that one of the more beloved athletes in this market is making way to begin a new chapter for the franchise.
There are parallels with DeMar DeRozan and Nazem Kadri. A top-10 draft pick in 2009. Faced criticism early on in their career, but grew with their skill level and eventually saw the team make their first playoff appearances in a very long time.
Both players have been there through the dark years but also the beginnings of what will jump-start both franchises into their own legacies. It has already happened for the Raptors. They ripped off the band-aid and traded DeRozan for one of the best players in the game, leading to the first championship in franchise history.
But when it comes to the Leafs, they already have those players and Kadri was simply placed further and further in the background as the young players got better and new elite free agents came in to play for their childhood team.
Where Kadri sat, he was a surplus. Auston Matthews and John Tavares are in their rightful places in the lineup …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation