Toronto Raptors: Reasons why Chris Boucher should still come off the bench

Toronto Raptors: Reasons why Chris Boucher should still come off the bench

It’s no surprise to anyone that the Toronto Raptors have had their struggles this season with their centres and the decision on who to start and who to sit. The Toronto Raptors signed big men Aron Baynes and Alex Len after losing both of their own big men in Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, which […]
Toronto Raptors: Reasons why Chris Boucher should still come off the bench – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Niemela out of action, Miettinen taking over, Rindell running hot

It’s been a long time coming but NHL hockey is finally back. There has been plenty of focus on the new additions to the team and how the Leafs will construct their lineup within the limitations of the salary cap with the team only able to carry a 21 man roster. Their decision to keep Aaron Dell on the roster as the third goaltender to start the season has relegated offseason acquisition Mikko Lehtonen to the taxi squad along with top prospect Nicholas Robertson. While Leafs fans await the season debuts of two of the most enticing new faces on the team, there is plenty to talk about for some players lower on the organizational depth chart.
Rodion Amirov – LW/RW – Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
Amirov has returned to his KHL team after a strong showing at the World Juniors for Russia. He has played three games since rejoining Ufa and has been deployed as the right winger on their third line alongside veterans Vladislav Kartayev and Dmitri Kugryshev. He has been held off the scoreboard thus far but has fired 10 shots on goal while playing close to 15 minutes per game. His role will be something worth monitoring as there …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Beginner’s Guide to the 2020-21 Toronto Maple Leafs: The Defense

Hockey is upon us tonight, and for all the new hockey fans, it’s time I give you the last lesson of your Toronto Maple Leafs tutorial. I’ve already covered the team itself and the players up front, but today, we’re looking at the players and roles tasked with keeping the puck out of the net.
The defense/goaltending
For many, many years, the Leafs have been absolutely horrendous at defense. I became a fan in 2011-12, and I don’t think I’ve seen a single year where the Leafs were very good at keeping the puck out of the net that wasn’t propped up by stellar goaltending. But this year, that might finally change.
For the first time in a while, the Leafs have the potential to actually ice a complete lineup of NHL calibre players without a single bad defenseman on the team. There are a couple question marks for that, but for now, we remain hopeful. Not just that, but the addition of TJ Brodie gives Morgan Rielly a good defense partner, and the Leafs a good top pair. With Jake Muzzin being able to carry whoever plays with him on the second …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs Nation Preseason Prediction Poll

It’s been a long off season. We’ve gone a long time without the joy of cheering the Leafs, blaming the refs, and laughing at the Habs. Tomorrow night that all comes back. We need this.
With the return of the season, we’ve decided to take a different approach to our annual predictions than we’ve done in the past. We’re still asking the same questions, but we’ve also asked a few more, and rather than sharing the individual votes, we’ve rolled everything up into the official, guaranteed result predictions of the TLN team. Take these to the bank, but know if you win anything because of these predictions, we demand a cut. Similarly if you lose, remember, we don’t know what you’re talking about and these are for entertainment only.

First off we asked, how far the Leafs will make it this year, and the result was we all think the Leafs will do better than they have since the Quinn era. The majority of our contributors think they will match the Leafs best results since 1967, but no one was willing to step up and be bold and predict a Stanley Cup …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs make their roster cuts

It’s that magical time during training camp, it’s cut day. The Leafs have slashed away at their roster and we now have a bit of an idea of who will be the roster and the taxi squad based on these moves.

Maple Leafs trim training camp roster. #LeafsForever
Details >> https://t.co/Lqu1dWz7wh pic.twitter.com/HfMEj5vVYm
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 11, 2021

So the Leafs are still sitting at 15 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders. From that we can based on the allowed roster size and the Leafs cap situation the Leafs have their taxi squad and roster embedded in this group.
Presumably 21 of these players will be main roster, and either 4 or 5 of them will be on the taxi squad, depending on whether or not Alexander Kerfoot is on the injured reserve.
The surprises here might be that Adam Brooks is part of this group instead of Pierre Engvall, a player that Sheldon Keefe essentially called out following the Leafs Blue and White game on the weekend. Brooks certainly stood out, picking up a goal (as did Engvall), but there’s also this…

Keefe also noted of Engvall’s goal: “I think it might be …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Hutchinson on waivers, Petan clears, and it’s Leafs Game Day!!!

It’s Leafs Game Day!!! It’s something we’ve been waiting for since the summer, and as an added bonus we’re guaranteed to see them win. Of course we’re also guaranteed to see them lose, but we’ll have none of that negativity here, thank you very much.

Sheldon Keefe on tonight’s game: “This is the culmination of the camp. It’ll end here today. We’ll come back, and we’ve got two practice days before we prepare to play Montreal.”
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 9, 2021

With the above statement from Sheldon Keefe we can probably expect the Leafs to be very active on waivers tomorrow, and the we’ll have a good idea of who is on the main roster and the taxi squad in the coming days.
As for the other waivers news, the Leafs have put Michael Hutchinson on waivers today, and Nic Petan cleared waivers yesterday. Petan will either be assigned to the Marlies or dealt to a team that is excited to see if they can turn him into a NHLer. Hutchinson is also very likely to clear, despite the fact that New Jersey is now in the same boat as Washington, as their …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs put Nic Petan on waivers

Leafs put Nic Petan on waivers

It’s waivers SZN, and there won’t be any shortage of Leafs players being waived in the coming days. Today’s waivers player was a fairly predictable one.

Large group on waivers today. Among them Backes (ANA), Bracco (CAR), Petan (TOR).
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 8, 2021

So, ignoring the other two for a minute, we’ll focus on Nic Petan, the Leaf who will is likely facing a demotion to the Marlies in the near future.
Petan being put on waivers relatively early in the process is probably being done as somewhat of a favour to Petan, giving him a chance to be claimed by another team and find an opportunity. It’s still doubtful he’ll get claimed, but for a player that has been looking for an opportunity in the NHL after being on the bubble in both Winnipeg and Toronto, this is another chance for the Leafs to try and do right by him.
Petan’s future is either likely to involve the Marlies or he’ll clear waivers and the Leafs will trade him for someone else’s AHL property or future considerations to allow him an opportunity but not having to deal with waiving him …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Beginner’s Guide to the 2019-20 Toronto Maple Leafs: The Team

Over the past *checks notes*… oh god, it’s been 10 months since we’ve been in lockdown. Sorry, over the past 10 months when we’ve all been trapped in our houses with not much to do, we’ve been lucky enough to see sports return to provide some of us with some form of entertainment. This has also allowed an opportunity for more eyes to watch hockey, and we’ve seen more fans join the fun with not much else to do. I would know, I was one of them.
This year, I decided to put more of an effort to watch Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors, and Miami Dolphins (my favourite MLB, NBA, and NFL teams, respectively). While they all have certainly made it fun to watch, I’ve also found myself lacking some knowledge. With the Leafs, I liked that I could see a player on the ice and know exactly what their skills and responsibility are, something that I didn’t know with the other sports.
So, while I might not ever get that closer, you can. I give you The Beginner’s Guide to the 2019-20 Toronto Maple Leafs, a three part series where I give …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

What Now? Schedule Doesn’t Get Any Easier for Toronto Raptors

What Now? Schedule Doesn’t Get Any Easier for Toronto Raptors

With urgency growing and panic setting in, it’s time to look at the upcoming schedule to determine whether the Toronto Raptors can get out of their tailspin before it’s too late. I don’t need to tell anyone here about the current sorry state of the Toronto Raptors. On Wednesday night in Phoenix, the club lost […]
What Now? Schedule Doesn’t Get Any Easier for Toronto Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

All-Canadian Preview: The Montreal Canadiens are a wild-card

The Canadian Division is a sandwich.

As I said yesterday, it’s a clear bet that the Ottawa Senators wind up at the bottom of the group, and I also think it’s reasonable to assume that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the team to beat. Between them, though? That’s anyone’s guess.
The biggest wild-card of those middle five teams is the Montreal Canadiens.
What happened last season…
31-31-9 (71 points), 5th in Atlantic Division 
Goals For: 212 (18th of 31), Goals Against: 221 (23rd of 31)
10-3-2 vs Canadian opponents
2-0-0 vs CGY, 0-2-0 vs EDM, 3-0-1 vs OTT, 3-0-0 vs TOR, 1-0-1 vs VAN, 1-1-0 vs WPG
The Habs were the definition of mediocre last season.
They posted a 31-31-9 record, finished in the middle of the pack in terms of goals scored, and finished in the bottom third of the league in goals against. They had a bunch of good-not-great players produce at a good-not-great level and their star, Carey Price, wasn’t the elite goaltender they needed him to be in the regular season.
Despite being nowhere near a playoff spot when the league got paused due to COVID-19 in …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation