Around the Atlantic division

We are now two games into the Stanley Cup final and with the exception of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Atlantic division is focussed on next season. The Leafs and Panthers had strong years but at this point all that matters is the 2022-23 season.
Despite only one team in the division still playing hockey, there has been plenty of news around the division in the past seven days. Coaches have been fired and re-hired, free agents have been signed and there has been plenty of trade and UFA speculation. Many of the teams in the division have been linked to the same UFA and trade targets. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming months.
Who will be starting in net next season?
This is a question that most of the division has. In Toronto it has been rumoured that Jack Campbell will not return and obviously they would not be happy entering the season with Petr Mrazek at the top of the depth chart.
With former first round pick Spencer Knight set to take the reigns in Florida, two-time Vezina trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky is being shopped. At a cap hit of 10M and four years remaining on his deal, he won’t be targeted by the Leafs but ot …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

The Curse of the Red Jerseys continues

Alek Manoah came into Saturday’s start with a 10-0 record and a 1.99 ERA in 15 games at home and a 1.52 ERA across four career starts against the Yankees.

This appeared to be as good a time as ever to put an end to New York’s eight-game winning streak. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays wore their red uniforms, and the curse continued.
The Yankees won by a score of 4-0, with most of their offence coming during a wildly frustrating fourth inning. A tight strike zone and an infield single got the bases loaded for the Yankees and Aaron Hicks drilled a bases-clearing double to make the score 3-0.
Next up, Jose Trevino was awarded first base on a hit-by-pitch despite swinging through…

Alek Manoah and Charlie Montoyo have a legitimate beef here as umpires say Jose Trevino did not swing at this pitch that hit him pic.twitter.com/kFoYjMdhvo
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) June 18, 2022

#BlueJays manager Charlie Montoyo politely encourages the 1B umpire to “wake the f*ck up,” and gets ejected for his trouble.
That’s Montoyo’s fourth ejection this season. He was ejected a total of four times from 2019-2021. A little more fire this year.
— Ethan Diamandas (@EthanDiamandas) June 18, 2022

Manoah started walking off the mound on a close pitch that wound up getting called a ball earlier in the inning so this terrible ump show was likely his punishment for doing so.
Charlie Montoyo was booted from the game for letting the umpires know that they got it wrong and Manoah would grind through another couple of innings before getting pulled. All told, he went five-and-one-third and allowed four earned runs on six hits and one walk while striking out five.
The bats had some chances to score but ultimately didn’t come through as the Blue Jays had a very April-esque performance with run …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Three interesting targets and four Leafs who made Frank Seravalli’s top 50 UFA list

The Leafs are heading into free agency where they aren’t going to lose anyone who can’t be replaced and don’t have the cap space to chase down the most significant players who are hitting the market. The cap space situation can change and through buyouts and RFA going unqualified the list can improve, but for the most part, this isn’t a list that inspires a drastic overhaul of the Leafs personnel.
Over at Daily Faceoff, Frank Seravalli has compiled a list of the 50 best players presently available. The Leafs players are decidedly in the middle of the pack, with Ilya Mikheyev coming in at 20th overall, Jack Campbell at 25th, Ilya Lyubushkin at 39th, and Colin Blackwell at 41st. Of this group, there isn’t much pressure to bring any of them back, and the only one that there is an absolute need to replace is, of course, Jack Campbell. These moves represent just over $5M coming off the payroll for the Leafs, and it kinda hurts that bargain players are exiting as the little room the Leafs have to work with prevents them from pursuing some of the other interesting names on this list that could be strong fits for the Leafs.
Target 1: Nino Niederreiter
Ranked #16 on the list, Niederreiter has been a somewhat inconsistent power forward that could help the Leaf …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: Sandin’s situation is “something you have to keep an eye on”, Campbell’s next contract, and looking for size in the top six

It’s still relatively early into the offseason but we’ve seen the Leafs begin taking care of some of their business. Giordano is signed at a convenient little number, and Jason Spezza has hung up his skates for the excitement of office work. There is still plenty of other work to do and plenty of other decisions to be made and the Leafs goaltending situation and what to do with Toronto’s RFA defenders are taking center stage this week.
Sandin Watch
On Monday’s 32 Thoughts podcast (at around the 50:30 mark) Elliotte Friedman gently dropped the hint that league sources are telling him that Rasmus Sandin is someone to “just keep an eye on.” This was then immediately qualified with the fact that this could mean a lot of things, it could have to do with his contract, his place on the Leafs, or maybe there is trade interest, and that was qualified with the fact that he believes the Leafs like Sandin as a player, Sandin enjoys being a Leaf, and there certainly hasn’t been a trade requested. So very simply, keep an eye on Sandin and it’s not something that needs to be blown out of proportion.
So now let’s blow it out of proportion.
Sandin is another left-handed defenseman, and the Leafs have Rielly, Muzzin, Giordano on the left side, and Brod …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed in the Leafs

Before even getting started into any of this, I want to take a moment as the Managing Editor of The Leafs Nation to thank all of you that chose to read our site over the past year. Coming out of the Montreal series last year it seemed easy to quit on the Leafs, and instead, we saw our readership grow to record numbers over the past year and that has taught me that “The Passion” is an authentic thing with the Leafs fanbase.
I’d also like to take a moment to thank the wonderful contributors to TLN. We’ve produced a ton of content this year and in my opinion been the most interesting source for Leafs news on the world wide web. This group has a bright future, and the fact that this season for the first time in site history we had credentialed coverage of the Leafs, Marlies, and the Growlers is a first for the site that I am very proud of, but can’t take any of the credit for. Couple that with great coverage of Leafs prospect, CBA knowledge that is second to none, Toronto Six coverage, and the ability to break down all things Leafs, this group got it done, an …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

1 Raptors NBA Draft target who could be the next Fred VanVleet

1 Raptors NBA Draft target who could be the next Fred VanVleet

The Toronto Raptors can move fully into draft mode, as they need to identify players that can support stars like Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam. If they want to go the point guard route, they could have some interest in San Francisco ball-handler Jamaree Bouyea in the second round. Bouyea went from an inefficient lead […]
1 Raptors NBA Draft target who could be the next Fred VanVleet – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Is it time to break up Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner?

Heading into Game 5, the series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning is exactly where many expected it to be: tied 2-2 coming back to Toronto.
There has been plenty to take away from the first four games of the series, but one of the biggest points of interest coming out of the two games in Tampa Bay is the dominance of the Alex Killorn, Brayden Point, and Anthony Cirelli unit. That line, along with the pairing of Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak, were matched against the Maple Leafs top line of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, and quite simply smothered them.
In Game 4, Matthews and Marner generated just one shot attempt against Tampa Bay’s shutdown unit. Despite the Maple Leafs win in Game 3, it was much of the same story, with Matthews and Marner coming in at a sub-30 per cent Corsi-for against Killorn, Point, and Cirelli.
With Toronto’s top line being shut down by Tampa’s matchup line and the Leafs failing to generate much at 5v5 from their second line, that begs the question: Is it time to break up Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner?
We haven’t seen Matthews play with William Nylander or Marner play with John Tavares for any significant amo …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

1 stud and 1 dud as Raptors stay alive vs. 76ers in Game 5 win

1 stud and 1 dud as Raptors stay alive vs. 76ers in Game 5 win

Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors went into Game 5 of their playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers with their backs against the wall. Not only would Gary Trent Jr, Precious Achiuwa, and the rest of the squad be eliminated from the playoffs with one more loss, but they had to take on Philly without […]
1 stud and 1 dud as Raptors stay alive vs. 76ers in Game 5 win – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Erik Kallgren hasn’t been stellar lately, but he’s the best backup option currently available

Erik Kallgren is now 11 games into his NHL career and to say it has been quite the adventure would be putting it mildly.
When he was called upon to make his NHL debut against the Coyotes on March 10th with his team down big, few could have envisioned the positive impact he would bring to a team that was desperate for some stability in the crease. Surrendering a combined three goals in his first three appearances (including a shutout in his debut start), he made good on the chance he earned through a strong showing with the Marlies this season.
Kallgren wasn’t supposed to take over the crease for good since it’s not often a rookie netminder can maintain strong play through his first stint in the NHL. He was given an extended look because of Petr Mrazek’s inconsistent play and subsequent injury, and because there aren’t many other options available once Jack Campbell was cleared to return.
But since his start against the Hurricanes on March 17th, there has only been one appearance where Kallgren posted a save percentage above .900 (April 9th against the Canadiens). Six of those appearances have resulted in a SV% of .870 or lower, and all but one of those games saw him concede at least three goals.
This has been a rough eight-game stretch that has culminated in an uninspiring stat line of 3.70 GAA, a .867 SV%, and a 4-3-1 record. Is Kallgren simply going through a funk or is this who he is?

Scotiabank Arena loves Erik Kallgren pic.twitter.com/TloxQPxZDZ
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 16, 2022

For every Jordan Binnington, Matt Murray, and Andrew Hammond who made an immediate impact that carried their team to great heights, there are countless other examples of other rookie goalies who take some time to adj …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Sam Mitchell has correct take on Raptors’ postseason potential

Sam Mitchell has correct take on Raptors’ postseason potential

The Toronto Raptors are now locked into the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference after just one season in the lottery. Nick Nurse has this team humming despite some lackluster bench depth and injury concerns that had many predicting they would be no more than a play-in team. The Raptors are not going to […]
Sam Mitchell has correct take on Raptors’ postseason potential – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ