Mrazek placed on the IR and Brodie misses practice

Maybe things have started going too good for the Leafs over the past stretch and reality needed to catch up with them.

Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrázek has been placed on injured reserve due to a groin injury, retroactive to November 4.  He is expected to miss approximately four weeks.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) November 7, 2021

There might have been a lot of pressure on Mrazek to return sooner than he should have as he was instantly injured after starting his contract with the Leafs, and he came back too quickly. Now we can hope the Leafs do this right and give Mrazek sometime to get better. In the meantime that will probably mean we get some more Michael Hutchinson time, after Mrazek missing last night and Woll being up in relief, there is the flexibility to bring Hutchinson back on an emergency recall. Looking at the Leafs schedule this should equal three potential starts for Hutchinson in the next four weeks.

TJ Brodie is absent from Leafs practice
Will get update from Keefe … Leafs d-man did take this heavy hit from Pastrnak last night
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) November 7, 2021

As for Brodie, well, it’s too early …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Lightning are the Leafs true test of merit

The Leafs are riding high. Maybe not high, but that mild tingle you sometimes get from ditch weed. Three straight wins even against the Hawks, Wings, and LTIR mangled Knights does put the Leafs back on track and at least on the positive side of the playoff picture again and a 5-4-1 record is like a report card that keeps you out of summer school, but certainly won’t be put up on the fridge to brighten your parents day.
After three games of good vibes only, Toronto will now be facing the reigning two time Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. The good news is that the Lightning have been off to just as bad a start as the Leafs this season, or pretty close to it with a 5-3-1 record. The bad news is whether you judge a team by how they look on paper or by how they look on ice, the Lightning are a far superior team to the Leafs, and that’s true even when Nikita Kucherov is shutdown.
Tonight is a chance for the Leafs to pick up a win that shows they can hang with the big dogs of the league, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: 2 Nick Nurse adjustments that keyed Celtics win

Raptors: 2 Nick Nurse adjustments that keyed Celtics win

Maybe it’s the fact that 16 of the NBA’s top 75 have played in white and green, but there’s always something satisfying about Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors sticking it to the Boston Celtics. Even as Celtics victories go, Friday night’s win was extremely pleasurable to sit through. For starters, the team was coming […]
Raptors: 2 Nick Nurse adjustments that keyed Celtics win – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Establishing expectations for the new look Leafs heading into training camp

It’s election season, and maybe that’s why I’ve felt the need to poll the TLN Contributors so much lately. We’ve ranked prospects, we’ve ranked the roster, and at the same time we ranked the roster I managed to sneak in a few other questions about the Leafs roster for our crew to answer.

Not to spoil the rest of the rankings, but it’s interesting to see that Michael Bunting who is the first to appear on our rankings received more votes that Nick Ritchie or Alexander Kerfoot to appear on the left side of Auston Matthews. Ritchie seems to be the front runner based on draft pedigree and size, and Kerfoot seems to be viewed as Tavares line bound. Perhaps the feistiness of Bunting seems more of the Hyman characteristics that need replacing than the physical play. And of course since we’re talking about replacing Hyman it’s worth noting that one of our voters had a hard time accepting that he’s moved on.

As demonstrated by our rankings, we aren’t completely sold on the idea of David Kampf. What we’ve learned in the couple of weeks since we voted …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Ken Rosenthal gives updates on Francisco Lindor, Tomoyuki Sugano, and Jake Odorizzi

If Jon Morosi’s comments bummed you out, maybe this series of updates from Ken Rosenthal over at The Athletic will make you feel a little bit better about the Blue Jays’ off-season. Well, one of these updates might.

The first thing up is Cleveland’s pursuit of trading away their best player, Francisco Lindor.
Lindor, of course, has been a major name linked to the Blue Jays all off-season and even before that. The All-Star shortstop is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season and there’s absolutely zero doubt that Cleveland isn’t going to re-sign him.
There’s also an obvious connection between Lindor and the Blue Jays, as Mark Shapiro was in Cleveland when he was drafted with the No. 8 overall draft pick back in 2011. Lindor himself has even said that he would be interested in being a Blue Jay. So, all in all, despite the fact the Jays already have Bo Bichette at short, this seems like a match.
Anyway, Rosenthal reports today that Cleveland is having a hell of a time finding the right trade for their star player. He says that a combination of fewer teams than usual being interested …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs sign Travis Boyd to a 1 year deal

Okay, so maybe it’s not the big splash of T.J. Brodie, or even the ripple in the pool of Wayne Simmonds, but Travis Boyd is definitely in or around the water in some way.

We’ve signed Travis Boyd to a one-year contract. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 10, 2020

From the press release:

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Travis Boyd to a one-year contract valued at $700,000.

Boyd, 27, split his 2019-20 season between the Washington Capitals and Hershey Bears (AHL). In 24 games with the Capitals, Boyd recorded three goals and seven assists before adding a goal in four Stanley Cup playoff games. The Edina, Minn., native has registered 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 85 NHL regular season games and has appeared in six career Stanley Cup playoff games, recording a goal. He has skated in 221 career AHL regular season games, all with Hershey, and registered 172 points (57 goals, 115 assists). He has three goals and 14 assists in 33 career Calder Cup playoff games.
Boyd was originally selected by the Washington Capitals in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.
At $700k, it’s easy …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

That’ll fix’em. Engvall in for Gauthier

Maybe I’m being a tad over-reactionary, but I’d argue that Keefe might be under-reacting by only making one small change to his Game One lineup…

August 3 @MapleLeafs practice lines & defensive pairings:
Andersen Campbell#LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) August 3, 2020

I’m sure I’m not being too bold when I say that the minimally used fourth line was not the issue for the Leafs on Sunday night, and swapping in Engvall for Gauthier might not be a significant move.
On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt. Engvall is more versatile and is more capable of keeping up with play in the top nine. If Keefe wants to attempt some in game line juggling, Engvall is a stronger option.
The fact that it doesn’t seem the Leafs are too concerned with playing the fourth line, having situational talent could be more beneficial to the Leafs, and Gauthier, while a fine regular season fourth line player, just might lack in the ability …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Around the NHL: Hub City Decision seems like it’s being left to the last minute

Maybe I’m in the minority on this one, but I truly couldn’t care less where teams end up playing. If the plan is to create a bubble around the players where they won’t be out interacting with the population and no one will be attending their games, whether they play in Vegas or Nashville or Regina doesn’t really matter. Okay, that’s not true. No one should ever have to visit Regina.

Vegas will be a hub city for NHL playoff games and we should expect the official announcement before June 22.
The other depends on how the Canadian government chooses to enforce the 14-day quarantine for those entering the country. (@reporterchris)
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 13, 2020
The point being that while we seem to now know that Vegas will be one of the two Hub cities, and there does seem to be a deadline in place of next Monday for an announcement, but doesn’t that seem ridiculously rushed.
From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
MGM Resorts hotels in play to host visiting teams include Vdara, Delano, the Park MGM/NoMad Hotel and The Mirage, according to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs Pregame #54: 5 things to watch for against the Rangers

Welcome to the Hutchinson era. That’s how we roll now. Or maybe it will be the Georgiev era if the two GMs have a heart to heart sometime in the next 24 hours.
Anyways, the Leafs are back to being on the outside looking in thanks to the loss to Florida on Monday, but a win temporary moves them ahead of the Panthers by 1 point (though Florida would have two games at hand) and they’d be tied with the Flyers in points for the final wild card spot (although the Flyers also will have a game at hand.)
The moral of the story is that every game is an important one, and given that the Rangers are clearly on the outside of the playoff picture, this is a most win for the Leafs, regardless of who is in net.

Rating: 74.1#38 LW

Rating: 82.2#4 C

Rating: 78.6#6 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 78.28#4 FL1

Rating: 72.1#82 LW

Rating: 77.7#17 C

Rating: 77.1#11 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.64#8 FL2

Rating: 72.4#73 LW

Rating: 73.0#70 C

Rating: 71.4#83 RW

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Toronto Raptors shouldn’t trade for Andre Drummond

Maybe the Toronto Raptors should make a move before the trade deadline. But it is about making the right move and that is not acquiring Andre Drummond from the Detroit Pistons. Trade season has officially begun. The first player who appears to be on the move is Andre Drummond. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that […]
The Toronto Raptors shouldn’t trade for Andre Drummond – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mark Birdsell / Raptors HQ