Does a potential Matthews injury (now or in the playoffs) mean the Leafs should pursue a forward at the deadline?

Okay, let me get the elephant out of the room right away: the Leafs would be better suited to go after a defenseman than a forward at the deadline, and if they are only able to get one of the two, the defenseman is the higher priority.
Part of that comes from the fact that there are a lot of question marks on that Leafs blueline beyond Morgan Rielly and @T.J. Brodie. Jake Muzzin is starting to see his game fall off due to age and injuries, which in turn has seen Justin Holl struggle a bit more without Muzzin to lean on, giving the Leafs a hole in that second pair. And while Rasmus Sandin, Travis Dermott, and Timothy Liljegren have all had solid seasons, none of them have really jumped out as options for that role, although Sandin certainly was the most comfortable. They’d be smart to find a top four defenseman who can ease some of the burden off of Muzzin.
Part of that also comes from the fact that their forward depth is pretty solid top to bottom. Their top two lines are great at producing offense and driving play, whil …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Game 1 loss still revealed squad’s true identity

Toronto Raptors: Game 1 loss still revealed squad’s true identity

We can get the elephant out of the room right away. Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors had their lowest-scoring game since April 20th, 2017. Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby shot a combined 8-37 from the field, and the Raptors are flat out not going to win games when that happens. They don’t have enough […]
Toronto Raptors: Game 1 loss still revealed squad’s true identity – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

A mediocre West Coast swing results in the Blue Jays losing ground in the wild-card race

There’s just about no room for error for the Blue Jays at this point.

In order for this team to make the playoffs, they’re going to have to hop over two teams from the group consisting of the Red Sox, Yankees, and Athletics.
This week was a disappointing one for the Blue Jays. They went into Anaheim and split a four-game series with a mediocre Angels squad and then they dropped two of three in Seattle with another ho-hum team. The Seattle series pretty nicely encapsulated the general, overarching 2021 Blue Jays energy, as the team had a pair of bullpen meltdowns and saw a key player leave a game due to an injury.
Here’s what happened elsewhere in the race…

The Yankees took two of three from a shitty Royals team and then also took two of three from the White Sox, though they hilariously blew the Field of Dreams game after putting up a four-run ninth inning. New York is 65-52.
The Red Sox started off the week facing the Rays, which is a bit of a difficult one for us to choose sides on. At this stage, the American League East feels out of reach, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Suggested locker room slogans for the Leafs

It looks like another locker room shakeup is coming. By shake up, I mean someone is shaking up a can of paint to rid the room of it’s previous slogan…

The message is changing in a literal sense for the Maple Leafs under Sheldon Keefe.
“It’s a privilege, not a right” is no longer written on the walls above the stalls at the FPC dressing room.
No new slogan just yet.
— Justin Cuthbert (@jccuthbert) November 26, 2019
RIP to the Leafs nonsensical, begging to be misinterpreted slogan and hello to a clean canvas begging for our input.
I fancy myself an expert on inspiring others, so I give you my top 10 recommendations for what the Leafs new slogan should be…
1.

When have we ever known things to go wrong in Toronto? This is the perfect celebration of how there are nothing but clear skies and smooth water for the Leafs going forward.
2.
This one might not be as good as a slogan as much as it is a summary of the Leafs special teams strategy in the first 23 games of the season.
3.
Oh crap. I meant to include this one on a list for Senators slogans. Because no one is …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Rachel Doerrie’s Pre-Game: 5 Things to Watch For vs Philly

As they say in the dressing room, the boys are buzzing!
The Maple Leafs enter the final game of their homestead on a three-game win streak, which happened to start against these very Flyers. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope tonight’s game doesn’t require an 11-round shootout where only three goals are scored.
According to DailyFaceOff, here’s how the teams are going to line up:
Forwards: 

Defence: 

Frederik Andersen is expected to grab the start.
1) Praying for Fun Hockey
The last time these two teams played, the result was high-scoring and fun. Special teams played a prominent factor and the game was free-flowing. A week later, the Leafs have played two of the most boring hockey games in recent memory.
I’m sure Mike Babcock loves it because it is low event, but the people who pay ~$500 to sit in the Scotiabank Arena seats probably don’t feel the same way. I wouldn’t have faulted fans for dozing off during either of the game against LA or Vegas, because it was genuinely boring hockey.
The Flyers, similar to the *regular* Leafs, don’t seem capable of playing boring hockey. In their last five games, either …

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Author: Rachel Doerrie / The Leafs Nation

Making sense of the Marcus Stroman situation

Is there a phrase for an elephant in the room that everyone is willing and ready to talk about at pretty much all times? Because that’s been the situation with Marcus Stroman this year.

With Major League Baseball’s trade deadline rapidly approaching, the discussion around Stroman’s future with the organization is reaching a boiling point. I think we’ve pretty much all accepted that the team’s ace is going to be dealt at the trade deadline. Stroman himself has come to terms with it.
We can argue all day and night if it’s the right idea to trade the 28-year-old starter who seems to be just entering his prime. This is a bit of a mystery box and the boat scenario with a few other wrinkles mixed in. Really, we’ll have to wait until the trade is made before we dissect whether it was a good idea to sell high on Stroman in order to add more to the farm.
The new piece of information I want to talk about is this report from Andy Martino that suggests the Blue Jays have, in fact, considered offering Stroman an extension.

Source: Blue Jays have told …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation