Leafs Prospects Make Statement in Marlies’ First Round Sweep

Moments after his team punched their ticket to the second round with a commanding 3-1 win over the Rochester Americans in game three of the first round —sweeping the best of-five-series— Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe started off his post game press conference with a stick tap to his opponent.
“Hats off to them,” Keefe told reporters. “That’s great hockey team that gave us all we could handle and then some.”
While he may have done so inadvertently, Keefe drew attention to just how incredible the Marlies’ first round performance was. They had defeated the favourited Americans— who received reinforcements from the Buffalo Sabres after their NHL affiliate missed the postseason–and they did it with a great deal of emphasis.
“In a series where we were probably the underdogs and not a lot of people expected us to come out of this series —especially with Buffalo finishing early and sending down some of their good players—we’re happy to be moving on, especially doing it in that type of fashion,” said forward Adam Brooks. “Obviously we think we have more [to give].
The series victory, and the way in which it transpired–came as quite a …

Read More

Author: Jacob Stoller / The Leafs Nation

Tactical Issues: How will the Raptors and Magic adjust in Game 3?

The Raptors punched back in Game 2, and the Magic are going back home to regroup. How will the Magic adjust after Game 2, and what can the Raptors do better? Where do we start with Game 2? The Magic were punked? Wait, that’s too nice. Obliterated? That doesn’t do enough justice. Whichever word you want to use, the Raptors — especially Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard, Nick Nurse, and, oh heck, the entire fanbase — should feel like they now have the blueprint to eliminate the Magic in this round.
Yes, Game 2 was a blowout for the Raptors, but it just didn’t happen in a flash. Let’s revisit each team’s strategies and how they arrived at that ending. And most importantly, let’s review Game 3 options for the Raptors and Magic to prepare.
For the Magic
The Magic got bullied Tuesday night, and their scoring issues in Game 1 were even magnified in Game 2. Coach Steve Clifford has to find a way to slow down Kawhi, and at the same time put some meat on the backbone of their offense: Nikola Vucevic. But first let’s get to what worked for the Magic in Game 2.

Attack Fred VanVleet

If there’s …

Read More

Author: JD Quirante / Raptors HQ