Hot starts for Horvat and Robertson, Blues lose eight straight: NHL Notebook

Hot starts for Horvat and Robertson, Blues lose eight straight: NHL Notebook

We are just over a month into the NHL season and there are a couple players that have been exceeding expectations and a team that’s playing its way into the Bedard sweepstakes.
Bo Horvat and Jason Robertson have been single handily winning games for the Canucks and Stars. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues are in the midst of their longest regulation losing streak in franchise history.
Bo Horvat
A few months ago Canucks fans were saying this guy isn’t even worth 6M per year. Well, now he’s second in the NHL in goals. With four multi-goal games in his last five he’s now at 12 on the year in just 13 games.
It’s a contract year for the Canucks captain and he’s playing his way out of their price range. His 16 points in 13 games have him on pace to shatter his career high of 61 set back in 2018-19. They chose to lock up JT Miller for seven more years instead of their captain whose two years younger and it looks like they’re going to regret it.
Unless they buy out Oliver Ekman-Larsson or trade one of Tyler Myers or Conor Garland it’s looking like Horvat will be play …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Ilya Samsonov was a bright spot, now he’s broken: The November Leafs Power Rankin’s

Ilya Samsonov was a bright spot, now he’s broken: The November Leafs Power Rankin’s

Last month I dusted off a TLN staple of yesteryear, the TLN Player Power Rankin’s. The initial roster was ranked and now three of the players are hurt, and another has been claimed off of waivers. Good times.
Now we’re back for round two now that we’re into the second month of the season. Hot takes are incoming…
1. John Tavares (up from 6th)
Coming into the season thanks to his preseason injury the expectations for Johnny Toronto were significantly tempered. What ended up happening in October and early November was Tavares playing some of his best hockey since his first season in Toronto. The captain has been doing captain things like helping the Leafs snap out of a skid by scoring a hat trick against the Flyers and being the consistent power player they need him to be. So much for the final years of his contract narrative, now the Leafs will need to worry about how much he’ll cost to re-sign.

THIS JOHN TAVARES GOAL WAS UNREAL 🚨 pic.twitter.com/xpbGVvJoLU
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 3, 2022

2. Auston Matthews (down from 1st)
A slow start for Auston was unfortunate but seemed to be a lot more puck luck driven and his actual performance was still decent enough. Matthews has continued to use his size to create his own space on the ice and with five goals in his last five games, whatever busted takes were out there about his demise have been put on hold until the next time he dares go more than three periods without a goal.
3. Ilya Samsonov (up from 15th)
With Samsonov at 15th, I can certainly say I was und …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 107: The Dog Days of Summer are over

After an up-and-down month of August (well, months of April, May, June, July, and August, really), the Blue Jays are into September clinging to a playoff spot.

We talked about the series with the Chicago Cubs, which featured some clutch home runs and excellent relief appearances, but also left a sour taste behind as the Blue Jays weren’t able to sweep a weak opponent.
After that, we talked about Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro both doing media rounds during the week and why the timing is a little strange. We also talked about the rosters expanding to 28 in September and what that means for the team.
Finally, we looked ahead to the three-game series in Pittsburgh this weekend and explained why we’re feeling a wee bit nervous despite the fact the Pirates are very bad.
You can listen to the episode here…
POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIO

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

What more can the Leafs’ core give to move the team forward?

Happy September 1st. We are officially in the month when training camps open, rookie tournaments occur, and the preseason starts. It’s the dry humping stage of the hockey season. It’s also the part of the year when we aggressively start previewing the season and asking some burning questions about the Leafs. We’ll have a number of these previews throughout the month, and this is the first. The question I’m asking myself, you, and the Leafs is whether more can realistically be expected of the core players on the Leafs?
The first thing that immediately needs to be clarified here is the definition of the Leafs core. Given that outside five clear cut guys it starts becoming debatable, we’ll go with those five guys or as they are sometimes called, the first powerplay unit. Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Tavares, and Morgan Rielly should be undebatable as the Leafs core. If you wanted to throw TJ Brodie in there I wouldn’t blame you, if you feel like a goaltender should be part of the core, I hear you, but for now the core are the guys who have been through the continuous stretch of playoff heartbreak and have seen their supporting cast change around them.
Next, it’ …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Previewing the 2022 Women’s World Championships

It’s been an unusually busy month of August on the hockey calendar. After the rescheduled 2022 World Juniors and the various national team camps that came before the tournament itself, the international hockey content is far from slowing down as the 2022 Women’s World Championships begin Thursday in Denmark.
This is the first time the Women’s World Championships are being held in the same year as the Olympics. Previously, the World Championships were skipped in an Olympic year. Back in September 2021, the IIHF announced the change to play the tournament every year including Olympic years, with the tournament taking place in August of an Olympic year rather than the usual slot in April for a non-Olympic year.
As such, we have even more summer hockey on deck. With only a handful of months since the last major tournament in February, there will be plenty of storylines and statements to be made at the Women’s World Championships over the next two weeks. Let’s get into the participants and who to watch for throughout the tournament.
Group A
Canada
Canada enters the 2022 World Championships as not only the defending champions from last year’s tournament but also the defending gold medallists at the 2022 Olympics. This event will be far from a walk in the park, as Canada will be looking to win back- …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Checking in on how the Blue Jays’ 2022 draft picks and undrafted free agent signs are doing so far

It’s been just over a month now since the 2022 MLB draft, so it’s time to look at how each player is doing!

We’ll be going in the order in which they were drafted, starting with the 23rd overall pick, then the 60th overall, and then so on and so forth.
We’ll also be looking at how the undrafted free agents have been doing, as they’ve also put up some interesting numbers.
As most of these players have played with the Dunedin Blue Jays, we’ll be able to look at exit velocity data and pitching velocity. Here’s the database for every single batted ball in play for the 2022 Dunedin Blue Jays.
Brandon Barriera:
The Blue Jays’ first-round draftee has yet to make his professional debut. In fact, it’s unlikely he will make his debut in 2022.  It’s been reported that the 18-year-old lefty will work at the complex in Florida, much like how the Blue Jays’ third-rounder, Ricky Tiedemann did last season.
Hopefully, Barriera is able to rise up the ranks like Tiedemann has done this season.
Josh Kasevich:
The 21-year-old shortstop who was chosen 60th overall was assigned to the Dunedin Blue Jays in Low A. He’s slashing .234/.294/.277 with no homers in 51 plate appearances. Kasevich has avoided strikeouts, as his 7.8 K% is the lowest amongst this group of players, but he’s only walked 5.9% of the time. He has a 69 (nice) wRC+ for the season
Out of all the drafted players that landed in Dunedin, Kasevich has the lowest average exit velocity at 82.55 mph. He has a hard hit percentage of 23.26 (second lowest), and his maximum exit velocity sits at 104.3 mph.
Tucker Toman:
Selected with the 77th overa …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Putting the Leafs prospects into tiers

After almost a month of counting down the top 20 prospects, looking at the honourable mentions, and the straight up participants, the TLN Prospect Rankings for 2022 came to a close yesterday with Matthew Knies grabbing the number one spot this year. It isn’t without some debate, as Knies’ recent early exit from the World Juniors tournament and going goalless in those five games certainly didn’t gave him a favourable recency bias.
Before going any further I want to thank Nick Richard, Kyle Cushman, and Nick Barden for their tireless work in creating these prospect write-ups. I think they like doing these, but by the time we near the top five it has to start feeling like work, and I appreciate the work they put in. You can find links to all of the profiles on the players below.
Now I have the luxury of coming in and mopping up after all their hard work. Rather than any kind of deep analysis, I get to simply sort the players and put them into tiers based on what their upside looks like, and how close they are to achieving that upside.
The main takeaway from this process is while the Leafs have a fair number of decent, solid prosp …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation