Nylanderthals! – Rate That Leafs Game

I would like to first off congratulate Michael Hutchinson on his first win this season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. 34 of 37 saves for the net-minder who was traded to Colorado last year is pretty good and honestly, I’m happy he’s back.
He wasn’t the story in this game though (there were a few). I’ll start off with Auston Matthews who has 16 goals in 17 games and is riding a 15-game point streak, which is bananas. Mitch Marner also had a phenomenal game and we’re lucky to see both of Matthews and Marner on the same team.
Joe Thornton is next on the list. He had three points in this game and actually set a record (watch the video to find out). Overall, this was the perfect game that the Leafs could’ve came back with. Although there were some close calls they got the win and are still in first place in the entire NHL.
Oh, and if you didn’t know — according to Anthony Stewart, we who like William Nylander are now labelled as ‘Nylanderthals’!
I hope you enjoy my video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays’ addition of Marcus Semien makes a potent lineup even deeper

After missing out on Michael Brantley the Blue Jays were clearly looking to add another bat to the line-up and found one in Marcus Semien. The deal is a one year deal worth $18M. Reports indicated that the Blue Jays had to overpay to get Semien as they are asking him to move off of shortstop to play second base.  

Craig Edwards at Fangraphs predicted Semien would sign a 4 year deal at $16M per, the Crowd had it three years and $17M per, and MLB Trade Rumors predicted a one year deal for $14M. The Blue Jays may have overpaid by a couple million to bring in Semien.
Given what other teams have paid players in free agency this off-season it won’t be hard for Semien to be worth his contract. Using Roster Resource at Fangraphs, I was able to sort through players who signed a major league contract for one year (including those who accepted the qualifying offer) and compared that to those players projected WAR. I found that teams have been spending $5.7M for a win in free agency. If we round that up to $6M, Semien just needs to be worth 3 WAR next season to be …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

False Alarm! It turns out Michael Brantley has signed in Houston

The Michael Brantley era in Toronto is over before it began.

Despite a report earlier today from Hazel Mae that said the Blue Jays and Brantley had agreed to a three-year contract, the veteran outfielder is sticking around with the Houston Astros.

MLB source: #Astros reach an agreement with Michael Brantley on a two-year deal worth $32 million.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 20, 2021

This is certainly unfortunate, but it isn’t the end of the world.
When it came to the George Springer and Michael Brantley package, the former was obviously the one to get hyped about. There’s no doubt that adding Brantley’s bat to the lineup would have been huge, but we still have Springer.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Behind the Net Podcast Episode 44: Plan B

In this episode, Michael Mazzei and I discuss the latest rumours surrounding the Leafs, who they target if Alex Pietrangelo isn’t available, and who they may draft at 15th overall. We also predict the first five picks of the NHL draft, where we think some of the big free agents will go, and a rumour surrounding Marc Gasol’s future. Later in the show, we go over the 2020 NBA Finals, the MLB Playoffs, and the NFL Week 4 results to that point. We conclude the episode by redoing the 2017 NBA Draft and answering listener questions.
Where you can listen

Apple Podcasts:
Follow Us on Twitter
Michael Mazzei: @TheLeafsIMO
Matthew Rodrigopulle: @Matt_Rodrigo_

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

Behind the Net Podcast Episode 38: A Tale of Two Toronto Teams (ft. Mike Stephens)

In this week’s episode, Michael Mazzei and I recap what we missed in the previous week, share our thoughts on the NHL and NBA Draft lotteries, and redo the 2012 NBA Draft. We are then joined by Mike Stephens, an NHL analyst for Yahoo Sports Canada, and former managing editor of The Leafs Nation. We discuss his upbringing in the sports media landscape, his favourite memories covering the Marlies and his experience with the Dangle Navy team. We also reflect on the Leafs-Blue Jackets series, why the 2019-20 season was a wasted opportunity, how the team should approach the offseason, and what Bruce Boudreau could bring to the team.
Time Stamps:
3:30: Toronto Maple Leafs reactions, NHL playoffs
8:50: Toronto Raptors success, NBA Playoffs, Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers
17:55: 2012 NBA Redraft
34:55: Mike Stephens:

35:40: How he got into sports media
45:00: Why he loves Trevor Moore
48:00: Stories from covering the Toronto Marlies
53:05: Playing with the Dangle Navy
56:50: Toronto Maple Leafs qualifying round impressions
1:02:30: Who impressed and who disappointed?
1:05:10: What to do with Frederik Andersen and Mitch Marner?
1:16:45: Who should the Leafs trade?
1:24:15: Bruce Boudreau, coaching decisions, ideal moves
1:32:15: Stanley Cup predictions, Raptors talk

1:45:35: NHL and NBA draft lottery reactions
Where you …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

Behind the Net Podcast Episode 37: Black Lives Matter in Sports (ft. Erica L. Ayala and Omar [@TicTacTOmar])

In this week’s episode, Michael Mazzei and I are joined by Erica L. Ayala, a colour analyst for the Boston Pride and Connecticut Whale and a freelance sports writer, and Omar, known as TicTacTOmar, a writer for Pension Plan Puppets. Erica and Omar join us for a very important discussion about racism and diversity in hockey and in sports. They discuss the significance of kneeling in sports, how bad hockey’s diversity problem has been, how the sport can be more accessible to people of colour, and how the NHL can better show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
For more resources, donation drives, petitions and other ways you can help, check out:
Time Stamps:
2:08: Toronto Maple Leafs, Jake Muzzin injury
4:05: Toronto Raptors finding success, standouts
7:30: Toronto Blue Jays expectations
10:55: Discussion with Erica Ayala and Omar (TicTacTOmar) about diversity issues in sports

15:55: The significance of kneeling in sports and hockey
44:30: Why does hockey struggle with diversity?
53:51: Supporting the movement and taking action 
1:24:00: How to be a better ally

Where you can listen:

Apple Podcasts:
https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/episode-37-black-lives-matter-in-sports-ft-erica-ayala/ …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

Injuries, roster shuffles, and what that means for your weekend

Michael Hutchinson has cleared waivers. As for what that means for your weekend, I’m assuming not a whole lot. As for the injury updates, that might have a bit more impact on how you are feeling heading into the next few days.

Bogosian on waivers, as previously reported. Hutchinson clears
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 14, 2020
There’s not a whole lot to add to this one. Hutchinson is a perfectly fine AHL goaltender, and emergency call up. I hope he does well for the Marlies, who will now likely move Woll down to the Growlers to keep him playing as much as possible.

Morgan Rielly should be able to bear weight on broken foot in a “week or so.” Still looking at end of March for a return, per Keefe.
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) February 14, 2020
An end of March return is somewhat later than what the earliest timeline suggested which was February 27th, but it seemed that a later timeline was the direction this was heading. That really makes it possible that the Leafs could use Rielly as cap relief and add some salary at the trade deadline, so there’s as much silver …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs at Rangers 02/05/20 – Odds and NHL Betting Trends

by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
With Michael Hutchinson slated to start in place of an injured Frederik Andersen, the Maple Leafs are the -140 away favourite while the New York Rangers are a +120 home underdog with a 7.0-goal total on the NHL odds for Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Maple Leafs are 5-6 in their last 11 away games against the Metropolitan Division with the total finishing OVER in nine of those matchups. The total has also gone OVER in the Rangers’ last six games as an underdog at home.
Toronto is 4-6 in its last 10 games against the Rangers as a favourite, with the total going OVER seven times at sports betting sites.
Maple Leafs at Rangers | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Maple Leafs are 28-18-7 on the season and bettors will have to decide how much stock to put in their 9-4 record as an away favourite since Sheldon Keefe took over as coach, as they are missing Andersen (neck). Offensively, Maple Leafs attackers such as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander have steadily generated chances lately, keeping Toronto fifth in the 31-team NHL in five-on-five shot-attempt percentage (52.6 percent). The Maple Leafs are …

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Author: Nation World HQ / The Leafs Nation

To the surprise of no one, Hutchinson clears waivers and Kaskisuo is recalled

Michael Hutchinson (TOR) clears waivers.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 12, 2019
As hard as it may be to believe, teams weren’t lining up to put in claims for a goaltender who has gone 0-4-1 and in his first five starts, and has a .879 save percentage on the year. Considering that Hutchinson is nearly 30, and has a career save percentage of .906, well, that’s probably a good reminder that things aren’t going to get a whole lot better for him, and he’s now sliding into his ideal role, of 3rd string, emergency callup goaltender.
For the record, I never thought Hutchinson would be a good idea, but what are you going to do, and what can you really say when you were so adamant the Leafs move on from Sparks (still the right decision) and didn’t have money to spend on a capable/proven backup.
Hutchinson was put in over his head and by working exclusively on the second half of back to backs, he was also largely set up to fail. A true NHL backup will find a way to steal some of those back to backs for you, but like I said, Hutchinson was in over …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation