The Leafs can probably beat anyone in the playoffs, but they first must overcome themselves

“This is where we’re supposed to be right here. This is where you do it. You can exercise so many f—in’ demons and they got demons in their heads, they got them in the car, they got ’em under the f—in’ beds. Every where they turn there’s a f—in’ demon. The biggest obstacle this team has right now is themselves.”
This is what assistant coach Paul MacLean said between Game 6 and 7 of the Leafs’ first-round matchup against the Canadiens that was captured in the “All or Nothing” documentary. We already know how the story ended and rewatching it won’t spur a different outcome, but what he said still holds weight as the team gets set for another playoff push in 2022.
Heading into tonight’s matchup against the Jets, Moneypuck has Toronto at a 100% chance of making the postseason, meaning they are basically in. The Eastern Conference playoff combatants have pretty much been determined with the only thing remaining being the matchups themselves. Meaning that the Leafs’ opponent in the first round should they start tomorrow would be the Lightning.
These next few weeks will no doubt play a large factor in how the playoff picture shakes up and this could in many different ways. Toronto could still very much finish atop the Atlantic Division or find themselves in one of the Wild Card spots by the time th …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Alek Manoah got suspended for five games and Nate Pearson is going on the IL with a groin injury

Today was supposed to be a good day because of the return of George Springer, but, since the Blue Jays can’t have nice things, there’s also some bad news to report.

Alek Manoah has received a five-game suspension for hitting Mikael Franco of the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
Manoah hit Franco in the fourth inning and was subsequently kicked out of the game, which seemed like a bit much at the time. A suspension on top of that is insane.
There was no beef going on in the game, the Blue Jays and Orioles were playing each other for the first time this season over the weekend, and Manoah is a rookie with a noticeable history of loose command, made evident by the fact he hit multiple batters during his time in Triple-A this year.
It was very clearly not intentional and it really feels as though the league is trying to spook him out of being intense and aggressive on the mound, which really sucks.
Anyways, Manoah will miss a start, so the Blue Jays will have to find somebody else to go in his place.
Nate Pearson, perhaps? Nope! Pearson has been placed on the seven-day …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Toronto Six add to win column with a 4-2 victory against the Buffalo Beauts

On a night where they weren’t even supposed to play, the Toronto Six pull off a magnificent win over the Buffalo Beauts.
This team keeps making history, and it is a beautiful thing.

— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 28, 2021

Let’s dive into the things that made this game what it is.
The Good and The Great
Right from the get-go, it is evident that there was an improvement from yesterday’s game. They came out of the gate with powerful energy and got right to work. As this game progressed we saw the team get creative not only with plays but with their goals as well. The Toronto Six put in the work to tie the game after they lost their lead to the Beauts and eventually took back the lead. With each game that passes their ability to read plays as a team develops. They did a great job with this throughout, and it allowed them to take amazing shots. 
Yet again the SOG were high and very much in favor of the Six 49-26. That offensive power is so …

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Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays will likely make up their games with Philadelphia by playing multiple doubleheaders in September

The Blue Jays were supposed to play tonight, but, as we know, this weekend’s series in Philadelphia has been postponed due to the Phillies having multiple positive cases of COVID-19.

There had been some thought that the Blue Jays and Nationals could play some games this weekend, either just as exhibition tune-ups to stay on the field or perhaps as a way to jig the schedule around, but it seems that won’t be the case.
According to Charlie Montoyo, it appears that rather than moving games around, Major League Baseball will likely have teams play doubleheaders later on in the season. The Jays are set to host the Phillies from Sept. 18-20, so that would mean the two teams would shove all six games into that three-day stretch.
Nationals reporter Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic reported on Thursday that MLB is planning to implement seven-inning doubleheaders this season as a way to help ease the challenge such as the one the Blue Jays and Phillies will have in September.
Still, back-to-back-to-back 14-inning days… doesn’t seem ideal? The whole purpose of postponing games and making them up later is to maintain scheduling continuity and …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Leafs need more from Mitch Marner in Game 7

Let’s get one thing out of the way.
Mitch Marner was never supposed to be this good, if you talked to some people.
It’s crazy that we’re talking about a 94-point player in his third year in the league, that came into the NHL with doubts about if he could handle the physicality.
But if you watched Marner put up 126 points in his draft year in 63 games and follow it up with 115 in 57, you’d have no surprise that this kid is something special.
And in this round against Boston, he’s been, well, fine. He’s had some huge moments these playoffs, and got things going early with a two-goal Game 1.
Of course, you remember this, the Leafs’ opening goal of the playoffs.

and this, the penalty shot goal that gave the Leafs a lead they’d never lose.

A Game 1 win on the road, in Boston orchestrated by a 21-year old winger? Is this real life?
Game 2 mostly everyone had a rough night, but Marner came back flying in Game 3. A beautiful secondary assist to Andreas Johnnson to set up Auston Mattthews’ first of the playoffs…

… and some great defensive work at the end that’ …

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Author: Adam Laskaris / The Leafs Nation