Leaflets: Some Leafs thoughts as we run out the final days of the regular season

I think the only hockey I dislike more than preseason hockey is the hockey played between the time that the Leafs clinch a playoff spot and the actual start of the playoffs. Other than Matthews hitting the 40 goal mark, there isn’t a storyline left, and we’re left collectively holding our breath whenever we see something like the Nick Foligno injury last night. At least with the preseason we’ve been deprived of hockey so long that we’ll take what we can get, but here we are 52 games down, and nothing left to do but clinch first in the North, which should happen soon. Anyways, here are some stray thoughts in the dog days of May.
Nick Foligno needs to sit
I don’t know the extent of his injury, whether he was held out precautionary, or whatever, but the time is now to get Foligno as close to 100% as possible before the playoffs. Shutting him down now would give him close to weeks to rest up for the playoffs, and even if he requires a game or two to start the playoffs off, I think you give it to him. There are plenty of players like Engvall …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Campbell vs. Andersen is not really much of a goaltender controversy

The are few story-lines lazier in hockey than the goaltender controversy. It’s essentially just the guy who wasn’t the opening night starter isn’t the best goaltender on the team anymore. That’s the situation for the Leafs as they have Jack Campbell now sitting at an incredible 15-2-1 record with a .927 save percentage, while Frederik Andersen has struggled with injuries and before that, consistency. Potentially the Leafs have two good goaltenders, and that’s called depth or options, not a controversy.
In the spirit of creating a goaltending controversy we asked the TLN contributors who would be their opening night starter. The answers are somewhat expected, but perhaps the expanded answers give a bit more context to how much we’d stick with our choice, or how we feel about Plan B, C, and D.
So here is who should start game one of the playoffs…
Michael Mazzei:
Jack Campbell. He is the more game-ready goalie and the guy that has played the best out of all the options up to this point. How long he keeps the crease in the playoffs depends on his performance because I imagine they would like to get Frederik Andersen …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Chronicles of Rittich: What does Big Save Dave bring to the Leafs?

The Chronicles of Rittich: What does Big Save Dave bring to the Leafs?

Is there any flashier acquisition than a backup goaltender? I mean, it seems like only last year the Leafs picked up a backup goaltender as a throw in when acquiring Kyle Clifford. I can’t quite remember how that worked out.
That’s not to say David Rittich will be the next Jack Campbell. In fact, David Rittich is decidedly not Jack Campbell. For one, he’s younger. He’s also played a lot more, having two seasons already in his career where he’s started the majority of the games for his team. He lacks the upside of Jack Campbell, but his lack of flash and steady presence isn’t a bad 1B to the goaltending tandem for the remainder of this season, and a solid option behind Frederik Andersen in the playoffs as he slips back into the tandem role with Campbell in May. Rittich is a pretty good safety net, and he could be an affordable tandem option with Campbell heading into next season as well, that the Leafs will start auditioning him for.
Big Save Dave by the Numbers
The most important place to start is with dissecting his .904 save percentage, which might be decidedly worse …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Maple Leafs have pushed their chips in on Nick Foligno. What Does that Mean for the Club?

With the NHL Trade Deadline less than 24 Hours away, Kyle Dubas has made the biggest splash of “silly season” to this point with his acquisition of Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets (alongside Stefan Noesen from the San Jose Sharks). In exchange, the Maple Leafs will send a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick to Columbus, while also sending a fourth-round pick to San Jose to retain some of Foligno’s salary. As such, with both Columbus and San Jose retain 50% on Nick Foligno’s deal, the Maple Leafs will only be responsible for paying 25% of the salary remaining on the upcoming unrestricted free agent.

TOR trades a first and two 4ths for Nick Foligno and Stefan Noesen. Though SJ
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 11, 2021

Immediate reactions were divisive at best and combative at worst, as paying a first-rounder for Nick Foligno in 2021 appears expensive at a glance. While averaging over 18 minutes a night with the sputtering Columbus Blue Jackets, Foligno has a paltry 16 points, 7 goals and 9 assists, in 42 games played. There’s a lot more to this move than just the boxcar stats, however, and it’s worth trying to understand what the Maple Leafs not only see in …

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Author: Jori Negin-Shecter / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 contenders who could give the Raptors assets in a trade

Toronto Raptors: 3 contenders who could give the Raptors assets in a trade

The Toronto Raptors appear closer to selling than they have in years, as their eight-game losing streak has them looking at some of the top prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft instead of vying for a spot in the 2020-21 postseason.  With Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell trade rumors starting to really get kicked into […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 contenders who could give the Raptors assets in a trade – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Scott’s Thoughts: Mid-season report cards

We’re more than halfway through the season, and with that means we can start to hand out some report cards for the Leafs players based on their performance so far. Their grades will be waited by a combination of their performance, but also their expectations going into the season. The evaluations will be based on a combination of my own opinion as well as the numbers they’ve put up, so there’s a very good chance that you aren’t going to agree with every grade.
We have a lot to get through, so let’s get started.
Auston Matthews: A
Matthews had the expectations of the best player on our team, and he has performed as such so far this season, especially before his injury. He had a massive lead in goals before his injury allowed McDavid to catch up, and is also still an incredible playmaker. His underlying numbers are spectacular as well, with a 54.16% CF% and a 59.15% xGF% this season, and a 6.9 GAR (nice) this season. The only thing holding him back from getting an A+ is that his defensive game has taken a slight step back from last season, but that hasn’t hindered …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: This stat shows just how unlucky Toronto has been during their 2-8 start

Raptors: This stat shows just how unlucky Toronto has been during their 2-8 start

The Toronto Raptors are playing better than their 2-8 record. Monday night’s heartbreaking loss against the Portland Trail Blazers, which came just 24 hours after the Golden State Warriors prevailed in a similar fashion, shows exactly how tough the start to the 2020-21 season has been for Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors. While plenty […]
Raptors: This stat shows just how unlucky Toronto has been during their 2-8 start – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors biggest Eastern Conference foes for 2021

Toronto Raptors biggest Eastern Conference foes for 2021

The NBA Eastern Conference is stronger than ever. Who are the Toronto Raptors strongest Eastern opponents for this upcoming season? The Toronto Raptors indubitably took a step back in free agency. Re-signing Fred VanVleet was a huge move for this organizations future. The losses of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, on the other hand, will surely be felt. […]
Toronto Raptors biggest Eastern Conference foes for 2021 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ

Predicting the 2020-2021 Toronto Raptors starting lineup

Predicting the 2020-2021 Toronto Raptors starting lineup

Toronto Raptors basketball is much closer than we think (23 days), and there has yet to be any real talk of a starting lineup yet. The Toronto Raptors roster is pretty much set in stone — at least we think it is. Apart from at the Center position, the Raptors starting roster is not all […]
Predicting the 2020-2021 Toronto Raptors starting lineup – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Bogosian by the numbers

Few things are more scary than the idea of looking at Zach Bogosian’s numbers. Zach Bogosian wasn’t brought in for his numbers. He was brought in to be an affordable tank. An unmovable force in front of the Leafs net. He’s here to satisfy our desire for punishing hits at the cost reasonable outlet passes. Bogosian is here to make us nostalgic for “to the line but not out” but also to put on a shot blocking clinic. At least that’s what we’ve been told. Maybe he’s more than that. Let’s take a look.
An overview

So, those hits weren’t as significant as advertised. Bogosian averaged just over a hit per game last season, with 30 hits in 27 games, playing around 17 minutes a night. His shot blocks were also right at the 1 per game level, with 27 during the regular season. In the playoffs, Bogosian upped his hitting with 44 hits in 20 games, but was still just at 19 blocked shots. He had increased playing time with 17:40 minutes averaged per night.
Interestingly enough, Bogosian might have been better statistically in the playoffs, as his 59.3% CF% at even strength was the highest of the Lightning defensemen.
Time …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation