Raptors’ OG Anunoby becoming an All-Star lock due to hot start

Raptors’ OG Anunoby becoming an All-Star lock due to hot start

The Toronto Raptors have been on the receiving end of some pretty tough injuries this season, as Pascal Siakam and Precious Achiuwa have both missed time. With Gary Trent Jr. having struggled offensively and Scottie Barnes in and out of the lineup, OG Anunoby has saved this team’s backside. Anunoby was one of the main […]
Raptors’ OG Anunoby becoming an All-Star lock due to hot start – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Otto Porter Jr. needs to be more aggressive to lead Raptors bench

Otto Porter Jr. needs to be more aggressive to lead Raptors bench

The Toronto Raptors were getting some standout performances from their bench early in the season, but their effectiveness has since waned. Even a solid veteran like Otto Porter Jr. making his return can’t get Toronto any higher than 26th in bench points per game. Largely, Porter has been a success. The former Golden State Warriors […]
Otto Porter Jr. needs to be more aggressive to lead Raptors bench – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Grading Raptors’ free agent signings early in 2022-23 season

Grading Raptors’ free agent signings early in 2022-23 season

The Toronto Raptors wasted no time in filling some of their roster holes in free agency. Chris Boucher and Thad Young were brought back on multi-year contracts, while Otto Porter Jr. and Juancho Hernangomez were lured away from Golden State and Utah, respectively, soon after that. The Raptors have had some success with all of […]
Grading Raptors’ free agent signings early in 2022-23 season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Which zones do Leafs players thrive in?

It’s been a while since I sat down and did some high school math level analysis of the Leafs, and that’s exactly what I did last night. I was curious about what parts of the rink Leafs players are thriving in and how tilted are the Leafs towards being an offensive team.
I decided to start by putting the 5v5 for and against stats for Corsi, goals, and expected goals into league-wide percentiles (with a minimum of 200 minutes played) and then looking at the trends around the for and against stats while factoring in time on ice to identify any excessive sheltering. (For example, Nic Aube-Kubel had strong defensive numbers, but was heavily sheltered, only playing in the 7th percentile of 5v5 ice time.)
I broke the players into the following groups with the following definitions:
200ft player: They would need to be above the 70th percentile in both for and against stats, as well as being in the 70th percentile for time on ice. Basically, you can’t be a 200-foot player if your coach is afraid to put you out there.
Offensive player: You are in the 70th percen …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Key dates for the 2022-23 Season

Key dates for the 2022-23 Season

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reported on some of the key dates coming up for the NHL season in his rumblings column today.
• March 3: The NHL trade deadline. That’s a Friday, by the way.
• June 28-29: The NHL Draft in Nashville, which the NHL announced last month. That’s a Wednesday and Thursday. Remember that the NHL went to a Thursday-Friday draft this past July in Montreal, getting away from its normal Friday first round and Saturday end-of-draft set-up.
• July 1: Opening of free agency. So finally back to the normal July 1 Free Agent Frenzy day, for the first time since pre-pandemic. Free Agent Frenzy was Oct. 9 in 2020, July 28 in 2021 and July 13 this past year.
The one day in between the draft and free agency is going to be fun. The less prep time for NHL GMs between major decisions is only a good thing, and will hopefully lead up to some additional excitement leading into the draft as well. I could go for a Saturday day two of the draft, but it’s worth it for the short turnaround.
 

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Things got heated as the Orioles beat the Blue Jays 9-6 on Tuesday

You wanted a Blue Jays win tonight? How about some ejections, cleared benches, and Yusei Kikuchi getting meaningful innings in September?

Aside from a Blue Jays win, all of the above were present as Toronto dropped the third game of a four-game set to the Orioles 9-6. Aside from Bo Bichette hitting his fourth home run in two games, this one was pretty ugly for the Jays.

“Go win something” https://t.co/efmByDU6va pic.twitter.com/rKyHhAgKX1
— Lewis (@JaysKid_RHP) September 7, 2022

Toronto was plagued early on by a rough start from Mitch White. White’s first two innings were quick and efficient, but his third inning turned into a disaster. With Toronto already ahead 3-0, White walked Rougned Odor and Jorge Mateo, as well as hit Cedric Mullins to load the bases with no one out.
From there, the Orioles would record an RBI from four of their next five batters, storming ahead 5-3. White never got out of the third, as his final line stood at 2 and 1/3 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 3 BB, and 2 Ks. His ERA is now 5.09, way above his ERA from when we joined the team (3.70). It is also now the third straight outing that White has given up at least five runs.
The Jays got three scoreless innings between Julian Merryweather and Anthony Bass to keep things afloat, as an RBI double from Chapman cut the Orioles’ lead to one at 5-4. With one out in the sixth, however, John Schneider oddly went to Yusei Kikuchi. It went…about how you think it went, as Kikuchi allowed a run in two-thirds of an inning of work.
The Jays got that run back in the top of the 7th, as Bo Bichette came into score from a Teoscar Hernandez double play, making it 6-5. Despite this, it still begs the question: Why was Kikuchi in that situation when Anthony Bass only threw 7 pitches? 
Sparks flew at the end of the inning, as B …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Another Kikuchi start, another Kikuchi disaster as Jays fall to Orioles 7-3

Rogers Communications may have some interest brewing in co-ownership, as Ryan Mountcastle and Kyle Bradish are a duo that the Jays can’t find an answer for. That being said, the Blue Jays dropped another frustrating game to the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 on Monday night. The Jays fell behind early once again, the 6th straight game in which they have failed to score first.

The main culprit was once again Yusei Kikuchi, who put together another less-than-stellar performance, to put it nicely. John Schneider told the media Kikuchi earned another start despite his subpar performance last week against the Orioles, but he didn’t give the Jays much of a reason for him to get another one. It was a Kikuchi-esque start right off the bat, as Baltimore scored a run in the 1st from an Anthony Santander RBI single.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Blue Jays-Orioles game without Ryan Mountcastle hitting a home run. He absolutely tattoed a Kikuchi fastball into the left field seats in the 3rd inning, giving the Orioles a 3-0 lead.
The Blue Jays would fight back in the bottom of the 3rd, as they worked the bases loaded against Kyle Bradish. Gurriel Jr. was due up, and that’s who the Jays want when the bases are juiced. Gurriel conti …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

The biggest trade in Toronto Raptors history that never happened

The biggest trade in Toronto Raptors history that never happened

The Toronto Raptors have made some crazy trades in the course of their franchise history, but once canceled swap with the Los Angeles Lakers could have been the most impactful non-Kawhi Leonard deal this club ever pulled off. It centered around Tracy McGrady before his formative NBA seasons. McGrady was a huge risk coming out […]
The biggest trade in Toronto Raptors history that never happened – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Prospect Profile: Trent Palmer

The third-rounder from the 2020 draft is making some waves this season.

Trent Palmer is quickly becoming one of the most successful prospects in the Blue Jays minor league system. In just two seasons, he pitched at three different levels and had success at each of them.
Background:
The success didn’t just randomly show up at the pro level. The Minnesotan pitched three seasons at Jacksonville University. He posted a 3.52 ERA in 133 innings pitched. Palmer has always had a high K/9, as it sat at 10.6 in college, while his BB/9 was a solid 3.6.
Even in summer league action, Palmer put up some impressive numbers. In 49 innings pitched in two seasons, Palmer has an impressive 1.84 ERA, as well as a 10.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. The pedigree was obviously there.
So when it was the Jays turn to pick in the third round of the 2020 draft and Palmer was still on the board, the Jays selected the 6’1 righty 77th overall pick. According to MLB, the slot value for the 77th overall pick was $805,600 in 2020, yet Palmer was signed to a bonus of $847,500.
Palmer’s start:
As per usual, there was no 2020 minor league season, meaning that Palmer didn’t pitch his first professional game until the 2021 season.

RHP Trent Palmer, #BlueJays 3rd round pick in 2020, just pitched a seven inning no-hitter for single-A Dunedin
— Mitch Bannon (@MitchBannon) August 20, 2021

With the Low A Dunedin Blue Jay …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

A brief case for moving on from Jack Campbell

There has been some panicking in the Toronto market as the draft took a number of goaltenders off the free agency and trade markets. Gone are Marc-Andre Fleury, Casey DeSmith, Ville Husso, and Alexandar Georgiev. The Devils as part of their move committed to Mackenzie Blackwood as part of their tandem, Braden Holtby seems to be leaning towards retirement or at least not playing in 2022-23, and even Montreal seems to be stubbornly clinging to Jake Allen as part of their goaltending duo. With the market shrinking and there being no shortage of teams, and teams with more cap space also looking for goaltenders there seems to be a growing sentiment that it is worth revisiting the idea of Jack Campbell in the Leafs net, that seems like a bad idea. Here’s why.
First off, if Jack Campbell was going to be part of the picture it seems like it would have made sense for Steve Briere to have stuck around as well. If the Leafs were serious about maintaining the status quo, that would have probably involved using the coach already working with him. There’s the potential that Curtis Sanford could see Campbell as the best option of who is left to work wi …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation