What scares you the most about the Leafs?

There’s a good possibility that Kyle Dubas has a sense humour and thought that bringing back Michael Hutchinson the day before Halloween would scare Leafs fans. I think it did, only when we realized that when there’s three NHL goaltenders between him and the net that there was nothing to be afraid of.
Though that doesn’t mean there aren’t other frightening things about the Leafs at the moment, so we asked our panel of experts to share what scares them about the Leafs.
Nick Richard
The Leafs roster was decidedly not scary last season and while they’ve addressed that to some extent with additions like Wayne Simmonds and Zack Bogosian, I’m still still concerned about how much of that “dog” mentality can be developed by the core of this team. Having those guys will certainly add an element that this team was missing but it will be all for naught if the big guns can’t become tougher to play against as well. That doesn’t mean Nylander and Marner have to fight or throw big hits, but it does mean they need to have some more push back when teams lean on them …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs will probably sign T.J. Brodie if he hits the market

There’s been a lot of talk about the Leafs’ ability to take a big swing at fixing their defence corps this offseason, usually in the form of a run at Alex Pietrangelo in free agency or moving a substantial name up front to get help elsewhere. Then beyond that, the sort of B-squad gets a lot of play – stop gap options like Radko Gudas, Dylan Demelo, and so on.
Jammed right in the middle of those two groups, I’d argue, is T.J. Brodie, set to hit the market if the Flames fail to re-up the blue-liner this week. And we don’t have to look too hard to link him up with the Leafs. Just last summer, when Toronto decided to move on from Nazem Kadri, it was widely known that the first deal on the table would send him to Calgary for a package centered around Brodie, before Kadri ultimately squashed it.
So Dubas knows this player. Well enough, in fact, that he was looking to to bring him aboard in one of his most substantial trades of his tenure. The research on his play had obviously largely been done, and Brodie was a hair away …

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation

Despite the post-season letdown, the 2020 Blue Jays should be remembered fondly

For the first time in months, there’s no longer that feeling of baseball-related anticipation. Instead, in its place, is a feeling of melancholy.

It’s October now and it feels like summer is over. Tuesday’s post-season opener was a tight, stressful, nail-biter, while Wednesday’s must-win was a flop. This team that had been loaded with magic all season — all 60 games of it — didn’t have anything left.
The young Jays sprinted headfirst into a wall known as the Tampa Bay Rays — a veteran team in which every player seems to be a perfectly placed piece to a puzzle — and got sent back home after a two-game sweep.
Maybe things would have gone been better if the Jays hadn’t tried to be so clever with their starting pitching strategy. Maybe losing to the Rays was an inevitability and we were just blind with undeserved optimism heading into the series. Who knows.
What I do know, though, is that as disappointing as bowing out of the playoffs in two games may seem now, the 2020 Blue Jays were a blessing, and they deserve to be remembered fondly.
Had I told you back in April that the Blue Jays were …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays’ controversial pitching strategy works out, but the bats couldn’t solve Blake Snell and the Rays’ bullpen

The Rays, man. There’s a reason they were the No. 1 team in the American League. Tampa takes Game 1 by a score of 3-1, meaning the Jays are suddenly facing elimination on Wednesday.

Things worth mentioning…

The pitching was the big story in today’s game, so I’ll start with that. Rather than using their ace, Hyun Jin Ryu in Game 1, the Jays opted to roll with Matt Shoemaker. The plan had to do with the fact Shoe had plenty of success against the Rays in his career and Ryu is better on an extra day of rest. The Shoemaker part of the plan worked to perfection as the veteran was amazing through three innings, scattering just a couple of hits. But that was the end of the line for Shoemaker as the Jays opted to bring in Robbie Ray. How did you feel about that, Shoe?

Not great! Ray came in and promptly allowed Randy Arozarena to smack a triple, causing concern that we were in store for a Ray meltdown. Arozarena would end up scoring on a wild pitch (one that Danny Jansen probably should have come up with) which gave the Rays a 1-0 lead. But …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Hassan Whiteside: The UFA the Toronto Raptors Need to Sign This Offseason

As great as the Toronto Raptors have been, there’s a player whose contract just expired that is sure to make them even better next season. The Toronto Raptors have had undeniable success over the past two seasons. The giant rings on their fingers are proof that’s true. In order to continue winning, General Manager Bobby […]
Hassan Whiteside: The UFA the Toronto Raptors Need to Sign This Offseason – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jeff Borsuk / Raptors HQ

Reese McGuire has been optioned and Caleb Joseph has been added to the roster

There’s a new catcher joining the Blue Jays — it just isn’t the one you were probably hoping for.

The Blue Jays announced today that they’ve optioned Reese McGuire to the Alternate Training Site and that veteran Caleb Joseph has been added to the active roster in his place. In order to fit Joseph on the 40-man roster, Ken Giles has been moved to the 45-day Injured List (which is this year’s version of the 60-day IL).
It isn’t too surprising that McGuire got optioned. He’s having an absolutely putrid season offensively, as he has just three hits over 45 plate appearances. The surprise here is that it isn’t Alejandro Kirk joining the team.
The Jays added Kirk, one of the organization’s top prospect, to the Taxi Squad last week, which seemed to indicate that he might soon be joining the team. Given the fact the Jays have gotten virtually zero offence from the catcher position, it seemed that adding Kirk to the mix could give them a boost offensively.
Instead, it’s the veteran Joseph joining the team. Anybody is an upgrade on …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

3 reasons why the Leafs shouldn’t trade Frederik Andersen

There’s been a lot of talk recently about a trade that would send Frederik Andersen out the door and I have to be honest, I just don’t think that works out for the Leafs. Ever.
The speculation started with a 31 Thoughts article (thought #19), where Elliotte Friedman wrote: “The Carolina Hurricanes have interest in Frederik Andersen, but Toronto’s made it clear it has no desire to make a move just for the sake of change.”
This sparked Leafs Twitter to start drafting up mock trades with some that could work, others, in my opinion, not so much. Andersen as we know is going into the last year of his five year, $25-million deal. What makes him interesting to a lot teams is that his salary is only $1 million because his signing bonus of $4 million has already been paid out.
A lot of teams are going to have to find ways to save money after COVID-19 hit their pockets so hard. With no fans in the arenas and the cap staying flat, there will be teams with a lot of money and teams with not much money that will be …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Everything Leafs Podcast: The TOR vs CLB series preview

There’s only one week left before the beginning of the Leafs vs Blue Jackets. With that, Kevin Papetti and I break down the various aspects that will play a part in the outcome of this play-in series.
In addition, both Kevin and I wrote series previews on this matchup. Kevin’s can be found here. Mine can be found here.
Below, you can find the full itinerary for this episode.
0:50 Thoughts on Robertson and the lineup
3:30 General thoughts on the Blue Jackets
9:00 Comparing this Columbus roster to the 2018-2019 Blue Jackets
13:15 Similarities and Differences between Boston and Columbus
19:00 Looking at the most recent Leafs lines
26:03 Looking at Columbus’ lines
35:50 Final thoughts on the Leafs-Blue Jackets series
40:40 Predictions on the other play-in matchups
Where Can You Listen:


Apple Podcasts:
You can find us on twitter at:
Nick DeSouza: @NickDeSouza_
Kevin Papetti: @KPapetti

Stay safe and thanks for listening!

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Author: Nick DeSouza / The Leafs Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: Debunking the narratives of the Leafs-Blue Jackets series

There’s been a lot of talk these past couple weeks about the “will” of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and how their experience should scare the Leafs.
That’s right, the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have as many playoff appearances in the last decade as the Leafs, and have just one series win in their entire franchise history, have so much more experience than the Leafs. Sure, it was last year, but that’s more just showcasing the recency bias of most peoples opinions on hockey teams they don’t care about.
Let’s face it, the only reason the Blue Jackets are painted as a Goliath to the Leafs is because everybody has an inferiority complex with the Leafs. They like hating on the Leafs because that’s their only personality trait, and are never willing to actually give the Leafs credit when it’s earned.
So, let’s take some of these narratives that have been spewed during everyone’s predictions as to why the Blue Jackets are a Clearly Superior Team, and apply some logic to show why they don’t hold up.
If the …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Chase Anderson is unlikely to be ready for opening day

It looks like there’s an opening in the Blue Jays’ starting rotation.

Veteran Chase Anderson, who was named as one of Charlie Montoyo’s pencilled-in starting pitchers to open the season, has suffered an oblique strain and it’s unlikely that he’ll be ready for opening day.
Before Anderson got hurt, Montoyo said that his rotation would feature Hyun-Jin Ryu, Anderson, Tanner Roark, and Matt Shoemaker, with Trent Thornton, who led the team in innings pitched last season, leading the pack for the fifth spot. Now, with Anderson out, there’s room for another one of Toronto’s young starters to grab a spot.
Nate Pearson’s name obviously jumps out, given the fact he’s probably already Toronto’s second-best starter behind Ryu. But, as I explained yesterday, Pearson won’t be ready to pitch at the Major League level until at least a week after the regular season has started. It would be a pretty big surprise to see the Jays not do the service time manipulation dance with Pearson at this point.
There are plenty of options to compete for the final …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation