My friends, Jack Campbell is an NHL starter

With three games remaining in the regular season, there’s still a large amount of discourse among the Toronto Maple Leafs fanbase and prominent members of the media regarding which goaltender should get the nod in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs although, to me, the correct choice is as clear as day.
Even if Frederik Andersen is fully cleared of injury and has a successful conditioning stint in the AHL with eth Marlies, Jack Campbell is the starter until his performance dictates a need to change the goaltender. And I’m not talking about a single loss, I mean a full-scale disastrous blowout loss.
This has been a historic season for Jack Campbell. His save percentage is currently sitting at a sparkling .924, his 16-2-2 record is a Maple Leafs franchise record for most wins through a goaltender’s first 20 games. And let’s not forget that just a few weeks ago he achieved the NHL record for longest win streak to start a season with 11. The only real criticisms his detractors are still throwing out are these outdated notions that he’s a “career backup” or “he has no playoff experience so you should go with the guy …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby is ready to be a primary scoring option

Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby is ready to be a primary scoring option

It has become apparent this season that Toronto Raptors stud OG Anunoby has what it takes to be a high-caliber player within the NBA. The 23-year-old forward has demonstrated since his rookie season that his defensive skills are at an All-NBA Defensive Team level, but his offence has taken time to develop. This season however, […]
Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby is ready to be a primary scoring option – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Matthew Eichhorn / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet can’t be the long-term option at point guard

Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet can’t be the long-term option at point guard

The Toronto Raptors have had a very up-and-down season thus far. One player in particular who’s struggled to find consistency this season is Fred VanVleet. Fresh off signing a four-year, $85M contract, he is currently averaging 19.4 points per game this season. Although the stat line looks good, he is currently shooting 39% from the […]
Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet can’t be the long-term option at point guard – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Matthew Chiu / Raptors HQ

More fastballs, more strikes, more success for Robbie Ray

Robbie Ray has had a strong start to the season for the Blue Jays. His first two starts were very Robbie Ray-esque. Ray allowed two runs in 10 innings against the Yankees and Royals, with nine walks versus just six strikeouts. Ray limited the damage as he only allowed one home run in those two starts, even though the Blue Jays lost both of those games; they could have been much worse.

In his next two starts the home run was back, Ray allowed three homers accounting for all five of the runs he allowed. But he struck out 14 batters, didn’t walk anyone and pitched deeper into the games, throwing 12.2 innings. You total everything together and Ray has a sparkling 2.78 ERA but with a 4.73 expected ERA, a 4.83 FIP and 4.33 xFIP. Indicating Ray hasn’t pitched as well as his ERA suggests and that regression is coming.
Regression is certainly coming soon for Ray. A 93.5% left on base rate and a .237 batting average on balls in play is not sustainable over a full season. Ray however is doing certain things differently this year, which will help him continue to succeed even as certain things regress.
For Ray everything starts with the …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Yuta Watanabe makes a major impact in Toronto and Japan

Toronto Raptors: Yuta Watanabe makes a major impact in Toronto and Japan

In what has been a bleak season for the Toronto Raptors, Yuta Watanabe, recently signed to an NBA deal, has been one of the lone bright spots. After playing a combined 33 games over two years for the Memphis Grizzlies, experts had low expectations for Watanabe coming into this season. Even with the hype around […]
Toronto Raptors: Yuta Watanabe makes a major impact in Toronto and Japan – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Matthew Eichhorn / Raptors HQ

Alek Manoah will start in Triple-A, Simeon Woods Richardson, Jordan Groshans, and Austin Martin to Double-A

The Minor League Baseball season is right around the corner!

It’s been quite some time since we had Bisons or Fishers Cats or D-Jays or Canadians box scores to fawn over as the past year-and-a-bit has seen all minor-league ball streamlined into Alternate Training Sites.
This year will be a little different for the minor leagues. The Bisons will be playing in Trenton, the Fisher Cats will remain the same in New Hampshire, the Dunedin Blue Jays are now a Low-A team, and the Vancouver Canadians, who are playing in Oregon, are the new High-A team. There also isn’t Rookie League anymore and the Bluefield Blue Jays no longer exist.
We don’t yet know the full rosters that the Blue Jays farm teams will be operating with, but we learned yesterday about where a few key names will start their seasons.
Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans will start with the Fisher Cats in Double-A. The last time Groshans played was all the way back in May of 2019 with the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts while Woods Richardson made six starts for High-A Dunedin after being acquired from the Mets in the Marcus Stroman trade.
And then there’s …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Alek Manoah will start in Triple-A, Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans to Double-A, no word yet on Austin Martin

The Minor League Baseball season is right around the corner!

It’s been quite some time since we had Bisons or Fishers Cats or D-Jays or Canadians box scores to fawn over as the past year-and-a-bit has seen all minor-league ball streamlined into Alternate Training Sites.
This year will be a little different for the minor leagues. The Bisons will be playing in Trenton, the Fisher Cats will remain the same in New Hampshire, the Dunedin Blue Jays are now a Low-A team, and the Vancouver Canadians, who are playing in Oregon, are the new High-A team. There also isn’t Rookie League anymore and the Bluefield Blue Jays no longer exist.
We don’t yet know the full rosters that the Blue Jays farm teams will be operating with, but we learned yesterday about where a few key names will start their seasons.
Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans will start with the Fisher Cats in Double-A. The last time Groshans played was all the way back in May of 2019 with the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts while Woods Richardson made six starts for High-A Dunedin after being acquired from the Mets in the Marcus Stroman trade.
And then there’s …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Alek Manoah will start in Triple-A, Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans to Double-A

The Minor League Baseball season is right around the corner!

It’s been quite some time since we had Bisons or Fishers Cats or D-Jays or Canadians box scores to fawn over as the past year-and-a-bit has seen all minor-league ball streamlined into Alternate Training Sites.
This year will be a little different for the minor leagues. The Bisons will be playing in Trenton, the Fisher Cats will remain the same in New Hampshire, the Dunedin Blue Jays are now a Low-A team, and the Vancouver Canadians, who are playing in Oregon, are the new High-A team. There also isn’t Rookie League anymore and the Bluefield Blue Jays no longer exist.
We don’t yet know the full rosters that the Blue Jays farm teams will be operating with, but we learned yesterday about where a few key names will start their seasons.
Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans will start with the Fisher Cats in Double-A. The last time Groshans played was all the way back in May of 2019 with the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts while Woods Richardson made six starts for High-A Dunedin after being acquired from the Mets in the Marcus Stroman trade.
And then there’s …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

How Khem Birch has fixed the Toronto Raptors in two key areas

How Khem Birch has fixed the Toronto Raptors in two key areas

It’s been a very frustrating season for the Toronto Raptors this year, to say the least. However, with the acquisition of Khem Birch, it has given this team some hope down the stretch. The Raptors haven’t had the ideal 2020-21 season that they were all hoping for. From being forced to play their home games […]
How Khem Birch has fixed the Toronto Raptors in two key areas – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

Leafs look to extend win streak to three in potential round one preview

As the regular season winds down, the Toronto Maple Leafs head to Montreal to face off with the Canadiens in what could potentially be a late season playoff preview.
The Leafs have rebounded nicely from their five game losing skid, with Jack Campbell quietly reestablishing himself and allowing the team in front of him to sweep the Winnipeg Jets in a brief two game set that saw the Leafs all but extinguish any hope the Jets had of taking the top spot away from them. The Leafs currently sit at 65 points through 48 games, seven up on the second place Edmonton Oilers (who overtook Winnipeg with a 6-1 win Monday night.)
Montreal meanwhile, despite once being labelled as juggernauts who would surely challenge for the top spot in the North, have seen mixed results throughout the season, leading to a slide down the standings heading into the final stretch that saw their playoff hopes begin to dwindle. Never the less, despite dropping two of their first three to Calgary in the last week, Montreal managed to hold on to a close 2-1 victory Monday night, moving the Habs to six points clear of the Flames for the fourth and final playoff …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation