Sheldon Keefe’s never satisfied mentality could take Leafs to the next level

What kind of coach do you think of when I say Sheldon Keefe’s name?
The 41-year-old has been the Maple Leafs’ bench boss for just over two years and carries a 139-86-38 record in the regular season. However, the one hump he’s yet to get the team over is the first round.
Keefe has done it in the AHL, winning a Calder Cup with the Toronto Marlies in 2018. But in the NHL, he’s only been able to have regular season success.
When I think of Keefe as a coach, I think of someone who’s never satisfied.

Keefe not satisfied despite winning
— . (@_marlanderthews) February 10, 2021

If you remember back to the All or Nothing series, there was a part where Keefe felt like he’s losing the team. Toronto was winning games, but not in the ways that he wanted.
He preached playing the right way.
That might be playing in systems, having compete, or just making the correct play. Keefe makes it known if he doesn’t like his teams performance, even if it’s a win.

Leafs have won eight of their last nine games, but Keefe not fully satisfied with the play.
“We’ve been getting a lot of points here as of late. We know we’ve got to play better.”
— David Alter (@dalter) November 14, 2021

On the Maple Leafs’ most recent road trip, Toronto lost a lead quite a few times. Keefe, though, thought the team played well in the circumstances.
“No.” Keefe said after Saturday’s win over the Blues when asked if he was concerned with the amount of leads given up on the road trip. “It’s not indicative of who we’ve been all season long. I think each game has had its different circumstances, and I also think we’re ju …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs announce 2021 development camp roster

Hockey is back, kind of.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced the 2021 development camp roster, which begins on September 9th.

The 2021 Development Camp roster has been announced.
Details »
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) September 7, 2021

Invited to the camp are some names we already know such as Nick Robertson, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, Pavel Gogolev, Jeremy McKenna, Joseph Duszak, and even Ian Scott. Others who’ve seen games within the Maple Leafs organization are Filip Kral, William Villeneuve, Noel Hoefenmayer and Riley McCourt.
With the start of camp being on September 9th, players will arrive and begin with both medicals and on-ice testing. On Friday, September 10th, the players will have their first on-ice session as a team and will meet with the media.
From the media release, this is the schedule for their development camp:
Friday, September 10
On-Ice Development: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 11
On-Ice Development/ Morning Skate: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Scrimmage: 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 12
On-Ice Development: 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Monday, September 13
Scrimmage: 10:00 a.m.
The Leafs Senior Director of Player Development, Hayley Wickenheiser, will run the the camp along with her staff. Others who will …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Reading too much into what I saw on the ice today

I’m not the kind of person who likes to be told what to do, so when Sheldon Keefe told reporters not to read to much into the lines at practice today, I knew exactly what I had to do: read too much into them.

Sheldon Keefe on today’s lineup at practice:
“I don’t think anybody should read too much into what they saw on the ice here today, because we’ve got to play two more games here in the regular season and all our players aren’t yet available to us in games.”
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) May 11, 2021

There are several jarring changes from what the Leafs have been running recently to tear into. My beautiful editor Jon Steitzer already covered the change in net, with Frederik Andersen returning to the lineup after being out for a long time.
As such, I’ll just read too much into the forward lines and defense pairing that Sheldon Keefe chose to attack me with today.
Alex Galchenyuk // Riley Nash
How on earth does Alex Galchenyuk, our favourite redemption arc boy, end up sitting on this team, in favour of offensive black hole Riley Nash? That’s not …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Top 5 Centers in franchise history

Toronto Raptors: Top 5 Centers in franchise history

The center position hasn’t been very kind to the Toronto Raptors over the years, as countless promising big men at that position have fizzled out. They’ve tallied just one meek little all-star appearance in 2001. The rest of the Toronto All-Stars have played positions 1-4, making the all-star player appearances a 23-1 ratio for Raptors […]
Toronto Raptors: Top 5 Centers in franchise history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Marlies pick up a draft eligible goaltender as an OHL season begins to seem less likely

Marlies pick up a draft eligible goaltender as an OHL season begins to seem less likely

It’s been a while since we’ve had any kind of signing news related to the Toronto Marlies, but out of the blue this morning, the Leafs’ AHL team offered up an Amateur Tryout contract.

A draft eligible goaltender is joining the Toronto Marlies.
If you thought 2020 was a weird year, 2021 is saying don’t forget about me.
— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) February 6, 2021

The most interesting thing about this move has to be the fact that Lennox is draft eligible. And with no timelines for the start of the OHL season, apparently Tristan Lennox has opted instead to join the Marlies, as he would be eligible to play there as long as there isn’t an OHL season going on.
Of course there isn’t an AHL season to speak of for the Marlies to speak of either, but the intention is that there will be an AHL schedule for the Canadian teams announced by Monday, and that both Toronto and Belleville will start their seasons largely on the road until Ontario allows them to play or they can find some farm land in southern Saskatchewan to call him for the next few months, and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes: Is Robertson World Junior bound? Rielly helping out Barrie, and more

We are 100% in the downtime of hockey and that kind sucks, since there’s snow outside, we’re locked down(-ish, if you’re in Alberta like me), and December is normally around the quarter mark for the season when we’d be jumping into hockey analysis mode. Dealing with hockey downtime is a lot more tolerable in August, but fingers remain crossed for season starting soon.
Until then, here are some of the scraps of news out of Leafs land.
Nick Robertson is on the preliminary US roster for the World Juniors

Introducing #TeamUSA’s preliminary roster for the 2021 World Junior Championship.
Details → #WorldJuniors
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) November 30, 2020

So yeah, he probably should be there. He’s really good and if he’s able to play, there’s a good chance he’ll play a pretty big role for Team USA, the catch is…

Nick Robertson is among those named to Team USA’s preliminary world junior roster, but his participation will hinge on when (or if?) NHL training camps get going.
I’d expect him to remain with the #leafs if there’s a camp in December. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Why Kawhi Leonard leaving was so unprecedented

Players leaving is kind of the norm for the Toronto Raptors. However, Kawhi Leonard’s decision is a whole lot different. For a while now, Toronto Raptors fans have been trying to deal with the reality that Kawhi Leonard will no longer rep their favourite team. We knew this outcome was possible and, when Masai Ujiri […]
Toronto Raptors: Why Kawhi Leonard leaving was so unprecedented – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Hunter Surphlis / Raptors HQ

Three Questions from the Raptors ahead of Game 2 vs. the Golden State Warriors

Jannelle Moore of Golden State of Mind was kind enough to provide some analysis on Game 1, and what changes to expect from the Warriors heading into Game 2. We spoke with Jannelle Moore of Golden State of Mind to hear the Bay Area take on Pascal Siakam, predictions for next game and potential strategic shifts on the defensive end:
Pascal Siakam has had to face incredibly tough defenders this postseason in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid and now Draymond Green. How was he able to score so easily last night, despite being primarily guarded by one of the best defenders in the world?
There’s a reason why Pascal Siakam is considered to be the front runner for Most Improved Player, and he showed it on Thursday. With that being said, Pascal was able to score so easily because Draymond defended him passively. Before Game 1, Green didn’t have a feel for Siakam and was caught off guard by his drives and quickness. Green was also more concerned with providing protection in the paint than effectively guarding Pascal one-on-one.
HQ’s Take: I agree that Draymond didn’t seem too concerned with Pascal’s offense to start the game. This passivity proved …

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Author: Dylan Litman / Raptors HQ

Listen to That’s A Rap #29: Post-Game 3 vs. Bucks Reaction

It wasn’t kind to our hearts, but the Raptors pulled out a victory over the Bucks in Game 3. The boys discuss what we can learn as Toronto continues on in the series. As has been the case all playoffs long, the Raptors stepped up when their backs were against the wall. Heading into Sunday’s game against the Bucks, the proverbial wall was a 2-0 series deficit, but by the 48th minute, the wall was Toronto overcoming the absence of two of their three most consistent performers in this series after they fouled out. Whether this game was a blowout or a heart-racing, double-overtime victory, Toronto got the win and kept their championship aspirations alive.
Check out the latest episode of That’s A Rap, as we try to collectively slow our breathing after a nerve-wracking game three victory.

On The Latest Episode:
The Raptors fought and clawed their way to their latest version of “most important game of the season.” I erroneously mentioned Toronto winning all the hustle stats. The fact that Toronto won the game despite losing all those stats is even more impressive. The Raptors wanted it more, and no one exemplified that desperation more than …

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Author: JayRosales / Raptors HQ

Bo Bichette reportedly has a broken hand

This isn’t the kind of Large Adult Son content anybody wants to consume. Bo Bichette has reportedly suffered a broken left hand after getting hit by a pitch in Buffalo’s loss last night.

#BlueJays No. 2 prospect Bo Bichette reportedly has a broken left hand after being hit by a pitch in last night’s @BuffaloBisons game. Bichette is #MLB’s No. 10 overall prospect:
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 23, 2019

This is really unfortunate because Bichette was starting to heat up at the plate. Earlier on Monday, the Bisons named him Player of the Week for his .400 batting average and his seven runs batted in. For the season, Bichette is slashing a .250/.310/.404 line with one homer, eight runs batted in, three steals, five walks, and 10 strikeouts. He’s also the youngest player on the team not named Vlad Jr.

This week’s @ADPROSports Player of the Week is @19boknows Congrats, Bo!
— Buffalo Bisons (@BuffaloBisons) April 22, 2019

Bichette is seeking a second opinion on the diagnosis, but given the accounts of him screaming in pain after getting hit last night, it doesn’t look good.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation