Raptors: Were Fred VanVleet and the Raptors snubbed from the All-Star game?

Raptors: Were Fred VanVleet and the Raptors snubbed from the All-Star game?

The NBA just announced the reserves for the 2020-21 NBA All-Star game, and even though the Toronto Raptors are fifth in the Eastern Conference, there aren’t any Raptors representing the East. One name from the Raptors that should be on the team is Fred VanVleet. There is no doubt that right now VanVleet is the […]
Raptors: Were Fred VanVleet and the Raptors snubbed from the All-Star game? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ

Is it time for Rasmus Sandin?

The Leafs just easily beat the Canucks 7-3 with their Thursday night lineup, actually their Thursday night lineup minus Travis Dermott, who was injured in the first. They are sitting at 8-2-1 through 11 games, and essentially the top team in the NHL, so why are we talking about messing around with their roster? The answer can most quickly be explained by the fact that we’re never satisfied Leafs fans and we’re always wanting more, but there is another piece, and that’s the fact that we have a shiny new(-ish) toy that we haven’t taken out of the box this season and we want to know how it plays.
Our own Nick Richard highlighted some of the issues with Sandin’s playing time situation in his Prospect Roundup:
Much has been made of Rasmus Sandin’s place on the depth chart and the fact that one of the Leafs’ top prospects hasn’t played a game in 11 months. In a somewhat curious decision, Sandin wasn’t among the handful of Leafs prospects that were loaned overseas as the organization sought to find ice time for their youngest players when the NHL season was still up …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays add to their pitching depth with buy-low, rebound candidate Steven Matz

The moves just keep on coming. The Blue Jays continue to add, this time acquiring Steven Matz from the New York Mets for Sean-Reid Foley, Yennsy Diaz and, Josh Winckowski.

On the surface this is a move that helps both clubs. The Mets are able to clear Matz’s $5.2M salary off the books, so they can go after Trevor Bauer, and the Blue Jays are able to open up a 40-man roster spot for Marcus Semien. Reid-Foley and Diaz are DFA candidates on a jam-packed 40-man (more so the latter than the former) and Winckowski is a low-level prospect with some upside to be more than that. 
For the Blue Jays, they are hoping Matz can be more than just a salary dump. Matz had a pretty terrible 2020, a 9.68 ERA, and a 7.76 FIP. He wasn’t able to keep the ball in the yard allowing 14 homers in just 30.2 innings. His 37.8% home run per fly ball rate was more than double his career high. He was done in by the long ball and his 4.15 xFIP and 4.05 SIERA are a little more in tune to how he pitched last season.
What Matz does well is strike batters out. He struck out 25.4% …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Six score their first goal ever!

Just over 7 minutes into their second game, the Toronto Six scored their first goal ever! Lindsay Eastwood got the honours of marking this amazing moment in franchise history.

EASTWOOD!
FIRST TORONTO 6IX GOAL! pic.twitter.com/9UuPkMPxQJ
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 24, 2021

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs without Matthews tonight, and Thornton to miss a month

Yesterday it seemed like it was just going to be a maintenance day for Auston Matthews. He was a little sore when he took the ice for practice, left early, and rather than reshuffling the lines, Adam Brooks took his place between Jimmy Vesey and Mitch Marner. The fact that Marner hadn’t been shuffled onto either the Tavares or Kerfoot line kept me calm for the past twenty four hours. This morning it’s hitting a bit different…

Sheldon Keefe confirms Auston Matthews it OUT tonight for #Leafs vs. Oilers. Upper body soreness. Day-to-day.
Joe Thornton has a rib fracture, will miss at least a month.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 22, 2021

Now in a 56 game season there will be injuries, and rather than Matthews playing and aggravating what’s causing the soreness, taking a game or two to recover doesn’t seem like the end of the world. It would be nice to see an honest matchup between McDavid and Matthews after the boring outing on Wednesday night, but luckily we’ll get seven more opportunities this year.
It will be interesting to see what the Leafs new lines look like tonight, but my guess is we see Marner …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Three potential reasons why the Toronto Raptors have waived Alex Len

Three potential reasons why the Toronto Raptors have waived Alex Len

Alex Len has just been waived by the Toronto Raptors, which is important because it is most likely signaling another transaction. The Raptors were not making this move for cap space, as Alex Len was signed to a very small contract, but the team was using up all 15 contracts that the team is allotted. […]
Three potential reasons why the Toronto Raptors have waived Alex Len – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Zelniker / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Is Norman Powell proving he’s a one-hit wonder after ice-cold start?

Raptors: Is Norman Powell proving he’s a one-hit wonder after ice-cold start?

Are Norman Powell’s struggles in 2020-21 just a cold stretch, or a sign that he’s regressing? The 1-5 Toronto Raptors are currently leaking coolant, as a team that won an NBA Championship and earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference in consecutive seasons has completely regressed on offense, as they rank just 26th […]
Raptors: Is Norman Powell proving he’s a one-hit wonder after ice-cold start? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Leafs shining at WJC, Kral catches fire, Kara on the move

The NHL season is finally just around the corner and the World Juniors have been a great primer as the hockey world begins to look a little brighter. Leafs fans have been treated to some impressive performances by a few of the team’s newest prospects, and all of Toronto’s participants will have a chance to compete for medals as both Russia and Finland have looked strong through the preliminary round.
Rodion Amirov – LW/RW – Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
For many Leafs’ fans, these first few games at the World Juniors have been the first real look they have gotten at the organization’s most recent first round pick. Despite a bit of a slow start, Amirov has been impressive and leads the Russian squad in scoring through the preliminary round with two goals and four assists in four games. On top of his offensive exploits, Amirov has been a strong defensive presence and a difference maker on the penalty kill for Igor Larionov’s team as well. His best game of the tournament so far came in Russia’s final preliminary round matchup against Sweden where he scored a goal and added two assists, including the primary assist …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Leafs By the Numbers: Denis Malgin

He might just be the best player you forgot the Leafs had. Denis Malgin appeared in just 8 games for the Leafs last season, but there was a time when the 2015 4th rounder was making a name for himself in Florida. More accurately, he was distinguishing himself from Evgeni Malkin. The 2015 draft was a strong one for Switzerland, with Timo Meier going 9th overall and Jonas Siegenthaler in the 2nd round. Still it was Malgin who broke into the NHL first as a 19 year old, with 10 points in 47 games.
Malgin made two appearances for Switzerland at the WJC before being joining the Panthers, tying for the team lead with 7 points in 6 games in 14-15 and leading the team outright the following year with 9 points in 6 games. The diminutive winger was also a teammate of Auston Matthews on the ZSC Lions before coming to North America.
Denis Malgin’s number is 192
That’s how many NHL games Malgin has played to date, and he’s not turning 24 until January. There is no guarantee he hits the 200 milestone this season, at this point it is still unclear if Malgin will remain in Switzerland or if he’s Toronto-bound. My intuition says the former, …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, December 23rd: Holiday Edition!

Okay let’s just get the big news out of the way from the get go, eh? WE HAVE A SEASON! (It would appear.) On December 20th the NHL announced the official start date (January 13th, 2021) and the official divisions of the upcoming season. All the details can be found in the Twitter thread below:

The @NHLPA and @NHL have announced an agreement to play a 2020-21 regular-season schedule of 56 games beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. https://t.co/2on0oStnMd pic.twitter.com/aggYeVMjfj
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 20, 2020

Now, it seems the Canadian provinces and the league are still in discussions about how this works with Canada’s lockdowns and such, so there is some ambiguity there. But according to the NHL, the season begins on January 13th, Canadian teams and all! We are very excited to have hockey (safely) back!
Other than the big news, there is lots to touch on this week, so let’s dive in.
Leafs Lads
We begin, as always with our Leafs boys. Where to start….? How about with a birthday?

Wishing @Travis_Dermott a happy birthday! pic.twitter.com/2xSACu7nuu
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 22, 2020

Happy birthday, Travis Dermott! We …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation