The Maple Leafs need to keep this third line together for the rest of the series against the Canadiens

The Maple Leafs need to keep this third line together for the rest of the series against the Canadiens

After game one on Thursday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs were faced to make a lineup change due to the injury of their captain, John Tavares. With the injury to Tavares, Alex Galchenyuk was called upon to slide into the lineup and slot back in the top-six alongside Nick Foligno and William Nylander. As well, with the addition of Galchenyuk in the lineup, Sheldon Keefe also went with the decision to slot Pierre Engvall in the lineup and take newly acquired Riley Nash out of the lineup for one simple reason. Offence.
Well, with the new-look second and third line entering game two against Montreal, Leaf fans were excited to see how they would perform after a game one loss, but more importantly, how the team as a whole would perform after losing one of their best players and their captain, John Tavares. I think it’s safe to say all four lines were absolutely amazing last night as they all provided a little bit of something whenever they were out there on the ice together.
The Maple Leafs flat out dominated the Canadiens last night and I guess some could say six power-plays helped Toronto outplay Montreal, but even …

Read More

Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Predicting how far the Leafs will go in the playoffs

So, the Leafs lost to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night in a game that didn’t matter. Now we prepare for the Toronto and Montreal first round. I am excited. I am also nervous.
In this video, I look forward predicting where the Leafs will go and how far they will make it. I did knock on wood too because I don’t want to jinx anything. I hope you enjoy the video!

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Who’s in the lineup for game one vs. Montreal?

Who’s in the lineup for game one vs. Montreal?

The Leafs lost last night to the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in overtime. Frederik Andersen made his return to the lineup and was okay.
Toronto didn’t really look too engaged from time to time. It was like they were trying to avoid getting injured, or something (they were). These games don’t matter at this point, and it showed last night. But it was good for Andersen to get some NHL work in before the playoffs start.
Oh yeah, and Jack Campbell is starting in game one, obviously. I hope you enjoy my thoughts on last night’s game!

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

How far can the Leafs go in the playoffs?

The Leafs won another game last night and clinched the all-important North Division title. Their first division title since 2000.
As the regular season approaches its end, there are still questions on who gets into the lineup in game one of the first round. I will leave it up to Sheldon Keefe since he is the coach but in this video, I discuss who could fit, and why. Also, why Ben Hutton is someone who doesn’t stress me out on the Leafs blue line.
Happy Clinchmas. Oh, and happy Mother’s Day too. I hope you enjoy today’s video!

 

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Practice Shenanigans: Hyman and Nash resume skating, Foligno absent, Holl wearing a face shield

When the Leafs face the Canadiens on Thursday night, they will ice a new-look lineup that includes a player that is set to make his debut with the Blue and White:

#Leafs lines at practice:
Thornton-Matthews-MarnerGalchenyuk-Tavares-NylanderMikheyev-Kerfoot-NoesenEngvall-Spezza-Simmonds
Rielly-Brodie Muzzin-HollSandin-Dermott
AndersenCampbell
Absent: FolignoExtra: Brooks, Liljegren, Hutton
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) May 5, 2021

Stefan Noesen was acquired in the Nick Foligno trade near the trade deadline and has primarily been skating with the team since clearing quarantine protocols. He figures to be a serviceable bottom-six forward who will slot in should there be injuries the rest of the way. This opportunity came about due to Foligno’s injury that will keep him out of the lineup for the time being (more on that later). Noesen has played five games with the Sharks this season and has yet to record a point.
Zach Hyman and Riley Nash making progress

Zach Hyman and Riley Nash returned to @MapleLeafs practice in no-contact red jerseys.
Both have been sidelined with lower-body injuries. pic.twitter.com/a0I2Z62poK
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 5, 2021

It was good to see Hyman back on the ice after suffering a scary injury in a game against the Canucks a few weeks ago. He …

Read More

Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Should Wayne Simmonds have fought Alex Edler?

Should Wayne Simmonds have fought Alex Edler?

The Leafs defeated the Vancouver Canucks last night. It was a game, where Toronto really dominated most of the play. But a lot of discussion after this one was regarding Wayne Simmonds and Alexander Edler’s fight and whether or not it should’ve happened.
I discuss that in today’s video, along with my thoughts on Rasmus Sandin higher in the Leafs lineup, plus who should start in game one of the NHL playoffs — Frederik Andersen or Jack Campbell?
Enjoy the video!

And if you missed last night’s game and didn’t see the Simmonds/Edler fight — here it is:

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Welcoming culture could make Toronto a free agent hotspot in offseason

Toronto Raptors: Welcoming culture could make Toronto a free agent hotspot in offseason

With a win last night against the Orlando Magic, the Toronto Raptors are in a three-way tie for the final play-in spot. For most fans, the recent two-game win streak has come as a surprise, as most Raptors starters are either injured or out resting. During this time, the likes of Paul Watson, Freddie Gillespie, […]
Toronto Raptors: Welcoming culture could make Toronto a free agent hotspot in offseason – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Alaa Alarashi / Raptors HQ

Practice Shenanigans: Robertson promoted to the second line, Matthews and Nylander return, Sandin participates

Despite the Leafs not playing a game on Saturday night, they still made things interesting with what happened on the ice.

#Leafs lines at practiceGalchenyuk-Matthews-MarnerRobertson-Tavares-NylanderMikheyev-Kerfoot-HymanThornton-Spezza-Simmondsextra: Engvall, Brooks
DefenceRielly-BrodieMuzzin-HollDermott-BogosianExtra: Marincin, Liljegren Sandin
GoaliesCampbellRittich
— David Alter (@dalter) April 17, 2021

The key thing to notice here is that Nick Robertson will be getting a shot on the second line with John Tavares and William Nylander, which is a well-deserved honour. Robertson has been very noticeable in his three games since getting brought up and is playing with intensity on each passing shift. Similar to how managed to make the roster during the 2020 bubble, he has willed his way into a bigger role and has forced Sheldon Keefe into making a tough decision on who to take out so Robertson can play.
Judging by the pairings, it appears that Pierre Engvall is going to be a healthy scratch as a result of this move and I imagine this is Keefe’s way of sending the Swedish centre a message. Engvall has had a rough stretch of games predating Robertson’s promotion, resulting in instances where the former has been benched by his coach for long stretches. Hopefully, this motivates him to get his season back …

Read More

Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby receives praise from DeMar DeRozan

Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby receives praise from DeMar DeRozan

It was all smiles last night after the Toronto Raptors defeated the San Antonio Spurs. The short-handed Raptors who played with essentially one guard in their lineup made up for it with stellar performances from Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. After the game, former Raptors great DeMar DeRozan praised Anunoby, the fourth-year forward for Toronto […]
Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby receives praise from DeMar DeRozan – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Alaa Alarashi / Raptors HQ

Jalen Green scouting report: Is he a better fit for the Toronto Raptors than Jonathan Kuminga?

Jalen Green scouting report: Is he a better fit for the Toronto Raptors than Jonathan Kuminga?

Including Sunday night, the Toronto Raptors have 27 games left to climb back into the playoff picture. Toronto is 11th in the East and the seventh-worst team in the NBA right now. Should the season come to an end today, they would be squarely in lottery pick territory at the 2021 NBA Draft. This could […]
Jalen Green scouting report: Is he a better fit for the Toronto Raptors than Jonathan Kuminga? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ