Leafs likely aren’t done making moves ahead of the trade deadline

Kyle Dubas was busy on Sunday, making a pair of significant additions to the Leafs’ roster with the clock ticking down towards the trade deadline.
The biggest acquisition was that of Nick Foligno from Columbus in a three-team deal that saw the Leafs ship out their 2021 first and fourth-round picks to the Blue Jackets, and their 2022 fourth-round pick to the San Jose Sharks. Columbus retained 50% of Foligno’s remaining salary and the Sharks retained an additional 25% while also sending depth forward Stefan Noesen back to the Leafs.
Foligno checks a lot of boxes in terms of what the Leafs were looking to add. He can slide up and down the lineup while having the versatility to play wing or center if needed, he plays with an edge, is a strong defensive presence, and brings a bit more of that good old fashioned veteran leadership.
It wasn’t exactly a bargain but adding a player like Foligno to this lineup for a fraction of his salary, in exchange for what should be a late first-round draft pick, is a solid move.
Dubas wasn’t done there, however, as it was announced shortly before midnight that the Leafs had also acquired goaltender …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Jalen Green scouting report: Is he a better fit for the Toronto Raptors than Jonathan Kuminga?

Jalen Green scouting report: Is he a better fit for the Toronto Raptors than Jonathan Kuminga?

Including Sunday night, the Toronto Raptors have 27 games left to climb back into the playoff picture. Toronto is 11th in the East and the seventh-worst team in the NBA right now. Should the season come to an end today, they would be squarely in lottery pick territory at the 2021 NBA Draft. This could […]
Jalen Green scouting report: Is he a better fit for the Toronto Raptors than Jonathan Kuminga? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Simmonds could be out six weeks per Elliotte Friedman

Well it may be Superbowl Sunday, but it’s certainly not feeling too super at the moment, as we get our first hint at the extent of Wayne Simmonds injury.

Not liking what I’m hearing on Wayne Simmonds. Could be six weeks…just brutal, was having such a strong season in return home.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 7, 2021

So that’s not particularly good. Especially on a team that is already down Nick Robertson, Joe Thornton, Jack Campbell, and possibly Travis Dermott. The Leafs seem to be picking up exactly where they left off on the injury front, and Simmonds injury will require him going on the LTIR which will further impact the Leafs ability to add players towards the trade deadline.
As for the biggest part of this, it’s Simmonds absence. He’s had 5 goals so far this season, and has looked right at home in his net presence power play specialist role, and given the Leafs an intimidating protector they’ve sorely lacked in the past few seasons. He’s not a simple call someone up to replace him type of replacement, though I’d assume Joey Anderson could find his way into the lineup and the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Cursed day at The Trop as the Blue Jays lose the game and a pitcher to injury

Another Sunday, another not-so-fun day as the Blue Jays lost a game and a pitcher to injury.

Things worth mentioning…

Trent Thornton got the start on short rest after getting lit up in the second leg of the doubleheader against the Phillies on Thursday. While Thornton’s outing went better than last time — he picked up a couple of strikeouts and allowed a couple of hits — he only lasted one inning. The Rays worked Thornton, making him toss 25 pitches to get through the first and he was pulled from the game with elbow inflammation. Not ideal!

Trent Thornton, who was activated off the Injured List on Thursday after having been on it for two weeks with right elbow inflammation, left today’s game after the first inning with right elbow inflammation. #Bluejays
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) August 23, 2020

After Thornton, Anthony Kay came in and cruised through three innings. The Blue Jays carried a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning before the Rays finally did their thing. Kay started the bottom of the fifth but allowed a single and a walk. Ryan Borucki then came in to put out the fire, but he got tagged for a couple …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Never In Doubt. The Blue Jays pull off a wild sweep over the Phillies on Doubleheader Thursday

This team looked toast on Sunday. It’s amazing how quickly things can change.

After pulling off a sweep of the Phillies on Thursday’s doubleheader, the Blue Jays suddenly boast a 12-11 record and are sitting in a playoff spot.
Things worth mentioning…

In Game 1, Chase Anderson got the ball and grinded his way through three-and-two-thirds of work, scattering a couple of runs on four hits and a walk. It was nothing spectacular, but Anderson allowed the Jays a chance to win the game, which is all you can ask for from your fifth starter. After him, the bullpen was fantastic.
Julian Merryweather, the infamous PTBNL from the Josh Donaldson trade finally made his debut for the team, which was a cool sight given the fact many fans were skeptical that he was even real. It took him a long time to get here, but Merryweather made it memorable by picking up four outs, three of which came via the strikeout.

In his MLB debut, Julian Merryweather’s four-seam fastball averaged 97.5 mph, but the @BlueJays prospect got his three strikeouts (in 1 1/3 scoreless frames) on breaking balls. pic.twitter.com/eaSYSk5fKu
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Hyun Jin Ryu continues to be excellent as the Blue Jays hammer the Orioles

After an ugly double-loss day on Sunday, the Blue Jays rolled into Baltimore badly in need of some wins. Thanks to another great start from Hyun Jin Ryu and a big night at the plate from Randal Grichuk, they’re off on the right foot.

Things worth mentioning…

Hyun Jin Ryu’s first couple of starts as a Blue Jay were a little bit shake, but it looks like that’s clearly in the rearview mirror now. Ryu was excellent on Monday in Baltimore, completely shutting down the Orioles’ offence (one that came into the game scoring the fifth-most runs-per-game in baseball, shockingly) over six innings. Ryu allowed just four hits and only one hard-hit ball, a single to Pedro Severino, while striking out three. Perhaps most importantly, Ryu didn’t issue a single walk, as command had been a problem for him in previous starts.
It was a bit surprising that Ryu didn’t go further than six innings considering how nicely he was cruising. That brings us to Monday night’s What The Fuck, Charlie? moment. Ryu had only thrown 86 pitches through six and Montoyo opted to bring in Rafael …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Using NHL 20 to predict Nick Robertson’s career

The Toronto Maple Leafs are back! And as we saw on Sunday in Game 1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, there’s a new face in the blue and white who’s kind of a big deal. Nick Robertson is currently the brightest prospect in the Leafs system and he just became the first 18-year-old NHL player to debut in the playoffs since Jarome Iginla in 1996. Thanks to an impressive draft + one season in the OHL, it’s finally his time to impact the NHL, well ahead of his original timeframe.
With the current hype around Robertson, I thought it would be fun to think about what his career may bring. This is where my love for video games crossed over with my love for hockey. EA Sports’ NHL 20 video game offers a lot of head-to-head fun with realistic hockey gameplay. But one of the game’s most loved aspects is its realistic simulation engine, which I’ve admittedly spent hours on hours experimenting with in my time by controlling various teams and finding out what their future’s hold.
The game allows players to simulate up to 25 seasons into the future, so I …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

11 Trade Deadline Rentals that only make me throw up in my mouth a little

Sorry folks. No Leafs hockey until Sunday is going to result in premature trade deadline speculation. I don’t make the rules.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way let’s acknowledge that trade deadline rentals have an established track record of being a pretty bad idea. Let’s then move on to the fact that the Leafs really don’t have much in the way of cap space nor a first round draft pick this season to major players in the trade deadline. That’s 100% a blessing. Now that all of that has been said, there are a few players who don’t particularly seem to be too awful as far as deadline options go. As far as who is being considered a rental, well, I included arbitration eligible restricted free agents to make it slightly more appealing than just the usual unrestricted free agent suspects. Sue me. I wanted a #1 that people would truly want on their team.
11. Daniel Sprong (F) Ducks
We’ll start off Dutch hockey legend Daniel Sprong, who definitely falls into that RFA group. Sprong only has an offensive game and I’m sure …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors look to even series in Game 4 vs. the Bucks: Preview, start time, and more

After a thrilling double OT win on Sunday, the Raptors are back at it again in Toronto for Game 4. And this time they’re looking to even the series. The Raptors are back in business. After dropping the first two games on the road in Milwaukee, the Raptors played desperate in Game 3 to pick up a win in double-overtime. It was a thriller of a game, with Marc Gasol getting it started and Kawhi Leonard bringing it home. There was missed free throws, big steals, limping players, and everything else that you would expect from a double-overtime game. That emotional roller-coaster is over though. Game 4 is here, and the Raptors are looking to even up the series at two games apiece.
The key points haven’t changed much. The Raptors are confident in their half-court defense against Giannis Antetokounmpo, but they aren’t as strong defending transition. Milwaukee scored 29 fast-break points in Game 3 (to the Raptors 18) and Antetokounmpo grabbed 23 rebounds. Not a good recipe when both teams get on the move.
Besides that, the Raptors will need to get their offense going. Can Danny Green, Fred VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam make some threes? Can the Raptors keep the offensive flow …

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Author: Ben_Scott / Raptors HQ

Raptors and Bucks get set for Game 1 of the ECF: Preview, start time, and more

After the high on Sunday, the Raptors look to steal the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals in Milwaukee versus the Bucks. After Kawhi Leonard’s shot on Sunday night lifted the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals, Toronto no longer needs to feel remorse for the past. It has become about the here-and-now: the franchise’s second trip to the Conference Finals in four years. It’s about a new era with a new superstar — even if he leaves in July. It’s about new memories. It’s about being four wins away from an NBA Finals appearance, and this time LeBron James isn’t standing in the way.
The Milwaukee Bucks with Giannis Antetokounmpo won’t be easy for the Raptors to defeat. Toronto enters the series as the underdog. The Bucks looked dangerous throughout the regular season and that has continued in the playoffs. This is a young team with enough offense and defense to give an opposing team nightmares on both ends. It’s a Bucks team with a lot of young, confident players beyond just Antetokounmpo.
Analysis of this series began only hours after Kawhi hit that buzzer-beater. The Bucks are better than the …

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Author: Satbir Singh_ / Raptors HQ