Our first look at the 2021 Leafs points to Toronto being a fun team to watch

Going into the Leafs vs. Leafs preseason game to decide who Leafs the hardest, we already had a pretty good idea of what the Leafs were. We were expecting an offensively driven team that relies on skilled puck movement, and elite finishing ability to get the job done. In short we expected them to be fun, and a 7-3 win for White over Blue points to that. And there was no doubt that after a five month absence of seeing the Leafs on the ice, in something resembling a hockey game, we all wanted this.
Moving past the fun stuff, there were certainly somethings that we wanted to keep an eye out for, and some of the simple questions were answered.
First up, should be excited for Mikko Lehtonen in a Leafs uniform? Well, he answered that with a resounding yes.

Mikko Lehtonen with the shot, and William Nylander with the tip past Freddy and it’s 3-1 for Team White! pic.twitter.com/jp6duffGBj
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) January 10, 2021

His shootout goal at the end of the first period was also encouraging, and while it’s too early to say “upgrade over Tyson Barrie,” I’m going to start …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: The Raptors disappointing bench sob

Toronto Raptors: The Raptors disappointing bench sob

During the NBA Preseason, it looked like the Toronto Raptors may be one of the deepest teams in the league, but since the Regular Season started the names this team relies on have disappeared. Nothing about this Toronto Raptors season has been anything close to respectable. Raptors fans knew that the losses of Serge Ibaka and […]
Toronto Raptors: The Raptors disappointing bench sob – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ

Staturday Weekly Column #5: Projecting the North Division Standings in 2021

Staturday Weekly Column #5: Projecting the North Division Standings in 2021

As we enter the last knockings of the preseason, it’s an apt time to check out what some analytical models are predicting will happen this season. This post will take a look at two different statistical models to see what they say about the all-new all-Canadian “North” division for the 2021 NHL season.
The first model comes from Moneypuck.com, a site geared toward season predictions and game odds. For instance, to open the season, the site projects the Leafs have a 53.7% chance of beating the Habs “at home”. Moneypuck claims to develop its model in the following way:

By running a simulation of the rest of the NHL season 100,000 times we can create precise probabilities of the outcome of the season for each team. Each game is simulated using the probabilities from the pre-game prediction model discussed below. For games further into the future, the model scores are regressed to the mean to account for uncertainty.

They run one model that includes various statistics that evaluate the strength of each team, and then a second model that looks at the outputs of the first model to determine how likely the Home team is to win. Statistics included Expected Goals …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Three key takeaways from the Toronto Raptors loss to the Heat

Three key takeaways from the Toronto Raptors loss to the Heat

The Toronto Raptors close out preseason action with a loss to the Miami Heat. Attention has now been shifted towards the regular season, as the preseason concluded on Friday night for the Toronto Raptors. Although it was the final game, there were a few storylines; such as Kyle Lowry playing his first preseason game. Despite […]
Three key takeaways from the Toronto Raptors loss to the Heat – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nickeem Khan / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Potential trades that make the Raptors Eastern Conference elites

Toronto Raptors: Potential trades that make the Raptors Eastern Conference elites

After two preseason games, it’s obvious the Toronto Raptors are a guard dominant team. Against the Charlotte Hornets, the Raptors’ offense was dominated by guard play, a position where they have many options. A trade could rebalance the roster and raise the team’s status in the process. The Toronto Raptors just completed their first two […]
Toronto Raptors: Potential trades that make the Raptors Eastern Conference elites – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Positive trends in preseason wins vs Charolotte

Toronto Raptors: The Raptors disappointing bench sob

The NBA and Toronto Raptors are back in action with pre-season games kicking off the coming 2020/21 season. If the preseason is about preparation for the coming regular season, there were positive trends on display by the Raptors in their two-game stay in Charlotte. The NBA’s 2020 playoffs and bubble in Florida did not end […]
Toronto Raptors: Positive trends in preseason wins vs Charolotte – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Three takeaways from Toronto Raptors preseason win vs Houston Rockets

The Toronto Raptors opened up their preseason with a 134-129 win against the Houston Rockets in Tokyo. What did we take away from the game? At long last, Toronto Raptors preseason is back. After four long months, the Raptors faced off against the Houston Rockets in the first series of the Japan Games. Their first-ever […]
Three takeaways from Toronto Raptors preseason win vs Houston Rockets – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Pre-season Post-game #8: 5 Thoughts of the Leafs’ domination over Red Wings

The final whistle of the pre-season has been blown. For the next several months, it’s only games that matter in the standings and trying to win a playoff series. The Toronto Maple Leafs demolished the Detroit Red Wings in their last exhibition game, 5-0.
Everyone was able to chip in with some points and goals. Auston Matthews with a goal and two assists, Tavares with a goal and an assist, Tyson Barrie with two assists, and Johnsson, Nylander and Moore with a goal each. What a night for the offensive production to get rolling.
As Babcock mentioned in his post-game, the moves that they made this summer and the “main pieces that you’ve been thinking about for a long time, are way better.”
This is going to be an interesting, but exciting season for Toronto. So let’s go over some thoughts from their final exhibition game before this significant regular season.
1) William Nylander should be William Nylander more
Nylander had himself a game. Highlighted by an immense goal that was hit so hard that it first appear to be a rebound, just because it hit the net and bounced right back out.

#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/rxbF4 …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation

Preseason Pre-Game #7: 5 Things to Watch in Detroit Cut City

Another day, another preseason game. The farce continues and soon our wish for regular season games and cuts will be answered. For now, the Red Wings. A team that has a hard time putting together a NHL roster caliber roster on a good day and even more challenged with doing so in the preseason. The fact that the game tonight is in Detroit probably means this is their “A” lineup and we’ll see the scrubs tomorrow night, but that’s fine. Let the Marlies squad have their fun tonight, for cuts will be coming soon and answers will be had for who made the team.
Tonight’s roster:

The @MapleLeafs have announced the expected roster for Friday night’s preseason game in Detroit. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/1XyaEkDZUX
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) September 26, 2019
That’s an interesting group and inspires these thoughts…
1. Are Sandin and Marincin there to be compared to the field?
At this point it seems like the Sandin and Marincin pairing is locked and loaded and written in ink for the opening night roster, but perhaps some due diligence is being done by comparing them to bottom pairing competitors like Harpur, Schmaltz, Liljegren and Kivihalme. It also …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation