How we should probably react to losses at this point of the season

It’s that time of the season, where the Leafs have a playoff spot all but secured, and the games are absolutely meaningless aside from seeding. And yet, we still find ourselves getting worked up over losses, particularly on this five game losing streak the Leafs find themselves in. We look back on it and laugh because it was either worth it in the end, or it wasn’t even close to the pain we’d have to deal with later in the season, but it’s still easy to get sucked into the emotions and get mad at a 3-2 OT loss or a 6-3 loss.
If you want to save yourself a lot of stress until the playoffs, I have a way to help. It’s something I’ve done for the past few years after putting up with the 2017-18 Leafs during that January to March stretch where they were mediocre and frustrating to watch. It’s allowed me to watch and enjoy the games, and still be critical, but not be overly worried about the team and stressed out over a single loss.
That said, this is not me telling you what you can and can’ …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

A Matthews-less lineup for the Leafs as they try to turn things around against the Jets

Well, it’s a probably a good thing it’s not a regular year because right now would be playoff time and something like this would sting a lot more…

Auston Matthews is OUT tonight against the Jets, head coach Sheldon Keefe confirms
Day-to-day issue, not something that is expected to keep him out long
Missing his fourth game of the season … Leafs won previous three, all against the Oilers @TSN_Edge
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 15, 2021

No Matthews isn’t a good thing, even if the results so far have been encouraging, but it should be noted that there is a very big difference between Connor Hellebucyk, and the Oilers nonsensical tandem of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen. The Leafs could probably use the best goal scorer of this generation against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, but all the wishing in the world doesn’t change the fact that we’re getting Adam Brooks instead.
In addition to the absence of Matthews, we are still waiting on the return of William Nylander, and the arrival of Nick Foligno. The update on Nylander would put him on track for this weekend, but that doesn’t really help the Leafs situation tonight.



Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays hit the road to Kauffman Stadium, a place of shadows, to deal with the Royals

It’s been quite some time but watching baseball in Kansas City fills me with a combination of anxiety and dread. I get flashbacks to bloops singles, random overachievers hitting dingers, and runners getting stranded on third. As always, fuck the Royals.

How they’re doing…
This is obviously a very different team than the one we, unfortunately, knew from 2015. That’s the case on both sides.
The only major Royal left from that World Series team is Sal Perez. Jarrod Dyson left for a few years and is now back, the same goes for Wade Davis. Danny Duffy is also still around, though he wasn’t a big part of the 2015 team. Nobody from the 2015 Blue Jays is still around, but one player on the roster faced Kansas City in the playoffs. I’ll let you guess who it is.
Anyways, enough about the 2015 Royals, let’s talk about the 2021 Royals, a team in purgatory.
Kansas City is 6-4 this season and there aren’t really any real expectations for them to compete with Minnesota and Chicago for the American League Central. They have OK pitching and a ho-hum offence. The Royals rank above league-average in terms of runs …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Grading the Leafs trade deadline

Grading the Leafs trade deadline

It’s seems like only yesterday it was the trade deadline. And now that we’ve had a mountain of time to reflect back on it, and consider the performances of the players who have shuffled around the league, it’s time to grade the Leafs on the same scale that restaurants select their meat on. Fun. The question was simple, how would you grade the Leafs trade deadline?
Filipe Dimas:
B+
The team absolutely improved, there’s no question about that. Did they improve enough to vault themselves from contenders to cup favourites? Probably not, but it doesn’t seem like the opportunity to do so was there.
When the most desired trade piece was a controversial player who has scored only two goals this season, you can’t fault Dubas and the management team for not making a true blockbuster trade.
The Leafs are grittier, more experienced, and better at keeping the puck out of the net than they were two days ago, which is as much as anyone could have asked for.
While some people may be disappointed that Dubas didn’t pull a magic trick to add Taylor Hall, Jack Eichel and Mecha-Hasek from the Sabres …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

5 Leafs thoughts to start off trade deadline day

Here we go, it’s deadline day. The last day for a couple of months that the front page of The Leafs Nation is littered with trade rumours and speculation. And now with the acquisitions of Nick Foligno, David Rittich, and Riley Nash we can probably anticipate a bit slower of a deadline day for the Leafs. NOT TRUE. The Leafs still have $3.3M worth of cap space to play with. In fact, I’d argue the Leafs are still in an excellent position to do some fun things in the final minutes of the trade deadline. We just might be sitting around bored for most of the day. Now here’s so stray thoughts to jump start what will be a day that can’t possibly live up to any hockey fan’s expectations for it.
1. Last year’s acquisition is still the best acquisition
The fact that the Leafs have Jack Campbell and a goaltender that this team feels relaxed playing in front of and wants to win games for is already a huge advantage. Having an 11-0-0 goaltender as their Plan A this postseason, their former starter, who has fully rehabbed his injury as the Plan …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs have traded for Nick Foligno

It’s official the Leafs have added Nick Foligno.

TOR trades a first and two 4ths for Nick Foligno and Stefan Noesen. Though SJ
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 11, 2021

TOR is paying 25 per cent of Foligno salary
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 11, 2021

So the Leafs give up their first, as was expected, and two fourths. One which probably got the deal closed today, and the second which accounts for the Sharks retaining salary as well. As for Stefan Noesen, we’ll get to him in a bit.
Here’s the run down on Nick Foligno:

Nick Foligno, reportedly acquired by TOR, is a defensive specialist top six forward who doesn’t bring much of anything offensively whether it’s play-driving, production, or finishing. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/zdmtglAceN
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) April 11, 2021

Nick Foligno has been traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Toronto Maple Leafs per @frank_seravalli. We’re waiting for more details. There were a rumors that this trade can be a bigger than just Nick Foligno for a draft pick. We’ll see. pic.twitter.com/uQuRmBWDJT
— Andy & Rono (@HockeyStatsCZ) April 11, 2021

 

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Marlies and Me: Ian Scott plays first hockey game in almost two years

It’s been a tough stretch for the Marlies, who’ve been outscored 16-8 in their last three games. This week was another one full of practices which was to really help Toronto get focused in on these next few against Laval — who were bringing in Cole Caufield to have him gain some professional experience.
And really, he didn’t disappoint for Habs fans. Caufield had two goals and one assist against the Marlies on Friday night and one goal against Toronto on Saturday afternoon.

Cole Caufield scores his first AHL goal. pic.twitter.com/fxguT2kPMV
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) April 10, 2021

Even without Caufield though, the Marlies knew how good Laval is and coming into this weekend they were really just focused on themselves.
“We’re going to have to know where he [Caufield] is on the ice at all times and make it challenging for him.” Said Greg Moore prior to Friday night’s game against Laval. “Most of the preparation, we’ll continue to focus on ourselves and what our game plan is for the team.”
These two games were both a testament to how good the Laval Rocket are, but also to how much the Marlies have …

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: What does Khem Birch bring to the team?

Toronto Raptors: What does Khem Birch bring to the team?

It’s always good to have another Canadian on the Toronto Raptors’ books. Khem Birch has had a solid four years with the Orlando Magic. A mobile centre at 6’9 and 235 pounds, Birch is an important type of player to have on a winning team. An energy big who can switch on D, rebound, dunk, can […]
Toronto Raptors: What does Khem Birch bring to the team? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

MAIL CALL! Your Leafs trade deadline questions answered, and trade proposals panned

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Trade Deadline SZN, and in our attempt to milk every last drop of potential content out of this event, we did a mailbag! So let’s dive in to answering your questions and reviewing your trade proposals.

Are the Minnesota Wild for real?Who’d you rather have via trade to the Leafs: Palmieri or Hall? And which price would be steeper?
— Damn Antifa Daniel (@theForester26) April 8, 2021

Mark: Yes, the Wild are for real. Adding a gamebreaking talent like Kaprizov has completely altered the Wild’s look and they are getting excellent goaltending from Talbot and Kahkkonen.
Hall, hands-down. There’s a couple of lazy narratives going around about Hall: one is that he has only 2 goals this season and the other is that “his teams don’t win”. Allow me to bust those. Firstly, Hall is shooting at one-fourth of his career shooting average so this is bound for a regression. Secondly, an individual does not make a team. EDM to NJD to ARI to BUF is a murderer’s row of bad teams to play for, and having a winger single-handedly propel a bad team to success is a rare thing. …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

How the Kyle Palmieri trade affects the Leafs

How the Kyle Palmieri trade affects the Leafs

It’s taken a while, but the NHL finally did something interesting. Even if it was a trade a player (Kyle Palmieri) that we knew was going to be traded, alongside a player that the GM had been lusting after (Travis Zajac) for a 1st round pick in an underwhelming draft, and two minor league players that I’m sure only existed for that brief moment in time that this trade was completed.
I guess good for the Islanders in beefing up their lineup in a year that they have been more successful than in recent memory, and good for the Devils in picking up one good draft pick instead of a mitt full of midround garbage, but none of this answers the important question, and that is How does this affect the Leafs?
One less trade target
The first thing this trade does is take Kyle Palmieri off the trade market. This isn’t a particularly big deal to a lot of people who were incredibly underwhelmed with the idea of bringing in Palmieri. It leaves Taylor Hall out there with one less team going after him, but might light a fire under teams like Boston and Colorado that …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation