Raptors: 5 best individual games so far in the 2020-21 season

Raptors: 5 best individual games so far in the 2020-21 season

Despite an up-and-down first few months, the Toronto Raptors have had no shortage of standout individual performances this season. Throughout Masai Ujiri’s tenure, Toronto has assembled deep rosters with multiple players capable of going off on any night, and the lack of a traditional superstar on this year’s team means that there is plenty of […]
Raptors: 5 best individual games so far in the 2020-21 season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Kyle Oliveira / Raptors HQ

Nylanderthals! – Rate That Leafs Game

I would like to first off congratulate Michael Hutchinson on his first win this season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. 34 of 37 saves for the net-minder who was traded to Colorado last year is pretty good and honestly, I’m happy he’s back.
He wasn’t the story in this game though (there were a few). I’ll start off with Auston Matthews who has 16 goals in 17 games and is riding a 15-game point streak, which is bananas. Mitch Marner also had a phenomenal game and we’re lucky to see both of Matthews and Marner on the same team.
Joe Thornton is next on the list. He had three points in this game and actually set a record (watch the video to find out). Overall, this was the perfect game that the Leafs could’ve came back with. Although there were some close calls they got the win and are still in first place in the entire NHL.
Oh, and if you didn’t know — according to Anthony Stewart, we who like William Nylander are now labelled as ‘Nylanderthals’!
I hope you enjoy my video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to increase division lead in first visit to Montreal

For the first time since opening night, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens go head-to-head in a battle of the top two teams in the North Division. After closing out their three-game set against the Vancouver Canucks with a 3-1 win on Monday, the Leafs are on an eight-game point streak, going 7-0-1 in that stretch, positioning themselves in the top spot in the North heading into Wednesday night’s game. Unfortunately for the Leafs, the Canadiens have been nearly as hot, having gone 7-2-1 in their last ten and sitting a mere three points back of Toronto in second place.
The Leafs look to rebound from a game against Vancouver which was arguably their worst of the season to date. While the Leafs managed to return to form late, putting the game away with a strong third period, they entered the final frame on the wrong end of a twenty shot differential, being outshot by the lowly Canucks 27-7. While many may view Montreal’s hot start as a product of unsustainable shooting percentages, both at 5v5 and shorthanded, there is little doubt that if any team is going to threaten Toronto for the division …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation

Leafs put Scott Sabourin on waivers, which means they signed him

In what may be the first of many moves to deal with the run of injuries on the Leafs, the Leafs put Scott Sabourin on waivers…

Waivers: Scott Sabourin (TOR)
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) February 7, 2021

The thing is, Sabourin wasn’t previously signed to the Leafs, he had a deal with the Marlies. Putting him on waivers means it’s a SPC contract now and if he clears waivers he’s eligible to join the Leafs.
Sabourin would potentially replace some of the physical and enforcer qualities of Wayne Simmonds game, but not much else. Depending on their opponent they may want that some nights. We don’t have the contract info yet, but we’ll assume it’s not more than $700k.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 4 biggest improvements to make after one month of 2020-21 season

Toronto Raptors: 4 biggest improvements to make after one month of 2020-21 season

The Toronto Raptors are a below .500 team after the first month of the season, but are they better than their record insists? After starting 2-8, the team rallied back to a respectable 7-11 record and are narrowly out of a playoff spot. Although they’re currently sitting on the outside looking in, there’s still plenty […]
Toronto Raptors: 4 biggest improvements to make after one month of 2020-21 season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Stephen Nixon / Raptors HQ

Maple Leafs bring the heat with a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames

From a near perfectly played first period, to a couple of unanswered goals, the Toronto Maple Leafs come back to hand the Calgary Flames their second regulation loss of the season with a 4-3 win. Wayne Simmonds wasn’t holding back and opened up the scoring less than four minutes in the first period as he capitalized on Justin Holl’s rebound with a shot that made it past Jacob Markstrom.

WAYNE SIMMONDS
FLAMES KLLER! 1-0 pic.twitter.com/8j6973o39e
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 27, 2021

The Leafs were dominating the game and held the Flames over 11 minutes without a registered shot on goal. The Calgary Flames had a chance to tie it up on a Power Play as Pierre Engvall was called for Tripping, but they were unable to convert. The Leafs then had their chance to double their lead on a Power Play as Elias Lindholm was called for Hooking, and they did just that. Auston Matthews delivered and made it a 2-0 game with a beautiful pass from Mitch Marner.

AUSTON MATTHEWS
WHAT A SHOT! pic.twitter.com/ZMwQQkt2k0
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 27, 2021

The Flames were coming hot in the second period as Johnny Gaudreau cut the Leafs’ …

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Author: Roxanne Khasow / The Leafs Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: Why have the Leafs seemed “inconsistent”?

It’s weird. The Leafs are currently 5-2, tied for first in the division, and have even gotten point per game or better offense from the big four through seven games. But something seems off with this team.
Every game they play, they always have stretches where they can’t get anything going. Not just that, but they also don’t seem like they’re generating chances like they used to. Well, thankfully, there’s a bit of reasoning behind why. The Leafs haven’t looked like they’ve been creating chances because they haven’t been creating chances.
So far this season, the Leafs expected goals numbers have been mediocre at best. Expected goals helps us measure scoring chances because it measures each shot attempt and weighs it based on how much of a scoring chance it is. An unscreened point shot isn’t going to contribute much to it, while a shot into a wide open net off a rebound or cross crease pass will weigh a lot higher on it.
So far, the Leafs have only had 49.72% of the expected goals share at even strength. It’s not entirely bad, as that’s still really close to …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Mail Call: Leafs lose Dell, Hockey on Lake Ontario, Bogosian thoughts and more…

Welcome to our first mail call of the regular season. Looking at the standings, the 3-1 start looks pretty good. Watching the games  or diving into the stats on the other hand has led to a lot of uncertainty about this team. Luckily we are very smart and have all the answers that Leafs Nation seeks. Let’s get at it…

Interest in non Leafs Q ? Curious about how cap/NHL rules work re retained salary transactions.
— John Stevens (@john__stevens) January 18, 2021

We decided to hand this question over to our resident Brendan Pridham, Earl Schwartz. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who understands the CBA and the salary cap better than Earl, and we’ll continue to exploit his knowledge until a team hires him away from us.
Earl: 
In the realm of CBA topics, retained salary is relatively simple! Teams cannot retain more than 50% of a player’s cap hit in a single transaction. If a player has a $4m cap hit and the trading team agrees to retain 50%, the receiving team gets said player at a cap hit of $2m and the original team retains a cap hit of $2m. If the player’s salary …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Jumbo Joe gets his first as a Leaf in 3-2 win

After a disappointing first game in Ottawa, the Leafs looked to bounce back and get a win on the first Hockey Night in Canada of the season. Jack Campbell and Nick Robertson replaced Frederik Andersen and Alexander Barabonov, so maybe a bit of deck chair shuffling will change the momentum.
The Leafs came out in the first period with a very similar performance to last night’s first, as they did a good job maintaining possession and creating scoring chances. Unfortunately, hockey is a cruel mistress sometimes, as midway through the first period, a Nikita Zaitsev shot went straight at teammate Nick Paul, who then gets the loose puck past Jack Campbell to give the Sens a one goal lead.

Paul opens the scoring off the rebound pic.twitter.com/cUzlibyyZ6
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 17, 2021

It seemed like we were in for another rough night against the Sens, but thankfully a one goal lead is very easy to give up. Four minutes later, Mitch Marner makes a great play to corral a TJ Brodie stretch pass, skates the puck into the offensive zone and drops it for Joe Thornton, who walks in and fires it past Matt Murray to tie the …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Revitalizing the Leafs-Sens Ontarian rivalry, one upset at a time

In the first Toronto versus Ottawa matchup of this rivalry hotbed, all Canadian division matchup season, we saw a frustrating battle against a pesky Senators team that is aiming to prove everyone they’re not going to lie down easily this season.
After the Leafs got out to a good start, pressuring the Senators well, they were able to capitalize on this incredible skill play from Zach Hyman to get on the board first:

Zach Hyman goes baseball mode! pic.twitter.com/nDSllmsFTi
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 16, 2021

The Senators were quick to respond, though, as Toronto went down two players short in a long 5-on-3 opportunity for Ottawa that they didn’t need long to make the most of:

Thomas Chabot ties it on the 5-on-3 pic.twitter.com/JrWIsTUI9f
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 16, 2021

Appearing to not be willing to let the Senators embarass them, Kerfoot takes this 200-IQ shot to put the Leafs back on top in this contest:

Kerfoot delivers a dart #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/xG4Zt5jeO3
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 16, 2021

The lead didn’t last long for Toronto though as the third-best NHL Tkachuk is able to tip a Nikita Zaitsev shot past Andersen to …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation