A new theory has emerged about why the Leafs didn’t trade for Nick Jensen

Throughout the 2018-19 season, many Leafs fans were clamouring for the team to acquire then Red Wings defenceman Nick Jensen to help improve the backend. His playstyle appeared to match what Kyle Dubas was looking to add and the asking price was likely going to be reasonably low. A deal between Toronto and Detroit ultimately never materialized and Jensen ended up getting traded to the Capitals at the deadline.
There was a lingering doubt of wonder as to why the Leafs did not go through with a trade to acquire the American defender. Nearly two years after his initial trade to Washington, we now have a better idea as to why:

My third favorite Mike Babcock story:
At the 2019 trade deadline we were discussing bringing in RD Nick Jensen from DET to play on an active, puck-moving 3rd pair with Dermott.
MB essentially said fine, but if we get him then he’ll put Jensen in and sit Dermott.

— Jack Han (@JhanHky) February 24, 2021

Jack Han was formerly a Hockey Operations Assistant and a Player Development Analyst for the the Leafs, so he would have had the first-hand experience of what went on behind the scenes. The basic takeaway is that Mike …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Injuries plague Maple Leafs in loss to Flames – Rate That Leafs Game

The Toronto Maple Leafs started this season off very well and have now run into injury troubles. With six players out, Sheldon Keefe had to do some line juggling in this game and I don’t believe it worked.
We also got news after the game on the extent of Frederik Andersen’s injury and what his timeline to return would look like.
For the Leafs though, this game was what I’d call a throw-away game. It was unlucky, they were goalie’d by David Rittich and penalties cost them at the end of the game. Plus, Toronto didn’t score on seven power play opportunities which didn’t help.
This team knows that if it’s a bad game, they move on and I think that’s what they plan to do after this one. And so do I. Enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Latest rumors suggest Kyle Lowry could still be traded to 76ers

Raptors: Latest rumors suggest Kyle Lowry could still be traded to 76ers

At the beginning of the season, the Toronto Raptors trading Kyle Lowry looked like a foregone conclusion. The team was 2-8, and Lowry is a pending free agent. Trading him could’ve helped Toronto lean into a rebuild. Since that poor start, however, Toronto has won 14 of their last 21 games, becoming the No. 4 […]
Raptors: Latest rumors suggest Kyle Lowry could still be traded to 76ers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Should Norman Powell remain a permanent starter?

Raptors: Should Norman Powell remain a permanent starter?

The Toronto Raptors started their 2021 season not quite on the right foot as we all know by now. However, recently they’ve been racking up the wins and now hold a 13-15 record after starting 2-8 on the year. The Raptors’ slow start to the season was a mixture of a whole bunch of factors, […]
Raptors: Should Norman Powell remain a permanent starter? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

Toronto Marlies announce opening night roster

The Toronto Marlies open their 2021 season tonight against the Manitoba Moose, which they’ve just released the roster for:

The Marlies announced today the hockey club’s 2020-21 opening night roster. #ForeverStartsHere
Details » https://t.co/FES8j3rqt1 pic.twitter.com/BqxygZm3PQ
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) February 15, 2021

 
This roster consists of players who we’ve already seen play at the NHL level like Nick Robertson, Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren, Adam Brooks and Joey Anderson. Plus some old faces who we saw last season in the AHL, too.
After looking at the roster, the look for concern is at the goaltending. With Joseph Woll on the taxi squad with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ian Scott out of the lineup due to an injury, the Marlies are looking to lean on three goaltenders who are on professional and amateur tryouts. This will be interesting.
If you want to catch tonight’s game, you can watch them over at AHLTV.com (it should be for free).

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

It will be a different feel to the Marlies season, but there are important players to keep an eye on

To call this season of the AHL bizarre would be an understatement. The majority of the league has started play, and we’ve been patiently waiting for the Canadian teams to begin playing. Initially those were Belleville, Winnipeg, Laval, and the Toronto Marlies, but the Stockton Heat will be playing out of Calgary this year, so now there are five.
To complicate things further, both the Marlies and Belleville weren’t able to be scheduled for home games, as Ontario had restrictions in place preventing that until recently. The result of all these issues is a schedule being built that only takes teams through February, and the remaining schedule will come at a future date.
From Marlies.ca
There will be four game series with Manitoba and Stockton that will kick start the year, and involve a four game in five night stint followed by a travel day and then four games in six nights. That’s a lot of hockey and fast, but it meets the needs of teams that have desperately been waiting to get their prospects some playing time.
Who to watch on the Marlies
Look no further than recent LeafsPR tweet to see the key names …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs adjust their taxi squad in advance of the Marlies season

It might not be the most exciting of season milestones, but it’s a necessary one, and that is the opening of the Canadian AHL division for play on Monday. And given that for the first little while games won’t be played in Ontario, it’s time for the players destined for the AHL to ship out and join the Marlies. That’s why today’s announcement wasn’t really a surprise…

Defenceman Martin Marincin and forward Scott Sabourin have been reassigned to the Maple Leafs taxi squad.
Forward Adam Brooks, forward Nick Robertson and defenceman Rasmus Sandin have been loaned to the @TorontoMarlies.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) February 13, 2021

Let’s start with who is sent down, rather than focus on who is coming up.
Rasmus Sandin needs a change to play. He should be trying to play 20+ minutes a night rather than waiting 12 games for an opportunity for 10 minutes of ice time. That’s not ideal for a top prospect, and while there previously weren’t any alternatives to that, there is one now and sending Sandin to the Marlies is 100% the right move. It’s also likely that if the Leafs need someone to play significant ice time …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Toronto needs to be aggressive to compete in the East

Raptors: Toronto needs to be aggressive to compete in the East

The Toronto Raptors have had a bit of a struggle this season trying to stay relevant in an NBA Eastern Conference that has changed dramatically in just one year. At this time last season, the Raptors were coming off of a 15 game winning streak, and had it been a full 82 game schedule may […]
Raptors: Toronto needs to be aggressive to compete 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

Staturday Weekly Column #8: Corsi Report Cards!

As the NHL season quickly progresses, we find ourselves already at game #12 tonight for the Maple Leafs, and we are just crossing the precipice of having enough data to semi-accurately predict future results, at least when it comes to the basic counting stats.
Research has shown that Corsi can predict the win % of teams, using even a pretty small sample such as 20 games played. The key point from the linked article from JLikens in the early-ish days of blogging about shot attempt analysis (2011) is the following two points:

Corsi Tied is the best predictor of how a team will perform over the remainder of its schedule, regardless of the point in the schedule at which the calculation occurs.
Corsi Tied is only marginally more predictive of future success than goal ratio or winning percentage when looking at samples of 60 games or more.

So, in the early parts of the season like right now, Corsi is at it’s most valuable in terms of predictivity relative to more basic metrics like Win % or goal differential.
The above article talks about “Corsi Tied”, which was an early, simple way of eliminating what we call “score effects”. Score effects are basically: as the …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: The 2 best lineups Nick Nurse needs to use more often

Raptors: The 2 best lineups Nick Nurse needs to use more often

After a chaotic start to a season that saw the Toronto Raptors kicked out of their home country after losing a few of their key secondary players to free agency, head Nick Nurse has done a fantastic job righting the ship. He helped turn around Pascal Siakam after a slow start, promoted Yuta Watanabe into […]
Raptors: The 2 best lineups Nick Nurse needs to use more often – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ