TLN Three Stars: SPOILER ALERT-David Rittich didn’t make the cut

The Leafs lost 6-3 to the Canucks. Their second loss to Canucks following their return from COVID. The Leafs five loss in a row. If you are looking for silver linings and optimism in this post, you’ll be disappointed. I mean, we still can scrape together three worthwhile Leafs for the three starts, but to say that goaltending was an issue was an understatement. To say I want to see Morgan Rielly and Justin Holl on the ice together, who be a damned lie. To say I understand what Alex Kerfoot does on a nightly basis and get why he’s on the second line, will only be met with a confused look, followed by my desire to curl up in the fetal position. This game was unfortunate from top to bottom, and the Leafs have not inspired much confidence after Kyle Dubas boldly went all in by trading draft picks for depth.
The Leafs did pick up a powerplay goal, and Marlies callup Adam Brooks picked up a short handed goal, but even the high points tonight were quickly deflated. So let’s get on with it. We can salvage three stars tonight, so let’s do it.
3 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: Onto the next one

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost 5-2 to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.
Alex Galchenyuk opened the scoring tonight for the Leafs, after some nifty passing from Mitch Marner and John Tavares. The goal was originally waved off, as the puck went in and out super fast. However, the NHL corrected and Galchenyuk got his second of the season.

W W#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/Mfu0B9db1E
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 15, 2021

After the Jets scored three unanswered goals, chasing Jack Campbell from the net, Tavares responded for the Leafs, bringing the score to 3-2 after two periods.

Heeere’s Johnny #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/Z9NruTc6bU
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 16, 2021

The Leafs pushed hard in the final frame, but could not mount a comeback, falling 5-2 at the final horn.
Three Stars
The F Star: The Powerplay
At this point, I hope Manny Malholtra lurks theleafsnation.com the powerplay needs some serious help and we talked about what we would do to fix it earlier today. This powerplay is on life support.
Third Star: David Rittich
Rittich came into the game, relieving Jack Campbell. Rittich stopped 16/17 shots he faced and tried his best to keep …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn and Yuta Watanabe playing well speaks to Raptors’ culture

Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn and Yuta Watanabe playing well speaks to Raptors’ culture

Lost in Gary Trent Jr. completely eviscerating the Cleveland Cavaliers last night was the fact that the Toronto Raptors picked up the victory thanks to a very balanced effort, as role players like Malachi Flynn and Yuta Watanabe had their best individual games of the season, and potentially their entire careers, last night. Just a […]
Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn and Yuta Watanabe playing well speaks to Raptors’ culture – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse and his system keeps Toronto competitive and helps the NBA

Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse and his system keeps Toronto competitive and helps the NBA

The Toronto Raptors have now lost six straight games. Despite this, they are just three games back of the 6th place Atlanta Hawks. The Raptors have remained at least somewhat consistent this season, despite the numerous changes and challenges they’ve dealt with. A big reason why is head coach Nick Nurse and his balanced, and […]
Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse and his system keeps Toronto competitive and helps the NBA – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jose Guzman / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse goes off on bench after brutal Bulls loss

Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse goes off on bench after brutal Bulls loss

The Toronto Raptors have now lost five straight games, looking just as lifeless against the Chicago Bulls as they have in all of their prior defeats. Head coach Nick Nurse has been given an impossible task given how much firepower Toronto has out. Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby have all missed the last […]
Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse goes off on bench after brutal Bulls loss – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Should this Leafs loss be on Frederik Andersen? – Rate That Leafs Game

The Maple Leafs have lost their third-straight game and this time it was falling to the Winnipeg Jets 4-3. There was a lot of chatter during, and after the game about Frederik Andersen’s performance in this one. Many people have discussed either trading him or letting Jack Campbell have a majority of the starts.
Here are my thoughts:

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The ripple effects of the David Ayres game are becoming more clear

Hey, remember that time the Leafs lost to a 42-year-old Zamboni driver who worked for the team? The Carolina Hurricanes don’t want you to forget since they keep bringing it up on their social media pages once a month. While that was an inspiring story for David Ayres during his 15 minutes of fame, it’s a night that the Leafs would like to forget but can’t.
In the months that have followed that game, Martin Marincin scored a goal, a global pandemic started, some kid named Nicholas Robertson made his NHL debut, and the Leafs lost in the first round yet again. Judging by all of the moves made since the Blue Jackets forced them to travel fifteen minutes back to their real homes, it’s evident that Kyle Dubas and company were not pleased with the makeup of the roster and wanted to make some changes.
One of those new additions was Zach Bogosian, a guy who was bought out by the Sabres and went on to win the Stanley Cup with the Lightning. The last part almost did not happen because the Leafs had some interest in him around the time he was released from Buffalo. …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs have a strong case against Ilya Mikheyev in arbitration

One thing that may have been lost in the shuffle a busy Day 2 of free agency for the Leafs is that winger Ilya Mikheyev filed for salary arbitration after being unable to come to terms with the Leafs on a new contract prior to the arbitration filing deadline.
The Leafs had qualified Mikheyev earlier in the week so as to retain his negotiating rights. What is interesting is that the NHL’s qualifying offer rules dictate that the Leafs had to give Mikheyev a two-way offer with a 5% raise on his base salary of $832,500 from last season, meaning that if Mikheyev were to accept the QO his cap hit for next season would have been a few dollars short of $875,000.
That’s not going to happen, though. Considering his immediate contributions to the Maple Leafs this season it is understandable that Mikheyev and his camp may be expecting more than a 5% bump in base salary, especially when taking into account Mikheyev’s total compensation including his signing bonus was $925,000 last season. However, there are a few things that may be working against Ilya and his agent when it comes to his arbitration case, which may make settling beforehand the smartest …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: The top unrestricted free agents to sign

The Toronto Raptors recently lost in the second round in game seven to the Boston Celtics. With the off-season slowly approaching, the Raptors need to turn their focus towards adding to their already talented roster. Although this free-agent class is not nearly as star-studded as next year, the Toronto Raptors can build on their current […]
Toronto Raptors: The top unrestricted free agents to sign – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jeremy Wilks / Raptors HQ

Taijuan Walker brings a new and improved cutter to the Blue Jays

Having lost Nate Pearson, Matt Shoemaker and Trent Thornton to injury, the Blue Jays were desperately in need of some pitching. So they went out and got Taijuan Walker from the Seattle Mariners. Walker will bring some stability to the back-end of the rotation.
Walker isn’t a game-changing arm. This isn’t David Price circa 2015, but he’s a solid pitcher who can help this team push towards the playoffs. Fangraphs currently has the Blue Jays playoff odds at 65.7%.
In 27.0 innings Walker has a 4.00 ERA, a 4.94 FIP and a 4.77 xFIP. He’s struck out close to a batter an inning keeps the walks mostly in check.
He attacks hitters with a five-pitch mix, four-seamer, cutter, spilt-finger, sinker and a curve. Per Baseball Savant he throws each pitch at least 10% of the time. He doesn’t throw overly hard, averaging 93 on the fastball. He fits into the exact mould of a Blue Jays starting pitcher: mid-range velocity and a large pitch mix.
Walker’s best pitch looks to be his cutter. He throws it 22% of the time and it averages 85.6 mph. It acts more like a slider than a true cutter (Fangraphs actually labels …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation