Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Bulls Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Jan. 26

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Bulls Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Jan. 26

While the Toronto Raptors went into a Tuesday showcase against the Hornets without the services of Scottie Barnes or Fred VanVleet, they were able to get back over .500 with an impressive win that featured a 76-point first half. The latest Raptors odds don’t think they’ll recapture that magic on the second half of a […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Bulls Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Jan. 26 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

PHF Weekend Review: Toronto dominating Buffalo at hockey in the PHF too

As the Toronto Six get back into action this weekend, it was a weekend full of goals and celebrations for Toronto.
After some roster shakeups earlier in the week, and the weekend prior’s games being postponed, the Six had every excuse to be a little bit flat this weekend. They chose instead to dominate their opponents, the Buffalo Beauts.
Saturday’s game
Here was Toronto’s lineup for the game:

Lineups for this afternoons matchup! pic.twitter.com/RrpRoq6aiX
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 15, 2022

And Buffalo’s:

Here is todays #Beauts lineup against the Six! #FortBeaut #PHF : @jsantalucia96 pic.twitter.com/pGWaQIb7eb
— Buffalo Beauts (@BuffaloBeauts) January 15, 2022

In the first game of the weekend, the first action for the Six players since 2021, Toronto came out strong early with a 3-0 lead. Rookie Leah Marino started it off with her second goal of the season on a great primary assist by fellow rookie Stephanie Sucharda:

Leah Marino gives the Toronto Six the early lead! pic.twitter.com/Rl30hE2hvc
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

Less than 4 minutes later, the team’s superstar Mikyla Grant-Mentis picked up a loose puck from a shot block by, I think, Saroya Tinker, and blows by Buffalo’s defence to beat Carly Jackson for what was called an unassisted goal:

Grant-Mentis because of course she did! 2-0 Toronto Six! pic.twitter.com/C01jQMNKAQ
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

Then, about 5 minutes before the end of the first, Toronto’s first ever draft selection Amy Curlew roofs her first goal of the season on a slick backhand, cleaning up a bit of a mess in front of the net. This goal comes with very well-earned assists by Natalie Marcuzzi, who rejoined the team recently, and captain Shiann Darkangelo:

Amy Curlew with a wicked backhander top shelf! pic.twitter.com/OPDMFC21d9
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

Into the second period, Beauts goalie Carly Jackson tries to put pressure on Meagan Beres as she tries to cap off the 3-on-2 rush, the puck slides past Jackson and it looks like Stephanie Sucharda taps it into the net, but the goal was credited to Beres (Sucharda still gained an assist on the play). The team gave her a “1st goal” puck so perhaps that will get changed. Take a look and see who you think scored it:

The Toronto Six are putting on a show for the viewers on TSN 4! pic.twitter.com/nsVTIydEqu
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

That was all the action for this 2nd period. Into the 3rd period, Toronto’s Taylor Day got one, then Buffalo followed up with one to make it 5-1, but Toronto squashed any hope of a comeback pretty quickly with Leah Marino‘s second goal of the night, and six goals on the night for the Six:

Leah Marino scores again and the Six have six! pic.twitter.com/GCpzxPKkpn
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

That’s how the game would end, with the Six taking down the Beauts 6-1. Here were the 3 stars for the game:

Sunday’s game
Toronto’s lineup was unchanged except for Tera Hofmann getting her first start with Toronto:

Congratulations to @TeraHofmannnn who gets her first start as a member of the #T6 pic.twitter.com/NifhfOxh4N
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 16, 2022

And Buffalo made a few alterations after Saturday’s crushing defeat:

Here’s todays lineup against Toronto Six!! #LetsGo #FortBeaut #PHF: @jsantalucia96 pic.twitter.com/AGrBqGP2aq
— Buffalo Beauts (@BuffaloBeauts) January 16, 2022

You would think that it would be difficult to follow up such a dominant performance with another one, but the Six did exactly that.
After the Beauts opened the scoring, assistant captain Emma Woods with this bar down snipe on the powerplay:

Emma Woods goes bardown on the power play! pic.twitter.com/pqxLHJFJIL
— PHF (@PHF) January 16, 2022

Toronto scored another one on the powerplay, and then the Beauts scored a couple on Toronto to make it 3-2 at the end of the 1st.
Those would be the last goals Buffalo would score this weekend, as the Six ran the show for the remaining two periods. First, Emma Woods got her second of the night, then it was Brooke Boquist finishin …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors insane comeback win against Bucks

1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors insane comeback win against Bucks

Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors went into the second half of a back-to-back against the Milwaukee Bucks with as little momentum as possible. With Scottie Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. out once again, it fell on the likes of Yuta Watanabe and OG Anunoby to pick up the pace. The Raptors looked like they […]
1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors insane comeback win against Bucks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Maple Leafs shooting by the numbers

It’s 34 games into the Leafs season. Well actually it’s 35 games in, because the Leafs played the Coyotes after I wrote this, and but for the purpose of what you are about to read, 34 games have been played. With that comes some pretty established trends in regards to how things are going for the Leafs this season.
When it comes to how the Leafs have been shooting this year, they’ve been sitting at 10%, combined with their team save percentage, they have a PDO of 102.2. When it comes to how they’ve been scoring, they’ve been scoring slightly above expected. The Leafs has a G/60 of 3.35, and a xG/60 of 3.27, so they are outscoring what was expected.
Here’s the breakdown of how the individual Leaf shooters have been performing by scoring and shot metrics.
Player
Position
GP
TOI/GP
Goals/60
ixG/60
Goals vs. Expected/60
Ilya Mikheyev
R
5
15.91
3.02
1.20
1.82
Auston Matthews
C
31
20.68
2.15
1.47
0.68
Jason Spezza
C
30
11.76
1.19
0.71
0.48
William Nylander
R
34
18.86
1.50
1.16
0.34
TJ Brodie
D
34
20.55
0.26
0.09
0.17
Justin Holl
D
28
20.57
0.10
0.07
0.03
Morgan Rielly
D
34
23.98
0.29
0.28
0.01
Alexander Kerfoot
C
34
15.56
0.68
0.68
0.00
Ondrej Kase
R
29
14.31
1.16
1.17
-0.01
Travis Dermott
D
23
14.53
0.18
0.19
-0.01
David Kampf
C
34
14.73
0.48
0.52
-0.04
Jake Muzzin
D
33
21.43
0.08
0.13
-0.05
John Tavares
C
33
18.52
1.37
1.45
-0.08
Mitchell Marner
R
26
20.78
0.67
0.80
-0.13
Kyle Clifford
L
8
8.31
0.00
0.18
-0.18
Timothy Liljegren
D
19
15.99
0.00
0.19
-0.19
Rasmus Sandin
D
29
16.27
0.00
0.20
-0.20
Pierre Engvall
L
32
13.01
0.58
0.79
-0.21
Michael Bunting
L
34
15.05
0.82
1.06
-0.24
Wayne Simmonds
R
33
9.97
0.73
1.04
-0.31
Nick Ritchie
L
32
12.08
0.31
0.88
-0.57
When it comes to outscoring what is expected of them, it’s probably no surprise that Ilya “4 goals in 5 games” Mikheyev is leading the pack. It’s also not much of a surprise that players like Matthews and Nylander are also outperforming their expected numbers, and Brodie, well, the bar was set pretty low for him and his recent goal scoring hot streak would absolutely throw his numbers into a flux.
On the other side of things, Tavares has had some modest struggles, but that’s nothing compared to the incredibly rough year that Nick Ritchie has been facing, although when you look at Bunting, Simmonds, and Ritchie all being at the bottom of the list, it’s important to note that net front opportunities are going to have a significantly higher expected goal total.
When it comes to shooting frequency, one of the biggest surprises again has to be Ilya Mikheyev. Mikheyev seems determined to establish that he has an offensive side to his game, and he’s clearly been shooting a lot more.
Before looking at the table, here’s the breakdown of what the average shots/60 are for the Leafs and by position on the Leafs:
Average Shots per 60: 6.99
Forwards Average Shots per 60: 8.80
Defense Average Shots per 60: 3.36
Player
Position
GP
TOI/GP
Shots/60
iCF/60
Shots on net %
Ilya Mikheyev
R
5
15.91
14.33
16.59
86.38
Auston Matthews
C
31
20.68
12.91
22.74
56.77
Ondrej Kase
R
29
14.31
11.57
18.51
62.51
William Nylander
R
34
18.86
11.04
18.72
58.97
John Tavares
C
33
18.52
10.11
16.79
60.21
Pierre Engvall
L
32
13.01
9.23
15.86
58.20
Wayne Simmonds
R
33
9.97
9.12
13.31
68.52
Michael Bunting
L
34
15.05
7.97
14.19
56.17
Jason Spezza
C
30
11.76
7.83
15.82
49.49
Nick Ritchie
L
32
12.08
7.45
12.58
59.22
Mitchell Marner
R
26
20.78
6.99
15.21
45.96
Morgan Rielly
D
34
23.98
6.55
11.11
58.96
Alexander Kerfoot
C
34
15.56
5.90
9.53
61.91
David Kampf
C
34
14.73
4.91
8.27
59.37
Timothy Liljegren
D
19
15.99
4.74
10.27
46.15
Jake Muzzin
D
33
21.43
3.48
8.83
39.41
Travis Dermott
D
23
14.53
3.23
7.00
46.14
Rasmus Sandin
D
29
16.27
3.05
9.41
32.41
Kyle Clifford
L
8
8.31
2.71
7.22
37.53
Justin Holl
D
28
20.57
1.88
4.06
46.31
TJ Brodie
D
34
20.55
1.72
5.15
33.40
So Mitch Marner is the Leafs average, but he’s been shooting less than other Leafs forwards. N …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

1 stud and 1 dud from chaotic Raptors victory against Bucks

1 stud and 1 dud from chaotic Raptors victory against Bucks

Pascal Siakam and Toronto Raptors came into a matchup against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks looking to pick up their third consecutive win in 2022. Fred VanVleet, Chris Boucher, and the rest of the squad had to like the fact that Giannis Antetokounmpo was ruled out before the game. The first half was one of […]
1 stud and 1 dud from chaotic Raptors victory against Bucks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Free agent departures: Frederik Andersen’s bounce back month, Nick Foligno’s struggles, and more

Free agent departures: Frederik Andersen’s bounce back month, Nick Foligno’s struggles, and more

We’re now almost three full months into the 2021-22 NHL season and we’ve now seen enough games for some former Leafs on their new teams. You have guys like Frederik Andersen and Zach Hyman who are finding success on their new teams, but you also have guys like Nick Foligno and Alex Galchenyuk who are struggling right now and can’t seem to find success on their respected teams.
Now, some of these players have dealt with injuries so far this season and some had been placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list as well, so that could also be a reason why they haven’t found success early on with their new teams but we’re also in January now and I think it’s time for them to step up and make a case to their new team as to why they went out and signed this player.

(As of December 31st, 2021)
 
1. Zach Hyman – EDM – 29 years old – LW/RW
December 2021 stats: 8 GP – 2 G – 2 A – 4 PTS – 19:49 TOI
2021-22 stats: 29 GP – 11 G – 8 A – 19 PTS – 19:02 TOI
Contract: 7 years x $5.5M
Zach Hyman hasn’t quite been on the same pace he was to start the season in October …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

NHL postpones two Toronto Maple Leafs games due to Canadian attendance restrictions

As Canada moves into a phase where attendance at games is limited, the NHL has taken action.

Our games vs. Carolina (Jan 3) & Montreal (Jan 6) have been postponed. https://t.co/bEyfkz1yZe
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 28, 2021

The Maple Leafs’ game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes on January 3rd and the game against Montreal on January 6th have both been postponed.
“In addition, the NHL announced that due to current attendance restrictions in certain Canadian cities, nine additional games will be rescheduled for dates later in the season when such restrictions may be eased or lifted.” The NHL said in a statement. “Make-up dates for the games have yet to be established.”
Toronto has three games between now and January 8th.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Around the NHL: The biggest surprises (good and bad) in the NHL this season

A few days ago, I looked into some of the biggest surprises from the Leafs, so today I figured I’d take a look at some of the biggest surprises in the NHL. This can include players/teams who have exceeded expectations, performed well below expectations, or some who had no expectations and still disappointed, and I’ll also try and guess if it will continue for the rest of the season. This is based on my own expectations going into the season, as well as my current evaluations, so there will probably be a few that you aren’t surprised by or don’t think shouldn’t be on this list.
Pleasant Surprise: Detroit Red Wings
The Atlantic division was probably the one division this year that I thought would be pretty easy to predict. Tampa, Toronto, Boston, and Florida would all be the dominant teams that they looked like on paper, Montreal would go back to being a mediocre team after a Cup Finals run, and Detroit, Ottawa, and Buffalo would be lottery contenders. Well, Detroit has decided otherwise, as they’ve come along and become a somewhat competitive hockey team. It shouldn’t be too much of …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Should the Toronto Raptors draft a massive Canadian in Zach Edey?

Should the Toronto Raptors draft a massive Canadian in Zach Edey?

The Toronto Raptors went into the season without a ton of height on the roster, as no player on the roster was listed as taller than 6-9. Pascal Siakam can only do so much when it comes to protecting the rim. They could change that unfortunate reality if they decide to add Purdue center Zach […]
Should the Toronto Raptors draft a massive Canadian in Zach Edey? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

2022 NHL Draft: Nick Richard’s December Top-32

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We are well into the NHL season and as the World Juniors draw near, it is time to turn our attention to the world of prospects. While fans are surely excited to see their team’s top youngsters suit up at the annual holiday tournament, some are already eyeing up the next crop of potential stars that could help push their team to the next level.
After a difficult 2020-21 season that saw several leagues forced to pause or cancel their seasons altogether, the 2021-22 season has brought a sense of normalcy with all major hockey leagues across the world returning to play. As players continue to emerge and establish themselves as legitimate NHL prospects, the top of the 2022 NHL Draft class has started to take shape.
My top-32 is made up of 23 forwards and nine defencemen, as this class lacks a high-end goalie prospect like we have seen in recent drafts. These rankings are based on a combination of my own personal viewings of these players as well as conversations I’ve had with other scouts in the public sphere. A lot can change before draft time rolls around but with a solid chunk of …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation