Marlies News and Notes: Sabourin signs, Bracco departs

You know it’s a slow news day when we’re putting together Marlies roundups, but here we are. This is life a week after free agency, and hopefully this isn’t how we roll for the foreseeable future. I guess beggars can’t be choosers and Marlies news is better than nothing, so here we go.
First up…

News: We’ve signed forward Scott Sabourin to a one-year AHL contract. #ForeverStartsHere
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— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) October 16, 2020

Does that name sound familiar? Here’s why…

Yes, the Marlies brought in the guy that Auston Matthews mocked at the beginning of last season. That should make for an interesting training camp meetup, but it’s doubtful they’ll cross paths too often as Sabourin is on an AHL deal and will be on the Marlies rink as soon as it opens up.
Sabourin gives the Marlies a little toughness as well, which is interesting that added it, after bringing back Rich Clune yesterday.
Toronto Marlies re-sign Rich Clune to one-year AHL contract

Sabourin is also coming off a season with a rather serious injury from a poorly placed hit.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

It’s decision time on Zach Bouthillier

Last week I started the slow death march towards June 1st, the date when 2018 NHL draftees will need to be signed by otherwise they will re-enter the draft. The case for Riley Stotts was largely built off of the lack of center depth in the Leafs system, but goaltending depth is becoming something where the Leafs can be a pick more selective.
The Leafs will go into next season wanting to give as much of the AHL workload as possible to Joseph Woll. They will also attempt to reboot Ian Scott after his year off and get him as much work with the Newfoundland Growlers as possible, and perhaps some AHL spot duty as well.
The decision to bring in another goaltender to develop isn’t a bad one, but it’s not something that needs to be rushed an a less than ideal candidate, it remains to be seen how ideal Bouthillier is.
Bouthillier was selected with being a project in mind. The Leafs selected him in the 7th round, with the 209th overall pick. He was for a team that served the Leafs well decades before in the Chicoutimi Saguenéens, but that’ …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Takeaways from the Toronto Raptors blowing out the New York Knicks

After a slow first quarter, the Toronto Raptors ignited and squashed the New York Knicks, 126-98. The game was settled by the end of the third quarter, which left us questioning: What did we learn from this game? With rookie of the year candidate, RJ Barrett, making his first homecoming to his native Canada to […]
Takeaways from the Toronto Raptors blowing out the New York Knicks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Andrew Hughes / Raptors HQ

Analysis: How the Raptors slowed Steph and Klay in Game 1, and more

The Raptors struck first in the NBA Finals, finding a way to slow the Warriors’ attack and even extend their bench a bit. Did it all work? Let’s look into the numbers. This series, a Finals showdown with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, is one of the hardest to prepare for. The Warriors can be such a different team depending on how hard they feel they need to try, so projecting anything from the regular season, or their performance in terms of metrics, is an impossible task.
So we’ll just take each game as an opportunity to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in that specific contest, and hope those trends hold up if the Raptors try to learn from them.
Extended Bench
Raptors coach Nick Nurse said before the game that he wanted to run out ten guys and see who stuck. With OG Anunoby still out for at least Game 1, though hopefully available for Game 2, Nurse went with a nine-man rotation: the obvious eight from last series, plus Patrick McCaw.
Now, as I warned before Game 1, extending the bench to include even OG comes with risks — if Toronto plays too many bench …

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Author: Daniel Hackett / Raptors HQ

Raptors left grasping in Game 2 as Sixers win, 94-89

A slow start, some rough bench play, and bouts of cold shooting put the Raptors in a hole against the 76ers and it cost them Game 2. In case this was still a mystery, in the NBA playoffs you need to have players who can make plays. There has to be a purpose behind their every decision and action, because for the split second in which each discrete event occurs on the court someone is gaining an advantage. And if a team has too many guys playing who aren’t working for those slim margins, and aren’t turning them into something for the team, it’s tough to win. That’s how the Raptors ended up losing Game 2 to the Philadelphia 76ers, 94-89. They often saw angles to attack, but always a touch too late and in too disorganized a fashion.
Unlike Game 1’s explosion, the Sixers managed to keep a lid on Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard in the opening frame. Those were the two main playmakers for Toronto in the series opener, and it’s where there problems began in Game 2. As a result of their ineffectiveness, the Raptors fell behind. And when the Raptors fall behind with …

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ