Toronto Raptors: Who has benefited from Norman Powell’s injury?

Norman Powell’s injury is a large loss for the Toronto Raptors but this opens doors for the young core to shine. Which three players have benefitted the most? When Kawhi Leonard left for Los Angeles, the Toronto Raptors lost the main player that they relied on during late-game situations. What Nick Nurse has done so […]
Toronto Raptors: Who has benefited from Norman Powell’s injury? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Lee Tanner / Raptors HQ

TRADE!!! Leafs acquire Denis Malgin. WTF is Denis Malgin?

After another crushing loss, GM Kyle Dubas couldn’t sit idly by, and that’s why he immediately sprung to action and pulled the trigger on a significant deal…

The @MapleLeafs have acquired forward Denis Malgin from Florida in exchange for Mason Marchment.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 19, 2020
Okay, well, we’ll have to figure out who Denis Malgin is first before we know how significant it was. He’s a former linemate of Auston Matthews, from his Zurich days, so there’s that.
He’s 5’9, so immediately a large portion of Leafs fans immediately hate this deal.
Here’s the scouting report on the 23 year old Malgin from Elite Prospects:
An offensive forward with decent playmaking abilities, the diminutive Denis Malgin impresses with his strong hockey sense and offensive instincts. Has tremendous puck control and handles the puck with finesse, while rushing up the ice or deking past the opponents defense. Needs to improve his shot, although accurate it’s missing power. He also lacks confidence in his face-off play, regardless of his excellent puck-skills. Not …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes: Andreas Johnsson suffers injury in loss to the Stars

The Leafs suffered a 3-2 loss at home last night to the stingy Dallas Stars, but the game wasn’t the only thing the team lost. Andreas Johnsson suffered a knee injury that will reportedly not be a short-term issue.

Johnsson awkwardly collided with teammate Kasperi Kapanen in the first period and left the game favouring his knee…

#LeafsForever Andreas Johnsson leaves for the room after this collision with Kapanen
— Here’s Your Replay (@HeresYourReplay) February 14, 2020

Losing Johnsson is yet another blow to a Leafs team that has struggled mightily with injuries this season. There hasn’t really been a point in 2019-20 in which the Leafs have iced their ideal lineup.
Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott were out at the start of the season, John Tavares got hurt in mid-October, Mitch Marner got injured right when he returned to the lineup, Ilya Mikheyev suffered his hand injury in December, and Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin both got injured in January, while the former is still out of the lineup. Johnsson also spent a month on the shelf earlier in the season.
While losing Johnsson isn’t as big of a …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Auston Matthews is reaching a new level

Despite the Leafs’ loss to the Jets last night, Auston Matthews was the story.

He scored two goals in the game, one to open the scoring and one to tie the game late and send it to overtime, giving him 30 goals on the season. It was the fourth time in his four-year career Matthews had eclipsed the 30-goal plateau, making him only the 15th player in league history to reach such a feat. Matthews has 142 goals in 257 games in his NHL career and he’s on pace to finally reach the 50-goal mark this season. He’s been a great goal-scorer since breaking into the league as a 19-year-old, but, this season, he’s reaching another level.
For those who missed the game, here are his goals from last night…
First, he takes a feed from Mitch Marner in the Jets’ zone and roofs a shot over a completely frozen Connor Hellebyuck to tie the game at 1-1. The best part of this goal, though, wasn’t the perfect shot. It was the backcheck, steal, and between-the-legs pass to Marner that Matthews made to flip a Jets transition into a Leafs opportunity.

Then, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Grades from Toronto Raptors ugly road loss to the Miami Heat

The Toronto Raptors suffered a road loss to the Miami Heat in a matchup that could be a playoff preview. How did everyone grade in the tough loss? Coming into Thursday’s Toronto Raptors-Miami Heat matchup, most everyone expected a slugfest. This was a contest between two top-10 defenses and two teams that right next to […]
Grades from Toronto Raptors ugly road loss to the Miami Heat – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Michael Walton / Raptors HQ

Grades from an ugly Toronto Raptors loss to the Boston Celtics

The Toronto Raptors suffered a brutal loss to an impressive Boston Celtics team on Christmas Day. How did everyone grade in the defeat? For the first time in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors participated in the Christmas Day proceedings. Was it worth the wait? Probably not, no. The Raptors hosted in the Boston Celtics in […]
Grades from an ugly Toronto Raptors loss to the Boston Celtics – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Maple Leafs Pregame #28: 5 Things to watch for in the home-end of the back-to-back

The Maple Leafs saw their first loss in the Sheldon Keefe era last night, as a horrendous second period cost them the game. It wasn’t all on Hutchinson, but he also could’ve been better and helped them out, so maybe Freddie will provide that stability tonight.
Anyway, here’s five things to watch for…
1. How will Keefe react?
I made this point in my postgame last night, but one thing that will be interesting is how Keefe reacts to his first NHL loss, especially one that saw such a terrible second period play out. Will he stay the course (since it worked for three games beforehand) or will he change things up?
Personally, I think he shouldn’t do too much to change what’s been working, aside from…
2. How will Keefe adjust the rosters?
At the time of writing this, there are no official lineups for tonight, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens. Will he rotate out some of the fringe players to give them rest? Will he give older guys like Spezza a day off? Only time will tell.
Also, what will the ice time look like? Will he lean on his stars …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Rachel Doerrie’s 5 Thoughts From the Hall of Fame Game

Another day, another loss to the Bruins. The difference? You could make a legitimate argument that the Leafs were the best team on the night.
The Maple Leafs dominated for long stretches against the Bruins and were undone by mental lapses. There are a ton of positives in the Leafs play, but that’s just not good enough when you aren’t getting points. Here are my five thoughts from the night:
1) Matthews Line Dominates
The Matthews line finished nearly 60% CF, a positive xGF, and a positive high danger chance differential. From the drop of the puck, the trio of Matthews, Nylander and Johnsson were all over the ice. They created offensive zone time by recovering pucks and forcing the Bruins to chase them around the zone. Nylander was impactful on the forecheck, Johnsson won puck races Matthews was dominant.
One of the key differences in Matthews and Nylander’s dominant vs. invisible games is how much time they spend in the middle of the ice. From the outset, both Matthews and Nylander found themselves in the thick of things. Both players were consistently at the net front, getting the puck to the middle and creating chances in the danger …

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Author: Rachel Doerrie / The Leafs Nation

Would the Toronto Raptors have repeated if Kawhi Leonard returned?

Despite the loss of Kawhi Leonard, the Toronto Raptors have started the 2019-20 season on a good note. If the finals MVP was back, would the Raptors have repeated? No matter the NBA circle you dive into, the Toronto Raptors aren’t being considered title contenders. Theoretically, they could’ve started 10-0 and still wouldn’t be in […]
Would the Toronto Raptors have repeated if Kawhi Leonard returned? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Hunter Surphlis / Raptors HQ

Blue Jays thumped by BoSox in four-gamer at Fenway

After a hapless and underwhelming series loss at the hands of the juggernaut Yankees in New York over the weekend, the Blue Jays, perpetually short-handed in the way of pitchers, hobbled into Boston to play a mammoth four-game series against the streaky Red Sox this week.
Though the bats did come alive at times, and some pitchers were able to shut down some of the hottest hitters on the opposing team, the boys in blue fell in three games of the four, dropping their record to an abysmal 36-62.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from this week’s series in Boston:
The Good
Back on the scene with authority, Teoscar Hernandez (3-for-9, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 SO, 5 R) exploded at the plate in the series, while Eric Sogard (5-for-14, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB, 3 SO) and Justin Smoak (5-for-16, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB) continued to have solid seasons. Billy McKinney (3-for-8, 3 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI) was also quietly clutch, with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (5-for-19, 2 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, SB) putting together a nice stretch in his own right.
On the mound, Daniel Hudson (1.0 IP, H, BB, SO, 0 R/ER) and David Phelps (1.2 IP, 0 …

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Author: Hayden Godfrey / Blue Jays Nation