Toronto Raptors: Stock up, stock down as preseason concludes

Toronto Raptors: Stock up, stock down as preseason concludes

The Toronto Raptors are just a few days away from opening up the regular season against the Washington Wizards. They’re heading into this season with some serious momentum, as the likes of Precious Achiuwa, Scottie Barnes, and Malachi Flynn helped the Raptors take home a win against Washington to end their preseason stint at 3-2. […]
Toronto Raptors: Stock up, stock down as preseason concludes – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Late goal from Amadio gives the Leafs another preseason win in Ottawa

For the second game in a row, we got some preseason action from the Leafs’ “best of the rest”, as the highlights of the roster featured Justin Holl and Alexander Kerfoot, while all the players on the fringes battled it out for the remaining spots in the lineup.
Unlike last game, the competition wouldn’t be quite as easy, as they’d be up against most of the Ottawa Senators NHL lineup. I mean, it’s still pretty easy, just not as easy as their AHL lineup like last time.
Not surprisingly, this group managed to hold their own, never really finding themselves hemmed in by Ottawa, and keeping the score close despite lacking the obvious finishing talent. From a long term perspective, it’s not a bad thing to have practice with if the Leafs get a couple injuries from the big guns. They kept it close and competitive, and capitalized on their chances when they got them.
The scoring didn’t open until the second, when Pierre Engvall of all people got a power play goal with a really nice shot. He also managed to get another shot off like that later in the period, but no goal …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays need to sweep the Orioles now

What a gut punch.

That home run from Anthony Rizzo hurt. That home run from Aaron Judge stung. That two-run home run from Gleyber Torres fucking felt like having your heart ripped from your chest and stomped on the ground.
Long story short, the Yankees got the job done and the Blue Jays didn’t.
Toronto beat Gerrit Cole on Wednesday night in order to set themselves up to take this all-important three-game series against the Yankees with their ace taking the mound.
Robbie Ray was excellent for five innings but New York’s bats finally got to him their third time through the order. There was some thought that Charlie Montoyo should have pulled Ray after giving up the walk to Stanton or even after the homer to Judge, but, given how thin Toronto’s bullpen is, I can see why he opted to give the American League Cy Young favourite a chance to work through that sixth inning.
While Ray didn’t give Toronto the ace start they needed, the bats also failed to get the job done, scoring just two runs. There were plenty of situations in which the Blue Jays could have put together a rally …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs return William Villeneuve to the QMJHL

The one thing that has been missing from the Leafs preseason are player cuts and with the stretch between last night’s game and the next preseason game on Monday, it stood to reason that we’d start seeing some cuts and William Villeneuve gets the distinction of being the first.

Defenceman William Villeneuve has been loaned to Saint John (QMJHL)
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) September 30, 2021

With CHL seasons starting up it makes sense to get Villeneuve back competing as quickly as possible now that he’s had a chance to get a feel for the style and pace of a NHL camp. I’m sure he’s been sent off with a very specific development plan for him, but with a Leafs organization eager to see how he does in competitive situations.
Over the course of September Villeneuve also signed his entry level deal with the Leafs, so there’s no doubt the organization wants to see more of him, and more from him, and developing his skating will likely be a big part of that. The Saint John Sea Dogs season starts tomorrow, and I’m sure they’ll have William in their lineup.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What made the Leafs ‘All or Nothing’ series special

With a little help from Managing Editor, Jon Steitzer, I was able to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs ‘All or Nothing’ series over the weekend. And while I want to write more about it, I had to make a video for it first.
So, in today’s video, I discuss what was good about the series, and what was bad. Plus, I answer some questions regarding the series. It was a lot of fun to make, and I hope you enjoy it!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

What to expect when attending a Maple Leafs game this season

We’re officially under a month away from the Maple Leafs’ first regular-season game of the season. And at this moment in time, a lot is still unclear.
The Ontario Government announced earlier this month that the province will have vaccine passports. The Government stated that to enter an arena, you must provide proof of vaccination (completed at a minimum of 14 days prior). That’s really all we know at this point in terms of what you’ll have to show if you wish to attend games.
Among the questions, the biggest is “How many fans will be permitted in Scotiabank Arena?” That’s yet to be answered.
I reached out to Ontario’s Minister of Sport, Lisa MacLeod, for comment, and their press secretary linked me to the province’s re-opening plan. It states that in Step 3, indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities will have capacity limits.
However, a few days ago, the Ottawa Senators put out a statement stating that they expect to be at full capacity:
“It is the organization’s expectation, based upon its full compliance with provincial requirements, that Canadian Tire Centre will have the ability to welcome full capacity for opening night on Oct. 14.”


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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Players are thrilled to finally head back to Toronto after 2020

Raptors: Players are thrilled to finally head back to Toronto after 2020

After a season spent far away from their Canadian home, the Toronto Raptors are finally coming back north, as it was officially announced that the Raptors will play their home games at Scotiabank Arena for the first time since the pandemic-induced hiatus the league took in 2021. Players like Gary Trent Jr. and Khem Birch […]
Raptors: Players are thrilled to finally head back to Toronto after 2020 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Predicting the Marlies defence pairings for the 2021-22 season

Predicting the Marlies defence pairings for the 2021-22 season

We’re just a brief period away from Maple Leafs training camp, as well as Marlies camp. With it being so close, I decided to predict each of the pairings on defence. This is a daunting task, but it’s something that needs to be completed before Marlies camp begins.
Let’s start with the biggest question mark heading into the 2021-22 season for Toronto:
Timothy Liljegren has made great leaps throughout the past two seasons in the AHL and is someone who could fight for a roster spot on the Leafs. However, with a crowded defence core, he’ll likely start the season back with the Marlies. The 22-year-old does have a slim chance to make the team, but Travis Dermott and Rasmus Sandin are ahead of him in the line.
Unless there’s an injury, I believe Liljegren will begin the year in the AHL. It’s a frustrating time for him because he’s a bottom-pairing defenceman on most NHL teams. However, with Toronto and their depth, it’s just not plausible unless there’s an injury.
There are plenty of opinions on the 22-year-old and how good of a defenceman he can be. It might get …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs prioritizing short term over the long term at development camp

With some development camps shifting from mid-summer to one month before the NHL season, teams have elected to get creative with how they do things. The Maple Leafs have decided to make camp, which is headed by Senior Director of Player Development, Hayley Wickenheiser, more about competitiveness rather than learning.
“What we opted to do rather than do a lot of teaching, we only have three practices and two scrimmages, so we’ve opted to create a competitive environment versus a teaching environment.” Said Wickenheisier.
There are plenty of ways to view this decision. In some instances, it makes sense to go more into the development of players. When you’re able to have more time with them, it allows you to slow everything down and make it more about learning. However, with the short amount of time the Maple Leafs have, it makes sense to change things up this year.
“What we’ve done is we’ve introduced concepts into gamified drills,” said Wickenheiser, “we want to see how players can think the game, how their compete level is, what type of character they can demonstrate under difficult circumstances, and then their skill ultimately.”
Electing to make the development …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 most untradeable players on the current roster

Toronto Raptors: 3 most untradeable players on the current roster

The Toronto Raptors made some big subtractions from the equation in preparation for the 2021 season, as the loss of Kyle Lowry and a handful of bench contributors may take some time to overcome. All of this turmoil has some speculating that Toronto will spend another season down in the dumps of the East. While […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 most untradeable players on the current roster – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ