Ranking the 10 worst times the Leafs blew a lead since 2000

I hate to break this to you, but last night really did happen. We really did witness the Toronto Maple Leafs blow a 5-1 lead to the last-place Ottawa Senators before losing 6-5 in overtime. Here’s the worst part: it’s not the most embarrassing blown lead for Toronto since the turn of the millennium.
Believe it or not, this is not the first time the Leafs had a big lead over their opponent only to let it slip away in spectacular fashion. Rarely does Toronto recover and win the game, but often fans are left with feelings of anger and sadness. Then they go through weeks, months, and years with the continued dread of questioning why they chose to support such a cursed franchise.
And because these things have continued to happen solely to the Leafs, I was compelled enough to make this graphic:

Experience Leafs Hockey! pic.twitter.com/FbNx147isO
— Michael (@TheLeafsIMO) February 16, 2021

It got me wondering what really was the worst blown lead the team was on the receiving end of and which game do fans point to when their therapist asks when the pain first started. So I’m going to try and do …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to increase division lead in first visit to Montreal

For the first time since opening night, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens go head-to-head in a battle of the top two teams in the North Division. After closing out their three-game set against the Vancouver Canucks with a 3-1 win on Monday, the Leafs are on an eight-game point streak, going 7-0-1 in that stretch, positioning themselves in the top spot in the North heading into Wednesday night’s game. Unfortunately for the Leafs, the Canadiens have been nearly as hot, having gone 7-2-1 in their last ten and sitting a mere three points back of Toronto in second place.
The Leafs look to rebound from a game against Vancouver which was arguably their worst of the season to date. While the Leafs managed to return to form late, putting the game away with a strong third period, they entered the final frame on the wrong end of a twenty shot differential, being outshot by the lowly Canucks 27-7. While many may view Montreal’s hot start as a product of unsustainable shooting percentages, both at 5v5 and shorthanded, there is little doubt that if any team is going to threaten Toronto for the division …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation

Oilers snap Leafs winning streak in thrilling OT contest

The Leafs and Oilers put on a show on Saturday night in a fast paced, tightly contested game that featured highlight reel moments from some of the game’s biggest stars. The Leafs battled back from a two goal deficit but came up short in a 4-3 overtime loss, bringing their record to 5-0-1 in one goal games so far this season.
Both teams had their legs from the get go and played at a furious pace to begin the opening period. The Oilers got the first good chance of the contest when a puck trickled behind Frederik Andersen and Mikko Lehtonen dove behind him to pull the puck off the goal line with his hand, leading to a penalty shot for former Leaf Tyler Ennis. Andersen stayed with him the whole way, forcing a shot wide to keep the game scoreless and went on to make a handful of big saves to weather the early storm before Dominik Kahun opened the scoring on an odd man rush.
The Oilers’ forecheck caused problems for the Leafs early and they struggled to move the puck out of their zone with possession but Toronto broke through late in the period with …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to make it a five game winning streak tonight against Oilers

It’s another Saturday night Leafs game, as the Leafs look to continue their winning ways and build on their league leading 7-2 record, as well as continue their current four game winning streak and sweep this two game series against the Oilers.
The Leafs and Oilers come into tonight’s game after a heated first game that saw the Leafs take a 2-0 lead before “penalty trouble” saw them blow that lead, but an Auston Matthews goal gave the Leafs a 4-3 lead, which would hold for the final score.
The other big story going into tonight’s game is that the Leafs will be debuting their Reverse Retro jerseys, which haven’t gotten the best reaction from fans. But, it will be interesting to see how they look on the ice tonight.
Lineups

LW
C
RW
Forwards

ZACH HYMAN
Rating: 74.6#33 LW

AUSTON MATTHEWS
Rating: 82.3#6 C

MITCH MARNER
Rating: 76.6#18 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.83#5 FL1

WILLIAM NYLANDER
Rating: 76.1#23 LW

JOHN TAVARES
Rating: 77.6#15 C

ILYA MIKHEYEV
Rating: 74.0#42 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.90#5 FL2

JIMMY VESEY
Rating: 70.6#107 LW

ALEXANDER KERFOOT
Rating: 70.8#113 C

WAYNE SIMMONDS
Rating: 70.2#112 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.57#24 FL3

ALEXANDER BARABANOV

PIERRE ENGVALL
Rating: 71.0#98 C

JASON SPEZZA
Rating: 69.4#126 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.22#23 …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The Toronto Six add to win column with a 4-2 victory against the Buffalo Beauts

On a night where they weren’t even supposed to play, the Toronto Six pull off a magnificent win over the Buffalo Beauts.
This team keeps making history, and it is a beautiful thing.

FIRST EVER WIN STREAK IN FRANCHISE HISTORY pic.twitter.com/5WSODnmfI4
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 28, 2021

Let’s dive into the things that made this game what it is.
A FULL PLAY BY PLAY RECAP AVAILABLE HERE
The Good and The Great
Right from the get-go, it is evident that there was an improvement from yesterday’s game. They came out of the gate with powerful energy and got right to work. As this game progressed we saw the team get creative not only with plays but with their goals as well. The Toronto Six put in the work to tie the game after they lost their lead to the Beauts and eventually took back the lead. With each game that passes their ability to read plays as a team develops. They did a great job with this throughout, and it allowed them to take amazing shots. 
Yet again the SOG were high and very much in favor of the Six 49-26. That offensive power is so …

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Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation

Three key takeaways from the Toronto Raptors’ loss to the Pelicans

Three key takeaways from the Toronto Raptors’ loss to the Pelicans

Opening night wasn’t pleasant for the Toronto Raptors, as they go under .500 for the first time since 2014. Wednesday night marked the start of the 2020-2021 season for the Toronto Raptors. A game that the Raptors looked to put their stamp on early, quickly turned to an ugly turnaround as they lost to the […]
Three key takeaways from the Toronto Raptors’ loss to the Pelicans – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nickeem Khan / Raptors HQ

Opinion: Let’s dial back the hostility

On Thursday night, Mitch Marner made the following comments to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox regarding the possibility of the Leafs playing all their games in the United States this season:

Or at least, based on the backlash Marner faced in the comments, that’s what you could have sworn he said. Instead, he actually said this:

The quote came as Marner was doing interviews in the lead up to hosting a stream-a-thon for the Marner Assist Fund in support of families with food insecurities. In summary, Marner said that regardless of where the Leafs play he just wants to be around his family and if it comes to not being able to play in Toronto/Canada this season he just hopes it’s somewhere warm. That’s it. That’s the quote.
“Marner” trended for hours in the immediate aftermath of Fox’s tweet, largely driven by (a) the outlandishly negative response and (b) people coming to his aid. This outrage over something so innocuous speaks to the shocking erosion of the relationship between Leafs fans and Marner, much of it self-inflicted by the Marner camp during a contentious and public contract negotiation in summer 2019. Many fans clearly still feel …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to Play in Dominican Winter League

It was reported Monday night that Vladimir Guerreo Jr. has been granted permission and will play Winter Ball in the Dominican Republic. 

Vladimir Guerrero will play with @EscogidoBBClub in the Dominican Winter League. https://t.co/qTAGBU4ao1
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) November 30, 2020

Vladdy will be joining the Escogido Baseball Club, a team already loaded with young talent. Vladdy will play alongside Julio Rodriguez, the Seattle Mariners prospect who ranks among the top 10 prospects in all of baseball and the undisputed top prospect in baseball in shortstop Wander Franco. The roster also includes Gregory Polonco of the Pirates. 
As far as Blue Jays fans go the other name to watch on this team is Otto Lopez. Lopez was just added to the Blue Jays 40-man roster to protect him from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft. Lopez is a versatile player having played every position but catcher and first base. It looks like the Blue Jays want to get him more focused on playing a middle infield position. In 2019 Lopez played 693.1 innings at shortstop after playing less than 100 innings there the year prior. Reading some scouting reports he doesn’t sound like a great defender, which means he’s likely headed …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Hyun Jin Ryu is a finalist for the League Cy Young and Charlie Montoyo is a finalist for Manager of the Year

It’s Awards Season!

On Monday night, Major League Baseball announced the finalists for all of the major awards for the 2020 season. Two Blue Jays, Hyun Jin Ryu and Charlie Montoyo, have been nominated.
Montoyo is a finalist for American League Manager of the Year along with Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays and Rick Renteria formerly of the Chicago White Sox.
I wrote a little while ago why I think Montoyo has a good shot at winning the award. It often goes to a manager of a team that breaks out or exceeds expectations and the Blue Jays were exactly that. Navigating through not having a home for the first chunk of the season will also be a big play for Montoyo here I would imagine.
And then there’s Ryu, who’s a finalist for the American League Cy Young Award along with Cleveland’s Shane Bieber and Minnesota’s Kenta Maeda. It’s great to see Ryu nominated but there’s no doubting that Bieber is going to win this thing. He posted an 8-1 record with a league-leading 1.63 ERA while striking out an obscene 14.2 batters per nine.
Ryu finished second in National League Cy Young …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

A non-contact OHL cannot be Plan B for Nick Robertson

A stir was created Friday night when the Canadian Press put an article out over the wire saying no bodychecking will be allowed in upcoming OHL season. The article confirmed these plans with current Minister of Tourism, Culture & Sports (and former Minister of Abandoning Autistic Children) Lisa MacLeod, who said that ‘removing purposeful physical contact from the game was a necessary step to preventing the spread of COVID-19.’ While many, including the Bobfather, were quick to point out that even contact-less hockey does not lend itself to avoiding close-quarters interaction, MacLeod was steadfast in her assertion that this was a necessary step in ensuring a safe return to play and that this was “not a negotiation”. (Update: Ontario Premier Doug Ford later tweeted that this was, indeed, an ongoing discussion and that the hope is the OHL could return with bodychecking, but who knows at this point considering the conflicting messages.)
Naturally, this made us think of “how does this impact the Leafs?”, which lead us to the question of what to do with Nicholas Robertson this year. A quick perusal of most Leafs fans’ mock rosters for the upcoming season has Nick Robertson making the team, but Chris …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation