Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles

Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles

There’s about a month remaining of games left for the 2020-21 regular season. Things haven’t been easy for the Toronto Raptors, but there have been many silver linings to take away. With injuries and players being out due to health and safety protocols, it has led head coach Nick Nurse to mix and match a […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nickeem Khan / Raptors HQ

Leafs look to extend win streak to three against suddenly surging Oilers

When the Toronto Maple Leafs left Edmonton on March 3rd following their dominant three game sweep of the Oilers, the mood around the team was perhaps the highest it had been in years. During said sweep, the Leafs outscored the Oilers 13-1, earning shutouts from Jack Campbell and Michael Hutchinson while also holding Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to a combined one point (the fact that Auston Matthews only appeared in one of the three games is a bit of an afterthought.) The sweep saw the Leafs increase their lead of the North Division to nine points over the second place Winnipeg Jets, and ten points over the throughly humiliated third place Oilers.
The Leafs, as they are prone to do, promptly reminded us that they are in fact the Toronto Maple Leafs, and proceeded to drop six of the nine and allowed the Oilers to close that gap to a mere two points heading into tonight’s matchup.
The Oilers, meanwhile, had a solid bounce back from their dismal set with the Leafs, winning seven of their nine games since the three game sweep, including a five game winning streak in the games immediately following the series. Should the …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation

Thursday is go time for the Toronto Raptors as they push for the playoffs

Thursday is go time for the Toronto Raptors as they push for the playoffs

With only a day left before the start of the second half of the 2020-2021 NBA season, it’s worth taking a quick look at the last two games the Toronto Raptors played pre-break and then delving into the minutiae of who needs to show up, who needs to step up and what needs to be […]
Thursday is go time for the Toronto Raptors as they push for the playoffs – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Cece Scott / Raptors HQ

Sportsnet is parting ways with Mike Wilner

Here’s something completely out of left field.

According to a statement put out by Sportsnet PR on Twitter, Mike Wilner will no longer be calling Blue Jays games.

Thanks for the memories, @wilnerness590! Statement from @Sportsnet: pic.twitter.com/UiDlfo6Z5y
— Sportsnet PR (@SportsnetPR) November 27, 2020

And here’s a statement from Wilner himself…

1/2…… pic.twitter.com/Sp0wGZHTaS
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) November 27, 2020

Wilner had been working with Sportsnet for two decades and finally became the primary play-by-play voice for Blue Jays games after the retirement of Jerry Howarth in 2018. He also hosted Jays Talk for years, the after-game radio program where fans could call in and rant about what just happened.
The tone of Wilner’s statement makes it pretty clear that this wasn’t a voluntary decision. It seems very likely that Sportsnet decided to move on.
Why that might be? I really have no idea.
Wilner really came into his own in the play-by-play booth and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him and Ben Wagner call games. I also quite enjoyed Wilner on Jays Talk just consistently dismantle the completely insane things that callers would rant about, though he obviously rubbed plenty of fans the wrong …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Kristians Rubins is the Leafs 18th ranked prospect

Kristians Rubins left home in Latvia as a 15 year old to pursue his hockey dreams. He was headed to the Swedish VIK Vasteras system. His late birthday (December 11, 1997) meant he had just turned 16 when he was selected to Latvia’s WJC-18 team. The following season, when he was turning 17, Rubins represented Latvia in both the WJC-18 and WJC-20 D1A, where he had 4 points in 5 games.
From a very young age Kristians Rubins has been playing up to a high competition level, and earning the trust of his coaches. As a 6’4″ LD, that can take him a long way in this sport. Sparing some of the details for later on in this prospect ranking, Rubins possesses many of the attributes that makes modern big-bodied defencemen successful. The winding path he took to gather those attributes is why he is relatively unheard of.
RANK – GRADE – NHL READINESS
18TH – C – 1-2 YEARS
Position: Left Defence
Age: 22
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 220 lbs
Shoots: Left
Drafted: No
What kind of player is he?
Just looking at his height and weight, you can infer he’s a shutdown defenceman. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree, but Rubins was not always that way. He comes from a …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Will the Toronto Raptors consider trading Kyle Lowry this Offseason?

Kyle Lowry has 1 year and $30.5 million left on his contract before he becomes a free agent in 2021. After a heartbreaking loss to the Boston Celtics in game 7, it is time for the Toronto Raptors to decide what to do with their many free agents and current players on their roster. Masai […]
Will the Toronto Raptors consider trading Kyle Lowry this Offseason? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ

The Blue Jays have acquired Taijuan Walker from the Mariners

There are still a few days left before the trade deadline, but the Blue Jays have already found a starting pitcher upgrade.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Jays have acquired Taijuan Walker from the Seattle Mariners.

The Blue Jays have acquired Taijuan Walker from the Mariners, source tells The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 27, 2020

 

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Everything Leafs Podcast: The TOR vs CLB series preview

There’s only one week left before the beginning of the Leafs vs Blue Jackets. With that, Kevin Papetti and I break down the various aspects that will play a part in the outcome of this play-in series.
In addition, both Kevin and I wrote series previews on this matchup. Kevin’s can be found here. Mine can be found here.
Below, you can find the full itinerary for this episode.
0:50 Thoughts on Robertson and the lineup
3:30 General thoughts on the Blue Jackets
9:00 Comparing this Columbus roster to the 2018-2019 Blue Jackets
13:15 Similarities and Differences between Boston and Columbus
19:00 Looking at the most recent Leafs lines
26:03 Looking at Columbus’ lines
35:50 Final thoughts on the Leafs-Blue Jackets series
40:40 Predictions on the other play-in matchups
 
Where Can You Listen:
Soundcloud

Spotify

Apple Podcasts:
https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-everything-leafs-podcast/id1484994398
You can find us on twitter at:
Nick DeSouza: @NickDeSouza_
Kevin Papetti: @KPapetti

Stay safe and thanks for listening!

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Author: Nick DeSouza / The Leafs Nation

Justin Holl leaves Maple Leafs practice bloody

Justin Holl left the ice midway during the Maple Leafs team practice on Wednesday after sustaining an injury, Kristen Shilton reported.

Justin Holl has been bloodied during battle drills, and is departing practice.
William Nylander skated over to Holl as he received medical attention to make sure he was okay.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 22, 2020

According to TSN’s Mark Masters, Holl’s injury was sustained in his mouth. This is an unfortunate blow for the Leafs as opening night of the playoffs inches closer. The Leafs have been hoping for a healthy blue line heading into play after a long season and pause. Holl has had an impressive season this season, solidifying his spot on the Leafs blue line under Sheldon Keefe’s helm. Playing 68 games with the Leafs this season, his addition has been nothing short of beneficial for an otherwise rather thin defensive core. Heading into Wednesday’s practice, Holl was slotted alongside Jake Muzzin on the Leafs second pair.

#Leafs lines/pairs appear unchanged from yesterday:
Hyman-Matthews-MarnerNylander-Tavares-MikheyevRobertson-Kerfoot-KapanenClifford-Gauthier-SpezzaEngvall
Rielly-CeciMuzzin-HollDermott-BarrieSandin-Marincin
AndersenCampbell
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 22, 2020

Injuries sustained during training camp isn’t something new for the Leafs, as Zach Hyman …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

Best Leafs Trades Since 1967 Countdown – No. 2: Getting Doug Gilmour from the Flames in a 10-player swap

We’ll pick up where we left off yesterday with the Leafs sitting second-last in the league after a miserable failure of a season in 1990-91.

The Leafs had traded their 1991 first-round pick to New Jersey at the start of the 1989-90 season for defenceman Tom Kurvers. While the deal had helped Toronto reach the playoffs that year, the whole thing came back to bite them as the Leafs tanked in 1990-91.
In order to save themselves the embarrassment of giving New Jersey the first-overall pick and the right to draft Eric Lindros, dubbed as The Next One, Toronto made a deal with the Nordiques, sending Quebec Scott Pearson and two second-round selections in exchange for Lucien DeBlois, Michel Petit, and Aaron Broten.
The deal functioned to make Quebec worse, ensuring that they would finish last and get the top pick. The plan worked and the Nordiques bottomed out and the Leafs subsequently gave New Jersey the third-overall pick, which they used on Scott Niedermayer.
This horrible sequence ultimately pushed general manager Floyd Smith out of his role as general manager. He was replaced by Cliff Fletcher, who had built the Calgary Flames’ Stanley Cup-winning team …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation