Raptors player review: Will Scottie Barnes leap forward in 2022-23?

Raptors player review: Will Scottie Barnes leap forward in 2022-23?

The Toronto Raptors knew they were going out on a bit of a limb when they made Scottie Barnes the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and Dalano Banton their second-round draft choice. Taking these players showed a commitment to Masai Ujiri’s preferred style of basketball and emphasis on player development. Barnes immediately […]
Raptors player review: Will Scottie Barnes leap forward in 2022-23? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Some other positive takeaways from the Leafs and Lightning game

Who knew when we’d be discussing the Florida road trip that we’d get to such an optimistic outlook so soon? I mean, to some extent we’re awfully hard on this Leafs team despite having the 4th best record in the league. We want to prepare for the worst, and ignore the fact that this team very much can hang with the Panthers, Bruins, and Lightning like we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks.
While it was great to see Auston Matthews tie a Leafs record, and pot another hat trick, it just scratches the surface of what we should be happy about from Monday night’s game. Here’s a breakdown of things that should have Leafs fans feeling good on Tuesday morning.
#1. Jack Campbell is living up to what the Leafs need him to be
Holding the Lightning to two goals is actually a pretty stellar night, and I don’t want to undersell the 32 save performance that included a couple of highlight-reel moves, but the main takeaway is that between Saturday night and Monday night, Jack Campbell is no longer a barrier to success like he was before missing time from his injury. If Campbell can be a consistent  .900+ save percentage goaltender the Leafs will have a grea …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Maple Leafs need consistent goaltending if they want to make a run in the playoffs

When approaching the NHL trade deadline, we knew the Maple Leafs needed a defenceman and a top-six forward, but will they be looking at a goaltender too?
After the strong start to Jack Campbell’s season where it felt like he was playing every game, his play has seemed to cool down. A lot.
Looking at Saturday’s game was a prime example of just how much the 30-year-old’s game has changed. Toronto had a 7-2 lead heading into the third period, and somehow, Detroit was able to claw their way back and make it a 7-6 hockey game. When a team like the Maple Leafs is a possible contender, this shouldn’t be happening.
While you can say that this is Toronto’s style of play (which it is), at some point it has to stop if they want to be serious about winning.
But I don’t think you can blame the players after a performance like that, since they had 10 goals. This game was all goaltending.
“He’s got to be better,” said Sheldon Keefe of Campbell’s game on Saturday night. “That goal to start the (third) period, it’s a nothing play, really. It’s a routine save that he can make there and doesn’t, and then it kind of snowballs obviously from there. So …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Svi Mykhailiuk has put the Raptors in an impossible situation

Svi Mykhailiuk has put the Raptors in an impossible situation

The Toronto Raptors knew that they were going into the season without a ton of shooting or experience on the bench, which prompted the signing of Ukrainian veteran Svi Mykhailiuk. After bouncing around the league as a second-round pick, a strong finish to the 2020-21 season prompted Masai Ujiri to bring him into the fold. […]
Svi Mykhailiuk has put the Raptors in an impossible situation – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

NHL Chief Content Officer shares thoughts with us on All or Nothing and what’s next for NHL

“We knew how the movie ends.”
It all started with a thought.
After the end of the 2018-19 season, the NHL desired to do something new. They produced series like ‘Road to the Winter Classic’ and ‘Quest for the Stanley Cup’ where you get glimpses of what it’s like to be an NHLer. But you don’t get the complete look.
So, what did the NHL do?
The league aspired to hold a piece of the pie and have hockey finally in the All or Nothing series. In 2019, the NHL was seriously speaking to Amazon about making that happen.
And finally, it did.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were followed for over 100 days while on their quest for glory. It, unfortunately, didn’t occur, but fans finally get a closer look at what it’s like to be a Leaf every day.
“Let’s face it, the Leafs having that star power, having the cache of history, having a very colourful front office, they wanted to do that show.” Said NHL Chief Content Officer and Executive Producer of All or Nothing, Steve Mayer. “The compelling feature of, how the season was shortened, the North Division — there was a lot of …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Malgin leaving for Switzerland may open a door for Josh Ho-Sang as skilled depth for the Leafs

Malgin?
We hardly knew ye.
Denis Malgin was a young underperforming depth scorer for the Florida Panthers who the Leafs added at the expense of Mason Marchment, beloved Marlies brute, who seemed like he was going to top out as physical NHL/AHL tweener. At the time it looked like the Leafs were getting offensive upside in exchange for a recent ECHL grinder. Oops.
While Marchment is not as good as his best numbers make him appear to be, Malgin never really found a home on the Leafs, and after spending last season having a strong year in Switzerland, his native country, and returning to not receive any kind of look from the Leafs at playoff time, it stands to reason that he wasn’t interested in hanging around Toronto for another year.

Welcome back, Denis Malgin!
https://t.co/u7MUovGzeY#Eigegwächs #deZischmeh #MirsindZüri pic.twitter.com/jmRt7tZPxp
— ZSC Lions (@zsclions) September 6, 2021

The Leafs will retain Denis Malgin’s NHL rights, but with a four year deal, it’s far more likely that we’ve seen the last of Malgin in a Leafs uniform. We’ll always have those eight pointless games to look back on fondly. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Frank Seravalli reporting the Leafs will lose Jared McCann to the Kraken

Jared McCann we hardly knew ye. And believe me, we really wanted to get to know you, but alas you are meant for better things and by that I mean completely escaping the gong show that is the Maple Leafs organization.

His stay was short-lived in Toronto. The #SeaKraken will be selecting Jared McCann from the #Leafs.
The end result: Toronto traded prospect Filip Hallander and a 7th round pick to Pittsburgh to essentially protect their roster from Seattle.@DFOHockey
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 21, 2021

If you are looking for any attempt at thoughtful analysis here, I’m going to let you down. This situation comes off as incredibly stupid. The Leafs gave up a solid, near NHL ready prospect in Filip Hallander, plus a 7th round pick (the Leafs have been giving all draft picks away like candy) to bring in Jared McCann a few days ago. That was immediately followed by the failure to protect him in the expansion draft, largely creating a situation where the Kraken would be choosing between McCann and Kerfoot.
For the record, McCann is cheaper, younger, better defensively, better offensively, taller, and probably smells better than Alexander Kerfoot too. Basically, McCann was put …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Yuta Watanabe signing an NBA deal speaks to his fit long-term

Toronto Raptors: Yuta Watanabe signing an NBA deal speaks to his fit long-term

Coming into the season, no one really knew what to make of Toronto Raptors two-way player Yuta Watanabe. He could defend some yes, but what position was he best served at? Furthermore, was he going to evolve his offensive game? Watanabe didn’t get off to the greatest start, but he soon found a foothold in […]
Toronto Raptors: Yuta Watanabe signing an NBA deal speaks to his fit long-term – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Kahfeel Buchanan / Raptors HQ

Leafs waive five players

We knew this was coming. In fact, I wrote earlier today about how it was coming. That being said, we are now playing the waiting game to see if any of them are claimed.

Kenny Agostino, Travis Boyd, Adam Brooks, Martin Marincin and Calle Rosen have been placed on waivers by Toronto.
Aaron Dell, notably, was not. So the #leafs are still carrying three goalies on the active roster.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 11, 2021

Let’s start with who wasn’t waived, and that was Aaron Dell. Not waiving Dell was absolutely necessary at this time, given that both New Jersey and Washington could use a goaltender, and let’s face it, Dell could be a starter in Edmonton as well, so he was going to get a ton of interest. Hopefully teams figure out their goaltending situations soon, and Dell can safely be moved to the Taxi Squad in the near future, giving the Leafs a bit more flexibility with their players.
Boyd and Brooks are both slated for the Leafs main roster or Taxi Squad, and the fact that they are waived pretty much guarantees that it is the taxi squad where they are landing. There is some risk …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What do the Leafs have in prospect Filip Hallander?

We all knew changes were coming and Kyle Dubas wasted little time getting to work reshaping the Leafs roster. On Tuesday, he made his first move of the offseason and shipped Kasperi Kapanen back to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Leafs and Penguins exchanged multiple pieces in the deal but the key components of the trade were Kapanen for Pittsburgh, and the Penguins 2020 first round pick along with Swedish prospect Filip Hallander for Toronto. We’ll have to wait and see what the Leafs decide to do with that pick. Do they use it in another trade to add help on the blue line or do they keep the pick and add to their prospect pool with the 15th selection in what many analysts have referred to as a deep draft?
While we aren’t sure what will become of that draft pick in the coming weeks, months, or even years, Filip Hallander is more of a known quantity even at just 20 years of age. He’s a player that the Leafs have kept close tabs on going all the way back to before he was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2018 draft. 
Dubas …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation