What Not To Wear: Hockey Edition

With the NHL moving soon to their Bubbles, there is lots of conversation in the hockey sphere around the relaxation of the Suits on Game Days mandate. From players, to reporters, to fans on Twitter, everyone seems to have an opinion on whether or not suits should be a requirement. For context, since 2005, the CBA has outlined that “Players are required to wear jackets, ties and dress pants to all Club games and while travelling to and from such games unless otherwise specified by the Head Coach or General Manager.” Players wearing suits on game day is a time honoured tradition that the team social media accounts often highlight to hype up fans for the game. 
However, the rules will be different inside the Hockey Hunger Game Bubbles, where suits will no longer be required. Players seem excited by this change:

Auston Matthews on a relaxed dress code in the bubble: “I’m really looking forward to it, honestly. It’ll be a pretty cool opportunity for guys to express themselves like other leagues are able to. At times, hockey can kind of fall behind as far as that stuff kind of goes.”
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 19, 2020



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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

NHL and PA agree on reseeding format for the playoffs

As always, any of this is dependent on the NHL actually moving forward for games. The NBA announcement today probably makes the reality of the NHL working something out seem more plausible, and in addition, there is an actual agreement on how the playoffs will work…

NHL/NHLPA have put finishing touches on format agreement announced last week. Among the open issues resolved:
_ both sides have agreed that it will be best-of-7 in all four playoff rounds (best of 5 in play-in round)
– Teams will be re-seeded after each round (not bracketed)
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 4, 2020

Keep in mind, this is just the format agreement. Still to come are Phase 3 (training camp) and Phase 4 (games/hubs/protocol) which still have to be negotiated. Only preliminary talks so far on those fronts.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 4, 2020
How does this affect the Leafs?
Well, assuming the Leafs beat the Blue Jackets in a best of five series, they wouldn’t be locked in to playing the top seed team (presently the Bruins), and instead would face an opponent based on the initial ranking (Leafs are ranked 8th in the Eastern Conference).
If there aren’t any upsets …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Five biggest games left on the Toronto Raptors’ schedule

Moving into the second half of the season, what are the five biggest games left on the Toronto Raptors’ schedule? Through the midway mark of the 2019-20 NBA season, we have to say: so far, so good for the Toronto Raptors, right? The team currently possesses the second-best record in the Eastern Conference at 31-14. […]
Five biggest games left on the Toronto Raptors’ schedule – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

What are reasonable goals for the Toronto Raptors offense?

A lot of moving parts have left the Toronto Raptors on a new trajectory this season. What are reasonable goals for the offense? The lifeblood of any functional team in the NBA is the ability to score. The more you score, the more likely you are to win. Outscoring your opponent is the name of […]
What are reasonable goals for the Toronto Raptors offense? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Point Man #27: Lowry and Conley make the first move of the play

With the pieces moving into place, Lowry and Conley make their way through the first obstacle of the Silverstern job, always watching to see what will happen next — and to feel out who to trust. So far so good as Beal warns Lowry and Conley of their first incoming foes — the remnants of Kidd’s Trio — getting in the way of the Silverstern job. Lowry knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and he’s not shy about saying so.
Catch up on Pages 26 of POINT MAN here.
Words: Daniel Reynolds
Art: Michael Kennedy (on Instagram)
Page 27

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ

Raptors bury the Magic 115-96, clinching the series win easily in Game 5

With the 115-96 Game 5 win, Toronto is moving on to the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs. And you know what? It was an entirely stress-free experience. Nothing, not the Drake Curse, not Andrew Scheer’s bloated face, not even an apparent injury to Kyle Lowry (he’s fine!), was going to dissuade Toronto from running wild on the Orlando Magic in Game 5. After a personal 9-1 run from Lowry to open the scoring, there was just no way the Raptors were going back to Orlando. They won out over the Magic going away, 115-96, and are through to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals with their first ever 4-1 series win.
Let’s just take a moment to appreciate that outcome. In their history, the Raptors have never had an easy time winning a playoff series. Yes, they won two in six games the past two years, but both of them had way more stress than they deserved. Last season they were the freakin’ 8-seed and somehow ended up in a strange dogfight with the imploding Wizards. The year before they gave up a 20-plus point lead to the Bucks and almost blew it entirely. When they were the higher seed …

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ