Canadian Andrew Nembhard offers value, versatility for Raptors

Canadian Andrew Nembhard offers value, versatility for Raptors

The Toronto Raptors made history when they finally used a draft pick on a Canadian-born player in Nebraska point guard Dalano Banton. Masai Ujiri could make it two years in a row with some new players from up north by adding Andrew Nembhard after a solid season with Gonzaga. Nembhard, an Aurora native who started […]
Canadian Andrew Nembhard offers value, versatility for Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs looking to put a stranglehold on the series

If history has taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t start feeling confident about how the Leafs are doing in the playoffs. Ever. I think if the Leafs do win the Cup, it’s going to be post parade, banner raising, and names on the cup before it will feel like it’s finally over.
Still, having a three game lead on the series would feel a lot better than a tied series. Especially if the Leafs would then have two opportunities to close it out at home, that would be a nice little situation to find ourselves in. Maybe it’s too greedy to expect Toronto to take two games in Tampa, but if Jack Campbell continues to do November Jack Campbell things, it doesn’t hurt to believe a little.
At 5v5, the Leafs haven’t been the dominant team, but the good news for the Leafs is that this series isn’t being won at 5v5. Penalties are being called, and as long as the Leafs are modestly disciplined in comparison to the slow-moving buffoonery of players like Maroon, Bogosian, Killorn, and Perry, the Leafs can cost by on the powerplay and trust that with limited shorthanded opportunities, things won’t get out of control and their power kill can k …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Top Canadian high schooler Leonard Miller might be Raptors target

Top Canadian high schooler Leonard Miller might be Raptors target

The Toronto Raptors made history when they used a draft pick on Nebraska point guard Dalano Banton last year, as he became the first Canadian player to be drafted by the league’s sole franchise in this country. Could they follow suit by taking Leonard Miller in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft? Miller was regarded as […]
Top Canadian high schooler Leonard Miller might be Raptors target – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Looking back on the Leafs’ 2011-12 season 10 years later

When it comes to the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs, no season in recent years has both fascinated and baffled me more than the 2011-12 campaign.
Or, as it is more infamously known, the “18-wheeler” season.
If you want to know why Leafs fans tend to get an uneasy feeling each time the team has a lead in a game or is doing reasonably well during the regular season, this season played a part in that narrative being established. You take a single glance at the roster and it is filled with names of players from a bygone era. Phil Kessel. Dion Phaneuf. Tyler Bozak. Joffrey Lupul. Mikhail Grabovski. Nikolay Kulemin. Luke Schenn. Jake Gardiner. Nazem Kadri. A majority of them are still playing in the NHL today. Unsurprisingly, none of them are with the Leafs as of the time of writing this.
Meanwhile, the goaltending situation was a different animal entirely. Leading the way was James Reimer, who was the original titleholder of the happiest Leaf netminder ever. Backing him up was Jonas Gustavsson, a goalie with so much promise a few years prior but had showcased inconsistent play in the net. Then there is Ben Scrivens, who started the yea …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Playoff success is the final barrier to Auston Matthews becoming the greatest Leaf ever

On Thursday night, Auston Matthews made history by setting the new record for most goals in a season by a Leaf. It broke a 40-year-old record that was previously set by Rick Vaive in 1982 with 54 goals.
He could have just called it a day with that historic goal, but Matthews decided to one-up the ante:

Auston Matthews in overtime. What a celebration pic.twitter.com/qiAW9iYmzV
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) April 8, 2022

The overtime winner also set the NHL record for most goals in a season from an American-born player, while also registering a career-high 12 shots on goal (three shots shy of tying the record in the salary cap era set by Alex Ovechkin twice). And with 49 goals in his last 49 games, he has a chance to reach the elusive 50 in 50 mark tonight when the Leafs host the Canadiens on HNIC.
This historic performance has become a common trend for Matthews, who is putting together a convincing case for becoming the greatest Leaf of all time.
Matthews leads the NHL in goals 255 goals in just 400 games played since his memorable debut, which is seven higher than Ovechkin. That is a rate of 0.64 goals per game or a 52 goal pace throughout an 82 game season. He has also shown his growth as a two-way force as improved his defensive game tremendously over the past two years and has accounted for 59% of the team’s goals when he is on the ice this season.
At 24-years-old, he is already ninth in team history for goals (five behind Wendel Clark) and 16th for points (four behind Doug Gilmour and just one ahead of Mitch Marner). So long as he remains with the team for at least a decade and doesn’t decide to sign with the Coyotes, Matthews is well on his way to reaching the top ten in both of those categories.
Matthews’ impact has also extended into popular culture. He got a rap song named after him in light of his historic entrance to the NHL, has graced the cover of GQ, appeared twice on the EA Sports NHL cover, and has done numerous sponsorships that include being the first NHL player to sign with a betting company. All of this has made him one of the highest-paid players in the league (and not just because he is one of six players with an AAV over $11 million).
Over the last few years, we ha …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Why having William Nylander on the third line helps improve the Leafs

There are few players in the history of the Leafs’ organization that have made the fan base more divisive than William Nylander. There are noticeable portions of the fans that either love his playstyle or cannot stand him and want him gone in every trade scenario.
Whether you adore him or hate him, the Leafs are a better team when he is on his game and playing with confidence. This is why it was frustrating to watch him play inconsistently alongside John Tavares for the last few months despite putting up 32 points since the start of 2022. He would have stretches where he played like he did in the 2021 playoffs (in which he was the MVP after Tavares got injured in Game 1) and others seeing him look unengaged or lackadaisical. It culminated in him getting demoted to the third line after getting beat cleanly by David Savard in a disappointing loss to the lowly Canadiens.
The move was meant to get Nylander back on track while being matched up against some weaker competition. It may not have been Sheldon Keefe’s intention, but this simple move was able to help find a line combination he can turn to down the stretch.

‘BISCUIT WITH THE SHORTY!! pic.twitter.com/BCz7Z5d560
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@ …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs’ Danielle Goyette to be first female assistant coach in ECHL history

Danielle Goyette will be making history on Thursday night as the first female assistant coach in ECHL history.

The Growlers are proud to announce that Danielle Goyette has joined the club’s coaching staff ahead of tonight’s game versus the @ReadingRoyals.
With her debut tonight, Danielle will become the First Female Assistant Coach in @ECHL history. #RANTnROARhttps://t.co/Hhq1c4uPGG
— Newfoundland Growlers (@NLGrowlers) February 3, 2022

The Maple Leafs’ director of player development will jump in after Newfoundland Growlers head coach Eric Wellwood tested positive for COVID-19.
Goyette will spend the entire series against the Reading Royals as the Growlers’ assistant, which will be the next three days.
As the director of player development, the two-time Olympic gold medalist is seen often at Toronto Marlies practice, helping players develop. She’s been an integral part in helping develop players since she joined the Maple Leafs organization last year.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Best parts from Chris Bosh’s Hall of Fame speech

Toronto Raptors: Best parts from Chris Bosh’s Hall of Fame speech

For the first time in NBA history, a Hall of Famer who played the majority of their games in Toronto was inducted into the hallowed halls of Springfield, as former Toronto Raptors star Chris Bosh took his rightful place among the greatest to ever play this game. While he was inducted with some very noteworthy […]
Toronto Raptors: Best parts from Chris Bosh’s Hall of Fame speech – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

World Series Odds Update 09/01/21

by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
Recent postseason history is not necessarily on the side of the favorite and second favorite in World Series futures, but that might work to the benefit of bettors who believe the Los Angeles Dodgers can go back-to-back.

With the calendar turning over to September, the defending champion Dodgers are the +300 favorite to capture the Commissioner’s Trophy on the World Series odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The reigning American League champion Tampa Bay Rays (+400) are immediately below Los Angeles on a crowded futures board at betting sites, followed by the Houston Astros (+550), Chicago White Sox (+600), Milwaukee Brewers (+600), San Francisco Giants (+750), New York Yankees (+1000) and Atlanta Braves (+1600). (how sports betting works).
No team has repeated in 21 seasons. However, the Dodgers have shored up their strength on both sides of the ball by adding three-time Cy Young-winning pitcher Max Scherzer to a staff that has MLB’s best ERA since the all-star break by a fair margin, and have also added middle infielder Trea Turner to a deep batting order. The Dodgers are in a tight race with San Francisco in the NL West, and the prospect of being forced to the ‘best of one’ …

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Author: Nation World HQ / Blue Jays Nation

Report From The Rock: Growlers hire head coach and other notes

This will go down in history as one of the hardest articles I’ve had to write. Not because it involves heavy subject matter or anything like that, I mean that it was physically difficult for me to finish and submit this article because of thundershowers continually knocking out the power and internet as I attempted to write, so let’s get to it while my connection lasts.
New Head Coach Hired
On Friday, the Growlers announced that Eric Wellwood has been hired as the head coach after the position was vacated when John Snowden was promoted to an assistant coach position with the Toronto Marlies.
Wellwood, 31, was the coach of the OHL’s Flint Firebirds for the past three seasons and became the winningest coach in that franchise’s history in 2020.

Congratulations to Head Coach Eric Wellwood on becoming the all-time winningest coach in #FlintFirebirds franchise history! pic.twitter.com/5WIZmZQriw
— Flint Firebirds (@FlintFirebirds) February 22, 2020

“I am grateful for the opportunity to coach in this league with a top-notch organization as the next head coach of the Growlers,” said Wellwood in the official press release. “I can’t wait to get to St. John’s and meet the staff, …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation