Hyun Jin Ryu gets lit up as the Blue Jays’ playoff run comes to an end

That’s the end of that. After a tight Game 1, the Blue Jays got blown away in Game 2 and now their season is over.

Things worth mentioning…

The Blue Jays built their playoff pitching strategy around Hyun Jin Ryu getting a start with an extra day of rest. The goal, of course, was that he would be at his best after the extra day off. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Without a strong start from Ryu, the Jays fell apart. Ryu allowed four hits in the first inning but managed to work around some damage due in part to a great throw from Lourdes Gurriel in the outfield to nab Mike Brosseau stretching a single into a double. In the second, the wheels fell off. Kevin Kiermaier singled and Mike Zunino, the Rays’ ninth hitter, clubbed a two-run bomb. Later on, with two outs, Ryu got Manuel Margot to ground into what should have been an inning-ending out at first, but Bo Bichette fumbled the ball, allowing the inning to continue. Next up, a Hunter Renfroe grand slam. That was the end of the line for Ryu.

Hyun Jin Ryu was fine from a health standpoint despite diminished velocity …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Nick Nurse (The Magician) does it again for Toronto Raptors with small-ball lineup

Game 6 was a must-win for the Toronto Raptors, and they did so in the fashion they have never done before. Playing with no traditional center in the lineup. When people watch magicians do tricks they are left in awe. When you watch the Toronto Raptors play playoff basketball, you are filled with trepidation. However, […]
Nick Nurse (The Magician) does it again for Toronto Raptors with small-ball lineup – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors are going to need Norman Powell’s scoring in Game 5

The Toronto Raptors are set to play Game 5 against the Boston Celtics and they need everything they can get from someone who’s been way too quiet this series, Norman Powell. For the series, Norman Powell is shooting a very poor 33.33 (9/27) percent from the field. When teams are down 2-0 in the playoffs, only […]
Toronto Raptors are going to need Norman Powell’s scoring in Game 5 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

“Sports are the reward of a functioning society”

The Blue Jays and Red Sox won’t play their game as scheduled tonight.

This started on Wednesday night, when the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic agreed to a wildcat strike, in which both teams walked out on their playoff game. The decision was made in protest of the shooting of James Blake, a 29-year-old African American man who was shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Shortly after, all of the NBA and WNBA games scheduled for Wednesday night were postponed as the players opted to sit out in protest. The wave spread to Major League Baseball, as the Angels and Astros, the Reds and Brewers, the Mariners and Padres, and Dodgers and Giants all opted to sit out.
Tonight, the protest continues. All of the NBA, WNBA, and NHL games on the schedule along with multiple MLB games, including the one between the Blue Jays and Red Sox, have been postponed.
This is a historic move of action by these professional athletes. What began as a protest by San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick four years ago has now blown into a full-on movement.
I am not going to stand up …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

We got our hopes up, and the Leafs got shut out.

In a win or go home game five the Leafs kinda blew it, and that’s putting it nicely.
After the epic comeback of game four spirits were high among Leafs fans! Going into the final game of the series, it made sense that this feeling carried over for most. We had Saturday to process and waited all day Sunday in anticipation of what was to come. A lot was kept hush hush up until two hours before the game where we saw something that had the potential to be a game-changer.

The @MapleLeafs have activated forward Andreas Johnsson from injured reserve. #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) August 9, 2020

Andreas Johnsson back ahead of schedule. With him in, that meant Robertson was out of the mix and the lines got a decent shuffle.

Here’s how the blue & white line up tonight. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/EERIFIge4K
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) August 9, 2020

The first forty minutes were a whole lot of nothing. Columbus’ Zach Werenski scores the first goal of the game at 6:29 in the first. The Leafs later took a too many men penalty served by Nylander. The second consisted of a terrible cross-checking penalty …

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Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation

Yet another late-game heartbreaker as the Blue Jays drop a winnable series in Boston

Mitch Moreland finally got his revenge for Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS. His two-homer game was the difference against the Blue Jays in the rubber match as the rest of the Red Sox managed just two hits.

Things worth mentioning…

I had hoped heading into the series that facing the Red Sox and their abysmal pitching would help bring the Blue Jays’ bats to life. That didn’t happen. The team managed just eight runs in the three-game series, which is an even lower output than the 3.12 runs-per-game they had rolling into Boston. When you’re facing Ryan Weber, Zack Godley, and Boston’s create-a-player bullpen, that isn’t ideal.
On the positive side, we saw some nice offensive flashes from some key players in Toronto’s lineup. Vlad Jr. had his best series of 2020, picking up four hits, a couple of walks, and a double. He’s now 7-for-21 in August with four extra-base hits. Bo Bichette also had a solid series, hitting a homer in Game 3 while picking up doubles in the first two games. The issue is lower in the order, where Randal Grichuk, Travis Shaw, and Rowdy Tellez haven& …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

#Intrigue Could Johnsson or Muzzin play in Game 5?

The Leafs picked a historic win in Game Four, and hockey history says don’t mess with a winning lineup. That being said, there were 56 minutes of hockey that weren’t going great before things took a positive turn for the Leafs, and perhaps they could use some help tonight.

The @MapleLeafs have activated forward Andreas Johnsson from injured reserve. #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) August 9, 2020

Jake Muzzin is out of quarantine inside the NHL bubble and skated this morning.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 9, 2020

So, yeah, those are some good players to have at the Leafs disposal in an all or nothing situation. The question remains, who stays in and who comes out?
Arguably those answers would be pretty easy too, and Marincin and Mikheyev would come out, as Marincin is Marincin and Mikheyev hasn’t been particularly good in against Columbus. Watching a game might not be a bad idea for him.
As interesting as adding Johnsson and Muzzin would be, we just know what we’ve seen from those two tweets and certainly Sheldon Keefe isn’t letting it be known what he is planning.
Nothing like a little pregame intrigue before …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs made me cry

That game, was well, unbelievable. From start (okay, maybe not start) to finish, the Maple Leafs had us, the fans, on edge. It might’ve finally gave me the sense that it may be okay to believe in this team now.
And as much as people think, “oh it was one good four-minute span,” I don’t think you put it that way. They made a statement. In a playoff game, which was also an elimination game.
Here’s my reaction:

From start to finish, this video has a lot of yelling and crying, so be ready. Oh and also, if the Leafs win the series, when should I eat the Carolina Reaper?
Because apparently, now, I have to eat three (which seems like a death sentence to me). All because the Maple Leafs won, and you know what? I couldn’t be happier.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Goal Analysis – Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets Play-In Game #3

The highlight package for this game can be found here.
Maple Leafs 1st Goal – Cody Ceci (Assist Kerfoot, Kapanen)

An absolute rocket #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/2AdSuMUqhq
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) August 7, 2020

The Leafs find themselves on the penalty kill late in the first period. Cody Ceci and Justin Holl do a nice job of retrieving the puck from the Blue Jackets powerplay unit. Holl makes a nice outlet pass to Kerfoot, who is in the slot. Kerfoot and Kapanen play catch and head up the ice to kill the clock. Kerfoot breaks into the Blue Jackets zone and draws in three defenders on him. He drops the puck back to Ceci at the point, who unloads a one-timer on net that deflects off of Seth Jones and past Joonas Korpisalo.

The Blue Jackets are in good shape here as Kerfoot enters their zone. He’s one-on-three, with Kapanen about one or two steps behind Werenski. When you’re on the powerplay, coaches typically preach two men on the puck at all times. In this play, one of Boone Jenner (#38) and Werenski needs to help Jones collapse on Kerfoot, while the third guy takes Kapanen, who …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: Game 2 vs. Columbus Edition

The Maple Leafs had a lot to prove after Game 1. The highly skilled roster fell victim to Columbus’ offense-stifling system and saw a big goose egg under their name on the scoreboard as a result.
There were a lot of concerns going into Game 2. Would Keefe prove to us he’s not like Babcock and adjust after the first game? Could they solve the neutral zone clog? Would the big names show up? Could the Leafs beat Korpisalo? Another loss, and the team would probably find themselves under a lot of scrutiny down 0-2.
Well, they definitely adjusted
Yeah, Sheldon Keefe is not Mike Babcock. If Babs was still coaching, he’d just tell the pl’y’rs that they gotta be gud pros and keep steady on the rudder or some dumb slogan, and trot out the exact same roster and play the exact same way.
Instead, Keefe adjusted. I already talked about how Engvall drew into the lineup, but Keefe also swapped Marner and Nylander in the top six, and both paid off. Marner’s heavy focus on playmaking (and lack of a shot) complimented Matthews’ shot, while Nylander and Tavares& …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation