Raptors: Chris Boucher ranks among NBA’s most valuable fourth-year players

Raptors: Chris Boucher ranks among NBA’s most valuable fourth-year players

The Toronto Raptors have leaned heavily on a pair of fourth-year studs in two-way star OG Anunoby and the always-improving Chris Boucher, who has given the Raptors a feared inside presence off of the bench. While he has been making huge strides this season, there’s no way he can be grouped in the same elite […]
Raptors: Chris Boucher ranks among NBA’s most valuable fourth-year players – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Shopping for a third string goaltender

A lot of the heavily lifting has been done. Tweaking remains, and it might be heavy tweaking, but there really only seems to be one must do left on the Leafs to do list and that is track down a third string goaltender.

Toronto.. Thank YouThese last 4 years have been filled with amazing moments like Fox’s birth, my NHL debut with @MapleLeafs, and playoff runs with @TorontoMarlies. We are grateful for all the teammates and friends we’ve met along the way.– Kaskisuo Family pic.twitter.com/5EZOMZazEr
— Kasimir Kaskisuo (@Kaskisuo) October 12, 2020

Kaskisuo leaving creates a hole in the Leafs depth chart, and it’s one that we can comfortably fill with Joseph Woll or Ian Scott, although that tandem might be how things end up playing out. Instead the Leafs could be looking to upgrade at the position, which no offense to Kaskisuo, who is great person by all accounts, he was not a goaltender you’d feel comfortable sliding into the backup role if one of the two NHL goaltenders was injured. The Leafs needed to move on, and that is especially true in a year that is going to feature more back to backs than ever, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes: Next steps in NHL’s return-to-play planning, players discuss isolation, and more

Over the weekend, the NHLPA voted heavily in favour of accepting a 24-team playoff format in the event the NHL resumes the 2019-20 season later this summer. This is just a very small step forward to getting the league going and there are some large, complicated hurdles left to overcome.

While the 24-team format was passed with a 29-to-2 vote (in which Carolina and Tampa Bay voted no), the next vote, which will be on accepting the details and logistics for a summer playoff tournament proposed by the league, could be more contentious.
Michael Russo, a Minnesota Wild reporter with The Athletic, spoke with Devan Dubnyk, who has plenty of experience representing his teammates on the NHL Players’ Association’s executive board. Dubnyk said that the yes vote was for the 24-team format, and another vote, perhaps one involving as many as 700 players, will be needed to pass through things like logistics, cities, travel, testing, and economics.
“I think it’s really important to start having these conversations with as many players as we can about, ‘Guys, what scenarios are we OK with?’” Dubnyk said. “From what it sounds …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays sweep A’s in slick weekend series

Though they were (heavily) outshined by the Toronto Maple Leafs v. Boston Bruins saga, the Blue Jays quietly swept the Oakland Athletics this weekend, going 6-1 on their recent road trip and improving their record to 11-12.
With some excellent pitching and timely hits by unexpected hitters, the boys in blue cruised to their third series win of the year and their first sweep.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from this weekend’s prosperous series at the Coliseum:
The Good
For the first time this season, Brandon Drury (4-for-12, 2 HR, 2 2B, 4 R) ends up in this portion of the series recap, finally showing some life at the dish after a dreadful start to his campaign. Fellow infielders Rowdy Tellez (4-for-7, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R), Justin Smoak (7-for-13, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R) and Danny Jansen (2-for-6, 2 RBI, 2 2B, 2 BB) were also productive in their own rights.
Of course, the real offensive surprise of the series was Eric Sogard, who, remarkably, went 3-for-10 with two RBI and a stolen base. Billy McKinney (5-for-11, RBI, 2 2B, 2 R) also showed up for the first time this season.
On the mound, Marcus Stroman (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 SO, 6 H, W) was fabulous, …

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Author: Hayden Godfrey / Blue Jays Nation