Toronto Raptors: Welcoming culture could make Toronto a free agent hotspot in offseason

Toronto Raptors: Welcoming culture could make Toronto a free agent hotspot in offseason

With a win last night against the Orlando Magic, the Toronto Raptors are in a three-way tie for the final play-in spot. For most fans, the recent two-game win streak has come as a surprise, as most Raptors starters are either injured or out resting. During this time, the likes of Paul Watson, Freddie Gillespie, […]
Toronto Raptors: Welcoming culture could make Toronto a free agent hotspot in offseason – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alaa Alarashi / Raptors HQ

We’re two weeks into the season and Yankee fans have snapped

The New York Yankees are dead last in the American League East. Their fans are pissed.

After getting walked off by Bo Bichette and the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon, the Yanks went home with a forgettable 5-7 record. Next up, they faced the Tampa Bay Rays, another pesky divisional opponent that they need to beat in order to take control of the American League East.
That didn’t happen. The Rays took a 2-0 lead off of opener Nick Nelson and then a comedy of errors led to Luis Cessa allowing four runs, only one earned, in a disastrous fifth inning. The Yanks bats were able to get virtually nothing going off of Michael Wacha, and, by the time the eighth inning rolled around, their fans let the team know how they felt.

Fans at Yankee Stadium stopped play by throwing several baseballs into the outfield pic.twitter.com/VHof1Fc2vN
— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) April 17, 2021

Fans at Yankee Stadium are throwing baseballs onto the field.
Stop this nonsense and act like adults. pic.twitter.com/Mn8XvyBy7w
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken) April 17, 2021

In the eighth inning, a collection of fans in the outfield starting launching balls on the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby receives praise from DeMar DeRozan

Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby receives praise from DeMar DeRozan

It was all smiles last night after the Toronto Raptors defeated the San Antonio Spurs. The short-handed Raptors who played with essentially one guard in their lineup made up for it with stellar performances from Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. After the game, former Raptors great DeMar DeRozan praised Anunoby, the fourth-year forward for Toronto […]
Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby receives praise from DeMar DeRozan – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alaa Alarashi / Raptors HQ

Page 6ix Wednesday, April 14th: The post-trade deadline era

Apologies for the missed column last week – if you follow me on Twitter you are probably aware that I had a doggy emergency, and sadly hockey drama took a backseat to getting our furbaby healthy again. But here we are! Back in action, post-trade deadline, with all the fun fallout of the weekend plus some more news to touch base on. Let’s dive in.
Leafs-land
Well, Kyle did it. He made some big-ish moves! There were a few names added to the Leafs roster over deadline weekend, but the big ones are obviously Nick Foligno and David Rittich.
Rittich made his debut in blue last night against his former team, and yes, he did fly into Toronto with them. Talk about awkward breakups…

#Leafs goalie David Rittich talks about the emotions of playing against his former team, the weirdness of it all and his new teammates that he calls “a bunch of beauties” https://t.co/BxtRXlxIEw
— David Alter (@dalter) April 14, 2021

Interestingly, David Rittich in fact flew with his ex-teammates on the Calgary Flames plane to Toronto to join his new Maple Leafs teammates.
Lucic says that there were some chirps on the plane & that he appreciated getting …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

The Yankees and Blue Jays, a match-up of teams looking to break out of underwhelming starts

The Blue Jays had a rough showing last week.

They lost two of three to Texas and then lost two of three to Anaheim while the fourth game in the series was rained out. They’re now 4-5 on the season, which is obviously disappointing given their impressive series win over the Yankees on opening weekend.
On a bright note, that 4-5 record isn’t quite as alarming when you look at how the Tampa Bay Rays and the Yankees, two key teams the Blue Jays are fighting with this season, are doing so far.
How they’re doing…
Like the Blue Jays, the Yankees own a 4-5 record on the season. After getting dropped on opening weekend, New York took two of three from the Orioles and then went into Tampa Bay and lost two of three to the Rays.
The struggle for the Yankees thus far, surprisingly, has been their lineup. New York is averaging 4.22 runs-per-game, which is slightly below league average. The Yankees boasted the fourth-best offence in baseball last season despite a wealth of injuries to important players, so seeing them struggling with a healthy lineup isn’t really what you expect to see.
Some ugly …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays 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 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher follows up historic night with awesome quote about his play

Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher follows up historic night with awesome quote about his play

The Toronto Raptors falling to the Chicago Bulls last night by a 122-113 scoreline was expected, as the Raptors were down to just eight healthy players due to injuries, COVID-19 protocols, and suspensions. The only player who earned his game check last night was big man Chris Boucher, who had the best game of his […]
Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher follows up historic night with awesome quote about his play – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The TLN Trade Bored: Seven Days until the deadline

We are in the home stretch. The final week. Down to the last seven days before all this trade related nonsense disappears until the offseason where it becomes the all consuming topic again. Still that seems like a welcome break. Given that we can now see the finish line it seemed fitting that we once again update The TLN Trade Bored with revised trade rankings based off of what we’ve been hearing and reading for the past few days. Many of the names remain the change, but the prices seem to be more friendly to the Leafs, and but with fewer big names to focus on. There’s also the added intrigue of the Leafs absolutely (but not willing to acknowledge publicly) looking for goaltenders. Fun!

So yeah, Taylor Hall is still the prize above all else, but his teammate Linus Ullmark seems to be emerging as the best goaltending option for the Leafs going forward too.
Kyle Palmieri now sitting out, waiting to find out where he will be traded adds some intrigue to his name, and while there are other teams like the Islanders and Bruins that are pursuing him, the fact that he is the next …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: More like the Calgary Lames

The Leafs improve to 6-0-1 in their last seven games, and now have a six point lead in the North DIvision following their 4-2 win over Calgary tonight. We were told Matthew Tkachuk was in the lineup but I’m not sure I remember hearing him mentioned even once, and generally the Leafs were treated to the underwhelming performance that the Flames have been known for under new old coach Darryl Sutter. A rough go late in the first, followed by disinterest throughout most of the second gave Leafs fans a slight scare, but as underwhelming as the Leafs were at times, the Flames seemed equally underwhelming.
3rd Star: Second and Third Period Michael Hutchinson
Poor guy. I feel for him, I really do, but no one makes me more nervous in net than Michael Hutchinson. If he was actually in the 4th goaltender on the depth chart role that he was signed on to be in, I’d have no problem with the guy, but here he is, a staple of the Leafs back to backs, and as much he was awful in the first period, Hutchinson was a big part of the Leafs staying a float in …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: Midseason Awards

Keeping in the spirit of last week’s report cards, I figured right now would be a great time to look back on the first half of the season and appreciate the performances we’ve gotten from players this year.
But, this one isn’t going to be solely Leafs focused. In fact, there’s a good chance there won’t be any Leafs mentioned in this article, but it’s not the worst idea to see what is happening elsewhere in the league too, especially as playoff time gets closer.
I’ll be focusing on the major individual awards (I don’t really want to pick the winner of the Mark Messier Leadership Award if I’m being honest), and I’m only going to give my winner as opposed to a full ballot, although I may mention a few other names in there who were close.
Anyways, let’s get started.
Hart Trophy Winner: Connor McDavid
Auston Matthews made it a slightly interesting conversation to start the season, and Patrick Kane will probably get some votes because he got a lot of points on a bad team, but McDavid is the only obvious winner here. He’s on …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation