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

George Springer is starting his Triple-A rehab assignment, Steven Matz tested positive for COVID-19

George Springer is almost ready to return, but the Blue Jays are taking it slowly this time around.

After missing the first month of the season due to injury, Springer returned to the Blue Jays in late April, but appeared in only four games as the designated hitter before going back on the shelf.
This time, Springer will take part in a rehab assignment with the Triple-A Thunder-Bisons as the team wants him to be ready to play centre field when he returns. Springer’s first game will be Tuesday night and the plan is for him to play five innings in centre field and build from there. Fingers crossed nothing goes wrong.
In other injury-ish news, Steven Matz has tested positive for COVID-19, though he’s apparently symptom-free. As per MLB’s COVID guidelines, Matz will need to isolate from the team for 10 days and then he’ll have to undergo tests and be deemed fit to return before he can re-join the Blue Jays.
Matz started for the Blue Jays on Saturday so he’ll miss at least one start while isolating, possibly more. His next start would be Thursday against the Yankees, so the Blue Jays will …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

3 Toronto Raptors players who must step up without Pascal Siakam

3 Toronto Raptors players who must step up without Pascal Siakam

The Toronto Raptors are hoping that a return to normalcy could help Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and the rest of the squad return to the postseason after their sabbatical in the lottery. With one fell swoop, the Raptors saw their chances of contending take a major hit thanks to Siakam’s shoulder. Siakam will miss a […]
3 Toronto Raptors players who must step up without Pascal Siakam – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

AL East Report – June 8

The pandemic is “over” and it is the first day that you return to the office.

You wake up late as you’ve been used to hoping on Zoom calls right after waking up. You notice you haven’t done laundry in some time, so you throw on your freshest clothing. You’re about to leave when you realize that you don’t have sox, so you run upstairs and throw on one white sox and one red sox and you make the bus in time. While the analogy leaves a lot to be desired, the Jays have a Sox-filled week as they play both the White Sox and Red Sox.
This past week was another winning week as they went 3-2, yet the Blue Jays are still 6 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the division lead. Eventually the excuse of “it’s still early” ends and quite frankly, I believe we are already past that point as we’ve made it through a third of a season.
It is pivotal that they have a winning week as the Rays’ schedule is easy as hell. Furthermore, Boston is second in the AL East, so winning that series gives the …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 18: Taking a look around the American League at the one-third mark of the season

The Blue Jays’ return to Buffalo was a success!

The team pulled off a two-game sweep of the Miami Marlins, winning the first game handily on the power of a strong start from Robbie Ray and then winning the second with a dramatic ninth-inning comeback.
There was quite a bit of good to talk about from this mini-series, such as the bullpen returning to form after a difficult few weeks and Lourdes Gurriel finally maaaaaaybe starting to heat up, but we also touched on Alek Manoah’s tough start in the second outing of his big league career and whether there’s any need for concern.
After that, we welcomed Kenny Ducey from Draft Kings to take a look around the American League at the one-third point of the season. He talked about his biggest surprises so far, gave some love to the Blue Jays and Marcus Semien, and discussed who the biggest fraud in the league is right now.
Finally, we finished up by looking at the series coming up against the Houston Astros.
You can listen to the episode here…
 

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors Player of the Week: The versatile OG Anunoby

Toronto Raptors Player of the Week: The versatile OG Anunoby

As the Toronto Raptors return to normal, the only one who’s looked it has been OG Anunoby. Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry are on a bit of a cold streak shooting, Pascal Siakam had one good game followed by a stinker, and the rest of the team has been wallowing in the same slump that […]
Toronto Raptors Player of the Week: The versatile OG Anunoby – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ