1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors absolutely brutal loss against Magic

1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors absolutely brutal loss against Magic

Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors have had a problem with playing down to their competition this season, and a loss against the Pistons only exemplified the fact that they’ve let some winnable games get away from them. Perhaps a tussle with the Orlando Magic, owners of the league’s worst record coming into Friday night, […]
1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors absolutely brutal loss against Magic – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Have the Toronto Maple Leafs finally found their killer instinct?

For years now, the Toronto Maple Leafs have had a problem that has been clear to the media, fans, and as the Amazon documentary revealed, especially to the team itself. Despite being one of the NHL’s most skilled teams on paper, the roster struggled mentally, lacking that extra gear necessary to succeed at the highest level. However, as we cross the quarter mark of the 2021/2022 NHL season, it seems that the team may have finally found their killer instinct.
In previous seasons, the team’s lack of urgency and what appeared to be a lack of passion cost the franchise countless wins. Whether it was starting games late, playing down to weaker opponents, or seemingly giving up on a game the moment things got tough, the worst kept secret in hockey was that the easiest way to beat Toronto was to get into their heads.
We saw it in the collapse to the Montreal Canadiens when the team thought the series was over and stopped trying, we saw it during the David Ayers game when Carolina made things hard on Toronto and they folded in response, and we saw it every time an opponent got physical and the Leafs …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Campbell and the Leafs shut out Oilers offense in 4-0 win

No Matthews, no problem. With their star centre out, there was concern about how the Leafs would match up against Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and they apparently matched up well still, as they shut out the Oilers in a 4-0 win, thanks to a Jack Campbell 30 save shutout and two point performances from Mitch Marner and John Tavares.
The first period was scary to start, as it seemed like every time Connor McDavid was on the ice, he had a chance to score, but Jack Campbell and the team in front of him held strong. The Leafs would break the ice later in the first on the power play, when Mitch Marner did his thing and skated around with the puck for a while before setting up Nylander for an absolute snipe to make it 1-0.

WILLIAM NYLANDER
WHAT A SHOT! pic.twitter.com/SxicS6WaKC
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 28, 2021

They quickly added to their lead too, as Marner would cash in again with a goal off a solid rush up the ice from Tavares to make it 2-0, and would give Mitch his 10th goal of the season already.

MITCH MARNER
MAKING MAGIC! pic.twitter.com/yFil04psY6
— Omar (@ …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Leafs split another series and that’s okay

No Matthews. No Thornton. No Robertson. No problem. Well, they didn’t make it look that easy. The Leafs were significantly helped by a strong outing from Freddie Andersen, who held the Oilers to two goals. The Leafs were certainly helped by Nylander, who was carrying the Leafs through the early part of the game, and setting up Jimmy Vesey for the goal that made tonight seem like winning was a real possibility.
Yes, the Leafs won, and with a 4-2-0 record, they appear to be on track for the season we want them to have. In reality, they have not made it look like they know what they are doing at any given in the season, and perhaps for a team that had a short camp and a number of a new faces, and now is plagued with injuries, expecting them to be dominant is too much to ask.
Tonight the Leafs depth was the most encouraging takeaway. The recently scolded Pierre Engvall didn’t look bad in his third line center role after being called out by Sheldon Keefe at the end of training camp. Adam Brooks picking up his first NHL goal was certainly memorable, but …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays now sit fifth in the American League standings after a huge comeback win over the Yankees

No Bo Bichette? No Teoscar Hernandez? No problem. The Blue Jays’ lineup exploded for a 10-run inning to sink the Yankees on Monday night, making one of their most important victories of the season.

Things worth mentioning…

It’s been mentioned many, many times, but this stretch against the Yankees (10 games in a couple of weeks) is absolutely massive for the Blue Jays. If they do well during this stretch, they can certainly finish with the second-best record in the American League East and shove the Yankees down into a battle for seventh and eighth in the league.
It looked like the New York Grind got off to an ugly start last night when Hyun Jin Ryu got roughed up. Ryu, who had been lights out over the past month, allowed three homers and left the game with the Blue Jays trailing by a score of 5-2. The issue for Ryu on Monday was that his mix of pitches became too predictable. He generally throws an array of five different pitches to keep hitters off-balance, but against the Yankees on Monday, he threw 61 changeups or curveballs. Two of the homers he allowed in the first came on …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

What does a fully healthy 28-man Blue Jays’ roster look like?

The Blue Jays have a good problem on their hands.

A couple of key players, Bo Bichette and Ken Giles, are nearing returns from their respective injuries, and a few other pitchers, Matt Shoemaker, Nate Pearson and Jordan Romano, shouldn’t be too far behind them.
The team had a busy trade deadline, adding Taijuan Walker, Jonathan Villar, Robbie Ray, and Ross Stripling in order to add some much-needed depth to the roster. Now, with more reinforcements from the Injured List on the way, the Blue Jays will have to figure out how to squeeze everybody on the 28-man roster.
This is a good problem to have, of course, but there’ll be some difficult decisions involved.
Here’s how the roster looks right now…

Starting pitchers: Hyun Jin Ryu, Taijuan Walker, Tanner Roark, Ross Stripling, Chase Anderson.
Relief pitchers: Anthony Bass, A.J. Cole, Rafael Dolis, Thomas Hatch, Anthony Kay, Ryan Borucki, Julian Merryweather, Robbie Ray, Shun Yamaguchi, Wilmer Font.
Catchers: Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire.
Infielders: Vladimir Guererro Jr., Rowdy Tellez, Travis Shaw, Cavan Biggio, Santiago Espinal, Joe Panik, Jonathan Villar.
Outfielders: Randal Grichuk, Lourdes Gurriel, Teoscar Hernandez, Derek Fisher.



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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

TRADE!!! The Hutchinson era is over. The Calle Rosen era resumes

The Leafs solved their problem of too many goaltenders on the Marlies this morning by trading Michael Hutchinson to Colorado for Calle Rosen.

The @MapleLeafs have acquired defenceman Calle Rosen from Colorado in exchange for goaltender Michael Hutchinson.
Details: https://t.co/6PyIUGF6lp#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/ENXRuan6Ll
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 24, 2020
Rosen, of course, was part of the trade that sent Nazem Kadri to the Colorado for Tyson Barrie and Alex Kerfoot. He had a solid track record on the Marlies with Sheldon Keefe, and that could be a big reason to bring him back now.
Rosen’s played 8 games for the Avalanche this year picking up 2 points, and has played 35 AHL games this year, picking up 15 points. Rosen is under contract next year for $750k, according to PuckPedia.com, and that’s a bonus for the Leafs, who could use some depth.
As for Hutchinson, a change of scenery and getting the hell out of the Toronto market when he’s become a bit of a punching bag for being a less than good goaltender is something he probably welcomes.
It’s hard not to like this deal for the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Hockey Parents, We Need To Talk: Looking at You, Paul.

Okay, we need to talk.
There’s a big problem in youth sports, which has now bled into professional sports: Parents. So much so, that minor sport organizations are now making parents sign documents adhering to rules such as, “I will not yell or verbally abuse the coach. I will not yell at my child while they are playing. I will not exhibit demonstrative behaviour.”
Are you kidding?! Do we really live in a world in which these types of documents are necessary?
I’m not talking about the parents who are laid back, take their kids to practice/games and allow their child to have fun. No, these are the parents who get thrown out by officials, constantly call the coach, yell like a lunatic on the sidelines and absolutely berate their kids post-game, in the car.
You guys; you’re the problem.
This started a while back, probably just a little before I got seriously into competitive sports. I’m not just saying it is hockey parents, either. This stems to dance, cheer, soccer, football, everywhere. Back when my parents played, they played for fun.
Let’s focus on hockey: There was no insane pressure to be the …

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Author: Rachel Doerrie / The Leafs Nation

Tactical Issues: How will the Raptors and Magic adjust in Game 4?

Has Orlando Magic solved their problem with Vucevic vs. Gasol? How did Siakam erupt for 30 points? Should the Raptors “bench” their problem? We dive into some Game 4 tactics. Pascal Siakam put the basketball world on notice on Friday night, and the Magic couldn’t do anything about it. Or, maybe they can, but they refused to mitigate it. That’s what we’re here to figure out.
Game 3 should not have been as close as it was, with the Magic coming close to stealing it had they secured one crucial rebound. Maybe the Raptors have to make some changes too, in that case. Let’s see what transpired in Game 3 and what advice we can offer to coaches Nick Nurse and Steve Clifford.
For the Magic
Coach Steve Clifford should see some silver lining in Game 3 after Nikola Vucevic was finally able to get going — at least for a stretch. There’s still some tinkering that needs to be done for Orlando, though, such as solving the Isaac-Ross-Fournier rotation.
Get Gasol into Foul Trouble to Free Vooch
Has Clifford found a way to free Vooch or was it a fool’s gold? Vooch’s best game of this series mostly …

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Author: JD Quirante / Raptors HQ