Toronto Raptors: Knicks loss unveils fatal flaw that could kill play-in hopes

Toronto Raptors: Knicks loss unveils fatal flaw that could kill play-in hopes

The Toronto Raptors defense was going to be tested once again by Julius Randle and the revitalized New York Knicks. Not only has Randle owned Pascal Siakam in recent weeks, but Tom Thibodeau’s team is in the middle of a hot streak that has the city buzzing after years of futility. Siakam managed to have […]
Toronto Raptors: Knicks loss unveils fatal flaw that could kill play-in hopes – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

A big first inning on Tyler Glasnow leads the Blue Jays to a win at The Trop

A slumping offence going into a game against a guy with a 0.73 ERA? Seems like it’s going to be a bad time, right? Nope! The Blue Jays spanked Tyler Glasnow for a four-run first inning and hung on to beat the Rays by a score of 5-3.

Things worth mentioning…

Just about all of Toronto’s offence came in the first inning. Glasnow struck the first two guys he faced out but then Vlad Jr. kept the inning going with a single. After that, Rowdy Tellez drove him in with a double, Randal Grichuk drew a walk, and then Marcus Semien clubbed a three-run bomb to centre field. Glasnow allowed twice as many runs in the first inning of Friday’s game than he had in 24 2/3 innings coming into the game. It looked like Glasnow was going to mow the Blue Jays down based on the first couple of at-bats. It’s amazing how quickly things can change…

That’s a 13 pitch, 0 run inning if Vladdy’s grounder is like 5 feet left. What a sport.
— bk (@_bkuh_) April 23, 2021

Steven Matz was solid on Friday, though he had to compensate for some ugly defence behind him. The Blue Jays made three errors …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

TLN Three Stars: Leafs win in regulation with late goal, but it didn’t count, so Canucks win in OT

This had to be one of the most talked about games going into the game that had absolutely no playoff implications, as the Canucks were playing their first game in almost a month after dealing with one of the COVID variants that went through most of the team. It was going to be interesting to see how the Canucks would handle their first game back from a disease that would probably affect their stamina and endurance, and how the Leafs would respond to that.
Somehow that wasn’t the biggest story of the game, as the Leafs would finally end the power play slump after almost 9 minutes, and Zach Hyman would leave the game early after a knee on knee hit from Alex Edler.
Also Marner might have scored a goal late in regulation to win it, but it just wasn’t quite conclusive enough so it stayed tied, and went to overtime, where Bo Horvat scored his second of the game to win it for the Canucks.
Not David Ayres level embarrassing considering the Leafs were the better team, but it’s still not the best look for the Buds.
Three Stars
3rd Star: Nick Robertson
Robertson got his …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Where the Raptors stand in the 2020-21 NBA Awards race

Toronto Raptors: Where the Raptors stand in the 2020-21 NBA Awards race

The Toronto Raptors season isn’t going as well they’d hoped but there is still an opportunity for one of their players to take home some hardware. Last offseason, the Raptors lost two important players in Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. Those subtractions from the roster are a part of the problem that has been plaguing […]
Toronto Raptors: Where the Raptors stand in the 2020-21 NBA Awards race – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Jeff Borsuk / Raptors HQ

Leafs face off against Canucks in their first game since Covid variant outbreak

I’m not going to lie, I’m very surprised that this game is happening tonight. Whether they gave them an extra week or just straight up ended their season, it still feels too soon for the Canucks to be coming into action considering everything we’ve heard about what they were dealing with, and what JT Miller said about the team’s status a few days ago.
It’s one thing if the team was in that typical hockey team mindset, just pumped up and ready to go to play some more games. But, they’ve made it very clear they don’t want to, and even some players family members have gotten the variant because of it. When players on the team like Travis Hamonic opted out of the bubble last year because his child was more vulnerable, this becomes an issue beyond more than just the game.
Even from a Leafs perspective, this must be a really weird situation to be in. You’re up against a team playing their first game in 24 days, and is probably not in the right conditioning to play a full 60 minute game against the best team in the division. If you …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

How did the Leafs do at the Trade Deadline? — Staturday Weekly Column #15

Going into the Trade Deadline this year, the Leafs appeared to be singly focused on getting a depth middle six winger. However, it slowly came to light that, despite a lack of cap space, they had their sights set on a number of different roster improvements.
At the end of the day, Toronto added two forwards, one defender, and one goaltender, whose averaged annual salaries are a combined $11.95M, but costing the Leafs only $6.45M against the cap. To add such value for such a good financial cost, Dubas had to pay some draft pick premiums, but no assets that the Leafs couldn’t afford to spend.
This post will dig into the statistics of each of the acquired players, and figure out just what they add to this already powerful Toronto team.
The Columbus Duo
Interestingly, the Leafs made two separate trades with the Columbus Blue Jackets for injured defensive forwards. THe first was Riley Nash, and the second was Nick Foligno. As the biggest acquisition the Leafs made, Foligno carries with him a certain expectation to really move the needle when it comes to the Leafs’ success this season. As an energetic middle-six winger, Foligno will drive opponents …

Read More

Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to rebound from Habs loss against the Flames – with David Rittich in net?

Listen, Jack Campbell was not going to win every game he started this season. A loss was bound to happen sooner or later, and I don’t know about you, but Leafs losses just don’t faze me as much this season. They’re good, their record is good, they have what it takes to pull out wins even when they might not deserve it. Yes, last night’s game was not exactly a great example of what they can do, but I can’t be too mad at a stinker every 9 or 10 games.
Onward. The Leafs play again tonight against the Flames – and on Sunday evening they traded for former Flames goalie David Rittich  (who has historically played very well against the Leafs) – it’s like a soap opera and I love it. Will he start tonight? If so, is that a good thing? Obviously having some extra goalie insurance is a plus, because with Frederik Andersen sidelined indefinitely the Leafs goalie options are Campbell, who is clearly not yet used to handling the starter’s workload, and Michael Hutchinson, who is Michael Hutchinson. It’ll be interesting to see what Rittich can do behind this Leafs team.
The …

Read More

Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Gerrit Cole and the Yankees’ bullpen shut down the Blue Jays

A struggling offence going up against Gerrit Cole went about how you’d expect it to go. The Blue Jays drop the first game of the series by a score of 3-1.

Things worth mentioning…

Things were actually looking pretty good for the Blue Jays’ bats early on. The team scored a run in the first inning when Bo Bichette and Vlad Jr. hit back-to-back singles and then they threatened in the second inning when Lourdes Gurriel walked and Rowdy Tellez (FINALLY) picked up his first hit of the season. But after that? A whole lot of nothing. The Yanks went ahead and retired 20 Blue Jays in a row from the second inning until the eighth when Marcus Semien hit a loop single off of Darren O’Day. In the ninth, Randal Grichuk hit a double off of Aroldis Chapman, but Tellez got rung up on one of the worst strike three calls you’ll ever see…

This was strike 3 to end the Yankees Blue Jay game. A brutal week for MLB umpires. pic.twitter.com/ND0RSuBQ0D
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) April 13, 2021

On the other side, the Blue Jays pitchers also did a very good job of shutting …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The New York Yankees have acquired Rougned Odor

It looks like we’re going to be seeing a whole bunch more of Rougned Odor.

According to Jeff Passan, the Yankees are acquiring Odor from the Rangers and Texas wants to move on from him so badly that they’re eating the majority of the $27 million left on his contract.

Texas is expected to absorb almost the entirety of the $27 million owed to Rougned Odor, who’s on his way to the Yankees, per sources. He’s due $12 million this year, $12 million next year and a $3 million buyout on a $13 million club option in 2023.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 6, 2021

Odor, of course, had been designated for assignment prior to the start of the 2021 season after a mediocre spring training followed up a disastrous 2020 campaign. In 38 games last season, Odor slashed a .167/.209/.413 line with an outrageous 47-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Things have generally gone poorly for Odor since he signed his six-year, $49.5 million contract extension after what appeared to be a breakout season in 2016. He slashed a .267/.305/.487 line between 2015 and 2016 and was a key part of the Rangers’ offence those seasons (you know, the ones who lost in the ALDS back-to-back) but completely cratered after that. Between 2017 and 2020, his OPS dipped to .697 …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs look to keep up hot streak against slumping Flames

If there was ever a game with two teams going in different directions, this is it.
The Toronto Maple Leafs currently find themselves on a 5-0-1 stretch, or as Pierre LeBrun would call it, a “lossless” streak. In fact, the last time the Leafs lost in regulation was against the Flames, and also Frederik Andersen’s last game before his injury. And they haven’t just been getting by during this stretch, they’ve been outright dominating their opponents, with a 62.61% xGF% in that span. The last time the Leafs had a game with less than a 58% xGF% was March 14th against the Ottawa Senators.
The Calgary Flames have not been doing that. After a solid 3-1-1 start after hiring Darryl Sutter, the Flames have gone 2-7 and made it highly unlikely that they get into the playoffs, and extremely disappointing result for a team that was, on paper, the second best in the division. During that nine game stretch, they have a 46.85% xGF%, which definitely won’t cut it. They’ve struggled to find their consistency all season, and it’s a big reason why they’re 16-19-3 on the season.
Will that decide the outcome …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation