Around the quarter mark, which Leafs forward has underwhelmed?

Around the quarter mark, which Leafs forward has underwhelmed?

Tomorrow, the calendar rolls into December. American Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we have completed over 25% of the NHL regular season. The Leafs have played 24 games, and currently sit at 14-5-5. They have 33 points, and trail only Boston (who are having a historic start).
Just like last season, they came out of the blocks a little slow. Also replicating last season – the Buds have absolutely torched November. They’ve lost only 1 game in regulation this month, and have done so with some major injuries on the back end and in net. Multiple early questions have been answered, and the overall feel in Toronto is positive.
The d-core has performed heroically considering the injuries, and the goaltending has been very impressive. Most of the forwards have performed adequately, and there have even been some pleasant surprises up front. So, who hasn’t exactly pulled their weight? With more than a quarter of the 82 games played, our sample size is large enough to offer some evaluation.
Alex Kerfoot has had a lacklustre start to this campaign. In a season where many forwards are playing very well, Kerfoot would probably be the first to tell you he hasn’t contributed enough. Given his contract situation, and how he operates within this forward group, #15 is an interesting player to examine.
It should be said, I h …

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Author: Bennett Jull / The Leafs Nation

1 stud and 1 dud as depleted Raptors get flattened by Nets

1 stud and 1 dud as depleted Raptors get flattened by Nets

Thad Young and the Toronto Raptors went into the season expecting names like Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, and Fred VanVleet to lead them to the promised land. In their second matchup of the season against Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets, none of them were active. Toronto was missing six rotation players in this game. […]
1 stud and 1 dud as depleted Raptors get flattened by Nets – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Hot starts for Horvat and Robertson, Blues lose eight straight: NHL Notebook

Hot starts for Horvat and Robertson, Blues lose eight straight: NHL Notebook

We are just over a month into the NHL season and there are a couple players that have been exceeding expectations and a team that’s playing its way into the Bedard sweepstakes.
Bo Horvat and Jason Robertson have been single handily winning games for the Canucks and Stars. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues are in the midst of their longest regulation losing streak in franchise history.
Bo Horvat
A few months ago Canucks fans were saying this guy isn’t even worth 6M per year. Well, now he’s second in the NHL in goals. With four multi-goal games in his last five he’s now at 12 on the year in just 13 games.
It’s a contract year for the Canucks captain and he’s playing his way out of their price range. His 16 points in 13 games have him on pace to shatter his career high of 61 set back in 2018-19. They chose to lock up JT Miller for seven more years instead of their captain whose two years younger and it looks like they’re going to regret it.
Unless they buy out Oliver Ekman-Larsson or trade one of Tyler Myers or Conor Garland it’s looking like Horvat will be play …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Key injuries, Kuznetsov suspended and Sharks eyeing Bedard: NHL Notebook

Key injuries, Kuznetsov suspended and Sharks eyeing Bedard: NHL Notebook

Less than two weeks into the regular season and injuries are already piling up. Over the last week several key players hit their respective injured lists, a Washington Capitals forward was suspended, and the San Jose Sharks took the lead in the race for Connor Bedard.
Landeskog knee surgery
The Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche will be without their captain Gabriel Landeskog for the next 12 weeks after his second knee surgery of the year. He missed the last quarter of the 2021-22 season for the same reason before joining the team for their playoff run.
He was held out of the first three games with a lower body injury and ultimately they decided another surgery was necessary.
Red Wings injuries
Tyler Bertuzzi will miss the next four to six weeks after blocking a shot against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. This a massive blow for a young Wings team with playoff aspirations. Bertuzzi was second on the team with 62 points last season.
His teammate Jakub Vrana is also away from the team for personal reasons. There has been no timetable given for his return. Detroit will need depth players to step up with the absence of two top-six forwards. Pius Suter and Filip Zadina have joined the lineup after being healthy scratches early on.
Ekblad groin s …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

4 burning questions Raptors must answer before the season starts

4 burning questions Raptors must answer before the season starts

The Toronto Raptors are coming into what will end up being one of the most pivotal seasons in franchise history with a roster that is somehow both nearly identical to last year and full of questions, considering how much the conference around them has changed. The Raptors brought back their entire rotation from last year, […]
4 burning questions Raptors must answer before the season starts – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Our readers provide a vote of confidence for Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe (Reader Poll Part 1)

Before going into any of the results of the reader poll, I want to start by thanking everyone who participated, even those you who hilariously voted for yourselves to be the next GM, and those of you took the time to answer a survey but still felt compelled to write-in “I don’t care” as an answer. You’re the real ones.
I especially want to thank those of you who answered the last question about feedback on TLN. While the answers rolled up to equal a lot of contradictory stuff like more trade speculation vs. less trade speculation, more opinion vs. more reporting, less pessimism vs. and I quote “getting off of Dubas’ dick” there is value in all of that. I want there to be something for everyone and even at times when there is a lot of trade speculation that you can find something else worth your time on this site. I definitely hear you about getting podcasts back in the mix on the site, and we will continue fighting the war against grammatical errors. Thanks again.
Given the number of questions on the poll, we’re going to break this up into three parts, and today we’ll start with …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TLN Prospect Rankings: Where did we get it wrong?

We’re heading into the home stretch of our countdown of the top Leafs prospects, and as we near the end, it’s time to reflect on some of those we might have gotten wrong. Maybe we loved them too much or maybe not enough. Either way, some of our voters and some of our non-voters weigh-in on the TLN rankings.
Dylan Murphy:
Maybe it’s just recency bias seeing him at the World Juniors, but Roni Hirvonen looks ready to make the jump to North America, perhaps even ready to make his NHL debut in a depth role. I’ll admit to not seeing him play all that often, but from what I have seen, he’s a creative playmaker with a nose for the net. The Leafs are weak at the LW position, but between Robertson, Knies, and Hirvonen, the team’s future (at that position) is in good hands.
Ryan Hobart:
I’m continually surprised by how little recognition Axel Rindell gets from prospects people. He didn’t get into our top 20 prospects this year or last. While being an older prospect at 22 years old, his expected move to the Marlies this season could prove an excellent launching pad to the Leafs. If he can take over the Marlies’ powerplay as a quarterbac …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

These 3 Toronto Raptors have a lot to gain or lose next season

These 3 Toronto Raptors have a lot to gain or lose next season

The Toronto Raptors have thrust themself into the contention window with or without the addition of Kevin Durant. With a Rookie of the Year (Scottie Barnes), an All-Star point guard (Fred VanVleet), and an All-NBA forward (Pascal Siakam) at the helm, things are looking up. The Raptors have long fancied themselves as a developmental proving […]
These 3 Toronto Raptors have a lot to gain or lose next season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Rating the Leafs offseason (so far)

“It’s not even a week into free agency, why are rating the offseason already?”
A legitimate question conjured up reader, I’m glad you asked. While it’s still relatively early in the offseason, we’ve seen the draft go by as well as the most critical early days of free agency, it’s very easy to have an opinion at this point and you’ve probably been subject to a lot of them on social media. The intention here is to not only identify our 1-10 rating of the Leafs offseason so far, but weigh in on how Kyle Dubas and the Leafs could improve their score with us.
So let’s get started.
Mark Norman
(This was written before the Jarnkrok signing. That probably brings it to a 5.)
I think it’s a 3 out of 10 thus far. Taking into account that it was unlikely the Leafs were going to bring in A-listers because of their cap situation, I don’t think you could even call Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Adam Gaudette, Jordie Benn, or Victor Mete B-list options. And while, sure, they may provide some positive value, these feel like the type of moves you make in the second week of free agency, not the first two days. My excitement for these moves pales in comparison to my excitement about Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase last summer, even with knowing how Ritchie played out.
On the goaltending …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Reviewing the Maple Leafs’ 2022 NHL Draft class

The Leafs went into the 2022 NHL Draft holding three picks but after a handful of trades on the draft floor, walked away with five new prospects in their system.
Kyle Dubas and his scouting staff – led for the first time by new Director of Amateur Scouting Wes Clark – were originally slated to pick 25th overall but when it became clear that the player they were targeting with that selection would no longer be available, they packaged that pick alongside embattled goaltender Petr Mrázek in order to deal his contract to the Chicago Blackhawks. There has been no confirmation, and there likely never will be, but it is believed that the player the Leafs were hoping would fall to the 25th pick was Liam Öhgren who was chosen by the Minnesota Wild at 19th overall.

Just speculating here, but from where I was sitting, the chatter at the Leafs table really started picking up when Liam Ohgren was picked by the Wild at 19. https://t.co/rZqb1hVQxH
— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) July 8, 2022

When all was said and done on the opening night of the draft, the Leafs were without a pick but had shed the entirety of Mrazek’s contract in exchange for moving down 13 spots from 25th to 38th overall where they eventually selected Kamloops Blazers forward Fraser Minten early on day two.
The Leafs’ next scheduled pick was in the third round at 79th overall but once that pick rolled around, the Leafs opted to trade down to the 95th slot and acquire a fifth-rounder to help recoup some of the dr …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation