Raptors: Does Stanley Johnson’s defense make up for non-existent offense?

Raptors: Does Stanley Johnson’s defense make up for non-existent offense?

Stanley Johnson looked destined to flush out of the NBA, as the former Top 10 pick completely floundered with the Detroit Pistons. Taking a flier on a developmental prospect, Toronto chose to bring in Johnson with the intention of converting him into a full-time power forward that can play center in a pinch. While by […]
Raptors: Does Stanley Johnson’s defense make up for non-existent offense? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs Legend George Armstrong passes away at 90

For many of us now, the idea of the a Leafs Stanley Cup dynasty is a difficult concept to wrap our heads around, but today we mourn the passing of one of the legends who made that success possible as George Armstrong has passed away at the age of 90.
Armstrong played a 21 season career, and most significantly we captained the Leafs for 13 seasons of it. 13 years where it was common place for Armstrong to receive the Stanley Cup and pass it around amongst his teammates. Thirteen years of captaining the most dominant team Toronto has ever known.
Armstrong was never the most skilled player on his team, and while he was certainly talented, it was his work ethic and willingness to do what was necessary to win that led him to his Hall of Fame career and was the catalyst behind naming him the captain.
Since Armstrong belonged to my father’s Leafs and I never had any first hand experience watching him, I rely on my Dad’s frequent compliment to me following my games. Like Armstrong, I wasn’t the strongest skater, and when I would put in a strong checking effort, and came back to cover my …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors mine another hidden gem with Stanley Johnson

Toronto Raptors mine another hidden gem with Stanley Johnson

Stanley Johnson is the latest unheralded player to bring value to the Toronto Raptors, adding another success story to one of the league’s best developmental organizations. By their very nature, under-the-radar, low-cost additions whose star has faded and stock has fallen are unlikely to achieve much. Most such acquisitions fall by the wayside with little […]
Toronto Raptors mine another hidden gem with Stanley Johnson – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

Scott’s Thoughts: Lessons the Leafs Can Learn From the Tampa Bay Lightning

Every year, a team wins the Stanley Cup, and every other team decides to get in line to mold their team just like that team, because if it worked for the Cup winners, it’ll work for them, right? Meanwhile, there are always a few teams creating their own style, and those are usually the ones poised for success in the next few years.
However, I think there is a fine line between learning a few things to adapt your own strategies and vision, and outright copying the reigning Cup champs. This is especially the case for the Leafs with the Tampa Bay Lightning, as the Lightning have often been a comparable team due to the skill both teams possess, so it might not be a bad idea to pull a few pages from their notebook.
So, here are few things that I think the Leafs could learn from the Lightning this season, that I think can be applied to the Leafs without drastically shifting from their own vision.
Don’t overreact to a disappointing playoff loss to Columbus
In 2018-19, the Tampa Bay Lightning shocked the hockey world by tying the NHL record for most points in the regular …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

EA Sports reveals details about new NHL 21 video game

Although the Stanley Cup playoffs are currently underway in the middle of August for the first time, in any other year, we would be in the middle of the offseason right now. On top of all the signings and moves that come with the offseason, hockey fans also use this time to look forward to the annual reveal of the newest EA Sports NHL video game.
Regardless of the fact that the hockey season is still going on, EA Sports has revealed their first trailer for their new NHL 21 video game, and it looks great.
Last year, Toronto Maple Leafs star centre Auston Matthews had the honour to grace the cover of NHL 20. This year, Washington Capitals star captain Alex Ovechkin will be the cover athlete. This is his second time on an EA Sports video game cover, after he was the cover athlete for NHL 07 as well. Check out the trailer below:

The short trailer mainly highlights Ovechkin as the cover star, but also showcases some new improvements, including updated graphics, new moves such as the “Michigan goal,” popularized by Andrei Svechnikov and Nikita Kucherov’s “no move” move, and a tease at an …

Read More

Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

Introducing “Minnesota Mediocrity” for NHL Playoff Participation

The idea of a 22 or 24-team Stanley Cup Playoffs to round out the 2019-20 season has been floated by numerous hockey insiders on social media and radio shows over the last few weeks, as the NHL continues its “no idea is too crazy” approach to continuing play sometime this year.
It’s easy to understand why the league is leaning in this direction: it has now been more than two months since the last time a goaltender interference call has been furiously debated on Twitter. From March 12 to May 15 of last year, 200 regular season and 76 playoff games had been played, and the infamous hand pass game between San Jose and St. Louis in the Western Conference Finals had just played out to the horror of NHL Hockey Ops. That’s a lot of lost gate and broadcast revenue for the league, so recouping some of those losses through more playoff games does make sense on the surface, if you put yourself in the league’s shoes.
But at what cost? At the pause of the season, teams had played between 83-87% of their seasons with the understanding that 16 teams would make the playoffs and 15 teams …

Read More

Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson haven’t been good enough

Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson have not lived up to expectations since coming to the Toronto Raptors. Can they provide enough off the bench or does a move need to be made? The Toronto Raptors took a calculated risk this past summer. They decided to sit out the start of free agency while Kawhi Leonard […]
Toronto Raptors: Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson haven’t been good enough – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mark Birdsell / Raptors HQ

5 thoughts from Blue Monday ⁠— A 3-2 loss to St. Louis

The defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues came into Toronto and steamrolled the Leafs by a 3-2 score.
Wait, what?
More accurately, the Leafs fell behind 1-0, scored twice in 24 seconds, and then saw a pair of unanswered goals dictate the narrative as Toronto couldn’t find enough to muster up a late tying goal for a second consecutive game.
Here’s 5 thoughts on the game that was, well, something.
1. Jason Spezza wants to be here

What a play by Spezza to set up Gauthier’s tying goal pic.twitter.com/xRSzuiVMUh
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) October 8, 2019

After a bit of a back-and-forth in the preseason with head coach Mike Babcock, Jason Spezza’s great effort helped to make things 1-1 midway through the second. Looking every bit like he deserves to be a part of the roster, Spezza earned his first point as a Leaf on the play.
Having found his way into just two of the Leafs’ games so far (and having had been a healthy scratch last year in the playoffs for Dallas), Spezza likely knows he can’t just waltz into a roster spot. But he looked alright in his first go around in Toronto, and …

Read More

Author: Adam Laskaris / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs Pre-game #4: 5 Things to watch for against St. Louis

Stanley Cup Champion Tyler Bozak returns to Toronto tonight.
I could have said Stanley Cup Champion Alex Steen or Stanley Cup Champion Carl Gunnarsson and it would have resulted in less vomit in my mouth, but here we are, embracing the darkest timeline.
Lineup

LW
C
RW
Forwards
KASPERI KAPANEN
Rating: 72.8#70 LW

JOHN TAVARES
Rating: 79.3#10 C

MITCH MARNER
Rating: 78.6#5 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 76.94#12 FL1

ANDREAS JOHNSSON
Rating: 73.5#52 LW

AUSTON MATTHEWS
Rating: 81.3#5 C

WILLIAM NYLANDER
Rating: 73.7#37 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.15#3 FL2

ILYA MIKHEYEV
Rating: 74.2#38 LW

ALEXANDER KERFOOT
Rating: 71.9#108 C

TREVOR MOORE
Rating: 72.2#65 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.74#8 FL3

DMYTRO TIMASHOV
Rating: 73.7#44 LW

NICK SHORE
Rating: 70.9#133 C

FREDERIK GAUTHIER
Rating: 69.5#106 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.39#11 FL4

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Defense
MORGAN RIELLY
Rating: 77.8#4 LD

CODY CECI
Rating: 71.9#78 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.82#20 DL1

JAKE MUZZIN
Rating: 74.9#21 LD

TYSON BARRIE
Rating: 77.6#9 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 76.27#2 DL2

RASMUS SANDIN
Rating: 74.1#40 LD

MARTIN MARINCIN
Rating: 72.4#70 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 73.23#11 DL3

LW
C
RW
Forwards
JADEN SCHWARTZ
Rating: 77.2#15 LW

BRAYDEN SCHENN
Rating: 74.5#46 C

VLADIMIR TARASENKO
Rating: 80.2#4 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.30#9 FL1

SAMMY BLAIS
Rating: 71.5#101 LW

RYAN O’REILLY
Rating: 76.6#28 C

DAVID PERRON
Rating: 75.5#29 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 74.56#9 FL2

ROBBY FABBRI
Rating: 70.9#136 LW

TYLER BOZAK
Rating: 73.0#78 C

ZACH SANFORD
Rating: 70.7#92 RW



Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Best case and worst case scenario for Stanley Johnson

The Toronto Raptors took a low-cost flier on Stanley Johnson this offseason, hoping he can turn his offensive game around. What are the best-case and worst-case scenarios for him this year? Believe it or not, Stanley Johnson was the Toronto Raptors biggest acquisition this offseason. He received more money than any other free agent while […]
Toronto Raptors: Best case and worst case scenario for Stanley Johnson – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Bossetti / Raptors HQ