Toronto Raptors: Not adding another center hurt the team

Toronto Raptors: Not adding another center hurt the team

It’s been over a week since the NBA trade deadline, where the Toronto Raptors made some moves during the trade deadline by trading away Norman Powell, Matt Thomas, and Terence Davis. In return, they got Gary Trent Jr., Rodney Hood, and two future second-round picks. Unfortunately, Aron Baynes remained with the team. Despite that reshuffling, […]
Toronto Raptors: Not adding another center hurt the team – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ

Page 6ix Wednesday, March 10th: The more things change…

We’re coming up on a year since the NHL shut down because of COVID, only to resume again in the summer in a strange new world. Things have only gotten stranger since, as the league has made quick shifts and evolved in unexpected ways. But the thing that has not changed about hockey is that there is always, always, drama to discuss. Hockey players might try their best to seem dull and boring in interviews, but the truth is they are anything but.
So let’s take a look at some of the drama that transpired over the past week, shall we?
Leafs Lads
As usual, we begin our weekly look by taking a peek at what the Leafs have been up to. And after 3 straight wins (2 shutouts!) against Connor McDavid and co., the Leafs then dropped 3 straight games. Sigh. So while that’s not great, the party line from the Leafs players is that though not ideal, they feel good about where they are and know they can come through this.

Zach Hyman on #Leafs right now:
“I think we’re in a good spot. All teams go through adversity. We want to bounce back, and we’re not happy …

Read More

Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Marlies and Me: Rich Clune captaincy, Toronto welcomes Alex Galchenyuk

It’s been 20 days since the start of the Toronto Marlies season, which has seen them play 12 times in that span. With the new Canadian Division, the Marlies have only played two teams thus far. Six games against the Manitoba Moose (4-2-0-0), six games against the Stockton Heat (2-4-0-0).
The Calgary Flames affiliate has been their toughest of the two, outscoring Toronto 23-19 in six games. Although it may not show it, Stockton fights hard and makes it difficult for the Marlies to keep, or even gain a lead at any point in a game.
After a road trip, where Toronto learned to play with new players, another one arrived in Alex Galchenyuk. Through four games at the Coca-Cola Coliseum, he has four points in four games — pretty good. From game one on you could see how highly skilled the 27-year-old is.
Toronto acquired him on February 15th from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Egor Korshkov and David Warsofsky. Galchenyuk was sent down in order to get some playing time, get comfortable and see if the Maple Leafs can tap into some of his skillsets and make him a more dominant player.
“He’s come …

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to avoid first series loss this season against Canucks

Since the season started almost two months ago, the Leafs have played 13 different “series’” this season, also counting just a single game against an opponent as one. Going into tonight’s game, they have yet to lose one, but that may be in jeopardy tonight, as the Leafs look to rebound from Thursday night’s 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
Of course, it’s not like the Leafs played bad in that game. They actually played quite well for the first two periods, but once the third period rolled around, it was fairly obvious that fatigue was getting to them, as they were playing their 4th game in 6 nights, and the second half of a back to back. That fatigue may still be there for tonight’s game, but it probably shouldn’t be as big of a factor as Thursday’s game.
For the Canucks, they had lost five of their last six going into the game, so it might have been a big boost in team morale, especially without Elias Pettersson. But, since a 6-5-0 start to the season, they have gone 4-10-2, so those wins have come few and far between these days. However, …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Nylanderthals rejoice! We’ve got a new The Leafs Nation shirt for sale

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Leafs shirt up on the Nation Gear site. It’s not that we haven’t wanted to, it’s that we wanted to wait to give you a design that is unique and something that we would want to wear ourselves. Thankfully Anthony Stewart gave us this gem…

Ah yes us, the “Nylanderthals” indeed #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/jAzpHpnvKL
— David Nestico (@davidnestico200) February 19, 2021

NYLANDERTHALS!!!
It didn’t take long for twitter to immediately either fall in love with the term like we did, or take it as a slight against Leafs fans. I’ll let you guess what side of that we fall on based on this.

That’s right! It’s our brand new, sexy and stylish Nylanderthal shirt. Fine enough to wear to at any occasion, but ideally to rub in your uncle’s face on family zoom calls.
If you are a proud Nylanderthal, now is your opportunity to broadcast it to the world in this 100% ring spun cotton shirt and let the Steve Simmons’ of the world know that you believe in our beautiful Swedish son. Also, that IKEA furniture really isn’t that hard to …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to increase division lead in first visit to Montreal

For the first time since opening night, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens go head-to-head in a battle of the top two teams in the North Division. After closing out their three-game set against the Vancouver Canucks with a 3-1 win on Monday, the Leafs are on an eight-game point streak, going 7-0-1 in that stretch, positioning themselves in the top spot in the North heading into Wednesday night’s game. Unfortunately for the Leafs, the Canadiens have been nearly as hot, having gone 7-2-1 in their last ten and sitting a mere three points back of Toronto in second place.
The Leafs look to rebound from a game against Vancouver which was arguably their worst of the season to date. While the Leafs managed to return to form late, putting the game away with a strong third period, they entered the final frame on the wrong end of a twenty shot differential, being outshot by the lowly Canucks 27-7. While many may view Montreal’s hot start as a product of unsustainable shooting percentages, both at 5v5 and shorthanded, there is little doubt that if any team is going to threaten Toronto for the division …

Read More

Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: The long road to the 2020-21 playoffs

Toronto Raptors: The long road to the 2020-21 playoffs

It’s been a long time since the Toronto Raptors have been at risk of missing the playoffs. Typically at this point in the season, the Raps have solidified themselves as one of the best teams in the conference and are beginning to joust for home-court, but that has not been the case in 2021. For […]
Toronto Raptors: The long road to the 2020-21 playoffs – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Kyle Oliveira / Raptors HQ

Marlies pick up a draft eligible goaltender as an OHL season begins to seem less likely

Marlies pick up a draft eligible goaltender as an OHL season begins to seem less likely

It’s been a while since we’ve had any kind of signing news related to the Toronto Marlies, but out of the blue this morning, the Leafs’ AHL team offered up an Amateur Tryout contract.

A draft eligible goaltender is joining the Toronto Marlies.
If you thought 2020 was a weird year, 2021 is saying don’t forget about me. https://t.co/IF5uNG4Swk
— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) February 6, 2021

The most interesting thing about this move has to be the fact that Lennox is draft eligible. And with no timelines for the start of the OHL season, apparently Tristan Lennox has opted instead to join the Marlies, as he would be eligible to play there as long as there isn’t an OHL season going on.
Of course there isn’t an AHL season to speak of for the Marlies to speak of either, but the intention is that there will be an AHL schedule for the Canadian teams announced by Monday, and that both Toronto and Belleville will start their seasons largely on the road until Ontario allows them to play or they can find some farm land in southern Saskatchewan to call him for the next few months, and …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Analyzing Leafs’ WJC performances

It has been quite some time since a World Juniors tournament has held so much intrigue for the Leafs and their fans, with six of the organization’s prospects taking part this year. It would have been seven had the Leafs elected to send Nick Robertson to play with team USA but the decision was made for him to remain in Toronto to put himself in the best position to earn a spot in the NHL lineup on opening night.
Considering Robertson’s proximity to the NHL, and just how impressive the Leafs’ prospects looked at the World Juniors, management has to feel good about how they’ve been able to restock the prospect pool in recent drafts. Two of their mid round picks from the 2019 draft were called upon to play in the tournament, and each of their first four picks from the 2020 draft also made the cut for their respective countries.
Topi Niemela – RHD – Karpat (Liiga)
The World Juniors were a coming out party for the Leafs’ 2020 third round pick as Niemela exceeded all expectations on his way to being named the best defenceman at the tournament. He played in all situations for the bronze medal winning Finnish …

Read More

Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Leafs by the Numbers: Jack Campbell

Ever since the departure of Curtis McElhinney via the waiver wire, Leafs fans had been clamouring for a reliable backup to help ease Frederik Andersen’s workload. With the likes of Garret Sparks, Michael Hutchinson, and Kasimir Kaskisuo among others not providing enough faith in management to give them anything more than the occasional start on back-to-backs, it reinforced the notion that it was either Andersen or nothing.
It came to a head during the 2019-20 season when Andersen had a down year and Hutchinson did not play well enough to minimize the damage. This is why Kyle Dubas decided to pull the trigger on a trade to bring in a new option as the backup in Jack Campbell. His stint with the Leafs has only barely begun but he’s won over a lot of fans not just with his interactions with the media and teammates, but with his on-ice performance.
That’s why Campbell’s number is 6.
It’s how many games Campbell has played for the Leafs since being acquired in the deal with the L.A. Kings, which led to a goalie controversy regarding whether he should have gotten more compared to Andersen. Talk about a …

Read More

Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation