Brandon Drury among the four Reds placed on Restricted List prior to Toronto series

Well, so much for Brandon Drury’s grand return to Toronto.

According to Ethan Diamandas, the Reds have placed Drury, Tyler Mahle, Albert Almora, and Joel Kuhnel on the Restricted List due to not having the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Cincinnati Reds have placed Brandon Drury, Tyler Mahle, Albert Almora and Joel Kuhnel on the restricted list.
These players will not travel to Toronto for series vs #BlueJays.
— Ethan Diamandas (@EthanDiamandas) May 20, 2022

I had joked earlier today that Drury was a prime Blue Jays Killer because he wasn’t very good here and now he’s randomly playing well with the Reds. Crisis averted! That said, the two other possible Blue Jays Killers I noted, Connor Overton and Jeff Hoffman, will be making the trip to Toronto.
POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIO

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Determining the optimal Leafs defensive pairings using WOWYs

Since the return of Jake Muzzin to the Leafs lineup it seems that the Leafs have been undergoing an attempt to optimize their blueline for the playoffs and with nine games remaining it’s likely we’ll see a number of unique pairings that haven’t been considered before a couple of dress rehearsals with the likely duos.
While there are flaws to WOWYs, some of which include minimal context and smaller sample sizes, I decided to take a look at what seems like they’d be the top 5v5 pairings moving forward for the Leafs. Starting with TJ Brodie, who plays the most 5v5 for the Leafs, I’ve paired the top minute defenders with their best statistical partner.
T.J. Brodie
With
TOI With
CA/60
CF% With
GA/60
GF% With
HDCA/60
HDCF% With
HDGA/60
HDGF% With
Morgan Rielly
794.63
53.16
52.24
2.49
54.17
11.93
48.87
1.81
44.19
Justin Holl
304.40
49.87
53.23
2.56
51.85
8.48
62.28
1.38
58.82
Jake Muzzin
127.67
53.58
56.82
2.82
40.00
11.28
56.36
1.41
25.00
Rasmus Sandin
33.67
74.85
40.00
3.56
33.33
12.48
30.00
3.56
0.00
Timothy Liljegren
25.97
43.90
53.66
2.31
66.67
13.86
45.45
2.31
0.00
Ilya Lyubushkin
14.23
80.09
45.71
0.00
100.00
21.08
28.57
0.00
100.00
Mark Giordano
10.22
46.98
57.89
0.00
100.00
11.75
33.33
0.00
100.00
Pair with Holl. The eye test has been awfully cruel to Justin Holl this season. At times it seems he’s facing the opposite direction, and at a complete loss for who to cover when playing in the high danger areas of the Leafs zone. Despite these negative perceptions of him, a number of the Leafs defensemen either played their best hockey with him on the ice with them, or close to it.
Holl’s WOWYs:
With
Position
TOI With
CA/60
CF% With
GA/60
GF% With
HDCA/60
HDCF% With
HDGA/60
HDGF% With
Jake Muzzin
D
449.70
59.37
50.11
3.34
41.86
11.21
54.35
1.60
47.83
TJ Brodie
D
304.40
49.87
53.23
2.56
51.85
8.48
62.28
1.38
58.82
Rasmus Sandin
D
132.80
52.86
52.44
1.81
66.67
9.49
58.82
1.36
57.14
Morgan Rielly
D
40.77
48.57
68.27
2.94
77.78
13.25
57.14
1.47
83.33
Mark Giordano
D
38.72
55.79
50.00
6.20
33.33
7.75
54.55
4.65
40.00
Maybe this Simpson’s quote applies to Justin Holl: “I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I’m around.”
Whatever the reason, playing Holl with Brodie makes sense, and it’s not surprising that Keefe had been trying that more and more prior to the return of Jake Muzzin.
Morgan Rielly
With
TOI With
CA/60
CF% With
GA/60
GF% With
HDCA/60
HDCF% With
HDGA/60
HDGF% With
TJ Brodie
794.63
53.16
52.24
2.49
54.17
11.93
48.87
1.81
44.19
Ilya Lyubushkin
172.50
56.35
51.35
3.13
50.00
9.74
58.21
1.04
50.00
Timothy Liljegren
130.15
55.32
59.60 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs’ Muzzin and Campbell ‘less than 100 per cent’, Kallgren to start vs. Sabres

Three games removed from his return to the ice following his second concussion of the season, Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin will sit out of the team’s next game on Tuesday at home to the Buffalo Sabres.
“He’s dealing with some right now not related to what he just returned from but he’s dealing with something again,” Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice on Monday. “He’s less than 100 per cent here and needs a couple of days to settle down a little bit. He’s not going to play tomorrow, but we’re hopeful and expecting he’ll be available after that.”
Muzzin was a full participant during practice. He skated as the seventh defenceman as Toronto experimented with new defensive pairs.
Morgan Rielly skated on the top pair with Timothy Liljegren. They last skated together at the 2022 Heritage Classic on Mar. 13 against the Sabres. TJ Brodie will play with Justin Holl. The middle pair has had some success working together when Brodie was first moved off of the right side to play on the left, the same as his shooting side. Mark Giordano will skate with Ilya Lyub …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs and Jack Campbell hope for reset in return against Flyers on Saturday

Jack Campbell will return to the net when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
“Good to be back healthy,” Campbell said following Friday’s practice at Ford Performance Centre. “Shelly (Erik Kallgren) has been holding down the fort in the net and just excited to get back out there.”
Campbell has been out of the lineup since Mar. 8 when he made 26 saves on 30 shots in a 6-4 win against the Seattle Kraken.
The Port Huron, Michigan native disclosed that he first suffered the injury on Feb. 22 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. In his first start after first sustaining the injury, Campbell was pulled after allowing five goals on 25 shots against the Detroit Red Wings while his team was still in a situation to win the game.
Toronto hung on to defeat Detroit 10-7.
“I’ve had worse so I’m not going to make any excuse on my performance,” Campbell said of the injury. “It’s not fun to play through some pain, but it’s part of the game and fortunate the team has my back.”
With enough time to recover, the Maple Leafs are hoping Campbell’s time away from the game helped his mind in addition to his body.
“He just looks like he’s refreshed,” Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Obviously we wished he remained healthy and all of those things but there are some positives that come with being able to take some time away.” …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

Raptors need to improve home performance to contend in the East

Raptors need to improve home performance to contend in the East

The Toronto Raptors made their long-awaited return to Scotiabank Arena after an entire season spent in Tampa. Unfortunately, not only did the Raptors lose their home opener, but they’ve struggled to recapture the same home magic that they had during their dominant postseason runs. It’s now been 14 games into the season and the Raptors […]
Raptors need to improve home performance to contend in the East – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

The Maple Leafs look for redemption with a Saturday night rematch against the Ottawa Senators

Following Thursday’s disappointing showing, the Buds return to Scotiabank Arena for an encore tilt with the Ottawa Senators. Thursday’s game could have gone better to put things lightly. The team sputtered out of the gates, fell behind early, saw Petr Mrazek go to the ice awkwardly with a groin injury, then finally had their comeback hopes dashed by a questionable penalty call, extinguishing their last chances following a late comeback attempt.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Saturday night game without a little bit of drama, which was exactly the case as the team settled into their morning skate with a pair of notable inclusions. For starters, it looks like Timothy Liljegren, the forever prospect that is somehow still only 22, will get his first game action of the season tonight per Kristen Shilton, with Justin Holl absent from morning skate. Holl is reportedly feeling under the weather, though his PCR test has come back negative per Sheldon Keefe.
The other notable inclusion at morning skate was goaltender Alex Bishop, a 24-year-old University of Toronto product, who was on the ice due to Mrazek’s injury. While it initially appeared that he would simply serve as a placeholder …

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Author: Jori Negin-Shecter / The Leafs Nation

Semyon Der-Arguchintsev ready for next step with the Marlies

On the third day of Toronto Marlies training camp, it was the return of Semyon Der-Arguchintsev.
He missed that past two days for unknown reasons, but Thursday was his first official taste on camp in the AHL. The 21-year-old spent time at both Leafs development camp and Leafs training camp in the last few weeks.
His skill stood out, as did his shot.

Some sweet mitts #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/qbAkRpiZuP
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 6, 2021

Before last season’s end, the 21-year-old discussed how much he wanted to improve his shooting. He’s a playmaker, and if he had a good shot, it would make him a more lethal player. It’s similar to what Mitch Marner has done in the past two seasons.
And after seeing his shot in Leafs camp, and now Marlies camp, you could tell he’s worked on it.
“I don’t know, it’s a tough question.” Said Der-Arguchintsev with a smile after being asked about his shot. “We will see during the year, but I would say I did try to work on it and it’s more of just try to shoot more and get on inside, I think is the …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher ruled out for weeks with finger injury

Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher ruled out for weeks with finger injury

The Toronto Raptors are making their return to Canada against the Philadelphia 76ers tonight, and with that comes renewed optimism about the success of the team in the 2021-22 season. Power forward Chris Boucher figured to be a big part of the equation when it came to propelling the squad to wins. While he made […]
Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher ruled out for weeks with finger injury – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Blue Jays have apparently had trade talks about Joey Gallo and Richard Rodriguez

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Blue Jays’ return to Toronto was accentuated by a big pre-trade deadline splash?

Major League Baseball’s trade deadline is on Friday at 4 p.m. ET, just three hours before the team hosts the Kansas City Royals for their first game at Rogers Centre in nearly two years.
The Blue Jays are 10.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox for the American League East, so it’s safe to say that unless they go ahead and win their next three games, they’re probably out of that race. But they’re very much so still alive in the wild-card race, as they’re four-and-a-half back of the Oakland A’s for the fifth and final playoff spot in the AL.
As I said yesterday, I don’t think the Blue Jays are in a spot to go all-in and acquire a bunch of rentals for a big World Series push. Instead, they’re best off looking for deals that can not only help them make a playoff push this year, but also in the future.
Based on today’s reports, it seems that’s the plan.
According to Jon Morosi and others, the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Alek Manoah got suspended for five games and Nate Pearson is going on the IL with a groin injury

Today was supposed to be a good day because of the return of George Springer, but, since the Blue Jays can’t have nice things, there’s also some bad news to report.

Alek Manoah has received a five-game suspension for hitting Mikael Franco of the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
Manoah hit Franco in the fourth inning and was subsequently kicked out of the game, which seemed like a bit much at the time. A suspension on top of that is insane.
There was no beef going on in the game, the Blue Jays and Orioles were playing each other for the first time this season over the weekend, and Manoah is a rookie with a noticeable history of loose command, made evident by the fact he hit multiple batters during his time in Triple-A this year.
It was very clearly not intentional and it really feels as though the league is trying to spook him out of being intense and aggressive on the mound, which really sucks.
Anyways, Manoah will miss a start, so the Blue Jays will have to find somebody else to go in his place.
Nate Pearson, perhaps? Nope! Pearson has been placed on the seven-day …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation