The Maple Leafs are the best team in the NHL – Rate That Leafs Game

So, here we are. Three games after arriving in Edmonton and the Maple Leafs one all of them. Without Auston Matthews, Toronto’s depth and other top players had success which put them over the top in each game. Defence was also a key factor as they held Connor McDavid pointless in three games and Leon Draisaitl to one point.
A solid road trip which they hope to finish off after the play the Vancouver Canucks in two-straight games. To me, it’s weird to see the Leafs atop of the North Division and the NHL, but at the same time, it’s so exciting.
I hope you enjoy this video, where I freakout for most of it.

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, February 10th: COVID conundrums and more

Well, it’s been a week of games marked PPD and news around the league of more players and personnel added to COVID protocol lists, which is Not Great. So far, the Canadian division has been the least impacted by COVID, and hopefully for everyone’s health and safety that continues. There’s some speculation about how standings will be calculated should it get to the point where teams are unable to reschedule or make up missed games, with points percentage becoming more important than usual. In the meantime, a number of schedule changes were announced in the other divisions:

The NHL announced a number of schedule updates Saturday amid the recent postponement of games due to its COVID-19 protocols.
Details https://t.co/WZ9IZ3hX0q
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 6, 2021

Unfortunately, much of the news around the league this week has been related to COVID, but there are a couple other noteworthy items to touch on! Let’s dive in.
Leafs Lads
The Maple Leafs announced an historic endeavor yesterday, timed well considering it’s Black History Month.

New fans and the road forward.
Our inaugural episode of Barrier Breakers dives into the sisterhood – and impact – of @BlackGirlHockey, and …

Read More

Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Masai Ujiri should absolutely go after Zach LaVine in a trade

Raptors: Masai Ujiri should absolutely go after Zach LaVine in a trade

The Toronto Raptors are in a weird position through 20 games. They’re not good enough to compete for an NBA title, but they’re not bad enough to tank for a high draft pick. Being stuck in no man’s land is the most frustrating position in professional sports, especially when you’re a franchise like Toronto that has […]
Raptors: Masai Ujiri should absolutely go after Zach LaVine in a trade – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Stephen Nixon / Raptors HQ

Rumours: A buyers market for defense and the search for secondary scoring

Here we are ten games into the season, and ready to kick off a season filled with trade rumours. Who doesn’t love speculation? Oh, most people. That’s fine. Especially when the Leafs are doing well it’s not always easy to think about upgrades, the playoffs, the expansion draft, free agency, and beyond.
Still, what we’re starting to see is the trade market picking up. And with the Laine/Dubois trade serving as evidence that teams aren’t going to let a 14 day quarantine slow them down, we might as well start considering what the Leafs could be up to.
Speculation around Dermott
While it’s not a locked in trade rumour, there was speculation from Thomas Drance of The Athletic that Dermott could address the need for a defenseman in Vancouver.
Dermott isn’t a dynamic player on the same level as Dunn, but where the Blues want a pick and have no need to take a player in return, the Maple Leafs are looking for a top-nine capable forward. Meanwhile, Vancouver currently has two players — in Gaudette and Virtanen — who scored at a 40-point pace last season currently rotating in and out of the lineup.


Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Yet another Toronto and Boston hockey rivalry in our midst

After two games in Lake Placid, the Toronto Six have officially won their first NWHL game!!

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FRANCHISE HISTORY THE TORONTO SIX WIN !!!! pic.twitter.com/8X7xFe3uPZ
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 27, 2021

The reactions from the team as the clock wound down to zero is a visual to cherish fo a long time.
The learning that Head Coach Digit Murphy previously spoke to is beginning to shine through.
That being said, it was quite a journey to get to the win. Let’s take a look at what went into Toronto’s 2-1 win over the Boston Pride.
A FULL PLAY BY PLAY RECAP AVAILABLE HERE.
 
The Good and the Great
The Six had a solid start to their game, doing an excellent job of holding their ground throughout the game. The Pride tested goaltender Elaine Chuli very early but she took every shot in stride. Apart from the lone goal by Boston, it felt like Chuli was a brick wall making save after save. Toronto had constant pressure on Pride goaltender Lovisa Selander. The shots for the game were in favour of the Six 38-25. They were also 1/5 on the power play and ended …

Read More

Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation

Life without Joe Thornton

It was fun while it lasted, but five games into the Joe Thornton era we are being treated to an indefinite hiatus. It appears that we are looking at weeks rather than days in waiting for his return based on early speculation, and with the recall of Joey Anderson to join the Leafs practice squad there will be some changes coming to the Leafs forward group.

Joe Thornton will not be available for Friday’s game against Edmonton. “Not a day-to-day thing at this point”, still need to run further tests to determine the severity of his injury.
— Danielle Emanuele (@dee_emanuele) January 21, 2021

With the loss of Robertson and Thornton, the Leafs are now sitting at 10 healthy forwards, and 7 defensemen in their lineup, with only $560k of cap space to make a recall. Basically the Leafs can’t recall anyone unless they also demote Mikko Lehtonen to the taxi squad, and up their flexibility to $1.485M, which would allow them to recall two of Adam Brooks, Joey Anderson, and Travis Boyd.
The other option for the Leafs is to put Thornton and Robertson on their injured reserve, and bring up in Barabanov while keeping Lehtonen on their roster. This decision would …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: Frederik Andersen’s “Rough Year”

The Leafs are three games into the 2020-21 season, and naturally, the world has already ended for Leafs Nation. After a brief training camp and no preseason, the Leafs were predictably sloppy in a 5-4 OT win opening night against Montreal, were significantly more sloppier against the Senators on Friday, and finally seemed to figure stuff out a little bit on Saturday’s rematch against Ottawa until score effects kicked in in the third.
Now, it’s too early in the season to really come to any conclusions about this team just yet. You could chalk the sloppy games up to rust and trying to figure out systems, and you could chalk the good game up to the fact that they were playing the Senators. As Bob McKenzie always said, he never really starts evaluating players and teams for about a month after the season due to the fact that it’s mostly just noise. And he’s right.
While even at that point, 15-20 games is still a really small sample size, you can start to use it to get a better idea of the teams and players. Three games is definitely too small.
Now, one player on the …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: The Pascal Siakam Slander Needs to Stop

Toronto Raptors: The Pascal Siakam Slander Needs to Stop

Despite failing to close out games at the buzzer, Pascal Siakam is the last person to blame for the Toronto Raptors’ recent losses. It’s been one heartbreaking loss after another for the Toronto Raptors. For the second night in a row, the team lost by one point after failing to close it out in the […]
Toronto Raptors: The Pascal Siakam Slander Needs to Stop – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Jessica Aldos / Raptors HQ

Leafs’ prospect Mikhail Abramov suspended one game by IIHF

Mikhail Abramov missed out on the first two games of the World Juniors for Russia as a healthy scratch and after a pair of impressive performances in Russia’s next two games, he will once again be forced to watch his teammates from the press box after being handed a one game suspension by the IIHF on Friday afternoon.

The IIHF Disciplinary panel has issued one-game suspensions to Mikhail Abramov (Russia) and Justin Volek (Germany). Story: https://t.co/0zNbovi9wf pic.twitter.com/DIcWba1bF5
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) January 1, 2021

Prior to a faceoff during the second period, Abramov lined up against Swedish forward Arvid Costmar and they had to be reset a couple of times, with Abramov knocking Costmar over prior to the drop of the puck on one occasion. When play did resume, Costmar and Abramov continued to battle off of the draw with Costmar tying up Abramov’s stick and managing to avoid a penalty call. Cleary frustrated, Abramov trailed Costmar into the defensive zone where he delivered a sneaky slew foot to the Vancouver Canucks prospect who did a good job of baiting Abramov into a poor decision.

Arvid Costmar (#Canucks) baits Mikhail Abramov (#LeafsForever) into an …

Read More

Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Leafs by the Numbers: John Tavares

John Tavares scored 26 goals in 63 games in what is largely being treated as a down year for him. Somehow 60 points in 63 games is a cause for concern, and we are now questioning whether he is the right player to captain the Leafs, and if this is part of a steeper decline in his game now that Tavares has hit the magic 3-0 age milestone, and with an $11M annual cap hit the panic seems to be starting early on JT.
Given the panic, Tavares’ number is 5. There are five years remaining on John’s contract with the Leafs, and it’s entirely possible we’re going to hear about more and more about Tavares for the next five years with an increasing number of people painting this as a bad contract, or bad signing.
So let’s start off with one universal truth, Tavares isn’t a bargain, and as an unrestricted free agent he certainly cashed in at his maximum value. Tavares is going to be a great player for the Leafs, but expectations about living up to $11M contracts are better focused on players like Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner who received those deals as restricted free agents …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation