To blame Charlie or not to blame Charlie

There’s a bar in Eminem’s song, Guilty Conscience that reads: “Alright, calm down, relax, start breathing”.
This is what I am asking every Blue Jays fan currently calling for Charlie Montoyo’s job. Now, the rest of the song doesn’t really fit how Blue Jays fans are reacting as I don’t believe there are many psychopathic fans out there, but this line is true.

The team has been blowing quite a few games as of late and there is no doubt about that; however, only one of these games is due to the management of Charlie Montoyo. After arguing with multiple fans who reacted in “Charlie needs to go #FireCharlie”, the consensus is that he blew three games, May 20th against the Red Sox, May 21st against the Rays and today, May 23rd, also against the Rays.
I have had my fair share of criticism towards Charlie in the past, especially with how he’s managed the bullpen, along with players’ rest in the rebuilding years. In this post, I will be going through all three games and determining whether or not Charlie should be blamed.
May 20th
This game finished  8-7 for the Red Sox …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs face the difficult challenge of a lineup without John Tavares

First and foremost, there’s no replacing John Tavares. The Leafs don’t have a point per game center sitting around, nor a spare leader and captain. The loss of Tavares makes the Leafs roster worse, but that isn’t a call for him to return at anything less than 100%. We’ll put our faith in the Leafs organization and their doctors that they will first do right by Tavares, and the roster is a second thought.
In fact when we, as a TLN team, started discussing what the new lines could look like, the one thing that came through loud and clear from our group is the need to emphasize how important it is to do right by Tavares, and after that terrifying incident we just want the captain to be okay.
John Tavares has since provided the following update:

pic.twitter.com/XiHjGvSewg
— John Tavares (@91Tavares) May 21, 2021

We’ll definitely take that as a positive sign for his recovery, and again we wish him all the best.
The Leafs have begun reorganizing themselves to begin to manage their roster without the captain, the lines at practice were as follows:

#Leafs lines at practice:
Hyman-Matthews-Marner Galchenyuk-Foligno-NylanderEngvall-Kerfoot-MikheyevThornton-Spezza-Simmonds
Rielly-BrodieMuzzin-HollSandin-Bogosian
AndersenRittich
Absent: …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Tanner Roark era has come to an end

There’s a pretty good chance we’ve seen Tanner Roark throw his last pitch in a Blue Jays uniform.

The team announced today that Roark had been designated for assignment. This comes as Teoscar Hernandez was reinstated from the COVID list, which meant the team needed to remove somebody from the 40-man roster to make room for him.
The fact that the Blue Jays opted to DFA Roark despite the fact that they don’t even know who their starting pitcher is going to be on either Saturday or Sunday sort of speaks volumes about how they view him at this point. Roark made just one start, got shelled, was relegated to the bullpen, and made just two appearances.
There are a lot of teams out there with injuries so maybe somebody will make a deal for Roark. Obviously, nobody is going to straight-up claim him and take on his albatross salary, but the Blue Jays could possibly eat his money and get a scratch ticket from the bottom of somebody’s farm system.
Regardless, the Roark era, more than likely, is over with the Blue Jays. He pitched 54 2/3 innings and allowed 41 earned runs. It was ugly.
Sail on, …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles

Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles

There’s about a month remaining of games left for the 2020-21 regular season. Things haven’t been easy for the Toronto Raptors, but there have been many silver linings to take away. With injuries and players being out due to health and safety protocols, it has led head coach Nick Nurse to mix and match a […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 players playing well in their new roles – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Nickeem Khan / Raptors HQ

How did rival teams do at the deadline?

There’s been a lot of talk about the moves the Leafs made at the deadline, and all the new players they will be bringing in, and why not? They’re players we haven’t seen on the Leafs before, and it’ll be fun to see what kind of impact they make.
But, the Leafs rival teams also made some additions as well, some bigger than others, but if the Leafs want to go on a deep run, it’s good to know how their biggest competitions improved. There was a bit of a trend within the division as it seemed like the Canadian teams didn’t really want to go all in when they didn’t feel like they could beat the Leafs, and outside the division the bigger teams only made a couple big acquisitions.
Montreal Canadiens
The Habs made their biggest deal a few weeks before the deadline by bringing in Eric Staal for a 3rd and a 5th, but they also made a couple smaller moves this week by bringing in Jon Merrill and Erik Gustafsson to beef up their blue line a little bit. Staal bring a bit of extra scoring touch to the …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

With the asking price of a 1st round pick, is Taylor Hall a good idea or bad idea for the Leafs?

Ah name brand trade bait. There’s no ignoring it. Will better players than Taylor Hall be traded at the deadline? Will those players help their teams more than Taylor Hall? There’s a good chance that the answer to both of those questions are yes, but that doesn’t change that Taylor Hall is a former Hart Trophy winner, former 1st overall pick, and that adds a lot more interest to his availability. The fact that there’s now an official price attached to him doesn’t hurt either…

Hearing that the initial asking price for Taylor Hall involves a first-round pick… Probably going to be tough to get that in this buyer’s market but it’s the right place to start two weeks out if you’re Buffalo. @TheAthletic @TSNHockey
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 26, 2021

So the general consensus is that the Sabres are reaching here. I’m not sure that was the belief even 24 hours ago that Hall for a 1st was too much, but through their own actions of trading Staal for a 3rd and 5th round selection, the market was more or less set. If Eric Staal’s 3 goals, 10 points in 32 games couldn’t net a 2nd round …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to rebound against Sens before brief break

There’s no sugar coating it: last night was bad. The officiating was terrible, Frederik Andersen wasn’t good either, and the team in front of him was basically non-existent. In a game where they had dominated the Winnipeg Jets previously in the week and were finally facing the backup goalie, this should’ve been an easy win, but instead they put up arguably their worst performance of the season.
Thankfully, they won’t have much time to dwell on it, as they’re right back at it again tonight against the Ottawa Senators. Whether they choose to dwell in last nights game, or use it to fuel the fire and dominate tonight will be up to them, but they’re going to be playing one of the worst teams in the league to get that chance to rebound.
Going into this game, the Leafs are 2-1-0 in the second half of back-to-back games this season, but are 0-1-0 when they play a different team in that second game, so there’s no guarantee that fatigue won’t play a role. At the very least, they’ll have four days off after to rest up, so if there’ …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs are in on everyone and introducing The TLN Trade Bored

There’s nothing like the false hope that comes in the form of an established media personality looking to add a hook to his weekly column and to help promote his network’s ongoing coverage of the Leafs. That’s the cynical look at it. The optimistic look at it is exactly what Elliotte Friedman wrote:
After Thursday, Toronto has five games in 14 days. It would not be a stunner if the Maple Leafs tried to make their move during this time to minimize quarantine on any player coming from the U.S. In the last week, Toronto’s been rumoured to be in on half the league, from Mattias Ekholm to Filip Forsberg to Mikael Granlund to Eric Staal to Marc Staal. We will see what GM Kyle Dubas decides to do.
Yeah, that all seems pretty good, except for Marc Staal. If that was in anyway remotely true I’d be sad.
The Leafs looking to act sooner than later is nothing new, as that has been the preferred approach of Dubas for the past couple of seasons, and factor in the oft mentioned 14 day quarantine period for players crossing the border, the fact that the quarantine period …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Staturday Weekly Column #9: Why everyone should love William Nylander

There’s always been a tumultuous relationship between Maple Leafs fans and high skill, low grit players. From Jason Blake, to Phil Kessel, to Jake Gardiner, to now William Nylander, there’s a common theme with these players and the love-hate dichotomy in the fandom.
It comes down to perspective: do you want a player who gives it their all 100% of the time, or a player who doesn’t but still accomplishes more than most would with less-than-100% effort? When you bring on one of these players there’s a certain “leash” that comes with the territory, and some don’t accept that.
I am not one of those people. I am a Nylanderthal. William Nylander is my favourite Toronto Maple Leaf, and I wanted to use this column to present why the data supports this.
The Basics
Readers of this column will know that there’s a lot more to the story when it comes to data, but let’s start with the basics.
He’s not called “Bill Ny the Scoring Guy” for nothing. William Nylander scores points, and points help your team win. It’s a simple concept, but still valuable.
In 325 NHL games, Nylander has 235 points. …

Read More

Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Total Player Score and Contract Valuation

Here’s the thing. There’s a ton of great analytics resources out there. Evolving Hockey, Hockey Viz, and others are producing amazing insight into the NHL that has given us new ways of looking at the players around the league and predicting the success of teams. Their knowledge of hockey, analytics, and programming is beyond what I could ever hope to put together.
The problem for someone like me is that I like to know how the sausage is made, and trying to figure out how they’ve made their sausage hurts my head at time, so I’ve decided to make my own. For better or worse, I decided to embark on the idea of pulling together my own measure that combines the individual contributions of a player with the outcomes of when they are on the ice. I then wanted to take that combined score, and compare it to their contract. A lot of my approach has been drawn from what Dom Luszczyszyn has done with Game Score, which you can read about here. The differences in my version of score, is the separation of on ice play calculations from individual result calculations, and the omission of …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation