Maple Leafs’ Muzzin and Campbell ‘less than 100 per cent’, Kallgren to start vs. Sabres

Three games removed from his return to the ice following his second concussion of the season, Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin will sit out of the team’s next game on Tuesday at home to the Buffalo Sabres.
“He’s dealing with some right now not related to what he just returned from but he’s dealing with something again,” Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice on Monday. “He’s less than 100 per cent here and needs a couple of days to settle down a little bit. He’s not going to play tomorrow, but we’re hopeful and expecting he’ll be available after that.”
Muzzin was a full participant during practice. He skated as the seventh defenceman as Toronto experimented with new defensive pairs.
Morgan Rielly skated on the top pair with Timothy Liljegren. They last skated together at the 2022 Heritage Classic on Mar. 13 against the Sabres. TJ Brodie will play with Justin Holl. The middle pair has had some success working together when Brodie was first moved off of the right side to play on the left, the same as his shooting side. Mark Giordano will skate with Ilya Lyub …

Read More

Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

Jake Muzzin feels good as he nears a return to the Maple Leafs’ lineup following second concussion

Jake Muzzin has had a lot of time to reflect on his life following the two concussions he’s had in 2022.
“You’re always thinking about your health and what’s really important,” Muzzin said. “But I feel good.”
Speaking to the media for the first time since enduring his second concussion of the season on Feb. 21 against the Montreal Canadiens, Muzzin said it wasn’t too difficult to wait this second concussion out, given how quickly it occurred after the first one.
“Obviously I want to be out there, I want to be out with the guys playing but there’s a lot more important things in life than just this great game,” Muzzin said. “But I still want to be a part of it, I still want to play and I’m working towards that.”
The Maple Leafs were understandably cautious when Muzzin was involved in a collision with Montreal defenceman Chris Wideman. But just four days after the incident, Muzzin showed signs of improvement and was in the right frame of mind to watch the tail end of the team’s practice.

Jake Muzzin is watching practice. #Leafs pic.twitter.com/N98dNAJ64c
— David Alter (@dalter) February 25, 2022

 
The Leafs placed Muzzin on the long-term injured reserve and there was speculation on whether the Leafs would use Muzzin’s $5.625 million salary-cap space to acquire other players at the NHL trade deadline.
Toronto elected not to go that route, as the veteran would be cold going into the postseason.
“It’s not going to be one of those things where we’re going to try to wait to have him come back in the playoffs,” Leafs GM Kyle Dubas said on Mar. 4. “The style …

Read More

Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

First Look at Potential Blue Jays Farm Rosters: Dobule-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Following up on last week’s look at the potential Buffalo roster, it goes without saying that the nature of such things is that there are fuzzy lines between the rosters, and assumptions about one naturally affects those made about another, but I’m saying it anyway.

The Fisher Cats roster currently carries 17 names, albeit at least three of which I fully expect to end up in Buffalo. Still, there are more in-house options to sift through here than there was last week.
As we start with the rotation, two names command our attention first…
Luis Quinones, who’s 24, has posted really impressive strikeout numbers throughout his career (13.82 K/9 on his career, 12.44 in his 8 AA starts in 2021), and at no point have opponents been able to average more than .190 against him. On the other hand,  his walk rate tempers our excitement (6.75 on his career, 6.44 in AA). IF he came in this spring and showed dramatically better control he’d have a shot at AAA, but otherwise, he’ll come back here and try to figure it out as others have had to in the past. Ultimately he may end up in relief, but not yet.
The other name is Elvis Luciano. Still just 22, injuries limited him to just 12 starts in 2021 and AA was a regressive assignment, his year in the majors notwithstanding, given his previous MiLB work in 2018 was in …

Read More

Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Hornets Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Feb. 25

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Hornets Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Feb. 25

After nearly two weeks off following the All-Star festivities, the Toronto Raptors are ready to resume their grueling push towards the postseason. The latest Raptors odds have them starting the second half hot against a team they have had some success against this year. Toronto will start this stretch off in North Carolina against LaMelo […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Hornets Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Feb. 25 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The starting rotation? Or the bullpen? Where should Nate Pearson begin next season?

Following another disappointing season, the 2022 campaign is set to serve as a potential career-defining year for pitcher Nate Pearson, whether that be as a starter or a reliever.
Ever since being selected in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Pearson has been viewed as one of the top rising arms within the Toronto Blue Jays’ farm system, unfortunately, he’s been unable to deliver on those high expectations thus far.
Sadly, injuries have served as the 25-year-old’s biggest obstacle through his first five professional seasons, limiting him to just 187.0 innings across six levels during that span. In particular, a sports hernia – which required surgery this off-season – plagued the 6’6″ hurler throughout last season, preventing him from completing more than 45 2/3 innings between triple-A and the majors.
While Pearson is expected to be ready for the start of spring training, assuming it doesn’t get delayed, his current role with the organization remains uncertain and will likely need to be determined in the spring, at least, in the short term.
In speaking with the media at the end of the 2021 season, general manager Ross Atkins admitted the front office viewed Pearson as more of an “extended outing arm” heading into …

Read More

Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

News from the Rink: Nick Ritchie returns to Leafs practice, Jack Campbell to start vs. Canucks

The Leafs are back on the ice today after a day of rest following a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Today, they’re in Vancouver.
It’s been an unfortunate week for the NHL, as COVID-19 cases increased throughout the league. Many teams are getting hit hard, especially the Calgary Flames, who the Leafs were supposed to face tonight.
COVID has also hit the Canucks — the team Toronto is supposed to play on Saturday.
As of right now, four players are out for Vancouver, as well as one of their assistant coaches. The team is in San Jose for their scheduled game tonight against the Sharks.
I’m not going to lie — this serves up an interesting question. Will the Leafs play the Canucks on Saturday night?
You would think so at this point if Vancouver is travelling to San Jose. However, the Omicron variant can spread quickly. The NHL did put new protocols in place to make it safer, but there’s still the chance it can spread.
And for the Leafs, they’ve been a team that hasn’t had one case in-season. Like every team, you’d like to keep it that way. Hopefully, they and …

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Could Khem Birch possibly stick in the Raptors starting lineup?

Could Khem Birch possibly stick in the Raptors starting lineup?

The injury bug has bitten the Toronto Raptors. Following the loss of OG Anunoby, coach Nick Nurse made the call to insert Khem Birch into the starting lineup, pushing Pascal Siakam to the power forward stop in a move that shifted the Raptors into a more traditional lineup. After a dominant win against the Sacramento […]
Could Khem Birch possibly stick in the Raptors starting lineup? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Tyler Hedmann / Raptors HQ

News and Notes: Matthews returns, new lines, and a couple of injury updates

Following last night’s game which included the apparently unforgivable act of having a student athlete sit on the bench instead of an AHL goaltender, the Leafs have closed out the necessary steps in bringing in Michael Hutchinson as their emergency call up goaltender.
As expected, the Leafs bring up Michael Hutchinson

Whether your issues are that the Leafs shouldn’t have had to wait a game to do this, or if you are offended that the Leafs spend to the salary cap, you can take a deep breath and recognize that it didn’t really matter, and the worst that could have happened was Alex Bishop could have had the night of his life, and we would have been treated to a nice story at the cost of 1/82nd of the results of the regular season.
Mrazek will be out 14 days, which means six games. There are back to back games Friday and Saturday night this week, so it seems likely that Michael Hutchinson will get the start Saturday in Pittsburgh. If he sees anytime in net beyond that it will depend on the health and play of Jack Campbell.
Beyond Mrazek, there are a couple of other injury …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Maple Leafs look for redemption with a Saturday night rematch against the Ottawa Senators

Following Thursday’s disappointing showing, the Buds return to Scotiabank Arena for an encore tilt with the Ottawa Senators. Thursday’s game could have gone better to put things lightly. The team sputtered out of the gates, fell behind early, saw Petr Mrazek go to the ice awkwardly with a groin injury, then finally had their comeback hopes dashed by a questionable penalty call, extinguishing their last chances following a late comeback attempt.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Saturday night game without a little bit of drama, which was exactly the case as the team settled into their morning skate with a pair of notable inclusions. For starters, it looks like Timothy Liljegren, the forever prospect that is somehow still only 22, will get his first game action of the season tonight per Kristen Shilton, with Justin Holl absent from morning skate. Holl is reportedly feeling under the weather, though his PCR test has come back negative per Sheldon Keefe.
The other notable inclusion at morning skate was goaltender Alex Bishop, a 24-year-old University of Toronto product, who was on the ice due to Mrazek’s injury. While it initially appeared that he would simply serve as a placeholder …

Read More

Author: Jori Negin-Shecter / The Leafs Nation

TLN Top 20 Leafs: #9 Petr Mrazek

Following a relatively quiet offseason in which no blockbuster additions were made, Petr Mrazek ranks as the highest new Toronto Maple Leafs player in our Top 20 Leafs rankings.
Over the past three seasons, Mrazek has built up stock as one of the league’s best tandem goaltenders. With Jack Campbell’s emergence last season and Frederik Andersen’s declining play, Mrazek’s strong resume as a tandem goaltender made him a coveted free agent for the Leafs, signing him minutes after the opening of free agency.
Coming to Toronto on a three year, $3.8 million AAV contract with a 10 team no-trade list, the expectation is for Mrazek to push Campbell for the starter’s job and provide dependable starts. The biggest cap hit added this offseason by Toronto, the allocation of $3.8 million to goaltending rather than forward depth reiterates the Leafs faith in Mrazek and his importance to this team.
Five Important Stats

2018-2021 Starts
2018-2021 Record
2018-2021 Shutouts
2018-2021 Quality Start%

2018-2021 5v5 HDSV%

90
50-32-8
10
54.44%
.847
Over the past three seasons in Carolina, Petr Mrazek has quietly put together a strong resume. While by no means among the top goaltenders in the league, Mrazek stabilized what was a consistently underperforming …

Read More

Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation